Bronze Year 17


–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #289. In the Fortress of Solitude, Superman shows Batman some telepathic headgear of alien origin.


–REFERENCE: In Batman #362. Riddler is paroled for some reason. Hoping to shake his addiction to riddle-themed crime (and being required to hold a steady job by the parole board), he takes an upstate gig at a winery.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #200 Part 2. Bruce meets sexy single Clarisse, who wants to go on a date with him. However, Bruce politely rejects her, citing that he is dating Vicki Vale right now.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #195. Batman crosses paths with gangsters Hodges and Johnny Gunnarson (Johnny the Gun).

–DC Comics Presents #50
Superman accidentally wishes upon the Controllers’ Miracle Machine (!) to be both Clark Kent and the Man of Steel simultaneously. This wish re-writes reality, splitting him into two distinct non-connected beings. Except, without his human side, Superman is kind of an asshole. Days pass without Clark or Superman getting any wiser. Clark, still with some residual memories of having been Superman, phones Batman, but since Batman is not friends with Clark, having no shared history with him at all in this new reality, he tells him to piss off. Later, Clark realizes that he’s been separated from Superman somehow, calling Superman to meet up for an explanation. When an emergency occurs in deep space, Superman heads off to handle it, but he drops Clark off in California to outsmart and bust Atomic Skull. The next day, Clark takes Superman to their old Smallville home. After touring the house, they visit the gravesite of Ma and Pa Kent. This jogs Superman’s memories and he re-merges with Clark, which fixes reality.


–The Brave and The Bold #195-196
A rash of vampire attacks plague Gotham. When the daughter of gangster Hodges is bitten, he reluctantly calls Batman. Batman agrees to help in exchange for information about Hodges’ associate Johnny the Gun. Batman, armed with a crucifix, soon finds himself at Club Dracula—a Gotham haunt populated by both fake vampires and real vampires alike. There, Batman joins forces with 400-year-old benevolent vampire Andrew Bennett to take on those responsible for the recent murder wave—Blood-Red Moon (aka The Cult of the Blood Red Moon), which is led by ancient nosferatu Mary Seward (aka The Queen of Blood). Soon after, Batman and Bennett take on Mary Seward and a vampirized Johnny the Gun. They defeat the villains, but Bennett gets pumped full of silver bullets. Batman offers his own blood, via transfusion, in order prevent Bennet from suffering a second (and final) death. Hodges’ daughter is also saved. Batman orders Commissioner Gordon to drive stakes through all the bitten victims in the morgue, just to be safe.

When a terrorist organization called the Dynamiters For Democracy (DFD) kidnaps a wealthy banking heiress named Nina Norwood, Batman goes hunting only to get injured by the group. Thankfully, Ragman and his gal pal Opal are on hand to save Batman, taking him to a nearby junkyard. Upon seeing Batman is too injured to move, Ragman swaps costumes with the Dark Knight and substitutes as him to go after the DFD. (Why this is necessary is beyond me, but they make some bad excuse about the villains needing to see Batman for some reason.) Ragman—dressed as Batman—fights the DFD only to get badly injured as well. He retreats to the junkyard where the real Batman has mostly recovered. Thus, Batman—dressed as Ragman—takes his own shot at the DFD, but gets beaten back too. Twenty four hours later, back in their own correct costumes, the heroes conduct a stake-out across from Norwood Bank. When the DFD attempts a robbery, Batman and Ragman thwart their attempt, but come across Nina, who—just like Patty Hearst—has been brainwashed to join the villains. Nina shakes off her brainwashing in time to dive in front of a hail of bullets, allowing Batman and Ragman to bust the other DFD members. Later, at the hospital, Batman and Ragman watch over an unconscious Nina. When Nina flatlines, Batman gives her CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, saving her life.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #9. February. Batman attends the JLA’s annual anniversary party to commemorate the founding of the team.

–DC Comics Presents Annual #2
Mid February. Kristin Wells, a professor of history in the 29th century (also a descendant of Jimmy Olsen), time-travels from 2862 to 1983 in order to discover the secret ID of Superwoman, a new hero that is set to debut on our present day timeline. At the WGBS building, Kristin reunites with Clark (they first met in the canon 1981 prose novel Superman: Miracle Monday). When time-traveling super-villain King Kosmos attacks, Superman fights him to a stalemate, getting briefly blasted to the 6th century before immediately returning. Later, at a Morgan Edge-sponsored costume party, Kristin continues her investigation, chatting with Jimmy, who is wearing his “Elastic Lad” costume. When King Kosmos strikes again, taking down Superman and Supergirl, Kristin realizes that she herself is Superwoman. Kristin dons a special costume meant for Supergirl to have worn at the masquerade, becoming the Woman of Steel! King Kosmos, meanwhile, takes out a mobilizing Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, and Flash. Superwoman fights King Kosmos, who causes a radioactive satellite to plummet towards Dallas. Superman comes-to and joins Superwoman to destroy the satellite. The heroes then chase King Kosmos to 1865 before defeating and sending him hurtling into the timestream. Back in 1983, Clark and Kristin part ways, with Kristin returning to the future. (Kristin will eventually get amnesia—the very reason she didn’t know—or, rather, won’t know—about her history as Superwoman!)

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #294. Batman and Superman take a bunch of friendly fun photos together. What fun! After their shoot, the pics are developed and framed. Bruce hangs them on a special wall in Wayne Manor—yes, in Wayne Manor, not in the Batcave. I guess it’s typical for a grown ass rich man to have a shrine dedicated to Batman and Superman in his palatial mansion. LOL.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #292. Batman and Superman agree to be guests on Susan LaSalle‘s popular WKBX-Gotham talk radio show. They set a future date.

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

–REFERENCE: In Heroes Against Hunger #1. Superman tells Batman about his most recent encounter with Lex Luthor, which resulted in the complete destruction of the planet Lexor, including the deaths of Andora and Lex Luthor Jr. These tragic events occurred in the Batman-less Action Comics #544.

–World’s Finest Comics #289
Batman fails to prevent a couple from getting murdered, triggering memories of his own parents’ deaths. Sensing Batman’s distress, Superman picks him up for a therapeutic hangout. At the Fortress of Solitude, the two friends chat. Batman tells Superman that he often feels deep-seated rage and frustration when things don’t go right. (This issue of WFC is an early Doug Moench work, and you can really see narrative psychology at play here that will bridge us into the ever-nearing Modern Age.) In a touching moment that defines their friendship, Batman and Superman express their genuine love for one another. Superman says, “We’re closer than twins because we compliment each other. We fit each other.” The heroes then shake hands and Moench delivers amazingly ridiculous narration: “They hold the grip for a long time… staring silently, shattering with the honesty of their eyes all the usual emotional obstacles of embarrassment and discomfiture. Such naked feeling…” Okay, this is straight up slash, Mr. Moench. Anyway, the sexual tension—er, I mean BFF hetero-bond—is broken by the sight of a rock-like spacecraft crashing just outside the Fortress. Superman brings the ship into the Fortress for study. Alien worms emerge, using telekinesis to strike out at our heroes. Batman dons some telepathic headgear to speak with the aliens, learning that they have been sent by the robotic race known as the Kryll to harvest emotional aura energy from human beings. The only catch is that once harvested, the human dies. Superman and Batman reason with the worms, who realize that they can create the same amount of emotional aura energy by sacrificing themselves. Not wanting to kill an entire race, the worms commit suicide, sending the emotional energy to the Kryll, galaxies away. Batman and Superman, still emo, cry together.

–Justice League of America #213-216 (“INTO THE MICROCOSMOS”)
After getting worrying news from Jean Loring, Hawkman visits the Atom, who has completely snapped. After the Atom disappears into the sub-atomic world, Hawkman calls an emergency meeting of the JLA. While relaying the story, Hawkman mentions that Hawkwoman has recently returned from her long absence, citing that she left “months ago.” She did leave around eleven months ago, so he’s technically not wrong. The JLA—Batman, Hawkman, Red Tornado, Green Arrow, and Black Canary—uses a shrinking device and tracker in the Atom’s Ivy University lab to shrink down to size and follow the Atom’s trail deep into the Microcosmos. There, in the high fantasy land of L’arra Sha, the heroes begin to lose their memories as a result of the trip. Confused and disoriented, the heroes join up with a stranger known as Wanderer and battle past the orc-ish Devil Guards (aka Demon Guards) of the tyrant King Goltha en route to the golden city of Ch’anar. In the city, the heroes find a giant-sized (comparatively speaking) Atom, tied down like Gulliver. The JLA members are captured by Devil Guards and restrained in pillories, presented before Goltha’s daughter, Princess Kass’andre in a dungeon. Wanderer reveals herself to be Krystal Kaa, leader of the a rebel group. Along with Twigg and Suua, warriors from the underground rebel group known as the Siren Sisterhood, Krystal frees the prisoners. Black Canary is killed, but quickly resurrected by a healer called Mother Moon, who also restores everyone’s memories. Meanwhile, an amnesiac Atom breaks free of his captors and goes on a King Kong-like rampage. In the underground rebel caverns, Krystal explains that the giant Atom appeared nearly one hundred years ago (time moves much differently in the Microcosmic Universe) and was controlled and used as a living weapon by Goltha to take over all of L’arra Sha from her father, the previous benevolent ruler. The JLAers and Siren Sisters—along with their hairy ogre-like pet Mule (a “mutant authochthon”)—attempt to sneak into Ch’anar via underground tunnels only to run into Kass’andre and her troops. Kass’andre easily murders Hawkman, starting a huge brawl. After fending off the bad guys, the heroes gather around their fallen friend. Mother Moon simply resurrects him just as she had Black Canary! The Siren Sisters then argue with the JLA about what their next move should be, but when they cannot come to terms, they split up. By the time both groups reach the center of the city, the Atom has been re-captured and restrained. At a public ceremony, Goltha addresses the citizens of his land, but he gets assassinated by his own usurping daughter. This leads to a battle royale where everyone fights everyone. Amid the chaos, Mother Moon flexes her nearly limitless powers and quells the melee, restoring the Atom’s memories and knocking him out at the same time. Krystal kills Kass’andre, claiming the throne of L’arra Sha. Using a magick staff, the new queen sends all the heroes back home—only 2.4 seconds after having left! I told you time moves differently in the Microcosmos.

–Superman Annual #9
In Metropolis, Batman and Superman bust an illegal handgun ring. Before heading home, Batman spots a suspicious looking fellow and trails him. Sure enough, the man—a med student named Reston—meets with an escaped Lex Luthor. Reston gives Lex a special serum that can allow Red Kryptonite to be used to turn Superman into a powerless Lex Luthor doppelgänger. Batman listens-in as they discuss their clandestine plan to ruin Superman and get rich at the same time. Batman then interrogates Reston, learning the full scope and details of the plot. Lex plans to pretend to be his own long lost twin brother “Erasmus Luthor” while Superman (stuck in a Lex Luthor body) will rot in jail. Then, “Erasmus” will earn the trust of the world by curing cancer, synthesizing miracle drugs, and creating revolutionary new food strains. Hailed as a hero of science and medicine, “Erasmus” will then gain access to the governments of the world and receive an unlimited line of credit from the nations of the world as well. Batman and Superman decide they want the good things to happen before busting Lex, so they cook up a classic comic book ruse of ludicrous proportions. Batman pretends to be Superman, confronting Lex in his lair. Sure enough, Lex unleashes some souped-up Red Kryptonite. “Superman” then does a quick change into a Lex Luthor disguise. The real Lex then makes a public appearance as “Erasmus Luthor” and has his “brother Lex” (Batman disguised as Superman disguised as Lex) detained at Pocantico Correctional Facility under the watchful eyes of Warden Clarence Rutherford. (Warden Rutherford is also in on the World’s Finest’s scheme.) With the fake Lex “behind bars” (i.e. biding his time with Warden Rutherford), “Batman” (actually Superman in disguise) trails “Erasmus.” Sure enough, “Erasmus” gets a high profile medical research gig and follows through with all his good humanitarian works! But as soon as “Erasmus” demands government access and money, Batman and Superman bust him. A few days later, just for fun, Batman disguises himself as a ridiculous Italian-stereotyped hot dog vendor, just to goof on Clark. He only reveals his true ID to save a child who falls from a window.

–Batman #362
Jason Todd begins a renewed fascination with his old circus life (hanging out with Waldo Flynn a lot), which begins to worry Bruce a bit. Meanwhile, Riddler, after a failed several-month-long stint working as an honest viticulturist, decides to return to crime, sending a riddle clue to police HQ. Batman kicks Harvey Bullock out of Commissioner Gordon’s office so that he and Gordon can examine the clue without being bothered. Soon after, Batman duels a machine gun-wielding Riddler at the Mother Goose Amusement Park. Later, a confused Bullock watches as the much smarter Batman and Gordon deduce Riddler’s second riddle. Batman and Gordon bust Riddler after he robs a TV taping of a quiz show.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #4. Warden Brewster becomes the new director of Gotham State Prison. Assistant Warden Fisher joins him. Batman reads an article in Modern Penology written by Fisher.

–Batman #362 Epilogue
A week has passed since the main action of Batman #362. It’s finally time for Mayor Hamilton Hill’s sham hearing as part of his attempt to smear Commissioner Gordon and remove him from his role as Gotham’s top cop. Before the hearing, Gordon delivers a Riddler-like clue box to Harvey Bullock, threatening him not to deliver false testimony or Batman will make his life a living hell. Sure enough, a nervous (and confused) Bullock clams up during the hearing and Gordon is exonerated of any wrongdoing. Later, Batman meets with Gordon at his house.

–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 World’s Finest Comics #304. Bruce takes a trip to Monte Carlo, during which he meets businessman Peter McDonald (aka Peter McBryde) at a casino. Unknown to Bruce, McDonald is a super-villain thief called Void, who robs the casino.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #294. Batman, likely at Superman’s urging, gives Jimmy Olsen the phone number to the red Bat-phone hotline.

–Superman #387
Alexander Mason, the self-styled Alexander the Great-themed super-villain known as The Planeteer (he’s like the original Adrian Veidt!), uses his super powers to trap the JLA (Batman, Hawkman, Black Canary, and Red Tornado) aboard the JL Satellite. The Planeteer then kidnaps eight world leaders (Ronald Reagan, Leonid Brezhnev, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Indira Gandhi, Menachem Begin, and Honsi Mubarak) and defeats Superman on live TV being broadcast by the WGBS team (Lana Lang, Josh Coyle, Jack, and Leo). While Superman rescues all the world leaders, the Planeteer’s parents Philip Mason and Mrs. Mason meet with WGBS news anchor Walter Conrad to tell him their son’s origin story. (Superman defeats the Planeteer in the immediate Batman-less follow-up issue—Action Comics #547.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #364. Bruce gives Vicki a framed picture of himself, signing it “To Vicki, With all my love, Bruce.”

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #199. Jim Corrigan (host of the Spectre) leaves New York City and moves to Gateway City, the mirror version of the town he used to live in back when he still lived on Earth-2. And just like in his former Earth-2 life, Corrigan takes a job with the Gateway City Police Department. Batman, always interested in the actions of the Spectre, tracks these movements closely.

–The Brave and The Bold #198-199
Batman supports the GCPD in a strike against the terrorist organization known as The Black Heart (aka The Black Heart Liberation Army), who have supposedly been sold out by one of its jailed members, a woman named Katy. Despite being tactically disadvantaged, the terrorists escape along with their leader Peter Travers. Batman rushes over to Katy’s prison cell to find her being attacked by super-villain Pulsar, who has been hired as a hitman by the Black Heart. Meanwhile, Legionnaire Karate Kid returns to 1983 from the 30th century, hoping to have a chat with his 20th century ex-girlfriend Iris Jacobs. Karate Kid’s old NYC landlady, Emily Geichman, tells him that Iris has moved to Gotham. When Karate Kid learns that Pulsar has attacked Gotham Prison, he puts his conversation with Iris on hold to visit the scene of the crime. There, he meets Batman and they decide to team-up. This, of course, leads to a showdown at Iris’ apartment pitting Travers and Pulsar against Batman and Karate Kid. Batman busts Travers, Karate Kid busts Pulsar, and Iris busts Katy, who reveals she was still aligned with the Black Heart the whole time. Afterward, Karate Kid breaks Iris’ heart once again, not only revealing that he has a new partner (Princess Projectra), but that he is engaged to her as well. The obtuse Karate Kid, hoping for Iris’ blessing, invites her to his wedding, but she tells him to piss off. Batman comforts a teary-eyed Iris as Karate Kid departs back for the 30th century.

The two-hundred-year-old immortal witch Kalindra kidnaps Jim Corrigan while he is separated from the Spectre, absconding away with the superhero’s host vessel and hiding him so that he cannot be located. The Spectre visits Batman, interrupting his patrol to ask for assistance. Following the clues, Batman (amazingly riding atop a flying Spectre with his arms crossed) soon finding Kalindra, who has conducted an occult ritual that has returned the spirit of her long dead lover Stephos into Corrigan’s body. Batman and the Spectre easily take down Kalindra’s henchmen, after which Batman kayos Corrigan, sending Stephos’ spirit out of his body. The Spectre then combats the demonic Stephos in an interdimensional realm. (They call it the Nether-verse, but also refer to it as “a plane you have only seen in dreams,” so maybe it’s the Dreaming?) The Spectre defeats Stephos and then undoes Kalindra’s immortality spell, causing her to die instantly.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #538. April. Bruce takes Vicki Vale to an equestrian show.

–Detective Comics #529
Batman tangles with the debuting Thief of Night aka Night-Thief (Anton Knight), who easily bests him and steals some furs. In the morning, Lucius Fox tells Bruce that he’s planning a Wayne Enterprises business trip to the small European nation of Markovia. He’s set to depart at some point in the next few weeks. At Wayne Tower, Lucius Fox meets with his executive team and prepares for his trip. Lucius also learns about Natasha Natalia Knight, a scientist at the astronomical observatory that is on Wayne Enterprises payroll and benefits program. (Natasha goes by several names—”Natasha Natalia Knight,” “Natasha Knight,” and “Natalia Knight.” She has lost pigment in her skin and has developed an aversion to light due to radiation exposure at the observatory. She is also the Thief of Night’s lover and adoptive sister. And she is also the super-villainess known as “Nocturna.”) While Bruce worries about the Thief of Night, Jason Todd hangs out with Waldo Flynn. (Waldo says he’ll be returning to the circus in a week, but we won’t see him depart for the circus until the end of Batman #363, which occurs after a bunch of other comics—i.e. The Brave and The Bold #200, Batman and The Outsiders #1-5, Batman Special #1, and World’s Finest Comics #290-295. This means Waldo won’t actually leave for nearly three months. Although, it’s possible that he leaves and then comes back later.) At night, Bruce goes on a date with Vicki. Bruce runs into a liquor store to pick up some champagne, but when he hears about the Thief of Night on the radio, he abandons Vicki in the car (!), switches to his fighting togs, and heads out onto the chase. Once again, the Thief of Night bests Batman. By the time Bruce catches up with Vicki—three hours later—she’s very understandably fuming. Vicki breaks up with Bruce and storms off in a huff! Bruce returns home to find an equally-fuming Jason, who delivers an ultimatum. He tells Bruce to make him his new crime-fighting partner or he is going to return to the circus with Waldo. As referenced in Batman #363, Bruce doesn’t take Jason’s threat seriously and tells him no.

–The Brave and The Bold #200 Part 2
April 24-25. On Earth-2, super-villain Brimstone (Nicholas Lucien) wakes up from a twenty-eight-year-long coma. His arch-rival that put him into the coma back in 1955, Earth-2 Batman, is long dead and the world has now drastically changed around him. Brimstone, however, realizes that he can control his Earth-1 counterpart, a mild-mannered version of himself. He immediately causes Earth-1 Lucien to go on a bombing spree in Gotham. Later that night, that dirty dog Bruce, who has just been dumped by Vicki Vale, goes on a date with Clarisse, who has been biding her time and waiting for Bruce to become single again for months. But when the Bat-signal lights up the night sky, Bruce bails. Soon after meeting with Commissioner Gordon, who delivers a note from Lucien, Batman does some homework and swings into the night to quell riots that have erupted in the aftermath of the bombings. At a warehouse on the pier, Batman roughs up Lucien’s hired thugs, a street gang called the Demons. From a distant live video feed, Lucien challenges Batman to combat. The Caped Crusader follows the clues to the Hellenic Club. There, he survives a deathtrap and then kicks Lucien’s ass, preventing him from detonating another bomb. On Earth-2, Brimstone loses his control over Earth-1 Lucien, who comes-to and can’t remember a thing about the last twenty-four hours. Batman, believing Lucien’s claim of otherworldly possession, takes Lucien to the police department where he passes a lie-detector test and is set free. I know he’s legitimately not guilty, but that’s hardly the best method of crime-solving, guys. Oh well.

–World’s Finest Comics #290-293
With Robin away on Teen Titans business and no urgent crime-fighting matters at hand, Bruce is single and ready to mingle (or at least keep up playboy appearances). He goes on a date with the sensual Yumiko and, taking a genuine liking to her, brings her back to Wayne Manor for a bubbly nightcap. Just as things start to really heat up in the bedroom, the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky. Bruce tells Yumiko that he forgot he was supposed to check up on his “sick aunt,” asking if she’ll be so kind as to wait for him for a few hours. Surprisingly, Yumiko says she will. Batman heads out to deal with a routine robbery case. Bored, Yumiko wanders the Wayne Manor grounds and enters a cave only to stumble upon, nope, not the Batcave, but a wholly separate-but-adjacent underground cavern system where dormant mutated rock-men and their giant monster earthworm pets have come alive. The activity causes all the bats in the caverns to swarm aboveground. Wanting to eagerly get back to Yumiko, Batman calls Superman to deal with the bats. But, upon finding that Yumiko has gone missing in the caves, the World’s Finest begin a search, soon finding the mutated rock-men and giant worms. Batman and Superman realize that a massive hidden volcanic Kryptonite deposit has irradiated the rocks and worms deep beneath the earth, transforming them into the devilish creatures that now hound our heroes. Batman and Superman are captured and brought before the mutated rock-man leader, Stalagron, who has claimed Yumiko as his new queen. Stalagron reveals that he was once a human spelunker before having been mutated by the volcanic Kryptonite. He’s been murdering other spelunkers and turning them into his rock-man army ever since. Now he wants to rule the entire planet as its rock-king. While the rock-men harumph around for an hour, Yumiko frees a captive Batman, revealing to him that she knows he is Bruce, having discovered his secret through sheer Japanese intuition. Holy Orientalism, Batman! Batman is able to help a Kryptonite-poisoned Man of Steel crawl back to the surface, but the rock-men steal back Yumiko. Stalagron then causes a towering Kryptonite volcano to erupt from the ground not far from Wayne Manor, drawing tons of media attention to the site. While Superman fights Stalagron inside the lava-filled caldera, Batman rescues Yumiko and detonates a bomb that crumbles the entire volcano and all of Stalagron’s army back below the surface. The volcanic Kryptonite is destroyed, ending the threat of the mutated rock-men, who revert back to regular people and are buried beneath the earth. Superman then uses his heat vision to close up the rift. Back at Wayne Manor, Superman disguises himself as Bruce in order to fool Yumiko into disbelieving her correct assumption about the Dark Knight’s secret ID. Later, Batman and Superman place a commemorative wreath (in honor of Stalagron’s victims) at the front of the cave that Yumiko first wandered into. They then seal up the cave entrance. Since we won’t see Yumiko again, we can assume Bruce calls off their relationship. He definitely liked her (and more-so than we usually see in the comics), but I can assume that he wouldn’t want to endanger her life (or have his secret ID exposed again), hence breaking it off.

Batman and Superman appear as guests on Susan LaSalle’s popular talk radio show. Batman talks about his views of crime as a disease that must be wiped out, even speaking in vague terms about how tragedy shaped his crime-fighting views. Superman gives a much more progressive—dare-I-say Superman-ish—response when asked about his view on crime. Batman handles live callers poorly, getting very defensive at even being referred to as a “vigilante.” Things take an even worse turn when a super-villain named Anthrax phones-in to reveal that he has installed a pressure sensitive anthrax bomb under Susan’s chair. If she moves, the bomb will detonate. While Superman rushes around in search of Anthrax, Batman phones Commissioner Gordon, who tells him that Mayor Hamilton Hill and the City Council are treating the bomb threat as a hoax. While Susan keeps Anthrax on the line, Batman and Superman evacuate the building and surrounding area. Superman then seals up the entire building and flies it to the Moon. Of course, the call was coming from inside the building. Anthrax, wearing one of the wildest super-villain costumes I’ve ever seen, makes his presence known, attempting to kill Susan. Batman and Superman kick his ass. Turns out, Anthrax was Susan’s incel sound technician.

May 4-8. The Expropriator, who has a homemade costume that gives Anthrax a run for his money, attacks The Daily Planet building. Superman quickly busts the fake super-villain, revealed as a young single mother and Daily Planet secretary that went postal after not getting a bonus. Feeling bummed about sending a single mother to prison, Superman meets up with Batman to talk about it. They chat about their crime-fighting profession, their mothers, and charity plans for Mother’s Day, which is quickly approaching. Bruce and Clark then get dinner at one of the many clubs of which Bruce is a member. A couple days later, Batman helps Superman choose Fortress of Solitude trophies to put on display at a Mother’s Day charity event. On Mother’s Day, Superman and Batman host the big public event. The daredevil super-powered super-villain duo of Null (Solomon Baxter) and Void (Peter McDonald) show up to rob the joint and to challenge the World’s Finest. Void nabs a locket with a picture of Superman’s mom inside of it, after which he and his partner run circles around the heroes just for fun. But when building pillars crumble and collapse, threatening the lives of visiting children, Void saves their lives. He may be a dashing thief, but he’s no murderer. Null and Void flee and go their separate ways, but Batman and Superman are able to capture the latter. Null gets away clean, reverting back to his secret ID of Sol Baxter. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will get Baxter a few days from now. He’s a tax cheat, meaning he’ll avoid jail time, but he’ll lose all his finances. (This adventure is also shown via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #304.)

–Batman and The Outsiders #1-3
Batman tracks a drug peddler named Rooster, pausing only to throw Lucius Fox a going away party in the Wayne Tower penthouse. (Lucius is leaving for Markovia in a few hours.) Bruce leaves the party early to help out with a building fire and to arrest Rooster. Batman then goes on an intense forty-eight hour patrol, busting heads left and right. Upon arriving home, Batman learns that a civil war has broken out in Markovia between fascist Neo-Nazi rebels and the existing democratic monarchy. Bruce learns that Lucius has gone missing in the conflict. Batman immediately calls an emergency JLA meeting, demanding that the team storm Markovia. Superman tells Batman that the US Department of State has forbidden them from interfering. Enraged, Batman quits the JLA! (Batman quitting is also visually referenced in Justice League of America Annual #2.) For the first time in the entire existence of the team, Batman is no longer a member! Batman preps for departure, telling Alfred to keep notes about any Gotham crime while he is gone. Batman then recruits a currently powerless Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce) to help him and, together, they infiltrate war-torn Markovia. Jefferson gains an audience with a rebel general, but the general is murdered by Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro), wielder of the mystic Soultaker Sword, which holds the spirit of Tatsu’s deceased husband Maseo Yamashiro. Black Lightning is captured by rebel forces. Meanwhile, Batman finds an amnesiac super-powered American girl, whom he names Halo. (Halo’s power comes from an ancient sentient energy orb called an Aurakle, which is using her human form as a host vessel.) Meanwhile, Dr. Helga Jace endows Prince Brion Markov (brother to Markovian ruler King Gregor Markov) with superpowers, turning him into Markovia’s defender, Geo-Force. When rebels attack Castle Markov, Geo-Force is aided by Metamorpho, who has shown up hoping to visit with Dr. Jace. The rebels defeat the heroes, leaving Geo-Force for dead and kidnapping Dr. Jace and Metamorpho. Batman is similarly captured by rebel forces. The captives are presented before the rebel leader, an ex-Nazi called Baron Bedlam (Frederick DeLamb). In their cell, Batman gives Black Lightning a rousing pep talk, which re-activates his dormant powers. Freeing themselves, Batman, Black Lightning, and Metamorpho join Lucius, who has been rescued by Halo and Katana. This motley crew joins King Gregor and the citizens of Markovburg in an all-out war against rebel troops and tanks. Geo-Force combats Baron Bedlam, who has forced Dr. Jace to give him superpowers. Geo-Force defeats Baron Bedlam and tosses him to the angry mob, which tears him limb from limb. With Baron Bedlam dead, the war ends. The collective heroes officially form The Outsiders! Batman takes his new team back to Gotham, introducing them to Alfred. (Batman tells them that he lives in the Batcave, but his benefactor Bruce lives in the mansion above.) Alfred reports to Batman about recent chemical bombings in Gotham while he was in Markovia. Batman does some investigating and puts alarms on various chemical dumps in the municipal area. The next day, Bruce “meets” Halo and takes her for a check-up with Dr. Douglas Dundee. Dr. Dundee guesses Halo is between fifteen and sixteen-years-old. (She has just turned fifteen quite recently.) Halo decides to take the name “Gabrielle Doe” and Bruce begins the legal proceedings to make it official. (Bruce also arranges for Tatsu to become Gaby’s legal guardian.) After a day of shopping with Gaby, Bruce does his homework in regard to Tatsu, learning all about her backstory and Bushidō code. Batman moves Tatsu and Gaby into the Wayne Tower penthouse. Batman also sets up Batcave II as the new Outsiders HQ. As referenced in Batman and The Outsiders #6, Batman institutes team alert codes to use during battle and installs a special phone in the penthouse that will act as an Outsiders hotline. As referenced in Batman and The Outsiders #16, Batman gives each Outsider a beeper that can be activated by a trigger on his utility belt buckle. Batman can summon his team via these beepers. Later, when one of Batman’s chemical dump alarms goes off, the Dark Knight, Katana, and Halo check out the scene, coming face to face with the terrorist bomber himself, Agent Orange (Miklos). Eventually, the entire Outsiders lineup defeats Agent Orange and his cronies known as The People’s Army.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #5. Batman, extremely proud of his new Outsiders team, dreams of a future where both Robin and the Outsiders replace him as Gotham’s protectors. Batman will think of this often, moving forward.

–The Brave and The Bold #200 Part 4
A suicidal Agent Orange is put in a hospital under round-the-clock police watch. When the People’s Army tries to free their leader, the Outsiders go into action, taking them down. There’s an odd panel that kinda sorta implies that Halo knows Batman’s secret ID, but if that’s the case it’s a continuity error because she definitely doesn’t. In any case, the People’s Army tries to kill themselves and the Outsiders by detonating a bomb, but Metamorpho is able to save his teammates. Agent Orange and his pals die in the blast. Commissioner Gordon meets the Outsiders and heartily approves.


–Batman and The Outsiders #4
A week has passed since The Brave and The Bold #200 Part 4. The Outsiders train with Batman. Each team member reviews their performance from the hospital fight against Agent Orange’s People’s Army. Meanwhile, at Gotham State Prison, Warden Brewster tells inmate Ned Creegan (formerly “Bag O’Bones” and then “Cyclotronic Man”) the board has rejected his parole. Creegan flips out, powers up, and breaks out. Since his first two names sucked, Creegan takes the new moniker of “One-Man Meltdown.” Jeez, this guy. Across town, an emo Gaby Doe gets in a fight with her guardian Tatsu Yamashiro as they repaint their Wayne Tower penthouse apartment. Gaby storms off and spends the night at Wayne Manor. In nearby New Jersey, Brion Markov shows of his brand new mansion to Rex Mason. Jefferson Pierce, meanwhile, has moved into a much more modest accommodations—a small apartment in Gotham. Jefferson also receives his teaching certificate, signifying that he will soon start teaching at a public school in the city (Thomas Edison High). After Batman meets with Wardens Brewster and Fisher, he assembles the Outsiders. During the subsequent battle against Meltdown, the Caped Crusader realizes that something was fishy with Brewster. Diplomacy wins the day as Meltdown chills out and gets a radiation bath from Metamorpho that cures him of his super-villainous condition. Back at Gotham State Prison, Batman and Creegan confront Brewster, who admits that he had been mistreating prisoners, refusing them parole unjustly, and even manipulating events to put them in fatal scenarios. Brewster resigns, making Fisher the new head warden. At Wayne Tower, Gaby and Tatsu apologize to one another and hug it out. Batman tells Creegan he will attend his parole hearing, which has been re-added to the docket in light of all the revelations. We can presume that Batman does attend and that Creegan is paroled (or that his sentence is commuted).

–New Teen Titans #37
Gizmo breaks his fellow Fearsome Fivers (Psimon, Dr. Light, Mammoth, and Shimmer) out of jail. Meanwhile, the Teen Titans—Robin, Wonder Girl, Starfire, Changeling, Cyborg, Kid Flash, Raven, and newest member Terra (Geo-Force’s kid half-sister, Tara Markov)—meet in their NYC Titans Tower HQ. Unknown to the team, Terra is actually a mole, secretly working for Deathstroke the Terminator. When Dr. Helga Jace is kidnapped by the Fearsome Five, both the Teen Titans (sans Robin) and the Outsiders (sans Batman) converge toward Jace’s American lab. There, they briefly fight before realizing they are all on the same side. Concurrently, at Wayne Manor, Dick tells Bruce about a recent Teen Titans case, during which a new Vigilante (Adrian Chase) debuted—as seen in New Teen Titans Annual #2. Writer Marv Wolfman does a serious attempt at a major retcon here, having Dick say that he is nineteen-years-old and that he started being Robin when he was eight-years-old. Nice try, Marv. There’s no way any of that can jibe with Dick’s high school and college history. Dick was ten-years-old when he became Robin. And he is currently twenty-six-years-old! (Yes, he’s still on a teen superhero group at his adult age, but the Teen Titans are his pride and joy, and he’s the elder leader, so it still kinda makes sense for him to be there.) Jason Todd listens-in as Dick squabbles with Bruce, telling him that he doesn’t think their values are aligned anymore. Dick tells Bruce that, effective immediately, their crime-fighting partnership is dissolved! Bruce doesn’t bat an eyelash, accepting this bitter end as it is. When news of Dr. Jace’s kidnapping reaches Wayne Manor, Batman and Robin join their respective teams at Titans Tower. There, all the heroes are briefed by NYPD Captain Arthur Hall. Not long after, the Outsiders and Teen Titans battle the Fearsome Five and their army of mutated mud-men.

–Batman and The Outsiders #5
Picking up directly from New Teen Titans #37, the Fearsome Five blows up their HQ, sinking the Outsiders, Teen Titans, and Dr. Helga Jace to the bottom of one of Gotham’s bays. Terra saves everyone and they all regroup in the Wayne Tower penthouse. Soon after, the heroes bust Dr. Light in Gotham’s Central Park. When Psimon uses his powers to take over the minds of the entire populace of New York City, the Outsiders and Teen Titans converge upon the metropolis and begin dealing with mind-controlled citizens. Batman and Robin argue like petty children over who should be in charge. Despite the bickering of their leaders, the hero teams fare well and defeat the remaining Fearsome Fivers. Meanwhile, Dr. Light brutally beats Dr. Jace to escape captivity, leaving behind his costume and a note claiming that he is quitting the super-villain game for good. In the end, Batman and Robin treat each other respectfully, shaking hands. While Batman and Robin remain on good terms, the Dynamic Duo is still officially kaput. However, instead of parting negatively, Batman finally acknowledges that Robin has moved beyond the limits of his mentorship and is now a fully-fledged mentor in his own right. (Dick has already been staying in NYC most of the time, but he’ll officially move out of Wayne Manor now.) As referenced in Batman and The Outsiders #6, Bruce pays for the injured Dr. Jace to be placed under observation at a hospital. She’ll remain there in-recovery for the next couple months.

–Batman Special #1
June 24-27. Wrath attempts to assassinate Commissioner Gordon multiple times in one day, coming up just short each time. Batman realizes that Wrath is the man he’s feared for the past few years—the ultimate unstoppable cop-killing machine. Wrath shakes down smalltimer Jimbo, who tells him that Batman visits Crime Alley every June 26. With this info, Wrath deduces that Batman is Bruce Wayne, going to Crown Hill Cemetery and vandalizing Bruce’s parents’ graves. Wrath also brutally beats Alfred, hospitalizing him. Batman begins his own investigation into Wrath, finding out that he’s dating Grayle Hudson, wealthy daughter of a famous deceased gangster. While Batman shakes down Grayle, Wrath shows up in place of the Dark Knight for his annual meeting with Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley. He kidnaps Leslie, leaving a note demanding Batman turn over Gordon in exchange for her. The next morning, Batman turns over Gordon, who has a bulletproof vest rigged with squibs. Wrath shoots Gordon, but the hotheaded commish tries to take him down, blowing the ruse. Gordon and Leslie escape, leaving Batman and Wrath to duel each other. Despite being Batman’s equal, Wrath goes down hard, accidentally catching fire and falling off a roof to his death. Grayle, having just arrived, breaks down in tears but is comforted by Leslie. But who was Wrath? His crook dad was killed by Officer Jim Gordon at the opposite end of Park Row (better known as Crime Alley) on June 26, 1958, the very same night Joe Chill killed Bruce’s parents oh so long ago.

–World’s Finest Comics #294-295
Batman fights some Native American nuclear arms thieves—led by STAR Labs scientist Susan Morning Cloud—at STAR Labs in Gotham. Superman intervenes to both to help out and to check-in on Batman, whom he hasn’t heard from since he quit the JLA. But before they can discuss matters, the real leader of the gang—a bizarre super-villain dressed in a mix of traditional Native American garb and a nuclear hazmat suit—arrives. Claiming to be the Aztec sun god Tonatiuh, the big bad strikes out at our heroes, besting them. (Tonatiuh is actually a homicidal alien tyrant that got stranded in Mexico over five hundred years ago, became worshiped as a god by the Aztecs, and then wend into suspended animation until recently. Now, he needs nuclear energy to return home.) Tonatiuh and his comrades flee the scene. Batman, still angry at the JLA for having refused to help in Markovia, lashes out at Superman, telling him to piss off. The next day, Dick visits Bruce at Wayne Manor. Bruce gets very worked up when the TV news mentions Superman’s involvement in the Tonatiuh case. Worried that their friendship might legitimately be in jeopardy, Clark phones Wayne Manor to make amends, but Batman refuses to speak to him. Clark is so upset that he cries. The next day, Susan manipulates Jimmy Olsen to help Tonatiuh gain access to a missile launch site outside of Metropolis. There, Tonatiuh defeats and abducts Superman with a new plan to harness his energy. Jimmy Olsen calls Batman for help. The Dark Knight confronts Susan, who snaps out of a trance, revealing that Tonatiuh has been mind-controlling his entire crew. Batman and Susan travel to Tonatiuh’s pyramid HQ in Mexico. There, Batman and Susan are captured by more brainwashed Native Americans and indigenous Nahuas. Batman escapes and rescues Superman. Together, they defeat Tonatiuh, who commits suicide by exploding himself. Afterward, Superman acts friendly toward Batman, but the Dark Knight rejects his warm outreach. Batman turns his back on the Man of Steel, telling them they are no longer friends. Harsh.

NASA and US military officials call Batman to Cape Canaveral to investigate the destruction of a pair of satellites. While there, a trio of super-villains cum radical anti-nuke activists—The Moondancers (Crescent Moon, Harvest Moon, and New Moon)—attacks Batman and destroys a third satellite before it even has a chance to launch. Crescent Moon douses Batman with a deadly alien virus before departing with her sisters. Batman, slipping in and out of consciousness, is immediately quarantined. In spite of their current bad blood, Superman rushes to the scene to make sure Batman is okay. Premature news of Batman’s death hits the mainstream media, causing a criminal frenzy in Gotham. Superman travels to deep space and harnesses a new power source from the energy of a distant alien sun. Using this energy, he creates an antivirus and returns to administer the cure to the Caped Crusader. With his life saved, Batman thanks Superman and apologizes for his recent behavior. Batman and Superman will always be best friends forever. While Superman helps Commissioner Gordon in Gotham, Batman recovers in Florida only to be once again accosted by the Moondancers, who steal Superman’s new power source. Superman and Batman defeat the Moondancers at a nearby observatory. Their boss and benefactor, mad NASA scientist Dr. Nakamura, then reveals himself by blasting a giant laser cannon at the heroes. Superman blows up the laser, which causes Nakamura to snap even further. The Moondancers, realizing just that Nakamura is truly out-of-control, help the heroes corral him. The trio then tells Batman and Superman that they will continue their goal to destroy all nukes by any means necessary before departing for good.

–Batman #363
This item supposedly takes place almost immediately following Detective Comics #529, but a few things absolutely have to go in-between (most notably The Brave and The Bold #200, Batman and The Outsiders #1-5, Batman Special #1, and World’s Finest Comics #290-295), meaning that over two-and-a-half months have passed since ‘tec #529. Thus, now is the time to loudly sound your continuity error alert. Onto a synopsis. The Thief of Night strikes again, running circles around Batman for seven straight nights in a row. While Batman remains frustrated, he tries to keep his cool in his civilian life, agreeing to host a Wayne Foundation fundraising shindig at Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, the relationship between Commissioner Gordon and Assistant Commissioner Bullock keeps getting worse. At the party, Lucius introduces Bruce to Natasha Knight. Vicki shows up, sees Bruce flirting with Natasha, and immediately leaves. The Thief of Night shows up next, robbing everyone, before fleeing back from whence he came. Bruce realizes that the Thief of Night is connected to Natasha. Later, Batman visits Natasha, who reveals herself as the super-villainess Nocturna. After monologuing her origin story, she takes out Batman with knockout powder and departs with the Thief of Night. Batman wakes up to find that Jason Todd has tailed him. Batman chews him out and Jason runs back home in tears. Later, at Gotham Observatory, Batman finally busts the Thief of Night, but Nocturna escapes in a hot air balloon. The Thief of Night is immediately fed into Gotham’s fast-tracked judicial system, and Batman arranges to testify against the crook during a special night court session, set to occur in three days’ time (as referenced in Detective Comics #530). On the morning of Batman’s testimony, Nocturna sends a check for $100,000 to Bruce—a donation for the observatory that she loves so much. Bruce rips the check to shreds. Meanwhile, Jason sneaks out of Wayne Manor and with plans of meeting Waldo Flynn and rejoining the circus.

–Detective Comics #530
Picking up straight from the end of Batman #363, a runaway Jason Todd runs into Nocturna, who had been spying on Wayne manor, in the woods adjacent to the property. They have a cryptic conversation about their life decisions before Nocturna departs in her hot air balloon. A couple hours later, Batman attends night court and testifies against Anton Knight, who pleads insanity. When Nocturna boldly shows up in the courtroom, Batman and the police chase after her, but she escapes. Back in court, a jury finds Anton guilty of multiple counts of armed robbery. At the Picture News home office, Vicki Vale, brokenhearted about Bruce, asks her unnamed publisher to be transferred out of Gotham City. At Wayne Manor, a panicked Alfred tells Bruce that Jason has skedaddled, reminding Bruce that the adoption process still hasn’t been finalized. If the authorities learn that Jason has run away, they will surely reject Bruce’s legal guardianship of the boy. Thus, Bruce and Alfred decide they have to get Jason back themselves. Bruce tells Alfred to begin a search for Jason while he wraps up the Nocturna case. When Nocturna tries to free Anton from a police transfer vehicle, Batman is there to bust them both.

–Batman #364
Late July—Jason Todd reviews news clippings that coincide with earlier dates of the current Sloan’s Circus summer tour. One day has passed since Detective Comics #530. Jason has runaway from Wayne Manor and rejoined the circus. Jason only left yesterday, but he’s already performing the trapeze act with the Air Aces (his two unnamed aerialist partners) in Zuma, Indiana. Alfred and Batman easily track Jason by following the circus route. In Zuma, Alfred meets up with Jason, asking him to return, but the stubborn kid says he’ll only come back if Batman lets him be his partner. A nosy Batman sifts through Jason’s personal belongings, discovering notes showing that Jason is working a case. Someone at Sloan’s Circus has been committing robberies along the tour route. Batman immediately disguises himself as a day laborer, taking a roustabout gig to feed the circus animals, in order to watch over Jason. Back in Gotham, the Picture News publisher reluctantly transfers Vicki Vale to work as a war correspondent covering the ongoing Guatemalan Civil War and genocides. Vicki packs and heads out. A bummed Alfred returns to Wayne Manor only to be greeted by a surprise visitor—his daughter Julia ReMarque. At police HQ, Harvey Bullock plays what he thinks is a harmless “snakes in the drawer” prank on Commissioner Gordon, but Gordon’s bad heart gives out and he collapses into a medical emergency. In Zuma, Batman realizes that Waldo Flynn has been kidnapped and impersonated by the mystery circus thief, a master of disguise called Chimera. Batman fights Chimera (and a lion), but gets kayoed. Jason then comes face-to-face with Chimer, who is dressed up in Waldo’s clown outfit.

–Detective Comics #531
Picking up straight from Batman #364, Jason Todd fends off Chimera, who is dressed up as Waldo Flynn. In Gotham, Commissioner Gordon, having had a heart attack and slipped into a coma, is rushed to the hospital. A worried Babs watches over her dad. The next day, Batman watches Jason from afar as the boy continues his investigation. After the circus show ends, Jason returns to his trailer to find Chimera, dressed up as Batman, waiting to attack him. Batman, dressed up as Waldo, shows up to fight Chimera. Together, Batman and Jason kick his ass and rescue the real Waldo. Batman finally agrees to let Jason become his new crime-fighting partner. Jason says goodbye to the circus and returns home to Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, Vicki Vale arrives on assignment in Guatemala, wading waist-deep into the horrors of war.

–Batman #365
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #531, Bruce and Jason board a train headed from Indiana to Gotham. Bruce has internal second thoughts about really allowing Jason to become Batman’s partner. Although, he does acknowledge how he’s been feeling a loss ever since Dick bailed on the Dynamic Duo to do full-time Teen Titans (as seen in the recent arc from New Teen Titans #37 and Batman and The Outsiders #5). Upon arrival at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Jason find a note saying that Alfred has left on urgent personal business. (He’s left to spend time with his daughter Julia.) Babs phones Bruce, telling him about Commissioner Gordon’s heart attack and coma. Bruce and Jason meet with Babs at the hospital where Harvey Bullock reports news that Vicki Vale has gotten kidnapped in Guatemala. In the Batcave, Batman preps for a trip to Central America and tries to walk back his promise to a frustrated Jason. Batman makes yet another promise—that Jason will be side-kicking with the Dark Knight when he returns. After landing in the jungle, Batman battles past some Mayan tribesmen and jaguars to get to the site of an ancient pyramid where Vicki is being held. After sneaking and fighting past numerous guards, Batman finds the man behind it all—an escaped Joker, who is planning on taking over all of Guatemala. Joker’s henchmen are comprised of new recruits and some minor Gotham hoods that Batman has busted before.

–Detective Comics #532
Picking up directly from Batman #365, Joker monologues about his master plan to interfere in the conflict between the Cuban-backed leftist Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (GNRU) and the US-backed right-wing Guatemalan military. Batman survives a Joker-train deathtrap and saves Vicki Vale all at once. Batman and a gun-blasting Vicki flee into the jungle. Meanwhile, in Gotham, Alfred connects with his daughter Julia for the first time. They make dinner together at a small apartment she is renting. At the hospital, a sullen and apologetic Harvey Bullock sits faithfully by Commissioner Gordon’s beside along with Babs.

–Batman #366
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #532, Batman and Vicki Vale hitch a ride with some GNRU rebels, telling them about Joker’s plot. In Gotham, Commissioner Gordon remains in the third day of his coma. Mayor Hamilton Hill meets with Harvey Bullock, telling him that he plans on appointing him as Gordon’s replacement. Bullock, sick of being Mayor Hill’s lapdog and having gained respect for Gordon, tells the Mayor to stuff it and storms out of his office. A couple days later, in the village of Mixtaya, Guatemala, Joker and his henchmen attempt to assassinate a high-ranking general in the National Army of Guatemala. Batman saves the general and informs him of Joker’s plot as well. In an eye-rolling sequence, the leftist rebels and right-wing soldiers put aside their differences to assist Batman in the fight against Joker and his henchmen. With Vicki snapping pictures, Joker takes on Batman one-on-one, cornering him at gunpoint. All of a sudden, a new Robin arrives and helps Batman kick Joker’s ass! Jason Todd has dyed his hair black, taken one of Dick’s old costumes, taken a flight to Central America, tracked Batman and company through the jungle, and then arrived just in time to help bring down the Dark Knight’s arch rival! But Batman is not pleased. He scolds Jason while hauling Joker into custody, telling the boy that he will never be the Boy Wonder. (Flashbacks from World’s Finest Comics #321 and Batman #400 show a generic scene of Batman fighting Joker that is likely depicting this adventure.)

–Detective Comics #533
Picking up directly from Batman #366, Bruce and Jason wrap up their adventure in Guatemala and head back to Gotham. (As referenced in Detective Comics #535, Batman keeps Joker’s scepter for a Batcave trophy.) At home, Bruce apologizes for having been so angry at him in the jungle. He tells him it was merely the costume that bothered him. Bruce still wants Jason to be his new partner, but he wants Jason to be himself, not another Robin. At the hospital, Commissioner Gordon remains in his fifth day of being comatose. When a team of assassins (Mr. Bang, Cobra Kowalski, Hitman Johnny Hinton, and Slinker Ray Dawson) smash into the hospital with plans of killing Commissioner Gordon in his bed, Harvey Bullock summons Batman with the Bat-Signal. After rescuing Babs (who has been knocked-out with a gas bomb), Batman bears witness to Commissioner Gordon waking up from his coma! Batman then fights the assassins. Babs (in her civilian clothes) joins Batman on the roof to kick their asses.

–Batman #367
This item begins several weeks after Detective Comics #533. With Alfred still away with his daughter Julia, Bruce and Jason chill for two weeks as Gotham goes through a rare quiet spell in terms of crime. Jason takes this time to tailor a superhero costume based off of his old circus duds. Despite having still not settled upon a codename, Jason is ready to go on his first official patrol with Batman. And, on their first patrol, they come across a plant creature, taking a piece of its green flesh before it runs into the sewer. After consulting with a botanist, Batman and Jason return home. In the morning, Alfred returns to Wayne Manor, telling Bruce that he needs to extend his leave of absence and will be traveling to Montreal. Alfred refuses so say any more about it. At police HQ, a hobbled but stubborn Commissioner Gordon returns to work. On Crime Alley, Poison Ivy—who has been released from prison following an appeal and re-trial—lures rich executives to bizarre health spa, injecting them with mind (and body) altering chemicals and giving them weird plant gifts. The next day, several of the spa-goers, five Wayne Enterprises executives (including veteran employee Al), begin acting strangely, prompting Lucius Fox to phone Bruce. Bruce visits Wayne Tower, spotting a strange man (Poison Ivy’s assistant Dr. Lignier) messing with the arboreal monument. Bruce then meets with executive Al, noticing that he seems off. Bruce also finds an invitation to the spa in his old office. That night, Batman and Jason visit the spa to find Poison Ivy waiting for them. Batman and Jason war against Poison Ivy, Dr. Lignier, and several muddy green plant-creature henchmen. During combat, Batman accidentally calls Jason “Robin.” In an uncharacteristic move, Poison Ivy burns down her spa, destroying all evidence of her science experimentation, before fleeing into the night.

–Detective Comics #534
Picking up directly from Batman #367, the five brainwashed Wayne Enterprises executives attempt (but fail) to embezzle company funds on Poison Ivy’s behalf. They then wander like zombies into the clutches of Poison Ivy, whose hidden lair is in a bunker beneath her burned-out Crime Alley spa. Poison Ivy transfers the life energy of the kidnapped men into some new plant-creature henchmen. At police HQ, Bruce presses charges against a jailed Dr. Lignier, accusing him of messing with Wayne Enterprises. As Commissioner Gordon and Bruce interrogate Lignier, Harvey Bullock reports-in that the five execs have gone missing. Not long afterward, Batman and Jason infiltrate Poison Ivy’s bunker, defeat her green men, bust her, and rescue the execs. Back in the Batcave, Bruce and Jason try to come up with a superhero name for the latter.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #566. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #534, Batman and Robin deliver a trove of evidence pertaining to the Poison Ivy bust to police HQ.

–Batman #368
Early September—writer Doug Moench specifically says it is late summer. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #534, Bruce and Jason continue brainstorming superhero sidekick names only to be interrupted by a visiting Dick Grayson, who ends their conversation by passing on the mantle of the Boy Wonder. Dick gives Jason his old Robin costume and his blessing. Jason puts on the duds and officially debuts as the new Robin! Bruce asks Dick who he will be now that he’s given away his Robin title. Dick says he’s not sure, at least not yet anyway. The Dynamic Duo then takes to the streets, busting heads left-and-right all over Gotham. Vicki Vale, back on the Gotham beat, snaps a photo of Batman and Robin in action. Batman and Robin make the front page of The Gotham Gazette the next morning, angering a returning Crazy Quilt, who has returned and is active as a super-villain again. Meanwhile, in Montreal, Alfred and Julia go down a rabbit hole in search of finding proof that Julia’s adoptive father Jacques ReMarque was murdered. Their investigation leads them to a corpse and and a threatening message written in blood, warning them to stay off the trail. As night falls over Gotham, Batman and Robin patrol once again. They get separated, at which time a vengeful Crazy Quilt, not knowing there’s a new Robin behind the domino mask, ambushes the Boy Wonder and beats the shit out of him, leaving him for dead.

–Detective Comics #535
Picking up directly from Batman #368, Batman rushes the badly beaten and unconscious Robin back to Wayne Manor. In the morning, Robin wakes up worse for wear, but hellbent on revenge. When Bruce tells him that their work has no place for revenge, Jason says “No? I thought that’s what it was all about.” This line completely stymies Bruce because the boy ain’t wrong. Bruce questions Jason’s maturity (internally, of course), but is able to convince Jason to sit this one out to rest his injuries. However, thanks to a post-hypnotic suggestion implanted into Robin by Crazy Quilt, the Boy Wonder snaps, knocks-out Batman, and wanders into the city. Robin returns to a waiting Crazy Quilt, who unleashes ten henchmen upon the boy. Batman, having come-to, shows up to better the odds. Batman bests all the henchmen and kicks Crazy Quilt’s ass. Robin snaps out of his hypnosis, and the heroes return home.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #560. Batman tells Robin his signature line: “Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman #371. Batman tells Robin about all his rogues.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #377. Batman testifies against Nocturna and the Thief of Night. The latter is sentenced to prison, but Nocturna gets off scot-free by claiming that she had nothing to do with any crimes and was merely kidnapped.

–Batman and The Outsiders #6-7
Early Autumn—writer Mike W Barr tells us specifically it is Autumn and that the school year is about to commence. Barr also tells us that Batman and The Outsiders #4 occurred “weeks ago”—it’s been about twelve-and-a-half weeks to be exact, so more like “three months ago.” Gabrielle Doe is enrolled at Jefferson Pierce’s school (Thomas Edison High), but she is flat out refusing to go. Batman says enough is enough, telling Tatsu Yamashiro to force Gaby to attend. After some bargaining, Gaby reluctantly agrees. Batman, realizing that Tatsu needs a civilian job to bolster her secret ID in Gotham, sets up a meeting between Tatsu and Bruce Wayne. Acting like a vapid playboy, Bruce chats with Tatsu and gifts her a Japanese bookstore, which she will run. Meanwhile, Rex Mason and Brion Markov visit Dr. Helga Jace, who is still stuck at the hospital due to complications resulting from Dr. Light’s attack a couple months ago. When a new super-villain called The Cryonic Man attacks and steals a kidney meant for a transplant, Metamorpho and Geo-Force challenge him, but he escapes. Dr. Carter tells the heroes all about the villain. At the first day of school, Gaby has a great time. Jefferson, however, flips out at an unruly student, going to far as to put his hands on him! Not a great start for an educator. Later that evening, Batman and the Outsiders battle the Cryonic Man, who has kept himself basically immortal for decades via surgical enhancement (using stolen body parts and organs). The Cryonic Man defeats the Outsiders by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. He also kidnaps Katana, prepping her for organ harvesting in his lair. (The Cryonic Man wants to do the same process that he’s done on himself to his girlfriend, who is currently under cryonic freeze.) With Commissioner Gordon still not feeling 100% from his recent heart attack, he sends Lieutenant Freeman in his place to assess the Outsiders situation. (Freeman says Gordon suffered a “stroke,” but that’s different, pal. He had a heart attack.) Halo bursts out of the ice, saving her teammates. The Outsiders then crash into the Cryonic Man’s lair, fend off his robot henchmen, and rescue Katana. After defeating the Cryonic Man, the heroes find a room where three people—Dr. Niles Raymond, his wife Bella Raymond, and the Cryonic Man’s girlfriend Melissa—remain in cryonic freeze chambers. After reviving them, the heroes learn that the Cryonic Man, a lab worker named Philip, was assistant to Dr. Raymond in the 1940s. The four all underwent cryonic freeze for what was supposed to have been until the 21st century, but Philip emerged early in 1973. Upon discovering that Melissa had a degenerative disease, Philip became the Cryonic Man, and he has been going on his organ-harvesting runs ever since in an effort to extend his own life and save Melissa’s. Dr. Raymond, Bella, and Melissa, upon learning what Philip has done, send an electric pulse from their chambers that not only kills Philip, but kills themselves as well.

–Batman #369
Picking up what must be at least a few weeks after Detective Comics #535, Alfred and Julia continue their investigation into the supposed death of Jacques ReMarque. As she has done ever since coming back into Alfred’s life, Julia gives essential investigative information to her father in piecemeal fashion and at randomly spaced intervals that don’t make much sense. This means Julia is one odd duck, stalling her own investigation for no apparent reason or—and this is more likely—writer Doug Moench’s script is very poor, and he’s simply kept his B-plot (Alfred and Julia’s arc) at pace with the A-plot (Batman and Jason’s arc) even though they operate at completely different paces. Thankfully, both plots finally converge now. Onto a synopsis. In Montreal, Alfred and Julia are targeted by Deadshot, narrowly surviving multiple assassination attempts. Alfred has had enough and immediately phones Batman for help. Batman tells Commissioner Gordon he’ll be out of town for a little bit and immediately goes to Montreal. After getting briefed by Alfred and Julia, Batman soon finds himself battling Deadshot in a park. Alfred and Julia arrive in the park as well. Julia points a gun at Deadshot, but Batman knocks the weapon with a Batarang, turning her would-be fatal shot into a flesh wound. Batman then tortures Deadshot into revealing that he was hired to kill Julia by none other than Jacques ReMarque. Concurrently, in Gotham, Harvey Bullock breaks up an illegal numbers game being run by a bartender with connections to the mob. Wanting to go undercover to bust the mob, Bullock demands an audience with the bartender’s boss.

–Detective Comics #536
Picking up directly from Batman #369, Batman delivers Deadshot to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and debriefs the detectives there. A police head tells Batman that Syrian terrorists are involved in the case somehow. While Batman investigates all over town, Deadshot escapes from jail, prompting a high speed police chase. Deadshot joins the aforementioned Syrian terrorists in a safe-house that is immediately surrounded by cops. A brash Julia enters the house, followed by a worried Alfred. In an underground passageway that connects to the sewer, Alfred and Julia find the terrorists handling stolen paintings from the Louvre. Batman arrives just in time to bust both the terrorists and Deadshot. Alfred and Julia leave, convinced that Jacques must truly be dead. Back in Gotham, the mob bartender (whose numbers racket was shut down by Harvey Bullock) meets with the big mob boss Dr. Fang and his assistant Woad. (Dr. Fang is a pro boxer and a fake vampire, just in case you were wondering.) Dr. Fang sets up a meeting with Bullock. Batman, Alfred, and Julia will stay in Montreal tying up so loose ends for the next few days. (Julia will go by both “Julia ReMarque” and “Julia Pennyworth,” moving forward.)

–Batman #370
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #536, Robin patrols Gotham solo since Batman hasn’t returned from Montreal yet. After fighting some of Dr. Fang’s henchmen, Robin tails them, but ultimately loses sight of them. Harvey Bullock meets with Dr. Fang and, posing as a corrupt cop, goes on his payroll. The next evening, Bruce, Jason, Alfred, and Julia have dinner at Wayne Manor. Bullock visits Wayne Manor to report that Dr. Fang is planning an illegal takeover of the Wayne Foundation. Later that night, Batman and Robin defeat dozens of Dr. Fang’s henchmen on the streets of Gotham. Robin confronts Dr. Fang himself, who loses one of his fake vampire teeth before escaping in his limo. Batman and Robin keep the tooth.

–Detective Comics #537
Picking up directly from Batman #370, Batman searches for Dr. Fang while Commissioner Gordon and Robin interrogate Dr. Fang’s henchmen at police HQ. A homeless man living in the sewer, Sixto Morales, shows Batman the murdered body of gangster Joe Gelesco, whom the Dark Knight recognizes from his crime-files. Batman confirms that some of Dr. Fang’s mobsters killed Gelesco when the goons venture down into the sewer to retrieve the body. Batman kicks their asses and then helps Morales start a new life. Concurrently, Julia moves into Wayne Manor. She’s happy to stay there, but questions why her father would dedicate his life to serving a playboy.

–Batman #371
Batman mentions that it’s been “at least a week” since Batman #370, meaning that this item likely occurs about nine or ten days after Detective Comics #537. Bruce, Jason, Alfred, and Julia have dinner at Wayne Manor, during which Bruce flirts with Julia. Vicki Vale phones Wayne Manor, but gets jealously enraged when Julia answers the phone. Commissioner Gordon summons the Dynamic Duo to tell them Cat-Man has escaped from prison. Two nights later, Batman and Robin bust Cat-Man at the museum. At police HQ, Cat-Man tells Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon about a bet he made against his old cell mate, burglar Shiv Collins. If Cat-Man were able to successfully rob the museum, then Shiv would tell him where a cache of hidden loot is located. Gordon, hoping to get his hands on the loot, has The Gotham Gazette print a false story saying that Cat-Man was victorious. The plan is to fool Collins, who is still behind bars, and then get him to spill the beans.

–Detective Comics #538
Picking up directly from Batman #371, Commissioner Gordon and Batman expand their ludicrous plan to learn where Shiv Collins’ loot is hidden. Gordon sends a false Cat-Man letter to Shiv, asking for the location of the loot, urging him to get out of the can as soon as possible. Collins, who had already been planning an escape since reading about Cat-Man’s success in the paper, goes through with it one night later. Gordon orders the prison guards to secretly assist with Collins’ escape. Collins then collects and dons the Cat-Man costume, after which Batman tails him. Thinking he is invincible due to Cat-Man’s supernatural costume, Collins marches onward with reckless abandon. Batman saves his life (secretly) several times, pushing him out the way of oncoming cars, etc. As Collins continues toward the loot, Batman realizes that (of course) the crook has hidden it in one of the caverns adjacent to Bruce Wayne’s property. The Dark Knight follows Collins into the depths, saving his life yet again during a rockslide. The two are separated—with Batman securing the loot and Collins falling through a damaged rock wall to find himself inside the Batcave! Batman finds Collins in the Batcave and kicks his ass. Later, Vicki Vale, hoping to chat with Bruce, visits Wayne Manor. Vicki meets Julia and spends some time with the whole gang. (From this point onward, Bruce and Vicki will start semi-dating again, but they’ll keep things slow and non-exclusive.)

–Batman #372 Part 1
This tale occurs a few weeks after Batman #370. Batman and Robin patrol, during which Robin shows Batman that he’s turned Dr. Fang’s tooth into a good luck charm on a necklace. Meanwhile, Dr. Fang sets into motion a gambling fix wherein which heavyweight champ Michael Greene will take a fall against tenth-ranked challenger Tommy Dunfey. The match won’t happen for a couple months.

–World’s Finest Comics #301
An editorial note places this item prior to “The Pantheon.” A super-villain named Siphon debuts. Using stolen STAR Labs tech, he attempts to siphon away Superman’s powers but only manages to turn the Man of Steel into a being made of pure electrical energy. Batman busts Siphon only to reluctantly team-up with him in an effort to contain the raging homicidal electric-Superman. Batman and Siphon escape from Superman and venture to the Batcave where the Dark Knight re-purposes Siphon’s energy weapon to be able to revert the Man of Steel back to his old self. When Superman smashes into the Batcave, Batman uses the weapon on him. It reverts him back to his old self, but it also causes Superman’s powers to go into Siphon. However, the powers of Superman are far too much for the wimpy Siphon to handle. He overloads and collapses in defeat.

–World’s Finest Comics #296-298 (“THE PANTHEON”)
Batman bears witness to the end of a museum smash-and-grab by the godlike super-villain team known as The Pantheon (Delta, Epsilon, Mu, Omicron, Rho, Sigma, and Zeta). When they injure a security guard, Batman opts to watch over the guard rather than chase the baddies. Batman and Commissioner Gordon tour the damaged museum afterward. Note that Commissioner Gordon’s appearance here is erroneous. While it’s definitely possible that Gordon appears, he’d still likely be using his cane and in recovery from his heart attack. He 100% would not be smoking his pipe, which illustrator Ross Andru has included by mistake. Meanwhile, Superman deals with the aftermath of a Pantheon terrorist attack at Gotham Airport, after which natural disasters occur in several major cities across the globe, including Gotham. Following the clues, Batman tracks the Pantheon to Mt Ossa (located in an unnamed fictional coastal nation that borders Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa). There, Batman finds wanton destruction, including ravaged villages, torched forests, and piles of corpses. Batman hikes through the jungle toward Mt Ossa, finding primeval flora and dinosaurs along his path! Due to the machinations of the Pantheon, time is warping around the mountain. Atop Mt Ossa, Batman is confronted by Rho. Rho claims that the Pantheon are gods that will soon rule over a transformed Earth. The entire Pantheon then defeats and captures Batman. Superman, having tracked the source of the natural disasters to Mt Ossa, arrives to see a towering crystal-like “cosmic tree” rise up from the ground. Superman chases Omicron to Cairo where the villain destroys the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, killing thousands. While Superman and Omicron do battle, Rho monologues to a bound Batman, telling him that the Pantheon received their next-evolutionary powers from exposure to a living alien diamond. Having traced the source of the diamond to Mt Ossa (thanks to information obtained from stolen museum artifacts), the Pantheon has initiated the growth of the cosmic tree, which will re-shape Earth in their image and make them lords of the planet. Superman shows up and rescues Batman, to which Batman quips, “Have you gotten over your qualms about interfering with international affairs?” Zing! Unable to get through to the JLA due to chronal-storm interference, Superman confronts the Pantheon alone only to get ensnared by the tendrils of the cosmic tree. Meanwhile, Batman swings through the jungle in an attempt to get help. He is swallowed up by a chronal-storm, finding himself blasted to the era of the dinosaurs. Batman and a dinosaur then get blasted to the era of cavemen. Batman helps the cavemen defeat the dinosaur, after which they create pottery with Bat-symbols on it. Batman soon finds himself returned to present day where he teams-up with a local villager to fend off a demon. Not long afterward, the Pantheon murders the villager and re-captures Batman with plans of making the Dark Knight and the villager’s wife the “Adam and Eve” of a new race of superior evolved humans. Superman, free from the cosmic tree, fights Zeta, who claims all the power of the Pantheon unto himself. He causes the volcanic destruction of the entire nation, defeating Superman in the process. Superman tells Zeta that he needn’t re-shape the world—that he can do something so much better with his vast power. A contemplative Zeta then undoes all the damage and resurrects the dead villagers before entering the cosmic tree to think about a new plan of action. (The action shown in the first part of “The Pantheon” is also recapped via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #299-300.)

–World’s Finest Comics #299-300 (“THE PANTHEON” Conclusion)
With the Pantheon down-and-out (except for an extra-powered Zeta, who has gone into the cosmic tree, and Mu, who is skulking about on the Moon for unknown reasons), Batman and Superman begin arguing about what each considers an international mission “worthy” of their attention. Batman is particularly miffed that the Man of Steel has chosen to intervene here in Southeastern Africa but he opted not to in Markovia earlier this year. Once the heroes cool down, they enter the cosmic tree to find Zeta calmly meditating in the middle of an immense black void. All of a sudden, Batman and Superman are transported to the alien world of Olda. A startled Batman is greeted by a group of alien beings that reveal that the cosmic tree was sent to Earth by their race as a harbinger of doom. Their species plans on killing all humans and making Earth their new colony as a replacement for a dying Olda. However, these particular aliens are part of a pacifist wing that hope to prevent this from happening. Meanwhile, Superman meets the warmongering rest of the alien race, learning about their genocidal imperialist plot. He also learns that one of the colonist leaders used the cosmic tree’s power-diamond to create the Pantheon as the first wave of ground assault against Earth. Batman and Superman meet up at the center of a dead cosmic tree, which has long sucked the life out of Olda. This is the very reason the aliens want to do it all over again with Earth. While Batman fights the evil aliens, Superman flies to the Moon and defeats Mu. Superman then briefs the JLA. Half the JLA meet and assist the Outsiders to help save lives in Gotham—where the cosmic tree roots have begun to burst through the ground and cause earthquakes. Concurrently, at Titans Tower, the Teen Titans hang out and discuss the fact that Dick still hasn’t come up withe a new superhero ID since passing the mantle of Robin to Jason Todd. Wonder Girl also discusses her recent engagement to her college professor Terry Long. In an instant, thanks to the machinations of the evil alien colonists, the Teen Titans are whisked into the middle of a Gordanian war in the year 5708. Across the universe, Superman leads the other half of the JLA to Olda. There, the JLA easily kicks the asses of the would-be colonists only to find that Zeta has now taken over Olda. His new plan is to rule both Earth and Olda. The JLA then begins fighting Zeta, who easily defeats them. Meanwhile, Batman gets sucked through time again, falling backward to the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock in 1621, then to the Civil War in the 1860s, and then to 1967 Smallville where he saves Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent during an armed robbery. (Note Smallville time-jaunt scene is written as occurring in December 1967, but that is an impossibility. It has to happen before Ma and Pa Kents’ deaths in 1964, before Clark moves to Metropolis to attend college.) The Outsiders, their new JLA partners, and the rest of the Pantheon also get sucked into the timestream, falling backward to WWII. The Outsiders and JLA help Sgt. Frank Rock and his Easy Company (Horace “Bulldozer” Canfield, Phillip “Ice Cream Soldier” Mason, Louis “Little Sure-Shot” Kiyahani, and Harold “Wildman” Shapiro) fight the Pantheon. When the Pantheon is aided by an alien battalion, the superheroes (except Halo) are quickly captured. Batman then appears in the 1940s, finding Halo. Batman and Halo enter the center of the time-flux, using it to travel to present day Olda. There, Batman and Superman plead with Zeta to change his mind about ruling dual planets. Convinced, Zeta teleports the Outsiders, Teen Titans, JLA, and Pantheon to Olda. He commands them all to work together and help him fix Olda. Sure enough, the planet is soon restored to its former healthy glory. Shortly thereafter, the heroes return to Earth to find that Zeta has removed the cosmic tree and dispatched with the would-be colonist aliens. Batman and Superman, once again disagreeing over what constitutes a scenario worth superhero intervention, argue like petulant children and then refuse to speak to one another. Wonder Woman tells them to quit being babies and they make up, embracing as comrades and friends.

–World’s Finest Comics #302 Part 2
Picking up directly from the end of “The Pantheon,” Batman and Superman go to a local pub near Mount Ossa for some brews and some bro time. After roughing up the locals, Batman and Superman decide to return to Gotham to have brunch with Alfred.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #556 Epilogue. Batman tells Superman all about his new Robin, Jason Todd. (Superman won’t actually meet Jason for a few months.)

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #312. Batman and Superman begin communicating on a brand new secret radio frequency.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #381. Batman prevents knife-wielding crooks from robbing a newsstand run by a guy named Joe.

–Batman and The Outsiders #8
December 23-25. Commissioner Gordon sends Batman along with Lieutenant Freeman to the suburbs to investigate the scene of an infant kidnapping. The next morning, the Outsiders train in Batcave II, except for Jefferson Pierce, who visits the grave of Trina Shelton, a girl that was killed during a Black Lightning case a few years ago. At the far end of the cemetery, Trina’s parents (Sam Shelton and Marcia Shelton), who blame Black Lightning for their daughter’s death, hire New Wave (of the super-villain group known as The Masters of Disaster) to kill Black Lightning. Later, Lieutenant Freeman reports that they’ve arrested the kidnapper, but he’s a feeble old man in a catatonic state, unable to reveal the location of the baby. Batman doesn’t trust that this is the right suspect, and the Phantom Stranger shows up to encourage Batman to continue the search. Batman does so and quickly discovers that the old man they’ve arrested is the kidnapped baby, who has somehow aged rapidly. As Christmas Eve wears on, a lonely Rex Mason tries to phone Sapphire Stagg, but Simon Stagg refuses to connect them. (Rex and Sapphire were recently engaged to be married, but it didn’t pan out.) At his mansion, a lonely Brion Markov tries to phone Markovia, but he can’t get through. Lieutenant Freeman and Batman then visit a nursery school where all the kids have rapidly aged. The Phantom Stranger appears to the Dark Knight again, telling him all will be revealed on Xmas Day. On the 25th, Batman orders Tatsu, Gaby, Rex, and Jefferson to deliver presents to the hospital on behalf of the Wayne Foundation. He orders Geo-Force to patrol Gotham. A baby is delivered, but as soon as it comes out of the womb it forms into a full adult—the evil chaos wizard Tannarak. Having been previously defeated by the Phantom Stranger and reduced to a floating non-corporeal form, Tannarak had been usurping baby bodies and aging them to sap their energy. Now back in tip top form, Tannarak (along with some possessed newborns) battles against the Phantom Stranger and the Outsiders. The Phantom Stranger kills Tannarak, after which all the little ones affected by his curse revert back to their old selves. Even the distraught new mom gives birth to a new baby. Halo asks the Phantom Stranger if he know her true identity, but he says he doesn’t.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 25. As he does every holiday season, Batman gives an Xmas gift to Commissioner Gordon. He usually gives Gordon pipe tobacco, but, in light of Gordon’s recent heart attack, we should assume Batman gives him something healthier. At least I hope he does!

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #304. Superman perfects his “super hypnosis” technique with Batman. Superman uses hypnosis to enhance Batman’s eidetic memory, allowing the Man of Steel to “see into the past through Batman’s eyes.”


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The Super Powers Collection series, mini-comics that came with each Kenner superhero action figure released in 1983-1984, features Batman in a handful of issues. Batman appears in Super Powers Collection #2, Super Powers Collection #5-9, and Super Powers Collection #11. These mini-comics are out-of-continuity, canon only on Earth-32 and Earth-B.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: A site contributor once insisted that “Batman in SOS: Save Our Snakes!”—a one page print advertisement for Sears’ Magic Snake toys that ran in some 1982 comics—had to be Earth-1 canon, demanding that I include it on this chronology. Like the Hostess ads (and all other Silver/Bronze Age product ad comics), this one is 100% non-canon. In fact, this mention is the closest “SOS” will ever get to being on the timeline.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: DC Sampler was a three-issue mini-series from November 1983 to November 1984 that was completely comprised of previews and advertisements for upcoming or ongoing comics. While most of the previews and ads in all three issues cannot be mistaken for original content, the Batman and The Outsiders ad in DC Sampler #1 is a curious case because it shows the Outsiders busting an escaped Joker. This sequence is not lifted from any other book, nor is it previewing something that is to come. As such, a lot of folks on the web regard this as a canon Outsiders story. However, similarly to how I regard all Silver and Bronze Age ad comics (even ones that aren’t shilling pastries or toys), I’m hesitant to include DC Sampler #1 on our timeline. It’s up to you whether or not you consider the DC Sampler magazines in-continuity, but I’m leaving them off my chronology.

3 Responses to Bronze Year 17

  1. Pocok says:


    Where does Brave and the Bold #197 fit into the picture here? Was it missed by accident or on purpose? Thank you in advance!

  2. James IV says:

    Quick question: a footnote in WFC #301 underneath the title states that this story takes place before the whole Pantheon saga (WFC #296-300). Did you disregard it due to continuity matters, or did you miss it, because it is quite small that I missed it the first time I read it.

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