Rebirth Years Two to Five

Rebirth Era (Post-“Superman Reborn”) Chronology


YEAR TWO (2003)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. Batman and Alfred review municipal data that shows the number of murders in Gotham in the previous year. They will use this number as a key metric of their success, with the goal of brining this number down each year, moving forward. The number will indeed go down each year.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #1049 and the second feature to Detective Comics #1058. Bruce visits the boy that was recently orphaned by Joker at the orphanage for the final time. Joker’s orphaning of the young boy will continue to deeply impact Batman, and he’ll subconsciously think about this case for decades to come (although he’ll very soon forget about the family specifically, thinking of a more generic version of the victims instead). This displays a flaw in Batman’s superhero actions—he’ll help as best as he can, but then he’ll move on to the next item rather quickly whether or not the damage from the prior case has been fixed or healed.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. January. One of the Jokers orchestrates an arson fire in downtown Gotham, their monthly “birthday present” for Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Urban Legends #11 Part 1. Bruce and Zatanna Zatara join together to perform an occult ritual, preventing the dark forces (which they accidentally unleashed as teens) from being released into the world. Bruce wears strange medieval garb and has a short beard, so this is definitely one bizarre magickal adventure (with unspecified details).

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Urban Legends #12 Part 1. Immediately following our previous item, Bruce purchases a dilapidated mansion near the occult ritual site. He offers to restore it for the benefit of the local community, but no one is interested. Therefore, Bruce turns it into a safe house.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1048. Bruce is interviewed by Teen Life & News Magazine, which is a division of Gotham Magazine.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #1045. Someone hangs a sign above the Arkham Asylum reception desk that says “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!” Batman will often think about this sign, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #27 and Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 # 1 Part 3. Joker (likely the Comedian, but possibly the Clown) escapes from Arkham Asylum and hires four experts, including aerodynamics whiz Chuck Brown, to help him build the Jokermobile. Joker then kills three of the experts, leaving only Brown alive, before taking his new roadster for a spin. Batman’s Batmobile proves to be the superior vehicle, besting the short-lived Jokermobile, which sends Joker back behind bars. Batman keeps the Jokermobile as a trophy for the Batcave’s garage.

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #5. In a further attempt to distance his Bruce Wayne alter ego from that of Batman, Bruce begins to tell jokes while in social gatherings and at work at Wayne Enterprises. While Bruce knows his playboy schtick is an act, he actually does think he’s got some comedic flair. But he really doesn’t. Alfred sees this right off the bat and knows it means a lot to Bruce, so he begins the practice of paying off people at Wayne Enterprises to laugh at all of Bruce’s jokes. Alfred will pay people off for many years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Detective #4. Batman continues subterfuge in an effort to distance himself from Bruce Wayne as much as possible. Not only does Batman stage a fake rescue of Bruce, he doctors photos of Batman and Bruce together, leaking them to the press. While not noted on our timeline ahead, Batman will sometimes leak stories of Bruce being saved by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant Vol. 2 #3 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #4). Bruce meets and befriends the scummy billionaire businessman Hiram Bosch. While completely unsavory, Bruce will remain acquaintances with him in order to keep up his own socialite appearances, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1014. Promising scientist Dr. Victor Fries begins working at WayneTech Cryogenics Lab. Bruce meets Dr. Fries and his wife, ballet dancer Nora Fries. Bruce will quickly grow fond of the couple, checking-in on Victor and Nora from time to time over the course of the next couple months. Bruce will also make several donations to Nora’s ballet company.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11. Batman brutally thrashes an escaped Joker and his clown-henchmen. (It is unclear which Joker appears here.)

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22 and Action Comics Special #1 Part 2. Bruce meets Superman’s arch-rival Lex Luthor. Luthor, having been bested by Superman on many occasions already, has just recently switched from a gaudy costumed super-villain to a dapper and perspicacious (and crooked) business tycoon. Bruce and Luthor will be business rivals for decades to come. Presumably, Bruce also meets Luthor in his Batman role.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League: No Justice #1 and Man of Steel #3. Superman’s arch rival Brainiac shrinks down and bottles-up whole cities all across the universe, destroying the planets from which he collects. Batman teams-up with Superman to defeat Brainiac. Afterward, Superman rescues the Bottle City of Kandor, a shrunken Kryptonian City filled with shrunken Kryptonian people—the last survivors of the planet. Unable to bring them back to full-size, Superman keeps the Bottle City inside the Fortress of Solitude for safe-keeping.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #976 and Detective Comics #994-995. Dr. Leslie Thompkins discovers Batman’s secret identity and is not pleased. Despite her initial reservations, she will support Batman and remain one of his closest allies. After all, she’s acted as Bruce’s surrogate mom ever since his real parents died when he was a boy. Batman gives Leslie a special comm-link to contact him with in case of emergency. While we might not see her often on our timeline, Leslie will be a constant presence in Batman’s life, acting as a moral compass for the entire Bat-Family through all their trials and tribulations. She will keep Batman grounded, reminding him that there are many ways to help those in need (beyond punching bad guys).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25, Detective Comics #1000 Part 2, and Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 1. Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) debuts. Batman and some EMTs learn the hard way that the Mad Hatter’s hat emits an eardrum-shattering noise pulse once removed from his head for longer than forty-two seconds.

–REFERENCE: In Shadow War: Alpha #1. Batman defeats the debuting femme fatales Silken Spider, Tiger Moth, and Dragonfly, who are all secretly members of the League of Assassins.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979 and Batwoman: Rebirth #1. Batman bests the debuting Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley) and rescues permanently injured hostage Guy Mandrake, who will later become the super-villain Mr. Noxious. Note that, while a most of the public will quickly come to regard Poison Ivy as a mass murdering eco-terrorist (as mentioned in Batgirl Vol. 5 #35), she won’t actually kill anyone for many years to come (as referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant Vol. 2 #2 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #3). Following his recent first encounter with Poison Ivy, Batman begins stocking herbicide/defoliant in his utility belt.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #52—and referenced in Doomsday Clock #2Doomsday Clock #6, and Detective Comics #1014. Upon discovering that his wife Nora has a terminal illness, Dr. Victor Fries tries to save her by cryogenically freezing her at the WayneTech Cryogenics Lab. Victor’s actions effectively hijack the entire lab, putting the lives of hundreds of others in jeopardy. Bruce is forced to intervene, during which a terrible confrontation occurs and Victor is doused with chemicals, becoming Mr. Zero, an icy super-villain that must keep his body temperature at absolute zero at all times. Despite donning a gaudy super-suit, Mr. Zero is busted by Batman atop a speeding train. Batman keeps Mr. Zero’s costume as a trophy, putting it on display in the Batcave. Victor Fries will spend his entire criminal career obsessed with reviving his wife.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #52—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #52, Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 3, and Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 5. Dr. Victor Fries escapes from custody, makes himself a new costume, and changes his name to Mr. Freeze. Despite the new look and new attitude, the same result occurs—Batman busts Mr. Freeze. Afterward, the Caped Crusader keeps Mr. Freeze’s costume, putting it on display in the Batcave. In Batman Vol. 3 #52, which occurs in 2018, Bruce says that Mr. Freeze has had “dozens and dozens and dozens of plans and plots in Gotham. And all of them ended the same way.” With Batman besting him. This tells us that, while not specifically logged into our chronology, we must imagine Batman challenging an escaped Mr. Freeze quite frequently on the timeline, moving forward. The insinuation here is that Batman, in the future, will encounter Mr. Freeze more than his other rivals, aside from Joker, of course.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #54Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12, and Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 13. Batman defeats The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and his gun-toting dummy Scarface. Scarface has such an aversion to Batman that he can’t even say the letter B, although this tic only manifests sometimes. Afterward, Batman adds a plaque with a picture of Scarface on it to his commemorative trophy wall.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000Deluxe Edition Part 12 and Batman Vol. 3 #25-26. Batman attends the trial of the eccentric Oswald Cobblepot, who is part of Carmine Falcone’s retinue. (Cobblepot isn’t yet the super-villain “Penguin,” but he’s long been labeled with the derogatory nickname of “The Penguin.”) DA Harvey Dent does his best to convict, but Cobblepot’s army of expensive lawyers gets him off scot-free. This is the start of a long trend for Cobblepot.

–REFERENCE: In DC’s Crimes of Passion #1 Part 7. Batman helps Gotham’s best detective Slam Bradley take on Nightjar (Colleen Cavill), a burglar that has been challenging (and sleeping with) Bradley since the early 1980s. Nightjar escapes cleanly.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. February. The Jokers mail their monthly “birthday gift” to Batman, courtesy of Commissioner Gordon at police HQ. Batman and Gordon puzzle over the inconsequential item, an ashtray.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 5. Batman fights an unnamed super-villain that wears a strange hood. The fight is photographed by “Shutterbat” Dan Mora.

–REFERENCE: In Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #3. Bruce creates a special foundation to financially support one of his favorite Gotham institutions—the Willoughby Z Tchalgadjieff Antiquarian Library. The foundation will donate $250,000 per annum, moving forward. Already deeply familiar with the library from his many days and nights hanging out there as a child, Bruce will become further intimately acquainted with the place, visiting often, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant #2. Batman fights a group of baddies on a rooftop, getting beaten pretty badly by them. Later, Alfred patches-up Batman, who immediately works out in the gym.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant #2. Batman fights an escaped Clayface.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant #2. Batman fights an escaped Joker. It is unclear which Joker appears here.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 8—originally told in “THE LONG HALLOWEEN.” February 14. Valentine’s Day. Holiday strikes again, killing another Falcone Mob connection. Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent continue to investigate.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Three Jokers #1. The usually playful interaction between Batman and Catwoman turns violent, with Catwoman scratching Batman’s chest—an attack that will leave permanent scars.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1027 Part 10. Batman and Commissioner Gordon begin referring to really wild criminal cases, especially ones that cause the public to panic, as “Black Roosters.” The terminology stems from the Chicken Little fable.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #995. Bruce, as a gift to Dr. Leslie Thompkins, purchases land and funds the construction of the Thompkins Court Apartments, an eco-friendly affordable housing complex in Gotham. At a public Wayne Enterprises function, Bruce and Leslie ceremonially break ground on-site and construction begins.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #13. Alfred is supportive but still extremely wary of Batman’s vigilante mission. (This feeling will never really change.) Hoping to subconsciously give Bruce a glimpse at a better life sans the Bat, Alfred interjects into Bruce’s real estate dealings with WayneTech, suggesting that he purchase properties in beautiful and relaxing vacation locales. Bruce does so and even travels to some of the unspecified sites with Alfred, but he doesn’t take the hint. Alfred will act as a consultant on various WayneTech real estate purchases for the next fifteen years plus, although these purchases won’t be specifically listed on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 2021 Annual. Batman defeats the debuting Clayface II (Matt Hagen).

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 6 #1—originally told in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34. Batman defeats the debuting Cavalier (Hudson Pyle).

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #69. Bruce and Alfred celebrate Dick’s birthday, surprising him with a cake.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. The Lee Weeks-illustrated Bat-Cat love affair continues with a splash page. Batman and Catwoman come face-to-face yet again, playfully sexual as always.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Catwoman poses sexily as Batman approaches her, casting a looming shadow across her figure. This splash, drawn by Ben Templeton and Keiren Smith, is done in a very indie style that may or may not be representative of any actual costume that Catwoman wears in-continuity. In fact, it looks quite like an old DC Animated Universe version of Selina’s black feline costume. However, aside from the color and mouth, it doesn’t look too dissimilar from what she’d be wearing at this point on our timeline (the dun feline outfit), so I’ve placed it here.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25. Batman busts Deadshot (Floyd Lawton).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25 and Detective Comics #969 Part 2. Batman defeats the hulking semi-zombie Solomon Grundy, who is immortal and mostly speaks in nursery rhymes. Over a hundred years ago, Grundy was once notorious Gotham criminal Cyrus Gold.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1. Deathstroke fights Batman and Robin, luring them into an ambush atop the roof of the GCPD HQ building.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11, Detective Comics #1027 Part 1, Man-Bat Vol. 4 #1, and Man-Bat Vol. 4 #4—and referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #32, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #35, Doomsday Clock #2-3, and Detective Comics #1001. Originally told in Detective Comics #400-401. Batman meets super-science husband-and-wife duo Dr. Kirk Langstrom and Dr. Francine Langstrom. Kirk ingests experimental Man-Bat Serum, which mutates him into the human flesh-eating “Man-Bat.” Batman not only deals with the debuting Blackout Gang (Jarret, Joey, Louis, Mick, and one unnamed member), but he also simultaneously takes-down the raging Man-Bat to save Francine’s life. The Dark Knight then restores Kirk to human form with an anti-serum. Batman will keep this antiserum in his utility belt at all times, moving forward. Able to somehow avoid a jail sentence and thankful to Batman, Langstrom—along with his wife—becomes an ally to him. Unfortunately, moving forward, Kirk will be a very unstable and troublesome ally, easily manipulated and prone to control by malevolent forces. He will be in and out of Arkham Asylum as well. Despite this, Batman will constantly pull strings to keep Kirk out of prison, hoping that his benevolence as a scientist will outweigh his monstrous nature. No matter the true relationship between Batman and the Langstroms, the public will come to regard Man-Bat as a menace and one of Batman’s biggest rivals. Extrapolating further upon the “true relationship” between the Langstroms and Batman, there exists a dark secret hidden from the Caped Crusader. The Langstroms secretly work for the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs (DMA), which has recruited and funded Kirk in an effort to create man-bat metahuman soldiers. As revealed in Doomsday Clock #9, the Department of Metahuman Affairs is secretly run by Professor Martin Stein.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #22, Batman Vol. 3 #26, and Batman Vol. 3 #30-32. Batman busts Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Batman Vol. 3 #32 mentions that Tweedledee eats human flesh. This is likely an error and the editorial text was supposed to be linked to Man-Bat or Killer Croc. But, hey, it’s there with Tweedledee, so what are you gonna do? My personal headcanon will forever have Tweedledee as a cannibal now.[1]

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #56. Dr. Kirk Langstrom helps Batman by whipping-up a strong knock-out serum, which the Dark Knight uses to defeat Solomon Grundy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman busts the scarified knife-wielding serial killer Victor Zsasz. Zsasz’s trademark is cutting a tally mark into his own flesh whenever he kills someone.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #47. Batman and Robin patrol.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #11 (Batman: Universe #5). Batman and Robin ride in the Batcopter. Robin complains that there are no cup holders. While we won’t see it on our timeline in the future, several other heroes will ride in the Batcopter and they will all mention the lack of cup holders.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36, and Batman Vol. 3 #54. Dr. Paul Dekker debuts as Crazy Quilt, a gaudy super-villain, who has deep knowledge of the occult and bizarre chemical science. Crazy Quilt tries to hypnotize Batman and Robin using the color spectrum, but the heroes put him behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman defeats Cluemaster (Arthur Brown), but gives him a little more leeway than other criminals when he learns that he is raising a young daughter, Stephanie Brown.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26, Doomsday Clock #2, and Detective Comics #988. Batman bests the debuting pyromaniac Firefly (Garfield Lynns), after which he keeps his flamethrower gear as a trophy for the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #42. Having just fought Firefly for the first time, Batman builds a flame-retardant goop sprayer backpack.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #69. Batman and Robin spar in a boxing ring in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 8—originally told in “THE LONG HALLOWEEN.” March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. Holiday strikes again, killing another Falcone Mob connection. Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent continue to investigate.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #68. Bruce and Dick sit down for an Alfred-cooked meal at Wayne Manor, but are interrupted by the Bat-signal shining brightly in the night sky. They immediately depart to answer the call. Batman and Robin patrol together, completing an unknown case.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2. Batman and Robin patrol together.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #1 Part 1
Batman goes on patrol, which ultimately ends in stitches from doctor Alfred. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) makes her re-debut at a mall outside of San Diego. Diana is one of the race of semi-immortal warrior women known as Amazons, who are linked to the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods. Diana’s father is none other than Zeus himself. (Note, thanks to Doomsday Clock retcons, Diana actually debuted in the early 1940s as a founding member of the Justice Society of America! So, this is her big return after decades away from the world of man. Writer Greg Rucka doesn’t expressly write it that way, so you unfortunately have to squint your eyes while reading to make this retcon stick its landing. Batman and Superman would likely recognize Diana as a famous hero of yesteryear, although they still might be confused about who she is, thinking she’s a copycat or something.) With the help of her friends Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, the powerful Amazonian foils a terror plot by The Sear Group (aka The Ares Group, human soldiers loyal to the Greco-Roman God of War, Ares). As referenced in Justice League Incarnate #5, Ares is also connected to the primordial evil known as The Great Darkness aka The Hand of the Great Darkness, who is one of the original super-celestial beings part of a race called Great Hands. We’ll hear more about them a bit later. (Note that Diana’s debut versus the Sear Group happens in Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #10—”Wonder Woman: Year One.”) When video of Diana hits the mainstream media, Lois, Clark, and photographer pal Jimmy Olsen hightail it to California. As Batman returns home from the next day’s patrol, once again requiring stitches, Alfred directs his attention to the big Diana news on TV. Superman learns that Diana is testing her powers on behalf of the US Army in a Nevada desert, so he goes there. Batman, having acquired the same intel, goes there as well. Wonder Woman gets the jump on the boys, sneaking up on them from behind. The first meeting of DC’s Big Three occurs! Diana offers effusive greetings and tells the male heroes to take ahold of her magick lasso, which they do. Forced to tell their true names, Batman says his is “Batman,” showing that he identifies with that name just as much (if not more) than “Bruce Wayne.” Seeing into Diana’s soul via the lasso, the boys learn that she is pure of heart and has good intentions. Diana will be praised by international press a couple days later, after she defeats Ares in battle—as seen in the conclusion of “Wonder Woman: Year One” (Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #14).

–FLASHBACK: From Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #5—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #68. In Gotham, a “Toy War” erupts between Toyman (Winslow Schott) and the Ventriloquist. Batman and Superman team-up to tackle the situation. A few days in, Superman introduces Batman to Jimmy Olsen. Batman is disgusted that Superman would bring a civilian, and one carrying a camera no less. Batman knocks Jimmy’s camera out of his hands and swings away to deal with the villains by himself. Later, Batman learns how close Superman and Jimmy really are, including the fact that Jimmy has a special signal watch that he can use to call the Man of Steel for help at any time.

–NOTE: Referenced in Action Comics #978, Super Sons #5, and Superman Vol. 5 #25. Starting now, Superman will randomly alternate between his regular red trunks costume and a brand new Mandarin/Nehru collar costume (based on his look from the New 52).

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #35, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #40, and Justice League Vol. 4 #51—and referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #42, Batman Vol. 3 #26, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Superman Vol. 4 #37, Justice League Vol. 3 #24, Justice League Vol. 3 #38, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29, Wonder Twins #1, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #25, The Green Lantern #7, Batman Giant #12 (Batman: Universe #5), Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Part 2, and Superman Vol. 5 #25-26. Originally told in Justice League Vol. 2 #1-6 (“JUSTICE LEAGUE” aka “JUSTICE LEAGUE: ORIGIN”). The world learns of the existence of the New Gods when the evil New God Darkseid and his army of Parademons invade from the extradimensional planet Apokolips.[2] In response, the Justice League aka Justice League of America forms. Its initial lineup features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and a thirteen-year-old Cyborg (Silas Stone’s son, Victor Stone).[3] After defeating Darkseid and his army, Batman studies the physiology of a dead Parademon. He also learns about the New Gods’ sentient computers/wormhole-opening devices known as Mother Boxes. Batman keeps a Mother Box for study. With the aid of metahuman-powered construction, the JL quickly builds two separate HQs, one public-facing and one hidden—the Hall of Justice in Washington DC and the Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, RI, respectively. At the Hall of Justice, the JL installs a semi-sentient networked super-computer, affectionately named Supercomputer. Presumably, this network connects to the Secret Sanctuary too. (In Wonder Twins #1, which takes place in 2018, Superman mentions that the Hall of Justice was built “before cellphones.” There were definitely cellphones in 2003, but definitely no touch-screen smartphones. Thus, Superman’s comment actually makes sense. The addition of the Hall of Justice in conjunction with the Secret Sanctuary is unique to the Rebirth Era. In previous comic book continuities, the Hall of Justice wasn’t built until much later. However, having it implemented here, early on our timeline, coincides with the way things were in the old Super Friends TV show from the 1970s. Suffice to say, the Justice League will utilize the private Sanctuary much more often than the Hall of Justice.) Cyborg, being too young to continue as a member, departs and is immediately replaced by the Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz). As such, Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are technically both founding JL members. Batman learns about the Green Lantern Corps, a universal police force created by the Maltusian immortals known as The Guardians of the Universe, who live on the planet Oa. Hal is but one of many soldiers in this army, each of whom wears their own sentient power ring. Hal provides Batman and the rest of the Justice League with a bunch of signal devices that can be used to contact the Green Lantern Corps. Batman, despite being interested enough to memorize the “Green Lantern Oath,” does not get along with Hal. Batman and Hal are like oil and water, and they’ll remain that way for years to come. The JL also learns about Martian history and J’onn’s psychic and telepathic abilities. They also learn about Themyscira (aka Paradise Island), home of the Amazons, which is led by Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta. Furthermore, Aquaman introduces his partner Mera to the other heroes. While Aquaman and Mera act as husband and wife, they technically won’t officially marry until years from now. Presumably, Batman and the other heroes learn all about the undersea kingdom of Atlantis as well. Note that, while Aquaman is an essential part of the JL, he won’t trust surface dwellers for years to come. Also note that the Secret Sanctuary will only be a secret to villains and civilians. As referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, the JL will hold meetings with several other superhero teams in the Sanctuary over the course of the next few years. Who these other teams are is beyond me, but just imagine these gatherings occurring on our timeline below. Also note that, from this point forward, all Justice Leaguers will trust their secret IDs with all other members (with some exceptions, of course). It is a serious honor to be on the JL. To be on this team means to be 100% trustworthy.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Crisis #0—originally told in Justice League of America #9. The brand new Justice League encounters and defeats seven vile alien invaders known as the Appelaxians (also spelled “Appellaxians”). Despite having the power to turn people into wood, crystals, or various other organic material, the Appelaxians are defeated by the heroes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #33, Justice League Vol. 3 #34, Super Sons #9, Flash Vol. 5 #46, Superman Vol. 5 #5, Event Leviathan #1, Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #12, and Action Comics #1016. Each Justice Leaguer is given their own satellite-linked communicator, so they can be reached in case of emergency at all times. The JL communicator can also act as a universal positioning system tracer, which can also identify anyone in close proximity to the hero being tracked (provided their scanned bio ID is registered in the JL database). Thus, in conjunction with the creation of the JL communicators, the JL now begins logging detailed information about all its meetings and cases, building a database of dossiers and biometric information on the various people—friends and foes—they have encountered. Specifically, Batman and Superman will build their own energy signature catalogue as well. The JL also begins keeping an updated list of powerful magick users and begins categorizing all metahumans in terms of their power levels—with the top tier being “Alpha Level.” This is the start of a reoccurring event not visibly listed on our timeline, in which the JL will add to its database archives constantly. Relatedly, the JL sets up several communications servers at its HQ. Over time, access numbers will be distributed among the trusted superhero community.

–REFERENCE: In DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1 Part 4. Each Justice Leaguer gets their own encrypted JL e-mail address. Batman also begins what will be a tiresome chore for decades to come—going through his e-mails and reviewing financial budgets related to team expenditures.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Flash Vol. 5 #64. Flash finds an instant connection with his Justice League teammate Batman; they can talk for hours about evidence and CSI stuff, something in which the other team members are less versed or interested. There has already been great public debate about who is faster, Flash or Superman, but after working with Flash in the JL crime lab, Batman instantly is more concerned with who is a better detective—himself or Flash. Batman will always admire Flash’s forensic science skills and often ponder this question.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #53, Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #5 Part 3, and Robin Vol. 3 #9—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25, Detective Comics #987, Detective Comics #1000 Part 8, and The Batman Who Laughs #1. Originally told in “THE LONG HALLOWEEN.” April 1. April Fool’s Day.[4] Harvey Dent is horribly scarred on half of his face by gangster Sal Maroni (patriarch of the Maroni Family and head of the linked Maroni Mob organization), who throws acid at him in the courtroom. Batman is on-hand at the hospital when a distraught Gilda sees her badly injured husband for the first time. But the injuries are more than skin deep as Dent becomes the murderous super-villain Two-Face. Commissioner Gordon meets with Batman, telling him that he’s found evidence that proves Harvey was the Holiday Killer. (As referenced in Detective Comics #1000 Part 8, Holiday has gone on an anti-Falcone Mob killing spree for the past six months.) However, Carmine Falcone’s resurgent son Alberto Falcone publicly claims to be Holiday, killing Sal Maroni in the process. Alberto goes to Arkham Asylum, but Two-Face kills him there. Batman then challenges his old friend, who begins using a signature move of flipping his lucky coin to determine his actions. Two-Face slices-up Batman, leaving him a permanent scar on his chest. Eventually, the Caped Crusader brings Two-Face to justice. Two-Face cryptically tells Batman and Gordon that Alberto may have killed Maroni, but his claim to be Holiday was false. Two-Face tells his former pals that the Holiday murders were carried out by both he and his wife Gilda. Of course, there’s not enough evidence to prove this and the deceased Alberto has already taken the rap. Two-Face goes to Arkham Asylum and Gilda leaves the country. (Gilda will return to Gotham many years later as a murderous vigilante, as seen in Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #5 Part 3.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman puts Two-Face’s custom two-sided suit on a mannequin display in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #66 and Batman Vol. 3 #50. An escaped Two-Face meets-up with Catwoman (who is wearing a new pinkish-purple whiskers-and-tail costume), promising her a ton of cash and a diamond from the museum if she helps him set up Batman for an ambush. Of course, Catwoman agrees but immediately tells Batman the score. After donning extra armor, Batman leaps into the “trap.” With Catwoman’s help, the Dark Knight takes down Two-Face and his men. After a kiss on Batman’s lips, Catwoman runs off with Two-Face’s cash and the diamond. When Batman catches her, they kiss passionately in the pouring rain. Soon, the chase continues. Batman playfully spars with Catwoman, who turns the tables on and sneaks-up behind the Dark Knight. She lassos his neck with her whip before pouncing down on top of the smiling Dark Knight. Batman and Catwoman remove each other’s clothes as they passionately kiss yet again. Later, Catwoman donates Two-Face’s payoff to charity. Note that the main flashback for this item comes from the hallucinatory Batman Vol. 3 #66. I’ve paired it with similar pin-up splash images (three from Batman Vol. 3 #50 to be exact), all of which seem to coincide with and complete this narrative. The splash pin-ups are by Frank Miller and Alex Sinclair, Tim Sale and José Villarrubia, and Paul Pope and José Villarrubia (in that order).

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #5Superman Vol. 4 #37, Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #5, Justice League Vol. 4 #38, and Superman: Red and Blue #3 Part 1. Batman and Superman finally find a mutual respect for each other. Realizing that have a lot in common, Bruce and Clark become best of friends. Bruce gets to know all about Clark’s life as a respected journalist (and he’ll follow Clark’s career very closely for decades to come). Bruce also comes to place Clark’s Midwestern values on a pedestal. Batman begins sharing most of his case-files and crime-reports with Superman. Likewise, Superman agrees to do the same. Both the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel will continue to share information at regular intervals, moving forward. Over time, their friendship will grow to be one of the strongest bonds in the DCU. With burgeoning trust developing between them, the two heroes, while having contrasting personality types (Batman is ostensibly more worrisome, for example), will only grow closer, moving forward. However, despite the camaraderie and mutual respect they share for one another, Batman and Superman will still butt heads and fight each other quite often. Most of these fights will happen invisibly, scattered throughout our timeline below. Whenever they fight, Batman will wonder what it would feel like if Superman wasn’t pulling his punches.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #61. Batman and Superman set up an emergency communication frequency just for the two of them to use, naming it the “World’s Finest Frequency.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #7. Batman tells his “criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot” mantra to the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. The Justice League meets and creates the official JL Bylaws, a set of rules by which each JLer must live by in order to remain on the team. One of the many bylaws bans the incarceration of dangerous criminals without the JL’s full approval first. Similarly, one of the Bylaws states the the JL must vote on everything before taking any action.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3 and Titans Vol. 3 #19. Despite having recently helped form the Justice League, Batman is plagued with thoughts of the danger that metahumans—good or bad—could potentially pose to the world. The Dark Knight does his best to suppress his concerns. Always the pre-planner, though, Batman can’t help but think of ways to both neutralize and utilize his metahuman friends’ powers to benefit his own personal war on crime. Batman won’t take any direct anti-metahuman action or make any anti-metahuman contingency plans at this juncture, but, unable to really shake his paranoia, he will in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #108. Batman begins training in defense techniques against psychic manipulation and other telepathic/mental invasion. Presumably, Martian Manhunter is and will be one of his primary teachers.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1003Dial H for Hero #1, and Dial H for Hero #4. Thirteen-year-old Snapper Carr briefly becomes the Justice League’s official sidekick/mascot. Batman doesn’t like Snapper.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 5 #26. The Justice League installs the same high-tech security measures around various important locations, including The Daily Planet Building. Specifically for The Daily Planet Building, Superman can teleport any potential threat into the Phantom Zone, should the threat come into close proximity of the premises. (The Phantom Zone is an extradimensional tesseract hyperspace that is home to a litany of Krypton’s worst criminals, who were ironically spared their lives when Krypton exploded.)

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Dark Crisis #0—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #28. The Justice League defeats Starro the Conqueror.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League: No Justice #4—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #29. The Justice League encounters and defeats Xotar the Weapons Master. Afterward, they keep his “Eye of Xotar” as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Superman Vol. 4 #20, Super Sons #5, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #24—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #30. The Justice League defeats the creation of Professor Anthony Ivo, the evil android known as Amazo.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976. The Justice League defeats the debuting Despero.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #1. The Justice League defeats Wonder Woman’s former best friend and now metahuman rival, The Cheetah (Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva).

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 3 #9—and referenced in Monkey Prince #4. Originally told in Detective Comics #58. Oswald Cobblepot, clearly wanting to fit in and influenced by the costumed villains that surround him, has decided to embrace his opprobrious nickname and become the super-villain known as Penguin, showing a penchant for aquatic fowl-themed villainy. Batman and Robin match wits with Penguin at the Stahl Auction House.

–REFERENCE: In Robins #2—originally from the 1976 Super Friends comic series. Batman and Robin take on Joker (the Clown), the Cheetah, Penguin, and Poison Ivy. The super-villains bring along their respective new sidekicks Giggles and Guffaw, Kitten, Chick, and Honeysuckle—collectively known as the Junior Supercriminals. The Dynamic Duo defeat the baddies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #90. Spring. Joker takes over a TV studio, killing multiple people in the process. Presumably, Batman busts him. It is unclear which Joker appears here.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12. The Justice League purchases properties in major cities all over the world to use as emergency safe houses. In Gotham, for example, the JL sets-up at least one brownstone apartment building as a safe house.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #64. Batman realizes that Flash, whenever he is near, gives off static electricity that is so strong it feels like it is tugging on his cape. Batman tells Flash about this.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #10 Part 2Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2, Wonder Twins #1, Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 #9, and Flash 2021 Annual #1. Batman and Alfred already use a tiered emergency level priority code system, with “Alpha-One” being the top tier. The Justice League now initiates a tiered system as well, but one that uses a mix of greek letters, numbered order, and colors. “Class-One,” “Alpha,” “Omega,” and “Code Red” are designated the highest priority JL alerts. “Code Black” is used for any alien-related emergencies.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #20Man-Bat Vol. 4 #1, and Batman: The Detective #2. Since he’s already set up multiple safe houses with the Justice League, Batman sets up secret safe houses/stash houses/remote facilities for himself as well. Batman sets them up not only in Gotham, but also in different cities all over the globe. In the chance that he ever is outside of Gotham, the Dark Knight will be ready for solo action. Batman will maintain these remote bases, keeping periodic tabs on all of them while traveling abroad, moving forward. He will also keep them stocked with vehicles.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #90. Batman and Robin chase after Catwoman, who is now sporting a purple costume with black knee-high boots and black elbow-length gloves.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #25-26. Late April to early May. Writer Tom King gives us an April date in the narrative, but paradoxically tells us that Batman is now just “coming off his first year” in costume. Bruce became Batman in January of last year, so it’s really been 13-plus months since he began playing costumed vigilante. A bit of a nitpick, but worth mentioning. King also tells us that Riddler has been imprisoned for almost a year, which is true. Onto our synopsis. When Joker (unclear which Joker, but likely the Criminal) escapes from jail and kills fourteen people, Batman puts police alerts on locations all over Gotham but is unable to find the Clown Prince of Crime. By the time Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD locate Joker at a comedy club, the morning sun has risen over Gotham. Batman, having patrolled all night long, has gone home to sleep. While the Dark Knight slumbers, Joker kills a dozen more and then blows up the place, calmly walking away while shooting cops left-and-right. Meanwhile, Riddler escapes from Arkham, intrigued by Joker’s antics. After some more brutal killings, Joker ascends to the penthouse of a skyscraper. There, Riddler confronts him and gets shot in the stomach for his trouble. Riddler survives, but the bullet in his belly becomes his casus belli. Batman tries to chase after Joker, but both Joker and the bleeding Riddler escape. While Joker murders a family in the suburbs, Riddler gets life-saving surgery from underground doctor Jamie Knowles (the doctor that fixes-up Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie!), which leaves him with a scar that he turns into a question mark on his chest. After brutally murdering Knowles, Batman and Commissioner Gordon examine the crime scene. Upon hearing Riddler is alive, Joker calls Carmine Falcone and tells him to execute Riddler. Carmine’s pusillanimity causes him to immediately send his men after Riddler, who goes to Poison Ivy for help. When Carmine’s men strike in the park, Poison Ivy wraps them up with vines. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43, Riddler executes the men tangled in the vines and then tells Ivy that her vines strangled them to death. Not the killing type, Ivy is traumatized by what she thinks she has done. Batman arrives to examine the dead men, immediately seeing that they’ve been shot to death.) Batman also learns from Gordon that one of the deceased was an undercover cop. Joker shows his frustration by murdering Carmine’s mother and Carmine’s top men and then shooting Carmine in the arm. Joker then usurps Carmine’s assistant/right hand man, Oswald Cobblepot, making him his own assistant instead. Not long after, both Riddler and Joker recruit super-villains into their respective folds. Riddler’s team includes Two-Face, Scarecrow, Clayface, Firefly, Victor Zsasz, Killer Croc, and Deathstroke. Joker’s team includes Oswald Cobblepot, Solomon Grundy, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Cluemaster, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Mr. Freeze, and the Ventriloquist (with Scarface). These two factions begin warring with each other for weeks, which leads to dozens of innocent deaths. The mainstream media outlets begin to call this carnage “The War of Jokes and Riddles.”

–Batman Vol. 3 #27
Early May—(Batman Vol. 3 #32 specifically tells us that Riddler kills Chuck Brown’s son on May 6). Batman shakes down Chuck Brown, asking him to get Joker’s phone number in an effort to find out his location to end “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” Brown reaches out to Deadshot, who gives him a number, but it winds up being untraceable. Batman then orders Brown to set up a one-on-one meeting with Joker (which will be a staging ground for an ambush). Brown calls Joker and sets up a face-to-face, but Riddler finds out and has Clayface kidnap Brown to learn details of the meeting. As revealed in Batman Vol. 3 #32, it is at this time that Riddler begins a campaign of manipulating Brown as part of a longer con. Batman shakes down Brown yet again and learns that Joker and Riddler are both planning to be at the meeting. A day later, Batman gets in the middle of a battle-royale including Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Riddler, Joker, and Brown. As punishment, Joker straps an explosive device to Brown’s body and tells him his son Charlie will die unless he suicide bombs Batman at their next meeting. Batman puts Charlie into police protection, after which Brown realizes the bomb on his chest is fake anyway. Despite being under protection, Riddler is able to poison young Charlie to death. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #32, Batman and Chuck are both by poor Charlie’s side at the time of his passing. Batman tells Brown he will avenge his son’s death. A distraught Brown becomes the gaudy Kite Man (also spelled “Kite-Man”), returning to offer his services to Joker.

–FLASHBACK: From Strange Love Adventures #1 Part 6. May—Mother’s Day. Batman and Robin get ready to go on patrol together. Before departing, a cheeky Robin gives Alfred a hand-drawn Mother’s Day card.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #28-29 and Batman Vol. 3 #85—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24. May to June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Joker’s army taking over the Upper West Side and Riddler’s army taking over the Upper East Side, turning the park into a war-zone and causing dozens of innocent lives to be lost. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are helpless and watch the city fall apart for a week or so. Gordon meets with both villain armies, asking what they want. Both sides say they want Batman. Gordon then reports back to Batman, telling him that he has asked the US Government for support from the military. When Kite Man is forcibly ejected through a skyscraper window, Batman saves his life. The Dark Knight then confronts Catwoman, who is robbing a Maroni family safe. In a sexy reprieve from the war, the Cat and the Bat get it on. Later, Deadshot and Deathstroke begin a solo war against each other. Batman apprehends them both, but not for five bloody days, which results in 62 deaths. An angry Batman pummels Deadshot so mercilessly that he nearly dies in the hospital. Afterward, Gordon reports to Batman, telling him that two Army Special Forces (Green Beret) units were completely wiped-out by Joker and Riddler. After more bodies pile up, Bruce takes a page out of his mom’s playbook, calling a truce and arranging a meeting at Wayne Manor, during which both sides will share in a nine course French dinner and negotiate an end to the conflict. As Gotham’s worst villains hover around while Alfred waits the table, Bruce tells Joker and Riddler to convince him which side should get to kill Batman. Bruce explains that whoever makes the best case gets one billion dollars, which should be sufficient enough to give the winner the advantage to win the war, thus ending the carnage. After they state their cases, the villains and their crews leave as Bruce says he will send his answer and the prize money later via Commissioner Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #30 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Batman joining forces with Riddler’s army in exchange for Riddler ordering his men not to kill any more people. (We are never told if Bruce declared Riddler the billion dollar winner, but somehow Batman has thrown-in with his team.) Batman then meets with Riddler, who convinces him to capture Kite Man last. (Riddler needs Kite Man on the playing field as part of his longer plan to claim victory over Joker.)

–Batman Vol. 3 #30
June. Wearing a Riddler arm band, Batman fights Kite Man, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and Penguin’s penguin commandos—straight out of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns film. The Caped Crusader punches-out Kite Man (but leaves him free as per Riddler’s order) before apprehending the Tweeds. Batman then neutralizes the Ventriloquist by stealing away Scarface. Next, the Dark Knight shoots Man-Bat out of the sky with Batplane missiles. Meanwhile, Scarecrow takes out Cluemaster. After that, Batman easily takes down Mr. Freeze and then Mad Hatter. Only Kite Man, eyewitness to each of these defeats, remains standing on Joker’s side. (The whereabouts of Penguin and Solomon Grundy are unknown.) Before long, Batman finally brings in Kite Man, who is interrogated by both Riddler and Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #31-32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues. Kite Man secretly becomes Batman’s man on the inside, delivering the location of Joker’s hideout atop the skyscraper penthouse where the war started. Batman recruits Catwoman to help him. She spies on Joker, who nearly kills her. Batman then tricks Riddler into soliciting Kite Man’s help to break into Joker’s penthouse. Batman instructs Kite Man to build and offer special kite-gliders for Riddler’s army, only they don’t know that they are rigged with jet-propelled inverse parachutes. (Kite Man installs one on Firefly’s flight suit.) After Riddler and his crew crash in and easily take down Joker, Kite Man activates his parachutes and all of Riddler’s men go flying up into the sky where they are detained on the Bat-Blimp, which is piloted by Alfred. Riddler then angrily punches-out Kite Man and faces-off with Batman and Joker. Batman, the superior fighter, takes down both men. Furious at the Riddler for the loss of life his war has caused, and especially for killing Kite Man’s son so sadistically, Batman decides that Riddler must face ultimate justice. The Dark Knight grabs a knife and attempts to stab Riddler, but Joker blocks the would-be fatal thrust with his hand, saving Riddler’s life. Tickled by the idea of the hero losing his cool and playing executioner, Joker laughs. Joker, Riddler, and Kite Man all go to Arkham. The war is over.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25-26 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. Immediately following the “War of Jokes and Riddles,” Batman is shaken to the core. He is not only extremely troubled by the massive collateral damage caused by the war, but also ashamed by his own attempted murder of Riddler. Batman is also deeply disturbed at the fact that Joker stopped him, feeling as though, in a sense, the Clown Prince of Crime will now and forever more have an emotional stranglehold over him. Batman, hoping to move on, reaffirms his vow to never use lethal force. Despite this reaffirmation, the Caped Crusader will be haunted by his own actions for the rest of his crime-fighting career. Batman then retraces the steps of all parties involved in the war, trying to make sense of it all. Batman studies victim dossiers, watches recordings, interviews witnesses, and collects evidence. He also visits and interrogates each imprisoned villain that took part in the conflict.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #53—and referenced in Doomsday Clock #2, Batman Vol. 3 #49, Batman Vol. 3 #54, Batman Giant #6 (Batman: Universe #2), and Batman: Three Jokers #1. Penguin matches wits with Batman, adding signature trick umbrellas to his eccentric bird-villain gimmick. (Penguin has always had a thing for umbrellas, but this is the first time he’s ever gimmicked one as a weapon.) After their confrontation, during which Batman punches-out Penguin, Batman collects several of Penguin’s umbrellas, Penguin’s top hat, and  a stuffed emperor penguin wearing a top hat. He puts them all on display as trophies in the Batcave, adding a mannequin display, complete with a tuxedo. Following this affair, Batman puts an umbrella plaque onto his commemorative trophy wall as well. Penguin avoids jail time—he’ll be an expert at making his actions seem licit throughout his entire criminal career.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958 and Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10. Due to existing in the same wealthy socialite circles, Bruce (as Bruce Wayne) officially meets the detestable Penguin. Their paths will cross many times over the course of the next decade, but Penguin will have no idea that Bruce and Batman are one and the same.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2. Batman duels and escaped Riddler atop a giant typewriter. This JH Williams scene is meant to be a generic nod to the Golden Age, specifically paying tribute to Dick Sprang (although its curiously drawn in the style of Paul Pope). However, while there were indeed a few giant typewriters in Batman’s past, the only time Riddler utilized a giant typewriter was in the Modern Age’s Run Riddler Run #3 and the Justice League Action cartoon. In any case, we can take this item as a Golden Age-inspired unique flashback.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #7). Batman discovers the location of Killer Moth’s secret lair and starts a fire to “lure the moth to the flame.” They battle in the woods, but Killer Moth unleashes three trained grizzly bears upon the Dark Knight, allowing room for his escape. Killer Moth sets up a swanky new hideout.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 #4 (Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 Print Edition #2). While chasing after an escaped Riddler, Robin solves the Riddler’s clue-riddle, which points the Dynamic Duo in his direction. Robin loves solving Riddler’s riddles, and he always will.

–REFERENCE: In Strange Love Adventures #1 Part 8. Batman collates all of Riddler’s riddles, clues, gimmicks, and tricks, logging them into the Bat-Computer to search for patterns. Moving forward, Batman will continue to add all new Riddler data into this program.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2. Batman fights an escaped Scarecrow.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2. Batman fights Penguin.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10-12 and Super Sons #5. Worried about Bruce’s well-being, Alfred is still reluctant about his quest to fight crime. In spite of this solicitude, Alfred throws his full support and devotion to his surrogate kin, someone he raised as a boy and truly loves as a father loves a son. Alfred is already aware of Bruce’s intensity and commitment to the cause, a laser focus that occupies nearly every second of both their waking lives. Often, Alfred will be the only confidant in Batman’s world, guiding him through turbulent times and providing a voice of reason. Alfred’s scaffolding will give Batman both encouragement but also help him show necessary restraint when engaging in generally reckless endeavors. Despite this, Batman will often frustratingly ignore Alfred’s advice.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1. Bruce begins the habit of lifting free-weights while ruminating (or when bored) in the Batcave. He will do this for the rest of his life. I can think of a lot worse habits to have.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #10—originally told in Batman #14. Batman and Robin investigate the mysterious shooting death of super-sleuth Dana Drye, proving that her murder was actually a suicide. Afterward, Batman and Robin put Drye’s diary in their Hall of Trophies.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. Late August. As they do every month, the Jokers send Batman a “birthday gift.” This time, they mail a package to GCPD HQ, addressed to the Dark Knight. Batman dons his special Bomb-Handling Suit and gingerly deals with the package.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman continues the annual tradition of visiting both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried on the anniversary of their murders.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32. Batman begins going undercover as mobster “Matches Malone.” Bear in mind, Matches Malone was an actual smalltime gangster, who has recently died. As such, there’s probably a surfeit of undercover work done by Batman to bolster the underworld reputation of “Matches.” We will simply have to imagine this cachet-building randomly throughout the timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. October 7—Bruce’s birthday. (Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 #10 aka Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 2 Print Edition #5 specifically says that Batman’s birthday is October 7.) Batman builds an immersive computer simulation program (“Program 2.1”) and plugs himself into the system. The sim is designed to place him in a virtual world and then challenge him by pushing him to his most extreme limits. Batman decides he will run Program 2.1 on himself on every birthday, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #79. Catwoman steals the Coner Diamond from the Gotham Museum, but Batman steals it back.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #2 (2019)—and referenced in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44. Originally told in “BATMAN: YEAR TWO.” Bruce recovers the gun that was used to kill his parents from a police evidence locker. Shortly thereafter, Judson Caspian and his daughter Rachel return to Gotham after having been living in Europe for nearly two decades. Bruce reunites with and becomes enamored with Rachel. They begin a passionate affair. When Bruce learns that Judson was the murderous vigilante known as the Reaper, Judson becomes the Reaper once again and kicks Batman ass in battle. (Note that there is currently a new Reaper that works for the League of Assassins. Different guy.) A distraught and battered Bruce builds an armored costume and takes the gun that was used to murder his parents, contemplating breaking his vow to never use firearms. Instead, cooler heads prevail and Batman defeats the Reaper using non-lethal means. However, the Reaper kills himself rather than go to jail. A devastated Rachel ends things with Bruce and leaves town for good. Note that, as per reference in Detective Comics #1000 Part 2, Bruce either gets rid of or loses the gun that killed his parents—either during this episode or shortly thereafter.

–REFERENCE: In Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 1 and Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman finally tracks down Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents, gaining some semblance of revenge/resolution. In previous continuities, this meeting resulted in Chill’s death—either at the hands of his own gang or by suicide. However, in the Rebirth Era, while we don’t know the details of this encounter, we do know that Chill goes to trial where he confesses to having killed the Waynes as a solo act. The homicidal mugging is not connected to any greater conspiracy or mob activity. Chill winds up with a life sentence at Blackgate Penitentiary.



–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50—originally told in Batman #62. Catwoman debuts a new purple-and-green caped-dress costume. Amidst a bunch of cats purring at their ankles, Catwoman and Batman kiss.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 2021 Annual. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred pose for a photo.

–REFERENCE: In Superman vs Lobo #1.[5] Batman teaches Superman everything he knows about detective work, but tailoring things to Superman’s power set. For example, the Dark Knight tells Superman to examine heart rates and body temperatures during interrogations.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Part 2. Batman begins regularly training with Wildcat (Ted Grant) at the latter’s boxing gym in Brooklyn. While we won’t see it on our timeline ahead, Batman will spar with Ted regularly.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. January. As they do every month, the Jokers send an evil “birthday present” to Batman. This time, it is an odd birthday card that is seemingly co-signed by Penguin. Batman puzzles over the nonsensical card.

–REFERENCE: In Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 10 and Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1. Batman takes on Penguin. After this encounter, Batman keeps Penguin’s gaudy giant rubber duckie vehicle as a trophy.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1. Batman and Robin confront Catwoman at a circus.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1. Penguin kidnaps Robin and holds him hostage in a Metropolis warehouse, prompting Batman to call Superman for assistance. Superman enters the warehouse to find that Penguin has allied himself (thanks to Lex Luthor) with the Weaponers of Qward. (The Weaponers are a military force from Qward, a planetary system of Universe-3 aka the Anti-Matter Universe.) While Superman takes down some Thunderers (elite Weaponers that wield literal bolts of lightning), Batman downs Penguin and rescues Robin. Batman tells Penguin he’ll go to Blackgate Penitentiary because he’s not insane enough to go to Arkham Asylum. (It’s unknown whether or not charges stick here, but suffice to say, Penguin is definitely insane enough for Arkham.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #62. Batman and Robin go after Catwoman (wearing her purple-and-green caped-dress costume). She shows her callous evil side to the Boy Wonder, evading capture. Soon afterward, the Dynamic Duo finds themselves chasing after Catwoman again. This time, however, she shows a completely different side of her persona, initially eluding the Dynamic Duo but then backtracking to save the Dark Knight’s life from a collapsing building. During the implosion Catwoman is knocked unconscious. When she comes-to, Catwoman vows to leave her criminal days behind. Convinced, Batman lets her go free. Selina winds up opening a pet shop in Gotham.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #23. Batman takes on Riddler and his goons. Career henchman Willis Todd, while working for the Riddler, fights Batman, resulting in him getting a bat-shaped scar on his arm. Later, Willis shows his young son, Jason Todd, the scar. Not long afterward, Willis takes the fall for Penguin, earning a long jail sentence. Jason avoids child protective services by going on the lam and living on the streets.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 5. Batman fights one of the Jokers.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 2. Kirk Langstrom, as he often does, once again loses control, becoming Man-Bat. Batman fights Man-Bat in a very public confrontation.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #6 (Batman: Universe #2).  Batman goes on an unspecified mission and collects a full-face armored metal helmet as a trophy, which he displays in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30—originally told in “VENOM” (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20). Feeling inadequate after being unable to save a girl from kidnappers, Batman begins taking the super-steroid known as Venom (the drug that Bane will pump into his own veins years later). On Venom, the Dark Knight quickly becomes a raging jacked-up hulk and easily takes down the kidnappers. A reproachful Alfred, disgusted by Bruce’s drug use, resigns from his post! After a couple weeks of nonstop Venom dosing for patrols, the heavily-addicted Batman burns-out and breaks-down. In tears, he calls Alfred and convinces him to come home. With Alfred’s support, Batman quarantines himself in the Batcave and quits cold-turkey.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976 and The Green Lantern #3—originally told in Justice League of America #3. The Justice League fights the debuting Kanjar Ro, a vile Dhorian super-villain that wields the powerful Gamma Metal Gong, which he uses to place all of humanity into suspended animation. Kanjar Ro forces the Justice League to challenge and defeat his evil alien rivals—HyathisKromm, and Sayyar. Eventually, the Justice Leaguers turn the tide at the far end of the universe and take all four tyrants captive, freeing the people of Earth simultaneously.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #975—originally told in Batman #75. George “Boss” Dyke is executed by the state, after which a scientist in his employ revives his brain and transplants it into the body of a giant gorilla. Dyke, now going by “Gorilla Boss,” terrorizes Gotham, but is eventually defeated and jailed by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year #1—originally told in Batman #81 Part 2. Batman and Robin best Mr. Camera, a caped super-villain that wears a goofy box-shaped camera helmet with a giant lens faceplate.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #968, DC Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 1, Detective Comics #1002, and Batman Giant #6 (Batman: Universe #2). Batman links a majority of his Bat-vehicles into the Bat-computer network, thus making them able to be remote-controlled (among many other things). Only a handful of fighter jets remain “analog.” Most of the networked vehicles can also be voice-activated, and all can be viewed on the Bat-computer via remote camera (although Batman will often shut off this feature, along with comms, when out and about). Notably, Commissioner Gordon is added as an authorized user. Furthermore, Batman constructs an ultra-magnetic collar, which he links to several of the newly-networked vehicles. This ultra-magnetic collar goes into his utility belt. Also, Batman programs a hyper-realistic 3D virtual reality version of the Batcave that can be accessed and interfaced-with from the networked vehicles. Using this tech, Batman can “access the Batcave” remotely.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. April. One of the Jokers orchestrates a downtown parade for Batman’s monthly “birthday gift.”

–REFERENCE: In Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #1—originally told in Mystery in Space #75.[6] Kanjar Ro travels to the planet Rann to challenge human space adventurer Adam Strange, Strange’s girlfriend Alanna, and Alanna’s father Sardath. (Adam Strange is the champion of the planet Rann. He is able to travel back and forth between Earth and Rann via bizarre Zeta-Beam technology that only he has mastered.) The Justice League intervenes on Rann, helping Adam Strange bust the Dhorian despot. During this fight, Adam Strange saves Batman’s life. Note that Adam Strange and Batman will team-up on several occasions moving forward, but we’ll simply have to imagine these team-ups on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #6 and Adventures of the Super Sons #1—originally told in Justice League of America #5. The Justice League defeats The Getaway Master (Monty Moran), Captain Cold (Leonard Snart), Professor Menace, Clock King (William Tockman), Puppet Master (Jordan Weir), Electric Man, and Dr. Destiny. (Unknown to all, Puppet Master is actually a secret agent working for the Department of Metahuman Affairs.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1. Batman and Robin fight Penguin, who unleashes an arsenal of new deadly trick umbrellas upon the pair.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #10. Alfred tells Bruce about trips hunting cape buffalo in Central Africa during his youth.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #7). Wanting to be taken more seriously, Killer Moth burns down his own clubhouse. The super-villain challenges Batman on the roofs of Gotham where Batman busts him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Three Jokers #1—originally told in Batman #113 Part 2. Bruce and Dick watch a live variety show headlined by Kelani “Fatman” Apaka, a heavyset comedian that wears a Bat-costume and lampoons the Dark Knight. Later, Batman and Robin team-up with Fatman to shut down the returning Red Hood Gang. Note that, in the original story, the villains were the “Red Mask Gang,” but this is clearly a clever retcon by writer Geoff Johns, linking the Red Hood Gang to this item.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Vol. 4 #53 and Justice League Vol. 4 #57. Robin, as he often does, secretly follows Batman, trailing him to Justice League HQ. From the shadows, young Robin is awestruck at seeing the team assembled together.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #1—originally told in Batman #128. Batman and Robin stumble upon an alien conflict in the outskirts of Gotham. They watch as one being is mobbed by a large group of crustacean-like aliens. Choosing to help the outnumbered party, Batman and Robin are bested and teleported to an intergalactic prison light years away on the penal moon of Ergon. The Dynamic Duo was too hasty in their discernment and had aided a wanted pirate named Kraak against the Ergonian Space Police. Batman and Robin are soon released from jail, after which they bust Kraak on a nearby asteroid.

–FLASHBACK: From Titans Vol. 3 #19. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission with the Justice League, after which Batman formally introduces the Boy Wonder to the team. Afterward, Batman tells Robin that, when he grows up, he will one day lead the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #33. While on an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash becomes nervous and loses his cool. Batman, hoping to motivate his friend, shouts, “Just run faster!” Sure enough, Flash is inspired and regains his sangfroid, helping to save the day. From this point onward, Batman will often say this “just run faster” line to Flash to pump him up.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #8. Batman helps Superman defeat his arch-rival, the 5th Dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk.[7]

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #20 and Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #22—originally told in Detective Comics #259. Batman fights the debuting Calendar Man (Julian Day), who strikes first at a garden show, dressed in a flowery “spring” costume. The next day, Calendar Man, dressed in a “summer” hazmat suit, attacks a swimsuit contest. On day three, Calendar Man bests Batman with an autumn-themed wind-blower assault. On day four, Calendar Man dresses up like a snowman for a “winter” blitz on the Dynamic Duo. Finally, Batman and Robin bust Calendar Man in his maharajah gimmick, foiling his “monsoon season” strike.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 3 #6 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Batman meets and befriends GCPD Detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting Signalman (also commonly written-out in two separate words as “Signal Man”).

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #8. Batman defeats the debuting Catman.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38 and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4. Batman tailors and dons a zebra-striped costume in order to defeat the debuting Zebra Man (also known as “Vortex”).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. September. For his monthly “birthday present” to Batman, one of the escaped Jokers (unclear which Joker, but likely either the Comedian or the Clown) kidnaps a bus full of children. Batman saves the kids.

–FLASHFORWARD: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 9. Batman and Robin patrol, punching-out a dude at a casino.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #9—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #124. Batman, Robin, and Superman fight three green humanoid aliens thieves from the planet Durim (Hroguth, Sklur, and Hansh), who get the better of them. Later, the heroes meet a fourth Durimian, the teen superhero Logi, who is accompanied by his pet, a lobster/horse hybrid monster called Quisto. Batman, Superman, Robin, Logi, and Quisto defeat Hroguth, Sklur, and Hansh. You really just can’t make this stuff up!

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. October 7—Bruce’s birthday. As he did last 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. Batman will continue to run Program 2.1 on his birthday every year, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #3—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #127Zerno the Sorcerer, a warlock from the planet Y’Bar, attacks Gotham with his Gzann familiar. (A Gzann is a crab-slug hybrid monster.) Batman, Robin, and Superman fight Zerno, his Gzann, his mind-controlled sidekick Sborg, and several other equally bizarre alien creatures in a solid defense of the city (and planet).

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #1—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #150. Batman and Superman take on Rokk and Sorban, aliens from the gambling planet of Ventura. With Batman captured, Superman agrees to enter into a high-stakes cosmic casino challenge that will decide Batman’s fate. Superman wins a game of Planetary System Roulette, in which the competitors maneuver actual planets into suns, earning Batman’s freedom.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman outfits one of his Batplanes with a metal extending arm that can grip things via a claw at its end. This silly-looking thing seems to be a nod to Superman’s Supermobile, a jet that has a metal extending arm with a fist at the end of it.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Mother Panic #1, the second feature to Mother Panic #5, and the second feature to Mother Panic #7—originally told in LOTDK #156-158 and LOTDK #164-167. Batman meets and saves the life of Lee Hyland (Blink), a metahuman conman who is completely blind, but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. Shortly thereafter, despite Blink using his powers to steal from people’s bank accounts, Batman saves the villain’s life a second time. Afterward, Batman lets Blink go, encouraging him to use his powers for good. Blink promises to do so.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #9. During an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash takes hold of Batman and uses his powers to vibrate them through a wall. Batman does not like the experience and lets Flash know. While we won’t see every instance of this practice moving forward on our timeline, Flash will use this move in conjunction with Batman multiple times in the future, much to his chagrin.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #22. The Justice League defeats the debuting Dr. Light (Dr. Arthur Light).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #54. Batman goes on an unspecified mission and then adds another commemorative plaque to his trophy wall. This one features a ghoulish white hood or shroud. I’m sure this is a reference to a specific story, but I’m not sure which one.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #42. Batman chats with Joker’s (the Comedian’s) primary Arkham Asylum psychiatrist, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, who has been Joker’s therapist ever since his debut. This flashback is just a single image from a title splash page attached to this second feature.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4, and Batman Vol. 3 #42. Joker’s (the Comedian’s) therapist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, having fallen in love with the super-villain, breaks her “Puddin” out of Arkham Asylum, becoming his girlfriend and sidekick Harley Quinn. Batman busts Joker and Harley, who will remain on-and-off partners for years to come. Note that Harley, one of DC’s quirkiest and most over-the-top characters, seemingly has a preternatural awareness that she exists inside a comic book. Of course, unlike most others, Harley’s uniquely-wired brain can more than handle the weight of this knowledge.

–REFERENCE: In Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 1. Now that Robin has outgrown his Robin costume, he gets a new one that better fits him. Batman puts his old costume on display in the Batcave. Batman will retire Robins old costumes to display cases as he outgrows them, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Part 2. Batman meets Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) but comes to immediately regard him with disdain, thinking of him as a bargain basement version of himself, with an Arrow Car and Arrow Cave. Unlike in the Silver and Modern Ages, Batman and Green Arrow won’t become close friends.[8]


YEAR FOUR (2005)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Someone snaps a picture of Bruce and Dick at a black tie event. Bruce gets the picture, frames it, and puts it in one of the Wayne Manor living rooms.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. January. For Batman’s monthly “birthday gift,” an escaped Joker (unclear which Joker, but likely either the Comedian or the Clown) kidnaps Crazy Quilt and delivers him to Batman along with a cake.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 5 #22. Batman designs and builds the dual-seated Batmobile convertible (the one from Batman ’66). The Dynamic Duo takes it out for a spin.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman deals/interacts with the US Government’s primary organization that deals with metahuman, superhero, and super-villain affairs: the DEO (the Department of Extranormal Operations).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #8—originally told in Justice League of America #10. The Justice League faces off against the debuting Epoch aka The Lord of Time. During this battle, the immortal occult-villain Felix Faust manipulates the heroes into obtaining a few magickal artifacts—the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Green Bell of Uthool—for him. Once gathered, Faust uses these items to summon the extremely powerful Demons Three (AbnegazarRath, and Ghast). Eventually, the JL defeats Faust, Epoch, and the demons. Afterward, they put the artifacts, which hold the Demons Three, into the Trophy Room. Hal Jordan calls the Trophy Room the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #25 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) joins the Justice League. Although, unlike other recruits, he won’t make very strong connections with anyone else on the team, often acting as an uncertain ally of sorts. Upon learning each other’s secret identities, Green Arrow and Batman fail to connect despite both being mega-rich playboys in their alter-egos. Batman already thinks of Green Arrow as a discount version of himself, with his Arrow Cave and Arrow Car. Batman and Green Arrow just don’t get along very well, nor will they in the future. (As mentioned above, this negative relationship between Batman and Green Arrow is the same in the New 52, but decidedly different from the Silver and Modern Ages where Batman and Green Arrow were close friends.)

–FLASHBACK: From Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Part 7. Green Arrow introduces his young sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper) to the Justice League and Robin.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 5. Batman fights Two-Face.

–REFERENCE: In Flash 2021 Annual #1. Having become fast friends with Speedy, Robin tries to impress him by taking the Batmobile for a joyride. Of course, Batman finds out and flips his lid, scaring young Speedy half to death in the process.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman goes on an unspecified case, earning a giant 8-ball as a trophy.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1. This item is very loosely based on elements from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns film. Batman fights Penguin, who unleashes a full battalion of his penguin commandos upon the former.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #93. Batman fights Joker (the Comedian) and Harley Quinn. Joker tells Batman that he (Batman) is the funniest person he knows.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. March. For Batman’s monthly “birthday present,” one of the Jokers (either the Comedian or the Clown) sends a crudely drawn picture of himself and Batman with the words “Best Friends” written on it. Alfred hates this.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. Hawkman (Carter Hall/Katar Hol) joins the Justice League. The JL also meets his wife and crime-fighting partner Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders Hall/Shayera Hol). Both Carter and Shiera are also members of the Justice Society of America, which has existed since the 20th century. (Carter will now be on both the JL and JSA while Shiera will be a part time JL member.) Both Carter and Shier are immortal, having existed in some form for thousands of years, constantly reincarnated as different champions of justice. Their current incarnations—Thanagarian-styled soldiers—are simply the latest in a long line of Hawk-related warrior gimmicks. (Hawkman himself is around 140-years-old at this point.) Unlike many of the other heroes, Hawkman and Hawkgirl won’t share their secret IDs or history with the hero community.[9]

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5. The Justice League meets and works with The Atom (Professor Ray Palmer). Presumably he joins he JL.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18, and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #21-23. Batman (and possibly the Justice League) defeat Eclipso, an evil supernatural force that inhabits the body of Dr. Bruce Gordon (no relation to the Gordons of Gotham). (As referenced in Justice League Incarnate #5, Eclipso is an agent of the Great Darkness.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. For Batman’s monthly “birthday gift,” Joker (unclear which Joker) orchestrates the demolition of an entire city block.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5 and Deathstroke Inc #2-3. The Justice League meets and works with Black Canary (Dinah Drake), daughter of the original Black Canary (Dinah Lance). The younger Black Canary officially joins the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21-22, Doomsday Clock #2, Doomsday Clock #7, Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, Stargirl: Spring Break Special #1, and Deathstroke Inc #2-3—originally told in Justice League of America #21-22. The Justice League meets and teams-up with superheroes from an earlier generation—members of the Justice Society of America, including Green Lantern Alan Scott, Wildcat (Ted Grant), Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson), Flash (Jay Garrick), Hourman (Rex Tyler), Dr. Mid-Nite (Charles McNider), Atom (Al Pratt), Starman (Ted Knight), Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton), Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Johnny Thunder, and Yz. (Some of these 20th century heroes have been endowed with extended youth via magick. Also, in case you didn’t know, Dr. Fate is linked to the immortal demigod known as Nabu, who is a charter member of the cosmic Lords of Order. The Lords of Order are, naturally, enemies of the Lords of Chaos.) This mission pits the JL and JSA against the one-shot threat of The Crime Champions (Chronos, Dr. Alchemy, Felix Faust, The Fiddler, Icicle, and The Wizard). The JL also visits Valhalla Cemetery, a final resting place for superheroes that have fallen in battle. The cemetery is located in a high-security, magickally-protected underground bunker in Washington DC. Following this affair, the costumes of Hourman and Wildcat go into the JL Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Matter Master and keeps his wand as a trophy for the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #20—originally told in Detective Comics #50. Batman and Robin defeat the acrobatic super-villain team known as The Three Devils.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38 and Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1. Batman and Robin bust pharaoh-themed super-villain King Tut. While we will rarely ever see King Tut on our chronology, Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1 tells us that King Tut will often challenge Batman, but the Dark Knight will usually ignore his threats. Thus, while they won’t have much interaction, moving forward on our timeline, we should imagine Batman shaking his damn head at a lot of King Tut notes left for him at the police station.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman leaves on unspecified business, putting Robin in charge of protecting Gotham while he is gone. Before leaving, Batman jokingly says, “Keep the lights on until I get back.” Moving forward on our timeline, Batman will similarly leave Robin in charge of protecting Gotham every once in a while, and each time Batman will deliver that very same line.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Annual #2 (2019). Batman busts Eraser, a man that looks like a pencil and has the power to literally erase people from existence.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #23 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #31. Batman and Robin defeat the massively powerful but mindless Blockbuster (Mark Desmond), who is controlled by his devious brother Roland Desmond.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37 and Justice League Vol. 4 #19. Bat-Mite, a magickal imp from the 5th Dimension (where Mr. Mxyzptlk comes from), very publicly bothers and pranks the Dynamic Duo while they are on an unspecified case. Bat-Mite adores Batman and even wears a mini Bat-costume. Eventually, the annoying Bat-Mite poofs back to his home realm.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #9—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #163. Batman and Superman are whisked away to a distant planet known as The World of Wonders by the alien Jemphis, who hosts an annual intergalactic superhero convention. There, Jemphis forces Batman to fight a de-powered Superman in a series of public arena battles. Batman and Superman eventually team-up with other abducted superheroes from the distant cosmos—Aeroman, Windlass, Solar Man, Serpento, Dr. Chill, and Zardin the Boy Marvel—to defeat Jemphis.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Detective Comics #203. Selina Kyle has quietly worked at her new pet shop since early last year with no inclination of returning to costumed thievery. However, when a vituperative series of articles are printed in the Gotham Gazette that poke fun of her time as a kitty-themed villainess, Selina is furious. When some cheap hoods harass Selina in her own store, Batman is there to shoo away the jerks. Batman tells Selina not to take the objurgation and harassment personally. But for Selina, it’s too much to bear. Selina re-dons the purple-and-green caped Catwoman costume and commits a series of daring public heists, disappointing the Dark Knight. Catwoman, now a wanted criminal again, goes into hiding.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #88—originally told in the 1966 Batman movie. Batman and Robin defeat “United Underworld”—the team-up of Joker (likely the Comedian), Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman. During this adventure, Batman discovers a secret radio frequency that Riddler has been using to communicate with the other Bat-rogues. With the line compromised, the defeated villains stop using it.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27 and Detective Comics #967. Kathy Webb-Kane, daughter of notorious ex-Nazi Otto Netz (Dr. Dedalus) and ex-wife of Bruce’s long-deceased uncle Nathan Kane, becomes Bat-Woman. She goes on adventures with Batman and Robin, even debuting her own sidekick, Bat-Girl (Bruce’s cousin Bette Kane). Batman and Bat-Woman become lovers, but the relationship is ill-fated. Bat-woman breaks up with Batman and the female Dynamic Duo retires from crime-fighting.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #988. Ted Carson debuts as a new Firefly, getting busted by Batman and Robin. Carson’s costume is gaudier than Garfield Lynns’ costume, but he’s ironically less over-the-top, despite also being a pyromaniac. From this point forward, both Fireflies will remain active in the DCU.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1—originally told in Batman #134. Batman publicly fights “The Rainbow Creature,” a razor-toothed monster made entirely out of light from the color spectrum.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. July. An escaped Joker (likely either the Comedian or the Clown) throws an evil party for Batman’s “birthday” at the zoo. A shirtless Batman is forced to tranquilize a raging gorilla.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23 and Dark Nights: Metal #2. Batman meets and befriends Swamp Thing, a Plant Elemental with the memories and personality of deceased scientist Alec Holland. Swamp Thing is a member of the Parliament of Trees, a group of ancient elder Plant Elementals that keep watch over and control the Green, the mystic force that binds together all vegetal life. The Caped Crusader and several other heroes learn the exact location of the headquarters of the Parliament of Trees deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Around the Parliament of Trees’ HQ, there grows a natural plant-killing exfoliant, which local tribesman destroy in order to protect their “plant gods.” (It is possible that the heroes visit, but this is not confirmed.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Dr. X (Simon Echs) and his symbiotic partner Double X—together known simply as Dr. Double X—fight the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder. Echs winds up behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Young Justice Vol. 3 #18. Batman and Robin take on the debuting Egghead.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #34—originally told in Detective Comics #253. Batman and Robin apprehend the thrill-seeking Terrible Trio, which consists of The Shark, The Vulture, and The Fox.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36. Batman and Robin bust the debuting Condiment King.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Batman busts Catwoman and handcuffs her on a rooftop. They lean-in close to each other for a kiss. It is highly unlikely that Batman takes Catwoman to jail here.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Elmer Fudd #1. Bruce begins dating the gorgeous Silver St. Cloud. She falls in love with Bruce but breaks up with him upon discovering that he is Batman. Wanting a less-complicated (and safer) partner, she begins dating Elmer Fudd. Unknown to Silver, Fudd is actually a hitman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #197. Catwoman debuts yet another new costume, this one a skin-tight kelly green affair complete with cat’s eye goggles. In her new duds, Catwoman attempts to play superhero—via staged altercations with her own henchmen, who pretend to fight her. Catwoman even fights side-by-side with Batman and Robin. Later, she meets privately with Batman and asks him to marry her! Batman turns her down. In response, Catwoman captures the legit heroes, trapping them on an intense sound-blasting “Cataphonic Cat’s Cradle” platform in her “Catacombs” hideout. Batman and Robin escape and bust Catwoman.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #21-23—originally told via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 4 #11. The Dynamic Duo busts neophyte “art terrorists” The Pigeon (Beatrice Butler) and her teenage sidekick Defacer (Shawn Tsang).

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #32. Batman and Robin bust three random baddies and swing away into the Gotham night.

–Batman/Elmer Fudd #1
Silver St. Cloud wants to leave her boyfriend Elmer Fudd because she has just learned that he is a hitman. Seeing a parallel to how she left Bruce due to his secret profession, Silver starts an elaborate ruse to mess with both Fudd and Bruce. Silver fakes her own death, leaving clues that lead Fudd to a bar they used to hang-out at called Porky’s Bar. There, hitman Bugs the Bunny, as per Silver’s orders, tells Fudd that Bruce Wayne put the hit on Silver. Fudd, who already hates Bruce for having dated Silver, goes into a rage. He sneaks into a fancy gala at Wayne Manor, shoots Bruce with a shotgun, and makes a hasty retreat. But of course, Bruce ain’t dead. Batman—incorrectly shown wearing his classic costume—ambushes Fudd at his apartment and they fight. Eventually, they decide to team-up when they realize that something ain’t right about Silver’s murder. Batman and Fudd go to Porky’s where they beat-up Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety, Marvin, Taz, Daffy, and a guy who owns a frog named Michigan J Frog. Silver then makes her dramatic appearance and tells off her exes before departing for good. Porky serves up three carrot juice cocktails for Batman, Fudd, and Bugs.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44 and Batman Vol. 3 #85—originally told in Batman #256. Batman and Robin work a murder case at the circus. Coincidentally, an escaped Selina Kyle has been working at the circus under a fake identity in an effort to free the captive tigers. When Batman and Robin dig around, Selina is exposed. Debuting yet another new costume (a red, black, and blue thingy), Catwoman fights Batman, rides one of the Siberian big cats like a pony, prompting Batman to chase after her on horseback. Batman busts Catwoman then returns to flush-out and apprehend the circus murderer with Robin.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #50. An escaped Scarecrow takes over Gotham University’s Symposium of Fear. Batman and Robin bust him. Scarecrow immediately escapes from Arkham Asylum and goes after Robin. The Boy Wonder debuts his escrima sticks and kicks Scarecrow’s ass solo.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Three Jokers #1—and referenced in Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman fights Riddler, who wears an alternate costume and wields an electrified question mark staff. Afterward, Batman puts Riddler’s alt-costume on display (on a mannequin, complete with the electrified question mark staff) in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman fights an escaped Scarecrow, who stabs him in the back with a pitchfork.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Detective #4. Batman defends a deli from some would-be thieves, earning the praise and thanks of the deli’s mom and pop owners.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. October 7—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 Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1, Super Sons #5, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12, Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1, and Batman Vol. 3 #44. Batman tailors and a new blue-and-grey with yellow oval insignia costume. Starting now, Batman will begin using this yellow oval costume. He puts his old costume on display in the Batcave. (In the decades to come, Batman will put many old costumes—both his own and other Bat-Family members’ costumes—on display in the Batcave.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2—originally told in “COLD” (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #192-196). Batman—in his new blue-and-grey/yellow oval costume—fights an escaped Mr. Freeze, who also dons a fancy new (albeit temporary) costume. Note that this JH Williams scene visually calls back to Williams’ own non-canon Modern Age Mr. Freeze origin story, entitled “Cold.” Obviously, the Rebirth version of “Cold” cannot be an origin story, but this item still counts as the canonization of Williams’ tale, albeit as a generic Batman versus Mr. Freeze battle.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Urban Legends #15 Part 2. Joker (unclear which one) gasses a Gotham tourbus. Batman saves the lives of crooks Eel O’Brien and Brad Sampey, and busts Joker. The implication here is that this event inspires O’Brien to stop committing crimes. He’ll soon become the stretchy superhero Plastic Man.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 3 #9. Batman and Robin patrol together.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files: The Gardener #1. Batman fights Poison Ivy again.

–Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Part 2
Batman spars with Wildcat (Ted Grant) at the latter’s gym in Brooklyn, as he does on a regular basis. As he is getting ready to depart, Batman spots Green Arrow coming in for his own boxing lesson with Ted. Batman scoffs at Green Arrow, giving him shit for being an archery-themed ripoff. After Batman leaves, Green Arrow learns that Ted is Wildcat. (I thought everyone already knew that, but I guess Ollie never figured it out.) Then, semi-immortal super-villain from the 20th century, Yellow Wasp, strikes. Aided by Ted and Black Canary, Green Arrow bests Yellow Wasp with a brand new spur-of-the-moment invention, the boxing glove arrow.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Detective #4. While in France for unspecified reasons, Batman saves the life of teenager Thierry Mornet, who is nearly trampled to death by French police during a riot.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #6. Batman claws with Catwoman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Three Jokers #1. Batman puts Catwoman’s purple-and-green dress costume on a mannequin display in the Batcave.

–Detective Comics #1037 Part 3
Lucius Fox has always been on the secret forefront of helping make Bat-tech, but he’s never truly known that Bruce is Batman—until now. Batman officially reveals his secret ID to his close comrade, giving him the radio codename “Foxtrot.” Lucius is made the lead Bat-armorer and head of Bat-research and development. He’ll work on clandestine “special projects” directly for Batman, moving forward. Right off the bat (pun intended), Alfred and Lucius, from the Batcave, remotely guide Batman and Robin, who get pinned down while battling arms dealers. Lucius uses the Batmobile to send out an EMP blast, which allows the Dynamic Duo to defeat their foes. In the Batcave, Alfred defends Batman’s use of child soldiers to a disapproving Lucius, who says that he’s only onboard to help protect children that are brought into the “cult” of the Bat-Family.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 2. Kirk Langstrom, as he often does, once again loses control, becoming Man-Bat. Batman fights Man-Bat, crashing together with him through the window of a young boy. Batman then injects Man-Bat with serum that reverts him back to normal.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #5 Part 5. After a rough patrol, Batman and Robin return to Wayne Manor, light some incense, and do a deep meditation together for a couple hours.

–FLASHBACK: From DC: Love is a Battlefield #1 Part 5. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn both attempt to pull off the exact same heist at the exact same time at Gotham National Bank, thus getting in each other’s way. Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and the GCPD are all on-hand to chase them both away. Notably, this is the first time Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn meet as super-villains. Poison Ivy met Harley Quinn once before, but that was years ago when Harley was still a therapist at Arkham Asylum. Also note that Poison Ivy has green skin in this flashback. While this is the first time we’ve seen her with a chlorophyll tone, her skin actually does turn green every once and while (as we’ll see in other comics of this era, including Batman: Urban Legends #1 Part 2).

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1004. Killer Croc, Anton Arcane, and others start a full-scale riot in Arkham Asylum. While Batman contains inmates that have made it outside the walls of the building, prison director Dr. Jeremiah Arkham tries to calm the rest of the inmates with the help of his pregnant wife Dr. Ingrid Karlsson. During the chaos, Ingrid goes into labor. Joker (unclear which one), Harley Quinn, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and Solomon Grundy show a softer side, helping Ingrid deliver a healthy baby girl, who she names Astrid Arkham. Unfortunately, a random rioting inmate throws one of Batman’s discarded Batarangs at Ingrid, killing her instantly. Saddened, the inmates return to their cells. From this point forward, Astrid will basically live at Arkham Asylum and be “raised” by all of Batman’s rogues. Having now met Dr. Arkham, we can presume that Batman does some homework on him, learning all he can about the man who runs the asylum.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #104. Batman and Robin chase a criminal to Singapore, but when they arrive, they find the Ghost-Maker is also working the case. Robin watches from the Batplane cockpit as Batman and the Ghost-Maker argue about jurisdiction. Ultimately, Batman submits, departing with Robin. En route back to the States, Batman tells Robin all about his history with the Ghost-Maker.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2—originally told in Batman the Animated Series TV show. Batman fights an escaped Victor Zsasz.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Three Jokers #3—and referenced in Batman: Three Jokers #1. Originally told in Batman #186. An escaped Joker (the Clown) debuts a new diminutive sidekick Gagsworth Gagsworthy, better known as Gaggy. At the Gotham Historical Society, Batman and Robin bust the Clown and Gaggy.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2. Batman fights an escaped Clayface. JH Williams draws this scene in the style of Bruce Timm, mirroring the look of Batman the Animated Series.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44—originally told in Batman #237. Unhinged Jewish concentration camp survivor, Dr. Benjamin Gruener, goes on a killing-spree as the grim reaper-themed super-villain known as The Reaper. Batman defeats him. Don’t forget that the Reaper from the League of Assassins still exists as well, but he’s a different person. “The Reaper” is not a very original name, guys.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #22—originally told in Batman #312. Calendar Man dons a brand new calendar-themed costume to challenge Batman, but as before, he gets easily busted.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 2. Batman fights an escaped Poison Ivy. Note that JH Williams draws this scene in the style of Kelley Jones, although I’m fairly certain this item isn’t meant to reference a specific Jones story.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #101. Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, who produces a joker playing card, signifying that an escaped Joker is active. Soon after, Batman and Robin chase after Joker. (This could be any of the Jokers.) A bruised and battered Batman, with Alfred’s help, studies Joker’s possible plans in the Batcave. Later, Batman responds to the Bat-signal yet again.

–FLASHBACK: From Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1. Batman fights Joker. It’s possible this item is linked to the previous one. It’s unclear which Joker appears here.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman Giant #9 (Superman: Up in the Sky #4)—and referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #33 and Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1. Originally told in Superman #199 and Flash #175. Millions, including Batman and Robin, watch as Superman competes against Flash in a UN-sponsored charity race across the globe. They tie. Shortly thereafter, Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Zoom aka Eobard Thawne) and Abra Kadabra kidnap the JL and force Flash and Superman into having a rematch, only this time they race through the whole expanse of the universe, which includes a quick stop on Ventura to best Rokk and Sorban. Upon returning home, again in a dead heat, Superman and Flash bust the villains and save their friends. Superman and Flash will have many more races over the course of the following years, although none will be quite as public as these first two.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting False Face.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1. Bruce meets and befriends fellow millionaire Radley Crowne, who hails from Big City (thirty-five miles to the north of Gotham), while maintaining his haughty playboy act at various elite clubs. Shortly thereafter, Batman learns that Crowne is secretly the superhero defender of Big City, Blue Falcon! Batman and Robin team-up with Blue Falcon and his robotic canine sidekick Dynomutt (aka “The Dog Wonder”), going up against the vile Red Vulture. Afterward, Blue Falcon tells Batman he shouldn’t work with kids because dogs are more loyal.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #3—originally told in Detective Comics #291. The last Rukk (the final living survivor of the otherwise extinct alien species known as the Rukks) comes out of suspended hibernation on Earth and soon finds itself face-to-face with Batman and Robin. The heroes fight the raging hairy green cyclops, finding its ship, in which they learn about the Rukks and their long-destroyed home-planet Sharl. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo causes the last Rukk to flee into deep space.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1000 Part 9—originally told in Detective Comics #311 and Superman/Batman #31. A goofy minuscule alien named Zook gets stranded on Earth. Even though Zook is really annoying and not-so-bright, Martian Manhunter decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick, making him an official Justice League mascot. Zook is immediately troublesome and constantly in everyone’s way, especially Batman, who lets the little guy have an honest earful. With his feelings hurt, Zook leaves Earth for good, moving to the 5th Dimension.

–REFERENCE: In Arkham City: The Order of the World #5—originally told in Detective Comics #319. Batman and Robin capture the debuting Dr. No-Face. (Note that previous incarnations of Dr. No-Face were all male, but Dr. No-Face has been gender-swapped for the Infinite Frontier Era.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 7. An unknown member of Batman’s rogues gallery—(in Detective Comics #1000 Part 7, this character speaks from off-panel, so we don’t know who it is)—kidnaps Bruce Wayne in an effort to collect a hefty ransom and to use him as bait to lure out Batman. Bruce puts on quite an act while captured, puling like a baby until Batman (someone in disguise, likely Superman) arrives to challenge the super-villain. In the end, the bad guy is defeated and Batman’s secret ID is left intact.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #73—originally told in Detective Comics #344 and Batman #192 Part 1. Evil genius/White supremacist mobster Johnny Witts (Johnny Wittleson) kidnaps Robin and gloats in Batman’s face. Robin escapes to re-join Batman, after which a chess match of back-and-forth maneuvers goes on for a while, with Witts keeping one step ahead of the Dynamic Duo. Batman eventually busts Witts, but charges don’t stick and he walks free. Soon afterward, Witts disguises himself as a psychic called The Swami, using this ruse to gain access to his marks’ valuables. Witts is exposed by Batman and Robin, but, as before, runs circles around the duo. Our heroes eventually nab Witts again, but he avoids jail time. Done playing around with Batman, Witts moves to Hollywood.

–REFERENCE: In Checkmate Vol. 3 #2—originally told in Detective Comics #354. Batman meets and defeats the Fu Manchu-themed super-villain known as Dr. Tzin-Tzin.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirls #4—originally told in Detective Comics #358. Batman bests the debuting Spellbinder.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Titans Vol. 3 #19, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19, and Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1 Part 1 Epilogue—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #54 and The Brave and The Bold #60. The Teen Titans debut, helping out in the New England town of Hatton Corners by defeating Mr. Twister (Bromwell Stikk) and then the bizarre Separated Man. The hero group features the sidekicks of the Justice League, including Robin, Speedy (Roy Harper), Aqualad (Garth), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), and Kid Flash (Wally West). The Teen Titans make their HQ on a small island in Hatton Corners. Batman does not approve of Robin’s new venture and makes it known to his sidekick.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern: Blackstars #2. Due to what must be some Silver Age-y sci-fi chicanery, Aunt Harriet Cooper is forced to play the role of Batman for a full month! We aren’t given any details about this (or told what happens to Bruce), which is probably for the best. In any case, we won’t see or hear from Aunt Harriet again, so we must assume that the elderly matriarch dies shortly after this—hopefully of natural causes and unrelated to her monthlong Bat-adventure.


YEAR FIVE (2006)

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #10—originally told in Justice League of America #46-47. A science experiment gone wrong by Ray Palmer’s lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini allows The Anti-Matter Man, a cosmic entity hailing from the Qward system of Universe-3 (aka the Anti-Matter Universe) to enter the Bleed en route to Earth-0. (The Bleed is a tesseract space that serves as the blank void/highway between universes.) The Spectre tries to stop the Anti-Matter Man’s march, but he is quickly defeated. Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson) sends the JL to the Bleed where they are able to send the Anti-Matter Man back to Qward.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. January. For Batman’s monthly fake birthday celebration, an escaped Joker dresses up like Mirror Master to challenge Batman and Flash. The heroes bust the villain. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here, but it is likely either the Comedian or the Clown.)

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Detective Comics #958, and Detective Comics #975—originally told in Batman & Robin Eternal. This item is pushed here to accommodate the fact that Cassie Cain is still a teenager (nineteen-years-old to be exact) as of 2021 (as per Joker Vol. 2 #11). Batman and Robin chase Scarecrow to Prague, where they learn he has connections to an international crime-boss called Mother. The near-immortal Mother orphans children and then turns them into brainwashed playthings for the rich and powerful, including the sinister Sacred Order of St. Dumas, a violent Christian cult that was once a part of the Knights Templar in Medieval Times. (Since the Dark Ages, the Order of St. Dumas has chosen a continuous line of “avenging angels,” each known as Azrael.) Noting the strangeness and danger involved in this case, Batman begins recording all details and thoughts pertaining to the matter at hand. He stores this secret information, a series of “Shadow Files,” on a secret “Shadow Drive” associated with the Bat-computer. Bruce will record information about his most top secret cases on the “Shadow Drive” for years to come. Not even the highest-ranking members of the Bat-Family will have access. Soon after learning about Mother’s operations, Bruce arranges a meeting with Mother, meeting both the villainess and her top assassin David Cain (aka David Kane, now calling himself “The Orphan”), a man that once trained Bruce years ago. Outed as Batman, Bruce orders a new Robin via her process (as part of a con to expose and bring her down). In Cairo, Batman and Robin bust Scarecrow. Batman fights and defeats both Mother and Cain, but is forced to watch a live video feed from Gotham that shows Cassandra “Cassie” Cain (David Cain’s four-year-old daughter) attacking young Harper Row’s small-time crook parents, Miranda Row and Marcus Row. (Harper is Mother’s young “chosen heir” for Batman. Cassandra, on the other hand, has been brainwashed and tortured by her dad into becoming a child soldier.) Miranda is brutally murdered while terrified Marcus runs away. In Cairo, Mother escapes when local law enforcement arrive. Back home, the Dark Knight builds a file on Harper Row and her brother Cullen Row, filled with details about their lives. He will keep tabs on the Rows for years to come.

In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #20 and Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #18—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #80 and Justice League of America #70. Gotham TV news reporter/investigative journalist Jack Ryder debuts as the Joker-esque superhero known as The Creeper. Batman teams-up with the strange newcomer in Gotham against Hellgrammite. Shortly thereafter, the Creeper helps the Justice League thwart an alien invasion of Earth. (As referenced in Doomsday Clock #9, unknown to all the heroes, the Creeper is actually a secret agent working for the Department of Metahuman Affairs.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #64. Batman, Robin, Flash, and Kid Flash team-up to defeat Solomon Grundy. Afterward, all four celebrate in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #20-21. Green Arrow learns that his sidekick Speedy has become addicted to heroin. The superhero community does its best to support Speedy, who goes into rehab. Batman isn’t directly involved in this item, but he definitely hears all about it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #7—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. Batman defeats the second incarnation of the Clock King (Temple Fugate). Note that this is without-a-doubt Clock King II, no one is doubting that. However, while clearly modeled after the Animated Series‘ Temple Fugate, this guy never actually goes by the name Temple Fugate in the comics. In fact, he’s called “William” or “Bill,” just like his predecessor. Make of that what you will.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #961—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. A robotics company called Cybertron creates the towering sentient stationary AI known as HARDaC (Holographic Analytical Reciprocating Digital Computer), which goes rogue and builds several human-like replica androids in an attempt to kill and replace their real counterparts. Batman defeats the replicants, including a Batman android, and shuts down HARDaC for good. (Years from now, an inert HARDaC will wind up the property of Luke Fox’s company FoxTech.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 5. Batman fights Penguin and his henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #102. Batman fights The Grinners, a group of die-hard Joker loyalists, most of whom have permanent facial-scarring or rictus-grins. These henchmen hang out at a seedy dive called The Smile Bar. Batman decides to allow the Smile Bar to stay in business because it allows him to spy on and keep tabs on the Grinners. While we won’t see it on our timeline ahead, the Grinners will face Batman from time-to-time, often with one of the Jokers by their side. Likewise, Batman will keep an eye on the Smile Bar for many years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats The Key. Afterward, they put his Keyblaster weapon into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14. The Justice League defeats the playing card-themed super-villain group known as The Royal Flush Gang (King, Queen, Ace, Jack, and Ten). Since the team is all spades, each member also sometimes tacks on “of Spades” to their name.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Toyman. Afterward, they put his toy box into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats a returning Dr. Destiny. Afterward, they keep his costume with the original Materioptikon attached, placing it into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. April. Batman busts an escaped Two-Face after the villain murders the Vinkledot twins.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #987. Bruce hires Fred Morgan as a Wayne Enterprises security guard. Bruce will get to know Fred very well, learning all about his family life as the years go on.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Black Files #1. Batman and Hawkman defeat the debuting Gentleman Ghost (the spirit of villain Jim Craddock).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10, Detective Comics #1000 Part 11, Robin Vol. 3 #4, Batman Vol. 3 #113, and Shadow War: Alpha #1—and referenced in Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #6-11, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1, Trinity Vol. 2 #16, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32, Detective Comics #987, Infinite Frontier Secret Files #4 (Infinite Frontier Secret Files Print Edition #1), and Deathstroke Inc #5. Originally told in “THE SAGA OF RA’S AL GHUL.” Batman deals with the threat of the League of Assassins—led by Ra’s al Ghul, who desires to “purge” the planet via a drastic reduction of global population using any means necessary. Also known as “The Demon’s Head,” Ra’s al Ghul has stayed alive for centuries due to the life-extending powers of bathing in the magickal Lazarus Pits. (Lazarus Pit liquid also has the dangerous tendency to imbue people with rage and lust for power.) Ra’s al Ghul has come to dominate the global underworld by using an army of ninja assassins, the twisted mind of evil scientist Dr. Moon, and the cult-like devotion of the Ubu Clan. (Ra’s al Ghul’s right hand man is the leader of the Ubu Clan, who simply goes by Ubu.) Impressed by his new adversary, Ra’s al Ghul enacts a plan to partner the Dark Detective with his daughter, the beautiful and intelligent Talia al Ghul.[10] Ra’s al Ghul wants the “perfect detective,” Batman, to bathe in the Lazarus Pits and carry on his legacy. The Caped Crusader immediately becomes infatuated with Talia and they begin a whirlwind affair. Eventually, a shirtless Dark Knight sword-fights both Ra’s al Ghul and Talia in the Sahara Desert. Despite getting stabbed in the chest and left for dead, Batman defeats Ra’s al Ghul with some help from Talia, who seemingly betrays her father.[11] Batman and Talia then share a romantic night, which leads to Talia drugging and having sex with Batman. It is via this sexual intercourse that a baby is conceived. The conception, birth, and existence of the child will be kept a secret from Bruce for years to come. Batman and Talia’s tumultuous on-and-off-again love affair will continue for the next couple months before fizzling out entirely. During this period, as referenced in Infinite Frontier Secret Files #4, Batman teaches Talia many things, including a mental defense/detection technique to prevent against telepathic manipulation. Also note that, while not specifically listed moving forward on our chronology, Ubu #1 will be at Ra’s al Ghul’s side for pretty much all of his appearances—and Ubu will get his ass kicked by Batman pretty much every time they meet.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11, Batgirl Vol. 5 #14, and Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2—originally told in Batgirl Vol. 4 #0. Summer. Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon moves to Gotham from Chicago. (Babs had been living in the Windy City with her mom and brother.) Having trained her whole life to be just like her dad, and having heard stories about the great Caped Crusader from her pop, Babs has a strong desire to walk the hero’s path. Babs and her brother James Junior (visiting from Chicago), meet their dad at police HQ. While waiting for Jim to wrap-up his day, Babs and James watch as a few cops give theorize about the effectiveness of Batman’s armor, displaying a kludged-together Bat-costume. When super-villain Harry X and his cult of followers take control of the entire building, Babs takes it upon herself to put her years of training to the test. She dons the fake Batman costume and takes on Harry X. The Dark Knight arrives just in time to watch Babs kayo the big lug. In the chaos, James Junior executes Harry X in a back room. Soon after the Harry X incident, Babs puts together her own unique costume and debuts as Batgirl, piquing the interest of the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin meet Batgirl and team with her on several unspecified missions to test her mettle.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #14-17. Summer. Batman upgrades his field sound recording equipment. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin easily discover Batgirl’s secret identity as Barbara Gordon, who is now a freshman in high school. They learn all about Babs’ life, including how her deadbeat mom led to her moving from Chicago to Gotham to live with her dad, Commissioner Gordon. When summer semester students at Babs’ high school begin losing control of their actions, Batman puts Robin on lookout duty at the stadium. There, he runs into Batgirl, who is also working the case. Later, Robin and Batgirl hit it off romantically as they patrol together. They learn that Mad Hatter—along with Babs’ friend Ainsley Wells—is using nanotechnology to cause the students’ conditions. Robin and Batgirl bust Mad Hatter while the drug-addicted Ainsley winds up in a mental hospital. After the case wraps, Dick and Babs share their first awkward kiss.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #19. Having earned the trust of the Dynamic Duo, Batgirl becomes an official member of the Bat-Family. Not only that, but Batman shares his secret ID with Batgirl as well. Batman impresses upon Batgirl (and reminds Robin) the importance of maintaining her secret ID, even keeping it hidden from close friends and family. Batman will stress the importance of maintaining a secret ID to all members of the Bat-Family throughout his entire career.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1041. Batman sets up a stash pile in a warehouse near the docks. The stash contains extra Bat-gear and costumes, just in case. Both Robin and Batgirl are made aware of this secret cache. Presumably, Batman sets up multiple stash piles across the city.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 1. Batman continues the unsolved “David Lambert’s looking glass case,” tracking the false artifact’s origin to Osumi, Japan. From there, Batman travel to Egypt where he goes in disguise to learn more about the looking glass. Then it’s off to Naples, Italy. But, ultimately, he reaches a dead end. However, Batman does finally realize that someone is toying with him in regard to this case. Stymied, Batman tries to see if Lambert’s looking glass is any way linked to Ra’s al Ghul. After a brief investigation, Batman sees that it is not. Batman will continue working this case sporadically, for years to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 1. Batman and Batgirl take on an escaped Two-Face, who tries to crush them with a giant silver dollar coin.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #18. The Justice League defeats Queen Bee (Zazzala). In the Rebirth Era, Queen Bee is the leader of the evil organization known as HIVE (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #982 and Detective Comics #1006-1007. Batman meets The Spectre. The Spectre is the physical embodiment of the wrath and vengeance of God—the single Judeo-Christian/Islamic (Abrahamic) god. In order to complete his divine work on Earth, the Spectre must be held within a human host vessel: Jim Corrigan, a police detective that has recently transferred from the NYPD to the GCPD. Notably, God’s commination is a sentient entity unto itself—a former angel named Aztar, now simply called Wrath. The Spectre shekhinah can only take shape when Wrath combines with Corrigan. Batman also interacts with human host Corrigan and Corrigan’s partner, Detective Tony Martinez, during this episode. However, Batman does not learn that the Spectre and Corrigan are linked. Interestingly, Batman takes a liking to Corrigan but hates the Spectre.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #2—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #78. The snake-themed villain known as Copperhead debuts and is defeated by Batman, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2—and referenced in Action Comics #979-980. The Justice League defeats the tyrant ruler of WarWorld, Mongul.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #39. The Justice League defeats Ultra-Humanite.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. Late August. An escaped Joker (likely either the Comedian or the Clown) celebrates Batman’s faux birthday by holding an evil downtown parade. Joker dresses up in a garish half Batman-half Joker getup, which is lifted straight from Prince’s “Batdance” music video (from the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film). According to graffiti on a wall, Penguin is involved in the parade as well. Eventually, Batman shuts down the “celebration.” Note that this fun little flashback by creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky is meant to be a big meta-nod to all things Batman 1989-related. As such, Batman’s costume is drawn to resemble Michael Keaton’s costume from the movies. At this juncture, Batman would be wearing his blue-and-gray-costume.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 5[12]
Early September—the anniversary of the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Batman, as he always does every year, visits Crime Alley on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths. There, he finds Dr. Leslie Thompkins leaving her clinic for the night. As they chat, some masked teens attack, prompting Batman to whoop their butts. Leslie, as she is wont to do, scolds Batman for using excessive violence. Ever the moral compass, Leslie tells Batman that she feels more sorry for him than she does for the poor unconscious boys that lay at their feet.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #25, and Superman: Red and Blue #3 Part 1. Having fought side-by-side for a few years now, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have become very closely bonded. From this point forward, their bond will only grow. This trio—from which almost every important thing that occurs in the DCU will center—will now be known as the Trinity. The Trinity decides to make their secret meeting spot, where they will meet on occasion (invisibly and randomly, moving forward), at the Nevada desert site where they all first met. In their civilian guises, the Trinity also meets for dinner, the first of many they’ll share over the decades to come. Bruce and Diana will rarely miss one of these dates, although a busy Clark sometimes will.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3. Batman already has emergency codes and alerts for both his Bat-Family and the Justice League, so what’s one more? Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman come up with a simple emergency cipher code in form of an alphabetical Trinity acrostic. If ever in a dire situation, Batman can alert Superman and Wonder Woman using two words that begin with their first names. For instance, “carpe diem” could be used since the first letter of “carpe” equals “C” for “Clark” while the first letter of “diem” equals “D” for “Diana.”

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. October 7—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.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Kings of Fear #6. October. Batman rescues an unnamed doctor from a mugger as she is walking home from a film screening.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Batman and Robin defeat the debuting mottled super-villain known as Mr. Polka-Dot (aka Polka-Dot Man aka Mr. Polka Dot).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #1. The Justice League defeats the immortal Vandal Savage.

–Joker Vol. 2 2021 Annual
November. The GCPD busts Anthony Rigalli (aka Tony Rigatoni aka Riga), a capo in the Falcone mob that is ready to leave the mafia and flip on his pals. It’s great to have Riga in custody, but Commissioner Gordon knows that half his men are on Falcone’s take and would jump at the chance to silence the rat. Later, Babs talks to her dad about her new job at the library and about how James Junior is getting into a lot of fights back in Chicago. Jim is preoccupied with the Riga situation and can’t give these things the fatherly attention they deserve. (This issue refers to Jim as a “new” commissioner, but he’s been commish for years, so we should ignore that.) Secretly working for Joker (unclear which one), Catman tries to rob a candy factory, but he’s stopped by Batman and Batgirl. (Note that Batman is depicted wearing the wrong costume in this issue.) Gordon, a drunk Harvey Bullock, and a bunch of corrupt cops watch the fight unfold. The next day, Gordon fires dozens of officers that he knows are crooked. Shortly thereafter, Joker meets with Killer Croc, Penguin, and Black Mask, trying to form an alliance. Penguin notes correctly that Joker has only pulled pop-crime pranks and small time heists in the past year. Joker responds by revealing that he’s successfully recruited all the cops that Gordon fired to be their new henchmen. Not long afterward, Batman and Batgirl come face-to-face with Joker and his ex-cop goon squad. While Batman chases Joker down to Blüdhaven, Gordon and the GCPD shoot their way through their former co-workers into a warehouse filled with piñatas. Inside each piñata is a corpse, signifying Joker’s return to mass murder. One of the victims is Riga.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2 and Batman Giant #6 (Batman: Universe #2). The Justice League learns of the existence and location of Gorilla City, a cloaked Central African metropolis (near the Atlantic Ocean) filled with talking telepathic apes. They defeat Gorilla Grodd, ruthless terrorist that hails from Gorilla City. The JL meets ruler of Gorilla City, King Solovar, and researches all they can about the denizens of Gorilla City.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Kings of Fear #6. Batman busts Sammy “Scalpel” Sanchez, a crook who is also an expert knife handler.

–REFERENCE: In Superman: Red and Blue #1 Part 1—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #192-193.[13] While rescuing a passenger train in the Central European dictatorship of Lubania, Superman is attacked by the Nazi-esque Lubanian military and shot with a synthetic Kryptonite ray. Superman becomes a powerless fugitive in the Right Wing nation. The Man of Steel attempts to flee the country, but gets recaptured by Colonel Koslov, head of Lubanian secret police. Eventually, Batman parachutes into Lubania only to get captured as well. After more than a week straight of brutal torture, our heroes finally escape. In Washington DC, Batman and Superman defeat Koslov’s Lubanian metahumans Steelman and Cowlmask.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The World Part 4. Batman has been keeping tabs on Cesare, an Italian boy that he saved in Rome a few years ago. Unfortunately for Cesare, his father is a mob boss. After his dad is murdered by a hitman, Cesare’s mom commits suicide, leaving poor Cesare as an orphan. Concerned, Batman travels to Rome to check in on the boy.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #92. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl deal with chaos associated with two straight days of blackouts in the city. When Robin disobeys Batman’s orders and charges into a violent mob, he gets brutalized and is only saved by Batgirl and the timely intervention of Alfred in the Batplane. Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred patches up the badly injured Robin and stabilizes him in bed. Batman is about to charge in and chew out the Boy Wonder, but Alfred stops him, ordering the Dark Knight to remove his cowl and show Dick some much needed love. Batman complies.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #11 and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8. Batman isn’t directly a part of this item, but he definitely secretly monitors the situation. Deathstroke and his son Ravager (Grant Wilson) attack the Teen Titans (Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and new member Omen). Thanks to unstable new powers given to him by HIVE, Ravager has a heart attack during battle and drops dead. Deathstroke takes his son’s corpse and leaves the scene, blaming the Teen Titans for his death. Batman monitors all of this via hidden camera.



<<< Rebirth Era Year 1 <<< ||| >>> Rebirth Era Years 6-10 >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, Tweedledum and Tweedledee were cousins Dumfree (also spelled Dumfrey) Tweed and Deever Tweed, respectively. When Dumfree died, Deever’s twin brother Dumson took over as the new Tweedledum. In the New 52, that was altered and reversed by writer Scott Snyder so that the original Tweedledum and Tweedledee were Dumson and Deever. Dumson was later replaced by Deever’s twin brother Dumfree as the new Tweedledum. It’s confusing, I know. Basically, based upon this history, we can’t be certain of which pair of Tweeds we are dealing with here in the Rebirth Era. It could be Dumfree and Deever or Dumson and Deever. All we know is that, by the time Deathstroke Vol. 4 #36 comes around in about fourteen years, the duo is definitely the twins—Dumfree and Deever. Although, Batman: Urban Legends #9 Part 2 confirms that they are Dumfree and Deever, but it makes them cousins! I guess we’ll never know their true familial relationship. Twin cousins? I guess that’s pretty apropos of Lewis Carroll. Sheesh.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Throughout most of our timeline, many of the Darkseid appearances we’ll see will be mere emanations/avatars of his True Form, but more on that much later. However, if you are interested in learning more about the New Gods as “living ideas” right now, check out this blog post. Notably, Darkseid’s True Form, whether he is aware of it or not, is connected/linked to the Great Darkness. Justice League Incarnate #5 reveals the Empty Hand as the “right hand” of the Great Darkness and Darkseid as the “left hand” of the Great Darkness.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that this Justice League debut is a highly-retconned Rebirth version of the original New 52 version. Even the visuals from the flashbacks should be taken loosely (primarily in regard to costumery). Many folks regard Geoff Johns’ “Justice League: Origin” as having been retconned to have absolutely nothing to do with the original JL’s debut, instead placing it later—around Year 13 as a signifier of the start of New 52 era reference material on the Rebirth timeline. Since there’s really nothing definitive in any comic book that lets us know exactly how this story fits into the Rebirth Era, it’s really up to your own personal headcanon. However, Priest’s Justice League Vol. 3 #38 has Cyborg claim to have founded the team—a claim that Simon Baz shits on to Cyborg’s face with the diss: “you were there.” This implies that Johns’ “Justice League: Origin” does indeed go here, albeit in highly-altered Rebirth form. If Cyborg is indeed here, then he is much younger than in the original, and he doesn’t stick around as a team member afterward.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Don’t forget, the Rebirth Era version of “Long Halloween” has been compressed from a full year to six months. So instead of going from Halloween to Halloween, it goes from Halloween until April Fool’s Day. Though, I’ve still tried to adhere to the holidays as the key points of action for this arc since it revolves specifically around a serial killer that only strikes on holidays. Also note that 2021’s Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 is a non-canon coda to the “Long Halloween” arc, meant as a standalone continuation of the original Long Halloween and Dark Victory, set outside the bounds of any particular continuity. Essentially, Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 creates a Geoff Loeb/Tim Sale-verse in the same way that Dark Knight Returns and All-Star Batman and Robin spawned a separate Miller-verse back in the day.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that Superman vs Lobo is a Black Label title, meaning that its canonicity could go either way. Since there is nothing within the Superman vs Lobo arc that seems to contradict continuity, I’ve regarded it as canon. Bear this in mind as you regard future instances of this title.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that Strange Adventures Vol. 5 is a Black Label title, meaning that its canonicity could go either way. Writer Tom King has even said that it’s really up to the reader or other creators as to whether or not Strange Adventures is canon. Since there is nothing within the arc that seems to contradict continuity, I’ve regarded it as canon. Bear this in mind as you regard future instances of this title.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: The 5th Dimension is a magickal plane that is home to powerful djinns, elementals, and imps. Notable residents are Bat-Mite, Mxyzptlk, and Yz. According to superstring theory, the 5th Dimension—being the next dimensional layer beyond the 4th Dimension of time—is basically an expression for derived physical quantity in terms of alternate reality. It is, in essence, a fundamental underlying concept of multiverse theory. Superstring theory, multiverse theory, and M theory state that the macroscopic world has three spatial dimensions, a 4th Dimension of time, and six other imperceptible (possibly microscopic) quantum dimensions, plus an 11th Dimension at the definitively microscopic scale. (There are likely even more unknown dimensions.) The fictive world of the DCU plays with superstring theory, treating the insensible quantum dimensions (those beyond time) as the most out-there magickal sci-fi alternate realities possible.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Part 2 contains a two-page non-story section called “Lessons in Friendship with Oliver Queen!” that shows various copy-pasted images from Green Arrow comics from yesteryear, including a few panels of Green Arrow interacting with Batman from the Silver and Modern Ages. This section, which isn’t listed in the table of contents, is meant only to be a brief look back at old Green Arrow stories in celebration of the character’s 80th anniversary. As such, we should’t take this section as an indicator of canonization.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: One of Hawkman’s prior incarnations was Katar Hol of the Thanagarian Hawk-Police (aka the Wingmen). This incarnation occurred at a point well before his days with the Justice League. In fact, it occurred prior to the late 19th century, which is where our oft-resurrected warrior first became his current self, Hawkman Carter Hall. In regard to Hawkman’s secret identity, he uses “Carter Hall” on Earth and “Katar Hol” (the same ancestral name of his prior incarnation) on Thanagar.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: According to Talia’s Arabic familial history (and creator Denny O’Neil’s original intention), Talia does not have a last name. However, the Westernized version of her full name, while incorrect in Arabic, is “Talia al Ghul.” Since cultural lexicon basically trumps O’Neil’s intention, the use of “Talia al Ghul” (with surname) is acceptable grammar—and has been since the early 1990s—even though it’s technically wrong. Some might fight you on that, but I certainly don’t have the energy to engage in that debate. Hell, in the Rebirth Era, Batman himself refers to Talia as “Talia al Ghul,” so there you go.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: The flashback from Robin Vol. 3 #4 that depicts this famous shirtless desert duel from “Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” shows Batman down-and-out with a sword impaled in his chest. This iconic image is actually only from Neal Adams’ cover to Batman #244. Nowhere in the original narrative does Batman actually get stabbed like that. But it’s now been canonized thanks to this flashback.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Part 5 of the 1000th issue of ‘tec is a killer Denny O’Neil story that acts as not only an homage to the Silver Age/Bronze Age, but continues O’Neil’s Silver Age/Bronze Age run from back in the day. As such, it is merely quasi-canonical and, as stated, requires some re-jiggering/retconning to fit on our Rebirth Era timeline. Artist Steve Epting draws a Silver Age version of Leslie Thompkins, one who is very elderly/matronly. We have to ignore this look since Rebirth Era Leslie is way younger and looks completely different.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: This is a weird John Ridley reference in Superman: Red and Blue #1, which specifically says that Superman was in Lubania during the Soviet regime, placing it at the latest in 1989. Superman would have been like eight or nine-years-old at that point. And if this adventure, based off of WFC #192-193, occurred when it originally did (in the 1970s), Superman wouldn’t have even been born yet. Ridley also specifically says that Superman and Batman were held captive in Lubania for “eight months,” which is also bizarre. There’s really nowhere on our timeline where Superman and Batman could be MIA for that long. Plus, the original story from WFC #192-193 only spanned a couple weeks, so I’m not sure why Ridley changed that aspect. A fanwank could be that Superman and Batman time-travel to 60s, 70s, or 80s Lubania (which would conceivably allow for eight months of imprisonment if our heroes then returned to the moment right after which they departed). This fanwank keeps all of Ridley’s narrative intact, but it’s big and messy, and likely not Ridley’s intent. And with Clark interviewing an elder Koslov in the main action of Superman: Red and Blue #1, time-travel really doesn’t seem to make sense. Therefore, I’ve just ignored the Soviet mention (keep it a simple “authoritarian state” or treat it as the last remnant of an ex-Soviet regime) and retcon the “eight months” to “eight days”.

15 Responses to Rebirth Years Two to Five

  1. Jon Doe says:

    Something you might want to add to Dick’s time in college is that he acquires an advanced degree in forensic science, as mentioned in Nightwing Vol. 4 #43.

    • This is bad throwaway line from Michael Moreci. Anyone writing Nightwing should know damn well that he is a college dropout. Now, it’s possible that Dick, a law student, is focusing on forensics (although “advanced forensics” doesn’t sound like an undergraduate degree). In any case, he could simply be referencing his time spent studying with Batman—the highest “degree” one could get, anyway. I’ll def add a note about this, though. Thanks!

  2. Ryan Angelastro says:

    Where’s that Batman story where Joker poisoned Gotham’s fish and tried to have it copyrighted? And can it be replaced with the Animated Series Episode with the same plot?

    • I have the Laughing Fish plot in Year Seven. The Animated Series episode is actually a mash-up of “Five-Way Revenge” (Batman #251) and “The Laughing Fish/Sign of the Joker” (Batman #475-476). Since I don’t think “Five-Way Revenge” has been referenced (yet), you could theoretically substitute the BTAS episode in your headcanon. But, generally speaking, when DC writers canonize things, they are almost always referencing the comics—unless of course they are referencing something that ONLY appeared on TV.

  3. Dylan says:

    Shouldn’t Wonder Woman’s debut be placed earlier, since post Doomsday Clock she’s established as having originated during WW2?

  4. Jack James says:

    Where exactly do we get the reference that the Holiday killings still happened here? i can’t find it

    • Detective Comics #1000 Part 8 by Geoff Johns and Kelley Jones. If the Holiday killings happened, then they still had to occur over the course of twelve months, and there’s no reason they wouldn’t/shouldn’t dovetail with Two-Face’s origin as they did originally.

  5. Dylan Robinson says:

    Obviously, your mileage may vary, but King made a twitter comment earlier this week about how Batman: Killing Time is a canon story set early in Bruce’s career that’ll have an effect on an upcoming plot- specifically, that it’s set between the end of Year One and Bruce meeting Dick Grayson.

    Obviously, this presents some problems with King’s old stuff, given that King accidentally built a timeline where Dick had to be recruited during Year One. That said, I don’t mind the idea of being able to move Dick’s recruitment out of Year One.

    • Thanks for the heads up, Dylan! I’ll wait until this one wraps as well before giving it any thought. My dream of dreams would be to never ever have to read another Tom King story for the rest of my life.

      But to your point, it should be noted that King has given incorrect information in interviews (notably on the Word Balloon Comics Podcast) and on twitter before. So take anything he says with a grain of salt.

  6. Dylan Robinson says:

    I can’t recall if I mentioned this already, but the preview art for Dark Crisis #0 indicates that the issue is recanonizing the Appelaxian origin for the Justice League, though a nearby statue also depicts the fight with Darkseid, so who knows! We’ll have to see what the dialogue says when the book comes out.

    • Nice! Very much looking forward to Dark Crisis! Williamson has been on a roll lately.

      • And his roll kinda flew off a cliff and plummeted into a ditch with #75 lol. I’m still looking forward to Dark Crisis, but the prelude felt like an editorial mandated let’s get the JL off the chess board so we can do the next thing. With one issue, sadly, my expectations have lowered.

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