Year Sixteen (Part 1)

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(January 2018 to June 2018)
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–Trinity Vol. 2 #16 Part 2
January 1. Happy New Year! A snake man acting as a Kobra suicide-bomber has just activated a quantum energy bomb at Bruce’s New Year’s Eve party in Times Square, New York City. While Wonder Woman and Batman defeat two other snake men, Deadshot kills the suicide-bomber. Superman throws the lifeless snake man into the sky where he explodes at a safe distance. Kobra’s threat is over, but, sadly, Deadshot’s daughter Zoe remains missing, having been kidnapped by Kobra earlier in the day. Batman vows to find her.

[1]

–Detective Comics #976-978 (“BATMEN ETERNAL”)
Early January—three weeks have passed since Clayface’s “death.” Bruce orders a struggling Cassie Cain to undergo a therapy session with Dr. Leslie Thompkins, which he watches via live feed in the Batcave. Afterward Leslie touches base with a guilty Bruce, telling him that Cassie’s demons haven’t healed like the Robins’ demons have. Meanwhile, Batwoman, Azrael, and Batwing go on their first Colony mission in South America, easily defeating some Court of Owls Talons. As night falls over Gotham, Batman discovers that Red Robin has secretly been using the Batcave computer to plan out schematics for a new Gotham Knights Protocol for the past few weeks. Batman has Batgirl substitute for him on patrol so he can confront Red Robin about it. Sure enough, Batman and Red Robin have a heated exchange in the Batcave. Batman tells a disgruntled Red Robin that the Gotham Knights project is done for good. He also tells Red Robin he should see Leslie for therapy just like Cassie. A tetchy Red Robin scoffs at the request and then storms out of the cave. Aboard the heli-carrier Colony Airship Alpha, Jake Kane debriefs his newest soldiers. Batwoman decides that the Colony will only operate outside of Gotham. At his HQ, a frustrated Tim lets off some steam and is surprised by the appearance of Ulysses Armstrong, who reveals to Tim his knowledge of the “Titans Tomorrow/666” Hypertime future. At Armstrong’s lair, Armstrong shows Tim a detailed video simulation of how Bruce dies at the hands of a Batwoman-led Colony on the aforementioned alternate future timeline. Armstrong reveals that Batwoman has joined the Colony. He asks Tim to help him prevent the horrible future from occurring using the help of Brother Eye, now uploaded into Armstrong’s computer system. At FoxTech, Luke tells his sister Tam that he’ll be leaving on a your of duty with the Colony for a year. Later, Batman and Red Robin make amends and patrol together. Just as they are about to bust some crooks, Armstrong uses Brother Eye to mind-control Colony soldiers Dom and Cooper, who mercilessly gun down the heroes’ would-be targets. Batman and Red Robin knock-out Dom and Cooper, bringing them back to the Batcave. Batman departs to meet with Jake and Kate at the abandoned Kane Manor, leaving an injured Red Robin to do diagnostics on Dom and Cooper in the Batcave. At Kane Manor, Batman talks to the Kanes about who could possibly be controlling the compromised Colony. In the Batcave, Cassie Cain joins Red Robin in his examination, helping discover nano-tech linked to Armstrong. From his lair, Armstrong initiates the “OMAC Project,” using Brother Eye to take over all the Colony soldiers in the airship high above Kane Manor, turning them into full OMAC (One Man Army Corps) warriors. (This is the debut of this type of OMAC as the only other version is the already-existing One-Machine Attack Construct. In fact, the new OMAC type is evolved future-tech from the “666/Titans Tomorrow” timeline.) Armstrong debuts as The General via live video feed, unleashing OMACs on Kane Manor and turning Red Robin, Dom, and Cooper into OMACs.

–Detective Comics #979-981 (“BATMEN ETERNAL” Continued…)
January. Batwing and Azrael join Batman, Batwoman, and Jake Kane in a defense of Kane Manor, but the odds are stacked against them as the entire Colony fleet has been turned into OMACs. While Cassie fights OMACs in the Batcave, the General tortures Red Robin by showing him a carousel of dark images from the “666/Titans Tomorrow” timeline. Brother Eye then initiates his “Pax Batmana” protocol, which puts his consciousness into Red Robin, turning him into a mash-up of a super-OMAC and an even more evil version of his adult self from the alternate timeline. Brother Eye-OMAC-Tim, with his army of OMACs and the General, flies to the heart of Gotham and rebuilds Old Wayne Tower into a mile-high “Belfry 2.0” skyscraper. With a transformed Tim at the center of the chaos, Batman sees no other option. He and Cassie visit and ask Stephanie for help. Brother Eye-Tim and his OMAC army attacks GCPD HQ, specifically targeting Renee Montoya, who was commissioner in the “666/Titans Tomorrow” timeline. Batwoman protects the cops and fights Brother Eye-Tim, who enters her mind, forcing her to watch vivid images of his dark timeline, specifically her killing Bruce. Meanwhile, with Jake Kane radio-guiding them from the Batcave, Batman, Spoiler, and Cassie penetrate into the heart of the Belfry 2.0 using Spoiler’s cloaking tech. Brother Eye mocks his “inadequate father” and sics a turned Azrael and Batwing upon the heroes. While Batman fights, Brother Eye forces Spoiler and Cassie to view images of the alternate timeline, which completely mirror the Modern Age—images of both as Batgirls and of Stephanie as Robin. Spoiler laughs. Brother Eye’s plan to mentally break the girls has backfired. Instead, she is inspired and now has the motivation and means to kick serious ass. While Cassie and Batman kick OMAC ass of their own, Steph cuts-in on Brother Eye-Tim and shows Batwoman the full story of her alternate self. Alt-Batwoman doesn’t murder Batman on the “666/Titans Tomorrow” timeline, not technically anyway. Feeling that his entire mission as Batman is a failure and believing the only way to stop Brother Eye is to die, 666-Bruce asks 666-Batwoman to kill him. With the truth coming out and the power of positivity from Spoiler, who kayos Ulysses Armstrong, Tim breaks free from Brother Eye and they separate consciousnesses. Subsequently, all the OMACs revert back to Colony soldiers. Batman apologizes to Spoiler and then leads the Colony in rescue efforts as the entire tower crumbles into nothing. Red Robin, now in tears, hugs Batwoman. The threat is over. The deactivated Brother Eye AI goes into the hands of Batwing—although who knows if part of Brother Eye is lurking elsewhere in the world.

–Green Arrow Vol. 6 #37-38 (“THE FALL OF RED ARROW”)
In the Ninth Circle tomb beneath Queen Industries in Star City, Moira Queen has just shot Red Arrow (Emiko Queen) with an arrow. As Dante, one of the leaders of the Ninth Circle gloats from a TV screen, Green Arrow and Black Canary try to get the bleeding Red Arrow to safety while her mother, Shado, fights Moira and Merlyn. Andy Diggle shows up to give the heroes a hand. Moira and Shado fall into the catacombs deep at the pit of the tomb, presumably to their deaths. Meanwhile, crooked Ninth Circle-bought cop Detective Ros Troy breaks into the home of Oliver Queen’s attorney, Kate Spencer (aka the superhero Manhunter). After Troy threatens both Wendy Poole (who is in Kate’s care) and Kate’s son Ramsey Spencer, Kate swipes the knife and stabs him dead. The next morning, Ollie and Diggle visit a recovering Emiko in the hospital. Then, Ollie’s celebrity murder trial begins. Ollie has exposed the Ninth Circle as a black bank that funds a majority of the world’s super-villainy and a criminal organization that controls most of Star City’s police and its judicial system. With proof of this, Ollie has finally gotten the Justice League to agree to intervene in what will be nothing more than a big show trial to publicly out the bad guys. First, Ollie shocks the courtroom, including presiding Ninth Circle-bought Judge Grell, by announcing that he’ll be representing himself. As the trial proceeds, the Ninth Circle kidnaps the daughter of the prosecutor, who is a Ninth Circle operative himself. Batman saves the girl from some Underground Men while Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman remove Judge Grell and the prosecutor from the equation. After giving a detailed presentation (with some GL Power Point help from Hal Jordan), the Ninth Circle is exposed to the world on live TV. To top it off, Wendy Poole makes her dramatic courtroom entrance, fully exonerating Ollie of any wrongdoing. As night falls, Green Arrow and Black Canary patrol the streets of Star City, busting Constantine Drakon. Ollie, having gotten a fortune in buried treasure from underneath Queen Industries, details his future plans with Dinah, which get fleshed-out in an epilogue that takes place a bit later on below.

–Trinity Vol. 2 #17-19 (“NO HOME FOR YOU HERE”)
Wonder Woman still hasn’t been able to access Themyscira, which either completely vanished or was cut-off from Diana’s access long ago. Batman and Superman help her scour the globe in search of the island, but instead of finding the home of the Amazons, the heroes go through an interdimensional portal and wind up in the Dungeons & Dragons-esque jungle world of Skartaris. (Skartaris is actually located deep underground near the center of the Earth.) Wonder Woman is blinded and Superman loses his powers. After defeating a bunch of lizard men, the heroes meet Skartaris’ resident fantasy warrior-hero, Warlord (Travis Morgan)—actually an astral projection of the supposedly deceased Warlord, created by his sorceress daughter Jennifer Morgan. Jennifer recruits the triune into a war against her arch-rival Deimos (not to be confused with the Greco-Roman god of the same name). After knocking out Deimos’ winged demon attackers, the heroes discover some American private contracted soldiers—from Blue Strike Security—that have died from old age. After a briefing from an astral projection of Jennifer, the heroes begin their mystical fantasy adventure. Riding unicorns (Batman names his “Biscuits”!), the trio fights werewolves, ape men, lizard men, giant insects, sabertooth tigers, carnivorous tentacled monsters, and underwater plesiosaurs. After hours, they reach Shamballah the Golden, Jennifer’s magickal castle, under siege by thousands of human knights, goblins, orcs, giants, winged demons, and dragon-riders. By the time the Trinity hacks and slashes their way through the Lord of the Rings scene to reach Jennifer, they’ve succumbed to the science-magick that the American soldiers fell victim to. The Trinity has rapidly aged to their nineties. Jennifer restores them back to a healthy normal before giving them a tour of the castle, revealing hidden technology chambers. Jennifer tells Batman that Skartaris is a mystical offshoot of ancient Atlantis. The Trinity rides back into a gruesome Game of Thrones-style war only to see a very-much-alive Warlord (Travis Morgan) join the fray as well. He leads thousands of troops, among them random Earth-0 fighters. On the pitch, Batman confronts a Blue Strike Security hitman, who immediately commits suicide rather than talk about why his PMC firm is there. (As seen via flashback from Trinity Vol. 2 #21-22, after the battle, the Trinity converses with Warlord, Jennifer, Warlord’s wife Tara, and Warlord’s general Machiste. Jennifer gives Batman another tour of the technology chambers, during which Batman steals a small device that causes the rapid aging.) The Trinity is then sent back home where they are grilled by Steve Trevor, who has a vested interest in Skartaris as part of his role with ARGUS.

–Trinity Vol. 2 #20-22 (“THE SEARCH FOR STEVE TREVOR”)
Steve Trevor is kidnapped, prompting Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman to search for him. A cursory investigation finds ties to Blue Strike Security (BSS) and Deimos, the strange private military group that was wrapped up in the recent Skartaris war. While Batman checks out BSS data servers in Dallas, Superman checks out their satellites in space, and Wonder Woman visits some hidden data servers at ruins in the Sahara Desert. Batman is attacked by BSS robot gorillas; Superman is attacked by Kryptonite-emitting robot wasps and BSS space troopers; and Wonder Woman is attacked by a gigantic BSS robot Anubis. After defeating their foes, the heroes find information leading to a magickally-mobile teleporting temple base, currently located in Papa New Guinea. Upon arriving, the Trinity is attacked by ogres, including Steve himself, who has been transformed. Our heroes successfully battle their way into the temple, past BSS soldiers, and into a research and development lab for magickal weapons. At the far end of the lab is a closed portal to Skartaris, through which the Trinity can see the Morgans and their army amassed for war. Deimos finally appears, ensnaring Batman and Superman. Ogre-Steve attacks Wonder Woman, but is able to regain his senses momentarily while Deimos monologues. This allows the heroes to break free and take the fight to Deimos and his BSS allies. Ogre-Steve smashes open the portal to Skartaris, allowing the Warlord’s giant army to swarm in and defeat BSS. Deimos’ own spell backfires thanks to some Batman trickery (and use of the aging device), putting the perfidious mage in a catatonic state and aging him into a weak old man. Jennifer Morgan turns Steve back to normal. While ARGUS shuts down BSS for good, the Trinity swings into a night patrol.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #37
Backstory: Grail re-retrieved her dad (baby Darkseid) after Batman lost him during Dark Nights: Metal. She has spent the last few weeks killing off all the old Greco-Roman gods and siphoning their power into Darkseid, which has caused him to rapidly grow in age. Cut to now: Wonder Woman and her brother Jason watch in shock as a now teenage Darkseid battles the returning Zeus! As the do battle, Wonder Woman and Jason fight with Grail all over the globe. Eventually, in Manila, Darkseid kills Zeus and sucks up his power, returning back to his normal form and age. Amidst the rubble of the city, the Justice League shows up to assist Wonder Woman. Seeing they are outmatched, Darkseid and Grail disappear through a Boom Tube.

–Damage Vol. 2 #3
DC’s answer to Marvel’s Hulk, the US Government’s barely controllable monster-man Damage (Elvis Ethan Avery), has just rampaged through Atlanta and defeated the Task Force XL version of the Suicide Squad—as seen in Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #35. (Task Force XL is basically just the regular Suicide Squad plus some new big league members like Giganta, Akando, Parasite, and Solomon Grundy.) Now, Wonder Woman takes a crack at him, but Damage escapes from her lasso and flees, eventually reverting back to human form and going into hiding. A prideful Colonel Marie Jonas, Damage’s handler, calls Amanda Waller to mock her team’s failure. Jonas orders Mr. Leash‘s Hunter Squad (Misha, Paparazzi, Cataract, and Handyman) to track down and capture Damage. Wonder Woman reports-in about her battle with the rest of the Justice League via video conference. From the Batcave, Batman says that Damage doesn’t come up in any databases, but he does seem to recall seeing a glimpse of him before. (Batman was present for Damage’s activation in a Cadmus DNAlien lab a couple months ago—as seen in Dark Days: The Casting #1.)

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #45. The Justice League—sans Superman, who is finally cleaning out his old Hamilton County house—runs an emergency drill, shutting down highways all across the Eastern Seaboard. The team oversees practice bus evacuations and talks to motorists about safety.

–Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #41-44 (“CONSTRICTION”)
Batman gets intel on the latest Suicide Squad mission, which has just seen a digital version of the deceased Hack take control of every citizen of Washington DC, including President Donald Trump (as seen in Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #38-40). The Suicide Squad was able to prevent disaster, but at the loss of Enchantress’ life. When Batman catches word that Kobra is planning to reincarnate their deceased leader (Jeffrey Franklin Burr) into Zoe Lawton’s body via a Lazarus Pit, he breaks Deadshot out of Belle Reve (with a little help from Katana). Not long after, Batman and Deadshot go after the latter’s daughter in Texas. A pissed-off Amanda Waller sends Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and newest Suicide Squad member Captain Cold after them. At a Kobra saloon, Batman and Deadshot wail on some snake-men. As a promise to Batman, the latter keeps his actions non-lethal, Terminator 2-style, by shooting everyone in the kneecaps. Deadshot tells Batman there’s little difference between not killing bad guys and torturing bad guys, which Batman does regularly. (He’s got a point.) Soon after, the odd couple is en route to Zoe’s location in New Mexico, but they are cut-off by a giant Kobra snake-man and a platoon of Kobra troops. Batman and Deadshot take down all the Kobra men, but Deadshot breaks his promise and kills a few of them, prompting a fistfight between the assassin and the Dark Knight. The fistfight is interrupted by the arrival of Harley Quinn, Captain Cold, and Captain Boomerang. Captain Cold wins up saving Harley and Boomerang’s lives, while Batman saves Deadshot. At the Kobra lair, priests adorn Zoe in a super-villain costume and dub her “Rekoil.” Inside the Kobra base, the Kobra high priests reveal that Zoe was just bait. They reincarnate Burr into Deadshot instead. Batman, Harley, and Boomerang fight Deadshot/Burr in a losing battle until Zoe shoots him down. Burr’s spirit is expelled from Deadshot and goes into the body of Kobra agent Keenum. Before departing, Batman performs life-saving first-aid on Deadshot, saving his life once again. Waller arrives with army troops to clean up the scene. Harley, Boomerang, Captain Cold, and Zoe all lie and tell her that Batman was never even there.

–Green Lanterns #45-47 (“GHOSTS OF THE PAST”)
Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz have just captured the ten-billion-year-old cosmic alien attorney Singularity Jain, who eats souls and has the power to corrupt anyone in close proximity to her. With Jain in chains, Baz writes up a detailed report of the case and submits it to the Justice League. Meanwhile, Jessica returns to her Seattle apartment but disappears. In her place, a huge black hole appears, sucking in and damaging everything in its vicinity. Jessica’s sister Sara calls in the JL for help. The JL interrogates Jain, who reveals that Jessica’s neurosis stems from a horrible incident from years ago where she witnessed her friends get murdered on a camping/hunting trip. Jain, using her metapowers, brought this repressed memory to the surface of Jessica’s fragile mind and offered her a way to revisit the moment to get revenge upon the murderers. This “deal with the devil” has led to the creation of Jessica’s very own destructive black hole of vendetta. John Constantine, called in for his expertise, guides Simon (who has to go in without his power ring) into the black hole. Once through the void, Simon realizes he is in the “Green Realm, former domain of Volthoom, which is now controlled by the deepest parts of Jessica’s psyche. The evil Power Ring Corps is still there and they immediately attack. Simon deals with all of them, including the Earth-3 version of Hal Jordan (Power Ring Harold Jordan) and Earth-3 version of himself (Power Ring Solomon Baz). Simon then finds Jessica, who has reverted back to a Power Ring, in the midst of reliving (and attempting to alter) her horrible murder nightmare. Simon and Jessica fight, but Simon is able to talk her down. Back outside, the black hole closes up and Jain breaks free and swallows the entire JL whole. Constantine and Sara flee into Jessica’s apartment and find her GL ring. Constantine puts on the ring, hoping to turn into a GL, but it rejects him. With each JLer living out their worst nightmare while trapped inside Jain, Constantine uses good ‘ol fashioned magick to pull the heroes out to freedom. Jessica and Simon emerge together, banishing Jain to the Green Realm. Across the universe, at the Guardians HQ on Mogo, the Guardians officially fire Jessica, instructing Hal Jordan to confiscate her GL ring.

–Green Arrow Vol. 6 #38 Epilogue
Using his returned wealth, Oliver Queen has taken a page out of Bruce’s playbook and switched the focus of Queen Industries to philanthropy and charity, starting The Queen Foundation. Unveiling the Queen Foundation in both Star City and Seattle, Ollie publicly announces some other big charitable projects, which include a high-speed train line in the Pacific Northwest, various international projects, and the opening of the Dinah Lance Home for Wayward Kids. With friends and family around him, the ultimate social justice warrior, Green Arrow, is finally at peace for the first time in a long time. Along with Hal Jordan, he patrols with the Justice League.

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #25-26 (“NEW LIFE AND DEATH”)
Batman and Ray Palmer assemble the JLA at the nearly completed Happy Harbor base. The Ray invites his friend, the new Aztek, onto the team! Batman and Ray Palmer introduce Universe-8’s Dreamslayer and detail the mission that they spoke of a month ago. Batman, Ray Palmer, Black Canary, and Dreamslayer will travel to the nuclear war-ravaged Angor (Universe-8’s equivalent of Earth) and return it to prosperity. On Angor, Batman’s team is confronted by their main challenger, The Adjudicator, a towering cosmic being that has witnessed every Crisis in history. Unimpressed with the latest rebooted superheroes from Earth-0, the Adjudicator confidently stands in their way. Black Canary is able to fight him off, but as Dreamslayer attempts to use his powers to give life back to Angor, Lord Havok returns, erupting out of Dreamslayer’s body, which he has used as a teleportation portal to escape from prison. Dreamslayer and Havok fight until Batman steps in and punches Havok with Geo-Force’s seismic knuckles, crushing the villain’s hand. Impressed, the Adjudicator decides that Angor should be saved. Via a rousing and passionate speech, Dreamslayer convinces Havok to join him in one final act of heroism to make up for all the evil they’ve spread. Dreamslayer and Havok sacrifice their own lives to reboot Universe-8. Batman and Black Canary watch in awestruck wonder as a Big Bang occurs, Angor is formed, life begins, dinosaurs emerge and die, single-cell creatures crawl onto land and evolve into apes and then man, civilizations spring forth, and time rapidly catches up to present day. Batman and Black Canary then return to Earth-0 to rejoin the rest of the JLA. Later that night, Lobo says goodbye to the Atom and takes leave of the team. Lobo is officially off the roster, but he holds onto his teleporter, meaning he’ll be reachable if he is ever needed in the future.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #34-36 (“THE PEOPLE VS JUSTICE LEAGUE”)
January 17-23—the nineteenth is specifically mentioned as the third day of this arc. Alfred makes an exhausted Bruce promise he will get a full night’s rest for three nights in a row. Of course, this doesn’t happen, as Batman barely sleeps at all, only copping some ZZZs here and there in the Batmobile. On day three, Alfred begs Bruce to sleep, even telling him he will push back his Wayne Enterprises duties, but Bruce refuses to listen. Batman goes into action when his JL communicator signals an alert. Cyborg gives him the rundown—a possible alien invasion fleet heading toward earth, an Islamic terrorist kidnapping in New York City, and an Earthquake in El Domingo. Barely listening to Cyborg, Batman splits the JL into groups and sends them into action. The Dark Knight himself goes with Wonder Woman and Aquaman to NYC, where the heroes disguise themselves as civilians and use new holographic tech to create a fake MTA bus with fake people riding inside of it. From their lookout spots, the heroes see the terrorists holding nuns hostage in an apartment, which is surrounded by FBI agents and cops. Things go awry thanks to the cops. The terrorists are defeated, but one of them steals Wonder Woman’s sword and uses it to murder a nun. Meanwhile, Cyborg tells Aquaman to hightail it to El Domingo because it is a seaside town. (Cyborg had mentioned this to Batman earlier, but Batman ignored him and claimed Aquaman for his group.) In deep space, Superman and the Green Lanterns realize the alien invasion threat was just a false alarm. Later, Clark visits a pooped Bruce, who has fallen asleep on the Wayne Manor staircase. Bruce apologizes for screwing-up, to which Clark tells him that it’s okay to pass the torch of leadership every once and a while. The next day, Wonder Woman retrieves her sword from the police while a disguised Batman oversees. Glenn Gammeron, an old bounty-hunting acquaintance of Martian Manhunter’s, then arrives at the JL Watchtower and explains that a deadly alien cockroach—with the ability to control other roaches—is loose and hiding in San Francisco. Flash, Kid Flash, Cyborg, the Green Lanterns, and Glenn soon find themselves fighting a towering swarm of alien cockroaches, eventually singling out the alien bug and containing it. Back at HQ, the whole JL watches a viral video of the nun’s death, which is playing on every news network. A day later, a subpoenaed Superman speaks before a US House of Representatives Committee, which addresses whether or not the JL has committed civil rights violations or other illegalities. The House also asks the age old question of why the JL won’t share its teleportation tech with the public. At its conclusion, the Congressional Committee determines that the JL’s new charter will be defensive only, meaning even if there is a crisis they can take no action without the consent of the nation or nations involved. Immediately afterward, a fake Batman publicly murders the congresswoman that was leading the House Committee. Nightwing meets with Bruce to discuss a plan of action, but Bruce says nothing can be done before teleporting to the Watchtower to deal with an international incident. Even though a US nuclear spy-submarine has been sunk in Chinese waters, Bruce tells the team they can’t help due to their new charter. A defiant Aquaman assists the sub anyway, citing that he is acting not as a JL member but as a sovereign head of Atlantis. While Wonder Woman and Bruce argue aboard the Watchtower, US sailors aboard the sub argue with Simon Baz, and Aquaman argues with everyone else. Eventually, the US and Chinese Government broker a deal that allows the German Navy to tow the downed sub to international waters. When Cyborg locates the fake Batman in East St. Louis, the real Batman realizes that the faker has been listening-in on their JL communications. Batman sends a disguised Simon Baz to confront the fake Batman, but Simon is outed, taken down, and kidnapped.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #37-38 (“THE PEOPLE VS JUSTICE LEAGUE” Continued…)
January 23-25. Realizing that the fake Batman has been in the Watchtower and likely knows every JLer’s secret ID, Batman orders Cyborg and Flash to sweep the satellite and run some diagnostic tests on some of the tech design. Afterward, Batman and Jessica Cruz investigate Simon’s disappearance in East St. Louis. Jessica narrowly avoids getting blown up. On the other side of town, Simon is able to escape and report in that the fake Batman, a deranged JL fan, is on the move now dressed as Hal Jordan. After tracing the suspect satellite designs to the worker that originally installed it aboard the Watchtower and then running some background checks, Cyborg learns the identity of the fake Hal: LexCorp technician Joshua Andre Christian. (The actual ID of the faker is Christian’s friend, who is simply using Christian’s ID to obscure his own.) Wonder Woman (disguised as lawyer Regina Cole), Aquaman (disguised as an anti-JL talk show host), Batman, and the Green Lanterns ambush the faker—who they are now exclusively referring to as “The Fan“—on the set of a live debate program. Nonplussed, the Fan uses the JL transporter to teleport his foes away to different locales. Batman zaps to Nepal where he is collected by Jessica. Aquaman, as seen via flashback from Justice League of America Vol. 3 #39, gets zapped to the desert. There, the dried-out Aquaman gets moralized-to by the Fan (amazingly dressed like Jason Momoa), who gives him a hydration suit (a nod to Aquaman’s old-school blue costume from the Modern Age). Shortly thereafter, the JL decides to hold a conclave—with Batman in absentia—to discuss both the Fan and the Caped Crusader’s recent off-game performance. Using encrypted holographic satellite projection, the team chats with Clark in his Daily Planet office. The words are harsh, with Wonder Woman heavily criticizing Batman juggling the JLA, Bat-Family, and JL all at once. Ultimately, the heroes decide to suspend the Dark Knight from active duty! Aboard the Watchtower, Superman and company deliver the tough suspension news. Batman accepts his fate, saying he will take a few weeks off from the JL to chill out and to deal with the Fan. Meanwhile, a LexCorp astronaut accidentally crashes a spacecraft into the Watchtower. Flash barely survives bringing the astronaut’s corpse into the satellite. Before departing, Bruce is approached in the locker room by a forward Jessica, who gives him a very sensual kiss on the mouth! In his last act before leaving, Bruce appoints Cyborg as the new chairman and leader of the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #43. Bruce tells Selina that Jessica Cruz kissed him. Everything’s cool.

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27-29 (“DAWN OF TIME”)
Time-traveling villain Chronos, having recently attacked Micron roughly thirty years in the future (as seen in the epilogue to Justice League of America Vol. 5 #26), appears in the present-day Microverse to attack Ray Palmer, Preon, and Yun Xee. The tiny heroes easily fight-off Chronos, but the villain claims victory, citing that he’s seen into Yun Xee’s telepathic mind to locate the “imprint.” At the construction site of the new Happy Harbor base, while Batman oversees the work, laborers discover an ancient fossil beneath the site. (The fossil is the “imprint,” the literal ancient handprint of Ahl, the God of Superheroes. When he left it on the site of present day Happy Harbor long before human life even existed, he essentially planted a seed containing the very “idea of the superhero,” which would eventually grow and enter Earth’s collective consciousness once human life arose and evolved.) Suddenly, Chronos and his Techno-Chiefs appear from a infinitesimal sliver of time in the distant future where Chronos rules the multiverse. With the immense power of this fraction of time at their behest, the villains freeze everyone except for the Atom. Chronos states that Ahl’s pivotal visit to Earth usually exists beyond the normal physics of time, meaning it’s a moment that usually can’t be altered. However, Chronos gloats that, because of his newfound knowledge of the “imprint,” he can mess with it. Aztec, unaffected by Chronos’ time-freezing, frees the rest of the JLA, who proceed to kick the Time Chiefs’ asses. Chronos rushes to Ahl’s handprint fossil and goes through a portal that has been activated by his own 4D energy. (The idea is that if Chronos can prevent Ahl from imprinting Earth with “the concept of the superhero,” all superheroes will cease to exist.) The JLA follows Chronos and travels through time to the Pre-evolutionary Age (conjecturally, the Palaeozoic Era). Unfortunately, the master time-manipulator has beat them to the punch. He reappears with an army of time-displaced warriors—comprised of orcs, ape-men, martial-artists, Mongols, vikings, medieval knights, Ancient Romans, Spartans, gladiators, barbarians, highlanders, samurai, ninja, aliens, Vietnam-era US Marines (including Joker from Full Metal Jacket!), American Civil War soldiers, Colonial-era soldiers, pirates, wooly mammoths, dinosaurs, jets, tanks, and spaceships. And at the center of it all is a captive Ahl wrapped in golden chains. A wild battle ensues, in which the Ray creates a hard-light holographic castle to protect his friends. Chronos steals Chemo from out of time and uses him to level the castle. As the war rages on, Chronos reveals that he’s sifted through time and viewed the death of Ahl (from last year’s Doom Patrol Vol. 6 #1). Chronos, having stolen from time the very murder weapon that Retconn used to kill Ahl, produces it on the battlefield. The time-villain extraordinaire uses Danny the Street in brick form to bash Ahl’s brains in. Instantly, the entire history of superheroes is erased in the future. But thanks to the presence of Aztek, whose suit protects them, the JLA remains in existence. Atom cracks Chronos’ hourglass, which imprisons the villain inside and sends his hordes away. Trapped in the past, the JLA begins to forage and make shelter. Atzek begins trying to tweak the broken hourglass to resurrect Ahl and return home to a fixed world. The JLA lives in this unaffected bubble of the Paleozoic Era for weeks until they—including a bearded Batman—attempt their 43rd resurrection trial. The 43rd time is a success and Ahl comes back to life. The God of Superheroes affirmatively addresses the JLA and shakes Batman’s hand. He leaves his imprint and departs into the timestream to return Danny the Brick so that the timeline (including his own death at the hands of Haxxalon) is fully returned to normal. Using the hourglass, the JLA returns home to the moment just after they initially traveled to the past. The Atom teleports Chronos to a rough-and-tumble at the far end of the galaxy where Lobo is waiting to happily punish him.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #39-41 (“JUSTICE LOST”)
January 26-27. Another House of Representatives Committee Hearing is held to address possible crimes of which the JL might be guilty. Cyborg, as new chairman, is present with government-appointed lawyer Regina Cole, whom Wonder Woman recently disguised herself as. While Victor answers questions, dozens of protestors dressed up as Batman picket outside the Capitol Building. Meanwhile, in Estes Park West, Arkansas, the JLA (with now part-timer Lobo) attends to a derailed train carrying toxic chemicals. In Portland, Jessica avoids human contact, still mortified and confused about having kissed Batman. After wrapping up with the House Reps, Cyborg accompanies Martian Manhunter and Regina Cole to the Watchtower. Martian Manhunter then departs with both Green Lanterns on a special unspecified mission. The JL (sans Cyborg) teams up with the JLA to clean up the train wreckage safely, but unfortunately, both teams wind up only helping a rich white neighborhood while totally neglecting a poorer black neighborhood. Out of the heroes, only Batman seems aware of the mistake (but only after the fact). No matter what, the optics are bad and Twitter gives both teams sweet hell as only Twitter can. Hoping to fix the situation with his presence, Cyborg (in a costume forced upon him by the Fan) teleports down, leaving the increasingly suspicious Regina Cole aboard the Watchtower all by herself. Uh oh. In Estes Park, the riot cops wall off the poorer section of the town, prompting angry protesters to chant “Ferguson!” Cyborg and Superman try to calm the situation. Meanwhile, Regina shuts down the Watchtower and tells Aquaman she is in cahoots with the Fan. The satellite begins plummeting to Earth as both the JL and JLA beam back aboard. Cyborg assembles both teams—sans a runaway Lobo—and begins a plan of action to save the day. The satellite begins its fiery descent, but with the combined powers of the heroes, Cyborg believes they can control the landing. Things don’t go quite as planned as the satellite crashes into the heart of Buredunia, Africa, home to DC’s version of Black Panther and dictator of the nation, Red Lion (Matthew Bland). From a distance, Red Lion and his pal Deathstroke watch as Superman disarms Buredunian soldiers led by Red Lion’s top general Kamala. Superman sets up a defensive perimeter, takes in hundreds of fleeing refugees, and begins shaky negotiations with a hostile Kamala. Wanting nothing to do with the situation, Deathstroke high-tails it out of there. Shortly afterward, LexCorp private military contractors (called in by Red Lion) arrive in a giant heli-carrier in an attempt to help the Buredunian army take over the Watchtower salvage operation from the JL. With news global news cameras rolling, Red Lion joins the LexCorp PMCs and his own troops in an all out attack against the JL. Concurrently, in East St. Louis, Aquaman breaks into Joshua Andre Christian’s apartment only to learn that the Fan has merely been using his old friend’s name. Batman puts two-and-two together and goes to a LexCorp storage site in Metropolis to confront the Fan, who is wearing his own unique super-villain costume. Batman easily punches him out. In Buredunia, Wonder Woman scrambles to protect the refugees but takes a bullet in the throat after it ricochets off of Superman’s chest.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #42-43 (“JUSTICE LOST” Continued…)
January 27-31. Flash rushes the dying Wonder Woman to the care of Raven in San Francisco. As the bullets keep flying around the downed satellite in Buredunia, cameras keep rolling, which is exactly what Red Lion wants. Meanwhile, Deathstroke gloats over a seemingly dying Cyborg, but actually secretly helps Cyborg activate his failsafe, rebooting him back to tip-top shape. Batman and Aquaman (with the Fan in tow) join Cyborg just in time to interrupt a surprised Red Lion, who is in the middle of issuing demands from the US Government. After capturing Red Lion, Batman, Aquaman, and Cyborg join the rest of the JL. The Green Lanterns have arrived and use their rings to move the satellite wreckage. The JL then gets into a deep political argument over whether or not they should remain involved in the Buredunian conflict. The conversation touches upon the possibility of a global mandate, with the Green Lanterns even bringing up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The exchanges heat up, with talks of initiating a terrorist fingerprint database, setting up a temporary base, consulting the UN, or outright leaving immediately. But before any consensus can be reached, Deathstroke shoots the Fan to death and charges off into battle, exclaiming that he will make the decision that the JL can’t seem to come to an agreement upon. Deathstroke then chastises the JL for not being able to tell the difference between refugees and guerrillas, calling them “too white” to be in Africa. He also insinuates that Batman brought the Fan to Africa, knowing that someone would kill him. Deathstroke then fights and defeats the entire JL! Meanwhile, as Wonder Woman’s unconscious body lies in San Francisco, her spirit (scaffolded by an astral Raven) faces-off against the Greco-Roman god of death Thanatos in a realm between worlds. After besting Thanatos, Wonder Woman wakes up and returns to Africa (with Flash) to take down Deathstroke. Cyborg tells his teammates that there’s nothing they can do to really change things for the better in warring nations. Defeated, the JL returns to America. (Wonder Woman will continue to solo-patrol in Buredunia.) A couple days later, after gathering to discuss the fallout of the case, the JL decides to effectively disband! Batman also disbands his JLA and schedules a big meeting for a bunch of superheroes to be held at the nearly finished JLA Research Center/JLA Foundation in Happy Harbor. He also interrogates Regina Cole. A couple days after that, Simon Baz has lunch with Clark, who tells him that the JL is done. A nervous Jessica Cruz goes to Wayne Manor with balloons and champagne as a way of apologizing for kissing Bruce. But Selina answers the door and invites Jessica in to hang out, drink, and watch TV. Meanwhile, Batman meets with Cyborg to discuss the ongoing construction of the JLA Foundation and his latest new plans for the JL and JLA. Cyborg punches the smug Batman in the face and says he may or may not show up for the upcoming meeting, which is scheduled to take place in a few days (on Saturday). Superman arrives to chat with Batman as well.

–Detective Comics #981 Epilogue
February 1-2. Just over three weeks have passed since the Bat-Family defeated Ulysses Armstrong and Brother Eye. Batman speaks with President Trump and gets official confirmation that Jake Kane has been cleared of his court-martial and has been reinstated as a colonel in the US Army. Trump assures Batman that the Colony is no more, but Trump is a pathological liar, so that probably means that it still clandestinely exists. (Trump lying about the Colony is both my take and also the implication within the text as well.) Bruce meets with Kate Kane for dinner to discuss their lives. Kate fills-in Bruce about the status of the former Gotham Knights: Luke Fox has retired as Batwing while Azrael, having seen a new light after speaking with Cyborg, has gone off on his own. Bruce and Kate promise to be better family to each other and to look out for one another, moving forward. After dinner, Batwoman—guided by her dad just like old times—fights a new Religion of Crime coven in Gotham. Bruce arranges for Cassie Cain to move into the Thompkins Free Clinic under the guardianship of Dr. Leslie Thompkins and the tutelage of Barbara Gordon! While Cass settles-in, Clayface—still alive and well (!)—and Dr. Victoria October watch from the shadows. A teary-eyed Clayface leaves a note for Cassie, but decides to leave town with Dr. October. At Wayne Manor, Tim, now officially back together with Stephanie again, tells Bruce that he’s accepted his scholarship at Ivy University. (He actually hasn’t, but simply wants to go off superhero-ing, just he and Spoiler.) The next day, Bruce puts a GPS tracer on Tim’s car before warmly seeing-off both Tim and Stephanie on their road trip. As night falls, Batman goes on patrol. Alfred radios-in and reports that Tim and Stephanie are not headed toward Ivy Town. Batman says that they’ve earned his trust and to shut down the tracer. Batman jokes about starting a “school for young vigilantes”—or is it a joke?—before swinging into his night’s patrol.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #43 Epilogue
February 3. Jessica Cruz and Vixen arrive at the Foundation for the big Saturday meeting. When a crisis arises, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Simon Baz appear via teleporter, asking for their assistance. (This crisis in question is unknown. It may have originally been written as the start of “No Justice,” but that simply doesn’t jibe well with anything else. In any case, they never specifically say what the crisis is. We must assume that it is dealt with successfully.)

–Batman Vol. 3 #47
Booster Gold, in maybe his most bone-headed scheme ever, decides that he will give Batman an early wedding present by going back in time and saving Thomas and Martha Wayne, thus altering the timeline and giving Bruce the “fun mission” of restoring things to the way they should be. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #72, this cockamamie idea was put into Booster’s head by Skeets, who has been secretly reprogrammed into Bane’s minion by Riddler. Once again, Bane’s ongoing master plan continues to spin its ridiculous wheels.) In a move reminiscent of Barry Allen’s creation of the “Flashpoint timeline,” Booster and Skeets go back and save the Waynes from Joe Chill, drastically altering reality—in effect rebooting the entire DCU into a “Bat-point timeline” (as seen in Batman Vol. 3 #45-47). On this altered timeline, Gotham (and the whole world) are way worse off. For example, Dick has become a murderous gun-toting Batman, there are dozens of Jokers, Penguin is POTUS, and the League of Assassins rules most of the planet. When Booster confronts Bat-point Bruce, the latter destroys Skeets, stranding Booster in this altered reality for over a year! Booster’s repeated attempts to fix the timeline eventually lead to the deaths of Dick, Selina, Thomas Wayne, and Martha Wayne. This turns Bat-point Bruce into a Punisher-like vigilante, who captures Booster Gold and chains him up in the caverns below Wayne Manor. A full year afterward, Bruce is able to restore Skeets and present him to an emaciated (and insane) Booster, demanding him to restore the lives of his parents via time-travel. Seeing an opportunity to restore the correct New Age DCU timeline, Skeets time-warps himself, Booster, and Bat-point Bruce back to the point just before Bruce’s parents were killed on the original timeline. Booster plans to stop himself from saving Thomas and Martha, as to ensure the correct timeline is recreated. Enter the murky sargasso sea of time-paradox. Bruce shoots Skeets, destroying him for good, just as they arrive above the Monarch Theater, in which young Bruce and his parents are watching The Mark of Zorro. As original Booster and Skeets come through their time portal, the former gets shot and killed. The Waynes, leaving the film, only decide to go down Crime Alley because they hear the gunfire above and are trying to avoid it. This, of course, leads them directly to Joe Chill, who murders Thomas and Martha before young Bruce’s horrified eyes. Instantly, “Bat-point” is erased and the New Age timeline is rebooted and restored to status-quo—(well, except for Booster and an alternate Bruce Wayne being tangentially involved in the Wayne murders.) On the roof above, a distraught Bat-point Bruce, having also watched the murder of his parents as it unfolded before his younger self, commits suicide. With the timeline fixed, Booster and Skeets return to the present, hauling with them the time-anomalous corpses from the theater roof. However, Booster has not only seen himself get shot and killed, he’s also spent two years in hell, chained and tortured, on a horrible alternate timeline. Completely shell-shocked, as referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #46, Booster visits Wayne Manor to tell Bruce, Catwoman, and Alfred what he’s done. Batman and Catwoman go for a rooftop jaunt with the rattled Booster to hear his story. Meanwhile, Flash (Barry Allen) visits Alfred in a scene that acts as a prelude to “Flash War.” Note importantly that, while there is no indication of a lengthy gap in-between Flash Vol. 5 #46 and Flash Vol. 5 #47, there must be a six month gap in-between this prelude and “Flash War” to jibe correctly with Batman’s timeline (and the rest of the über-narrative of the DCU).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 4 – Red Hood vs Anarky #1—and also referenced in Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1 and Batman Vol. 3 #50. Bruce and Selina do some extra engagement planning, setting up some sort of tentative schedule with their closest friends. (Note that, as per Batman Vol. 3 #50, this schedule, while engagement-related, has nothing to do with an actual wedding ceremony since a specific date hasn’t been chosen.) Bruce selects Clark as his Best Man, gets a wedding ring, and gives it to him. Selina’s friends—Alice Tesla, Eiko Hasigawa, Gwen Altamont, and Mouse—decide to throw a bachelorette party for her. Batman, having just received a surprise invitation to his own BatBurger bachelor party from Nightwing and Superman, asks Red Hood to secretly watch over Selina’s party to make sure no trouble comes a-knocking. Red Hood says he’ll only do it for $150,000, which Batman pays him.

–Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1
It’s time for Batman’s bachelor party! Nightwing and Superman take Batman in a limo (driven by one of the Superman Robots) to BatBurger—a place where they can kick back and chill in-costume because everyone else there is wearing costumes too. After dinner, Superman opens a Lightning Door to Pocket Universe 54471, which is merely half-a-mile wide and contains only a fully-stocked fishing pond and a boat. Before they can go through the portal, Hush attacks a Wayne Energy truck a few blocks away. The heroes confront Hush, who reveals that he knows about the Bat-Cat engagement by saying he’s pissed that he wasn’t invited. Nightwing tackles Hush through the open Lightning Door, which takes the pair to “The Betwixt,” a Bleed leak region near the edge of Negative Earth-0 (in the Dark Multiverse). They are greeted by “The Guy Who Likes It Here,” a pseudo Dude à la The Big Lebowski, before being swarmed by faceless Gone Men, who want to literally ingest their individuality (i.e. eat their souls). When the Lightning Door explodes, Nightwing and Hush navigate to the alternate-Wayne Manor. There, Hush tells Nightwing that Joker knows about Batman’s engagement, which is how he found out about it. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #72, Bane is the one that told Joker.) Hush then unravels his face bandages, revealing that he’s gotten plastic surgery to become the person who was always Bruce’s friend. Hush now has Dick’s face! In an instant, the Gone Men swarm again and grab Hush just as Superman is able to pull Nightwing back to Earth-0 using the Batcomputer and another Lightning Door. Hush remains trapped on the fringes of Negative Earth-0. Later, as Dick recovers from injuries, Bruce and Clark go over the schedule in relation to the current engagement plans. (Note that, as per Batman Vol. 3 #50, concrete wedding plans—including a date for the ceremony—have yet to be made. Whatever schedule is being discussed in this item is engagement-related, but not about a wedding ceremony itself.) After Clark leaves, Dick is disappointed to learn that he isn’t the Best Man, but understands and accepts the decision. Bruce and Dick spend the afternoon hanging out at Wayne Manor. Later, Damian tells them that Ra’s al Ghul had been tipped-off about the Bat-Cat engagement as well, which led to a recent confrontation with his grandfather in Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 1 – Robin vs Ra’s al Ghul #1. Dick calls Babs and tells her that Joker knows. Across town, Joker torments Riddler, leaving him in a room filled with dead bodies that are all dressed in his signature green-question mark clothing.

–Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 4 – Red Hood vs Anarky #1
Jason secretly guards Selina’s bachelorette party at a male strip club. Bizarro keeps tabs and remotely guides him from a mile above. When a bomb threat from some men’s rights activists pops-up, Red Hood puts a stop to them. Soon afterward, Red Hood faces-off against Anarky, who has unleashed a new plot that involves having tricked different political groups and radical organizations—both left and right (including the men’s rights whackos)—to assemble in one place. Anarky gloats about the chaos that will happen as a result of the gathering, also telling Red Hood that he learned about the Bat-Cat engagement from Joker too. Red Hood takes down Anarky and quells the nearly-raging mob by splitting the $150,000 that Bruce gave him amongst them. Meanwhile, Selina phones Bruce and tells him about the Red Hood-Anarky fight. Then she joins Mouse, Eiko Hasigawa, Gwen Altamont, and Alice Tesla to dance the night away at a goth club. Bruce phones Red Hood and says that he failed his mission because Selina saw him. Elsewhere, a disturbed and raving Joker sits in a room full of corpses while searching through random bags of mail for an invitation to the Bat-Cat Wedding.

–Batman Vol. 3 #48-49 (“THE BEST MAN”)
Joker kills everyone at a random Gotham church wedding, including the groom Duane (who is an acquaintance of Batgirl’s) and Duane’s bride-to-be. Only Duane’s mother survives. Joker’s horrific act of terror grabs Batman’s immediate attention. After telling Catwoman to stay behind, Batman goes to the church and fights Joker, who puts a gun to his own head to subdue the aggressive Dark Knight. Joker then sets off a pre-planted bomb, which knocks-out Batman. Catwoman arrives and fights Joker. They duel and banter with Joker taking a nasty gash in the throat from a bullwhip strike and Catwoman getting grazed by a bullet. As they both lie injured and unable to move, they continue chatting about old times, Batman, psychology, jokes, and their connections to each other. Joker tells Catwoman that he can’t have Batman get married and be happy—that it would take away something Joker needs to survive: a vengeful and brooding Dark Knight to dole out punishment. Joker tries to stand and pull the trigger, but he’s lost too much blood and passes out into Catwoman’s arms. Batman comes-to and calls out to Catwoman to make sure she is okay, but she can only laugh hysterically in response. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #72, Joker has been sent by Bane to mess with Batman and Catwoman’s heads, specifically to make them doubt whether or not they should get hitched.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #50. In light of what has occurred with Joker, Batman and Catwoman decide to put any concrete wedding plans on hold, for now. They stay happily engaged, but all recent “Prelude to the Wedding” plans involving Selina’s friends, Clark, or Dick, are nixed. (NOTE: Writer Tom King had some interesting things to say about his Batman run on John Siuntres’ Word Balloon Podcast on July 13, 2018. While admitting that he is “bad at collaboration with other writers,” King said that he meant for there to be a six month gap between Batman Vol. 3 #49 and Batman Vol. 3 #50. Notably, King also said that Metal takes place in that gap. King is right on the money when he says he’s bad at collaborating. First of all, in regard to Metal, it already took place about three months ago. The Prelude to the Wedding issues—which are tied into Batman Vol. 3 #48-49—reference the Dark Multiverse, meaning Batman Vol. 3 #48-49 has to go after Metal. Going ever further back, due to Poison Ivy’s appearances in other titles, Batman Vol. 3 #41-43 must go after Metal as well. So, really, Metal happens prior to Batman Vol. 3 #41, not prior to issue #50. Second of all, to address King’s supposed six month gap, something like that—although not exactly six months—actually makes sense. As it stands, there is a roughly five month gap from now until issue #50 on our timeline.)

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #29 Epilogue
Mid February. Vixen and Frost meet with Batman to get his blessing to use the now fully-constructed JLA Research Center/Foundation for a new superhero venture called The Justice Foundation. The venture will not only consist of a new superhero team headquartered out of the Happy Harbor base, but it will also include a few extras under its umbrella, including an innovation workshop, medical research group, think tank designed to connect normal humans with superhumans, legit community outreach, and a civilian board of directors to oversee everything. Batman gives Vixen and Frost full permission to move forward. Not long after, Vixen and Frost have a press conference at Mount Justice, detailing their plans to the public and introducing the head of their board of directors, Lorraine Bedy. With Batman watching from the shadows, Frost introduces the superhero team: herself, Vixen, Aztek, Xenos, Freedom Beast, Extraño, Black Canary, the Atom, the Ray, Strange Visitor (a resurrected Sharon Vance), a reformed Insight, and an unnamed new superhero. Notably, badass Firebrand (Janet Fals) watches the Justice Foundation press conference on TV at the Heaven’s Undercarriage Bar in NJ.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. As he does every year on his birthday, Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that challenges him by pushing him to his most extreme limits.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2. Bruce donates a large amount of grant money to Blackgate Penitentiary in order to make sure they’ll be able to keep their computer databases, logs, and archives in proper order.

–Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1 Epilogue
Heroes from throughout the omniverse are invited to witness a charity race between Flash (Wally West) and Speed Buggy (a sentient anthropomorphic car that holds the trapped soul of STAR Labs founder Dr. M Blanc). We aren’t told where this event is being held, but it could be anywhere—and that includes an alternate plane of reality. Among those in the audience from Earth-0 are: some of the Justice League, some of the Titans, some of the Teen Titans, Captain Atom, Firestorm, Booster Gold, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, one of the Guardians of the Universe, Hawkman, Linda Park, Kid Flash (Bar Torr), Superboy, Mr. Miracle (Scott Free), Shazam, Grape Ape, Blue Falcon, Dynomutt, Debbie Blanc (M Blanc’s daughter), Tinker (one of Speed Buggy’s pit crew), Mark (another of Speed Buggy’s pit crew), Jabberjaw (a talking shark from the future), Captain Caveman, and Mogo (somehow). Among those in the audience from other universes are: an alternate Blue Beetle, an alternate Jay Garrick, an alternate Squiddly Diddly, Space Ghost, Jan, Jace, Blip, some of The Herculoids (Zok, Igoo, Gloop, and Gleep), Fluid-Man (of The Impossibles), Mightor, Dexter, Birdman, and Avenger.

–REFERENCE: In DC New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 3. Bruce talks to Selina about Damian. She says Damian is like Pinocchio, a puppet trained by the League of Assassins to be a killing machine, but now recklessly trying to change his nature in order to make his new family proud. Bruce tells Selina that he worries about Damian being too much like Talia.

–Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1
In Big City, Robin and Superboy team-up with Dynomutt against a mind-controlled Blue Falcon (Radley Crowne), who is under the evil influence of the Red Vulture. After Blue Falcon defeats the boys and captures Dynomutt, the boys save the day, restoring Blue Falcon back to normal. After an epic battle, the heroes are victorious, but Blue Falcon pays with his life. A couple days later, Bruce, Damian, Alfred, Clark, Lois, and Jon attend Radley Crowne’s funeral. Later, Dynomutt digs up his master’s corpse and reanimates it using his dyno-tech. Blue Falcon is resurrected!

–The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1-3
Tír na nÓg, a magickal kingdom nestled in the heart of Faerie and home to the Celtic gods, is under siege, plagued by civil war between the orc-like Fomor folk and elven Dé Danann folk. Cernunnos Cernach (Celtic god of fertility and the hunt, and distant cousin to the Greco-Roman gods) visits a vacationing Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, asking the former for help. After finishing up sexy time with Steve, Wonder Woman goes to Faerie and finds that Elatha, the Fomorian god king of all Tír na nÓg, has been murdered. A Dé Danann boy named Donal, who found the king’s body, is being held captive. Simultaneously, Batman notices that everyone in Gotham’s Irish Quarter is locked in a haunted trance and goes to investigate. Reverberations from Tír na nÓg’s chaos (Phooka nightmares) reach the Dark Knight shortly after he enters the Irish Quarter and, he too, falls into a trance. Thankfully, Alfred is able to guide Batman out of his trance via radio. In Court of the Dé Danann (the capital of Tír na nÓg), tempers flare between the Fomor and the Dé Danann, but Wonder Woman keeps the peace, preventing Formorian leader Captain Furf and Dé Danann leader Fionn McCool from tearing each other apart. Meanwhile, the last of “Gotham Druids” religion, a man named Patrick O’Schull, prepares to leave the world of man to return to Faerie for the first time in centuries. (Unknown to all, Patrick is planning to sacrifice himself in order to body-swap with his beloved king, thus allowing Elatha to cross into the human world.) In the Batcave, Batman talks to Alfred about his hallucinatory experience, the nature of magick, and his resurrections from death. Wonder Woman and Cernunnos appear in the Batcave asking for Batman’s assistance. After traveling to Tír na nÓg, Batman and Wonder Woman ride on horseback through the forest outskirts, coming upon three spying Fomorians (Maggie, Declan, and Lug). After being interrogated by Batman, the Fomorian trio attacks, but are easily bested. Batman and Wonder Woman then explore the impenetrable wall border at the edge of Tír na nÓg’s border. Back in Court of the Dé Danann, Cernunnos tells the heroes the folklore beyond folklore—myths about the ancient ancestors of gods that the current gods themselves barely believe! Cernunnos also reveals that, despite 24 hours having passed, only an hour has passed back on Earth. Elsewhere, the ancient (and evil) Fomorian king Balor of the Evil-Eye—who also happens to be Elatha’s brother—sits on his throne, cogitating whether or not to take action.

–The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #4-6
In Court of the Dé Danann, Captain Furf, Maggie, Declan, and Lug demand that Batman and Wonder Woman cease their unorthodox investigation into the death of King Elatha. Cernunnos Cernach not only denies their request, but he also allows the heroes to meet with the king’s Dé Danann widow, Queen Ethné, in her castle-city, The Dagda’s Keep. Ethné tells Batman and Wonder Woman more Celtic-Faerie history, about years of war and strife between a united Fomor and Dé Danann versus the armies of Balor of the Evil-Eye. Ethné explains that Elatha, in a misguided attempt to keep lasting peace after Balor’s defeat and exile, built the wall around the kingdom and cast a spell making everyone in Tír na nÓg forget the bad parts of their past. Batman and Wonder Woman then visit the Tomb of King Nuada, discovering that the powerful “Silver Arm of Nuada” artifact has been stolen. Later, the Fomorians, angered that the heroes have “desecrated” the tomb, demand violent satisfaction. Once again Cernunnos cools heads. Batman interrogates Donal, coming to believe that King Elatha isn’t actually dead—merely that he’s switched bodies with someone else. Batman is right, of course. Patrick O’Schull has crossed over, thanks to magick charms, and swapped bodies with King Elatha. In Gotham, Elatha begins plans to free all the people of Tír na nÓg by releasing them into the human world. The king, who has stolen the Silver Arm, cuts off his own flesh and attaches it to his body, allowing him the power to break down the barriers surrounding Tír na nÓg. Cernunnos transports Batman back to Gotham. Meanwhile, Balor assembles a massive army of Fir Bolg warrior folk and marches toward Court of the Dé Danann. Wonder Woman and Fionn McCool lead a Dé Danann army to combat them. The epic war rages in the fields outside of Court of the Dé Danann. Cernunnos is killed on the pitch. Wonder Woman defeats Balor and ends the war. Afterward, Cernunnos is reborn as a baby. Meanwhile, Batman guards and defends a fissure in reality between Gotham and Faerie, knocking-out a bunch of orcs with sleeping gas. With the portal closed, the orcs are rounded-up by the police, unable to return to their homeland. In Faerie, Balor convenes with a giant monster with plans for future revenge.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #41. Nightwing defeats the Judge in Blüdhaven, after which he sets his sights on saving the dying Justice Tree. Dick calls Bruce and asks him for financial assistance. Bruce sends a blank check to Blüdhaven’s Parks Department on the condition they save the landmark. They do what they can, including taking seedlings for propagation and sending them to be planted all over the world.

–Nightwing Vol. 4 #42
Robin gets kidnapped in Japan by the mystical Yakuza group called the Crimson Kabuki. Nightwing rescues him, fighting his way through several costumed warriors. Atop a skyscraper, Nightwing and the freed Robin combat the Crimson Kabuki boss Kyu, who unleashes a real live dragon. However, the heroes tame the wild creature and obtain its assistance in bringing Kyu to justice. Back home in the Batcave, Robin gathers Nightwing, Batman, Bat-Cow, Goliath, and the towering dragon (!) for story time. The Boy Wonder eloquently narrates the “the tale of the brothers’ battle against the Crimson Kabuki.”

–Batwoman Vol. 3 #15-16 (“FALL OF THE HOUSE OF KANE”)
Batwoman’s yearlong mission against the Many Arms of Death now nears its end. In Gotham, Batwoman faces-off against her diabolically unhinged sister Beth, who has reverted to her horrific Alice persona thanks to being heavily drugged by the Many Arms of Death. With the backing of the Many Arms of Death, a confused Alice mockingly spreads a deadly plague-like disease across the city via swarms of bats. Batwoman knows she (herself) is both a carrier and immune to the disease (thanks to a recent encounter with Scarecrow at a Many Arms of Death bio-weapons lab), so she contacts and reconciles with Julia Pennyworth, who is aboard the retrofitted yacht known as Airship Sequoia. (Batwoman and Julia had previously had a falling out.) While Julia preps an antivirus using samples of Batwoman’s blood and DNA, Batwoman flies her other plane (the Airshop Kônos) and uses a sonic-emitter to attract all the infected bats, luring them away from the city. As soon as Julia has whipped-up the antivirus, she crop-dusts it over Gotham in a mini-jet. Batwoman then blows up the Sequoia, eliminating any possible traces of the deadly disease. Batman, having been contacted by Julia, arrives to confront both Alice and Batwoman atop the old Kane Industries Building. An explosive three-way-dance makes its way through the building. Batwoman eventually claims victory by playing a loud recording of a gun firing (which apparently fucks with Batman’s head) and then trapping him underneath a giant letter K. With Alice in a moment of confused calm, Batman reminds Batman that Beth is not just her sister, but his cousin as well. Crawling out from beneath the K, Batman accepts that he should help family. The Dark Knight stands-down and leaves Beth in the care of Batwoman, but tells the latter that she’ll have to retire from crimefighting if she ever messes-up again. Seemingly recovered from her insanity (for the moment, at least), Beth stumbles over to an emotional Batwoman, who embraces her and apologizes.

–Detective Comics #982
The spirit of Deacon Joseph Blackfire returns once again, influencing a mob into becoming his obedient followers. Blackfire’s demonic cult trashes City Hall, threatens to bomb a bridge, and kidnaps a small boy that is blood-related to Blackfire, hoping to use him as a host vessel to reincarnate their master. These actions bring a-calling Batman, who fights demon hordes in the sewers. Blackfire plays tricks with Batman’s mind, but he is able to fend-off illusion, single-handedly defeat dozens of cultists, and save the kidnapped boy. Without his followers, Blackfire’s spirit fades away as he is exiled back to Hell.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #2. Batman and Robin defeat Rainbow Raider.

–Batman Giant #1-2 (“ONE MORE CHANCE”)
Commissioner Gordon calls-in Batman, reporting that the child heir to the fortune of Gotham’s most well-known grocery chain (Giessen’s Paycheck Foods) has been kidnapped. After examining security footage, Batman targets suspect Patrick Crown, head of security at the Giessen Estate. After interviewing the Giessens, Batman visits Crown’s Chinatown apartment and chases him across the rooftop when he flees. Crown admits to being blackmailed (via text message) into letting a mystery person into the mansion. Batman sends the phone number to Alfred, who traces it to the Monarch Theatre. In front of the theater, Batman is run down in a van driven by the mystery kidnapper’s henchmen. Batman defeats the henchmen and rescues the Giessen girl from the kidnapper. (If anyone has a copy of Batman Giant #2, I’d love to get my hands on it. These WalMart comics are impossible to find online or in New York City, where I live. Seriously, it’s easier for me to get my hands on rare comics from the 1960s than it is to get these Giant funnybooks.)

–DC New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 3
Batman goes on an unspecified Justice League mission to Thanagar Prime, leaving Catwoman to patrol Gotham solo! At the Iceberg Lounge, Catwoman attempts to shut down an illegal cat-fighting ring. Robin shows up in search of Alfred Pennyworth (his pet cat), who escaped from Wayne Manor recently after a visiting Tim Drake and left the door open. Catwoman and Robin end Penguin’s kitty-fights and rescue Alfred the Cat, after which Catwoman steals the betting loot and runs-off. A week later, Bruce returns home from Thanagar. At Wayne Manor, Bruce, Selina, Damian, Alfred, and Alfred the Cat hang out. Alfred gives Damian a letter that has arrived in the mail. Damian opens it and finds that Selina has donated all of Penguin’s kitty-fighting loot to an animal sanctuary in his (Damian’s) name.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #986. Batman and Alfred code a high-tech hacking software called “The Signal-Breaker,” which can basically override every networked screen in Gotham. This same program/virus has the power to disrupt and cancel-out all communication signals in a certain targeted area.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #2. Batman battles an escaped Scarecrow, during which an elderly public servant named Bill is badly injured and left permanently blinded. After putting Scarecrow away, Batman turns his attention to helping poor old Bill. Bruce pays for Bill’s surgery and gives him a job as an elevator operator inside one of Wayne Tower’s highest security levels. Bruce becomes close friends with Bill and will pay for all of Bill’s medical procedures, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Damage Vol. 2 #13. With the help of his superhero pals, Batman designs and begins building the BatCarrier, a massive flying fortress (basically a flying Batcave), at the still-under-construction Hall of Justice. The BatCarrier won’t be operational for months, but we can presume Batman will work on it frequently over the duration of that time. The BatCarrier will have hologram “Danger Room” simulators, all the amenities of the Batcave, a host of new weaponry and tech, and escape pods.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #9. With the help of his superhero pals, Batman also begins building a Bat-Family rocket-ship, designed for deep space travel.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #1. The Justice League builds a sleek spacecraft known as The Javelin, which gets stored in the still-under-construction Hall of Justice. This is a wonderful canonical addition taken from Justice League the Animated Series.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1009. Bruce and Lucius oversee beta-testing of new Wayne Enterprises-constructed self-driving cars. Bruce isn’t impressed with the tech.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. May 19. Bruce and Alfred attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! At the wedding, Bruce and Alfred sit with Sophia Zervas, who has just recently taken over her father’s bank. Bruce leaves midway through to do Batman stuff.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Bruce knows a lot of foreign languages, but he never learned Greek! He now begins learning to how to speak Greek.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #60. An escaped Maxie Zeus is arrested for the murder of some young boys and fast-tracked through Gotham’s judicial system, getting sentenced to a life-term at Arkham Asylum. It is unknown if Batman had anything to do with his arrest, but even if he didn’t, Batman would know all about the case.

–FLASHBACK: From Adventures of the Super Sons #12. Batman and Superman take on a returning Manchester Black, who wields the cosmic power of the sentient Hypercube (aka “Cube”). Following Black’s defeat, Superman stores the Hypercube in the Fortress of Solitude.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #1. Late May—an editor’s note places this item before Superman Special Vol. 2 #1, meaning prior to Bendis’ Man of Steel. Damian and Jon finish the school year at West-Reeve. The boys mention that their parents are set to go on unspecified business for a couple weeks. I’m not sure what this is in reference to (or if it even is a reference to something). I’d assume that, even if plans were made, they likely get cancelled.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #12. Late May to early June. When Robin and Superboy, having just recently finished the school year, are whisked away on an interdimensional adventure courtesy of the Hypercube (as seen in Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12), Batman and Superman become very concerned. However, Alfred is able to track the boys’ energy signatures and vital signs, ensuring Batman and Superman they are okay. Upon their return, the boys think weeks have passed, but, in order to jibe with everything else on our timeline, only a few days could have passed. (The boys adventure did indeed last several weeks, but time was flowing differently throughout their interdimensional experience in comparison to the regular flow of time back on Earth-0.) To further muddle the chronology of this arc, when the boys return, Alfred tells them that months have passed and school is already about to begin again, implying that their adventure spanned the entire summer. Impossible! We just have to assume that Alfred, upon hearing that they clearly have no idea how long they’ve been gone for, is totally messing with them. Also, the entirety of Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12 is told by very unreliable narrators—an old Damien and old Jonathan—decades in the future (sometime in the 2070s). This is yet another reason we shouldn’t trust any dates attached to this item. To reiterate, the entirety of Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12 occurs now and spans only a few days.

–NOTE: In flashback from Man of Steel #1-6. Early June. Jor-El returns, visiting the Kents and demanding to take his grandson on a cosmic tour of the universe. Lois and Clark tell him to piss off, but Jonathan wants to go. After discussion, Lois agrees to go with Jonathan and Jor-El. After telling Perry White that she’s leaving for what could possibly be the entire summer, he fires her from The Daily Planet! Clark gives Lois his Superman costume, saying that it will protect her on her journey. Superman then switches to his old “red underwear” costume! (Note that Jon and Lois won’t leave right away, not for about a month, as there will be a handful of comics—mostly non-Batman comics—that feature both of them alongside the red trunks-wearing Man of Steel prior to their departure with Jor-El. Plus, Superman Vol. 5 #7 tells gives a time-frame where they don’t leave right away.)

–Action Comics #1000 Part 1
Note that this item must occur after Lois and Jon have decided on going to parts unknown with Jor-El, but before they actually leave on the trip. Superman fights a Khund warship in space before joining Lois and Jon in Metropolis for a very special celebration in his honor. Clark watches with his family in the audience as several speakers—including Mayor Barnes, Fire Chief Carlisle, and Captain Maggie Sawyer—give testimonials about the greatness of the Man of Steel. All the while, Lois distracts Clark as she secretly coordinates (via cellphone) the defense against a full global invasion by the Khund Space Navy. The Justice League and other heroes have decided to give Superman the day off to enjoy his ceremony, going so far as to block his knowledge of the invasion via Martian Manhunter’s telepathy, while they take care of the planetary assault. Batman asks Lois to break the ruse several times when things get dicey, but in the end the heroes beat the Khunds without Superman’s assistance. Clark, upon discovering the artifice when Perry White addresses the crowd, switches to his fighting togs to join his friends, but they’ve already gathered at the Metropolis celebration. Most of the multiple Justice League teams, the Titans, the Teen Titans, multiple Green Lanterns, multiple Flashes, Batgirl, Steel, Supergirl, Booster Gold, Skeets, Blue Beetle, Hawkman, Mera, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Sideways (Derek James), The Silencer, Deathstroke, and Harley Quinn all show up to give thanks and appreciation to the Man of Steel.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1000 Part 9. Bat-Mite, Zook, and a lightning djinni leave their 5th Dimensional home to bother Batman in the Batcave.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #48
While Wonder Woman is off on an interplanetary adventure with the Star Sapphire Corps and the Karnell of the Dark Gods (as seen in Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #2), her brother Jason faces-off against the other emergent Dark Gods—Mob God, The God With No Name, Savage Fire, and King Best—in Washington DC. (The Dark Gods are the most powerful diving beings of the Dark Multiverse.) The Dark Gods have come from the Dark Multiverse, causing hundreds of thousands across Earth-0 to lose their minds and become subservient to them. When Supergirl shows up, the first three Dark Gods depart to cause more chaos across the globe, leaving King Best to lord over Washington DC. Steve Trevor calls in the Justice League and they arrive—sans Superman—to assess the situation. King Best immediately causes the JL and Supergirl to disappear. Wonder Woman returns just in time to help her brother fight King Best.

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #50. The Dark Gods of the Dark Multiverse have just caused the Justice League, along with many other heroes, to disappear. The JL and a few others reappear unconscious and trapped in a giant spider web. With the major heroes down-and-out, the Dark Gods cause many of the remaining heroes to go insane and attack whoever is left. Notably, a likely possessed Batwing (currently inactive) suits-up to join the fray. Eventually, only Wonder Woman and her brother Jason remain standing. Jason offers to sacrifice himself, allowing the Dark Gods to absorb him into their bodies to gain his power. In exchange, he asks them to leave Earth forever and undo all the damage they’ve done. With the deed done, and Jason apparently dead, the trapped heroes are freed and everyone returns back to normal.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE
———————-––Justice League: No Justice #1
———————-––DC Nation #0 Part 3 Intro
———————-––Justice League: No Justice #2
It’s been nearly seven months since the fissure in the Source Wall occurred. Presumably, the Green Lantern Corps and New Gods have been monitoring the hole, but only now do we see the Guardians of the Universe actively engaging with the breach as they send the entire GLC to examine and discuss a plan of action at the site. (Of course, it is also possible that this opening scene of No Justice #1 takes place much earlier than the rest of the issue, closer to the epilogue of Dark Nights: Metal.) Meanwhile, Brainiac and his army of drones attack Earth. The Justice League, Titans, Teen Titans, and Suicide Squad mobilize and defend against his forces. (The scene of the JL fighting Brainiac’s skull-drones is also shown via flashback from Green Arrow Vol. 6 Annual #2.) In Metropolis, Superman initiates his invasion protocol, which evacuates most of the city. Soon after, with all of the heroes and villains defeated, the JL fights Brainiac in the mostly empty city, but they too succumb to his power. All of the captured teams—along with a few other heroes and villains—are taken aboard Brainiac’s massive spacecraft, but, to their surprise, Brainiac releases them and outfits them with modified costumes. Brainiac explains that he needs their help. The planet-sized cosmic beings known as The Omega Titans (Entropy, Mystery, Wonder, and Wisdom) have crossed through the breach in the Source Wall and are heading to destroy his homeworld of Colu. Brainiac divides everyone into a new multi-layered Justice League to save Colu and deal with each Omega Titan individually—Team Entropy (Batman, Lobo, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, and Beast Boy), Team Mystery (Superman, Martian Manhunter, Starfire, Starro, and Sinestro), Team Wonder (Wonder Woman, Raven, Etrigan, Dr. Fate, and Zatanna), and Team Wisdom (Cyborg, Robin, Atom, Flash Barry Allen, and Harley Quinn). The Justice League splitting into groups is also shown via flashback from Justice League Vol. 4 #29.) As the new Justice League blasts across the universe toward Colu, Amanda Waller activates Task Force XI, which consists of restrained and subdued telepaths—including Max Lord, Dr. Destiny, Hector Hammond, Jemm, Dubbilex, Manchester Black, Psimon, Brainwave, Mento, Looker, Multi-Man, and two others obscured from view (one who could be Klarion Bleak). Brainiac finishes briefing the JL as they arrive at Colu, above which stands a towering Omega Titan. Brainiac tells the JL that he’s planted seeds, which will attract the Omega Titans, on Earth. This “added incentive” will hopefully motivate the JL to defeat them. Just as Brainiac tells the team to locate four energy trees on Colu, his head explodes, courtesy of the combined long-range powers of Task Force XI. With their only guide seemingly dead, the JL goes face-to-face with one of the gargantuan Omega Titans. As the Omega Titan begins stomping around, the heroes are overwhelmed by Coluan security forces, who attack because the heroes are wearing evil Brainiac gear. After fending them off, the heroes realize that the nodes on their costumes are drawing each team toward respective energy trees: one for wisdom, entropy, mystery, and wonder. The teams decide to venture toward each respective tree. On Earth, Amanda Waller treks through the snow towards the Fortress of Solitude, but Green Arrow cuts her off, demanding answers. She spills the beans, but learns from Green Arrow that all of the other superheroes on Earth (except for he, Batgirl, and Supergirl) are locked in a state of suspended animation thanks to strange Brainiac tech. Reluctantly, Green Arrow teams up with Waller to look for one of the seeds that will attract the Omega Titans to Earth. As the JL teams continue their mission on Colu, the locals don’t take too kindly to their presence (especially since they are seemingly aligned with Brainiac). The Coluans quickly sentence the JL to death for breaking “multiversial law.” While Team Entropy fights Coluan soldiers and death-robots in Colu’s biggest prison (Ultra Penitence), Team Mystery defeats weird monsters at the “Life Nursery,” securing the Tree of Mystery location. Meanwhile, Team Wonder battles its way toward the Mystic Tree of Wonder, located at the Tomb of the Science Priests. At the Core Databank, Team Wisdom fights robots of their own in an effort to hack Coluan planetary defense systems. Back on Earth, upon locating a Brainiac seed in the Arctic, Amanda Waller and Green Arrow find that it is actively sending a signal to the Omega Titans. On Colu, Team Mystery enters a dome, finding hundreds of shrunken planets (including Starfire’s home planet of Tamaran) housed in containers. Meanwhile, Team Wisdom fails to hack the Core Databank. Team Entropy makes it to the center of Ultra Penitence to find Brainiac’s son, Vril Dox II (Brainiac 2.0).

JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE Continued…
———————-––Justice League: No Justice #3-4
On Colu, Martian Manhunter and Starro discuss freeing all the trapped shrunken planets. Meanwhile, Vril Dox II tells Team Entropy that his father’s plan had been to use them to take over Colu and then lure the Omega Titans to destroy them and all of Earth. As the rest of Team Wonder fends-off the ghosts of Science Priests, Wonder Woman reactivates the Tree of Wonder using her lasso. With Team Wisdom’s encouragement, Cyborg is able to download all the information in Colu’s Core Databank. With all the trees sufficiently messed-with, Omega Titan Wisdom begins to freak out. As Sinestro uses his ring to carefully remove all the miniature planets from their enclosures, Starro grows to giant-size and attaches himself to the Titan’s face! Unfortunately, Wisdom tears Starro to bits, killing him. (As referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #8-11, the JL keeps a chunk of Starro, which regenerates into a brand new living baby Starro. They put the mini-Starro in a jar and nickname him “Jarro.” Jarro immediately comes to think of Batman as his dad.) The entire JL, separated in multiple escape ships, blasts to safety just as Wisdom eats the entirety of Colu in one gargantuan bite of destruction. On Earth, Green Arrow squabbles with Amanda Waller only to witness an energy tree sprout out of the ground at their Arctic location. Similar trees sprout at STAR Labs (Detroit, MI), the Tower of Fate (Salem, MA), and Belle Reve (LA). In an instant, Omega Titans Entropy, Mystery, and Wonder arrive in Earth’s atmosphere. Soon after, with the JL still far across the universe, Omega Titan Wisdom arrives on Earth to join his fellows, much to the grave concern of Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Batgirl. (The scene of the four Omega Titans first appearing together over Earth is also shown in the epilogue to DC Nation #0 Part 3.) At the Source Wall, the Green Lantern Corps senses that the multiverse is dying thanks to the energy that has been seeping (and continues to seep) through the hole. They attempt to plug the hole, but are unable. (As referenced in Titans Special #1, Earth’s heroes learn that a strange energy is pouring through the Source Wall breach, turning regular folks into metahumans.) In the former location of Colu, the freed shrunken planets begin to return to their normal size, all within close orbit of one another. Vril Dox II refuses to help the heroes anymore and teleports to Earth where he immediately takes out Supergirl. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, and Simon Baz arrive at Bell Reve to aid Green Arrow and confront Waller and Dox II. With Waller’s finger on a nuclear trigger and Dox II speeding up the growth of the giant trees, the JL booms back to Earth just in time to head toward their respective team’s trees. Green Arrow convinces Waller to give the stolen Brainiac Files to Cyborg. With new knowledge, Cyborg instructs the teams in how to use their Brainiac-suits to cause one of the trees to bear fruit. After charging a seed from the fruit with the energy of each team’s “leader,” Green Lantern and Green Arrow fire it into the Entropy Omega Titan. The other Titans feast on their brother, eating him alive. Satiated for at least a millennium, the three other Titans depart. Dox II teleports away and the frozen heroes of Earth become free. The giant trees, however, remain standing. At the edge of the universe, the Green Lantern Corps keeps the fissure in the Source Wall secure and stable. Later, Batman debriefs with Nightwing and Robin, asking them to be a part of his ongoing investigative mission regarding the aftermath of the Omega Titan/Brainiac affair. Both decline. Thus, Batman turns to Black Lightning, asking him to be at the center of a new Outsiders team. (As referenced in Detective Comics #983, Black Lightning doesn’t agree to join, opting to think about it. Batman tells his fellow superheroes that he is planning to start a new Outsiders.) Meanwhile, a new Justice League is formed—based off of Batman’s plans that he devised after the “Dark Metal” ordeal—consisting of Batman, Cyborg, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Flash (Barry Allen), and Aquaman, and Hawkgirl. Parking Brainiac’s skull-ship in a hanger, the new JL sets up shop (and multiple trophy rooms/what will be a free public museum) in the Hall of Justice. As per reference in Justice League Vol. 4 #1, all the dangerous trophies are de-activated and de-powered. The Special Justice League Citizens’ Committee makes sure that the trophies are safe, even interviewing Batman about the various items. Of course, Batman has his secrets. As referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #12 and Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1, he keeps Lex Luthor’s old war-suit ready-for-action, also programming the war-suit’s teleporter to be able to home-in on either Martian Manhunter or Wonder Woman’s energy signatures, citing those two as the leaders of the JL. With team approval, finishing touches are put on the entryway exhibits, which include display-costumes of every person that has ever been in any version of the JL. As referenced in Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #11, numerous giant statues of the heroes are erected and placed around various trophies and superhero ephemera in the building’s main entryway. Notably, Batman also creates several new extra-armored robo-suits, which are stored in the off-limits Hall of Justice area, Hall of Justice museum, and the Batcave. Batman also comes up with a bunch more fresh JL ideas with Martian Manhunter. Hal reports in, telling everyone that the latest GLC reports from the Source Wall show that the entire multiverse will be dead in around a year’s time. Moving forward, with team approval, Martian Manhunter gives a secret weapon to Green Arrow, which can be used to bring down the entire team, should the need arise. The JL then votes Martian Manhunter as the new chairman of the team. The new JL format is announced to the public and parts of the Hall of Justice are officially opened as the free museum. As per reference in Justice League Vol. 4 #1, a mere fraction of the Hall is actually open to the public. (Note that the end of Justice League: No Justice #4 shows future lineups of the JL that we’ll see in the coming days, weeks, and months. The images include John Stewart, who will soon join the main roster, the full JLD lineup, and a splinter group that will form for the Justice League Odyssey series.)

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Twins #6 Part 2. The Justice League decides to initiate an “Employee of the Month” award at the Hall of Justice. John Stewart is named the first “Employee of the Month.” Not sure what John Stewart did to earn this, but Batman likely had nothing to do with it. Nor will Batman have much to do with this award, moving forward.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3
June 15-17. Batman catches the flu. Despite this, he continues to patrol and work. The Dark Knight hacks some Russian hackers, who have hacked the Pentagon, learning that an ex-military drone operator has stolen a few predator drones. Calling himself The Drone, the new super-villain has threatened Gotham. After destroying one of the predators, Batman briefly returns home to get a thermos of hot soup and to switch from the Batmobile to the Batplane. Batman destroys the remaining predators before confronting the Drone himself. Atop an abandoned building, the Drone stabs Batman, but the Caped Crusader defeats him, leaving him for the Feds. In an alley, Batman collapses due to blood loss just as some roughneck gang-bangers approach. Monitoring the situation, Alfred throws on a Batman mask and rushes to the scene. Showing off his own martial-arts skills, Alfred takes a bit of a beating but manages to kick the bad guys’ asses. In the Batmobile, Batman is in bad enough shape to warrant a blood transfusion. Alfred drives the unconscious Batman straight to Leslie Thompkins’ clinic. She saves the lives of both Batman and Alfred. In the morning, a beaten-up Bruce tasks the Orphan and the Signal to patrol Gotham. Bruce chats with a beaten-up Alfred at Wayne Manor, making him breakfast for Father’s Day. They’ll both take the day off for a change.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #987. Batman reaches out to Katana in regard to the Brainiac Files. Not only does Amanda Waller have a copy, but Katana is able to access them as well.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #2-3. The Wayne Enterprises pharmaceutical division brings a new miracle drug called Diaxamyne II to trial. The drug, in initial testing has shown that it can reactivate certain synapses in the brain, causing sociopaths to feel emotions the normally couldn’t, including remorse and guilt. Bruce, Commissioner Gordon, Leslie Thompkins, and Jeremiah Arkham ask James Gordon Jr to volunteer to be one of the guinea pigs for the medicine. James Jr agrees and begins taking the drug. Bruce, Jim, and Leslie will closely monitor James Jr over the course of the next few months. While we won’t see Bruce checking-in on James Jr on our timeline below, you can rest assured that Bruce (and Batman) will be keeping close tabs on James Jr. In fact, Bruce and company will soon discover that the drug actually works. James Jr’s demeanor completely changes and he becomes a seemingly better person.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #13. An escaped Joker plans a re-hash of his old-school parade-float balloon-gassing scheme. While prepping, Lex Luthor visits Joker in an attempt to recruit him onto his pending super-villain team (which will be known as the Legion of Doom). Joker agrees to join, but only if Luthor captures the Batman Who Laughs for him. Joker’s henchmen then alert him to the fact that Batman is en route to their location. We aren’t told the end of this flashback, but we can assume that Joker’s parade is spoiled via a face-to-face confrontation with the Caped Crusader.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #2-6. In light of Joker’s attempted gas attack on Gotham, Batman does extensive historical research on Gotham’s waterways, learning that they are highly susceptible to attack. Batman decides to take exhaustive preventative measures against such a threat. With backing from the city government, Batman updates and refurbishes the long-neglected centuries-old “Last Laugh,” an emergency defense grid in the form of a vaccination/purification system designed to protect against widespread chemical or biological attack. Last Laugh was supposedly built so that the entire city can be sealed-off and purified via a mass distribution of clean water or air from a hidden underground reservoir. Of course, Batman doesn’t know the truth—that Last Laugh was actually designed to be a bio-warfare WMD. By restarting Last Laugh, Batman is unwittingly completing a deadly weapon capable of killing everyone in Gotham. Batman will spend the next couple months (likely with metahuman assistance) constructing a reservoir, fitting pipes all over town, and finalizing this complicated system, which also includes a fleet of robotic blimps and drones. Batman’s new Last Laugh system will be controlled by two hubs—one in a high-security wing of Wayne Tower and the other in the Batcave. Once the system is mostly complete, it will only be able to be voice-activated by either Batman or Commissioner Gordon. Batman will also create failsafe demolition protocols designed to shut-down the system as well. The plan is that, once Last Laugh is eventually finished and then fully-tested by Batman and Gordon, then they will turn full control of the system over to the municipal government.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 and Justice League Vol. 4 #26. The Justice League creates the Justice League Science Division, which gets its own HQ space in the palatial Hall of Justice complex. Members of the JL Science Division include: Mr. Terrific, original Blue Beetle Ted Kord, the Atom (Ryan Choi), and the Metal Men.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Odyssey #1, Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1, Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #12, Damage Vol. 2 #10, Aquaman Vol. 8 #41, and Hawkman Vol. 5 #13. The Justice League creates the Justice League Reserves, adding some back-up/emergency members to its lineup, including Azrael, Starfire, Jessica Cruz, Vixen, Guy Gardner, Green Arrow, Mera, and Hawkman. (Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #12 tells us there are multiple JL Reserve teams, meaning not only are there are a lot more reserves on deck, but they’ve been organized into fighting units.) Don’t forget that Vixen is still one of the leaders of the Justice Foundation, which hasn’t really done anything since debuting not too long ago. The Justice League  also sets up a rotating monitor duty schedule that includes members of all the JL teams and divisions. Presumably, everyone will take turns doing their duty, including Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Twins #6 Part 2. The Justice League hires a man named Pete to be the primary janitor/handyman/superintendent of the Hall of Justice.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #12—and referenced in Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #1 and Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1. Wonder Woman obtains permission from the rest of the Justice League to build a trophy archive/laboratory in the mile-deep basement of the Hall of Justice, specifically to hold dangerous dark magickal artifacts. After putting together this basement lair, Wonder Woman gives her teammates a tour and tells them that she wants to form a splinter JL team: a rehash of the Justice League Dark. Batman has his reservations, but Wonder Woman is ultimately granted permission. Only Wonder Woman and Man-Bat Kirk Langstrom join the new JLD for now, but Diana will also soon recruit Zatanna, Detective Chimp, and Swamp Thing.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #9-10, Justice League Vol. 4 #25, and Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #11. Final touches are put on the Hall of Justice. Flash sets-up a public restaurant inside the Hall of Justice, bringing in famous minotaur chef Ferdinand (formerly the head chef at the Themysciran Embassy in NYC) to run it. Superman bans any alcoholic beverages from being served in the building. Flash and Cyborg, with guidance and assistance from the rest of the JL, plan out and record audio tour dialogue for the Hall of Justice’s museum tours. The JL also beefs-up security and comes up with new emergency codes for the building. The building is set-up with a failsafe lock-down mode, which can be activated in case of emergency. And only registered “core” team members can access the building without having to go through a tight restrictive security screening or being granted access by another core member.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #7. The Justice League creates official ID cards for every team member. Every affliated member—including those in all branches and splinter groups—gets an official ID card. Any new members will also get cards. Notably, JL ID cards get you free hot food at the Hall of Justice restaurant.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #9 and Aquaman Vol. 8 #41. More superhuman additions are made to the Hall of Justice. In addition to completing a group Teleportation Room, each main JL member (except Wonder Woman) finishes their own “domain” within the Hall of Justice. Each is specifically tailored and customized. Superman (and Krypto) share an office that looks like a room in the Daily Planet building. Aquaman builds a rather large underwater chamber complete with a ship and royal Atlantean spires. Flash builds a training facility. Hawkgirl builds another museum space. Martian Manhunter builds an isolation chamber. And Batman builds, you guessed it, another Batcave. This bunker has a “Keep Out” sign spray-painted on the outside of it. It is unknown what Batman puts inside, although we know he will have the ability to control Bat-drones all over the globe, so he definitely sets-up the drones and installs high-tech hardware and software in his domain. Batman also connects an on-site Bat-computer to the JL computer network. He also codes a back-up override for the JL network, just in case he needs to emergency reboot and take over. Notably, Batman also parks several Batmobiles in the vast Hall of Justice garage. (John Stewart, once he officially joins the team, will put together a military-style barracks for himself.)

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla #1. Batman, Nightwing, and Robin patrol together.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 3
Gotham Insider, an investigative TV news show, does an exposé about famed henchman Knute Brody. Unknown to the show-runners, Brody is an invention of Batman’s, an undercover persona that has been played by multiple members of the Bat-Family over the years. Bruce, Dick, Damian, Alfred, and Babs share a few laughs and gather to watch the TV special together in the Batcave. Alfred digs out all the old Brody costumes and the gang enjoys the show, chuckling as they watch. Bruce decides that its time to retire the Brody character. Damian wears the Brody costume for kicks. Note that, in the TV documentary, Poison Ivy displays great pride in telling the interviewer that she murdered Brody. Don’t forget that, while a majority of folks regard Poison Ivy as a mass murderer (as mentioned in Batgirl Vol. 5 #35), she has actually never killed anyone (as referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43). Therefore, Poison Ivy obviously didn’t actually kill Brody, so she is either bragging to boost her underworld credibility or writer Paul Dini is harshly violating continuity.

–Titans Special #1
Ever since the Source Wall was breached, weird energy has been pouring through, turning regular folks into new metahumans all over the universe, especially on Earth. In Gotham, Nightwing tries to calm a girl who develops startling energy powers as a result, but is unable to do so. Nightwing tells Batman about his failure and desire to reform the Titans with a new lineup, to which Batman organizes a Batcave pitch-meeting for him with Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman tells Nightwing the new Titans will have HQ space in the Hall of Justice and be the officially sanctioned “response team” of the JL. Nightwing then recruits former Raven and Beast Boy, who can’t control his powers ever since returning from Colu. (Raven and Beast Boy are available because Robin has just “gone rogue” and started his own new version of the Teen Titans without them—as seen in Teen Titans Special #1 and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #20-21.) Next, Donna Troy and Steel (Natasha Irons) are recruited. Later, the new Titans visit their space at the Hall of Justice. When one of Steel’s lab samples turns into a monster, Batman and Martian Manhunter’s addition to the team, Miss Martian, arrives to destroy the beast. (As referenced in Titans Vol. 3 #31, Batman and Martian Manhunter, despite knowing that Miss Martian is a potentially unstable White Martian, have selected her to be their eyes and ears on the team.) Elsewhere, Brother Blood (Sebastian Blood), having spied on Nightwing’s recruitment, plans something big with his Church of Blood (aka Blood Cult) minions.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #24 and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #26. Batman learns about Robin’s new Teen Titans venture and he doesn’t approve. Batman and Robin argue and then stop speaking to one another. They won’t talk to each other for nearly a full calendar year! While it is unclear whether Batman knows about Robin’s illegal torture prison underneath Mercy Hall (the Teen Titans’ HQ) in Brooklyn, NY, it is inferred that the Dark Knight does not. The non-speaking conditions will continue mostly perpetuated by Robin because the Boy Wonder wants to prevent his dad from finding out about his prison. Batman and Alfred chat about and worry about Robin. With the boy absent from their lives for the next year to come, both Batman and Alfred will constantly concern themselves over Damian’s well-being and state-of-mind.

–Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #24-25
Penguin unveils a new amusement park in redeveloped section of Monstertown. After the opening ceremony, Red Hood—having just found out that his dad (Willis Todd) went to jail as a result of Penguin—attacks Penguin. Meanwhile, Bizarro has begun to regress from being super-smart back into his old slow-witted backwards self. Chairzarro, Bizarro’s AI that is linked directly to his brain, goes into fight-or-flight mode, freaking-out and activating a countdown to self-destruct the Outlaws’ flying HQ above Gotham, much to the dismay of Artemis. At Penguin’s park, Red Hood unmasks, revealing his secret ID (and Batman’s) to Penguin. After putting his helmet back on, and with cops and live TV cameras now at the scene, Red Hood seemingly returns to his murderous ways, putting a slug in Penguin’s head at point blank range. (As referenced in Red Hood: Outlaw #36, Red Hood has not returned to his murderous ways; he actually planned, with pinpoint accuracy, a non-fatal ricochet shot intended to blind Penguin in one eye and send glass shards, not the bullet, from the villain’s monocle into the outer layer of his brain. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, but okay.) Penguin, in critical condition but still alive, is rushed to the hospital where he is stabilized and saved. (Naturally, due to brain damage, Penguin will have no recollection of Red Hood or Batman’s secret IDs—as referenced in the increasingly ludicrous Red Hood: Outlaw #36.) Batman tells the Bat-Family to stand down and goes to confront Red Hood alone, fighting him atop a roof. Batman says that he was a fool for ever thinking he could use non-lethal tactics. He compares Red Hood’s shooting of Penguin to Batwoman’s shooting of Clayface, saying that what he’s done is way worse. The Dark Knight declares that Red Hood is finished. Bizarro grabs Red Hood and pulls him to safety alongside Artemis inside the plummeting HQ. Artemis kisses Red Hood goodbye before she and Bizarro pull the HQ through a teleportation portal to parts unknown. Back on the rooftop, Batman kayos Red Hood and begins to drag him away, which is also shown via flashback from Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 Annual #2 and Red Hood: Outlaw #26. (Note that Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 turns into Red Hood: Outlaw as of issue #26.) Arsenal shows up and takes down Batman, rescuing Red Hood. Meanwhile, at Ma Gunn’s Home for Wayward Boys, Willis Todd—astral projecting a scrambled avatar image of himself from some unknown location—visits and chats with his mom, Ma Gunn, who reads a Bizarro-made comic Red Hood & The Outlaws comic book. Willis confirms to her what she’s always known—that Jason is her biological grandson.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #1. Bruce thinks about his future with Selina and the possibility of ending his personal war on crime after marrying her. He imagines that, if he ever has a child with Selina, he’d like to name the child “May,” signifying a new beginning. However, Bruce keeps these thoughts to himself.

–Detective Comics #983-985 (“ON THE OUTSIDE”)
New super-villain Karma, who wears a helmet that gives him telepathy, kidnaps famous ViewTuber/Batman-fan Darin Griffith. The Signal locates Darin, but Karma tells the Signal that he’s “making Batman weaker” before beating exploding a bomb that kills Darin and puts the Signal into a coma. Batman brings the Signal to the Batcave where Alfred performs life-saving surgery, discovering a flash-drive inside one of Duke’s wounds. Bruce meets with Martian Manhunter on the front steps of Wayne Manor and tells him that he’s going to move forward with a new Outsiders—the first Outsiders team that will be fully-sanctioned by the Justice League. Bruce tells J’onn that it will still be Batman’s team and Batman’s team alone. Elsewhere, Karma watches a Gotham daytime talk show. Darin’s bereaved mother goes on air and blames Batman for the death of her son. The talk show host also mentions a big global news item: There are rising tensions in Markovia that could potentially threaten the West in the near future. Later, Batman visits Metropolis and watches Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce) in action from afar. He then visits Jefferson at his apartment and makes his Outsiders pitch once more. The Dark Knight asks him to be the general of a new Outsiders team, only this time its not really a choice. Batman tells him there’s a chartered jet waiting to leave the airport in six hours. Back in Gotham, Alfred plays a patrolling Batman an audio file from Karma’s flash-drive. Karma calls Batman by his real name and monologues about how all of his Bat-Family are undeserving to wear the mantle of the Bat. He says that Batman saved him once, but now he will save Batman. At the other end of the city, Karma attacks Cassie Cain. Batman and Black Lightning arrive to help Cassie fight Karma. Despite being outnumbered, Karma claims victory. Alfred comes to collect Cassie, Black Lightning, and an injured Batman. Alfred patches-up Batman. The next day, at Wayne Manor, Batman reveals his secret ID to Black Lightning. Bruce tells Black Lightning that he can’t be a leader to Cassie and Duke, saying that it’s true what Karma says: They’ve made him weaker. Bruce tasks Black Lightning with being a mentor to Cassie and Duke. After receiving a knife in the mail from Karma, Bruce realizes that the villain is none other than the Man of Fear, someone he fought years ago during the Markovian Civil War. In the Wayne Tower penthouse, Jefferson meets with Cassie, Duke, and Babs, hoping to teach them a thing or two. But as they speak, Jefferson realizes he can actually learn a lot from them. Later, Karma kidnaps a bunch of kids and a TV news anchor. On a pirated TV feed, Karma kills the news anchor and gives his ultimatum: Batman must publicly produce the corpses of the Bat-Family or the kidnapped kids will die too.

–Detective Comics #986-987 (“ON THE OUTSIDE” Continued…)
Batman operationalizes the Signal-Breaker hacking program, putting a Bat-symbol on every networked screen in Gotham, which lets the populace know that he won’t rest until the kidnapped children are safe. Meanwhile, Babs sends Cassie to help Batman, which angers Jefferson, who feels that he should be in charge. While Orphan and Black Lightning save the kids, Batman fights Karma, sending him blasting into the horizon with a rocket-thruster Batarang. Back in the Batcave, Batman has Babs research the origins of Karma’s Markovian tech. They learn that Karma’s helmet is of alien origin but was sold to him by Markovian weapons dealer Martina Dementieva. After nursing wounds, Batman tells Babs that Black Lightning is his number one righthand man and, despite the fact that she has more experience, Babs is to listen to his orders as if they were the Dark Knight’s. Babs, as she should, storms off in anger. Then, Batman contacts Katana and obtains information about Dementieva from the Brainiac Files. Afterward, Katana joins the heroes in the Batcave and helps brief them on the arms dealer. Batman activates Black Lightning, Orphan, Katana, and the Signal as the new Outsiders. When Alfred reports that Karma has attacked Wayne Enterprises and taken a guard hostage, Batman and the Outsiders are on it. After the Outsiders kick Karma’s henchmen’s asses and help the victim, Batman confronts Karma one-on-one. When Karma access Batman’s mind, the Dark Knight—just like he did during “Final Crisis”—weaponizes his own messed-up memories. Overwhelmed, Karma collapses in defeat. Batman rips off his helmet, leaving Karma in a shattered catatonic state. (As referenced in Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #3, Batman keeps a institutionalized Karma’s helmet and costume.) With Karma behind bars, Bruce plans out next steps for the Outsiders and for Jefferson personally. He visits Jefferson in Metropolis and gets a verbal commitment from him to lead the Outsiders. He also tells him that Lucius Fox will give a large grant to his school. After Bruce leaves, Superman swoops down and has a quick chat with Jefferson. Meanwhile, in Markovia, the vile Dementieva prepares for her next sinister move.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. In an effort to get Commissioner Gordon to quit smoking, Batman sends him a box of lollipops.

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<<< New Age Year 15 (Part 2) <<< ||| >>> New Age Year 16 (Part 2) >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batgirl Vol. 5 #19-20 (“COLD SNAP”) has to go here because it follows shortly after the X-mas holiday-themed Batgirl Vol. 5 #18. While Batman isn’t involved in “Cold Snap,” the Mayor of Gotham is featured—and he is inexplicably drawn as a random white man. He should be black, quite specifically, Michael Akins. Guess the creators didn’t get the memo. We should probably think of this dude as a city councilman or borough president or something like that.

37 Responses to Year Sixteen (Part 1)

  1. Austin Eaton says:

    It’s probably obvious, but where does JL 39 reference a version of Infinite Crisis, along with the other references on the timeline?

    • It’s not so obvious! In fact, I’ve been waiting for someone to call me out on this! In the opening desert sequence of JL #39, the Fan makes fun of the JL’s previous Watchtower incarnation on the moon (originally created at the start of Morrison’s “Big Guns” JLA run). There have already been references in other books to the Hall of Justice and previous satellite HQs, but the added reference to the lunar Watchtower speaks to a richer, fuller (and more complete) history of JL HQs. Therefore, I’ve tried to include arcs that speak to this history. Infinite Crisis was notable for many reasons, but among them for being the story wherein which Superboy-Prime destroys the lunar Watchtower.

      It might be a stretch, but I’ve included the complete history of JL HQs—creation of and destruction of—on the New Age timeline. Without this history, the timeline is broken. Infinite Crisis in the New Age is likely a hugely pared-down version of the original, but it definitely stands in some way, especially since there have been multiple references to its bookend sibling Crises (Crisis on Infinite Earths and Final Crisis).

      To reiterate, I’m using the little reference in JL #39, combined with other reference clues sprinkled throughout other comics, as a foundation for including stories that have to do with important moments that relate to the JL’s HQs (i.e. multiple Watchtowers, satellites, the Sanctuary, Hall of Justice, etc). I’ll add a footnote on the site to clear this all up, since it’s not exactly crystal.

  2. Antonio says:

    Hi Collin, Antonio here.
    How are you? I hope everything is doing well in your life.

    Ok, Just a doubt…
    In Deathstroke 30 an editorial note puts the events of BvsD “Prior to current events in the DC Universe”… but you put the issue right after Batman 44…
    So… what is the exact collocation of these happenings?

    Again, thanks for your work!

    • Wow, I missed that tiny little editorial note. “Prior to current events”? What does that even mean? LOL. Well, I guess I’ll move it back before Metal… or immediately after Metal? This technically is published after Metal. Maybe they mean prior to Deathstroke’s appearances in Priest’s JL?

      I think I’m going to hold off on placing this one. The implication here is that this could take place a year or two ago. We’ll see…

      Thanks, Antonio

  3. Antonio says:

    Thank you, Collin.
    I don’t think BvsD takes place two years “prior” the “current” events. I think they just refer to Bruce getting married to Selina, the People vs JL story-arc… and maybe the whole metal saga.
    So I guess you were correct by placing it right before Metal.

    Also… the Bane Conquest story-arc… I don’t think that is the right collocation… I mean… something tells me it may go well before year 16…

    • Something tells me Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan’s Bane: Conquest might be totally out-of-continuity. Same goes for the recent retro-leaning Neal Adams Deadman series. DC seems to be letting classic writers pick up where their original creations ended in the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages, which is a fun experiment, but doesn’t seem to help their placement on any contemporary timeline. Before his death, Len Wein was going to do a pick-up old-school Swamp Thing arc too.

      Specifically in regard to Bane: Conquest, it really can’t go much earlier due to its inclusion of King Faraday and a new baby Naja-Naja. What about it seems fishy to you?

    • I just learned that Dixon supposedly has a “right of refusal/first permission” contract for Bane (akin to Gaiman’s lifetime Sandman contract). This means Dixon technically owns the creative rights to Bane and must be asked before DC uses the character. Accordingly, Dixon supposedly has free reign to publish Bane-related material for DC (despite the fact that he hasn’t been on good terms with the company since the late 1990s). Bane: Conquest seems to fall into this category. So, I think that it really might be non-canon…

  4. Conor says:

    Hi, Colin, just have one or two questions for you.
    When DC, publish a new Batman related-comic how do you know where it goes on the timeline, and how do as a new follower of this project know when the timeline is updated? How quick are you on updates?

    • I update every new comic day (every Wednesday). How do I know where the stories go on the timeline? That’s the trick isn’t it? I read the comics and put it together like a puzzle. Thanks for following the site!

  5. Austin Eaton says:

    I think I remember one of the stories in Action Comics #1000 referencing President Luthor, but I’m not sure which one. Do you think that could be canon again?

    • See New Age Year 10 for details. The insinuation is that Obama only serves one term then loses reelection to Luthor (due to the drone strike information leaking earlier in the DCU and hurting his campaign), thus placing Luthor (and Pete Ross after Luthor’s impeachment) in-between Obama and Trump. Of course, we still don’t really know since there hasn’t been enough information given in any other comics. Because of this, I’m holding off on adding-in President Luthor… for now. Honestly, I kinda love squeezing Luthor/Ross in-between Obama and Trump, so don’t be surprised if I go ahead and just dive in and do it LOL.

  6. Austin Eaton says:

    I noticed something a bit weird. In Year Fourteen, there’s an Outsiders team with Martian Manhunter after Forever Evil, but in “No Justice “ MM states Luthor wasn’t a hero yet when he left on his journey. Hopefully you can explain this.

    • Easy. Martian Manhunter shouldn’t be a part of that Outsiders team. The reference from The Forge was merely that Batman altered the Outsiders lineup quite a bit. So, I basically took that as a means of canonizing all the various Outsider teams. Any specific information that challenges that or contradicts that can be applied on a case by case basis. And such is the deal here. I’ll make the change.

      It’s also possible that the Outsiders lineup alterations, including the Martian Manhunter one, could go prior to Forever Evil. Up to you. There’s no specificity to the Outsiders stuff, so anyone’s headcanon basically flies here if you can back it up decently. It seems like a tight squeeze to put THREE Outsider shakeups prior to Forever Evil in Year 14, which is the only reason I’ve chosen to simply omit Martian Manhunter instead.

  7. Austin Eaton says:

    I have to ask, Collin. What do you think of Batman 50? Also, why were Gotham Girl and Flashpoint-Batman there? I get they nudged Bruce towards proposing, but since when are they villains?

    • I am constantly underwhelmed by Tom King. Same goes for issue #50. Although, King still has over 50 issues to go (over two more years of storytelling) before we see an and to his mega-mega arc. As hinted by King’s Twitter, we might still wind up with the Bat and Cat together, which is my hope. As to why Gotham Girl and Flashpoint Batman are with Bane’s cabal… lots of unanswered questions. King is only scratching the surface of what’s going on. I really thought he did some amazing reveals with his work on Grayson, so i’m still hoping King can make sense of this. At first glance, Bane’s plan seems overwhelmingly hard to swallow, but hey maybe King’s CIA mind is working overtime here and everything connects. Will we get satisfactory spycraft narrative à la John le Carré in the end? Likely not, but maybe we can aim for Len Deighton as opposed to Tom Clancy.

  8. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, is everything all right?

    I think Action Comics 1000 part 1 must go after Man of Steel, since Bendis explained the return of the trunks in the story-arc as Clark giving the reborn costume to Lois. So I think AC1000 should be considered as some sort of flash-forward.

    Or, maybe, it can be considered to take place prior MoS but only if we ignore the “costume-dilemma”…

    • This is a mess, but yes, something ain’t quite right. Man of Steel is the debut of Superman’s return to his red trunks costume… It takes place right before summer, but must link to No Justice, which takes place months prior to that. I’ll shuffle things around. Might have to add in some error caveats. Thanks, Antonio.

  9. Austin Eaton says:

    For some reason, when I go to years 0-10 there appears to be no Year 10 and half of Year Nine is completely bolded.

  10. Austin Eaton says:

    I listened to the Tom King Word Balloon podcast and it seems he says the Trinity formed the Sanctuary years ago. Idk what years ago means, but I thought I’d point it out in case you didn’t notice.

  11. Austin Eaton says:

    Adventures of the Super-Sons takes place at some point in the past https://www.dccomics.com/comics/adventures-of-the-super-sons-2018/adventures-of-the-super-sons-1

    • Editor’s note says it takes place specifically in-between Super Sons #16 and Superman Special #1. (I have an advance copy.) I’m probably going to have to move some things around on the timeline. Adventures of Superman def happens in late May/early June and it seems as though Bendis’ Man of Steel actually happens in summertime.

  12. antonio says:

    Hey Collin, is everything all right?

    I’d like to ask you a couple questions… first… what do you think of Doomsday Clock? I mean… did we really deserve the torment of seeing the slow and constant destruction of the original one? I like Geoff Johns, but, well… enough is enough.

    Secondly, what about the Batman’s story in the Walmart exclusive comics? I know they said they are all stories “not necessarily” in continuity, but I think nothing indicates that story ISN’T canon… so, I wonder what’s your take on that…

    Thirdly, what about this Black Labels stories coming out? Are they supposed to be out of continuity or what? I’ve heard the 3 Jokers story will be under the BL title… so, is this story canon or not anymore? (which, in my opinion, would be great, because… come on… 3 jokers??? And the world’s greatest detective never realized that????)

    What a mess the comics industry these days…

    • I love Doomsday Clock. I think there’s a lot of depth that people aren’t seeing there. And Johns is deliberately calling into question the impressionable stranglehold 80s comics (like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns) have had in regard to superhero comics for decades now. Lest we forget, the original Watchmen was meant to be, in part, Alan Moore’s final statement on superhero comics—the one story that would deconstruct the genre into oblivion. In any case, it’s time for a paradigm shift, a REconstruction, if you will—and, while I’m not sure Johns will be able to pull it off in the end, here’s hoping. Reading Rikdad’s Comic Thoughts‘ analyses of Doomsday Clock have made the series all the more worthwhile for me. I highly recommend. I also wrote a thing about Doomsday Clock too, if you are interested.

      Are the Walmart comics already out? I’m behind in the Walmart news… haven’t read them.

      And Black Label is/was supposed to be non-canon, but Johns wanted to use Black Label (for whatever reason) for his Three Jokers story. They’ve made an exception for him. As I understand, it will be the only canon Black Label story—for now. In regard to Three Jokers, it’s the story I’m most nervous to read in the near future. It’s implications are vast and its impact could be huge, for better or worse. Three Jokers is also a big part of Doomsday Clock, right? Or shouldn’t it be? Strange to see another book dedicated to this, seemingly as a spin-off. But anyway, my nervousness comes from the fact that I can’t see how to justify or make sense of “three Jokers.” I assume Doc Manhattan is involved, so maybe there’s some doppelganger cosmic hoodoo going on. And what’s the deal with Jor-El? I haven’t forgotten that his resurrection is tied to Doomsday Clock for… reasons. Too many questions. Again, Johns has tasked himself with the BOLDEST and possibly GAME-CHANGING arcs in recent memory. Can he pull it off? If you would have told me this five years ago, I would have scoffed. Johns the man for the job? No way. But he’s been carrying the ball pretty well thus far. The end of Doomsday Clock and Three Jokers will likely define him forever more in the industry. Hope he doesn’t fumble at the goal line. For if he does, THEN the comics industry will truly be a dumpster fire of a mess.

      • Austin Eaton says:

        I thought for the longest time that the “Three Jokers” mystery would be solved in Doomsday Clock. My theory was that each time Dr. Manhattan reboots the DC U, the Joker is the only one that instead of being replaced with a new version, a new Joker is created (for some reason). Johns has said, “”It’s not about other dimensions, or other Earths. It’s a very grounded, emotional story,”. I guess I was wrong.

  13. Austin Eaton says:

    Tom King has said before that there’s a six month gap in-between Batman #49 and 50 and that Metal is in that gap. However, that is implausible because Metal can’t move from where it’s at and six months is a little big. Tom King restated this on Twitter while also saying Metal will play a ‘huge’ role in Batman going forward. Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see what that means and hopefully it can make sense on the timeline.
    https://twitter.com/tomkingtk/status/1031207057687556098?s=21

    • TK said this over a month ago on the Word Ballon Podcast, during which he also admitted that he was “Bad at collaborating with others” and unsure of when/if to use editorial notation. (It’s like kinda your job, TK, so maybe figure that shit out?) So, I’ve already factored TK’s comments into my chronology a bit ago. While there is a gap in-between 49 and 50 (which could actually work out to be six months and not be problematic), Metal can’t be moved. Putting it in-between 49 and 50 would also contradict many other stories—even the Wedding Prelude spin-offs! This is one of the reasons I don’t put too much stock in creator interviews. My site is about piecing together narrative based upon what information/story is literally given in the comics themselves. If you have to do interviews to explain timing or what is going on, then you are not a very good writer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, TK hasn’t shown me anything that I like (besides bits of Grayson—I haven’t read Omega Men, which people say is good). But he’s got 50 issues to go on his run. A lot could happen. There’s certainly a lot of set-up, so I’m pulling him to deliver a satisfactory ending. He’s got plenty of pages to do it.

  14. antonio says:

    Hi Collin,
    How about Kelly Jones’s Batman Kings Of Fear?
    I guess it belongs to the Modern Age… perhaps right in the middle of the Jones’s era?

    Thank you.

    • Already added to the site, Antonio! The “let old creators have a mini-series” series (Bane: Conquest, Deadman Vol. 5, Batman: Kings of Fear, etc) are all hard to place. I sometimes wonder if they are meant to be canon at all.

  15. antonio says:

    Thank you as always, Collin.

    Yeah, I know your feeling… as far as KOF, Peterson said it can go anywhere anytime in any Batman’s continuity. And I hate that! I hate when they say stuff like that!
    No way this story (and possibly ANY Batman’s story) can fit into any timeline…

    Another question: do you envision another reboot coming up shortly? I’m asking this because, well… we’re in year 16 and possibly 17 with Doomsday Clock… so Batman, Superman and the other heroes are getting in their mid 40’s… usually that is when they think it’s time for them to get “younger”… Maybe in two, three years…?

    I don’t know… I’ve been thinking about that for quite some time now…

    • “It can go anywhere!” i.e. “This story is so generic that it doesn’t matter!”

      I’m having trouble seeing a conclusion to Doomsday Clock that doesn’t involve some sort of reboot. The question is, will it be a legit reboot? Or will it be a soft-relaunch? Like, is this Zero Hour or Infinite Crisis level? Or is this original Crisis or Flashpoint again? Only time will tell.

      For me personally, having been reading comics in some capacity (on-and-off) for over 30 years now, I’m not interested in another reboot, unless it’s truly something radical/unique—and I can’t even imagine what that would look like. The New 52 was supposed to make the characters younger. The New 52’s five-year or six-year timeline was undeniably one of the most radical things DC has ever done in its entire history. But they botched it in so many ways that it undercut what could have/should have been something great for the industry. So… radical, unique? I can’t see them re-trying a “younger” timeline again, but that would be somethin. I could more easily see a shift away from continuity comics, maybe? De-emphasizing weekly comics in favor of more graphic novels, Black Label-stuff, etc… But who knows, really.

  16. antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here.
    Is everything all right?

    Well, now that Azzarello’s latest masterpiece “Batman Damned” is out, everyone is talking about “you know what of you know who”.

    Was that really necessary to show?
    And what will this mean for the character in the furure? I mean… everybody is making fun of it and making jokes about it…

    I don’t know… what’s your take on that?

  17. antonio says:

    Oh, and… just for the record… when I was saying “masterpiece” I was being sarcastic.
    You know my “love” for Azzarello’s work.
    He just wasted everything he touched. And the thing he did with Bruce Timm on the Killing Joke (The sex scene) was atrocious… we’ve already talked about that.

    • Haha, I liked the jokes Seth Meyers made on his late night show about it. Any mainstream press is good press? Nah, I kid, I kid. I really don’t have too much of an opinion on “the Batawang” or whatever people are calling it. I was genuinely shocked and shared the image with a few equally shocked people that got a kick out of it. Anyway, it looks like DC is censoring some (all?) future prints of Batman: Damned.

      I haven’t read the actual comic, only skimmed through it, but from what I understand it is getting rave reviews online. So, as a story, it seems to be okay? However, it is also my understanding that literally everyone (fans and reviewers) has complained that the nudity is completely gratuitous and in no way adds to the narrative. Azzarello is hit or miss for me, as you know. And I’ve never really been into his verse that he’s done with Bermejo—this is now the fourth book in their line, if I’m not mistaken. The sexuality added to Killing Joke film by Azz and Timm was maybe less gratuitous than Bat-peen as it served to deepen the connection between Bruce and Babs. However, as we’ve discussed, the added Killing Joke sex-stuff served more to deepen the grossness of Babs’ fridging.

      It is what it is. Batman’s dick. As my friend said: I’ve never thought about Batman’s penis before, but now I’ve seen it and I can’t unsee it. And now I’m thinking about it.

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