Bronze Year 16


–World’s Finest Comics #276
Dr. Double X, who has been moved from Happydale Sanitarium to Arkham Asylum, causes a mass breakout at his new home, but Superman retains order. Almost everyone goes back into their cells, but Dr. Double X escapes, soon finding himself/themselves face-to-face with Batman, getting the better of him. (As referenced in World’s Finest Comics #277 Part 1, Batman learns that Squirrel Randolph escaped in the Arkham prison break.) The next morning, Batman and Superman chat about Dr. Double X in the Batcave. In a rematch, Dr. Double X defeats Batman and captures him. Strapping him to a device that links his body to Double X, Dr. X sends his doppelgänger into combat. Superman destroys Dr. X, seemingly killing Batman in the process. Superman angrily takes down Dr. X, after which, Batman emerges from the shadows, having just barely escaped a nasty death.

–Justice League of America #200
When Martian Manhunter smashes into the JL Satellite, takes down Firestorm, and steals an Appellaxian meteor, half the JLA assembles, realizing that the original members of the team have all been psychically-compelled to retrieve the Appellaxian meteors. (The original JLA members were imbued with a post-hypnotic suggestion by the Appellaxians after defeating them all those years ago. This hypnosis has now kicked-in.) Aquaman obtains a meteor by taking out Red Tornado, who is rescued by Phantom Stranger and delivered into the care of Firestorm and Snapper Carr. Wonder Woman defeats Zatanna and her own mother to get one of the meteors. Similarly, Hal Jordan bests the Atom and Flash bests Elongated Man. Batman creates a device that can track his meteor, which is located in North Carolina. There, Batman defeats Green Arrow and Black Canary, tricking them with a pre-planned Bat-dummy to get away with the meteor. Superman and a bunch of re-activated Superman Robots defeat Hawkman, allowing the Man of Steel to get the final meteor. Hawkman is saved by Adam Strange and Alanna Strange. Gathered at the old Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, the original JLAers combine their meteors. From within each meteor, microscopic remains of each Appellaxian invader reform. The Appellaxians are reborn anew! Technically, they are “seed clones” with the consciousnesses of the originals, but who’s nitpicking? The Appellaxians easily defeat the original JLAers before heading out into the world. Soon, the entire JLA assembles. Splitting into three units, the JLA defeats the Appellaxians, destroying them by sending their remains into the Sun. Afterward, Green Arrow rejoins the JLA!

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #185. Eccentric millionaire Hamilton Mellor III contributes several large donations to the Wayne Foundation in exchange for a promised Batman appearance at his upcoming birthday party, to be held at his lavish castle on the Hudson.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #185World’s Finest Comics #278, Batman #355, and Batman and The Outsiders #9. Batman adds a mini electric jigsaw, carbon dioxide capsules, concussion capsules, and diamond-tipped glass cutter to his utility belt.

–The Brave and The Bold #185-187
Batman and Green Arrow bust Luis Quintero and his henchmen. Afterward, Batman, who has to make a last second visit with Governor Corley, asks Green Arrow to fill in for him at Hamilton Mellor’s birthday party. There, Penguin (along with his roboticist henchman Hugo) emerges, taking Green Arrow hostage. Penguin and Hugo reveal that they have hypnotized Mellor and plan to replace him with an android replicant. Green Arrow is able to activate his JL signal alert, which summons Batman back to the castle. Batman fights through a robot dragon, a lance-wielding Hugo on horseback, a trained falcon, and an android Robin. Meanwhile, Green Arrow mops up Penguin. Afterward, Batman invites Green Arrow on a patrol the next day to take down a specific (but unrevealed) super-villain. We can presume that this unspecified mission occurs.

Batman teams with Hawkman to question fence Pinky Maxwell about an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that has been lifted from a museum. Maxwell points them in the direction of crooked art dealer Royce Atherton. Carter Hall meets with Atherton, confirming his crookedness. However, the sarcophagus is still MIA. Later, Hawkman and Batman fight The Fadeaway Man (Anton Lamont) to a stalemate. Later still, Bruce uses the classic “skin mask, wig, and tuxedo over his Bat-costume get-up” to disguise himself as Carter Hall. He visits Atherton’s underworld art auction, which is run by the Fadeaway Man and is also attended by Penguin and Gotham’s top mobsters Frank Skelly and Nino Martel (both of whom Batman knows from his crime files). Once the sarcophagus (a fake) is on display, Batman sheds his disguise and starts kicking ass. The Fadeaway Man retreats to the Gotham Museum of Art, but Batman and Hawkman bust him there, turning him over to Commissioner Gordon.

The Metal Men come to Gotham in search of Tin, who has gone missing. Batman tries but fails to save Iron from a Floating Fury, and the Metal Men save Batman in turn. Tin is found, but is badly damaged and dies. Soon, Lead mysteriously dies and is found with the phrase “This is for Nameless” etched into his back. Oddly, none of the other Metal Men can recall who Nameless is, as if their memories have been wiped. After reviewing evidence in the Batcave, Batman responds to an alert that the remaining Metal Men have been attacked by the Gas Gang (Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Choloform, Helium, and Oxygen), who claim responsibility for “avenging” Nameless and proceed to kill Platinum! Batman is too late to save her. Batman brings the deceased Metal Woman back to Dr. Will Magnus, who proceeds to resurrect all the Metal Men. As Magnus completes his task, Batman realizes that he (Magnus) is responsible for wiping his team’s memories of Nameless, which he has been doing for years (every time he rebuilds the team). Batman prevents Magnus from doing so this time, and just as the Metal Men come back to life, Platinum Man and some Missile Men attack the lab. When Platinum Man accuses Magnus of being responsible for Nameless’ death, Magnus admits culpability. Batman flees from Platinum Man and the Missile Men and heads to the location of their volcanic lair to find BOLTS standing guard. After besting BOLTS, Batman discovers Nameless alive and well! He returns to Magnus’ lab with Nameless, much to the joy of everyone there. Magnus had mistakenly come to believe he killed Nameless and tried to cover it up with mind-wipes, which had triggered Platinum Man’s rage (and re-activation of all the old Metal Men foes). With things settled, Tin proposes to Nameless and a robo-wedding ceremony is held! Just after the second “I do” is uttered, a rogue Missile Man strikes. Nameless sacrifices her life to save everyone, taking the full brunt of a blast and getting vaporized into nothingness when the Missile Man blows his top. Bummer.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #188. Batman reads about the exploits of the vigilante known as The Thorn (Rose Forrest). The Thorn is Rose’s schizophrenic alter ego of whom she has no knowledge. 

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #295. Batman and Superman team-up to defeat an escaped Joker and Lex Luthor.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #515. Batman uses his Matches Malone disguise to go undercover while working an unspecified case.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #9. February. The JLA holds its annual anniversary party to commemorate the founding of the team.

–The Brave and The Bold #188-189 (“A GRAVE AS WIDE AS THE WORLD”)
Mid February. Bruce agrees to go on a picnic with some of the orphans at the Gotham City Settlement House, but when he arrives they tell him to piss off. Bruce leaves and returns as Batman, who is much more warmly received. Batman and the kids pile into the Batmobile and head out to Loon Lake, a woodsy destination that Bruce loved so dearly as a child. But, upon arrival, they find the lake polluted and full of trash. The paradisiacal and serene 1950s tableau has been replaced with the proto-Anthropocene nightmare of the 1980s. Batman and the kids go full eco-warrior and clean up the place! En route back to the city, the radio tells of the murder of elderly ex-Nazi spy Ernst Kuller, final holder of the secret hidden location of a canister of the deadly nerve agent Inferno A. Batman visits the warden of Gotham Federal Prison and is granted access to examine Kuller’s corpse. In one of the more ridiculous moments in Bat-history (and that’s saying a lot!), Batman says “a dead man’s eyes are supposed to reveal the last thing he saw,” peeling back Kuller’s eyelids to reveal the visage of Hitler! (Kuller was killed by prison orderly David Phillips, a Neo-Nazi wearing a Hitler mask.) Soon after, Batman chases after Phillips, but his trip is cut short when he has to stop to save Rose Forrest from a Hitchcockian bird attack at Loon Lake. After returning Rose home, Batman returns to Loon Lake to find an army quarantine and news that some Inferno A has been released. Later, Batman sees a TV news report about grave robbers taking Rose’s father’s corpse from a cemetery. (The Inferno A canister was hidden in this grave.) Batman visits the open grave only to be attacked by some goose-stepping Neo-Nazi thugs. The Thorn (Rose’s schizophrenic alter ego of whom she has no knowledge) shows up and kills all the Nazis. Batman ditches her and visits the scene of an automobile accident, finding Phillips and his girl dead. Batman is once again attacked by Neo-Nazis, and once again the Thorn saves his life. Batman then attends a lecture by famed Nazi hunter Leon Weiner (an analogue for Simon Wiesenthal). Bruce meets with Weiner privately at a diner, learning from him that Phillips was the son of Nazi Deputy Führer Martin Bormann, who is currently alive and well, hiding in the jungles of Brazil! (In real life, Bormann was killed in Berlin at the end of WWII, but this wasn’t made a conclusive fact until DNA testing was conducted on his remains in 1998. At this point on our timeline, many people, including writer Robert Kanigher, bought into a conspiracy theory that Bormann was hiding in South America, hence our narrative here!) Bruce travels to Rio de Janeiro, arriving on February 19, the first night of Carnival. Batman saves both dictatorial President João Figueiredo and a US Ambassador from assassins during the parade. The next day, Batman flies a plane deep into the “Matto Grosso” jungle (a misspelling of Mato Grosso), getting shot down by Bormann’s men.[1] In Mato Grosso, Phillips, having faked his death in the car accident back in the States, emerges to reunite with his father. Rose is also present, desperately hoping to get her father’s corpse back. Out of view, Rose goes into Thorn mode and rescues Batman for a third time. The Thorn and Batman kick ass once again, and the Thorn kills all the Nazis. Batman then attempts to hypnotize the Thorn into revealing her secret ID to him, but it doesn’t work.

–World’s Finest Comics #277 Part 1
Batman busts Squirrel Randolph, who is curiously attempting to smuggle a truck full of stray cats and dogs into Gotham. The next day, in a Metropolis alley, Clark finds a co-worker sick with a mysterious virus, who dies in his arms. Superman bathes in the heart of the Sun to make sure he’s killed off any viral bacteria. He then recruits Batman to help him discover the source of the bacteria. However, Lois has already found the source, having been captured by a scientist that plans on spreading the virus via infected cats and dogs—the very animals that Randolph had been smuggling. After interrogating Randolph in prison, the World’s Finest rescue Lois, cage the remaining infected animals, and fight the scientist and his henchmen. The scientist falls into a vat containing the virus, which proves fatal. Superman inhales the deadly bacteria vapor and spits it out into the Sun to destroy it.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Annual #11. Late February. Batman gets Superman a b-day gift.

–World’s Finest Comics #277 Part 4
Shiera Hall (former Hawkgirl, now going by the much more appropriate Hawkwoman) has been falsely implicated in a scheme to rob museums all over the country, which has forced her to leave town and go on the run. With Shayera gone, Carter Hall’s friend from work, Mavis Trent, tries to put the moves on him, but he angrily sends her away. Shortly thereafter, Hawkman receives a message from Thanagar that says tyrant queen Hyathis (aka Hyanthis) has laid siege to the planet. Hawkman immediately turns to Batman and Superman for help.

–World’s Finest Comics #278
Picking up directly from WFC #277 Part 4, Hawkman, Superman, and Batman travel to Thanagar to do battle with Hyathis (aka Hyanthis) and her army. While Superman combats dozens of soldiers head-on, Batman hikes to the north to secretly infiltrate an enemy compound. Hawkman, meanwhile, confronts Hyathis herself, wielding the Gamma Gong! When Hawkgirl shows up looking to help, she actually threatens to ruin Hawkman’s carefully set up plans. Thus, he is forced to fight his own wife! After cluing Hawkgirl into the plan, they team-up and turn their attention toward Hyathis. Hawkman sounds a fake (non-weaponized) gong peal, which signals Batman to cut all power on Thanagar. This allows the heroes to get the jump on the baddies, defeating them all. Hawkgirl immediately leaves, still concerned about proving her innocence in the museum robbery scam (from the previous issue). (This adventure versus Hyathis is also shown via flashback from The Shadow War of Hawkman #1.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #526. At this point on our timeline, Batman and Robin have known Batgirl’s secret ID (and vice versa) for five years already. Yet, for unspecified reasons, the Dynamic Duo now decides they need their secret to be intact again. While we aren’t told any specifics other than that the Dynamic Duo goes to great lengths to “throw her off the scent,” we can imagine all the old-school gaslighting tricks coming out of the bag, especially to fool someone that has been fully aware of the truth for five years. In any case, Batman and Robin will walk away from this item thinking they’ve successfully fooled Batigirl into disbelieving they are Bruce and Dick. However, Batgirl ain’t that gullible. She still knows the truth.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Mid March. Batman, as he now does every year, sends a birthday card to Bob Haney at the DC Offices on Earth-Prime.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #515. Vicki Vale, in her quest to prove Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same, secretly trails Bruce and snaps multiple pictures of him, including some while he is in the sauna!

———————––Batman #346
———————––Detective Comics #513

Two-Face escapes from Arkham Asylum, prompting Batman to meet with Warden Clark and Commissioner Gordon. Later, in his penthouse, Bruce gives Lucius Fox the brush-off, part of an effort to really keep out of all Wayne Foundation affairs entirely now that he has resigned. Meanwhile, at Gotham University, Dala Vadim (Dala DuBois) unexpectedly and without reason dumps Dick, who decides something must be terribly wrong (but not with him, of course). Bruce does some digging into Two-Face’s stay at Arkham, learning that he had applied for an early parole program but had been rejected. Bruce breaks-off a steamy hot date with Vicki Vale in order to continue his Two-Face investigation at a local halfway house. Inside, Batman finds a literal “half-way house” where one side is ruined and the other is pristine. The Dark Knight is mobbed by henchmen and runs through  several death traps before getting nabbed by Two-Face and his new girlfriend Margo, Arkham Asylum’s librarian. Across town, an exhausted Jim Gordon has a heart-to-heart with Babs before attending a meeting with Mayor Hamilton Hill. Under orders from Rupert Thorne, Mayor Hill fires Gordon and replaces him with new Commissioner Peter Pauling! After Two-Face keeps Batman captive for five straight days, Robin and Alfred go into a panic. Thorne meets with Mayor Hill again, after which he sees the “ghost” of Hugo Strange and flips out. When Two-Face and his goons try to rob Duo Records, Robin is on the case. Robin kicks ass, but Two-Face slips away back to the halfway house. There, Two-Face tries to kill Batman, but the latter escapes and busts him. At the penthouse, Bruce tells Alfred and Dick they’ll be officially moving back to Wayne Manor!

–Detective Comics #514
This tale features a snowstorm blanketing Gotham City in white, but we must ignore that seasonal tidbit because it doesn’t fit the May-ish period we are currently at on our chronology. The Dark Knight chases an escaped Maxie Zeus into the frosty mountains north of the city. (Batman benches Robin on this one, much to the chagrin of the latter.) When Batman crashes the Batmobile and falls unconscious, a pacifist mountaineer named Haven collects and nurses him back to health. Batman immediately leaves only to get into a brawl with what appears to be a grizzly bear. (Last time I checked, grizzlies weren’t on the East Coast, but oh well.) Batman fights of the bear, and Haven saves him once more. By the time they return to Haven’s cabin, Maxie Zeus and his henchmen have settled in comfortably. The baddies try to goad the pacifist Haven into a fight, and he initially refuses until they kill his pet bird. Haven strikes Maxie Zeus, which gets him shot. Batman winds up saving Maxie Zeus from the bear before busting him and his men. Haven dies and Batman buries him on the mountain.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3 and Batman #352. Batman orders a replacement Batmobile from his man Jack Edison. This time, the ace mechanic delivers an immediate back-up model that has a new “off-road-vehicle” mode.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #347 Part 1. Batman goes on an unspecified mission with the Justice League of America.

–Batman #347 Part 2
Batman quickly solves a murder mystery, seeing right through the killer’s bogus alibi.

–DC Comics Presents #41
While on routine patrol, Batman suffers a bad injury to his chest, which takes him out of action. After being patched up by Dr. Douglas Dundee, Bruce is told by the doc that he’ll need two weeks bedrest. Alfred and Robin do their best to keep a spunky Bruce in bed, even keeping from him the fact that Joker and Prankster have both escaped from their respective prisons. Clark, Lois Lane, and Perry White travel to Los Angeles for a journalist convention. In LA, Clark and Perry swing by the estate sale of recently deceased comedian Jerry Travis, which gets robbed by Joker and Prankster. The villains kidnap Perry and take off in the Joker-copter. Superman chases after them, passing a Hollywood producer on a phone call with Harlan Ellison! Prankster betrays Joker, tossing him into Superman’s arms. The Man of Steel then enters into an unlikely team-up with Joker! On Hollywood Boulevard, Superman and Joker fight Prankster, during which Joker injects Prankster with deadly Joker Venom before fleeing the scene. Superman cures Prankster in the Fortress of Solitude and then returns to LA to save Perry and bust Joker. The next day, Bruce watches TV news and learns about all the action he’s missed. Note that there’s absolutely no way that Bruce heeds Dr. Dundee’s advice for any longer. We can assume he hops right back into action following this item.

–Batman #348
It’s moving day! Bruce, Dick, and Alfred move out of the downtown penthouse and back into Wayne Manor. They also move a bunch of their gear and the original trophies back into the Batcave. Don’t ask what they do with all the fake duplicate trophies they made. As night falls, Francine Langstrom and young Rebecca Langstrom visit Wayne Manor, demanding that Bruce find Kirk Langstrom, who has been hiding in the rock maze beneath the Batcave for the past six months. After Francine passes out due to exhaustion, Batman tells the tale of Kirk Langstrom, incorrectly mentioning that the events of The Brave and The Bold #165 took place “months ago” when they actually took place two years ago. Batman then takes little Rebecca atop his shoulders and walks with her into the bowels of the Batcave in search of her dad. After they descend, Man-Bat Kirk Langstrom strikes at Alfred and Dick and follows them down into the depths. In the deepest part of the cavern, Batman fights Man-Bat, administering Anti-Man-Bat Serum. Kirk is restored and reunites with his family. Meanwhile, across town, Babs tries to console her father, who is despondent about having been ousted as Commissioner. In the office of photojournalism editor Morton Monroe, Vicki Vale chats with her boss Monroe, telling him that she’s certain Bruce is Batman. After she leaves, Monroe phones his boss, Rupert Thorne, and tells him the news.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #518. Augustino Coppola is paroled.

–Detective Comics #515
Batman busts two muggers, who reveal they studied at the same Academy of Crime that Mirage attended. The hapless muggers tell Batman the Academy is operated by a villain called The Headmaster in Hollywood, CA. Meanwhile, Vicki Vale visits Alfred at Wayne Manor to tell him she is running a story in her magazine about Bruce being Batman, which is set to be published in three weeks. At Gotham University, Dick, having put Dala Vadim (Dala DuBois) out of his mind ever since she dumped him a little over a week ago, decides he can’t stand it any longer. Needing answers, Robin trails Dala to a creepy old house outside of Gotham. Inside, he is kayoed and taken captive by The Monk (Dala’s brother, Louis DuBois). Concurrently, Batman flies out to Los Angeles and, posing as Matches Malone, garners an audition at the Academy of Crime. Back East, fearing Batman’s exposure at the hands of Vicki, Alfred goes to Luigi‘s Restaurant Boston to hire super detective Christopher Chance aka The Human Target! (This issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #516.)

–Batman #349
Late Spring. In Boston, Alfred tasks Christopher Chance with impersonating Bruce, citing a false assassination attempt that is likely pending against Gotham’s most famous citizen. This way, Alfred hopes to use Chance to trick Vicki Vale. In Gotham, Jason Bard and Babs visit a retired Jim Gordon, who is sporting a months-long beard even though we saw him beardless a little over a week ago! To the artists Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala, we get it. He’s supposed to be a tortured recluse. Super-growth beards are such a comics trope, I love how ridiculous they are. Jason and Jim decide to begin a private investigation into Mayor Hamilton Hill. In the Gotham home of the DuBois family, Robin escapes from captivity only to discover that Dala and her brother, the Monk, are vampires! Robin escapes, but not before getting bitten on his neck by Dala. A passing priest, Father Green, takes an unconscious Robin to a nearby hospital.

–Detective Comics #516
Accepted into the Academy of Crime, Batman—as Matches Malone—attends “Murder 101,” taught by the Headmaster himself. After class lets out, Batman ditches his new co-eds to do some Hollywood patrolling. In Gotham, Rupert Thorne shakes down Morton Monroe, demanding all of Vicki Vale’s photos of Batman be turned over to him. As they chat Thorne sees yet another “hallucinatory” image of Hugo Strange. Monroe requests Vicki’s photos, but she tells him to bugger off. Panicked, Vicki visits Alfred, telling him he now only has two weeks to prove Bruce isn’t Batman. Back in sunny LA, the Headmaster and his students get wise to the fact that Matches is a spy. Outed, Batman ditches his disguise and flees, but, soon after, the Dark Knight turns the tables on his adversaries, shutting down the entire Academy of Crime for good.

–Batman #350
Fresh from defeating the Academy of Crime in Detective Comics #516, Batman returns to Gotham and rejoins Alfred and Robin. Robin, having started to turn into a vampire, invites them to a party at the DuBois home. As night falls upon the next evening, Bruce, Vicki, and Dick go to the party. After getting bad vibes from Dick and recognizing the strangeness of the house, Bruce switches into his Bat-gear only to get attacked by the Monk, who bites him on the neck! Batman flees. Father Green witnesses the whole encounter.

–Detective Comics #517
Father Green trails the vampirized Dark Knight to Wayne Manor, garnering an audience with Alfred. Father Green tells Alfred the Ann Rice-influenced origin story of the DuBois siblings. Meanwhile, Batman flees into the city. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Jason Bard meet with Olivia Ortega, who points them in the direction of a photo studio that gave her Arthur Reeves’ doctored Batman photos during last year’s election. At the Tobacconists’ Clubhouse, Morton Monroe, having stolen Vicki Vale’s Batman photos, delivers them to Rupert Thorne. Batman, cursed with vampiric bloodlust, stalks across the city, coming across Marley, a man he busted a few years ago. Batman feasts on his blood, leaving him for dead! (We aren’t shown anything to the contrary, but—nosferatu or not—this is still Batman, so I’m going to assume that he didn’t just kill this guy.) 

–Batman #351
As the sun begins to rise over Gotham, vampire Batman witnesses Dick attempt to bite Vicki Vale. Mistaking Dick’s attempt to bite her for a sexual pass, she pushes him away and storms off angrily. Vampire Batman then fights vampire Dick, knocking him out. At Wayne Manor, Father Green departs only for Christopher Chance to show up disguised as Bruce, ready to work the job for which he’s been hired. When Batman returns to the Batcave, dragging along an unconscious Dick, Alfred excuses himself and rushes downstairs to meet them. Batman explains that he and Dick are now vampires. Struggling with what steps to take next, Alfred phones Father Green for help. The amateur Van Helsing joins our troubled heroes, telling them they must create a cure from a serum made of the Monk’s blood. Batman and Father Green soon confront the Monk in an abandoned church not far from the DuBois home. Amid a horrific backdrop complete with blood-drained corpses affixed to upside-down crucifixes, Batman takes down the Monk and Dala, allowing Father Green to get the necessary hemoglobin samples. Meanwhile, at the Tobacconists’ Clubhouse, Rupert Thorne pays an escaped Deadshot to target Bruce Wayne for murder!

–Detective Comics #518
Father Green creates a serum out of the Monk’s blood and gives a full transfusion to both Batman and Robin, curing them of their nosferatu curse. Father Green takes a captive Monk and Dala to his hospital where he plans on trying to cure them as well. While Batman recovers in the Batcave, Alfred and Robin go upstairs to see off fake Bruce (Christopher Chance), who departs with Vicki Vale to go on a date. The deputy warden of Gotham Prison, courtesy of Jim Gordon, phones Batman, telling him that Deadshot has escaped. Batman visits Deadshot’s gunsmith, Augustino Coppola, who tells him Deadshot’s plans. Batman then rushes to a charity ball that Vicki and fake Bruce are attending. There, Batman saves fake Bruce and fights Deadshot. Eventually, fake Bruce helps Batman take Deadshot down. Batman realizes his impersonator is none other than the famous Christopher Chance. Both Vicki and Rupert Thorne are convinced by this episode that Batman and Bruce are not one and the same. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Jason Bard are badly beaten up by some corrupt cops that are on Thorne’s payroll. The corrupt cops are led by Officer McCloksky (also spelled “McCluskey”).

–Batman #352
Batman catches wind that Jason Bard and Jim Gordon have been beaten up, so he checks in on them at the hospital (by spying through the window). Jason is okay, but the elder Jim can’t get out of bed. Commissioner Peter Pauling and Officer McCloksky visit Jim as well to threaten him even further. Before an ugly altercation can erupt between the corrupt cops and Babs, Batman intervenes. Pauling and McCloksky leave to address (and spin) the media. Jim tasks Batman with bringing down Mayor Hill’s entire administration. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred settle up with Christopher Chance, thanking him for his service. At the Picture News Building in Downtown Gotham, Vicki Vale witnesses her boss Morton Monroe in a heated argument with Rupert Thorne. Afterward, Monroe commits suicide. Later that night, Bruce and Vicki attend a yacht party, which is interrupted by the appearance of a giant weaponized blimp, operated by the super-villain Captain Blimp and a large platoon of henchmen. Captain Blimp and his men have already stolen an entire US Navy vessel, along with its entire crew (including an unnamed Navy Captain, Ensign Scottie, and another unnamed Ensign). They now steal yet another Navy ship. Batman boards the zeppelin and fights Captain Blimp’s henchmen, hanging on for dear life with a grappling hook. (This scene is shown via flashback from Detective Comics #519.) Eventually, the Caped Crusader attaches a tracking device onto the zeppelin, but gets thrown to the trees below, barely surviving. After Batman recovers, he and Robin go after the zeppelin, tracking it to the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In a bunker there, Captain Blimp mobilizes his soldiers. The Dynamic Duo manages to bail out at the last second when the Batmobile is destroyed by a landmine.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3 and Detective Comics #520. Batman orders a replacement Batmobile from his man Jack Edison. The ace mechanic delivers an immediate back-up model. This one has a special knock-out gas button that can kayo the passenger if need be.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #457 and Batman Special #1. June 26. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, visits Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley.

–Detective Comics #519
Having lost Captain Blimp’s trail, Batman visits Washington DC to speak to US Navy officials. He also installs a long-range metal detector aboard the Batplane in anticipation of a search. Captain Blimp sends a remote-controlled zeppelin to DC, asks for a ten million dollar ransom, and then detonates the zeppelin to show he’s not messing around. Later, Batman deduces that the stolen ships and crews must be somewhere in the Arctic. The Dynamic Duo decides to split up, with Robin heading to the Arctic and Batman conducting another sweep of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Sure enough, Robin finds the missing sailors while Batman finds Captain Blimp’s hangar. Having been left unguarded, the found sailors are motivated by Robin to prepare a defense. When a platoon of Captain Blimp’s men arrive, Robin and the hearties take them down with ease. In Jersey, Batman easily busts Captain Blimp.

–Batman #353
Out of the hospital, Jim Gordon gets assistance from Batman on his ongoing investigation of Mayor Hill. Instead of doing real detective work, Batman simply abducts Arthur Reeves and terrifies a Batcave confession out of him. Reeves spills the beans, revealing that Rupert Thorne is behind everything. Now all the heroes have to do is prove it. Later, Bruce and Vicki attend the public demolition of Gotham’s Grand Central Station. Just as the explosives are about to blow, they fail, revealing a Joker face on the demolition teams’ computer screens. Less than an hour later, Batman learns that Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum and is holed up in the New Jersey Palisades. Knowing that Joker is planning something involving demolition tech, Batman cobbles together a computer scrambling device and heads to Jersey. There, Batman is quickly knocked-out and captured. Sure enough, Joker tries to blow him up, but Batman uses his device to stall the detonation. Batman then busts Joker and his henchmen. The next day, Robin does some charity work for the Gotham Boys’ League. (Robin does this regularly, working with philanthropists Bronco Burns and Sinclair.) The next morning, news agencies report that the Boys’ League money has been stolen. Bruce runs a background check on Burns and Sinclair, showing they have long criminal records. Feeling foolish for not having vetted them, Robin tells Bruce he wants to handle this one solo, without Batman’s help. But Batman only partially listens. He goes in disguise as Matches Malone and meets with Burns and Sinclair, entrapping them in a sting by getting them to agree to exchange stolen bearer bonds for stolen money. After night falls, Robin dresses up as Batman (!) in an effort to intimidate Burns and Sinclair. The fake Batman interrupts the exchange between the crooks and Malone. Not wanting to blow the whole operation, Batman—as Malone—knocks the fake Batman on his ass. They do a quick exchange and then Burns and Sinclair lam. The crooks don’t realize their bearer bonds are false (actually just sheets of paper with Bat-symbols on them) until they are hundreds of miles out of Gotham. Swindled out of their loot, the bad guys decide never to return to Gotham.

–Batman Annual #8
July 14-15. A resurrected Rā’s al Ghūl returns. Posing as a super-villain called “The Messiah of the Crimson Sun,” Rā’s al Ghūl kills the entire population of Shinn Corners, a small New England town, using a deadly skin-melting ray blasted down from an orbiting satellite. The Messiah then publicly threatens to do the same to Gotham, which prompts President Ronald Reagan to call an emergency session of Congress and send the army into Shinn Corners to investigate. Batman visits Shinn Corners as well, meeting an Army general and Seth, preacher for a fundamentalist Christian cult known as the Children of Adam. Batman studies Seth closely and, after a quick Bible study session, realizes that the Messiah is the leader of the Children of Adam. With the Pentagon’s approval, Batman sends Robin (disguised as Seth) to infiltrate the cult. Robin’s cover get blown and he gets captured right away. Meanwhile, Batman deduces that a fatal chemical agent, which had been introduced into the town’s drinking water, was activated by the Messiah’s satellite. Batman, using his extensive knowledge of the city, descends beneath the abandoned Gotham Square Garden to check out a water pipeline that connects to a main water plant. Sure enough, Children of Adam hooligans are all around, prompting Batman to kick their asses. Upon seeing Demon’s Head insignias on their jackets, Batman realizes Rā’s al Ghūl is back. Talia shows up to join Batman in the fight against her father. The next day, Batman and Talia take a NASA-sponsored rocket from Cape Canaveral to Rā’s al Ghūl’s satellite. There, Batman confronts his old rivals Rā’s al Ghūl, who reveals that Professor Vasco Markewitch has created his new deadly tech. Talia rescues Robin while Batman and Rā’s al Ghūl duel. Eventually, military missiles strike at the hull of the satellite. Rā’s al Ghūl tries to flee in an escape craft, but Batman, having sabotaged the craft, causes his rival’s apparent death. (Batman hasn’t actually killed Rā’s al Ghūl here. He’s chosen a fatal tactic, knowing full well that Rā’s al Ghūl’s immortality will save him.) Having saved the day, Batman, Robin, and Talia take another escape ship to safety.

–The Brave and The Bold #190-192
Bruce gets a letter from Adam Strange’s attorney, citing that Adam Strange has been missing for over six months. With instructions to travel to Rann via Zeta-Beam, Batman does so, arriving to learn from Alanna Strange that her husband has been murdered. As the Rannian rivals, the Kirri, try to take advantage of Adam Strange’s passing by attacking Ranagar, Batman investigates security footage in an effort to solve the Whodunnit of Adam’s slaying. Batman is unable to figure out who killed Adam, but he does realize that he might be able to resurrect Adam via Zeta-radiation. With Sardath’s help, Batman beams back to Earth with Adam’s corpse in tow. Sure enough, on Earth, Adam emerges from his coffin alive and well. Back on Rann, a joyous Alanna reunites with her hubby, who can’t remember the details of his death. Batman straight up guesses that a Rannian soldier named Ryla commited the crime. Sure enough, he’s right. With the traitor behind bars, Batman and Adam are able to focus upon and thwart the Kirri invasion, which earns them medals at a massive victory ceremony. Batman has dinner with Adam and Alanna before both he and Adam are Zeta-phased back to Earth.

An escaped Penguin crashes a live news telecast only to be interrupted by an escaped Joker, who seemingly kills him live on the air. Batman comes face-to-face with Joker the next night, but Joker claims that it was a fake Joker that did the deed. Thus, a bizarre Batman-Joker team-up forms as the duo tails the only suspect, Penguin’s number one henchman McGee. They find McGee at a funeral home, prepping Penguin’s body for services, which are to be held at a famous Gotham cathedral. After doing some research and meeting with the church monsignor, Batman debriefs Joker at his new Ha-Hacienda, having realized that Penguin’s corpse was a fake. The next day, Batman attends the funeral and flushes out Penguin, who is alive and well, in disguise as a nun. Exposed, Penguin still tries to go through with his initial plan of kidnapping Cardinal Spinelli and holding him for ransom from the Vatican. However, Joker has disguised himself as the Cardinal, which causes Penguin to abandon his scheme. Batman and Joker then bust Joker and haul him in together. Our story ends here, but there’s no way that Batman doesn’t also return Joker to Arkham as well.

When some low-level crooks rob a Superman charity and hideout in Gotham, Batman promises he will find them and summon Superman when he does, so as to give the Man of Steel the satisfaction of the bust. But just as Superman arrives, he is zapped to early 1967 and switches places with his seventeen-year-old Superboy self, who arrives in present day! Superboy takes down the crooks and quickly realizes he is not in his correct era, joining forces with a friendly Batman in an effort to figure out who is behind the chicanery. After a brief investigation, our heroes discover that IQ (Ira Quimby) is the culprit, easily defeating him. Superboy returns to early 1967, swapping places with Superman. Neither have any memory of what has occurred. Batman has coffee with Superman and fills him in on the details.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #523. Superman sends Batman three year old video footage detailing the debut of Earth-1 Solomon Grundy’s debut (which occurred in Superman #319). Superman also fills-in Batman about the details of Grundy’s apparent demise (which occurred three years ago in DC Presents #8).

–World’s Finest Comics #279-281
When several wealthy Gothamites are kidnapped, Batman puts alarms in the homes of several other possible targets. Later, with Alfred watching, Batman and Superman spar in the Batcave. An alarm trips at multi-millionaire Henry Rupert’s mansion, prompting Batman and Superman to rush to the scene. At Rupert’s place, they combat new pirate-themed shuriken-wielding super-villain Captain Cutlass. His partner Major Disaster causes an earthquake, allowing them both to escape and rejoin their other partners, Colonel Sulphur and General Scarr. A clue leads Bruce and Clark to the Floating Fantasy Club. There, Cutlass and Sulphur kidnap Bruce! Another natural disaster courtesy of Major Disaster helps the baddies get away. At the villains’ secret lair, Scarr realizes they’ve nabbed Batman (believing that Bruce Wayne is merely a disguise). Batman escapes from his cell and eavesdrops, learning that the villains have acquired money via kidnapping ransoms to purchase Weapon-Master’s weapons at an underground auction in Metropolis. Bruce radios Superman, filling him in. Superman busts up the auction, taking out a bunch of crooks, including The Trickster. Sulphur uses a Duranian Time-Bomb to send Superman hurtling into a limbo-like dimension. Meanwhile, Batman defeats Cutlass and goes in disguise as him to penetrate deeper into the heart of Scarr’s army. Batman radios the US National Guard, telling them to prep a defense of Gotham. Batman, dressed as Cutlass, then leads Scarr’s henchmen into the waiting pointed guns of the National Guardsmen. Meanwhile, Major Disaster keeps the other JLA members busy dealing with various natural disasters, but he overextends his power, knocking himself out. Superman escapes his interdimensional prison just in time to help Batman take down Sulphur. Together, Batman and Superman bust Scarr, ending his plot to take over Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #282. Batman and Superman recover a bunch of the weapons sold at the recent underground auction.

–World’s Finest Comics #282
Batman and Superman recover the Weapon-Master’s time-displacement ray from some crooks. Of the items from the recent underground auction, only the Matter Transporter and Dr. Zodiac’s Zodiac Idol and remain unaccounted for. The last remaining crook turns the time-displacer on Batman, sending him back to Prehistoric times. There, Batman meets the Eldirans, advanced magick-using humanoids (possibly proto-humans or homo magi) that ride winged tigers and live in a mystical hidden city. The Eldirans cast a spell over Batman, causing him to feel totally at ease. Batman lives blissfully with the Eldirans for a full month (!) until a time-traveling Superman finally tracks him down. The Eldiran wizards task Superman with taming a nearby active volcano that threatens their city, so the Man of Steel enters the volcano to battle a giant fire-lizard. Batman discovers that Lord Rodcairn is behind the volcanic disturbance and fire-lizard. Batman busts Rodcairn, ending his evil machinations. Batman and Superman then return to present day only seconds after Batman had been blasted to the past, just in time to bust the 20th century bad guy.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #285. Batman, very affected by his experience with the Eldirans, will think of them frequently, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Special #1. Batman reads about the murder of Scotland Yard’s Commander Foxborough, realizing that it’s the work of the secret master hitman that’s killed a bunch of police officials across the globe in the past few years. Batman hasn’t met this guy yet, but he will next year. This is Wrath.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #521. Early September. Batman combats the street gang known as The Lords, tussling with Maisy, Skiv, and Blake.

–Superman #367
Superman goes in disguise as a reptilian alien “Vlatuu” to infiltrate the Superman Revenge Squad in deep space. He leaves Metropolis in the care of Supergirl and tasks Batman and Hal Jordan with impersonating Clark Kent while he is gone. Disguised as Clark, Batman delivers the evening news on live TV alongside Lana Lang, just barely fooling her, Jimmy Olsen, and Josh Coyle. Hal Jordan picks up the slack at Clark’s apartment, fooling an unsuspecting Lois Lane. Meanwhile, at the other end of the universe, Nryana indoctrinates “Vlaatu” into the Revenge Squad, watching as he passes a final training mission of besting a replicant Superman android. Unfortunately for Superman, a Revenger spy has learned the truth and reported back to the Revenge Squad’s Prime Council of leadership—Dramx-One, Fwom, Nakox, Jumrox, and Klakok. Torn, the Prime Council argues over whether or not their spy’s intel is true. Could Vlaatu really be the Man of Steel? With his mission accomplished and most of his foes fooled, Superman returns to Earth.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Annual #1. Batman chats with Jim Gordon, telling him about the hidden JLA teleporter atop a Gotham skyscraper.

–World’s Finest Comics #283-285
September 21-24—we are told it’s summer, yet it’ll be autumn by story’s end (with no ellipsis to speak of), hence the specific dates. Bruce’s old polo friend Dan Hunter calls him out of the blue and invites him to a yacht party. Dan invites Bruce to join his polo team. Bruce says he’ll think about it. Later, while on patrol, Batman is nearly killed by a new Composite Superman, who is disguised as Superman. Likewise, The Composite Superman disguises himself as Batman to attack Superman, who is once again searching for the missing Zodiac Idol and Matter Transporter. Soon afterward, Batman and Superman are attacked by Composite Superman inside the Batcave. Composite Superman toys with the heroes. A day later, in Metropolis, Composite Superman kicks their asses from pillar to post. Superman flees, traveling to the 30th century to recruit the aid of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Wildfire, Lightning Lad, and Colossal Boy, Sun Boy, Princess Projectra, and Shrinking Violet return with Superman to fight Composite Superman. Powering up even more in response, Composite Superman morphs into a being called Amalgamax. After fighting to a stalemate, the heroes retreat. Batman realizes that Amalgamax is the vile alien Xan. While Batman and the Legion fight Amalgamax yet again, Superman heads into deep space to interrogate Xan’s former prison warden. After learning that Xan’s father died of a rare disease, Superman orders Princess Projectra to cast an illusion making Xan think he has contracted the disease. Freaked out, Xan surrenders. Meanwhile, an equally freaked out Dr. Douglas Dundee visits Alfred to report that someone has broken into his office and stolen Bruce’s medical records. Superman and Batman then travel to Gotham where they fight some beast-men and a demonic dark cloud entity known as The Adored One. These evil beings are allied with Dr. Zodiac and an evil Madame Zodiac doppelgänger. After defeating their weird foes, Batman collapses in exhaustion. Superman brings him to Wayne Manor. There, the two old friends hang out, have a coffee, and chat by the fire. (This scene of Batman and Superman having coffee is also shown via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #295.) After Superman departs, Alfred tells Bruce about his stolen medical file. In the morning, Bruce meets with Dr. Dundee. Superman interrupts them, telling Bruce that all the zodiac coins across the globe have gone missing once again, each on replaced with a fake. Superman also tells Bruce that he has a nightmare vision of his (Batman’s) death. The heroes then visit Zatanna, hoping to gain some clarity. But when they show her the fake coins, a demon emerges from out of nowhere, causing Zatanna to freak out. The heroes fend off the creature, but Zatanna is left in a catatonic state. (The events of World’s Finest Comics #285 are recapped via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #286 and World’s Finest Comics #288.)

–World’s Finest Comics #286-288
September 24-27. Batman and Superman rush the injured Zatanna into the care of Wonder Woman, who decides to take her to Themyscira to bathe in the light of the Purple Healing Ray. On Paradise Island, Wonder Woman and a reformed Paula Von Gunta (who is now the Amazons’ chief scientist) try their best to cure Zatanna to no avail. In the Batcave, Bruce and Dick train on the trapeze. Later, Bruce accepts an invitation to a charity party that Dan Hunter is throwing. Meanwhile, Dr. Zodiac and the fake Madame Zodiac commune with the demonic Adored One. Dr. Zodiac mentions that he first came across the Zodiac Idol “months” ago. It was over nineteen months ago, so saying “last year” would have made more sense there, but oh well. The misty Adored One wafts his way across the country, causing evil to rise up everywhere. In Metropolis, some Satanists try to sacrifice a puppy, but Superman stops them. Some Ku Klux Klansmen kidnap and try to lynch Lucius Fox, but Batman, Robin, and Superman save him. In Star City, Green Arrow fights a werewolf. In Midway City, Hawkman fights a vampire. In the unspecified sea, Aquaman fights a sea-demon. After saving Lucius, the Dynamic Duo and Superman deal with a zombie uprising in downtown Gotham. After suppressing the walking dead, the Adored One takes control of Batman’s mind and body. While Superman deals with an arson fire, Batman kayos Robin. Batman, however, is able to fight off possession, but he is left in a catatonic state just like Zatanna. By nightfall, Bruce seemingly makes a full recovery and departs to attend Dan Hunter’s party. There, Bruce meets Dan’s fiancée, Andrea “Andi” Dune. Bruce tells Dan he will join the polo team as a reserve member. Soon after, Batman and Superman fight demons in a Gotham park. The demons kidnap Batman and bring him before the Adored One and the fake Madame Zodiac. An occult ritual allows the Adored One to fully possess Batman. The Adored One then reveals a small platoon of Batmen—demonic doppelgängers created thanks to knowledge taken from Bruce’s stolen medical records. A werewolf inexplicably guides Superman to the Adored One’s lair, allowing the Man of Steel to combat against the possessed Batman. Invoking the name of Joe Chill, Superman gets Batman to rage out of his possession. While Batman struggles with the Adored One, Superman and Dr. Zodiac (who wants nothing to do with all this occult crap anymore) discover a captive Madame Zodiac (the real one). She reveals that it was she who sent the werewolf to guide Superman to the Adored One’s lair. She also reveals that her evil doppelgänger is part of her essence that has been ripped out of her by the Adored One. All three Zodiacs fight, which culminates in the re-merging of both Madame Zodiacs. The Zodiacs are then knocked out (and possibly killed) by the Adored One. The Adored One then hops into one of his duplicate Batmen and leads the army of fake Batmen against Superman and the real Batman. Eventually, the heroes defeat their foes and banish the Adored One back to his realm. Batman and Superman celebrate their victory with coffee. (We can also assume that Bruce plays polo with Dan Hunter and his new teammates following this affair. We should imagine Bruce playing with the team every once in a while, moving forward.)

–Detective Comics #520
Professor Hugo Strange has been “haunting” Rupert Thorne with ghostly projections of himself for the past three years. Strange finally makes his official return, showing up at Thorne’s doorstep to spook him. Convinced he’s once again seen a ghost of a dead man, Thorne phones Dr. Terrence Thirteen for help. Meanwhile, Batman meets with Jim Gordon, Jason Bard, and Vicki Vale. Vicki tells him that Morton Monroe killed himself because he was being intimidated by Thorne. The next day, Thorne meets with Dr. Thirteen, once again incorrectly saying he spent a little over one year in Arkham when he actually was there for over two years. At the State Prison, the deputy warden grants Batman an audience with Deadshot. Batman demands Deadshot name names. First, Deadshot reveals that the deputy warden helped him escape from jail. Then, Deadshot tells Batman he will reveal more names if he helps him escape. Batman does so, which leads to Deadshot naming Thorne and Commissioner Pauling as the ones who put out the hit on Bruce Wayne. Batman knocks-out Deadshot and imprisons him inside a cage in the Batcave. Commissioner Pauling responds to Batman’s actions by putting out an all-points police bulletin, adding the Dark Knight to Gotham’s Most Wanted List.

–Batman #354
Batman, having just been made Gotham’s Public Enemy Number One, goes straight to Mayor Hill’s office to confront Mayor Hill and Commissioner Pauling. He accuses them of conspiracy and corruption, to which Pauling responds by pressing an alarm. Cops swarm after a fleeing Batman, but they all refuse to shoot—except Officer McCloksky, who puts a bullet into Batman’s backside. Across town, Dr. Thirteen investigates Hugo Strange’s abandoned lab at Greytowers on behalf of Thorne, coming across another “Hugo Strange ghost.” (Writer Gerry Conway tells us that Hugo Strange’s supposed death occurred “many months ago.” This is Conway we’re talking about here, so of course, he has miserably tried to mega-compress the history of his arcs. Hugo’s “death” did not occur months ago—it happened three years ago. Sigh.) Dr. Thirteen shows Thorne that the “Hugo Strange ghosts” have all been holographic projections. Thorne is relieved, but, still thinking Hugo Strange is dead, mistakenly believes that a turncoat Mayor Hill and Commissioner Pauling are the ones that have been messing with him. In an unrelated aside, Selina Kyle has moved back to Gotham. Selina phones Vicki Vale, telling her to back off of Bruce! Meanwhile, an injured Batman crawls home and gets patched up by Alfred. Needing fast action, an immobile Bruce tasks Dick with donning the Bat-costume and finishing the case! Dick puts on his mentor’s costume and confronts Thorne at the Tobacconists’ Clubhouse. Thorne admits guilt to everything, but escapes when a fire burns the Tobacconists’ Clubhouse to the ground. Thorne immediately goes to City Hall to confront his co-conspirators. In Mayor Hill’s office, Thorne and Commissioner Pauling shoot each other dead! Batman (Dick) swings in just in time to knock out a raging Officer McCloksky. Mayor Hill tells Batman there’s no evidence linking him to any wrongdoing—that the true (and only) villains now lie dead on the floor before them. Mayor Hill, now off the hook, then officially exonerates Batman, taking him off the Most Wanted List.

–Detective Comics #521
Early October—we are told in Batman #355 that, at this point on our timeline, six months have passed since Jim Gordon was fired from his commissionership. This is more-or-less correct. About a week has now passed since the end of Batman #354. Vicki Vale becomes the new editor-in-chief of Picture News Magazine. A jealous Selina phones Wayne Manor, connecting with Alfred. She demands to speak with Bruce, telling Alfred that she wants to get back together with him. When Alfred tells her Bruce is unavailable, she angrily hangs up the receiver. Batman, meanwhile, thanks to a tip from Olivia Ortega, goes after the Lords, shutting the gang down for good. Across town, Catwoman (with her new pet panther Diablo) breaks into Vicki Vale’s apartment and threatens her face-to-face, telling her to stay away from Bruce. In the morning, a panicked Vicki has breakfast with Bruce, telling him what has occurred. Bruce tells Vicki that he’s moved on from Selina and that he now loves only her (Vicki). As Bruce and Vicki kiss, an enraged Catwoman spies on them from a distance.

–Batman #355
Early October. Bruce and Vicki finish their breakfast (straight from Detective Comics #521) and then go on a road trip through New England for the day. When they return to the city later that night, Catwoman—in her Catmobile (aka Catillac)—runs them off the road and into the river! Realizing the horrible thing she’s done, Catwoman dives into the drink in an effort to help the drowning couple. Bruce shoos her away and saves Vicki himself. Catwoman quickly flees the scene. A comatose Vicki goes into the hospital. Bruce hires Jim Gordon, Babs Gordon, and Jason Bard to search for Catwoman while he sits by Vicki’s side at the hospital. After two full days, Vicki wakes up. Meanwhile, Rupert Thorne is arraigned and officially charge with corruption and murder. Mayor Hill sets a meeting with Jim Gordon. At Wayne Manor, Alfred tells Bruce to take it easy as he hasn’t fully recovered from his recent gunshot at the hands of Officer McCloksky. (That gunshot occurred about a week-and-a-half ago.) Batman suits up anyway, prepping to head out in search of Catwoman. Dick asks to come along, but Bruce tells him this is personal, benching Robin for the duration of the case. Before departing, Batman tells Dick his first duty should be to himself. Both Alfred and Dick are gravely concerned. Batman breaks into Selina’s apartment, kayos Diablo, and rummages around to find clues as to her whereabouts. At City Hall, Jim Gordon meets with Mayor Hill, who tells him that there might be a special mayoral recall election and that, in spite of everything, he wants Gordon on his side. Mayor Hill officially reinstates Jim as commissioner of police! Concurrently, Batman goes head-to-head with the pissed-off Catwoman at a warehouse on the outskirts of Gotham. Catwoman frustratingly exclaims both her love and hate for the Dark Knight as they duke it out. Eventually, unsure of what their relationship has become, the Bat and the Cat hug with tears in their eyes. Batman tells Catwoman he is sorry he took her emotions for granted. Note that Batman #355 is the first issue that definitively reveals that Catwoman knows Batman’s secret ID. It’s possible she knew before now, but in any case, she knows. The upcoming Detective Comics #526 confirms this as well. Although, DC editorial will royally complicate the matter in the not too distant future. (Batman #355 is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #548.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #357 and Batman #359. The Tobacconists’ Club moves into a new location and continues operations. Batman immediately busts Gotham’s top drug pusher and the Tobacconists’ Club’s newest head honcho Tony Falco. With Falco behind bars, Filbert Hughes becomes the new leader of the Club. His cigar-sucking buddies—Robinson and a handful of unnamed others—will reign by his side, plotting and planning Gotham’s most devious crimes from the safety of their clubhouse. 

–Wonder Woman #291
Diana has earned her stripes as a captain in the US Army, working alongside General Phillip Darnell and Colonel Steve Trevor. Steve Trevor is back, you say?! But how? How indeed! Aphrodite herself has placed the spirit of the deceased Trevor into the body of Earth-270 Steve Trevor, tossing him onto Earth-1 with a magically-fabricated history. And, of course, Diana and Steve are once again a hot item. Comics, everyone! At the Pentagon, Diana and her co-worker/roommate Etta Candy discuss the recent departure of their other roommate Helen Alexandros aka the super-villain Silver Swan. When a giant cosmic god known as The Adjudicator appears in Washington DC, Wonder Woman is on the case. During a telepathic connection with the alien being, Wonder Woman learns that he is here to judge four Earths, determining whether or not they deserve to exist or be destroyed by his hand. Wonder Woman calls an emergency meeting aboard the JL Satellite with the entire JLA and Supergirl. After a debriefing, the heroes scatter to prep for battle. Black Canary visits Earth-2 to warn the JSA. Meanwhile, the Adjudicator unleashes his generals of destruction, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Death, Famine, Plague, and War). In Calcutta, Wonder Woman and Zatanna defeat Famine, saving Earth-1. Our issue ends here, but Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and some other female heroes will save Earth 2, Earth-X, and Earth-I in the Batman-less pages of Wonder Woman #292-293.

–The Brave and The Bold #193-194
After several Council-orchestrated terrorist bombings in Washington DC, Nemesis (Tom Tresser) knocks-out Alfred and disguises himself as the butler in order to get close to Bruce so he can ask him to reach out to Batman for help. Tresser gives himself away by going on an angry militaristic rant, something the real Alfred would never do. Batman goes to Washington and immediately busts some Council members after they detonate another bomb. Batman recognizes one of the Council members from his criminal database. Batman then meets with Tresser at the home of Marjorie Marshall (deceased former FBI Director Ben Marshall’s husband). Tresser tells Batman that the Council not only back, but they’ve allied themselves with the Middle Eastern terrorist cell known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Under the new leadership of Irene Scarfield, the Council is threatening to assassinate US Senator Thomas “Longtom” White. Soon after, Batman and Tresser fight the baddies, including one of the PLA’s top men, Bloodclaw. Later, with most of the Council already jailed, Tresser disguises himself as Irene’s boyfriend in order to get close to her. Batman defeats Bloodclaw at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge while Tresser tangos with the last two remaining members of the Council, Irene and her scientist henchman. Tresser causes a helicopter crash that leads to a sad victory. Tresser dies along with the villains in the fiery crash.

Self-help guru cum super-villainess Professor Andrea Wye brings together Flash rogue Rainbow Raider and Dr. Double X, telling them that they simply need to swap superhero rivals in order to claim victory. In Central City, Flash helps the latest Mayor of Central City dedicate a new power plant. While doing so, Flash is attacked by Dr. Double X, who defeats him. In Gotham, having read about a rash of color-themed jewel thefts, Bruce throws a fancy hotel party featuring an openly-displayed emerald as a lure for the crook. Commissioner Pauling shows up to scold Bruce, who feigns ignorance. Rainbow Raider arrives and defeats Batman. The super-villains take a captive Flash and captive Batman to their new mentor, Professor Wye. But putting Flash and Batman together is a very bad idea for the bad guys. The heroes easily defeat Rainbow Raider and Dr. Double X. With her experiment a failure, the Dale Carnegie wannabe Professor Wye flees to fight another day.

–Detective Comics #522
Mid October—it’s been three weeks since Detective Comics #521. Feeling tortured over what has recently occurred between Vicki and Selina, and also feeling more and more distant from Dick, an emotional Bruce troubles over his current state of affairs. While hanging out with a busy Vicki in her office, Bruce reads the latest issue of Picture News Magazine, spotting Klaus Kristin (aka Snowman) in the background of a photo of the Himalayas. Bruce decides that a trip to the Himalayas is in order. After the US Department of State approves the trip with the Chinese government, Batman departs, once again stonewalling Robin, telling him he’s not wanted on this mission. A day later, Batman joins his Chinese government-appointed guide and they hike near Mount Kalaish. Soon, Batman finds Kristin at a Buddhist temple and chases him up the slope. Batman comes face-to-face with a giant yeti—Kristin’s biological father! After fighting the beast to a stalemate, Batman retreats to the temple to find Kristin there. Kristin explains that his condition is slowly killing him and that he only has months to live. He came to Mount Kalaish to find his father and to live out the rest of his life in Buddhist solitude. When the angry yeti crashes into the temple, Batman allows Kristin to depart with his father. The yeti, with a weakened Kristin in his arms, trudges into the mountain wilderness, leaving the world behind.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #526. Batman tells Batgirl all about his recent encounter with Snowman and the yeti.

–Batman #356
A few days have passed since Detective Comics #522. Bruce and Vicki go on a date, but she has to leave early due to work. Bruce then blacks out, finding himself at Wayne Manor with no recollection of how he got there. Inside, Alfred tries to kill him with poisoned tea and a knife. Unknown to Bruce, he isn’t actually home. He has fallen into the trap of Professor Hugo Strange, who has lured him into a Potemkin version of Wayne Manor, complete with android duplicates of Alfred and Dick. Bruce takes a shower in an attempt to relax, but he’s attacked by a knife-wielding Robin robot. After fending off the Robin robot and a second Dick robot, Bruce wanders down into the fake Batcave beneath the fake home above to find his tormentor, a Batman-costume-wearing Hugo Strange. (As revealed in Batman Annual #10, this is actually an android Hugo Strange being remotely controlled by the real Hugo Strange, who is in a safe location elsewhere.) The Hugo Strange android gives Bruce a Batman costume as well, challenging him to a fight for sole ownership of the mantle of the Bat. The two Batmen wage brutal war against each other until the real Robin, having tracked the Caped Crusader’s comm-link, shows up to assist. Sensing defeat, the Hugo Strange android pulls the self destruct lever, blowing himself and the fake Wayne Manor/fake Batcave into oblivion. The Dynamic Duo escapes the conflagration and makes it back home just in time to prevent a Bruce-bot from killing Alfred.

–Detective Comics #523
Batman investigates the scene of a vandalized fur coat store, also taking time to wish Commissioner Gordon back into his old role as top cop of Gotham. Across town, the culprit, the Earth-1 version of Solomon Grundy, meets with the men that now act as his handlers, gang bosses Doc Heller and Killer Croc! Croc tells Heller that Grundy is a dangerous wild card and refuses to work with him, severing his partnership with the gang. In the Batcave, Batman studies some mold, confirming that Earth-1 Grundy was the one behind the destruction. When an antique toy shop is trashed, Batman responds to the scene, finding Heller dead with his neck snapped. Batman recognizes Heller from his crime database. Skulking in the shadows is Heller’s murderer, the unhinged Grundy. Batman fights Grundy inside a factory. Eventually, Grundy accidentally stumbles into a furnace, burning himself to death. Across town, Dick visits the annual late autumn Sloan’s Circus touring show in Gotham. There, he chats with old friends Waldo Flynn and Magnificent Melanie.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #358. Batman begins hearing rumors about the enigmatic new gangster known as Killer Croc.

–Batman #357
November 1-2—exactly one month has passed since Jim Gordon was re-instated as commissioner. When a new drug dealer named Lester begins peddling dope in Gotham, Batman kicks his ass and learns that a returning Squid has taken over Tony Falco’s territory. Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon to discuss the Squid. Batman mentions having tangled with the Squid “months ago,” but that’s some fuzzy Gerry Conway math there. Batman dealt with the Squid exactly two years ago. (Not to mention, the editor’s note references the completely wrong issue number as well.) Meanwhile, Dick and Waldo Flynn visit Sloan’s Circus to see a dynamic new trapeze family called The Flying Todds (twelve-year-old Jason Todd and his parents Joe Todd and Trina Todd). Killer Croc and his man Slick also attend the circus to threaten Ringmaster Sloan, telling him to pay for their protection racket or something bad will happen. Across town, Batman meets with Olivia Ortega, setting into motion a plan to gain access to the Squid, whom he knows will be attempting to free Falco. Before Falco’s sentencing (this was a real rushed judicial case), Ortega helps a disguised Batman swap places with the crime boss. Sure enough, the Squid breaks “Falco” out of a police transport vehicle. At the Squid’s lair, Batman is quickly exposed and sheds his disguise. Six of the Squid’s henchmen beat the Caped Crusader into unconsciousness, after which he’s dumped into a tank that is home to a giant killer squid named Gertrude. Killer Croc, who has recently joined up with the Squid’s gang, watches but does not participate.

–Detective Comics #524
November 2-4. Picking up straight from Batman #357, Batman escapes from Gertrude’s tank unscathed. Fed up with the Squid’s six-on-one odds and ridiculous death trap gimmickry, Killer Croc tenders his resignation. Out on the street, the injured Batman and Croc cross paths for the very first time, but neither take any action and they both go their separate ways. A couple days later, Dick and Alfred organize a last second party at Wayne Manor to celebrate the amazingness of the Flying Todds. Commissioner Gordon, Babs Gordon, Jason Bard, Waldo Flynn, Magnificent Melanie, Vicki Vale, and the Todds all attend. When the injured Bruce arrives, Alfred and Dick quietly tend to him behind closed doors. Bruce once again incorrectly says he fought the Squid “months ago,” but let’s not forget it was two years ago. As Bruce gets patched up, Trina Todd enters the room, discovering that he is Batman. Shortly thereafter, Batman heads right back to the Squid’s lair to fight him. The Squid is able to kayo Batman, but before he can finish off the Dark Knight, Croc kills the Squid (and Gertrude). Batman wakes up as the sun rises, finding the Squid’s corpse and a bullet inside Gertrude’s tank.

–Batman #358
November 4-5. Picking up right where Detective Comics #524 leaves off, Batman runs an analysis of the bullet that killed the Squid, making a photo-slide of his discovery. He then joins Commissioner Gordon and Coroner Mac for Squid’s autopsy in the police morgue. Batman traces the bullet to a gun owned by an arms dealer named Specs. After roughing up some hoods in an illegal shooting gallery, Batman abducts Specs and takes him into the Batcave for some good ol’ interrogation. Specs tells Batman that he sold Squid’s murder weapon to Killer Croc. Meanwhile, at the Tobacconists’ Club, Croc makes a pitch to join. Club boss Filbert Hughes tells him he must first steal a STAR Labs Air Force computer for them. Croc easily does so, earning his way into the ranks of the Club. Batman does a little digging into Croc’s history, which leads him to Gotham’s seedy Hell’s Point neighborhood. There, Batman fights the gang known as The Knights, who give him Croc’s apartment address. Batman then fights Croc in his apartment. Croc freaks out, goes on a rampage that burns his own home down, and then flees into the river.

–Detective Comics #525
November 5. Picking up right from Batman #358, Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon survey the scene of Batman’s fight versus Killer Croc. After night falls, Bruce goes on a date with Vicki. Afterward, he tells her about how wildly in love he was with Selina, but that it was complicated. He tells Vicki that he likes dating her because their relationship is simple. Vicki doesn’t like what she’s hearing and angrily storms off. Later, Batman fights Croc in the sewers, but gets bested. (This duel is also shown via flashback from Batman #359). Meanwhile, on Bruce’s orders Robin reluctantly meets with the Flying Todds and asks them to act as bait in an effort to lure Croc into a trap. The Todds agree.

–Batman #359
November 5-6. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #525, Batman roughs up Filbert Hughes, getting more intel about Killer Croc. He then drops Hughes and his henchmen off with Commissioner Gordon before heading back out in search of Croc. Meanwhile, Croc sneaks into Gotham City Prison and brutally stabs Tony Falco to death. Batman fights Croc atop the penitentiary roof, but Croc kicks his ass yet again. Back at Wayne Manor, Dick expresses his reservations about using the Flying Todds as bait for Croc. Bruce angrily tells Dick that he and the Todds better fall in line, screaming “to hell with them, and to hell with you” before storming out of the room. Bruce phones Vicki to apologize about the prior evening. Despite the rockiness and unsteadiness of their relationship at the moment, Bruce and Vicki forge ahead, making dinner date plans for the following evening. While Batman meets with Gordon to learn Croc’s origin story, Joe and Trina Todd take it upon themselves to tail Slick. Joe and Trina Todd soon find themselves in the clutches of Croc.

–Detective Comics #526
November 6-8. Picking up directly from Batman #359, all of Batman’s rogues escape from jail in a dual mass breakout at both Arkham Aylum and Gotham State Prison. Joker then assembles Batman’s entire rogues’ gallery: Black Spider, Cavalier, Clayface (Matt Hagen), Gentleman Ghost, Killer Moth, Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Scarecrow, Signalman, the Spook, Two-Face, Cat-Man, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Captain Stingaree, the Getaway Genius, Penguin, Catwoman, and Talia al Ghūl. Joker tells all that he has gathered them to form a villain army to murder both Killer Croc and Batman. Upon hearing the plan, Talia and Catwoman immediately decide to bail. The villains try to keep them from leaving, during which Mr. Freeze accidentally kills Captain Stingaree. (Penguin also has the sense to not get involved and quietly sneaks off.) Talia and Catwoman then meet with Batman in the Batcave, filling him in on what’s going on. Bruce cancels his dinner plans with Vicki. Batman, Talia, and Catwoman then head out to deal with the impending chaos just as Dick arrives at Wayne Manor with Waldo Flynn and Jason Todd. Batgirl, having learned about the villains’ plans, arrives at Wayne Manor. She and Robin head out into the night together. As they ride their motorcycles in search of Joe and Trina Todd, Batgirl reaffirms that she still knows Batman and Robin’s secret IDs. She’s known for the past five years, ever since Dick first shared the information with her. Recent Dynamic Duo trickery didn’t fool her into disbelieving. At Riddler’s lair, Batman, Talia, and Catwoman fight Riddler, an uncharacteristically homicidal Cavalier, and Mad Hatter. Cavalier mentions that Batman last fought Scarecrow “months ago,” but it’s been just over a year. The villains are easily busted, except for Mad Hatter, who escapes by fleeing onto the train tracks. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman #378.) The trio then busts Signalman, Mr. Freeze, Black Spider, and the Spook. At the Gotham Zoo, Robin, Batgirl, and Commissioner Gordon find Joe and Trina, but they are too late. Croc has killed them. At Wayne Manor, Jason finds his way into the Batcave somehow, learning the truth about Bruce and Dick in the process. Jason dons Dick’s old Flying Grayson costume just for kicks. Meanwhile, Batman, Talia, and Catwoman discover that Croc’s lair is at a brewery, departing for the place right away. Similarly, after violently bashing their way through the Tobacconists’s Club and the equally sinister Gotham Men’s Club, Robin and Batgirl learn Croc’s location and head there as well. Jason secretly tails Batman, Talia, and Catwoman, who get to the brewery first only to find a kayoed Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Cat-Man, and Getaway Genius. Joker (now falsely allied with Croc as part of his plan to kill Croc) ambushes the trio, capturing them. Croc, wanting another one-on-one round against the Dark Knight, frees him so they can spar. Meanwhile, Batgirl and Robin take down Gentleman Ghost, Killer Moth, Clayface, and Two-Face before they can carry out Joker’s betrayal ambush against Croc. Inside the brewery, all the heroes finally unite. Croc punches out Joker. In turn, Batman punches out Croc, finally defeating him. (A flashback from World’s Finest Comics #321 shows generic scenes of Batman fighting both Two-Face and Croc, which are both likely from this adventure.) Jason, watching from the rafters, hears Batgirl tell news of his parents’ deaths. He freaks out and hops down in tears. As the sun rises over Wayne Manor, the heroes regroup from the chaos and tragedy of the long night. Bruce sees off Talia and Selina, who depart together having fostered a newfound friendship. While Waldo and Alfred comfort the devastated Jason in the living room, Bruce and Dick decide they will adopt Jason. Bruce walks the boy around the Wayne Manor grounds, introducing him to his new life. As referenced in Detective Comics #530, Bruce begins the adoption process immediately.

–Wonder Woman #300 Part 2
November 8-10. Batman’s involvement in the second half of Wonder Woman #300 begins with him getting an invitation to Diana’s shotgun wedding. But let’s get ya’ll caught up to speed with all the Wonder Woman happenings before doing a synopsis. Lately, Wonder Woman has been having horrible nightmares and battling a strange dream creatures such as a shadow-monster and General Electric. Major Diana Prince (recently promoted to Major) also faked her own death in order to focus on being Wonder Woman full time. And, after a visit with Earth-2 Wonder Woman, her husband Earth-2 Steve Trevor, and their daughter Lyta Trevor, she also proposed to Steve Trevor, who said yes! Woman decided to expedite her wedding day, hand-delivering invitations to the JL Satellite. Cut to now. Batman receives his invitation. A couple days later, the grand wedding is held on Paradise Island. However, Steve turns down Wonder Woman at the altar, professing that he is in love with Diana Prince. (He’s not smart enough to realize they are one and the same.) With the wedding called off and guests gone, The Sandman (Garrett Sanford), who is in love with Wonder Woman, arrives and takes her into the Dream Dimension. (Note that the Sandman is the protector of the Dream Dimension, which is home to all dreams and nightmares. Of course, as likely canonized by the Modern Age’s Sandman Vol. 2 series by Neil Gaiman, the Dream Dimension only exists within the mind of the Sandman’s friend Jed Paulsen. It has been created as a false front by the Sandman’s “pals” Brute and Glob, who are manipulating him in an attempt to take over the actual realm of dreams and nightmares known as The Dreaming.) The Sandman offers to make Wonder Woman the goddess of all dreams. The shadow-monster then strikes again, revealing itself to be the living embodiment of all Wonder Woman’s fear and self-loathing. Wonder Woman defeats the creature, after which the Sandman returns her home, urging her to follow her heart and have an open and honest relationship with Steve. Back in Washington DC, Diana Prince makes a miraculous public re-appearance. Wonder Woman re-unites with Steve, hoping to push their relationship into a new phase of trust.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #360 and Detective Comics #527. Jason Todd—or “Jay” as Bruce likes to call him—moves into Wayne Manor. Bear in mind, Jason is still not legally Bruce’s adopted son. The process will take months to complete. Batman immediately begins training with him on the trapeze, finding that they make an excellent team. While we won’t see it, Batman will train with Jason a lot in the next month. Bruce and Jason will become very close, very quickly. Bruce also enrolls Jason into school. Presumably, Bruce introduces Jason to all his friends.

–Justice League of America #202
Batman does a space walk outside the JL Satellite in order to do some minor repairs. An explosion knocks-out Batman, sending him floating unconsciously into the void. Hawkman sends out an alert, calling Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Red Tornado to the satellite to help deal with the fallout of the explosion. When Batman disappears without a trace, the heroes follow his trajectory in a JL ship, going through a wormhole where they get attacked by a massive alien spacecraft. Inside the craft, a robot addresses the heroes, explaining that the craft is a hospital ship searching for a long lost alien doctor named Ursak, who was lost in space and went into emergency suspended animation over 200,000 years ago. A monster version of Batman then enters the room—the result of the robot having mistaken the Dark Knight for Ursak and “healed” him in an alien med-chamber. The monster Batman attacks his friends, but Hawkman is able to knock him out. Safely back inside the JL Satellite, the robo-doctor helps the JLA properly heal Batman, restoring him to human form.

–The Phantom Zone #2-4
General Zod, Faora Hu-Ul, Va-Kox, Jax-Ur, and  Kru-El, Jer-Em, Az-Rel, Nadira, and Nam-Ek all escape the Phantom Zone, swapping places with Superman. Trapped in the Twilight Dimension with Mon-El and Charlie Kweskill (Quex-Ul), Superman can do nothing but watch as the Kryptonian villains run amok on Earth. Zod’s crew (himself, Faora, Va-Kox, Jax-Ur, and Kru-El) penetrate the Fortress of Solitude, wrecking it up. They then attack the JL Satellite, tossing it (along with most of the JLA) into deep space, before causing the Soviets to launch a bunch of nukes toward the US. With Gotham going into nuclear panic mode with full scale rioting as a result, Batman has his hands full. Wonder Woman and Supergirl destroy the nukes in mid flight. While Hal Jordan fights Va-Kox, Jax-Ur, and Kru-El, Wonder Woman takes on Nam-Ek. After meeting with Batman, Supergirl gets bested by Zod and his cronies at the Fortress of Solitude. Batman then goes to Metropolis to fight Jer-Em. Meanwhile, Superman and Kweskill travel deeper into the Phantom Zone, reaching the Anachronid planet that resides in the pocket dimension within the Phantom Zone (last seen in WFC #198). There, they find themselves in the surreal Temple of the Crimson Sun, before venturing further to meet the wizard Thul-Kar. After yet another psychedelic encounter, Superman and Kweskill challenge the cosmic beast known as Aethyr the Oversoul, who kills Kweskill. Superman bests the Aethyr and escapes the Phantom Zone, soon joining the other heroes to stop Zod’s crew from wielding a giant-sized Phantom Zone Projector to send the entire Earth to the Twilight Dimension. Enraged, Zod and Faora begins toppling skyscrapers in Metropolis. Az-Rel and Nadira, who hold grudges against Zod and Faora, attack them, which allows Hal Jordan to capture them (along with Zod’s other cronies). Jer-Em then kills both himself and Nadira with Kryptonite. As Nadira dies, she betrays and kills Az-Rel as well. Hal Jordan then sends the remaining captured villains back to the Phantom Zone.

–Justice League of America #205
Derek Reston, powerful CEO of MegaForm, gets remote mind-controlled by Hector Hammond (who is still in federal prison) and assembles the Royal Flush Gang with all new members—Ace of Spades, Jack of Spades, King of Spades, Queen of Spades, and Ten of Spades. The new Royal Flush Gang attacks, putting Firestorm, Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow into comas. Ten infiltrates the JL Satellite, but gets busted by Elongated Man and Black Canary. Later, Batman, Flash, Elongated Man, and Black Canary enter the giant playing card-themed fortress of the Royal Flush Gang in the Mojave Desert. The Queen puts Elongated Man into a coma like the others, but the other heroes take her down. Batman unmasks her, revealing her secret ID as world famous Broadway actress Mona Taylor. After entering a giant maze, Batman and Flash are captured by the Royal Flush Gang and put into comas as well. However, Jack betrays his team and joins sides with Black Canary, helping her destroy Ace, who is an android. Black Canary and Jack take down the remaining Royal Flush Gang members. At a UCLA hospital, Black Canary and the doctors still don’t know that Hammond is keeping the heroes comatose. Thankfully, in the ectoplasmic spirit plane, the astral Professor Martin Stein is able to fight and best Hammond, causing all the comatose heroes to recover.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #206. A hiker stumbles upon the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Green Bell of Uthool in the old JLA Secret Sanctuary in Rhode Island. After selling them to an occultist, the Demons Three are unleashed. Aboard the JL Satellite, the JLA elects Zatanna as the team’s new chairperson! The ink hasn’t even dried on the ballots before Flash and Elongated Man are sexually harassing her. Oof. Flash and Zatanna talk about the date they went on two years ago, mistakenly referring to it as happening “months” ago. I guess it’s possible they went on another date a few months ago, but this is likely a continuity error. The Demons Three attack the JL Satellite, chasing Zatanna, Batman, Flash, and Elongated Man to England. At the site of Stonehenge, Zatanna uses her magick to seal the Demons back into their respective artifact prisons. Presumably, the artifacts are secured aboard the JL Satellite.

–Superman/Batman 1982 #25 (Superman Monthly Ehapa 1982 #25)
From 1966 to 1987, the German publishing company Egmont Ehapa released re-prints of American comics. By late 1982, the European market demand for new Superman/Batman stories was so high that additional material was commissioned by Julius Schwartz and the DC home office. Thus, Ehapa’s Superman 1982 #25 (aka Superman 1982 #25 aka Superman Monthly Ehapa 1981 #25) contains the story “Partnership in Peril” aka “Green with Envy!”—an original yarn by Bob Rozakis, E Nelson Bridwell, Alex Saviuk, Frank Chiaramonte, and Jerry Serpe. In this tale, the Superman Revenge Squad (specifically member Sharyn Hersey) injects Batman with a serum that gives the Dark Knight superpowers but also causes him to become jealous of Superman. Batman fights Superman, but ultimately, they make up and defeat the baddies. The Caped Crusader then loses his super powers.

–Batman #360
Mid December. A month has passed since Joe and Trina Todd were killed. Since this time, Jason Todd has continued to grow closer and fonder of Bruce. Over the course of several days, Batman does his regular patrols of Gotham, but never crosses paths with a new cop-killing super-villain called The Savage Skull. After another cop is stabbed, Batman turns his full attention to the newcomer. Jason asks if he can come help bust the Savage Skull, but Batman tells him no way. Jason reminds him that Dick was “no younger” than him when he became the Boy Wonder. Technically, not true (Dick was ten-years-old and Jason is twelve-years-old), but point taken! Batman and Commissioner Gordon speak with the victim in the hospital, after which Batman notices that Gordon seems a bit off. (Gordon, now sixty-years-old, has been having blood pressure and other related health problems for over a month now.) Mayor Hill also meets with Gordon, taking note of his visible health issues. Meanwhile, another cop is killed. Batman follows his leads and winds up at the home of ex-policeman Jack Crane. There, Crane reveals himself as the Savage Skull—a serial killer with most of his facial skin grotesquely burned down to the bone. They fight to a stalemate, and the Savage Skull flees. Batman meets with Gordon, who tells him Crane’s history of being burned while using excessive force against an arsonist—an action that led to his facial scarring and his expulsion from the Force. The Savage Skull attacks again, this time in Gordon’s home, but Batman chases him across town. They square-off again with the Savage Skull falling into and getting swept away by the river. Classic super-villain escape.

–Detective Comics #527
Mid December. Three days have passed since Batman #360. Kirk Langstrom, now back at his old job at the Gotham Museum of Natural History, is so consumed with work that he forgets to take his meds, causing him to morph into Man-Bat. Batman checks-up on Commissioner Gordon while on patrol. Back home, Bruce agrees to go to the movies with Jason, breaking off a date with Vicki in order to do so. In the morning, Mayor Hill tells Commissioner Gordon he will be hiring an assistant (i.e. a mole) for him. In the afternoon, Bruce and Jason prepare for their trip to the movies, but are interrupted by an attacking Man-Bat, who breaks into Wayne Manor. Batman, Alfred, and Jason try to fend-off the monster, but Man-Bat grabs Jason and flies away with him.

–Batman #361
Mid December. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #527, Batman fills-in Commissioner Gordon about Jason Todd’s abduction by Man-Bat. He then visits Francine and Rebecca Langstrom to get their assistance for a plan to revert Kirk back to human form. Bruce then gets Vicki Vale to help him create photo-realistic blow-up dolls that look like Francine and Rebecca—all part of his plan. Soon after, Batman fights Man-Bat inside the Museum of Natural History. When the Dark Knight loses his cape and cowl in the fountain, he dons a Chinese bat-mask as a replacement. In the basement of the museum, Batman finds a gagged-and-bound Jason. The Dark Knight tricks Man-Bat using recordings of Francine and Rebecca’s voices and real-doll versions of them. With this edge, Batman is able to save Jason and inject Man-Bat with anti-serum, returning him back to human form. The next day, Vicki asks Bruce to go on a date with her, but he tells her he can’t because he already has a movie date. Before he can explain, an angry Vicki hangs up on him. Bruce and Jason then go to the movies. Concurrently, Mayor Hamilton Hill appoints his man on the inside, a returning Sgt Harvey Bullock! Mayor Hill has given him his badge back and named him “Assistant Commissioner” just so he can make Commissioner Gordon’s life a living hell.

–Action Comics #535 Part 2 Epilogue
Last week, Air Wave (Hal Jordan’s teenage cousin, who is also named Hal Jordan) saved the Earth, by deactivating an alien bomb. This week, Air Wave sneaks away from his unsuspecting family (Jan Jordan, Jason Jordan, and Jennifer Jordan) in order to meet with the JLA aboard the JL Satellite. There, the JLA honors Air Wave’s heroics by placing the inert alien bomb in the Trophy Room along with a commemorative plaque bearing Air Wave’s name.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 24. As he does every holiday season, Batman gives an Xmas gift to Commissioner Gordon.

–Detective Comics #528
It’s been a few days since Batman #361. and a little over a week since Batman #360. The Savage Skull returns and kills another cop. Batman examines the body an notifies the authorities. Commissioner Gordon gets chewed out by Mayor Hamilton Hill. Batman gives Gordon a pep-talk, after which Gordon, Bullock, and Batman each converge upon the old abandoned Police Youth League building, thinking that the Savage Skull must be hiding out there. Bullock and Gordon confront the Savage Skull first, but the villain (shirtless and jacked) wants Batman for a one-on-one boxing match. Batman kicks his ass and helps Gordon haul him in. Later, Bullock holds a public news conference. He claims that he busted the Savage Skull all by himself and, as per Mayor Hill’s orders, announces that a formal hearing will be held to determine whether or not Gordon will keep his job! (There must be a lot of red tape involved with this because the hearing won’t actually happen for months.)

–Justice League of America #209 Epilogue
The “Crisis Times Three” has just occurred, but not only was Batman not a part of it, it was also erased from existence entirely! The JSA and JLA meet aboard the JL Satellite for their annual-ish friendly gathering, for once without incident.



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  1. [1]DIEGO GARCIA: As noted above, writer Robert Kanigher misspells the central Brazilian state visited by Batman in The Brave and The Bold #189. The correct spelling is Mato Grosso (meaning “thick grass”). But this isn’t the only error Kanigher makes in regard to Brazil. In what was surely caused by a reckless lack of research by Kanigher, the Brazilian dictator and his Brazilian attacker disguised as Batman are both shown speaking Spanish instead of Portuguese!

3 Responses to Bronze Year 16

  1. Diego AGHis says:

    Hello Colin!! Your brazilian (for better or worse) fan here.
    I would like to make a spelling correction on The Brave and The Bold #189. The central state visited by Batman is called Mato Grosso (it means thick grass). Also in what was caused surely by a reckless lack of research by Robert Kanigher, the brazilian president and his attacker disguised as Batman are shown up speaking Spanish instead of Portuguese. I think it was nice of you to get the name of the president, General Figueiredo, but it would be great to state that it was a dictator. Our democracy was only restored later in the 80’s. Times like present demand that clearance I would say.
    I congratulate you again for the awesome job, as a Batman fan and as a historian. Cheers!

    • Hi Diego, always nice to hear from you. Your “for better or worse” made me chuckle. The answer there depends on your opinion of Bolsonaro lol! But thanks for the update, I misspelled Mato Grosso as Moto Grosso, but the comic also misspells it as Matto Grosso. I will definitely make a note about that and ditador Figueiredo as well. Will give you a much-deserved footnote as well.

  2. Diego AGHis says:

    Yeah, I teach History and try to generate some political conscience in the people. It was really painful to see them electing that. Waiting to see the maniac behind bars. Loved the note!

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