Year 9

(1975)
_______________________________

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #1—originally based on Detective Comics #235. One year has passed since the death of Joe Chill. Bruce and Dick clean out the Wayne Manor attic and Bruce finds his dad’s old masquerade bat-costume. Bruce also finds his dad’s diary and film reel of the masquerade—the infamous night where Lew Moxon crashed the party when Bruce was just four-years-old. After reading his dad’s diary and watching the film, Bruce realizes that Joe Chill had been hired by Moxon. An angry Batman and Robin visit Moxon’s advertising agency front in Coast City where they rough up his gang and arrest Moxon, bringing him back to Gotham. Before a judge, Moxon denies having had anything to do with the Wayne murders. He agrees to take a lie detector test and passes with flying colors. Later, Commissioner Gordon reveals that, due to a head injury and possible amnesia, Moxon might’ve been able to fool the test. Batman dons his father’s old costume and confronts Moxon once again in his Coast City office. Upon seeing the costume, Moxon freaks-out and admits that he hired Joe Chill to commit the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne all those year ago. In a panic, Moxon runs out into the street and gets flattened by a truck. With Moxon dead, Batman has finally avenged his parents and brought peace to his family. Back in Gotham, the Dark Knight visits his parents’ grave for what will be the last time. Batman puts his dad’s old costume on display in the Batcave.

–Batman #215
The third annual Civic Conscience Council gala dinner is held. During the gathering, high-ranking city officials hand out special watches as gifts for the CCC members, including Bruce. These watches, actually special devices invented by crooked CCC member Myron Mycroft, will allow Mycroft to mind-control his peers. Several days later, Mycroft phones the members of the CCC—sans Bruce, who is out patrolling—to brainwash them into doing his bidding. This leads to J Carlyle, Andrew Tim Barclay, and Clem Sterling all purposefully allowing criminals—Jigger, Ears Logan, and Fine-Finger Fowler—full access to their respective homes and businesses, much to the chagrin and confusion of the Dynamic Duo. The next day, while Dick is at school, Bruce makes some calls and discovers that all eleven of his fellow CCC members have willingly let criminals into their lives. After taking a phone call from Mycroft, Bruce mindlessly heads toward the Wayne Research Institute. Robin tails Bruce and watches him help two big name smugglers—that he recognizes, presumably from the Bat-computer crime-files—rob the facility. Robin busts the bad guys and gets Bruce to snap out of his funk. Deducing that one of the CCC members must be the mystery brainwasher, Bruce calls an emergency meeting of the group. He gives each member a bug to wear, so that Batman can monitor any future phone calls. After Mycroft fakes a call and then makes it seem like he is not the mastermind in front of the Dynamic Duo, the secret villain discovers that he has control over Batman as well. That night, Mycroft orders Batman to plant explosives all around the exterior of Wayne Manor and then detonate them. Alfred and Robin watch a mindless Batman dig holes and bury bombs for a few hours, after which they simply dig up the bombs and replace them with harmless pyro and fireworks. Unable to resist, Batman detonates the “bombs” before an ecstatic Mycroft. But when the smoke clears, Wayne Manor is still standing and Batman punches-out Mycroft, sending him to jail.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 1. Bruce becomes head coach of the fencing team for the upcoming World Youth Games, to be held in Vienna in a few months’ time. He begins training his crew and will do so on-and-off in the coming months.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #25. Bruce befriends philanthropic billionaire Loren Jupiter. Bruce introduces the affable Jupiter to Dick.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #85. A state senate seat is up for grabs, prompting the announcement of a special election and new campaigns. Bruce follows the candidates closely and winds up throwing his public support behind an incumbent with tough anti-crime policies, Senator Paul Cathcart. Bruce will work with Cathcart, Cathcart’s son Dr. Edmond Cathcart, Oliver Queen, and the rest of Cathcart’s administration sporadically for the next few months, helping to write and promote a new crime bill aimed at bringing down untouchable gangsters that hide behind “legit” dummy corporations, such as Miklos Minotaur. Bruce will become very close with both Paul and Edmond.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #191. Superman begins teaching Batman the Kryptonian language of Kryptonese. Batman will eventually become mostly fluent.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #384. Batman and Superman secretly build “Hideout X-1,” a clandestine meeting place inside the giant globe atop the Daily Planet Building. The World’s Finest Heroes stock the hideout with food and supplies, planning to use it for meetings or in case of emergency.

–Detective Comics #390
A costumed villain calling himself The Masquerader debuts and spends three nights in a row fighting Batman to a stalemate. Unknown to Batman, the Masquerader is none other than his longtime tailor, Sam Tweed! With no remaining non-ruined costumes, Batman calls Tweed, asking for a fresh set, which the garment-maker delivers to GCPD HQ for pickup. When Robin opens the box in the Batcave, the Dynamic Duo is surprised to see a Masquerader costume mixed in. Batman calls Tweed, who claims he was forced to work for the Masquerader before faking his death over the phone. Soon afterward, Batman faces-off against the Masquerader, who activates hidden filament in Batman’s newest costume, causing the fabric to balloon-up and then constrict, effectively nullifying the Dark Knight’s ability to fight. Batman, however, is able to turn the tables and defeat the Masquerader anyway, sending him to jail. Since Tweed is done being Batman’s costumier, we must assume that Alfred makes the Batman and Robin togs from now on—or that the Dynamic Duo hires someone new. (Robin even jokes about looking through the Yellow Pages for a new needle-worker, but for simplicity’s sake I’m just going to assume that Alfred becomes the new clothier. It’s also amazing that the polymathic genius Batman can do literally almost everything, but he just can’t sew.) We must also assume that Alfred also takes over Tweed’s other duties—notably altering Bruce and Dick’s civilian clothes to mask the fact that costumes are tucked neatly beneath them.

–Justice League of America #72
Superman assembles the JLA at the Secret Sanctuary to show off a rough model of a Martian Manhunter model that he’s sculpted. The Man of Steel tells all that Martian Manhunter will be honored with a statue next to the Washington Monument in DC. Flash says that they should get Picasso to sculpt the real one—a comment that made sense when this was originally published in 1969, but can’t be said after Sliding Time has pushed us to 1974, a year after Picasso’s death. Red Tornado visits from Earth-2, but accidentally destroys Superman’s statue. The JLA is then called by Hawkgirl to Midway City where dozens of people, including Hawkman, have been turned into statues made of salt. After beating up a hippie biker gang, The Gruesome Ghouls, Batman and Flash arrest a suspect, neo-alchemist Marmaduke Mantick, and bring him to the Sanctuary for interrogation. Mantick explains that he accidentally conjured up a demon that used him to gain access to the Philosopher’s Stone, which was on exhibit at a Midway museum. A horde of demons then turned everyone into salt pillars. Mantick says the spell can be reversed, but not for 13 days. A few days later, the Gruesome Ghouls, whose leader has been turned to salt, kidnaps Hawkgirl, demanding that the JLA turn everyone back immediately. Superman simply kicks the shit out of the Ghouls and rescues Hawkgirl. In the quiet days that follow, Bruce presides over Wayne Enterprises meetings. On the thirteenth day of the salt curse, Mantick is unable to change anyone back due to a misreading of some ancient parchments. The JLA has only one option: visit a Hellmouth beneath Midway and battle an army of demons, beyond which exists a healing energy trapped beneath a magick stone. The JLA fights valiantly, but is outnumbered and outmatched, getting defeated by the demon hordes. All hope seems lost, but Red Tornado shows up, sneaks into the Hellmouth, and releases the energy needed to save the salt people. Hal Jordon then seals up the Hellmouth with the demons underneath. After the case is fully wrapped, Red Tornado tries to tell the JLA of a catastrophe—Earth-2 has been totally destroyed by the cosmic being known as Aquarius—but they keep shutting up the “annoying” android before he can speak.

–Detective Comics #391
Bruce visits the Gotham Health Club to get his usual massage from Tim Clark. Tim tells Bruce that he and Ginny are on the rocks due to her new job working for Arnie Arnold, publishers of a food magazine. Arnold and his goons, in the steam room next door, talk about blackmailing restaurants as a part of Arnold’s secret criminal empire. Both Tim and Bruce overhear, which prompts Bruce to dart out to switch into his crimefighting gear. Meanwhile, Ginny shows up at the spa to greet Arnold, with whom she’s been having an affair. Tim sees them together and flips-out, which causes Arnold to pull a gun on him. That night, Batman prevents Arnold’s men from screwing with the dishes at a fancy restaurant, but the restaurant is too scared to press charges. After dinner, Tim confronts Ginny, who has no idea her boss is a racketeer, and tells her what’s up. She accuses him of jealously lying. Tim decides to dress up as Batman and shake-down Arnold and his squad firsthand. The fake Batman is able to expose Arnold as a crook in front of Ginny, but he gets taken down by Arnold’s thugs. The real Batman—having wire-tapped the steam room and planted marked bills at the restaurant to get enough evidence to convict—swings in, saves Tim, and busts Arnold and his gang.

–Justice League of America #73-74
Red Tornado has been sitting in the Secret Sanctuary for almost two weeks, waiting on pins-and-needles to tell the JLA that Earth-2 has been destroyed! Finally, the JLA listens to him and is shocked at what they hear. The evil sentient energy of Universe-2’s star Aquarius traveled to Earth-2 a couple weeks ago and defeated the JSA—Starman, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Dr. Fate, Earth-2 Superman (who has recently rejoined the team), Red Tornado, and Black Canary—and Earth-2 Larry Lance (Black Canary’s detective husband). Aquarius the destroyed this entire planet, leaving only the JSA and Larry alive in a protective bubble created by Dr. Fate. Upon hearing the news, the JLA travels to the former location of Earth-2. For the first time ever, the Supermen of two worlds meet! Aquarius mind-controls the JSA and has them attack the JLA. For the first time ever, it’s Superman versus Superman in an epic outer space fight. The others pair off and fight as well, with Batman matching up against Dr. Mid-Nite. Eventually, the weakened and crazed JSA succumbs to the JLA, prompting Aquarius to form an energy death ball and throw it at Black Canary. Larry jumps in front of the blast, sacrificing his life to save his wife’s. The resultant explosion re-creates the entire planet, returning it to how it was before Aquarius arrived. No one—except for the heroes that fought Aquarius—even realizes that the world had been destroyed. The next day, the heroes mourn the tragic passing of Larry, honoring him with a funeral and burial ceremony. Aquarius shows up to mock them and then darts through a portal to Earth-1. The Green Lanterns team-up (!) and goad Aquarius into following them into Universe-3 (aka the Antimatter Universe/the Negative Universe). There, Aquarius is pulverized by antimatter meteors. Back on Earth-2, all the heroes gather to celebrate. A depressed Black Canary decides she can’t bear to live on without Larry by her side. And here’s where the crazy shit happens—as referenced in Justice League of America #219-220. Black Canary’s daughter, Dinah Lance, has been comatose since she was an infant. Basically braindead, Yz has kept her alive and cared for her in the 5th dimension for the past 17 years or so. Thus, the JSA and Superman agree to allow the depressed Black Canary to basically commit suicide by transferring her mind, soul, and memories into the vessel of her braindead roughly 18-year-old daughter. Black Canary will be able to rest in peace with her deceased hubby in the afterlife while her daughter will get to live for the first time. Yz does his magick and the transfer is complete. Black Canary dies and a new Black Canary is born. Having no clue that she is actually Black Canary’s daughter stuck with mom’s memories, Dinah picks-up right where her mother left-off at the end of the Aquarius affair. However, instead of wanting to die, the depressed Dinah decides she wants to move to Earth-1 permanently. Superman brings Dinah Lance to Earth-1. Only Superman and the JSA will know the truth about Dinah. She will go on thinking that she is 45-year-old Dinah Drake when in fact she is 18-year-old Dinah Lance. My guess is that young Dinah will be led to believe that she, like so many of the other Earth-2 heroes, has been granted extended youth, when in fact she hasn’t. Note that this entire Aquarius affair is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #75, Justice League of America #219-220, DC Comics Presents #30, DC Special Series #10 (Secret Origins of Super-Heroes Special) Part 3, and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #78.

–Flash #192
While en route to a US destroyer in the Atlantic to do a ride-along in a US military submarine, Flash runs by Batman and Robin, who are on their routine patrol in Gotham. Flash winds up being late for the sub’s departure, missing the trip entirely. When the sub goes missing, Flash is blamed and bears the burden of guilt. Eventually, Flash discovers that Soviet antagonist Captain Vulcan captured the sub. Flash defeats Vulcan and his troops, rescuing the ship and its passengers.

–Detective Comics #392
Batman goes after Scap Scarpel and his righthand man Angles Moore. Feeling the heat, Moore contacts Batman, asking for leniency if he turns tables and provides evidence against his boss. The next night, Moore meets Batman and attempts a murderous double-cross. They wrestle each other into the ocean, and when only Moore comes out of the drink (and holding Batman’s mask, no less), Scarpel assumes that his man has killed the Dark Knight. Unknown to Scarpel, Batman has switched places with Moore and is wearing a Moore mask to impersonate him. The next evening, Scarpel and “Moore” get a dining bill that has a Bat-symbol stamped on it. On subsequent nights, the “ghost of Batman” haunts Scarpel and a scared-acting “Moore” in various ways. Eventually, Batman unmasks and busts a shocked Scarpel.

[1]

–REFERENCE: In Ambush Bug #3. Bat-Mite shows up to give Batman a hard time as usual, making the Dark Knight cough-up coffee through his nose. Suffice to say, Batman ain’t pleased. This will be the last time Bat-Mite visits Batman! The Caped Crusader might not miss you, but we surely will.

–Batman #224
February 10-11. When Batman’s favorite jazz musician, Blind Buddy (Charles Holden), is murdered in New Orleans, the Dark Knight goes to the Big Easy to avenge his death and bring the killers to justice. At Holden’s funeral parade, Batman is attacked by a superhuman being known as Moloch. After Moloch is chased away by the mob, Batman attends Holden’s funeral and visits Holden’s apartment with Holden’s friend Max Gill. There, Batman watches as a masked wheelchair-bound man named Rufus Macob, pushed by Gotham crook Heavyfoot Harry Harnet, is denied purchase of Holden’s personal items. Batman sends warning note to Macob, telling him to confess to Gill. Macob responds by having Gill kidnapped. HHH captures Batman as well and ties him to the paddle wheel of an old steamer that goes down the Mississippi. Batman nearly drowns, but escapes. Batman then stalks Macob and HHH to Holden’s grave. They’ve dug up his coffin to retrieve the horn he was buried with, which was the reason he was killed. The horn has a secret Kansas City oil map etched into it. Batman takes down HHH, which causes Macob to unmask as Moloch. The Caped Crusader chases Moloch through the wild Mardi Gras crowds and bests him as well. Holden’s horn is trampled and destroyed.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #421. Batman and Commissioner Gordon bust Assistant District Attorney Carlton Quayle for taking bribes. ADA Quayle refuses to implicate anyone else, taking a year jail sentence.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #101. Batman busts fence Reddy Link, but lets him go free, turning him into his underworld informant. Link will help Batman randomly for the next year or so.

–Action Comics #384
Superman sets a meeting with Batman at their new Daily Planet globe hideout. But before they can meet, Superman is accosted by two floating space costumes, each of which has been possessed by the deceased spirits of their previous alien owners, rivals Aabur-Z and Nz-2. Not long after, Clark unwittingly puts on the Aabur-Z suit, which turns him into an evil criminal. After trying to sink a ship (which Supergirl saves), the possessed Clark tries to help fugitive crook Mark Peron by hiding him in the Daily Planet globe. Batman arrives for their meeting and sees Peron, whom he recognizes from crime-dossiers. Batman busts Peron immediately. Meanwhile, Aabur-Z, angry at Clark, gets the attention of various lawmen, putting the heat on himself/Clark. Clark puts his Superman costume on over the Aabur-Z suit, but, still under the alien’s control, he runs amok and gets arrested. Perry White, wearing the Nz-2 suit and possessed by Nz-2, shows up and starts fighting Superman/Aabur-Z! The Man of Steel strips Perry and puts the Nz-2 suit overtop his Aabur-Z suit and Superman costume. He then flies to a sun of a distant solar system and burns the suit-alien-spirits into oblivion. Returning to Earth, Superman collects the waiting Perry, who is still in his underwear.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #194. Batman, after over ten years of practice, finally masters a dangerous Eastern yoga technique, which allows him to lower his blood pressure, heart rate, bodily temperature, and bodily response to go into into a death-like trance.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #225 Part 1. Batman begins scoping out a seedy dive bar/pool hall called Emma’s Classy Hours Club, which is a popular hangout for hoods and crooks.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #95 Part 1. Bruce reads about the adventures of the devilishly handsome Kyle Morgan, famous big game hunter, explorer, and polo-player. Unknown to the world, Kyle Morgan is actually Plastic Man, who has altered his face to live a better life.

–World’s Finest Comics #191
Batman and Superman are summoned to a military base in the US Southwest by the Chief of Pentagon Intelligence, General Hill. As they arrive near the base, the heroes see Superman’s parents discussing committing a crime! Jor-El and Lara fade away as Batman and Superman approach them. Batman and Superman then visit the base to find that General Hill has gotten into a car accident and lies in a coma. The World’s Finest Heroes then decide to investigate the Jor-El and Lara thing by going back in time to Krypton before it exploded! Superman flies himself and the Dark Knight to early 1940s Krypton where they suppress a student riot in Kryptopolis before meeting and getting dinner with Jor-El and Lara! After trailing Jor-El and Lara to a secret cave, the heroes witness them teaching criminal techniques to students. They soon learn the lessons are for a mission to the backwards island nation of Bokos, where one must constantly commit crimes or be banished. Jor-El and Lara hope to infiltrate Bokos and steal the petrified body of Calox, an alien Jesus Christ-like superhero figure that ruled over Krypton during the planet’s Stone Age. On Bokos, Batman switches costumes with Calox, pretending to be a revived Calox himself. Meanwhile, Superman sneaks the real Calox out of Bokos, taking him to his parents in Kryptopolis. There, Batman and Superman fade-out and find themselves back at the Southwestern US military base in 1975. General Hill, out of his coma, greets the heroes, explaining that his scientists have created an experimental time vortex machine. Batman and Superman immediately realize that it was this vortex machine that temporarily brought the latter’s parents to Earth and which brought them back to Earth. Knowing that the time vortex will send Batman and Superman back to Krypton, General Hill hastily destroys the $22 million machine. Umm, Superman definitely could have returned using his powers, no? Oh well.

[2]

–The Brave and The Bold #85
It’s special state senatorial election day. Bruce’s man, Senator Paul Cathcart wins re-election, keeping his seat. With only days until the voting for a crime bill that Cathcart is sponsoring, the jubilant senator celebrates victory with Bruce and his constituents. But a shot rings out and strikes the senator down. He’s stabilized and rushed to the hospital, but remains in a coma. Governor Morris calls Bruce at the hospital and asks him to finish Cathcart’s term in office! Meanwhile, new-look Oliver Queen—sporting what will become his signature goatee—has a business meeting to discuss a contract-bidding war that he’s currently in with Miklos Minotaur, after which some of Minotaur’s hired goons try and fail to assassinate him. Bruce works out in the gym with Dr. Edmond Cathcart and tells him that he can’t take over for his father because he’s Batman! Later, Edmond has a business meeting with Ollie that quickly turns into a psychiatric consultation. Ollie reveals that he is Green Arrow and says that he is thinking of lacing up the crime-fighting boots for good. That night, Batman and Green Arrow—wearing a brand new costume to match his goatee—discover that Edmond has been kidnapped. In the morning, Bruce accepts the Governor Morris’ proposal and is sworn-in as a state senator, just in time to vote yes for Cathcart’s crime bill. Then it’s off to the Mediterranean for Batman and Green Arrow to take on Minotaur head-on. There, they rescue Edmond, but Minotaur escapes. Ollie sets up a party at a US Embassy, but alters the facade of the building to disguise it before inviting Minotaur. Once inside, Ollie punches him out and has him legally arrested (since he is technically on American soil). Back in the States, Bruce takes-out a would-be assassin and places his yes vote for Cathcart’s crime bill, which passes thanks to him. Ollie decides to stay both a businessman and superhero. Senator Cathcart comes out of his coma, allowing Bruce to resign his senate seat, which goes back to Senator Cathcart. Edmond does hypnosis to make himself forget the secret IDs of Batman and Green Arrow.

–Justice League of America #122
In the Arctic, an escaped Dr. Light makes himself appear as an ice giant and summons the JLA. The JLA defeats and imprisons the “ice giant” in the Fortress of Solitude. After reverting back to normal, Dr. Light steals some amnesium and uses it to not only learn the secret IDs of every JLAer, but to scramble their brains so that they each think they are someone else! Only Superman and Aquaman remain unaffected, so they trail their discombobulated brothers back to the States. Dr. Light takes out a confused Green Arrow, who thinks he is Ray Palmer. Bruce, thinking he is Oliver Queen, goes to Star City but gets attacked by a mob that is under the influence of Dr. Light’s “hate-lite.” Meanwhile, Hal Jordan, believing himself to be Barry Allen, visits Barry’s father-in-law Ira West, who calls the cops on him. Hal gets taken down by Dr. Light as well. Ray Palmer, thinking he’s Hal, also gets taken down by Dr. Light. Barry, thinking he is Bruce, simply goes and idly hangs out at Bruce’s “apartment” for a bit. (Note that Bruce hasn’t moved into the penthouse yet, so this is wrong. While Bruce might have some sort of pad set up in the city since he owns a lot of property, this is likely a continuity error and should be treated as such. Barry should have been hanging at Wayne Manor instead.) Aquaman avoids Dr. Light’s death-trap and starts a chain-reaction of each hero saving the next hero’s life. Superman fights Dr. Light, but gets subdued by his “Kryptonite-lite.” The rest of the JLA fights Dr. Light inside the Fortress of Solitude, eventually detaining him in one of Superman’s interplanetary zoo cells. Afterward, the JLA decides that all team members will now be completely open about secret IDs, moving forward. Presumably, Dr. Light is mind-wiped.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #83. Now that the JLA has decided to be open about secret IDs, they decide to share their secret IDs with the Teen Titans as well.

–The Brave and The Bold #83
This item must take place after The Brave and The Bold #85 and Justice League of America #122, hence placement here. When millions of gallons of crude are stolen from Bruce’s Zenith Oil Corporation, Batman and Robin are on the case, quickly discovering re-routed pipelines that connect to a tanker ship. After a losing battle against the thieves, an oil soaked Batman returns home with Robin. At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick are shocked to find a seventeen-year-old hellion, Lance Bruner, running amok in the house. Alfred delivers legal documents, signed by both Thomas Wayne and a Professor Bruner (Lance’s dad, who was Thomas’ best friend), that make Bruce the legal guardian of Lance in the event of the his father’s death. Sure enough, Professor Bruner has kicked the bucket, so here the teen is. After Lance settles-in, Batman continues working the oil hijacking case, putting Lance under Dick’s watch. Lance is every bit the delinquent that he appears to be, stealing cash from Wayne Manor, spray-painting on police vehicles, and crashing Bruce’s new car right after it is purchased. Of course, Dick takes the rap for all these malfeasances. Bruce takes Lance to a Zenith board meeting where the other stockholders threaten to force Bruce’s resignation if the bandits aren’t busted soon. The next night, Dick brings Lance out to party at a dance club with Donna Troy, Roy Harper, and Wally West! Lance shits on everything and disses Dick and his “square” friends, leaving to go off on his own. The next day, Bruce receives a ransom letter demanding $50k for the safe return of a kidnapped Lance! The next day, Kid Flash spots Lance depositing $25k into a Gotham bank. Bruce chews out Lance, demanding to know where the money came from, but Lance simply tells him that it was a legacy from his father. Later, while the Teen Titans hang out in the Wayne Manor billiard room (!) and listen-in, a representative from the State Correctional Department meets with Bruce and reveals that Lance is a reform school and military school dropout, who has a lengthy juvenile criminal record. When the rep turns-out a warrant for Lance’s arrest, Lance admits to being a bad seed, even copping to the bogus kidnapping ransom. He begs Bruce to give him another chance and prevent the arrest from happening. Bruce decides to expedite Lance’s adoption paperwork, which allows the teen to avoid jail and remain at Wayne Manor. In the days that follow, Lance puts on a goody-two-shoes act and even begins hanging out with the Teen Titans (in their civilian identities, of course). While Batman and the Teen Titans bust up more of the oil thieves, a snooping Lance discovers the Batcave, learning who his adopted dad and brother really are! But not only has Lance discovered the secret identities of Batman and Robin, he’s also snooped enough to discover that Grantland Stark (a Zenith Board Member) is secretly behind the oil hijackings. Lance meets with Stark and tells him he will sell him the secret IDs of Batman and Robin for $100k. As Batman and Robin get closer to the top of the oil hijacking food chain via their ongoing investigation, they wind up getting captured aboard a deep-sea oil rig by Stark and his cronies. With Lance watching, the Teen Titans make the save, but Robin gets knocked-out and falls into Lance’s boat. Inspired by Robin’s heroism, Lance sees the error of his ways. He switches clothing with Robin and enters the fray dressed as the Boy Wonder, eventually taking a fatal bullet to save Batman’s life. Lance dies in a teary-eyed Batman’s arms. A few days later, Lance is buried on a Wayne Manor plot and funeral ceremony is held. Bruce, Dick, Alfred, and the Teen Titans attend. This story is pretty damn mind-blowing as it gives us the death of Batman’s legit adopted son!

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #75. Oliver Queen loses his company and fortune thanks to the swindling of crooked businessman John Deleon.

–Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #99-100
Batman, Lois Lane, and Lana Lang are invited to guest on a live TV show celebrating the upcoming National Superman holiday. A week or so later, in a Gotham TV studio, a crude host interviews them about their relationships with Superman, polling the crowd to see who is really Superman’s lover. Backstage, Lana and Lois argue and come to blows, forcibly separated by production assistants. (We don’t even see Batman’s part on the show, but with stuff like that, who really needs to?) Later, Lois meets up with Lana to apologize for her behavior. As they drive over a bridge in a rainstorm, the car skids off the road and into a river below. Only Lois is able to crawl from the wreckage. In shock, she hitchhikes to the Gotham Hotel. In the morning, Superman takes the still dazed and confused Lois to the site of the accident where her car, along with Lana’s corpse, is fished out of the drink. Lois is immediately arrested for suspicion of murder and thrown in the clink! Shortly thereafter, Bruce visits Lois and tells her that Batman will help. After switching outfits, Bruce arrives again, but this time as the Dark Knight, telling her that he will do all he can to help, including acting as her defense attorney. Later, after a pre-trial with a grand jury, DA Danton informs Batman and Superman that a murder-one trial will proceed. In an unprecedented move, DA Danton asks Superman to be the special prosecutor! It’ll be Batman versus Superman—in court, for the life of Lois! The next day, while Batman meets with his client, Superman shows up and tells a sobbing Lois that he believes she is guilty. The day afterward, Lois gets special permission to accompany Batman to Lana’s funeral. There, Lana’s mom, Sarah Lang, screams furious obscenities at Lois. A week or so later, the fast-tracked trial of Lois Lane begins. Superman and DA Danton calls various witnesses for the prosecution. With things looking bleak, Lois ignores Batman’s urging for her to plead insanity. Lois is then called to the stand. Superman grills her so hard that she slaps him in the face and agrees to take a lie detector test. In front of the jury, Lois fails the test. After final statements, the jury goes into deliberation. That night, Batman, re-examines the evidence and sees that Lana’s diary has been tampered-with. Batman and Superman dig up Lana’s corpse and discover that it is an android replica! They also discover that the polygraph machine has been rigged. Further investigation links the Lana android to a desert in Libya. Superman rushes there to find a group of alien androids playing a strange game of “human chess.” They’ve been manipulating everything that has occurred since National Superman Day. Superman rescues the real Lana, held captive in a UFO, which causes the alien androids to flee. Just as the jury is about to deliver its verdict, Batman arrives with Lana android’s corpse to stall things. Superman then arrives with the real Lana and the case is thrown out.

–World’s Finest Comics #192-193
While rescuing a train full of passengers 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. After ditching his Superman clothes, the Man of Steel attempts to walk out of Lubania, but gets chased by bloodhounds. Thankfully, he makes it to the US Embassy—or so he thinks. Superman quickly realizes that the Embassy is fake and gets outta dodge. Colonel Koslov, head of Lubanian secret police, then sends a fake radio message to Superman, telling that Batman will be parachuting into Lubania to rescue him soon. Koslov then has a dozen or more of his soldiers—all dressed-up as Batman—parachute down around the Lubanian capital. Superman is confronted by one of the fakers, but is able to take him down, stealing his Bat-costume to wear as a disguise. Not long afterward, the real Batman parachutes into Lubania and joins Superman only for both heroes to get captured. Batman and Superman are thrown into a concentration camp where they are tortured, starved, and humiliated for days on end. By night, the weakened heroes attempt to dig an escape tunnel. When news of the capture and imprisonment of America’s greatest heroes hits home, the West and the rest of Europe goes into an uproar. More days of sadistic torture pass in the camp until Perry White is granted a press visit. Perry watches in utter disbelief as both the escape tunnel and an attempt to scale a barbed wire fence both miserably fail. Then, Koslov’s master plan—”Operation Holocaust”—kicks into high gear. Batman and Superman are thrown into a secret underground cell. A fake Superman and Batman—Steelman and Cowlmask—stage a dramatic “escape” in front of Perry, who returns to the States with them. The fake heroes are given a huge “welcome back” parade and meet with top military officials, including President Ford. The Lubanian spies send a ton of top secret American information back to Koslov. Meanwhile, more horrible days pass in the camp. Upon learning that Superman’s powers are being repressed by a synthetic Kryptonite ray, a nearly broken Batman and Superman paint their faces with house paint, hoping to confuse whoever controls the ray. Sure enough, the plan works and Superman gets his powers back just as Batman is about to be executed. Superman levels the camp and flies with Batman to the States. In Washington DC, Steelman and Cowlmask are about to detonate a bomb that will kill the President and other military leaders. The real superheroes arrive and shut down their sinister plot.

–The Brave and The Bold #86
The femme-fatale Lotus and Willie Smith, a League of Assassins (aka Society of Assassins) hitman, poison Deadman and hypnotize him into believing that Batman is his enemy. Deadman then attacks Batman, who is just wrapping up a racketeering bust in Gotham. After Batman fends-off Deadman, making him snap back to his senses, the befuddled ghost hero flies away. Batman immediately visits the proprietor of Hills Brothers Circus (where Boston Brand was killed), Lorna Hill. There, Batman sees Boston’s twin brother Cleveland Brand performing in his sib’s place. Deadman enters Cleveland’s body, but botches a trapeze act, forcing Batman to make the save. Deadman (in Cleveland’s body) and Batman are then approached by Vashnu (Deadman’s mystic pal from the circus), who says they must urgently go to Nanda Parbat. Deadman, still under the effects of the poison and brainwashing, says he wants to kill Batman, so Batman simply says that he can after the trip. Seemingly sated, Deadman agrees. Batman and Deadman (still in Cleveland’s body) take a Bruce Wayne-chartered jet to Nanda Parbat. There, League of Assassins troops, currently in the middle of an invasion of Nanda Parbat, shoot at the parachuting heroes. Once inside the city walls, Deadman becomes corporeal (thanks to Rama Kushna) and collapses, feeling the full effects of the poison in his system. While Nanda Parbatan guard Taj-Ze cares for Boston, Batman and Cleveland take down thirty League of Assassins men on the snowy slopes of the mountainside, eventually grabbing Willie Smith. The Sensei, one of the highest ranking members of the League of Assassins, confronts Batman, but the Caped Crusader doesn’t know who he is and simply tells him to beat it! Despite having just fought the League of Assassins, Batman doesn’t hear or learn their name and, thus, still doesn’t even know the group exists. Back inside the city walls, Deadman recovers from his poisoned condition thanks to an antidote gotten from Willie Smith. Moving forward, Deadman will only remain corporeal within the magickal walls of Nanda Parbat, existing as his good ol’ ghosty self everywhere else. (This item is also shown via flashback from Phantom Stranger Vol. 2 #39.)

–Justice League of America #75
The partial narrator of this item is the highly-unreliable storyteller Black Canary, who tells us that merely one week has passed since the Aquarius affair. This cannot be true. It’s been nearly three months since the Aquarius affair. (A full month—enough time for Oliver Queen to grow his goatee—passes in-between the Aquarius affair and the time Ollie loses his fortune, which also happens a full month before this item. With the inclusion of other stories, we can throw in an extra month, thus adding up to a grand total of around three months. Sorry, Black Canary, get your memory checked! Pun intended, since all her memories are completely false anyway.) Onto a synopsis. The Justice League gathers as Superman declares a motion to admit Black Canary onto the Justice League of America. As the JLAers get into a heated argument, Black Canary unwittingly knocks them all down with an accidental ultrasonic scream. Batman assumes that she has gained mutant powers from the encounter with Aquarius. Superman agrees in order to hide the truth—that this Black Canary is actually the daughter of the original Black Canary and has had sonic scream powers since birth. Meanwhile, Ollie, depressed about his financial situation, visits a new psychiatrist, who uses an experimental device that accidentally releases his aggressive id as a sentient construct. The Green Arrow id enters the Secret Sanctuary and creates sentient construct ids of each JLer, except for Superman. The Man of Steel, hoping to inspire his friends, quickly turns one of his Superman Robots into a fake id construct of himself. A quick fight ends with Superman walloping the robot. Motivated, the rest of the JLA tracks down their id constructs and fights them in Star City. Green Arrow bests his doppelgänger, which causes all the copycats to fade away. Afterward, Black Canary is officially made the newest member of the JLA—although the team won’t publicly announce her membership yet. Green Arrow and Black Canary record all that has occurred for the Justice League archives. (This story is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #219 and referenced in Justice League of America #76.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #235. Bruce meets eccentric billionaire and steel/chemical magnate Solomon T London, hanging out at his highly secure Gotham estate. Bruce learns all about London’s peculiarities, many of which are publicly known due to the man’s fame.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #415. Bruce begins following the career of “Consumer Crusader” Tom Carson, who runs a private regulatory commission known as Carson’s Consumer Commandos, which does lab testing on big industry products, making sure they are safe for consumption, use, and the environment.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #415Detective Comics #423, and Batman #273. Batman begins carrying phosphorescent spray paint, black spray paint, and uranium nitrate paint with him in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #417. Bruce begins reading an ongoing magazine article series called “Tell It Like It Is” wherein which adventurer Jan Paxton travels around the country with his sister Trina Paxton. For his series, Paxton walks a day in the life of the most dangerous and adventurous people, from skydivers and stuntmen to firefighters and police commissioners (and everything in-between). Bruce will read these articles as they come out, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #239 . Bruce, as part of Wayne Enterprises business, meets with eccentric paraplegic toy manufacturer Richard Lee Evans at his mansion, which is designed to look like a fairytale castle and is filled with toys.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #240. Pickpocket Flinky Davenport gets out of prison and gets a job at a shop called Night Owl Smokes. Batman checks-in on Flinky, forcing him to become an informant. Flinky will deliver news about Gotham’s underworld whenever Batman visits in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #240. Batman adds a smaller helicopter to his fleet of combat-ready vehicles.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #101. Batman and Commissioner Gordon encounter the deadly one-armed hitman known only as The Bounty Hunter. Batman and Gordon go after the elusive killer, who commits several murders, stopping to purchase a new gun for each hit. The heroes are always a few steps behind and, eventually, the Bounty Hunter skips town scot-free.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #288. Penguin escapes from jail and robs the Excelsior of a million dollars in bonds. Batman busts Penguin, but the bird-themed villain hides the loot before going back behind bars.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #421. Former ADA Carlton Quayle is attacked in prison and nearly killed.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #422. Bruce purchases stock in the West Coast-based Compass Trucking Company and meets numerous Compass employees, including union leader and truck driver Buzz Riley.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #241. Bruce reads about promising politician Howard MacGuffin, a wealthy young diplomat that is a liaison between the French and American governments.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #426. Batman begins using extravagant tabloid gossip columnist Gingie as an informant. He will be in touch with Gingie at her local haunt, a cocktail lounge, every once and a while, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #243. Batman invents an inflatable body-stocking, which can be used in conjunction with his disguise kit. Using this invention, one can disguise themselves as someone that is much larger than they are.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #245. Bruce reads about scientist Osgood Peabody, who has invented a machine that simulates handwritten letters and signatures.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 1/21/1972 and Detective Comics #432. Batman begins keeping matches and shoelaces in his utility belt. It’s really turning into a regular junk drawer these days, isn’t it?

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #430. Batman meets new GCPD front desk-sergeant, a cop named Jim.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #105. Bruce eats at a fancy Spanish restaurant and meets its owner Carlos. Bruce loves the food so much, he will eat there several times over the course of the next year—and often, moving forward, after that.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #107. Batman busts Monk Devlin.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #250 Part 1. Bruce reads a cheap tabloid rag known as The Gotham Mirror, which he immediately regards with utter contempt.

–REFERENCE: In –Batman #250 Part 3. Batman busts a smalltime thief known as Willie the Horse.

–The Brave and The Bold #87
May. Bruce purchases a Formula One car and decides to enter it into the Monaco Grand Prix with himself behind the wheel (because his life isn’t already exciting enough, right?). Bruce obtains a racing license and then familiarizes himself with the new car, his pit crew, and rival drivers, especially the German-born Willi “The Widow-Maker” Van Dort, son of Nazi super-villain General Van Dort. (“Van Dort” is also spelled “Von Dort.”) In Van Dort’s last seven races, an opposing driver has crashed and died. As Bruce preps on the day of the big race, he spots Diana and I-Ching in the audience. Bruce introduces himself and chats with them, shamelessly flirting with Diana. (No longer a JLA member, Diana still doesn’t know that Bruce is Batman.) After Bruce achieves pole position in the qualifiers, Van Dort orders his pit crew to sabotage the car. Bruce catches them red-handed, but fakes getting beaten-up when Diana and I-Ching arrive to help. But Bruce fakes a bit too much and winds up getting brained with a wrench, leading to a bad concussion, which bars him from competing. Diana gets a special license from Princess Grace Kelly herself, allowing her to replace Bruce in the competition! Undaunted, Bruce switches to his Bat-gear, complete with a specially-made Bat-helmet, and “takes over” for Bruce. The race starts and its not long before Van Dort begins using Speed Racer-esque tricks in attempts to crash Batman. Diana and I-Ching drive ahead of the racers in, taking out Van Dort’s goons. At the end of the race, one of Van Dort’s men accidentally causes Van Dort to crash into a fiery fatal wreck, which allows Batman to claim victory! Afterward, Diana is arrested by the Monaco police force for having accidentally taken someone else’s car. Batman tells Diana that Bruce Wayne will post her bail if she goes on a date with him (with Bruce). Diana agrees. We don’t get to see it, but presumably, Bruce and Diana go on that date. It’s also likely that Bruce reveals that he is Batman to her on the date.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #393. Bruce and Dick meet and befriend the wealthy Winslow family—Mr. Winslow, Mrs. Winslow, and teenage daughter Deena Winslow. Bruce and the Winslows decide to purchase adjacent luxurious beachfront estates in Ocean Point, which they plan to spend time at this summer. Of course, Batman will be occupied with patrols and other Batman-related things and won’t get out to Ocean Point for the first time until Labor Day weekend.

–The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 1
With only a month to go until the World Youth Games in Vienna, the American athletic association tasks Bruce with recruiting retired undefeated heavyweight champ Ted Grant as the coach of the boxing team. Not only is Ted bankrupt and living in squalor, but he’s more-or-less retired his career as crimefighter Wildcat as well. (Earth-2’s Ted Grant is doing much better than Earth-1’s.) Bruce pays off two dudes to attack him (Bruce) outside of Ted’s tenement, which prompts the depressed Ted to spring into action, punching them out and accepting the coaching gig.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Dick wins his high school decathlon.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #25, Batman #217, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 9/5/1970. Dick gets accepted to Hudson University.

–Teen Titans #25
Dick, Donna, Roy, and Wally go to a discotheque and watch scantily clad go-go dancers gyrating in cages while a live band plays. One of the dancers, a telepath named Lilith Clay, approaches the foursome and gives them a cryptic message, saying death is in the Teen Titans’ future. After the club, Dick and company stumble upon protestors picketing outside of a packed auditorium, in which Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Arthur Swenson is about to speak. Sensing that trouble is brewing between the hippies and the Right Wingers out front, the heroes switch into fighting gear. The same goes for sibling teen heroes Hawk (Hank Hall) and Dove (Don Hall), who are present. Sure enough, a riot breaks out and the teen heroes begin throwing fists Someone in the crowd pulls a revolver and shoots Swenson. Swenson is rushed to the hospital but dies. The Justice League confronts the Teen Titans and tells them there must be repercussions for their failure, but they want the Titans themselves to pick their own punishment. Later, Lilith and her father, Bruce’s billionaire pal Loren Jupiter, approach the Teen Titans (and Hawk and Dove). The Titans, Hawk, and Dove then go to Jupiter’s mansion where he offers them a new vision of where the Titans should go via a unique proposition: vow to become pacifists, reboot the team, and train with him. Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, Hawk, and Dove are down, but Robin says no. He reveals to the team that he’s been accepted to college. With all that’s happened, Robin sees this as a good a time as any to quit the Titans! After Robin walks, the others are ushered to a high-tech HQ on the 13th floor of a skyscraper. There, the new Teen Titans lineup—which now officially consists of Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, Hawk, Dove, and Lilith—ditch their costumes and switch to drab grey matching speed-suits. They immediately begin Jupiter’s intense survival training. Thus, begins the Jupiter era for the team. (This story is also told via flashback from Teen Titans #27).

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of The Batman #2. Early June. Dick graduates high school.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/27/1970. Bruce reads about the murder of local man Ben Harris, who leaves behind a wife and two kids. He can’t help but be sadly reminded of his parents.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/16/1970. Batman meets low-level crook Jolly, who will now be on his radar, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/16/1970. Bruce, in his role as head of Wayne Enterprises, meets and does business with Brooks Dulin, the head of Dulin Enterprises.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 3/20/1970 to 9/7/1970 (“The Circus is Still Not For Sale”)
Note that this arc supposedly picks up right where the last arc left off, but that is simply impossible. Any references to Batman having recently broken his back must be ignored. Onto a synopsis. Batman and Robin are special guests of the owners of the traveling Fiore Family Circus—Pete and Rosa—and their daughter Violetta. The Fiores let the Dynamic Duo play around on the trapeze, but the rope snaps, sending them to the nets below. The Fiores then tell our heroes that someone has been sabotaging their shows lately. The Fiores don’t mention that their own ringmaster, Mr. Whipp, has been aggressively pushing for them to sell the circus to him. The next night, Bruce and Dick go to the circus and enjoy the show. They notice strange behavior from both Whipp and a man named Anders. Later, after some more trapeze training at the circus, the Dynamnic Duo joins the Fiores for dinner. Batman saves them when the oven—rigged by Anders—nearly torches their trailer. The next day, Batman and Robin drive along with the circus as it moves on from Gotham to Daletown, about 90 minutes away. En route, the brakes on the Fiore’s trailer—again rigged by Anders—go out, prompting Batman and Robin to make another save. While Robin fixes the brakes, Batman dusts for and photographs fingerprints, delivering the film to a State Police colonel. Later, in Daletown, the crew sets up the circus tents. A villain hiding in the rafters throws down a heavy spotlight in an attempt to crush Robin and Violetta below. Whipp, proving himself a hero, pushes them out of the way, getting hit himself. While Robin busts the baddie, Batman speaks to a fading Whipp, who, before dying, reveals that he had been blackmailed by loan sharks to help sabotage the circus in an attempt to purchase it for cheap. Batman instructs Pete to sell the circus to Bruce Wayne, which he does. The State Police then calls Batman, telling him that they’ve made some arrests based upon the fingerprint information. At State Police HQ, Batman observes the suspects—Anders and known mobster Lewis “Hands” Bragen. After the circus is officially signed over to Bruce, he soon is visited by a higher-up from Dulin Enterprises, who wishes to purchase the circus from Bruce. Now knowing that Dulin Enterprises is the front business for the mafia organization going after the Fiores, Bruce concocts the next part of his plan. As Batman, he goes into a few underworld haunts and spreads news that he’s looking for a fugitive named Flint Stern, who is a complete fabrication. Before long, “Stern” (a disguised Batman), gains an audience with Brooks Dulin, who hires him to kill Bruce! However, not fully trusting the newcomer, Dulin sticks one of his men, Nick, to tag along with him. Using a cypher, Batman is able to get a message to Robin, prepping him. Nick watches as “Stern” machine-guns Bruce (actually a dummy) to death at Wayne Manor. With Commissioner Gordon, medical doctors, and lawyers onboard with the ruse, Bruce’s “death” goes public and a fake will is publicly released, stating that the Fiore Circus goes to Dick with the provision that he never sell it. (Note, that it is specifically mentioned that Dick is still 17-years-old here, hence placement of this entire arc just prior to his 18th birthday.) After Batman taunts Dulin, he panics and begs “Stern” for protection. Bruce then proceeds to pretend to be a ghost, haunting Dulin on consecutive nights. Eventually, Batman reveals himself, but gets into a fight with Dulin’s bodyguard, Brute. While Batman kayos Brute, Robin busts Dulin. Afterward, Batman and Robin celebrate victory, but lament the fact that Robin will soon be heading off to college at the end of summer. Bruce then meets with Pete and returns ownership of the circus to him. Bruce also tells Pete he has a very important question to ask him. The question, as we learn in the next Batman news strip arc, is regarding Whipp’s family. However, like so many other Batman news strip arcs, this one cannot go seamlessly into the next storyline (even though it appears to do so). This arc ends definitively with the 9/7/1970 strip. Therefore, thanks to our retcon, we don’t know what Bruce asks Pete, but it definitely isn’t anything about Whipp’s family.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Summer. Dick turns 18-years-old. (Note that The 1976 DC Super Calendar gives Dick’s birthday as November 11, but that is wrong. Dick, as implied in Batman #217, turns 18 not long before he leaves for college.)

–The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 2
Bruce and Ted Grant travel with the American youth fencing team and youth boxing team to the World Youth Games in Vienna. Bruce is there for a dual purpose—to coach his boys and to go on a top secret government mission as Batman. While learning about the city and touring the athletic campus, Ted is accosted and threatened by the Soviet boxing coach, heavyweight bully Koslov the Hammer. Later, Batman meets with British and American military officials, who task him with retrieving data regarding the launch of a Soviet satellite base from freelance spy Kurt Schimmerling. Upon returning to the athletic village, Bruce finds that Koslov and Ted have been going at it ever since he left. Koslov eventually challenges Ted to a match, but Ted refuses. Bruce urges Ted to fight, but he just won’t budge. Later that night, Batman chases after Schimmerling. Ted switches to his Wildcat gear and helps Batman, but the spy gets away. Batman then approaches Ted (who is back in civilian garb) and tells him to fight Koslov in the ring. Batman then picks a fight with Ted and they begin slugging it out! Ted gets the victory—after which Batman claims he took a dive to boost Ted’s confidence. Did you really, Bats? Emboldened, Ted agrees to publicly fight Koslov in a couple days’ time. A couple days later, Batman searches Schimmerling’s apartment and finds a ticket to the Grant-Koslov match. Upon departing, Batman is knocked-out by Soviet spies and restrained in the hold of a ship. Not long after, the big fight happens. During one of the rounds, the lights in the arena go out thanks to a timed fuse-blowout set by Batman earlier. (Batman didn’t think Ted could beat Koslov and was going to step in during the darkness and kayo him in Ted’s place. Way to play fair, Dark Knight. Jeez!) Anyway, in the darkness, Ted knocks out Koslov but no one can see. Sensing that Koslov has something to do with disappearance of both Batman and Bruce, Ted carries Koslov through the darkness and out of the back of the stadium, loading his dizzy body into the sidecar of his motorcycle. Koslov admits being in league with the Soviet spies and leads Ted to Batman’s location. Ted, still in his boxing gear (gloves and all) wails on the spies and rescues Batman. Ludicrously, Ted, Koslov, and Batman return to the arena before the lights come on. When the lights do come back on, Ted and Koslov are back in the ring and simply resume their fight! Ted goes down, prompting Batman to initiate another pre-planned assist—throwing into the ring a Batarang with the words “has been” etched into it. With berserker rage fueling him, Ted hops up and kayos Koslov. At the far end of the crowd, Batman swoops down and busts Schimmerling, retrieving the satellite launch data. The next day, Ted and Bruce oversee their respective youth sport teams. We aren’t told who wins, but judging by the patriotic theme of this issue and Bruce’s nonchalance about cheating, we can assume that the USA teams are victorious.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #272. Mid June. Bruce attends a benefit ball to raise money for the Vandermeer Art Museum. There, Bruce meets and befriends art patron JP Vandermeer.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217 and Batman #226. Aunt Harriet, having lived with the boys for over three years now, finally moves out of Wayne Manor and into her own place.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #267. Batman installs a “radar-sonar detector” in the Batcave, an automatic full-body scanner that will set off an alarm if any foreign sonic-related substance is brought into the cavern.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217, Detective Comics #394Detective Comics #400, Detective Comics #469, Justice League of America #140, and The Brave and The Bold #136. Bruce thinks about the future. Since times have changed and Dick will be leaving for college once the summer ends, Bruce preps for a new beginning for Batman. First, Bruce designs a lavish residential penthouse to be built into the top floors high atop the Wayne Foundation Building, in which both he and Alfred will live. A construction crew begins working on the penthouse, complete with a high-tech science lab, swimming pool, and rooftop gardens (without a railing on one side, to make Batman’s entrances and exits more easy). There will also be hidden panels put into the outer walls of the skyscraper, allowing Batman to gain access into the building at various points. Construction will continue for the rest of the summer. In secret (and likely with the help of his friends in the Justice League), Bruce has a special elevator (hidden behind a fireplace) connected to the sub-basement of the tower, which begins to be remodeled into a new crime-fighting base of operations quite similar to the Batcave. This Bat-Bunker will be under construction throughout the summer as well. Bruce’s tentative plan? To move Bruce and Batman into the city once Dick eventually departs for school. This way, Batman can be truly Gotham-based and Bruce won’t have to neglect as much Wayne Foundation work.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394 and Batman #236. Bruce hires Miss Atkins as his new personal secretary at the Wayne Foundation. He also hires Miss Tuite as a second secretary.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #113The Brave and The Bold #135, and World’s Finest Comics #244. While Bruce is hiring sexy young secretaries at the Wayne Foundation tower like he’s Don Draper, he also hires some new secretaries—including Miss Walters and Gwendolyn—for his office at the Wayne Enterprises tower. Bruce gives his secretaries (presumably at all of his offices) the ability to contact him directly on the utility belt radio. Of course, the gals won’t know they are phoning Batman; they’ll think they are calling Bruce at home. Gwendowlyn (aka “Gwen” for short) will work at both the Wayne Foundation tower and the Wayne Enterprises tower.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman rescues famous stunt-driver Jack Edison from a bad car wreck. For a reasonable fee, Edison offers his expertise as an auto mechanic to the Dynamic Duo. From this point forward, Edison will design all the new Batmobiles and back-up models, building them, and delivering them to our heroes. Edison begins work on a brand new model.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394. Batman learns all about big-time gambler Chance Collins.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #396 and The Brave and The Bold #113. Bruce begins employing hip Nan Owens as the primary Wall Street broker for Wayne Enterprises. Bruce also meets Nan’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Wall Street finance genius (and now overnight millionaire) Rory Bell. Bruce also hires a Wall Street banker named Charles “Charlie” Morgan as a bookkeeper for all Wayne Enterprises financial accounts.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #77. Batman and the Atom are invited to perform at a charity event, scheduled in a few months’ time. Meanwhile, Joker escapes from jail and adopts the disguised persona of “John Dough.” Joker, in this alter-ego and using a parasympathetic nervous system projector, will quickly rise to national prominence as an anti-superhero activist, gaining followers in the thousands.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Batman builds a battery-powered undersea sled, complete with infra-red vision scope. He stores it at an abandoned pier in Gotham Harbor.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Bruce reads an article in a magazine about the fabulously wealthy Orson Payne, a billionaire that lives in seclusion in a castle on an island off the Gotham coastline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #222. Wayne Enterprises purchases Eden Records, making Bruce its majority stockholder.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #222. Batman adds an ultraviolet flashlight to his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #91. Batman meets affable acrophobic switchman for the latest Gotham crime syndicate, Waxey Till. Batman also learns about two rival factions within the syndicate that are locked in a dangerous state of quiet antagonism. Leading one side is a new top mobster named Rhymer, while the other side is being guided by a mysterious crime-consultant called The Collector. (SPOILER: This third incarnation of the Collector is none other than private-eye Larry Lance.) After some quick investigating, Batman mistakenly comes to believe that the Collector is criminal Karl Klegg. However, the Dark Knight doesn’t have enough evidence to make any busts on either side of the coin. For the next couple months, Batman will study the criminal patterns of both sides of the syndicate, learning about the mob’s unnamed top gun as well.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #226. Bruce begins seeing experimental scientist and ophthalmologist Dr. Engstrom, who is in the top of his field.

–Batman #227
In this story, Batman mentions that it’s a “bit nippy out for this time of year,” which implies that it is a warmer season, hence placement here. When Alfred receives an odd letter from his niece Daphne, who has recently begun working as a private tutor at the remote Gothos Castle, Batman is on the case. At Gothos, Batman immediately learns that the proprietors are a black magick coven with aims of raising the demon Ballk. Batman attempts to rescue Daphne, but he gets caught and a noose is thrown around his neck. The elder of the coven tells Batman that they will soon sacrifice Daphne as part of the demon-summoning ritual. Batman escapes and is guided to the ritual site by a beautiful ghost maiden, a long dead ancient relative of the coven. After crashing the black mass and saving Daphne from the sacrificial altar, the coven scatters and the elder dies of a heart attack. Batman rushes outside to speak with the gorgeous ghost gal, but she’s disappeared, able to finally rest in peace. The Dark Knight, having been grossly affected by the ghoul’s supernatural charms, openly weeps at the loss of her.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #406. Bruce befriends wealthy European socialite and shipping magnate Count Orsoni. Together, they go swimming and horseback riding at Orsoni’s palatial estate on the Mediterranean.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #95 Part 1. Batman already has smoke bombs (smoke pellets) in his utility belt at all times, but he now adds smoke flares as well. The Dark Knight also begins carrying different medicines in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #232. Batman does some research on a Calcutta-based murder cult known as The Brotherhood of the Demon. While getting a bunch of info on the group, Batman fails to learn that the Brotherhood is a faction within the League of Assassins.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #414. Batman begins tracking the movements of supposed arms dealers that are supplying weapons to Ruizo, an army general in a war-torn South American nation. It’ll be five months before Batman is able to bring this group to justice. We must assume that Batman builds a case over the course of the next five months.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #415. Bruce meets and begins working closely with Ben Ames, president of Magna Industries. Bruce finds Ben to be quite affable and honorable, and spends some time with him at his home.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #420. Bruce meets filthy rich diamond merchant Piet Van Doorn at a public function.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #272. Bruce’s friend JP Vandermeer suffers a heart attack. He’s okay and will make a quick recovery.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #240. Batman invents and adds some new toys to his utility belt: an ultrasonic wave emitter, which can scare-off dogs, and a de-electrification device.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #424. Batman begins carrying a pair of mini binoculars and tracking bug in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #421. Former ADA Carlton Quayle is attacked in prison for a second time and, again, is nearly killed.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #422 and Detective Comics #436. Bruce purchases a private Leer jet and then hires a regular pilot named Rick and three sexy stewardesses—Irma, Lorna, and Sandy—that will provide in-flight… service. Bruce and Rick act as co-pilot and pilot of the Leer jet, which Bruce uses to go on an international vacation. Upon returning to Gotham, Bruce meets Gotham Airport Customs Inspector Jim. Bruce will go on trips with the Leer Jet every so often, moving forward. And, when he does, he will usually fly with Rick and the girls, and usually go through express customs with Jim. Despite spending big bucks for all this convenience, pomp, and luxury, Bruce will seemingly remain a fan of commuter passenger flights, often still choosing to ride with others every once in a while (albeit in first class).

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #103. Batman, while working an unspecified case, begins consults with Gotham City Museum science curator Carleton. Batman will call upon Carleton for help randomly for the next year-plus.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #243. Bruce reads about international ski champion Molly Post. He will follow her career, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #105. Bruce reads about groups of anti-Franco revolutionaries that have been exiled from Francoist Spain and forced to settle in Gotham. This has led to gang violence in Gotham’s Las Pampas (aka the Latin Section), which is home to Francisco Montoya, a pro-Franco cigar company owner that has recently moved his business from San Sebastián, Spain to Gotham .

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Bruce begins reading what will be an inspiring series of social justice articles by Gotham Gazette reporter Marla Manning. Manning’s articles will highlight the other victims of unsolved murders—friends and families left behind. Inspired, Bruce sets up initial plans for a congressional lobby, funded by the Wayne Foundation, to campaign for a state-funded assistance program to help the victims. Bruce’s lobbyist group will be a tough venture and won’t get very far thanks to the bureaucracy of government.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217, Batman with The Boy Wonder News Strip 12/14/1971 to 12/15/1971, Batman with The Boy Wonder News Strip 1/5/1972, Batman with The Boy Wonder News Strip 3/9/1972, Batman with Robin and Galexo News Strip 7/17/1972 to 7/22/1972, Detective Comics #439, Batman Family #8, and DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 3. Construction finishes on Bruce’s new penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation Building. Construction also finished on the secret Bat-Bunker below. In addition, the Bat-hotline phone is connected to both the penthouse and the Bat-Bunker, and Bruce and Alfred install a security system with various alarms and alerts. They also install a hidden interface screen for the Bat-computer system, hidden behind a false bookshelf. Bruce and Alfred set up a money safe in the penthouse as well, placing millions of dollars in cash into it. Yes, their “petty cash” is a stock of millions of dollars that just sits in the apartment. They also decorate their apartment, filling it with the finest rugs, expensive rare paintings, artsy sculptures, and various framed photos of friends and family. Bruce also hangs-up a large portrait of his parents and his college diploma. Additionally, the vain Bruce poses for a portrait, which he also hangs-up in his apartment.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #465. Bruce and Alfred install into a cabinet in their new penthouse apartment a hidden alarm and video screen that is connected to the Neil Merrick Realty Agency, Bruce’s fake company that is part of his elaborate plan, which is designed to screw over anyone that tries to force Commissioner Gordon to spill the beans on the Caped Crusader’s secret ID.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #307. Alfred begins the practice of having the Bat-computer record the police scanner and print out noteworthy cases, leaving the print-out waiting for Bruce as soon as he returns to the penthouse from his daily Wayne Enterprises duties.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #310. Bruce hires a man named Elwood for a lobby security position inside Wayne Foundation building.

–Detective Comics #393
Late August. The Civic Conscience Council decides to help a troubled teen by providing him guidance and care for a full calendar year. Each member of the CCC will lend a hand in different ways, acting as a periodic “big brother.” Teenage delinquent Skeet Callum is chosen for the program. Not long after, the Winslows tell Bruce and Dick they’ll be at their Ocean Point estate for Labor Day weekend, encouraging them to come to Ocean Point as well. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred make plans to go to the beach for what will be Dick’s final weekend before leaving for college. After the Winslows have departed, Batman and Robin patrol, noticing that the Winslow Mansion is being robbed. After a scuffle (during which Batman strangely calls Robin “Robbie”), the thief takes off in the Batmobile, but leaves behind a can opener zip-tab that has a combination etched into it. After cops retrieve the abandoned Batmobile, the boys get their car back. In the morning, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred head to Ocean Point. But first, Bruce reveals that, as per his CCC mentorship program, they’ll be taking Skeet along for the trip. In Ocean Point, everyone attends a big party at the Winslow’s beach house. In Mrs. Winslow’s bedroom, Bruce finds the other half of the zip-tab and a jostled safe. Bruce accuses Skeet of the crime, which he denies before running off. Later, Dick finds an injured Skeet on the shore. Skeet says that Deena was signaling the yacht of partygoer Aristide Naxos before she attacked him with a surf board. While Dick night surfs to distract Naxos’ crew, Batman sneaks aboard his yacht and finds Deena (the actual zip-tab safecracker) handing over jewels to Naxos. Deena, wanting her parents’ attention, teamed-up with master thief Naxos in an attempt to rob them. Batman busts Naxos and takes both he and Deena back to shore. (NOTE: We won’t see Skeet again, but we can assume that Bruce continues sporadically mentoring him on-and-off for the next year or so.)

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #111. Late August—the last days of beach season. Jack Kirby has arrived! And with him the Biggest Bad in the history of the DCU: the evil cosmic warlord known as Darkseid. (Although, this item is written by Robert Kanigher, not Kirby.) Darkseid, king of the evil New Gods of the alternate dimensional planet known as Apokolips (who are rival to the benevolent New Gods of the planet New Genesis), isn’t ready to make his presence known to the JLA, but he’s more than happy to clandestinely scheme from the shadows. Upon learning that the entire JLA roster has just donated DNA samples to a US Government science organization known as The Project (aka The DNA Project aka Project Cadmus), Darkseid sends his agents Simyan and Mokkari to secretly steal the cell samples. With the pilfered DNA, Simyan and Mokkari are able to create an evil cloned JLA. Unfortunately, it’s a mini-cloned JLA—every member of the evil team is only three inches tall. Surely disappointed, Darkseid orders the evil JLA to mess with Lois Lane in an attempt to get to Superman. The teeny-tiny JLAers will ultimately fail in their mission.

–Batman #217
Early September. A weepy Bruce and teary Alfred say farewell to Dick, who is all packed up and ready to ship off to Hudson University. Extra-emotional himself, Dick opts to take a taxi to New Carthage, New York instead of having a long goodbye with his father-figures. (The scene of Dick leaving is also shown in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 9/14/1970 to 9/16/1970 and via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #200 and The Untold Legend of the Batman #2.) Bruce then reveals his plans to move to downtown Gotham to Alfred. (Just as Batman has been calling Robin “Robbie,” Bruce now starts calling Alfred “Alf.” So mod.) They pack and close-up shop at Wayne Manor. (Likewise, as referenced in DC Special #28 Part 1, the Batcave is closed-up, although Batman instructs Alfred to keep it in working condition, just in case.) A week later, at their new penthouse home, Bruce tells Alfred to read some Marla Manning articles, citing her focus on the friends and families of murder victims as a big inspiration. With his congressional lobby group stalling at the state capitol, Bruce decides to take matters into his own hands, starting his own special assistance program for the friends and family of unsolved murder victims in Gotham. Alfred names the venture the “Victims Incorporated Program” (VIP). Bruce sets out to help the focus of Manning’s latest article, Dr. Susan Fielding, whose husband has recently been killed. Bruce visits Dr. Fielding, gives her a big interest-free loan and tells her that Batman is on her husband’s murder case. Batman then meets with Dr. Fielding before going out to a bunch of underworld haunts and, in various disguises, spreading the word that Dr. Fielding has sketch-identified her husband’s killer. This lures the killer, hoping to silence Dr. Fielding, back to her home. Batman ambushes him and chases him away, but not before taking a bullet in the arm. At police HQ, Batman and the police are able to deduce that Stub Sartel is the man they are after. While Bruce mends his busted wing and cancels all upcoming Wayne Foundation appointments to hide his injury, the police bust Sartel. News of Bruce/Batman’s VIP venture goes public. Afterward, Bruce rests up and recuperates his arm, taking a week or so off to fully heal.

[3]

–REFERENCE: In Batman #234 Part 1. Batman learns that Two-Face has escaped from prison.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Bruce hires a professional cleaning lady named Cathy Valance to regularly clean-up the penthouse. Bruce notices that she has a penchant for leaving the TV on after she wraps-up.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #226. Aunt Harriet visits Bruce and Alfred at the penthouse and gives them an Asian gong as a housewarming gift. After Aunt Harriet leaves, Bruce tells Alfred to get rid of the horrible thing. Alfred stuffs the gong into a closet.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394 and Detective Comics #403 Part 1. Bruce hires a full staff for Victims Incorporated. VIP staffers begin taking on various cases, lightening Bruce’s personal load. Despite this, Bruce will spend most of his business days dedicated solely to VIP in the coming months.

–Detective Comics #433
September 11. A serial killer strikes Gotham, murdering Patti Dalton, heiress and one half of world famous celebrity couple with millionaire Walter Holt, and sports gear manufacturer Ben Milgrim. With a supposed third victim somewhere else, Batman begins an investigation. He finds that a jilted lover, Rick Manton, has the biggest motive for killing Patti whereas business partner and MLB umpire Clyde Wilson has the biggest motive for killing Holt. At the Gotham Athletic Club, Batman questions Manton and finds he has a seemingly airtight alibi. At the Gotham Metrodome, home to the MLB’s Gotham Mets, Batman questions Wilson, who also has an airtight alibi. Soon, the killer’s third victim, a loan shark named Squeeze Chapin, is found. Later still, Commissioner Gordon finds another corpse, who he mistakenly believes is the killer. But Batman knows better. After finding the initials of one of Manton’s friends, James Corwin, in Chapin’s notebook, Batman leads Commissioner Gordon to the Gotham Athletic Club. There, in Agatha Christie fashion, he exposes Corwin, Manton, and Wilson as the three killers of the case.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394, Detective Comics #396, Detective Comics #403 Part 2, and The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman notifies Commissioner Gordon of his move to the city. Jack Edison delivers to Batman a brand new model Batmobile—an unmarked dark blue sports car. This prompts the Dark Detective to retire the Batman ’66-style Batmobile (putting it into storage in the Batcave with the other Batmobiles). Batman affixes official diplomatic license plates, courtesy of Gordon, to his new ride. The plates will allow him to run red lights and speed without any hassle from the cops. The plate can also be swapped out with regular plates, so as to not draw unneeded attention to the car, with the press of a button. Batman soups up his new roadster with various high-tech accoutrements. The car has tinted mirrored windows, is virtually indestructible (crash-proof and bulletproof), and can be controlled via remote control using a device in the Caped Crusader’s utility belt. Bruce also ships a similarly tricked-out van to Dick at Hudson University.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #310. Bruce learns that Alfred visits an English-style pub called Ye Pipe and Hearth on all his evenings off work.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #149. The Justice League completes an unspecified mission. Afterward, Snapper Carr is fed up with being the jokey mascot of the JLA. While disgruntled, Snapper keeps his feelings bottled-up inside—for now.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #399. Batman is invited to do a martial-arts demo at the police academy. In front of eager recruits, Batman fights martial-arts master Khan and embarrassingly hands him his ass. The Dark Knight is then introduced to Mayor Hayes’ new Public Works Coordinator Arthur Reeves, who gives Batman a hard time about hiding behind his mask, claiming that anyone that serves the public should be open about their identity. Batman grins and pulls Reeves’ toupee off his head before departing for routine patrol.

–Batman #217 Epilogue
Bruce is confronted in his office by Dakota Jones, a one-eyed Native American that has beef with VIP. An angry Jones puts a gun to Bruce’s head.

–Detective Comics #394
Bruce fights and disarms Dakota Jones. Calmed, Jones explains that he was a CanAm race car driver and main rival to the Wayne Racing Team until he was shot in the eye during the most recent race. Having been approached and offered a job by Victims Incorporated earlier in the week, Jones took it as a personal insult and proof that the Wayne Racing Team was responsible for shooting him. Bruce tells Jones he will personally investigate the matter. Batman examines the racetrack and his driver Scoot Hansen’s race car, discovering a bullet casing inside. Batman then overhears Chance Collins and his henchmen discussing how they had Jones shot from a hidden remote-controlled retractable gun they secretly installed in Hansen’s car. Batman is overwhelmed by the thugs, but Jones arrives to save the day with a tomahawk. Jones then hops in Hansen’s car and chases after Collins around the track. Both cars crash, leading to Collins’ death. Afterward, Bruce puts in a good word for Jones with the racing commission, which will hopefully allow him to race professionally again.

–the second feature to Detective Comics #394-395
Batman comes home from patrol to find that Dick has sent him a letter from college. Batman and Alfred read the letter, which tells them about Dick’s first day at school, during which he got involved in a student protest and then got abducted by fake cops, who were hired by the protestors to make the dean look bad. Eventually, Dick exposed the shady methods of the protestors, bringing calm back to Hudson’s campus.

–Detective Comics #395
Bruce, along with other rich socialites from all over the globe, is invited to a special weekend-long party at the lavish estate of Juan and Dolores Muerto in Mexico. This strikes Bruce as odd because, upon research, he finds that the famed Muertos are notorious recluses that can’t stand attention. A week later, as the odd festivities kick-off in the Muerto cemetery, Bruce switches to Batman gear to examine the mansion grounds. When a hot air ballooning guest named Pedro Valdes is attacked by trained falcons, Batman saves his life. Rejoining the party in his tux, Bruce chats with the Muertos. When Valdes is shot at by snipers, Batman fights the would-be assassins and their trained wolf-dogs. Later, Batman spies on the Muertos, who are in conversation with Valdes. The Muertos reveal themselves to be immortal, thanks to the power of some magickal Sybil flowers. Valdes reveals himself to be a Mexican law enforcement agent, looking to bust the immortals. The whole party had been thrown just to expose Valdes. Batman swings into action, but soon winds up inhaling the flowers, hallucinating, and getting captured along with Valdes. After escaping and saving Valdes, Batman burns the entire crop of immortality flowers. The Muertos freak out and revert to their true ages (around 132 and 135-years-old), falling—as emaciated corpses—into their own open graves.

–Detective Comics #413 Part 1
September—school is in session, but it is still warm enough for students to walk about shirtless. Batman goes Upstate on an unspecified mission for the GCPD. En route back to Gotham, Batman is flagged down by Constable Bill Wilcox in the small town of Phantom Hollow. Wilcox tells Batman that broken church bells “supernaturally” rang at the dead of midnight, followed by the local jail burning to the ground. Batman takes the case and soon meets a few of the colorful locals. After studying the chapel, Batman determines that two hippie kids are responsible for the crime, despite the protests of their teacher. Batman follows the trail to a cave, flushing out the boys, who admit to initially using a record-player to make the bell noises and throwing cherry bombs at the jail in response to being bullied by bigoted town jocks. When the bells sound again and Batman realizes that cherry bombs couldn’t burn down a building, the Dark Detective knows that the boys have been framed. The real culprit, a descendant of an accused witch that was killed in the town 300 years ago, Big Lanny soon comes to blows with Batman. The hippie kids then help Batman take Lanny down.

–Detective Comics #413 Part 1
September 22-23—the 23rd being Barbara Gordon’s birthday according to the not-always-reliable 1976 DC Super Calendar. Commissioner Gordon decides to hold a small birthday party for Barbara, inviting Bruce. The next day, Batgirl wraps an ongoing case, taking on crazy head-crushing wig designer Vazly and his assistant Wanda. She initially busts Vazly, and nabs Wanda a bit later. At her b-day party, Babs wears a blonde wig as a lark, prompting both her dad and Bruce to say they prefer her red locks instead. (Note that, by this point, Commissioner Gordon has deduced that his daughter is Batgirl, but he has yet to say anything about it and won’t.)

–Justice League of America #77
Early Autumn. John Dough (Joker in disguise) uses his parasympathetic nervous system projector to manipulate a disgruntled Snapper Carr into joining his popular anti-superhero crusade. Snapper lures Batman and the Atom away from a charity event and into an ambush. Batman is tied-up and placed into a death trap within the new Trump Satellite in Gotham City Square. (Yes, just like 1970s NYC, Donald Trump also had his grubby little mitts all over the 1970s Gotham. It’s fitting that a Trump structure would be a death trap, and in a story featuring a fear-mongering bigot that riles up the ignorant masses, no less.) While Atom reports news of Snapper’s betrayal to the rest of the team, Dough gets information on how to access the Secret Sanctuary from Snapper. Joker then disguises himself as Batman and visits the JLAers, saying that Dough released him and has invited them to a speaking engagement at Golden Stadium. (Joker infiltrating the JLA is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #130.) At the sold-out John Dough engagement, Joker activates his projector, which causes his rabid followers to cheer on Snapper’s hate speech. In the crowd, several men attack Black Canary, accusing her of being a communist. When a riot breaks out, the JLA, affected and weakened by yet more sci-fi tech, flees the scene. Using his projector in Washington DC, Joker influences a Senate Subcommittee to bring up criminal charges against the JLA. The Caped Crusader escapes his Trump trap. Realizing that Dough is Joker, Batman arrives just in time to interrupt his monologue before the impromptu Senate hearing. After throwing firebombs, Joker flees. The JLA then confronts Snapper about his betrayal, but Snapper defends his actions, saying he’s sick of being the team’s under-appreciated mascot. I guess Snapper’s betrayal wasn’t completely due to the projector after all? (The confrontation with Snapper is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #149-150.) After breaking-up with Snapper, the JLA soon finds themselves fighting Dough inside their own Sanctuary. They take him down and unmask him as Joker. Afterward, Green Arrow tells his teammates that, thanks to this debacle, they’ve got to fix their reputation with the public and get a new base of operations.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #100. Snapper Carr, upset at his own behavior and at having allowed the Secret Sanctuary to be infiltrated, quits his position as honorary JLA member.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #81 and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #76. Green Arrow and Green Lantern Hal Jordan—having become disillusioned with their ability as superheroes to affect real social change for people of color, the poor, and the needy—decide to travel across America, reaching out to communities and groups that have been overlooked by the JLA’s grander global and universal scale. Accordingly, Green Arrow reduces his JLA membership to that of part-time status. Green Arrow and Hal are joined by Guardian of the Universe Appa Ali Apsa for their trek. They nickname Appa Ali Apsa “Old Timer.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #78, Justice League of America #80-81Justice League of America #95, and Justice League of America #143. The Justice League shuts down the Secret Sanctuary. Afterward, the JLA—sans Green Arrow, due to his new part-time status—meets and plans their new HQ. Using Thangarian tech, the JL opts to take to the stars, beginning construction on a huge satellite HQ that will rest in Earth’s orbit. Obtaining permission to use various rooftop spaces across the US, the JLA plans to install invisible teleportation tubes (also of Thanagarian design) that can transport team members up to the satellite. The JLA also stockpiles various new equipment for the new HQ, which will go up with the eventual launch. Construction on the new satellite, which includes individual office space for each JLA member and a library, will only take a couple weeks, so we must assume that the meta-powered building ability of Superman will be operating at full capacity for this project.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #251. Joker escapes jail and forms a new gang consisting of Packy White, Philly Jack Barton, Alby, Bigger Melvin, and Bing Hooley. Joker attempts to use Joker Venom on Batman, but the Dark Knight concocts an anti-Joker Venom to protect himself. After Batman busts Joker and his gang, the Clown Prince of Crime is irate and comes to blame his cronies for his defeat. Upon being jailed, Joker vows to kill his entire gang when he gets out. Joker’s men are all set free, and Batman vows to protect them. Batman will keep tabs on all five men, moving forward.

–Batman #219 Part 1
Bruce reads a proposed congressional bill by the illustrious Senator Lincoln Webster. The bill, while tough on crime, would slash all government funding to new programs, including the Victims Inc Program. Bruce then visits the state capitol to lobby for public VIP funding. (He refers to it as his first venture into the murky world of politics, but this is hardly his first rodeo, so maybe he means first visit to Washington on behalf of VIP.) Bruce meets with Senator Webster and Governor Putnam. (The last state governor, Morris, only lasted two-and-a-half years for unknown reasons. Putnam has only recently replaced him.) Despite their differences, Bruce agrees to accompany Senator Webster back to Washington DC. While en route, their commuter flight is hijacked by Cuban terrorists, who wish to detain the senator so he can’t vote to pass his crime bill. Bruce switches to Batman gear, but can’t stop the terrorists, who land the plane in a remote location. Bruce rejoins the senator, who fakes a heart attack to get the terrorists to put the plane back in the air. Bruce then startles the terrorists with his Batman costume, inflated with flotation devices, before taking them down in his civvies. “Batman” gets sucked out of the wheel well upon landing in DC, making it look like the Dark Knight vanished from the plane. With the terrorists behind bars, Senator Webster’s bill passes. Bruce doesn’t get any funding for VIP, but he appreciates the bill anyway.

–Detective Comics #396
Batman busts smalltimer Sharf and his two henchmen (aka “The Lucky Three”), though they all wind up walking free. A few days later, Bruce meets with the studio executives of Seven-Star Pics, a major Hollywood production company. Bruce approves a Wayne Enterprises merger (i.e. buyout) of Seven-Star Pics. (As revealed via reference in Batman #265, Bruce’s personal interest in purchasing Seven-Star Pics is to bring more film shoots to Gotham.) After reading about his pal, hot young “Wolf of Wall Street” Rory Bell, in a magazine, Bruce calls up Rory’s girlfriend (who also happens to be both Rory and Wayne Enterprises’ broker), Nan Owens, to chat about the Wayne/Seven-Star deal. Meanwhile, Sharf and his goons stick-up Rory and force him to use his influence to sway the market in favor of their brand new publicly-traded corporation, which they aptly have named Lucky Three. Rory’s big purchase of Lucky Three stock, while simultaneously unloading all his stock in Wayne Enterprises, causes a rumble in the market that is particularly devastating to Wayne Enterprises. With WE stock in the toilet, Bruce meets with Nan. Together, they realize that Rory is in trouble. Batman is able to track down Rory and the Lucky Three at a gas station. There, Batman and Rory fight the baddies. The Dark Knight fools and defeats them using the remote control function on his new car. Presumably, WE stock goes back up.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #220 and World’s Finest Comics #239. Batman creates an inflatable dummy version of himself, just in case he ever needs one. He stores this dummy in the penthouse and tells Superman exactly where it is, in case the Man of Steel needs to use it in the future.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #89. Bruce is appointed as one of Gotham’s newest City Councilmen. This is an appointment likely voted upon by Mayor Hayes and other City Council members to fill a recently vacated spot. Presumably, Bruce will help with governmental policy and meet with City Council on-and-off, for the duration of Mayor Hayes’ time in office.

–Batman #220
Bruce reads the latest Marla Manning article, about a municipal contract worker named Tom Sloane who was killed via car bomb in his own driveway. Shortly thereafter, Tom’s sister, Sandra Sloane, visits Victims Inc for financial support. Shortly after that, Marla Manning herself visits Bruce at the Wayne Foundation. She tells Bruce that her life has been threatened after digging deeper into Tom’s death and finding some links to a demolition company that was trying to raze his property. Bruce looks into his own VIP file for Tom only to find that it’s been cleaned out. When Batman visits Sandra’s apartment, he finds a gun pointed at her head and chases the baddie away. Batman then visits Nova Demolition Company and winds up fist-fighting its president, ex-Army sergeant Zachary Nova, to a stalemate. Batman returns to Marla and tells her to publish news that she knows who Tom’s killer is. The next day, after reading Marla’s news in the paper, Nova calls her and tells her that she’s bluffing—that only he knows who the real killer is (himself). Nova demands a meet-up to exchange information for a cool $5K. As night falls over Gotham, Batman trails Marla to the meeting spot. Inside a phone booth rigged to explode, Batman—having presciently brought the inflatable dummy of himself—listens-to and records Nova’s pre-recorded murder confession. After darting away, the booth explodes. Nova emerges, thinking he’s killed Batman, but Batman plays his recording, which spooks him. The Caped Crusader then busts Nova, who had been blackmailing Tom for demolition contract bids from the city—until Tom refused to participate any longer, resulting in his untimely death.

–Detective Comics #397
With the Gotham City Marine Festival scheduled to start in a couple days, Bruce decides to sponsor an art exhibit, paying for some famous paintings to be put on display at the marina. After making his selections, a mystery buyer reaches out to Miss Atkins inquiring about purchasing one of the paintings. Bruce tells Miss Atkins to tell him they aren’t for sale. A night into the festival, Batman engages with some frogmen, who shoot him in the arm with a spear gun and make-off with one of the paintings. Soon after, Batman tracks the frogmen to the palatial castle estate of Orson Payne. Inside, Payne not only admits to hiring the frogmen thieves, but also admits that he’s stolen a bunch of art—all of it depicting his long lost love, a semi-famous opera singer named Catarina, who went missing decades ago. Payne also reveals that his castle is full of death traps, which Batman then fights his way through. After Payne loses his marbles and jumps out of a window, Batman saves him and has him committed to a mental hospital. Later, Bruce realizes that his cleaning lady, Cathy, is the object of Payne’s obsession, the former opera starlet Catarina! She went off the radar decades ago to avoid Payne’s advances and is more than happy to be Cathy the Cleaning Lady now.

–The Brave and The Bold #89
Dick comes home to Gotham for a long weekend break from college. For the first time in 150 years, the ascetic religious sect known as the Hellerites return to Gotham. Led by their leader Josiah Heller, supposed descendant of the original Josiah, the Hellerites claim reparations, demanding ownership of the city’s largest park and all surrounding real estate. As panic spreads over the city, protestors march (both for and against the Hellerites). At a City Council meeting, Bruce addresses his fellow Council members and Mayor Hayes (who is drawn with hair, when we’ve only seen him bald before, so make of that what you will), telling them that he will donate the Wayne Foundation (sans his penthouse) and adjacent properties to the Hellerites as reparations. Later, Batman spies Josiah, who has moved into a building next to the Wayne Foundation, in a confrontation with The Phantom Stranger, who has come to issue a warning to the Hellerites from the great beyond. Soon, the ghosts of long dead Hellerites begin to appear all over Gotham. The Phantom Stranger tries to talk to Batman about what is going on, but Batman doesn’t believe him. Nor does the Phantom Stranger’s anti-occult rival Dr. Terence Thirteen, who shows up and knocks him out. After investigating the brownstones adjacent to the Wayne Foundation, which he gave to the Hellerites, Batman starts to see clues of something fishy going on. After a computer background check at police HQ, Batman learns that Dick is a descendant of the Hellerites! At the penthouse, Dick, along with all other male descendants of the Hellerites, turn into mindless warlocks, subservient to the original leader of the Hellerites, Josiah Heller, who appears in ghost form. The deceased Josiah reveals that the current day Josiah is an impostor—a crook, who isn’t actually his descendant. Soon after, Batman and the Phantom Stranger fight the ghost of Josiah and a possessed magick-powered Dick. A sheriff from the current day Josiah’s home state arrives, revealing that the fake prophet is actually fugitive criminal Karl Loftus, who has amnesia and actually thinks he is Josiah. The Phantom Stranger restores Loftus’ memory, which causes the spirit of the original Josiah to rescind back into the netherworld along with all the other Hellerite ghouls. Dick and all other true descendants are restored back to their normal states. Batman and the Phantom Stranger bust Loftus. The Hellerites then return back to their land out West.

–Detective Comics #398
Bruce flies to Hollyood to finalize the Wayne Enterprises merger with/buyout of Sever-Star Pics. On the plane, Bruce reads a book called Corporate Structure of Film Studios and gets into an altercation with the person sitting next to him in first class: Maxine Melanie, author of the newly released In People of Out City, a trashy already best-selling novel about Hollywood’s biggest names and their sordid affairs (using thinly veiled pseudonyms, of course). Upon learning that The In People of Out City has been optioned by Seven-Star, Bruce enters his meeting with the studio in a huff, exclaiming that he’ll call off the merger if they make the film. Cooler heads prevail and they urge Bruce to read the book before making such a harsh judgement and rash decision. Bruce goes to an LA book store to pick up the publication only to run into Maxine, who is doing a book-signing, yet again. Someone disguised as an old lady murders Maxine with a poison-tipped pen before running away, accidentally leaving behind an advance copy of Maxine’s book. Bruce takes the copy and rejoins the Seven-Star higher-ups. Not long afterward, husband-and-wife actors Loren Melburn and Dorian Spence, both skewered in Maxine’s book, both confess to the murder. (They mistakenly believe that the other has committed the crime and want to take the rap on their behalf.) Batman visits Melburn and Spence, who both maintain that they killed Maxine, before visiting a third suspect, Rod Drake, another actor that was skewered in the book. Batman and Spence then expose Drake as the real killer. Presumably, the Seven-Star Pics deal goes through smoothly. Whether or not Bruce gives the green-light for the adaptation of The In People of Out City is unknown, but my guess would be that he approves.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #404. After reading a script for a biopic about German WWI flying ace Baron Hans Von Hammer (aka “Enemy Ace”), Bruce puts in a ton of extra money to back the production via his Seven-Star Pics studio. Not long after, the project is green-lit with Oscar-winning director Anson attached, set to begin filming in a couple months.

–Batman #221 Part 1
Bruce travels to Germany to have a business meeting with ex-Nazi Baron Willi Von Ritter, head of Biochem-Fabrik Limited. Upon arriving in the country, Bruce is pulled aside by health inspector Ordwein, who tells him of Biochem-Fabrik factory pollution linked to animals becoming violent and out-of-control as of late. He begs Bruce to get dirt on Von Ritter. At Von Ritter’s castle, Bruce meets with Von Ritter, his wife Ilga, and the company’s head chemist Otto Kramm. At night, after everyone goes to sleep, Bruce switches into Bat-gear and sneaks through the vast labyrinthian tunnels beneath the castle. In a secret lab, Batman finds a masked Kramm administering “killer serum” to a sheep, turning it into a monstrous beast capable of tearing apart a lion. After Batman deals with some killer bats, he confronts Kramm, now revealing his allegiance to Ilga. Their plan is to reignite the Third Reich with an army of Übermensch soldiers. Ilga injects the serum into Kramm, who hulks up into a monster man. Batman bests him by tossing him into the animal pen where the killer sheep tears him to shreds. Presumably, Ilga goes to jail, but we have no clue as to whether or not Bruce still goes into business with Biochem-Fabrik. (Von Ritter was seemingly not a part of the malfeasance at hand—and, while we are told he was found innocent at the Nuremberg Trials, the dude is still an ex-Nazi that had surrounded himself with Neo-Nazis. So, hopefully Bruce decides to steer clear.)

–Justice League of America #78-79
It’s only been a couple weeks since the JLA began construction on its new satellite HQ, but the new base of operations is ready to launch! Up through the stratosphere and into geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth goes the aptly named JL Satellite—although, some writers will sometimes call it the New Secret Sanctuary. All the team members—sans Green Arrow, who is now a part-timer—familiarize themselves with various teleporters hidden on rooftops across the United States, including—as referenced in Justice League of America #84—a very meta-one atop a skyscraper that houses the largest comic book publisher in America! (The teleporters are DNA-linked to and can only be used by JLA members.) The JLA—sans Ollie—also acclimate themselves to the Satellite itself. Finally, Superman and Green Lantern take a surprised Green Arrow up to the Satellite. Afterward, the JLA does a charity event in Star City and officially introduces Black Canary as the team’s newest member. During the fancy dinner, a pair of android gangsters attacks. Thanks to some help from the retired cowboy-themed superhero known as the Vigilante (Greg Sanders), the JLA defeats them. Sanders, aboard the Satellite, tells the JLA that he came across the androids in a heavily-polluting Star City factory for which he was hired as a security guard. Blueprints nabbed from the factory point to the distant planet Monsan, so Superman and Green Lantern take-off for the stars, finding that the previously inhabited planet has become devoid of life due to pollution. Meanwhile, Green Arrow meets with interim City Manager Jason Crass, who admits knowledge of the android factory and has Green Arrow arrested. The rest of the JLA, along with the Vigilante, visits the factory only to be assaulted and captured by humanoid aliens, the Monsanian masters of the androids known as The Doomsters. The Doomsters, having destroyed their own planet and now wanting to destroy Earth, place the heroes precariously in a net hanging above a vat of acid. The cops release Green Arrow, who rushes to save his friends and kick ass, sending the Doomsters fleeing back to Monsan in a space ship. Hawkman tries to chase after them in his own spacecraft, but the Doomsters easily destroy his ship and then bombard Earth with pollution-releasing canisters. Superman and Green Lantern return and bust all of the Doomsters, but Chohk, the leader of the Doomsters, crashes into the JL Satellite and challenges the other teammates. Chohk is no match for the others and is defeated. Afterward, Green Arrow professes his love for Black Canary, but she says that she’s not ready to date anyone right now. As we learn in The Brave and The Bold #91, Black Canary gives Green Arrow this line because she is currently attempting to pursue a relationship with Larry Lance, the Earth-1 version of her “former husband” from Earth-2. (Don’t forget, dear readers, that, as per Justice League of America #220, Black Canary is actually Dinah Laurel Lance, daughter of the original Black Canary—although, stuck with her mom’s memories, she doesn’t know this and thinks she is the first Black Canary. This means she’s actually trying to date an alternate version of her own dad, but oh well. Comics, everybody!)

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #130. Batman isn’t involved in this issue, which occurs now, but he would definitely be informed. The JLA—sans the Dark Knight—deals with an alien being known as The Dharlu. After besting the Dharlu, the team puts her into suspended animation, merging her with the JL Satellite computer.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #206. The JLA finishes cleaning-out the Secret Sanctuary and moving the remaining items—a few super-computers and some trophies—up to the JL Satellite. Green Arrow (drawn incorrectly without his goatee look) is in charge of the trophies. The Demons Three, trapped inside their three respective trophies, cause Green Arrow to blank-out while passing by their display case. Thus, everything gets moved out of the Secret Sanctuary except for the Jar of Calythos, the Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Bell of Uthool. The Demons Three will bide their time inside Mount Justice for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #170. The JLA loads a bunch of space vehicles, including individual rocket-powered jet-cycles, into the JL Satellite docking bays. Each team member also gets a custom-made astronaut suit, stored in a Satellite locker.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #80 and The Brave and The Bold #155. The JLA sets up various global and interstellar alarms linked to the JL Satellite. The JLA also sets up JL Satellite-linked security monitoring drones that will constantly record the Earth’s outer atmosphere for any anomalies. They also set up a monitor duty schedule aboard the JL Satellite. Since the Satellite will be monitored 24-7, we must assume that Batman does a long stretch of monitoring at least once a week, moving forward.

–Detective Comics #399
Commissioner Gordon and Public Works Coordinator Arthur Reeves call Batman to the scene of the murder of martial-arts master Khan, who has been killed in a bomb blast at his dojo. Reeves accuses Batman of the murder, to which Batman takes a jab at his baldness. Gordon and Batman then depart to attend a seance being held by a medium called Great Dilbert. En route, Gordon and Batman narrowly evade the bullets of an unknown assassin before running into reformed criminal Joe Brunner, who says hello. At the seance, the supposed ghost of Khan speaks, saying he will kill Gordon at midnight the next night. The next day, Batman does some research on Brunner. That afternoon, Reeves wrangles Gordon into a panic room, but Batman stops them and unmasks Gordon as a disguised Dilbert. Dilbert tells them that his boss has kidnapped Gordon before dropping dead of poison. Batman realizes that Khan is not only alive, but behind the kidnappings. He rushes to the bombed out dojo to find a hidden bunker underneath. Inside, Batman kicks Khan’s ass and saves the commissioner.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #302. Bruce visits the circus and watches the carnival acts of The Human Dynamo, knife-thrower Señorita Nubia, a magician, several trapeze artists, strongman Karl Bronislau, and Pyro the Torch.

–Batman #222
Ever since the Beatles broke-up, the hit British pop band The Oliver Twists (an analogue for the Beatles) has been top of the charts. A year ago, rumor of the death of Twist member Saul Cartwright hit mainstream news outlets, at which time the other three members of the band went on a long trip to the Himalayas in what seemed to be a spiritual retreat of mourning for their comrade. However, the band’s management issued various denials, claiming that Saul was alive-and-well. Cut to a month ago, with no one having seen nor heard from Saul in almost a year, the Twists release new material and schedule a US Tour. Cut to now. The publicity surrounding Saul’s condition combined with the Twists’ new tour drives up the stock of their record label, Eden, which is owned by Bruce. Bruce digs up as much information as he can on the Twists, but remains in the dark about Saul. Dick calls Bruce from Hudson University and asks him to set up a Twists concert at Hudson. The next day, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred pick up the Twists—Glennan, Benji, Hal, and Saul—at the airport. Having temporarily reopened Wayne Manor for the Twists to use as a crash pad, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred drive them there and help them settle in. At dinner, Saul records himself singing on a mini-tape recorder. After night falls, Robin attempts to sneakily steal the tape with hopes on analyzing the vocals, but Saul fights him off in the dark and Robin retreats. In the morning, Saul acts like nothing has happened. By dinner time, Bruce and Dick go into overdrive trying to get a sample of Saul’s singing voice. They fake Alfred’s birthday to get the band to sing and also tap their phones. Upon hearing the band receive an invitation to use Gotham’s premiere recording studio, Batman and Robin pull an old Batmobile out of storage and zip over to the studio only to find some hired assassins waiting for the kill. The heroes bust the would-be killers and head back to Wayne Manor where they discover that Saul is the real deal. It’s the other three Twists that are frauds. The real Glennan, Benji, and Hal died in the Himalayas a year ago. When they died, Saul covered up their deaths and hired three replacements to take over their lives. One of the three fakers, Chumley, got greedy and hired the assassins. Despite having orchestrated this insane yearlong ruse, Saul isn’t charged with any crimes, even after publicly admitting what he’s done. Only Chumley goes to prison. With the other two fakers, Saul forms The Phoenix Trio, a new band, which picks up all of the Twists’ scheduled tour dates, including a new one at Hudson University, scheduled to occur in a week’s time. The next night, Batman goes on patrol and has one of the busiest nights he’s ever had. By sunrise, he is exhausted, but decides to help a man that has just been robbed of his camera. Batman chases down the crook and makes the bust with his last ounce of energy. Afterward, Batman fixes the broken camera and poses for a polaroid snapshot.

–Justice League of America #80-81
When Flash discovers an unconscious Hawkgirl floating in space, he brings her into the JL Satellite and puts her on life support before calling the rest of the team. The Atom freaks-out upon seeing Hawkgirl, revealing that Hawkgirl and Hawkman had recently departed for Thanagar with Jean Loring, in hopes of curing Jean’s insanity. (Jean’s brain has been scrambled by members of the alien race known as The Jimberen, of which Jean is a descendant.) Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Jean never made it to Thanagar and a mystery is now afoot as to what happened to Hawkgirl and as to the whereabouts of the other two. Hawkgirl wakes up but has no brain activity. An alarm brings Flash to the Grand Canyon where boy scouts have been turned into mindless lemmings, marching toward the cliff’s edge. While Flash saves the scouts, Batman and Green Arrow fight the man behind all the brain draining, the rocket-riding Thanagarian space man Norch Lor, who defeats them with relative ease. Later, Norch Lor carves a hole in the side of the JL Satellite and attacks the heroes again, stealing their souls with his Ghenna Box. Meanwhile, Superman locates Hawkman’s spaceship (with an unconscious Hawkman and Jean inside) in deep space, pulling it safely away from a black hole. Superman is then knocked out by Green Lantern Tomar-Re, who doesn’t know who he is and thinks he is a villain. How in the sweet hell does a Green Lantern not know who Superman is? C’mon, Tomar. Get your act together! The Guardians of the Universe (Maltusian overseers and creators of the Green Lantern Corps, who are headquartered on Oa, a planet located in the direct center of the universe) alert Hal about Tomar’s mistake and he rushes to help out Superman. The Green Lanterns and a revived Sueprman learn from Hawkman’s ship’s computer that Norch Lor has been stealing souls, thus explaining the state of the mindless heroes and boy scouts. Hal and Superman fly back to Earth just in time to help Black Canary, the Atom, and Flash defeat Norch Lor and recover the Ghenna Box, releasing the stolen souls. Hawkman and the Atom then fly Jean and a captive Norch Lor to Thanagar, but when they arrive, they are stopped by Hawkman’s pal, fellow Wingman and Hawk-cop Ra Laf, who uncharacteristically attack them. The Atom takes leave of his senses too and attacks Hawkman, who swats him like a fly. Much to the chagrin of Norch Lor, the powerful cosmic influence of The Jest-Master has begun to poison the minds of those near Thanagar. Norch Lor had only been stealing souls in order to protect them from the Jest-Master. Norch Lor sends out an alert, which is received by the JLA. Superman, Batman, Flash, and Black Canary rush to Thanagar just in time to prevent a crazed Hawkman from squashing the Atom like a bug. After Batman kayos Norch Lor, Jean—cured of her insanity in a reverse-effect of the Jest-Master’s curse—tells the heroes to get out of dodge as fast as they can. They take an escape pod a million miles away just to be safe. With everyone back to normal, Superman flies back to Thanagar and locates the Jest-Master’s HQ, a psychedelic crystalline structure in the heart of a comet. The Man of Steel flings Flash into the comet, but he’s unable to stop the Jest-Master and his minions. Realizing that only Jean can retain her sanity around the cosmic villains, they send her into the heart of the madness. Thanks to Jean, the Atom is able to confront the Jest-Master and distract him while the rest of the JLA sneaks in and busts his minions. The Jest-Master is defeated and Jean’s sanity is permanently restored.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #156. Batman and the GCPD suspect one of Gotham’s wealthiest businessmen, Giuseppe Condotti, of having dealings with the criminal element. However, neither Batman nor the GCPD can prove it, nor will they be able to for years to come. Batman will investigate Condotti unsuccessfully here-and-again, moving forward on our timeline. Soon after Condotti comes across Batman’s radar, an upstanding GCPD Officer Donald Sterling is killed by a drug ring and then posthumously framed for being a part of the very same drug ring. Batman hears about the case. Unknown to Batman and the cops, Officer Sterling has been framed by Condotti’s mob and actual corrupt cop William Tyler.

–Detective Comics #400-401
Batman faces off against The Blackout Gang, a fierce foursome of black-clad night vision goggle-wearing thieves that get the better of the Dark Knight. In his penthouse science lab, Batman builds special hearing-enhancers and tests them with Alfred. Meanwhile, the Blackout Gang prepares to strike its next target, the Museum of Natural History, which currently has a bat exhibit being prepared by Curator Wilkins and scientist Kirk Langstrom. The next night, Batman takes on the Blackout Gang at the museum. But, once again, the Blackout Gang gets the better of Batman, wailing on him, despite his sonar ear devices. All of a sudden, a screeching figure flies through the dark room and takes down the villains. Batman thanks his unknown helper and shines a light on him to reveal a monstrous talking bat creature. It’s Dr. Langstrom, who has accidentally turned himself into Man-Bat (!) after injecting himself with experimental serum. Ashamed at what he’s become, Man-Bat flees into the night. This first meeting between Batman and Man-Bat is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #402 and via reference in Batman #254.

A new villain calling himself The Stalker leaves a note—via trained falcon—through Commissioner Gordon’s office window. The note claims that Batman will be his next victim. When Batman comes to examine the note, the Stalker fires a sniper’s long-distance warning shot into Gordon’s office. That night, the Stalker fires an arrow with a note into Bruce’s penthouse living room. Via the note, the Stalker reveals both his identity as big game hunter Carleton Yager and the fact that he knows Batman’s secret ID. Soon afterward, Batman challenges Yager on New Urbia, a public housing project under construction on an island in Gotham’s East River. After Yager toys with Batman for a while, he dresses up as Alfred and pretends to be tied-up in order to lure the Dark Knight in for the final blow. Batman sees through the ruse and dropkicks Yager, who tries to flee but leaps to his death. Alfred, who has followed with concern, joins up with Batman to survey the scene.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #33. Robin officially rejoins the Teen Titans, which now includes new member Mal Duncan.

–Detective Comics #402
With Man-Bat’s help, Batman busts up a robbery at Biochem Ltd (likely Biochem-Fabrik Ltd’s Gotham subsidiary, which makes sense because Biochem’s focus is partly on animal mutation). But Man-Bat needs some chemicals too, telling Batman he’ll leave some cash in exchange. Batman winds up fighting and getting knocked-out by Man-Bat, who flees with the chemicals, hoping to revert himself back to normal. Later, Batman visits the Natural History Museum and finds Francine Lee, Kirk Langstrom’s fiancée, who reports that Kirk has been missing for nearly a week. Batman takes her to the backroom lab where they startle Man-Bat, who runs away. Batman catches up with Man-Bat, who sprouts wings and flies away. Man-Bat, quickly losing his human mind, winds up entering the Batcave and fighting Batman again. Batman kayos Man-Bat and prepares an anti-serum to his condition.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #407. Batman straps Man-Bat to at table in preparation to administer an anti-serum, but Man-Bat freaks-out and breaks free. Batman locks him in the Batcave and gets Francine, blindfolding her and bringing her into the Batcave. But by the time they arrive, Man-Bat has flown away, having exited the same way he entered. Batman takes Francine home and leaves her a phone number (possibly linked to the Bat-hotline) to call him, should Kirk resurface. Batman will carry anti-Man-Bat serum in his utility belt, moving forward.

[4]

–Superman #229 Part 2
Batman agrees to host a dinner honoring Perry White in Metropolis. A few days later, Superman visits the Bottle City of Kandor and receives an ancient Kryptonian therapy orb to take for a closer scientific examination. The night of the dinner, Batman acts as MC, guiding the close friends of Perry to sign a plaque with a diamond-tipped stylus. After Clark signs, he ducks out and returns as Superman to sign as well. In the morning, Clark examines the Kryptonian therapy device and gets radioactive chemicals on his glasses. The chemical causes Clark to blackout and attempt to kill Perry at work. Later returning to The Daily Planet building, Superman is told about Clark’s assassination attempt, but Superman has no recollection of his actions. Superman convinces Perry not to call the cops and gives him some body armor. After Clark attempts to murder Perry two more times, Superman is at a loss. Back at his apartment, Superman realizes his contaminated glasses had been causing him to go insane as Clark. Switching to a clean backup pair, Clark is cured of his murderous blackout condition. Realizing that both Clark and Superman’s signatures look exactly the same on Perry’s plaque, Clark fakes that he’s still crazy and pretends to go after Perry with a laser gun only to “miss” and melt the plaque. Afterward, Perry and Clark simple assume that some unknown villain had taken control of Clark’s mind.

[5]

–The Brave and The Bold #91
When Rhymer’s top man kills Waxey Till, the Gotham crime syndicate is on the brink of imploding into civil war. After Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and private-eye Larry Lance fish Till out of the drink, the Dark Knight and Larry agree to pool their resources and team-up to bring down Rhymer and the Collector. Larry tells Batman that the Collector must be criminal Doc Danton. Batman is skeptical, but does his research on Danton anyway. Back at Larry’s office, Larry is greeted by a sexy paramour that just won’t leave him alone—a disguised Black Canary! Posing as “Myra Kallen,” Black Canary has been trying to earn the affections of Larry for a while now, hoping to replace the deceased Earth-2 version of Larry in her life. (Again, don’t forget, as per Justice League of America #220, Black Canary is the daughter of the original, only stuck with her mom’s memories, meaning she’s actually been making-out and flirting with an alternate version of her own dad.) Later, Batman takes his investigation to a casino where he witnesses the disguised Collector shoot crook Turk O’Hare and run off with a wad of cash. Batman tries to apprehend the Collector, but instead runs into Larry, who convinces the Caped Crusader that the Collector is indeed Doc Danton. Later, Black Canary saves Batman from a syndicate bombing. Later still, Larry calls Batman to assist him at the museum, operating on a supposed tip from an unnamed client. At the museum, Larry executes the syndicate’s top gun before Batman can question him. When Doc Danton’s corpse turns up in a local dump, Batman begins to suspect Larry might be the Collector. The Dark Knight visits Black Canary at her Gotham apartment to warn her about Larry, but is accused of jealousy and earns a slap in the face. (Batman admits via thought ballon that he does have a crush on Black Canary!) Black Canary then sleeps with Larry—or so it is heavily implied. I guess it could be worse. This isn’t her real dad. Oof. Anyway, Black Canary then teams-up with Larry to go after the syndicate. The next night, in a coordinated effort with Batman, the GCPD busts half the syndicate, forcing Rhymer and the Collector to reluctantly join forces. A night after that, Larry reveals himself as the Collector after all. Batman and Black Canary chase after him. Batman winds up in an underwater knife fight with Larry, who accidentally stabs himself to death. Make that two Larry Lances dead in less than a year. PS. In an unrelated side note, we learn that Gotham has a new unnamed District Attorney, who replaces DA Danton.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #391-392, World’s Finest Comics #215, and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of Action Comics #391-392 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Superman and Batman watch another computer-simulated adventure of their Super-Sons. Batman Jr, now 14-years-old, is nearly perfect in every way whereas Superman Jr (nearing his 14th birthday) screws up a lot. In this sim, Superboy messes up so badly that Superman permanently erases his powers via Gold Kryptonite. Later, a powerless Superman Jr redeems himself and saves his dad’s life. This prompts Superman to use Kandorian tech to permanently switch his own powers into Superman Jr, after which a powerless Superman retires from crimefighting. Of course, as referenced in WFC #215, the Man of Steel soon gets his powers back and returns to crimefighting anyway. (Note that this item is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place “in reality” on Earth-391.)

–Flash #199 Part 1
Flash prevents some thieves from stealing an experimental suspended animation serum from famous Central City scientist Dr. Hollister. During the fracas, Flash gets splashed with the serum, which ostensibly sees the Scarlet Speedster drop dead! With no signs of life or registering heartbeat, Flash is declared deceased. President Ford proclaims a national day of mourning. The JLA—along with Iris Allen—attends a small funeral and puts Flash—in costume—to rest in a mausoleum in Central City. After Iris donates one of Flash’s spare costumes to Dexter Myles, curator of the Flash Museum, Dr. Hollister steals it in an attempt to carry on Flash’s legacy. But Dr. Hollister is no Flash, and winds up broke and sleeping on a park bench in less than a week’s time. At the end of the sad week without a Flash, a crazed Dr. Hollister removes Flash’s body from the cemetery and brings it to his lab in an attempt to revive him. The same crooks from before once again accost Dr. Hollister. As they point a gun at him, a flash of lightning strikes and resurrects Flash! He was merely in a deep state of suspended animation the whole time. Flash returns and all’s well that end’s well.

–World’s Finest Comics #194-195
When circus owner PJ Farnum begins receiving threats from Big Uncle’s Mafia, Batman and Superman are on the case. After doing his homework and learning all about Big Uncle’s organization, Bruce sets up a new anti-crime organization through the Wayne Foundation (likely linked to Victims Inc), specifically targeting Big Uncle’s criminal activity. Bruce then sets up a Farnum Circus trapeze performance by Dick as a tribute to the late great Flying Graysons. During the performance, Batman sneaks around and eavesdrops on a mafioso threatening Farnum. When Dick’s line snaps thanks to the bad guys having tampered with it, he falls but is saved by Superman, who is disguised as a clown. Later, Superman disguises himself as forger Alonzo Scarns and gets caught in the act of a robbery in order to gain an audience with Big Uncle. Sure enough, the plan works, and Scarns is invited to join the Mafia, meeting personally with Big Uncle, who reveals himself as well-respected philanthropist Karl Lukaz. Lukaz tasks Scarns with a loyalty test of eliminating Bruce Wayne. The next day, Superman—as Scarns—shoots a tranquilizer dart into Bruce’s horse while he plays polo. Bruce takes a dive and pretends to be dead after hitting the ground, suffering a legit concussion in the process. With the help of a fake doctor and some EMTs, Bruce is pronounced dead. Back at the Mafia HQ, Lukaz takes the dart and puts it with a bunch of other incriminating evidence, which he’s kept as leverage should anyone betray him. Lukaz then escorts Scarns to the morgue to verify that Bruce is dead. Sure enough, Bruce is there dead as a doornail—or so it appears. He’s using an Eastern yoga technique of lowering his blood pressure, heart rate, and bodily temperature to put himself into into a death-like trance. Later, Superman and Batman meet up to discuss their next plans, which involve Batman doing research on Lukaz and Scarns palling-around with Lukaz for a few days. After failing to obtain any damning physical evidence against Lukaz, Superman calls in Batman, who disguises himself as famous criminal mastermind Doc Danner, who he has busted and stashed in FBI safekeeping. Despite having two superheroes on the inside of the operation, they can’t get any dirt on Lukaz. Frustrated, Superman simply kidnaps Lukaz and holds him prisoner in the Fortress of Solitude! Meanwhile, Batman disguises himself as Lukaz and takes over his criminal empire, calling a huge Metropolis gathering of all the Mafia’s top men. Due to the lingering effects of his recent concussion, Batman forgets who he is and starts believing he really is Lukaz. At the big meeting, the confused Batman exposes Scarns as Superman and even threatens him with Kryptonite. Superman pretends that the Kryptonite has made him think he is really Scarns, which, for some reason, Batman and the bad guys buy. Batman orders Superman to assassinate Jimmy Olsen and Robin, sending him on his way. Soon after, Superman delivers the boys to Batman, who forces them to dig their own graves at gunpoint. Robin tells Batman that he loves him, which causes him to snap back to reality. Just then, the real Lukaz, having escaped from the Fortress of Solitude, arrives. Superman, still pretending to be a confused super-villain, quickly switches Jimmy and Robin with wax figurines and “murders” them with heat vision, delivering their wax hearts to Lukaz as trophdies. Inside the hearts are homing beacons, which Superman and Batman follow to locate Lukaz’s stash of incriminating evidence. At the secret stash, Robin and Jimmy return and help bust Lukaz. Afterward, Bruce makes a public return, announcing that his death was faked as part of Batman and Superman’s plan. After the case is wrapped, Batman reminds Superman that they can’t rest because while the American branch of the Mafia is shut down, the organization is international and still exists worldwide. Presumably, Batman and Superman quickly go on a global tour and shut down the rest of Lukaz’s Mafia.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #232. Batman learns that the GCPD’s Sergeant Phil Moss has been killed in the line of duty.

–Batman #237
Halloween weekend. Lots of meta-stuff going on here, with cameos by comic creators as characters in comics! Dick and some of his Hudson University school pals (Bernie Wrightson, Alan Weiss, and Gerry Conway) travel to the annual Rutland Halloween Parade in Vermont. (In case you didn’t know, the Rutland Halloween Parade is a real life event run by Tom Fagan, and features a variety of superhero-themed floats and costumes every year. I told you this was meta!) Dick and his friends enjoy the amazing parade, which includes folks dressed as Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Bat-Mite, Man-Bat, Phantom Stranger, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Hawkman, Superman, Aquaman, Solomon Grundy, Commando America (aka Captain America), Havok, Quicksilver, and Captain Marvel! (Don’t forget that some versions of Marvel and Fawcett exist as comic book companies within the DCU, so folks would be cosplaying as both real superheroes and fictional ones at the parade.) After some muggers run through the crowd bashing skulls with blackjacks, Robin is on the case. The College Boy Wonder soon finds a murdered man wearing a Batman costume before being attacked by a super-villain known as The Reaper, who leaves him for dead. Batman appears and helps Robin, and soon they visit Dr. Benjamin Gruener at Tom Fagan‘s house. Dr. Gruener, a Jewish concentration camp survivor, has discovered that fugitive Nazi Kurt Schloss (the man who killed his entire family) is hiding amongst the Halloween revelers. Batman has been tasked with bringing Schloss to justice. The black-jackers are Schloss’s old Nazi comrades, who are after a cache of stolen gold from WWII. With Robin recovering, Batman checks-out Fagan’s house party, which includes folks dressed as Thor, Webslinger Lad (aka Spider-Man), Dr. Doom, and Invisible Woman. Denny O’Neil himself is there as well! As are the actual Cain and Abel. When a black-jacker turns up dead outside of Fagan’s house, Batman goes into a nearby residence and busts one of his buddies. Schloss enters his car, which explodes, courtesy of a bomb placed there by the Reaper. Batman then realizes that Dr. Gruener is the Reaper and chases after him atop a dam. Dr. Gruener runs into Alan Weiss and raises his scythe to strike a fatal blow, but pauses when he sees the young man wearing a Star of David necklace. Dumbfounded that he has become like the Nazis he hates, Dr. Gruener recoils in shame, stumbling off the dam and falling to his death.

–The Brave and The Bold #105
Early November—this item takes place during the final weeks of Francisco Franco’s rulership over Spain. Bruce eats at his favorite Spanish restaurant in Gotham. After dinner, two women (Conchita Vasquez and her chaperone Pilar) are attacked on the street, prompting Bruce to chase off their assailant. While Alfred drives the women to the hospital, Bruce ditches to get involved in a Las Pampas gang war. Batman helps the GCPD break up the fight and bust one of the gang leaders, Conchita’s brother Raoul Vasquez. Later, Bruce walks and talks with the gorgeous Conchita until they are confronted by Raoul, who has escaped jail. Raoul explains that his father is an anti-Franco revolutionary from San Sebastián, Spain, who fled to America only to get involved in a rivalry with Francisco Montoya, which led to his capture by the gangster El Moro. El Moro has now asked for a hefty ransom in exchange for their dad’s life. Later, Bruce tells Alfred that he doesn’t buy the story and thinks that the Vasquez’s are pulling a “Spanish Prisoner Gambit” con game, trying to milk money out of him because he is a rich mark. Batman then meets with Mayor Hayes, Francisco Montoya, and Commissioner Gordon to discuss the situation with Raoul. The Dark Knight then calls in Diana Prince for help! Diana arrives in Gotham the next morning. After a brief conversation with her “Guardian Angel,” a telepathic Amazon warrior sent from Themyscira to act as her protector, Diana takes a job as Conchita’s new chaperone. Bruce delivers the ransom money to Conchita and, as night falls over Gotham, a drop is made to El Moro at a harbor pier. Things go south quickly as Conchita’s dad is nowhere to be seen. Guns start a-blazing when Raoul pops-up, forcing Diana to start kicking ass. When Diana gets knocked-out, Batman intervenes. El Moro is shot dead, Conchita is kidnapped, and Raoul—without the money—runs toward the supposed location of his father. While Diana’s Guardian Angel saves her life, Batman follows Raoul and discovers that he wasn’t lying after all. The next day, Batman, Raoul, and Diana find that Montoya is illegally shipping airplane parts to Franco’s army in Spain. They rush Montoya’s vessel and take down all his men to stop the shipment and save Conchita and her dad. Afterward, Batman allows the Vasquez family to send out the shipment to anti-Franco guerrillas in Spain. Holy, talk about getting directly involved in international politics, Batman! The Dark Knight is literally helping send war materiel to foreign agents. For his help, Batman gets to make-out with Conchita, which gets a nice “Olé!” out of Diana.

–Batman #225 Part 1
When anti-Batman TV journalist Jonah Jory is murdered in the Gotham Athletic Club steam room, the Dark Knight is charged with the crime! At the behest of Arthur Reeves, Commissioner Gordon puts out a warrant for Batman’s arrest. The Caped Crusader goes on a mission to prove his innocence, shaking down two low-level crooks that admit to being hired by an unknown person to help frame Batman for the crime. Batman does some research on Jory and then, as Bruce, visits the Athletic Club steam room where he finds the evidence he was looking for. After Commissioner Gordon and a squad of police enter to bust Batman, the Caped Crusader proves that a terminally-ill Jory committed suicide and tried to make it look like the Dark Knight killed him.

–Batman #225 Part 2
When drag car racing teen Alex Saddows—son of Batman’s Mystery Analyst partner Art Saddows—kills his rival, Victor, by running him over with a car, he goes into hiding to avoid the law. Alex’s girlfriend Chris calls Art, who calls Batman. After examining the scene, Batman tells Art and Chris that he can prove that Alex is not at fault for the death. It takes Batman three days to locate the elusive Alex, who he spots acting as getaway driver for some robbers. Batman busts the robbers, but Alex drives off. Batman catches up with Alex later, stopping him from attacking his friend Jack. At police HQ, Batman reveals what Alex had also discovered: Jack, jealous of both Alex and Victor’s relationships with Chris, let the brake fluid out of Alex’s car, which led to the death. Alex, exonerated of murder, will still be tried for manslaughter.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #295. The Mystery Analysts gather for what will be their last official meeting. They’ll have one reunion about four years from now. Despite the groups dissolution, Batman will stay in touch with all members, moving forward.

–Detective Comics #403 Part 1
A woman solicits VIP help, but once in Bruce’s office, she threatens to murder her husband, paving contractor Laird Randall, before the sun rises. Bruce tries to get more information out of her, but she runs away. Batman immediately visits Laird’s home and witnesses Angie and Laird Randall depart with a strange horse-driven carriage to a mystery costume party at a haunted house. En route, hitmen try to kill them, but Batman saves them. Seeing that Angie doesn’t seem to harbor any homicidal tendencies towards her husband, the Dark Knight sends them on their way. At the haunted house, the carriage driver reveals himself as rival paving contractor and mobster Van Paxton. He points a gun at the Randalls, but his wife—Angie’s twin sister Audrey (who had earlier visited Bruce pretending to be Angie)—jumps in front, taking the bullet, having changed her mind about being an accomplice to murder. Batman crashes into the scene and fights Paxton, who falls through the floorboards to his death. Audrey dies in Angie’s arms.

–The Brave and The Bold #95 Part 1
Ruby Ryder, the richest woman on the planet and owner of Ruby Ryder Inc, invites Batman to her Gotham skyscraper, the tallest building in the city. Upon arrival, Ruby tells Batman that she’ll donate five million dollars to charity if he completes a mission for her. The task: locate her fiancé, famed adventurer Kyle Morgan, who went missing in South America about six months ago. (Unknown to everyone, Morgan is merely a disguised Plastic Man.) Batman accepts, gets debriefed by Ruby’s lawyer Hinton, studies up on Amazon culture, and hauls on down to South America. There, after a rough conversation and short trip with Morgan’s pilot, Batman fends-off some headhunting Amazon tribesmen. After shaking down Morgan’s shady pilot for a second time, Batman is led to Morgan, who has been suffering from a feverish condition for months. The Dark Knight collects Morgan and flies him up to Ruby’s Rocky Mountain estate. Upon delivery of the woozy Morgan, Ruby fills him with lead, shooting him down. Hinton enters the room with the State Attorney at his side. The frame-up is on, and Batman is charged with murder! After two days of hiding out, Batman—wearing a trench coat and hat—accosts Hinton at Morgan’s funeral in Gotham. After hours, Plastic Man awakens and crawls out of his grave. Meanwhile, Batman tracks Ruby, who has fled the country to Paris. There, some of Hinton’s men trail Batman and discover he is traveling as Bruce (not thinking that they are one and the same, but assuming that Bruce has lent Batman his identity). Two days later, on the French Riviera, Batman is attacked by more of Hinton’s men, but Plastic Man saves his life from the shadows. Batman then travels to the Moroccan desert where he is once again secretly saved by Plastic Man. In an ancient temple, Batman catches up with Ruby and punches her lights out, dragging her back to America where she is thrown in jail to await trial for murder.

–Detective Comics #404
Hearing word that his pet project and Seven-Star Pic’s latest flick, a biopic about German WWI flying ace Baron Hans Von Hammer (aka “Enemy Ace”) by Academy Award-winning director Anson, is in trouble due to a series of mishaps and accidents, Bruce visits the shooting location in Spain. When a stuntman crashes a vintage plane, Batman investigates and sees that he’s been strangled to death prior to the crash. After night falls, Batman stops some Spanish saboteurs and then fingers the man he suspects is aiming to ruin production: the cameraman Gavin. While interrogating Gavin, Anson is shot by a mystery assailant, who turns out to be the real culprit: film consultant/pilot/airplane engineer Heinrich Franz. Batman challenges Franz to an airplane duel and they take to the skies in old biplanes. Batman, seemingly guided by the ghost of Hans Von Hammer, outmaneuvers his more experienced opponent, before leaping from his cockpit onto Franz’s plane. Franz’s scarf gets caught in the propellers and he is killed. Batman lands the plane, claiming victory. It is unknown whether or not the Von Hammer film is made. If it is, we must imagine Bruce seeing the production through (on-and-off) to its completion and theatrical release.

–World’s Finest Comics #196
When Kryptonite meteorites crash all over the US, President Ford urges all Americans to gather the glowing green rocks and deliver them to government holding containers in cities located near the transcontinental railway line. Batman and Robin then learn how to operate a special lead-lined train that will go across the country, collecting each bin. The Secret Service, FBI, and CIA will be protecting the train. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and other reporters will travel with the train as well. Superman will fly ahead (high in the sky and out of range of the effects of the Kryptonite) to make sure there isn’t any trouble lying await. He’ll also be darting back and forth as Clark to keep up appearances in the press car. Sounds good, right? Well, unknown to Batman and Superman, Robin is kidnapped by villain KC Jones and his hang of masked henchmen. A fake Robin replaces the real one and joins the train for its East Coast departure. Jones’ men attempt to hijack the train, but fail thanks to Batman and Superman. Later, somewhere in the Midwest, Jones’ boys strike once more, but fail yet again. In the Southwest, Jones himself halts the train and, with the help of some fake foamers, takes down Superman and Batman, nearly killing them both. The World’s Finest Heroes regroup and go after Jones, who has stolen the Kryptonite and is heading toward Mexico in his own train. They rescue the first train—and its passengers—from a mine shaft, before facing off against the fake Robin, who gives himself away because he is left-handed. (The real Robin is right-handed.) At Rainbow Bridge, Superman lifts the tracks off the ground to bust Jones and his men. (Note that, on Earth-1, Rainbow Bridge is not in Utah, but is located at the border between Mexico and the US. It is still a Natural Wonder of the World, but the US has built train tracks on top of it.) With the bad guys behind bars, Batman receives word that Robin is okay in Metropolis. Superman hurls all the gathered Kryptonite into deep space. In the concluding panel, Batman makes a reference to a “recent” case in a thought bubble, but he’s actually talking about Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #111 Part 1, which was last year.

–Detective Comics #405
Batman reads about the assassinations of fifteen European shipping magnates, and how a sixteenth, KC Agonistes, is holed-up on a highly-secure/heavily armed yacht in Gotham Bay. Not long after, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara call in Batman to deliver Interpol news that says Agonistes, who has refused GCPD protection, will soon be targeted. Batman is on the case, and agrees to join Agonistes and his fiancée Bettina Smythe for a boat trip. A day later, seventy miles off the coast of Boston, a pack of League of Assassins-trained dolphins, strapped with bombs, suicide dive towards the yacht. The Caped Crusader grabs a rifle and begins picking them off one-by-one! Dolphins explode left-and-right (!), but a few get through and sink the ship. Only Batman, Agonistes, Bettina, and one sailor survive to make it to a nearby island. But, as per the plan of the League of Assassins, the island is rigged with traps—and on it awaits Sumatran master assassin Tejja and the leader of the League of Assassins, Dr. Ebenezer Darrk. Darrk remains in the shadows, sending Tejja after Batman. Tejja hangs Batman up with a tree snare before heading toward Agonistes. The Dark Knight escapes and catches up with Tejja before he can hurt anyone. Tejja then reveals to all that he works for the League of Assassins! After an epic fight on the beach, Batman knocks-out his tough opponent. Darrk decides not to reveal himself yet, and sneaks away.

–Justice League of America #82-83
Our tale begins with some clever Denny O’Neil fanwank world-building, as he tells us via editor’s note that time moves slower on Earth-2 as a reasoning for why the elder JSA heroes look so young. As per later retcons, we can ignore this. O’Neil also cutely meta-explains the JSA-JLA team-ups that happen roughly once every year, citing that, every twelve months or so, the “temporal matrices” of Earth-1 and Earth-2 become aligned for twenty-one days, thus allowing for easier crossover by those with the ability to do so. I guess that time is now, although it’s only been ten months since the last crossover happened. (Future crossovers will happen randomly, with even less time in-between, so maybe we should ignore the temporal matrices thing too.) Anyway, onto a synopsis. With Black Canary having been possessed by the White supremacist cult leader known as Joshua (as seen in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #78), Green Arrow and Hal Jordan—already both on part time status—take a full leave of absence from the JLA to rescue her. Meanwhile, in outer space just off of Earth-2, Red Tornado is kidnapped by a mega-powered alien called Creator², whose goal is to build a new planet by destroying both Earth-1 and Earth-2. Sending a deactivated Red Tornado as a living conduit into the Bleed between Earths, Creator² begins pulling the two universes together. Creator²’s cosmic henchmen take out Earth-2 Superman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Jay Garrick using special weaponry, which causes Batman, Superman, and Flash to collapse into comas on Earth-1. As the vibrational planes between Earths dissipate, people begin to see vague images of their alternate counterparts appear before them. The JSA calls an emergency meeting to discuss a plan of action. Just about everyone turns up—even Earth-2 Batman, who recently rejoined the team full-time (as per reference in Justice League of America #76)! Only Ma Hunkel and Earth-2 Robin are not present. This marks the first one of these multiversial crises that Earth-2 Batman has finally shown up for. This also makes JLofA #82 the first comic book where Earth-1 Batman and Earth-2 Batman both appear in the same story, although, sadly, they don’t interact. Moving on, Green Arrow, Hal Jordan, and Black Canary (all better now) arrive aboard the JL Satellite and are briefed by Atom, who has figured out that some unknown link is causing the two Earths to merge. Black Canary assumes she is the link and begins freaking out. On Earth-2, half the JSA members depart, presumably to help out around the globe. Earth-2 Batman is among the members that depart. Shortly thereafter, the evil aliens attack JSA HQ, defeating everyone except Dr. Fate, Johnny Thunder, and Yz. Concurrently, Green Lantern flies into the Bleed and discovers Red Tornado, but gets immobilized when his Earth-2 counterpart is defeated. The remaining JSAers summon the aid of the Spectre, who enters the Bleed and stretches his body to twice the size of the colliding Earths in order to prevent their further merger. Dr. Fate and Yz easily destroy Creator² and his minions, ending his threat. The Spectre’s corporeal form is destroyed as well, although he remains “alive” in spirit form. The Earths return to their correct places in their respective universes and all the heroes recover.

–REFERENCE: In Adventure Comics #431 and The Brave and The Bold #116. The Spectre’s spirit reconnects with his human host, Earth-2 Jim Corrigan. After their latest shake-up, the Spectre and Corrigan decide to make a permanent move to Earth-1. They settle in New York City where Corrigan becomes a lieutenant detective with the New York Police Department (NYPD). Corrigan informs Batman of his move to Earth-1 and new position with the NYPD. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Earth-2 Corrigan’s counterpart on Earth-1 is Detective Jim Corrigan, a young African American cop that also works for the NYPD! So, yes, moving forward, there will be two Jim Corrigans on the NYPD.

–Detective Comics #407
This item is out-of-order (swapped with ‘tec #406) because it occurs about a month after ‘tec #400. Batman reads in the paper that the Natural History Museum’s bat exhibit is opening, which will be followed by the marriage of Kirk and Francine Langstrom at a nearby church! Batman is shocked to read this news in the paper, especially since he believed Kirk hadn’t been heard from since going into hiding after his full Man-Bat transformation. Batman crashes the wedding and rips a mask off of Kirk, revealing his true ghastly form to the wedding crowd. Francine tells Batman that she loves Kirk, no matter what he looks like. After the audience clears out of the church, Batman realizes that Kirk has turned Francine into a monster as well, ripping off her mask to reveal She-Bat! Batman fights Man-Bat and She-Bat atop the church’s roof and steeple, eventually injecting them both with anti-Man-Bat serum, restoring them back to normal. (This issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #416 Intro.)

–The Brave and The Bold #92
Bruce has gotten real serious about his movie-making career, and it’s great. We have to imagine him happily watching all these movies once they get completed. In his role as Seven-Star Pics executive, Bruce visits the London set of a new Basil Coventry-directed biopic about the Scarlet Strangler, a British serial killer active from 1906 to 1910. During the shoot, someone dressed as the Strangler murders the actor playing the killer, takes his place, and kidnaps the female lead, Viviene Tremaine. Batman recruits a “Bat-Squad”—consisting of script girl/karate black belt Margo Cantrell, technical advisor/ex-Scotland Yard detective Major Dabney, and guitar player Mick Murdock—to help him search the lot. Batman comes across a mysterious horse-drawn carriage that seems lost out of time, but he pays it little mind. It’s not long before the Bat-Squad fights the new mystery Strangler, but the bad guy escapes with some help from a mystery partner. Soon after, the team finds Viviene, but she thinks she is the Strangler’s first victim and that the year is 1906. The Bat-Squad then finds Coventry (the Strangler’s mystery partner) fighting with the Strangler, who falls in the ocean. Coventry, convinced that he himself is the Strangler, then attacks Batman. Both men fall through the dock and Batman gets trapped under a Nazi warhead leftover from WWII. Coventry snaps back to reality, but try as he and the Bat-Squad might, they cannot free Batman. With no other choice, they leave him. The bomb explodes, but not before the Strangler saves Batman’s life at the expense of his own. Afterward, Coventry explains that the original Strangler from the early 1900s was his grandfather and the new Strangler was his mentally deranged father, copycatting grandad. Batman is happy that the case is over, but it’s far from a tidy wrap-up. What was the eerie horse-drawn cab, and why did both Viviene and Coventry become possessed? Seems like ghosts were a-haunting. Afterward, Batman tells the Bat-Squad he’d like to team up with the again in the future. He won’t.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #416 Intro. Kirk Langstrom and Francine Lee reschedule their wedding, sending an invitation to Batman.

–NOTE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133Action Comics #440, and Detective Comics #468. Media mogul Morgan Edge purchases The Daily Planet, merging it with his massive Galaxy Broadcasting System corporation. Bruce meets Morgan Edge and the business tycoons become fast friends (at least on the surface). Bruce buys into Galaxy’s TV station WGBS, becoming a 6% shareholder. Lois, Clark, and Jimmy all get promoted to WGBS where Lois and Clark become on-air newscasters. Shortly after the GBS merger, Edge is secretly abducted and replaced by an evil Morgan Edge clone that has been created by Darkseid’s top scientist Mokkari. Darkseid’s Earthbound crime organization known as Intergang will run GBS (via the fake Edge) until the middle of next year.

–Justice League of America #84
The JLA takes down the infamous criminal cartel known as The 100, which is run by Tobias Whale and backed by the Soviets. For its efforts, the Nobel Committee decides to award the entire team a prize for contributions to the good of humanity. Thus, the entire team is invited to the award ceremony in Oslo. A few days later, the JLA attends the ceremony and accepts their award. The Nobel Peace Prize goes to eugenics monster Dr. Victor Willard, who has invented a serum that turned warring Indigenous Brazilian tribesmen into docile impotent peaceniks. Great job, Nobel Prize people. As Willard accepts his prize, Black Canary is somehow able to telepathically read the thoughts of Willard’s wife, Phyllis Temple. (They have some sort of cosmic interdimensional mind-link.) On the way home, Flash and Superman decide to race for fun! Unfortunately, there are too many people around, making the race a dangerous idea. The heroes decide to cancel. The next morning, Batman relieves Black Canary of monitor duty aboard the JL Satellite. The lovelorn Black Canary asks if she stay and hang out with Batman, who accepts her offer of company. They talk candidly about relationships, with Batman saying that he was unable to marry the only woman he ever really wanted to be with. Who is he talking about? Could be Vicki Vale or Batwoman, but better bets would be Julie Madison or Marcia Monroe, both of whom he was quite torn up about following their respective relationships falling apart. Black Canary is so moved, and thinking of her own situation, she begins to cry. Batman takes her in his arms and they kiss! After making-out, an embarrassed Black Canary departs. Two days later, the JLA gets racist as hell in Australia, intervening after an Aborigine tribe mercilessly slaughters another. Batman and Superman angrily refer to the Aborigines as living in the Stone Age. After the Aborigines attack, the JLA is nearly defeated by their magick, but the Aborigines disappear without a trace. A couple days later, Flash rescues Phyllis, who has been lost at sea. Later, after a big fight with Iris, Flash makes a mental decision to take a hiatus from the team following this case to dedicate more time to his wife. (He won’t.) With the JLA standing by, Black Canary uses her mind-link to read a comatose Phyllis’ thoughts, learning that Willard’s award-winning peace serum is actually causes extreme feelings of hatred and rage after a set amount of time. Willard, from the protection of his Pacific Island HQ, has plans to spread his serum all over the planet and then launch a planet-leveling Kryptonite-napalm warhead to usher in a new Dawn of Man. Upon discovering Willard’s crazy ideas, Phyllis escaped but was swept out to sea after being attacked by her hubby’s android caveman servant. The JLA, along with an awakened Phyllis, converge on Willard’s Island where they navigate minefields and laser grids and fight giant old-school robots. The android cavemen turns on his master and kills him, which causes him to die as well. The end.

–Batman #226
Some crooks trying to rob a storage vault come up against nightwatchman Philip Reardon, an ex-Green Beret, who kicks their asses. One of the downed crooks, however, throws a brick, which hits Reardon in the face, giving him instant vision problems. The confused Reardon fights Batman, who enters the scene. After the bad guys detonate a bomb, which takes Batman down for the count, they take a blind Reardon as a hostage. Meanwhile, Batman—seeing double due to the blast—calls Alfred and sets up a meeting with Bruce’s eye doctor. Alfred gets one of the convertible Batmobiles from the Batcave and picks up Batman. At Dr. Engstrom’s office, the doc prescribes blackout contact lenses for Batman to wear until his eyes are healed. Next patient is Reardon, who undergoes experimental surgery to reroute his optical nerves into his finger tips. In the penthouse lab, Batman assists Alfred in constructing video-camera contact lenses, which are connected to a live monitor. Using an earpiece, Alfred is able to guide the blind Batman. After spending an entire week practicing getting around, Batman returns to Dr. Engstrom. At the office, Reardon has just had his hands unwrapped, revealing success—he is able to see through his finger tips. Reardon knocks-out Batman and tries to zap him with a surgical laser, but Alfred is able to wake up Batman via earpiece. Using his ten eyes, Reardon fights the disabled Batman, but the latter wins in the end. As Dr. Engstrom comes to help Batman, Reardon runs off. Batman makes a full recovery. Reardon is called “Ten-Eye” and “The Demon With Ten-Eyes” in this issue, but you might know him better simply as Ten-Eyed Man, a name that he’ll eventually go by. Note that Batman will keep the convertible Batmobile in the Wayne Tower bunker after this case. From this point forward, Batman will use this Batmobile and his unmarked car interchangeably.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #231 Part 1. Batman, with his sight restored, follows-up on the Ten-Eyed Man case, meeting with Mr. Corbin, owner of the storage vault that Philip Reardon was protecting. Batman goes to see about Reardon, learning that he’s gone off-the-radar. After doing research on Reardon and learning about his honorable military past, Batman stops suspecting him as a villain. Batman doesn’t yet know Reardon is the Ten-Eyed Man and won’t for about a month.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #150. For charity, Batman sits in a kissing booth! One of the lovely ladies he smooches is a blonde babe named Rhonda.

–The Brave and The Bold #93
Batman busts up a counterfeit ring, after which there is a huge prison break in Gotham. Batman spends the whole week rounding up escaped convicts, hauling in a fugitive named Beefy while Cain watches and secretly pulls invisible strings. (Cain is the modern iteration of Cain from the Bible, and current supernatural proprietor of the sentient interdimensional House of Mystery.) Afterward, Commissioner Gordon surprises Batman with a monthlong all-paid expenses vacation to Ireland, courtesy of the GCPD! A burned-out Batman decides to take Gordon up on his offer. After Alfred packs him up, Bruce immediately departs on a cruise ship. An invisible Cain follows, narrating through the fourth wall as he goes. A few days later, off the coast of Ireland, a young boy named Sean falls overboard, prompting Bruce to jump in and save him. Later, seeing that Alfred has packed a Batman costume in his luggage, Bruce throws it into the sea. He’s on vacation, dammit! When the captain reveals that Sean is being dropped off with his family on a remote island, Bruce decides to depart from the cruise early with him. After hanging with Sean’s family, Bruce goes to sleep only to be woken by the ghost of King Hugh, who once ruled the island hundreds of years ago. As King Hugh’s spirit fades through the wall, Bruce hops out of bed to find himself inexplicably wearing his Batman costume. King Hugh (or possibly Cain) have tasked him with a mission. Batman soon chases after a sleepwalking Sean, but runs into some villagers, who tell him about recent hauntings on the island. Batman follows what appears to be a demonic wraith up a hill to King Hugh’s ancient castle, which Sean enters. Cain follows, narrating that Batman and Sean have entered an aspect of his House of Mystery. Cain (or maybe King Hugh) supernaturally guides Batman through the castle until he comes across villains that want to poison Sean to scare off the villagers in order to secure fishing rights for themselves. Batman learns the wraith was merely their holographic projection. After busting them (and taking a poisoned knife in the arm), Batman wanders deeper into the castle and finds the ringleader of the gang. Guided again by Cain or King Hugh, Batman drinks an antidote. The ghost of King Hugh then causes a heavy framed picture to fall down upon the ringleader, saving Batman’s life. Batman then returns Sean to his home. Batman’s been on vacation for a few days now and, while he was scheduled to be gone for a month, there’s no way he doesn’t immediately return to Gotham after this.

–Justice League of America #86
An alien wizard named Pajna Darr visits Earth and speaks with evil corporate CEO Theo Zappa. Darr explains that his home planet of Kalyarnia is in dire need of some of the Earth’s plankton or it will soon die of over-pollution. Unknown to Darr, Zappa is evil and has acquired power by using a device that implants false memories into people. Zappa uses the device on Darr to obtain his magick wand, which the former immediately uses to create a fleet of giant vacuum ships that begins harvesting the Earth’s plankton. Zappa plans on blackmailing both planets after stealing all of it. After Zappa takes out an intervening Aquaman, the JLA—sans Green Arrow, Hal Jordan, and Black Canary—is called to action. While Superman and Aquaman deal with a quickly deteriorating and chaotic undersea ecosystem, Flash and Hawkman chase after Zappa in outer space, but the villain is able to magickally transport all of Earth’s plankton to Kalyarnia and declare himself new ruler of the planet. At Zappa’s lab, Batman and the Atom meet Darr, who has realized Zappa’s scheme. Darr teleports himself, along with Batman and the Atom, to Kalyarnia. After the Atom takes down Zappa, the rest of the JLA convenes on Kalyarnia. Facing an angry mob, who are loyal to their “hero” Zappa, Superman decides to try simple diplomacy with the crowd. Luckily, the Kalyarnians recognize Superman, and they love him. Superman tells them the JLA will restore their fragile ecology, but return most of the stolen plankton back to Earth. It’s up to all Kalyarnians and Earthlings to give a hoot and not pollute! The JLA saves Kalyarnia before returning home with the plankton.

–World’s Finest Comics #198-199 (“RACE TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE AND TIME”)
The presence of a swarm of alien Anachronid creatures in the galaxy causes various time-anomalies, including Jimmy Olsen swapping places with an Ancient Roman soldier. The Guardians of the Universe call upon Superman and Flash to race at top speed while wearing Green Power Battery medallions in order to provide balance to the chaos the Anachronids are causing. Leaving the Roman soldier with the Guardians on Oa, Superman and Flash start their running race. Sixteen light years away from Earth, the racers meet the Anachronids, which move to fast they only appear as comet-like blurs. The Anachronids attack Superman and Flash and cause a nearby sun to go supernova, which opens a wormhole through which the heroes wind up in an unknown realm. There, they evade being eaten by a tentacled monster before escaping back to Universe-1 by running through a sun. Nearing the Andromeda Galaxy, Superman and Flash capture an Anachronid, which, slowed to a crawl, is able to be viewed as a boxy metallic robot. Having lost its momentum, it immediately disintegrates. This causes Jimmy to time-warp from Ancient Rome to late 14th century Spain. In the heart of Andromeda, Superman and Flash are knocked-out by more Anachronids. When they awaken, they find themselves back in the strange realm from before, now captives of the masterminds behind the Anachronid plot: Kryptonian villains Kru-El (Superman’s cousin), Jax-Ur, General Zod, and Professor Va-Kox. The strange realm is a planet in a pocket dimension within the Phantom Zone! The villains’ built and sent the Anachronids out through the pocket dimension’s sun and into Universe-1 with hopes that they would destroy time, weakening the membrane walls of the Phantom Zone, allowing for their escape. As the Anachronids get closer to Earth, time begins to distort on the planet. In Gotham, Bruce and Alfred are seeing a Peter Fonda movie in a theater—wait, Batman is watching a movie while the universe collapses?! Amazing. Anyway, the movie switches to a different picture due to the time-anomalies. In the Phantom Zone pocket dimension, Superman kicks Zod’s ass, causing him to flee. Superman and Flash—with their legs injured and useless—drag themselves across a desert terrain. Despite their horrible condition, the heroes kick Jax-Ur and Vakox’s asses and painfully crawl into the bad guys’ HQ. Flash wins the race, deactivating the Anachronids at the last second. The duo destroys the Anachronid-making machine and flies out of the Phantom Zone. Time is restored and all those time-displaced are returned to their correct eras.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #174. During a JLA meeting, Green Arrow tells tale of all the experiences that he, Hal, and Appa Ali Apsa went through on their recent social justice tour of America (as seen in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #76-81). Notably, Green Arrow talks about how Appa Ali Apsa was stripped of his immortality and his title as Guardian for helping he and Hal out.

–Justice League of America #87
November. Bruce finances an Incan archeological dig in Peru for Carter Hall’s museum. At the dig site, Bruce and Carter find a giant robot underground. After switching to superhero costumes to investigate, the robot comes to life and takes mental control of them both. Meanwhile, Zatanna visits the JL Satellite on what she claims is the anniversary of when the JLA helped save her dad two years ago. That did happen in November, but she’s a couple weeks late. Oh well. When Hawkman’s alert goes off in Peru, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Zatanna respond to find their friends acting rather strangely. The robot, acting upon Batman’s deepest darkest power fantasies, attacks and seemingly kills the entire JLA and Zatanna. (In reality, these are ring-construct androids created by Green Lantern.) After putting a crown on “King Batman,” the robot reports back to its masters. With Batman and Hawkman in the hospital, Zatanna combines her magick with Green Lantern’s ring power and Flash’s connection to the Speed Force to follow the robot’s trail. They—along with the Atom—teleport to the bombed-out alien planet of Cam-Nam-Lao, which has been ravaged by nuclear war. Another superhero team, The Champions of Angor (Wandjina, Silver Sorceress, Blue Jay, and Jack B Quick), have similarly tracked another killer robot from their home planet of Angor to Cam-Nam-Lao. The robots had been sen—by the evil corporations responsible for nuking their own planet—out into the cosmos in search of resources to pilfer. The Earth heroes, unable to communicate with the Angors, are soon engaged in an huge fight with them. Eventually, cooler heads prevail and the battle halts.

–REFERENCE: In Flash #204. The JLA—sans Flash—busts The Graveyard Gang. There are some loose ends involved with this case, so the JLA will leave the case open and continue an ongoing investigation, moving forward.

–Batman #229
When famous “photographer of psychic phenomena” Stephen Grey gets kidnapped, he calls out to Batman telepathically for help. Batman soon accompanies Stephen’s wife Laura to a spooky house in the woods. Looking through a window, Batman sees strangely dressed people gathered at a dinner, along with Stephen. The dinner guests all pretend to eat invisible food while an orchestra pretends to play silent invisible instruments. When Stephen objects to the whole scene, a woman laments out loud that he is not one of them—not a Futurian. Batman swings in and beats the crap out of the group until the leaders pause to reveal that they have ESP and now think that Batman is a Futurian as well. One of the bad guys tells Batman that there are Futurians all over the globe assembling to take over the entire planet. Playing along to get more info, Batman accepts a crown, which begins to crush his head as soon as it is placed upon him. They throw Batman into a sealed casket and toss it into a lake as his “final test.” Batman escapes and kicks the shit out of the Futurians, calling them out as fascist psychopaths. Our story ends there, but presumably, Batman puts out calls to either stop of investigate the global Futurian conspiracy. Either that, or the Futurians were 100% bonkers and not really a worldwide organization on the brink of taking over the planet.

–Aquaman #55
Recently, in his solo title, Aquaman was shrunken to microscopic size and sucked into a sub-atomic world contained within a ring that his wife Mera wears. In the tiny world, Aquaman battled monsters, cavemen, and an advanced telepathic civilization. After being aided by a kickass unnamed girl from the tiny world, Aquaman was set to bring her into the world of big people, but Mera was able to rescue her hubby my telepathically wishing him home. Cut to now. Aquaman meets with the JLA and tells them what has happened. The Atom gives Aquaman some notes, which he delivers to royal science advisor Nuidis Vulko, who builds a shrinking ray. Planning a rescue of the gal who helped him, Aquaman re-enters the tiny ring world. After fighting his way to her, she reveals that she likes living in her wild home. While Aquaman is on this mission, racist Atlantean politician Noxden speaks publicly against Aquaman. An upset Aquagirl (Tula) tells Atlantean revolutionary hero Mupo about Noxden, but Mupo says he’s got a few things right. When Aquaman returns from the tiny world, Aqualad reports on Noxden’s actions, saying that he must be stopped. Aquaman says he is a champion of free speech and to let Noxden speak. (You’ll punch-out bad guys and go on unwanted “rescue” missions without so much as a second thought, but now that Aqua-Nazi has a microphone, you have to stand down? Seems like hypocritical—and bad—politics there, King Orin.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #457. November 26. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, visits Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley.

–Batman #230
Late November. The Brave Barons protest the hyper-gentrification of their neighborhood by barricading themselves in the lobby of a brand new luxury tower. With demands for Mayor Hayes to deliver on a promise of low-cost housing, the Barons exclaim that they’ve lined the building with bombs. As a nervous line of riot police surround the building, Batman returns home from patrol to witness the scene on TV. Amazingly, Batman decides that this political powder-keg is not worth his time, citing disappointment with how radical and “uncivilized” his Barons have become. He even tells a concerned Alfred that he hopes the “spoiled brats” suffer the full consequences of the law! Damn, what happened to the social justice crusader? He went full-on Donald Trump in this scene. Later, when the Barons demand an audience with their founder, Batman reluctantly visits with them only to find that the more-radical Shades has seemingly murdered Rap in a struggle for power. Batman roughs-up Shades and de-activates the detonator. He then busts radical feminist Kitten, revealing that she was Rap’s true killer. Shades accepts defeat, saying that the Barons will stand-down and face any charges levied at them.[6]

–Flash #204
Barry and Iris have recently learned that Iris was born in the year 2945 and, as an infant, was sent to the 20th century where she was found and raised by the Wests. Following a subsequent adventure in the 30th century, Iris has somehow gained the ability to know all secret identities, but only while blacking-out and compulsively shouting out the secret. With this strange power, Iris begins blacking-out and exposing criminal frauds. At the fast-tracked trial of the Graveyard Gang, the entire JLA is called-in to testify. With the case still ongoing, the JLAers appear in court but refuse to testify. During the trial, Iris blacks-out again and attempts to yell out that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Flash chatters his teeth at super-speed to scramble the sound waves of Iris’ shout, turning into white noise. Behind closed doors, Flash says he will solve the problem with Iris within 24 hours or he and his wife will leave forever. After saving Iris from some hitmen eager to get revenge for her fraud exposés, Flash takes his wife for a ride on the Cosmic Treadmill with plans for both of them to move to the 30th century. En route through time, Flash realizes that Iris’ locket—a memento from her 30th century birth-father—has been giving her the black-out powers. They return home and put the locket into storage. Flash and Iris rejoin the JLA to deliver the good news, learning that they’ve wrapped up the Graveyard Gang case and testified against the group.

–Justice League of America #88
While on an archeological dig in the South Seas, Carter, Shiera, and Hal find an ancient manuscript from the lost civilization of Mu. While handling the text, Shiera is struck by a strange energy bolt and knocked-out. While Carter flies her to get medical care, Aquaman and Mera arrive to report that strange Mu-related occurrences have happened in the Gulf of Persia, the Mekong River Delta, and on the California Coast. (Unknown to our heroes, the advanced civilization of Mu departed Earth in a giant spacecraft long ago, but they’ve now returned and are causing disasters to occur thanks to three ancient artifacts hidden in the three afflicted locations on the planet.) Hal, as current JLA chairman, assembles the JLA and splits them into three investigative groups. Batman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary travel to California. Batman lets Green Arrow fly the Bat-jet so he can sit next to Black Canary. The Dark Knight does all he can to suppress thoughts of their make-out session. Upon landing, Black Canary walks hand-in-hand with Batman, seemingly spurning Green Arrow, who flips out. The boys argue, but Black Canary tells Batman that he is like a brother to her and that she has true feelings for Ollie, who are now kinda sorta an item. An angry Green Arrow storms off with Black Canary, saying he’d rather team with a married member of the League than deal with bachelors horning in on his woman! Batman is so crestfallen, he hands over the keys to the Bat-jet, letting Green Arrow and Black Canary fly away. Concurrently, Superman, the Atom, and Aquaman police Iran, which is wracked with earthquakes until a local man destroys the artifact from Mu. Flash, Green Arrow, and Black Canary show up in Saigon to save lives from a monsoon, which subsides when a local woman destroys the second Mu artifact. In California, where tidal waves threaten the coast, the Mu spacecraft lands and zaps Batman with a stun laser. The Mu people capture a local surfer to interrogate him, but he throws a wrench into the machinery that propels their ship before jumping out to safety. The ship goes haywire and crashes, killing the entire citizenry of Mu—tens of thousands of people! The JLA reassembles, thankful that the threat is over, even if they don’t really know how they won. NOTE: This story says that it is the end of summer, but that can’t be true. We are in December by this point.

–Detective Comics #406
After Bruce’s friend Count Orsoni is nearly killed in a League of Assassins bombing, Bruce flies out to Orsoni’s estate on the Mediterranean—both to check-up on the injured Orsoni and to investigate the matter. Bruce is taken to the Orsoni Manor by Orsoni’s cousin Mara Thursday. There, he meets Orsoni’s friend Dr. Ebenezer Darrk. In the night, Mara fakes being attacked to draw Batman away from her cousin’s room, allowing for him to be kidnapped. Batman then knocks-out a League of Assassins hitman before descending into the catacombs where he locates Orsoni, but the Caped Crusader gets captured by Darrk, who reveals himself as the president of the League of Assassins. Thanks to help from Orsoni, Batman escapes from a death trap. After taking down the same League of Assassins hitman for a second time, Batman busts Mara, but Darrk gets away. Batman interrogates Mara, getting important info about the League of Assassins. Later, Bruce tends to Orsoni.

–The Brave and The Bold #94
This story supposedly takes place in July, but this just can’t be the case. We are well into December at this point. A youth group calling itself The Society to Outlaw Parent Power (STOPP) sends a message to the government stating that they will detonate an atomic bomb in Gotham unless their demands are met. Thus, the US Army, GCPD, and Batman are called-in to form a cordon around STOPP’s HQ. After Batman meets with teen STOPP reps, who make demands for the ghetto to be cleaned-up and for an end to poverty and social injustice, Batman returns. Instead of seeing anything worthwhile in STOPP’s cause, Batman’s “skin crawls” at the very thought of the youth movement being so organized and determined. Batman then travels to Washington DC and personally meets with President Ford, obtaining 24 hours to deal with the situation by himself. Upon returning to Gotham, Batman’s views have seemingly changed (probably after having had to sit with that jerk-off Ford). Batman tells Commissioner Gordon that STOPP isn’t a bunch of hoodlums—that they are simply embittered kids, products of an unforgiving ghetto. The two lawmen argue, and after Batman buys time by promising STOPP that they won’t be hassled by cops, Gordon sends in his riot police anyway, thus dissolving any trust built between the Dark Knight and the radicals. Seeing no other option, Batman calls-in the Teen Titans. While Kid Flash and Wonder Girl scour Gotham in search of the bomb, Dick and Lilith infiltrate STOPP, joining their ranks. At an emergency City Hall meeting, Batman blames the situation on the slumlords, who have profited from the ghetto while causing harm to its population. STOPP delivers a small explosive blast and a list of specific demands to the City Hall gathering. The list calls for the prosecution of slumlords, the arrest of all drug dealers, regular garbage service, the closure of schools so they can be fixed-up, and the detention of all establishment leaders. Batman exclaims that these are all legit things that would benefit any neighborhood, but the landlords disagree. After a failed night’s worth of trying to locate the bomb, Batman and Gordon give-in. Mayor Hayes agrees to all of STOPP’s demands! The slumlords are jailed along with Batman, Gordon, Mayor Hayes, and all of the City Council. STOPP agrees to turn over the bomb, but a rogue member, Linda, goes into business for herself, moving the bomb to a new location. Lilith reads Linda’s mind, learning that her motivations come from abandonment issues involving her mother. STOPP helps locate Linda’s mom. Reunited with her parent, Linda tells Batman where the bomb is located and the army takes it away to be deactivated.

–The Brave and The Bold #95 Part 2
The fast-tracked murder trail of Ruby Ryder is finally held. After a relatively short trial, with Batman testifying, Ryder is found guilty and sentenced to death.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #240 and World’s Finest Comics #246. As seen in the Batman-less Superman #233-235, Superman deals with the mysterious Sand Superman and a nuclear incident causes all Kryptonite on Earth to turn into harmless iron. Superman tells Batman all about Sand Superman and what has happened to the Kryptonite on Earth. Of course, there are still a few chunks of Kryptonite here and there. As referenced in WFC #240, Batman still has some, and, as referenced in WFC #246, a few collectors have some. Most of it, however, is now iron.

–Detective Comics #408-409
When Robin goes missing from Hudson University, Batman searches for his partner, tracking him to a haunted house that has mysteriously appeared on the outskirts of Gotham. In the house, Batman freaks-out and witnesses terrible hallucinatory nightmares, eventually getting captured in a tiny plexiglass cell. His tormentor, and kidnapped of Robin, reveals himself as an escaped Dr. Tzin-Tzin, who is now employed by the League of Assassins! After escaping and saving Robin’s life, Batman bests Tzin-Tzin’s twelve henchmen before Robin takes down Tzin-Tzin himself. Using his misdirection trickery, Tzin-Tzin escapes and his haunted house explodes and burns to the ground. (Detective Comics #408 is re-printed in its entirety as a flashback from Detective Comics #477.)

Batman poses for a painting by famous artist René Leclerq. When someone vandalizes a Leclerq portrait in the Gotham Museum of Art and then breaks into Leclerq’s studio to deface the Batman portrait, Batman accompanies Leclerq to the Gotham Hall of Fame, a downtown portrait gallery. Standing guard at night, Batman surprises the vandal, who bests the Dark Knight in a fight and runs off. After a quick chat with Leclerq’s wife, Batman rushes to the artist’s studio to find him face-to-face with the vandal, former all-star athlete Tracy Calhoun. (Leclerq, years ago, painted Calhoun’s portrait, after which Calhoun got in a career-ending car accident, forcing him to forever wear a mask over his horribly scarred face. Calhoun has superstitiously come to blame Leclerq for the poor trajectory of his life.) Batman and Calhoun fight, but the latter is killed when his own portrait falls on top of him.

–Superman #236
Batman and Superman track some elusive thieves for a week, during which Batman doesn’t sleep for four days straight. After busting the baddies, Batman gets some much needed rest. Bored and very much not tired, Superman goes to his Fortress of Solitude to play with a brain-wave helmet he’s been tinkering with lately. The device causes him to have a strange hallucination involving alien lawmen and alien super-villains, who, at first, appear as demons from Hell and as Heavenly angels, respectively.

–Detective Comics #410
Batman is tasked with apprehending fugitive NYC killer Kano Wiggins, whom he tracks into a remote area only to get ambushed by a circus strongman named Goliath. After knocking him out, Batman meets Goliath’s friends Charley Bones, Maud, and Flippy—local freaks from an out-of-business sideshow. They apologize for Goliath’s actions, after which Batman continues tracking Wiggins. Not long after, Batman comes across the freaks again, finding Charley murdered. The freaks claim Wiggins committed the crime, but Batman can tell it isn’t true. Batman then busts Wiggins and returns to the circus house, exposing Goliath as the murderer. (Obsessed with Maud, Goliath had jealously killed Charley in a crime of passion.) After saving Flippy’s life, Batman fights Goliath, who gets a little assistance from a handcuffed Wiggins. Maud helps Batman take down Goliath. The Dark Knight then hauls Wiggins and Goliath to prison.

–Batman #231 Part 1
Batman swings by Mr. Corbin’s storage unit to check-up on him. Corbin tells Batman that his nightwatchman Philip Reardon has been missing ever since the Ten-Eyed Man incident. Having gotten a job as a civilian sky marshal, protecting international passenger flights, Reardon hijacks the first plane under his watch and commands the pilots to fly to Vietnam. Reardon’s only demand is for Batman to be delivered to him in exchange for the hostages. President Ford and the US military’s top generals get in contact with Batman (presumably via Commissioner Gordon), and Batman is on his way. After speaking directly with President Ford, Batman lands the Bat-jet in Vietnam and soon finds himself in jungle combat against the skilled ten-eyed ex-Green Beret. Eventually, Batman bests Reardon and brings him to justice. NOTE: Batman #231 originally took place in 1971, with the Vietnam War still raging. As such, the jungle scene in this tale was set in a demilitarized zone in South Vietnam. However, since Sliding-Time retconned this story from 1971 to late 1975, this setting probably doesn’t make sense. At this point on our timeline, American involvement in Vietnam would have ended, with a provisional Communist government and the North Vietnamese military running the nation. Thus, while it is possible that Reardon takes his hijacked plane to familiar ‘Nam territory to fight Batman, this act would likely incur a huge (and messy) international incident. Let’s just say, getting into Vietnam would be tricky at this juncture—and rescuing American hostages would be even more difficult.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #231 Part 2. Robin wraps a case at Hudson University, busting a fraternity that is a front for a computer dating service, which is a front for a burglary ring, which has ties to a fence in Gotham. Robin calls up Batman, who shuts down the fence. With the Dark Knight finishing-up his case, Dick has plenty of time to go out with co-ed Terri Bergstrom, whom he will soon begin dating. (Terri is Lilith Clay’s cousin.)

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #202. Batman teaches Black Canary some new judo moves.

–Batman #234 Part 1
When a Janus brand hot dog balloon is stolen from a parade, Commissioner Gordon calls in Batman to investigate, much to the chagrin of a protesting Arthur Reeves. When the same thieves steal a diary owned by the pirate Captain Bye from the Nautical Museum, Batman knows his old foe Two-Face has struck for the first time in almost six years. Not long afterward, Batman fights Two-Face’s gang and watches as Two-Face sinks Captain Bye’s old schooner in one of Gotham’s bays. After studying tidal charts, Batman goes down shore and watches as the ship rises back up out of the depths thanks to inflatable floatation devices. Batman boards the wreck only to get captured by Two-Face, who steals a treasure of gold doubloons from the ship. Two-Face has won the day, but he turns back to help a homeless man trapped on the ship after his coin flip lands on the good side. Batman is waiting for him and makes an easy bust.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 24. As he does every holiday season, Batman gives pipe tobacco as an X-Mas gift to Commissioner Gordon.

–Batman #239
December 24. When a crook named Tim assaults and robs Salvation Army Santas all day long, Batman is on the case, tracking the guy to an Christmas tree lot. After a fight, Batman corrals him, but he sings the Dark Knight a sob story. Feeling the X-Mas spirit, Batman decides to listen, accompanying the Santa-smasher to his tenement building. There, Batman meets young Betsy, Tim’s niece, whom he was stealing for. Tim explains that Betsy is sick and that he was unfairly laid-off his job, working for toy manufacturer Richard Lee Evans. from Tim then knocks-out Batman and ties him to the radiator. As a blizzard drops a foot of snow over Gotham, Batman eventually comes-to, frees himself, and goes after Tim, bringing Betsy along for the ride. When the snow is too much for Batman’s sports car to handle, he trudges through whiteout conditions with Betsy in his arms. Finding a horse and sleigh, Batman and Betsy ride to Evans’ fairytale castle mansion to find Tim holding Evans in his arms. Tim had gone with the intent of killing Evans, but when the sickly old man collapsed out of weakness, he changed his tune and tried to help. The foursome rides back into town, taking Evans to the hospital where he is saved. Batman tells Evans that he’ll face charges for all he’s done, but he’ll have the Wayne Foundation intercede and he’ll put in a good word for him with law officials. The Caped Crusader says he’ll talk to him in a week, after Christmas. Upon exiting the hospital, the horse and sleigh are gone. It was an X-Mas miracle!

–The Brave and The Bold #106
December 26-30. Batman attempts a rescue of a man trapped in a car that has become submerged underwater, but the man drowns. Batman immediately fingers the man’s chauffeur of murder, accusing him of deliberately driving his boss into the drink. Without any hard evidence, the suspect walks. After learning that the deceased had shares in a barely-legal trust fund stockholder scheme run by world-famous party gal Salome Starr, Batman visits Salome’s broker, who turns over the names of the four other stockholders. Surprisingly, Oliver Queen is on the list of names. After another stockholder, elderly actor Warner Hall, dies in a mysterious fire, Batman warns his pal Ollie. Together, they go to visit the chauffeur only to find him dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. After Ollie is nearly killed on the Gotham subway, he switches to Green Arrow mode. Batman and Green Arrow pay a visit to Salome, but she lets her oddball lawyer do the talking. Later, Batman realizes that the lawyer was a once-again-escaped Two-Face in disguise! Batman and Green Arrow follow Two-Face and Salome to the Swiss Alps. Unable to find the former, they befriend the latter as playboys Bruce and Ollie. The day before New Year’s Eve, Two-Face kills another stockholder, leaving only Ollie left alive. Two-Face strikes at a dummy Ollie on the slopes, but a skiing Batman and Green Arrow chase after the villain, who ski-jumps off a cliff to his apparent demise. (He survives, of course, and we’ll see him again.) Batman keeps Two-Face’s coin as a souvenir. Later, in the ski lodge, Batman reveals that Two-Face was killing off the stockholders because if they all died, then Salome’s money would go to a Swiss research clinic that might have been able to restore his face. With all the stockholders dead except Ollie, that means he is worth $10 million and once again rich! Of course, we must assume that Ollie cashes-out and donates his money to charity. Don’t forget, Ollie isn’t a big money guy anymore, he’s a socialist activist with no need or want for that kind of moolah.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #239. Late December. Batman and Tim (the Santa Claus attacker) speak to law enforcement officials about the latter’s crimes. Batman asks for leniency, citing how he helped save Richard Lee Evans’ life. Batman has also arranged for a job for Tim at the Wayne Foundation. Presumably, Tim is put on probation and begins working for Bruce.

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and Robin in The Cheetah Caper, a pocket-sized prose-and-picture book written by George S Elrick, was released by Whitman Publications in 1969 as a part of its Big Little Book series, which also contained mini-books featuring Disney characters, Looney Tunes characters, Lassie, and Popeye. This fun title, now infamous for its ridiculous picture captions, mostly involving the Dark Knight doing various things with snakes, is unfortunately non-canon. Just like the off-brand Alfred to Zowie alphabet book, the ultra-campy Cheetah Caper seems to feature the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman 66 characters. The Cheetah in this tale isn’t even the Cheetah we are familiar with. It’s an old costumed foe of Batman’s that can run a three-minute-mile and constantly craves peanut butter.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #84 by Bob Haney, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Ben Oda, and Murray Boltinoff, published around this time on our chronology, is non-canon, taking place on both the Earth-B timeline and Earth-2 timeline instead.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder news strips, which have always had continuity issues when put alongside the actual comics, begin to do an extra-strange thing with the 9/8/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips (entitled “Everything will be Different”). “Everything will be Different” might as well be a meta-signifier for the news strips transitioning from being canon to existing in their own continuity. From this point onward, everything certainly is different for the news strips Because of this, the main narrative of “Everything will be Different” is non-canon. For example, the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips mash-up Dick’s move to college with Bruce’s start-up of the Victims Inc Program into a combined narrative that doesn’t match the official narrative in Batman #217. Some parts overlap, but other parts just don’t jibe. In the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips, Bruce, Alfred, and Pete continue their discussion about Mr. Whipp’s family in Pete’s trailer. During their talk, Bruce and Alfred come up with the name “Victims Incorporated Program” for the first time. Obviously, this happens in Batman #217. While similar, Bruce and Alfred coin the name at the Wayne Foundation Building by themselves, not in Pete’s trailer with Pete present. This non-canon portion continues with Bruce and Dick discussing their impending split-up due to Dick going to college, which doesn’t match the way things go down in the main-line comics either. More big problems arise with the 9/17/1970 to 9/22/1970 news strips, which re-show—almost shot-for-shot and dialogue-verbatim—Bruce and Alfred’s transition from Wayne Manor to the Wayne Foundation Building from Batman #217. However, the writers add Bruce talking about Victims Incorporated, which he wouldn’t have come up with yet. Therefore, just like the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips, the 9/17/1970 to 9/22/1970 strips are non-canon. Moving further along, the 9/23/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips tell a lengthy tale that features Bruce solving a VIP case wherein which he helps Madeleine Whipp to find her son Jeff. This investigation intertwines with a case that Dick is working on at Hudson University. We get the debut of Professor Kirk Langstrom, who turns himself into Man-Bat. However, the new strip debut of Man-Bat is decidedly different from his debut in Detective Comics. For this rather large reason, the 9/23/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips must be non-canon. If you’d like to include Bruce’s VIP case with the Whipps in your own personal headcanon, feel free—but be sure to ignore the Man-Bat and Hudson U stuff. For the intents and purposes of this site, there’s really no way any of the main narrative of “Everything will be Different” can remain canon.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip arc from 1/9/1971 to 4/14/1971—entitled “I am… Man-Bat!”—is non-canon because it tells an alternate version of the Man-Bat arc from Detective Comics #402 and the flashback from Detective Comics #407.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #90, which was published in sequence here on our timeline and features a Batman/Adam Strange team-up, is non-canon. As per The Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium, it takes place on Earth-32. As a Bob Haney/Murray Boltinoff collaboration, it also takes place on Earth-B. At this point in our chronology, as per Hawkman #18, Adam Strange would die if he even set foot on Earth, so there’s no way he could have this team-up with the Caped Crusader.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: DC in the early 70s (aka the beginning of the Bronze Age) was a strange place. At the time, you had the emergent brilliant Denny O’Neil working hand-in-hand with the old guard—guys like Frank Robbins, author of this dreck above (Batman #230). Don’t get me wrong, Robbins had penned some really great stuff up to this point, but 1971 ushered in a period where editorial began letting creators infuse more unfiltered ideological commentary into their stories. I guess, when you are nutty enough to dress as a bat and work with cops to dole out your own personal brand of vigilante justice, all while harboring desires to help others through positive change, you’d probably be a bit confused in your mission every once in a while. However, that’s playing Devil’s Advocate. The Caped Crusader’s conflicted mindset falls well beyond the category of mere confusion in the early 70s. The juxtaposition of having leftist O’Neil (age 32) splitting Batman comics with right wing Robbins (age 54) led to a horribly schizophrenic characterization for our beloved Dark Knight. Batman’s sociopolitical views would swing from right to left over the course of a few issues, depending on the writer. (Although, to be fair, Batman’s personality tended to shift dramatically within the span of a single issue when the gloriously demented Bob Haney was at the helm.) O’Neil and Robbins basically operated as joint chiefs of the Bat-line from 1971 to 1975. Both writers churned-out some of their best work for DC during that period. The catch was that they featured schizo Batman, which we’ll see more of on our chronology, moving forward. Thankfully, Batman will eventually stable-out a bit. O’Neil’s continued molding of the DCU towards a more socially-progressive direction throughout the 1970s, coupled with the arrival of forward-thinking Jack Kirby in 1971 and Marvel departure of Robbins in 1975, primed the company for a promising decade of storytelling. This is not to say that Bronze Age DC was a bastion of award-winning progressivism that should be put on a pedestal. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the negatives of the 1970s: the unfettered corporatism prevalent at the heart of the company and chief editor Julius Schwartz’s rampant (and unpunished) sexual harassment. These things speak to a troubling environment behind-the-scenes, which still resonates to this day.

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