Bronze Year 18


–Batman #372 Part 2
Bruce and Alfred discuss a big boxing card scheduled for the next evening. The main event features heavyweight champ Michael Greene against tenth-ranked challenger Tommy Dunfey, with special guest referee Jake DeMansky. Unknown to all but Greene and Dunfey, Dr. Fang has put in the fix. Greene is set to take a dive, which will earn Dr. Fang big bucks. When a possible threat is made against DeMansky by an unrelated white supremacist psycho, Batman and Commissioner Gordon are put on alert. The next night, the big fight kicks off with an anxious audience—including the boxing commissioner and Greene’s family (Mrs. Greene and their two children—watching with bated breath. A few rounds into the bout, the combatants decide they’d rather have a legit contest—much to the joy of Dunfey’s cornerman Rudy Quinn, but much to the chagrin of Dr. Fang. Watching from the rafters, Batman spots a gunman aiming for DeMansky, swoops down, and takes a bullet in his arm while apprehending the would-be assassin. Later, Dr. Fang orders the execution of Greene for disobeying his orders. Batman is nearby but too late to save Greene, who is shot dead.

–Detective Comics #539
Batman learns that Dr. Fang’s man Woad is responsible for Michael Greene’s murder. Soon after, Batman teams-up with Tommy to search for Woad and Dr. Fang. After shaking down Woad’s buddy Snake, Batman and Dunfey learn that Dr. Fang and Woad are in hiding. Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Julia tells her dad that she plans on getting her own apartment in the city and applying for a job at Vicki Vale’s Picture News. Soon, Batman and Dunfey find the men they’ve been seeking. Dunfey and Dr. Fang face-off in a one-on-one boxing match. When Dr. Fang gets his clock cleaned, Woad puts a bullet into Dunfey. Even injured, Dunfey still kayos Dr. Fang. Batman brings all the crooks to jail.

–Action Comics #556 Epilogue
Earth-2’s Vandal Savage has spent the past couple months smearing Superman. With his reputation in shambles, prepares for his superhero career to come to an end. Clark has a heartfelt chat with his new girlfriend Lana Lang (!) and then flies to the Batcave. Batman and Superman chat, after which the Man of Steel finally meets the Jason Todd for the first time. Superman then confronts Vandal Savage, who monologues about how he’s framed Superman. Unknown to Vandal Savage, his monologue is broadcast on live TV, ruining his entire plot.

–World’s Finest Comics #303
Bruce opens some mail, finding an invitation to a pleasure cruise set to launch in a few hours. Bruce opts to go, but gets called away on some unspecified business that prevents him from taking the trip. A day later, while patrolling, Batman finds the cruise in one of Gotham’s harbors, but everyone aboard has been turned into skeletons by exposure to a strange green snowy substance. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, a the green Kryptonite snow falls from the sky, spreading a plague that causes everyone, including a cuddly Lana Lang and Clark Kent, to collapse. A mystery villain calling himself The Alchemist sends ransom to the city government, demanding $25 million or else green snow will turn everyone into skeletons. At the Science Institute in Gotham, Batman busts some crooks that are trying to steal some Kryptonite. Batman then visits pandemic expert Dr. Fenton Keene, recruiting him to find a cure. The next day, Superman visits Batman in the Batcave and begins working on a cure of his own. While the Man of Steel works in the lab, Batman creates a special hazmat Bat-suit and heads out into the Kryptonite strewn streets of Metropolis. After meeting with Dr. Keene for a second time, Batman deduces that the doctor is the Alchemist. Batman and Commissioner Gordon cook up a scheme that involves filming a fake news broadcast that says all of Metropolis has been killed. Batman then shows the news broadcast to Dr. Keene, who gives the antidote formula to Batman, hoping to get fame and fortune from preventing the plague from spreading to other cities. Superman whips up the antidote and saves Metropolis while Batman busts Dr. Keene. Meanwhile, off the coast of Costa Rica, some fishermen discover hidden treasure and the frozen body of the all-powerful being known as X’ult (aka Xul’t). (X’ult is a 16th century alien super-villain, and Null and Void’s powers originate from him.)

–Superman Annual #11
Late February. For Superman’s upcoming birthday, Bruce has a horticulturist breed a new type of rose called “The Krypton.” On February 29 (Superman’s b-day), Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman travel to the Fortress of Solitude to celebrate Superman’s birthday. Robin meets Wonder Woman for the first time. Inside the Fortress, the heroes find a catatonic Man of Steel trapped in a state of deep hallucination thanks to an alien Black mercy plant attached to his chest. The tyrant ruler of Warworld, Mongul, emerges and explains that he has done this to Superman. The Black Mercy causes one to hallucinate their heart’s desire. Superman’s hallucination features a Krypton that never exploded, upon which he raised a loving family and lives a contented life. While Wonder Woman fights Mongul, Batman is able to remove the Black Mercy, which reattaches itself to the Dark Knight, delivering him a hallucination where his parents were never killed and he marries Kathy Kane. Superman awakens in a rage and begins to battle Mongul. Robin removes the Black Mercy from Batman and attaches it to Mongul, saving the day! Later, Wonder Woman gives Superman a crystal model of Kandor. Batman’s rose has been crushed, but he gives it to Superman anyway.

–Batman and The Outsiders #9-10
First off, Batman and The Outsiders #9 tells us that Black Lighting is currently thirty-years-old. However, it also tells us that Black Lightning debuted at age twenty-seven. Since Black Lightning debuted in early 1979, this math is fuzzy as hell. If Black Lightning is currently thirty, then he must have debuted at age twenty-six, not twenty-seven. Onto a synopsis. The Masters of Disaster (New Wave, Coldsnap, Heatstroke, Windfall, and Shakedown) bolster their strength by taking over the rackets of Gotham gangster Morgan Jones as they prep for an all-out attack on Black Lightning. Meanwhile, Brian Markov enrolls in a science graduate program at Gotham Community College, meeting co-ed Denise Howard. The next day, Bruce attends the grand opening of a new housing project that Wayne Enterprises has secretly funded. With a blonde babe named Meredith by his side (in order to keep up playboy appearances), Bruce acts like a dick and sips champagne on while being interviewed by Joan Lincoln on live TV. The Masters of Disaster show up, which leads to an epic battle between the villains and the Outsiders. The villains kidnap Black Lightning and flee, later chaining him up and presenting him before an angry Marcia Shelton. Batman disguises himself as Matches Malone and—along with a disguised Geo-Force and Metamorpho—meets with Jones, purchasing an audience with the Masters of Disaster, so that he can witness the pending execution of Black Lightning. Soon after learning the hidden undersea location of the Masters of Disasters’ hideout, the Outsiders rescue Black Lightning and defeat the baddies. During the fight, Windfall refuses to use lethal tactics, much to the chagrin of her fellow Masters of Disaster teammates. Marcia Shelton, realizing the error of her ways, betrays the villains to save Black Lightning. Concurrently, Takeo Yamashiro (Tatsu’s yakuza brother-in-law) arrives in Gotham.

–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.

–World’s Finest Comics #304-307
Peter McDonald (aka Peter McBryde aka Void) goes on trial, during which Batman and Superman are called as witnesses. The silver-tongued McDonald defends himself and gets his case dismissed. Batman trails McDonald, who meets up with Sol Baxter. He eavesdrops, learning that they are going to Costa Rica to check out the frozen man (X’ult) and treasure that were discovered there just a few days ago. Bruce and Clark travel to Costa Rica to find that the frozen man and treasure—under guard by the Costa Rican military—are being contested for by the US Navy, British Royal Navy, Swedish Royal Navy, Soviet Navy, and Cuban Revolutionary Navy. Bruce chats with Baxter and McDonald upon arrival. That night, Batman discovers that Baxter and McDonald are Null and Void. Soon after, Batman fights them. Meanwhile, Superman scours the ocean floor where the frozen man and treasure were found, discovering two perfectly preserved 16th century pirates frozen in ice. He brings them to the surface and then joins Batman’s fight. Void sends Superman, the frozen man, and the treasure to the surreal alternate “void dimension.” Batman gets caught between warring ships as the Swedes and Russians break the pirate iceberg in twain, taking one frozen pirate each for themselves. Null and Void argue, which leads to Null punching-out Void. Void flees into the “void dimension” and joins up with a now-unfrozen X’ult while Superman escapes back to Costa Rica. Superman chases after the Russians (but doubles back rather than accost them in Cuban territorial waters) while Batman and Baxter chase after the Swedes. Aboard the Swedish vessel, Baxter—whose powers are also shared with the pirates—resurrects the frozen pirate, who reveals himself to be a super-powered swashbuckler named Swordfish. (He and the other pirate, his partner Barracuda, were battling their rival X’ult in the late 16th century before they were all frozen.) Batman, Null, and Swordfish break into a Cuban military compound in hopes of unfreezing Barracuda. There, they best Cuban and Soviet soldiers but are no match for the arriving Void and X’ult. Superman is also bested by X’ult, who unfreezes Barracuda and mind-controls her, turning her into his obedient “queen.” Eventually, the heroes defeat the villains and the time-displaced pirates are sent back to the 16th century.

–Batman #373
Warden Clark, the director of Arkham Asylum, is forced to release a supposedly rehabilitated Jonathan Crane. Shortly thereafter, making good on her promise to seek employment at Picture News Magazine (which she actually made months ago), Julia meets with a surprised Vicki Vale and asks for a job. Vicki agrees to a discussion about a position at the company. Meanwhile, Scarecrow attacks the courthouse, hoping to get revenge on Joker (stemming from their prior interaction in Detective Comics #529). Batman briefs Robin about Scarecrow and they intervene, but the villain has new fear-inducing tech for which they aren’t prepared. Scarecrow gets the best of them and escapes. The next day, the Gotham Child Welfare Bureau opens an investigation into Bruce’s parenting, citing that Jason has been habitually falling asleep in class. A caseworker named Amanda Groscz is assigned. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock, having gained mutual respect for one another, become an odd couple of friends. Across town, Mayor Hamilton Hill (along with Hill’s righthand man Blevins) meets with some of Dr. Fang’s henchmen and arranges a hit on Bullock in exchange for a full pardon for Dr. Fang. A night later, Batman is lured into a deathtrap at the zoo while Robin takes on Scarecrow one-on-one. (The end of this issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #540.)

–Detective Comics #540
Picking up directly from the end of Batman #373, Batman shakes off a hallucination of Robin getting killed, kayos some crocodiles, and studies Scarecrow’s fear-inducing device. Meanwhile, Robin chases Scarecrow into the latter’s “haunted house.” Across town, Mayor Hamilton Hill’s hired hitmen (Dr. Fang’s henchmen) fire sniper shots at Bullock in his office. They botch the assassination attempt but depart thinking that they’ve successfully neutralized their target. Batman joins Robin, after which they figure out a way to jam Scarecrow’s fear signal. The Dynamic Duo then easily busts Scarecrow. (A flashback from World’s Finest Comics #321 shows a generic scene of Batman fighting Scarecrow that is likely from this adventure.)

–Batman #374
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #540, Penguin—inexplicably released from prison—robs a jewelry store. Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Bullock examine the crime scene. At Wayne Manor, Julia tells Alfred that she’s procured a job at Picture News Magazine. Julia also incorrectly says she’s been living at Wayne Manor for “weeks,” but she’s been there for many months. Vicki Vale phones Alfred to invite Bruce to a Picture News staff party scheduled for next week. Penguin shows up at Vicki’s office, demanding she do a story about him. She refuses, but secretly snaps photos of him during their conversation. The next night, Penguin’s henchmen rob a charity gala after which Penguin calmly greets Batman and Robin, telling them that he had nothing to do with the burglary. At the mayoral mansion, Mayor Hamilton Hill chews out his hired hitmen (Dr. Fang’s henchmen) for having failed to kill Bullock. A full week later, Bruce attends the Picture News staff party. While Julia flirts with Bruce, journalist Bill Modell flirts with Vicki. Penguin and his goons interrupt by robbing the party and kidnapping Modell. Penguin uses Sodium Pentothal to get top secret Pentagon information out of Modell, after which he flees from an angry Batman, who kicks his henchmen’s asses. The next day, at the Gotham Child Welfare Bureau, Amanda Groscz delivers an opening brief to one of her superiors about Jason Todd, incorrectly mentioning that his parents died “late last year.” The Todds were killed two years ago. In any case, Amanda reports that Jason’s adoption has still not been legally approved by the government. (The end of this issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #541. And a flashback from World’s Finest Comics #321 shows a generic scene of Batman fighting Penguin that is likely from this adventure.)

–Detective Comics #541
Picking up directly from Batman #374, Vicki Vale takes Bill Modell back to her place following his Penguin ordeal. Batman shows up, interrupting Vicki and Modell kissing! Modell tells Batman that Penguin plans to sell Pentagon defense secrets to the Soviets. Batman tracks Penguin to Antarctica, gears up with snow-equipment, and flies south only to have the Batplane immediately shot down upon arrival. Meanwhile, Amanda Groscz phones Alfred, telling him that the Gotham Welfare Bureau has an open case about Jason’s wellbeing and legal status. In Antarctica, Batman chases after Penguin through the frozen wasteland, learning that Penguin has a metahuman immunity to cold temperatures! Batman finally catches Penguin at a Soviet base, learning that Penguin was only trying to sell stolen umbrellas to the Russians. (He was going to ransom the Pentagon secrets back to the US government at a later date.) Batman drags Penguin back to the States and then meets with Modell, who tells the Dark Knight that the Pentagon secrets in question were actually part of a US State Department disinformation campaign designed to confuse the Soviets. The whole thing was a wild goose chase from the start. As referenced in Batman #375, Bruce will feel chilly for a full week following this frozen adventure.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #14. A man named Blaine becomes the new head administrator of Arkham Asylum. Batman meets the new administrator, telling him to move Maxie Zeus to the maximum security wing. Blaine doesn’t heed his advice, prompting Batman to tell him again. Batman will tell Blaine to move Maxie Zeus to the maximum security wing nine more times over the course of the next several weeks.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #375. Batman and Robin give a new mobile Bat-Signal to the GCPD.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1. The US Government’s American Security Agency (ASA) secretly snaps photos and shoots video of the Outsiders while they fighting some crooks. The ASA begins making detailed files on each Outsider.

–Batman #375
Mr. Freeze uses a giant freeze cannon to make underground ice caverns that lead from downtown Gotham to the suburbs. After Mr. Freeze submerges an entire suburban bank, Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin survey the scene. Vicki Vale and Julia Remarque also show up, falling through the ice into the tunnels below. Meanwhile, Amanda Groscz arrives at Wayne Manor to find that neither Bruce nor Jason are there, all but cementing Jason’s fate in the eyes of the Gotham Child Welfare Bureau. In the ice tunnels, Batman and Robin bust Mr. Freeze and his gang. After being rescued, Julia smooches Batman on the lips. Back home, a shaken Alfred tells Bruce and Jason that the Welfare Bureau is coming for Jason.

–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 #542
Late June. Another Mayor Hamilton Hill-hired assassin (another Dr. Fang henchman) tries to kill Harvey Bullock, but Batman and Robin are there to make sure he is safe. The next day, Amanda Groscz (with Bullock) takes Jason into the custody of the Gotham Child Welfare Bureau. Bruce tells Alfred to get every Wayne Enterprises lawyer mobilized. Lucius Fox and a cadre of lawyers arrive at Wayne Manor to figure out a plan of action with Bruce. When the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky, Bruce decides to ignore it and continue working with the lawyers, citing that getting Jason back is more important. Jason, seeing the Bat-Signal from his new home at the Welfare Bureau residence, sneaks out and (as Robin) meets with Bullock. When a hitman named Slade tries to knock-off Bullock, Robin saves him. Batman, having changed his mind, shows up to assist Bullock and Robin in busting the would-be assassin.

–Batman #376 Part 1
Late June. Julia officially moves out of Wayne Manor. Batman does his routine patrol. In the morning, Bruce sulks in Jason’s old room, bummed that he’s now stuck in the custody of the Gotham Child Welfare Bureau. Alfred reports to Bruce his belief that a company called Nightmares Incorporated, which specializes in high adrenaline novelty performances of any fear fantasy one could desire, has been using its service to case wealthy clientele before robbing them at a later date. Batman breaks into Nightmares Inc HQ, listening in on the organization’s leader Nightshade (Sturges Hellstrom) while he chats with his employees Schreck and Lee. After studying up on Nightshade with Harvey Bullock, Batman visits a couple of Nightshade’s clients that were robbed shortly after using his service. Setting up a sting, Bruce sends out invites for an Explorers Club party (set to occur in a few days) and hires Nightmares Inc to spook his guests.

–Batman and The Outsiders #11-13 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT KATANA”)
Late June. Brion Markov and Tatsu Yamashiro get dinner, after which they fend off some goons hired by Tatsu’s brother Takeo. Tatsu then buys a pet kitten for Gaby. She names it Tiger. At their penthouse, Katana and Halo are attacked by Takeo, who steals the Soultaker Sword. The next day, Brion starts his first day of graduate school (summer session) while Gaby floats through her final days of her freshman year of high school. Gaby’s high school co-ed Phil Collins asks her out on a date. When Tatsu bolts to Japan to take care of her family affairs, the Outsiders join her. Meanwhile, Takeo delivers the Soultaker to the oyabun (leader) of the yakuza, Noguri. In an occult ritual, Noguri summons forth the spirits trapped within the blade—Anthor Stoneaxe, Blowdart, Nunchaku, Shuriken, and Maseo (Tatsu’s husband). The Outsiders take the yakuza head-on only to find that the Soultaker spirits are under the control of Noguri. After fighting the warriors to a stalemate, the heroes gather around Katana to learn her origin story. Katana’s brother Takeo murdered her husband Maseo and caused the deaths of their two young children. The next day, the Outsiders fight the Soultaker spirits once more, this time defeating them. Katana regains the Soultaker and kills her brother, imprisoning his soul inside the blade as well. En route back to the States, Batman passes out, having been poisoned by Blowdart. The Outsiders rush Batman to Gotham General, but when they can’t help him, they take him to Alfred, learning that Batman is Bruce Wayne in the process. A hallucinating Batman ditches his teammates and heads out into the streets, leaving the Outsiders to chase after him. But the Outsiders run into Morgan Jones’ top man Mayme, who sends his shock troops against the heroes. Mayme and his men best the Outsiders, but Batman shows up, mistaking Mayme for Joe Chill. Batman helps his team bust the bad guys before collapsing once again. Back at Wayne Manor, a straightened-out Batman recovers with his teammates. He officially unmasks and shares his secret ID with them.

–Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 Epilogue
July 1. The Teen Titans have just been burdened by the terrible “Judas Contract” episode. Dick, who has now debuted as Nightwing, fills-in Batman on the details. Terra (Geo-Force’s teenage half-sister, Tara Markov) revealed that she was working for Deathstroke the Terminator. (Terra was also sleeping with Deathstroke, whose dalliance was not only manipulative, but also statutory rape of a minor.) After Terra and Deathstroke attacked the Teen Titans, Deathstroke’s son Jericho (Joseph Wilson) officially joined the team’s ranks, helping them win the day. Sadly, Terra was killed during the fray. The Teen Titans, Outsiders, Dr. Helga Jace, and Terry Long are all present for the sad funeral of Terra. (Despite still being seriously ill as a result of Blowdart’s poisoning, Batman attends the funeral.) Jericho and Adeline Kane-Wilson (Deathstroke’s ex-wife and Jericho’s mother) pay their respects after the others have left the cemetery. Note that Dick’s new moniker is an homage to one of his best friends, Jimmy Olsen, who used to masquerade as the superhero Nightwing when he was in the Bottle City of Kandor.

–Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1 Part 1
July 2. Batman tells Geo-Force the full details of the late Terra’s betrayal. Seeing how upset he is, Batman orders a new Geo-Force costume for him. Later, Batman (still ill from Blowdart’s poison) and Lieutenant Freeman investigate a break-in and robbery at STAR Labs. Meanwhile, the rest of the Outsiders visit Brion Markov in an effort to cheer him up about the loss of his half-sister. They deliver the new costume, which has a positive effect upon the saddened hero. When Blowdart’s poison continues to course through his veins and affect his system negatively, Batman reluctantly agrees to take a break. The Dark Knight turns the STAR Labs case over to his team, giving them fake IDs and sending them to Virginia to investigate suspects B Eric Blairman and Laraine Blairman—the radical Right Wing sibling heads of the American Security Agency (ASA). The Outsiders will face-off against the ASA’s super-team known as The Force of July (Lady Liberty, Major Victory, Mayflower, Silent Majority, and Sparkler) for the next few Batman-less days of Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1 Part 2.

–Batman #376 Part 2
July 2. Bruce hosts his party at Wayne Manor (a sting to set up Nightmares Inc), which is attended by members of the Explorer’s Club, Vicki Vale, and Julia Remarque-Pennyworth. The Nightmares Inc crew shows up as expected, but Batman secretly watches as they clearly case the mansion for valuables. Later, Batman—now fully recovered from his previous Blowdart poisoning—revisits the Nightmares Inc office only to be attacked by Nightshade. After fighting to a stalemate, Nightshade flees across town to meet his boss—Nocturna!

–Detective Comics #543
July 2-5. Picking up directly from Batman #376, Gotham News picks up the story about Bruce vying for custody of Jason Todd, printing it as front page copy for the world to see. While Bruce meets with his lawyers, Nocturna speaks with Jason at the Child Welfare Bureau home, telling the boy to meet her later for a discussion. Bruce phones the Picture News office hoping to set up a date with Vicki, but when Julia answers, he winds up making a date with her instead! After a sexually-tense dinner, Julia invites Bruce into her place for a nightcap and asks if she can kiss him. Bruce says he wants to do both but walks away, citing that they might regret it in the morning. Concurrently, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock pull Bullock’s would-be assassin Slade out of jail and bring him to police HQ for interrogation. At Mayor Hamilton Hill’s mansion, the devious mayor demands Bullock’s head on a platter and also tells one of his cronies to make sure that Bruce doesn’t get custody of Jason. Later, Lucius Fox phones Bruce with some wild news: Natalia Knight has filed adoption paperwork for Jason! Soon after, Batman fights against the Nightmares Inc crew, but an escaped Anton Knight shows up and kills Nightshade. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #545.) Schreck and Lee are taken into custody. Two days later, Bruce and Natalia attend a hearing to decide Jason’s fate. Natalia suggests that they get married to share joint custody of the boy.

–Batman #377
July 5-6. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #543, Bruce and Natalia Knight vie against each other in court over custody of Jason Todd. A judge—who is in Mayor Hamilton Hill’s pocket—leans in favor of giving Natalia full custody of the boy. (As referenced in Detective Comics #544, Bruce suspects that Mayor Hill might be meddling with his affairs. Detective Comics #544 also tells us that a second and final custody hearing is set to occur later.) During this preliminary hearing, Bruce is shocked to learn that Jason has already given his approval to the idea of Natalia being his mom. As evening falls, Batman visits Jason at his Child Welfare Bureau home to question him about this. Jason says he only agreed to be adopted by Natalia so he could expose her as Nocturna. Batman then visits the prison where Anton Knight escaped, now referring to Anton as “Night-Slayer” instead of Thief of Night (now that he’s committed murder). Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred and Bruce discuss all their current woes over a game of chess. While suiting up for patrol, Batman muses to himself about how he has feelings for Vicki, Julia, and Nocturna. Batman visits Nocturna only to be attacked by a jealous Night-Slayer. The two fight, but Nocturna shoots Night-Slayer in the back. Nocturna kisses a dazed Batman. (This end scene is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #545.)

–Detective Comics #544
July 6-7. Picking up directly from Batman #377, Nocturna tells Batman that he knows his secret ID. Meanwhile, a bloody Night-Slayer runs off, prompting Batman to chase after him. (Night-Slayer’s escape is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #545.) Nocturna meets with Robin to tell him that she knows his secret ID as well. After Mayor Hamilton Hill arranges for Slade to be bailed out jail, Batman tails Slade and scares the truth out of him. Slade spills the beans about Mayor Hill’s corruption. Without any real evidence, Batman is in no place to bring Mayor Hill down. For now, Batman simply visits Mayor Hill’s mansion and spooks him. In the Batcave, Batman sits and ponders about how he will deal with everything that’s unfolding. (Note that the follow-up to this issue, Batman #378, can be read as picking up directly following the conclusion of ‘tec #544, showing Batman spooking Mayor Hill and brooding in the Batcave. However, while those scenes mirror our conclusion here, they can also be read as wholly different scenes—and they should be read that way, especially to make necessary room for Batman and The Outsiders. This is a prime example of Doug Moench writing ongoing narrative without giving any space for other titles or arcs. With regard to Moench’s work, we need to seek out ellipses—or even invent them—wherever we can in order to accommodate the rest of the timeline.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1 Epilogue. July 7. Batman hears that his Outsiders have finally defeated the Force of July and stopped a devious fascist plot by the Blairmans to launch a Big Brother spy satellite. Before heading out on patrol, Batman stops by Batcave II and leaves a note telling his team he is proud of them.

–Batman and The Outsiders #14 Part 1
July 7-8. Picking up directly from the Batman-less end of Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1, Brion Markov tails Gaby Doe and Phil Collins while the latter two go on a date. Just after the date ends, Gaby spots Brion, grabs him, and drags him up to the penthouse. Brion tells Gaby and Tatsu that he was just making sure Gaby wasn’t being taken advantage of by a strange boy. Tatsu tells Brion she knows he meant well but to never to stalk Gaby again. The next day, Brion attends Dean Raeburn‘s graduate class at Gotham Community College with Denise Howard and Alisa Travers. Gaby tries to set up Tatsu with her geometry teacher Mr. Takami, but Tatsu scolds her for trying to do so. Meanwhile, Batman learns that Maxie Zeus has escaped from Arkham Asylum. The Dark Knight scolds Arkham’s head administrator Blaine, finding a clue that tells him Maxie Zeus will target the upcoming Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, Maxie Zeus then video-phones with The Monitor and Harbinger (Lyla Michaels), who reside aboard their giant interdimensional satellite HQ. The Monitor, incorrectly calling Maxie Zeus “Maxwell” (his name is Maximilian, not Maxwell), offers to help him with his next scheme. Meanwhile, Brion brings Alisa home after a hot date only to find Gaby waiting to get revenge by pretending to be his girlfriend. After Alisa storms-off, Geo-Force chases after Halo. They argue but then kiss passionately. This is pretty fucked up because Halo is only sixteen-years-old and Geo Force is in his mid-twenties. (Don’t worry—our esteemed writers will eventually realize this relationship is a bad idea and back away quickly, although not soon enough.) Across town, Metamorpho tries to phone Sapphire Stagg but only gets ahold of an angry Simon Stagg, who tells him to stop calling. Jefferson Pierce phones his ex-girlfriend Lynn Stewart, but she is occupied with a date.

–Batman #378
Mid July. It’s been a little over a week since Batman discovered Mayor Hamilton Hill was behind Harvey Bullock’s assassination attempts and screwing him over in child custody court. However, Batman still doesn’t have the evidence that he needs to put Hill away. Despite this, Batman returns to Mayor Hill’s mansion and confronts him face-to-face for the first time. (He showed up there to spook him before, but didn’t make his presence fully known.) Afterward, Batman broods in the Batcave, thinking about Mayor Hill, Nocturna, Night-Slayer, and the fact that the final court decision about Jason Todd’s fate is set to happen in less than twenty-four hours. In court, Amanda Groscz, whose had a change of heart having gotten to know Jason better, tries to convince a judge to release him into Bruce’s custody, but the judge rules in favor of Natalia Knight, deeming that there will be on final court session in a week’s time to make it official. Later, Alfred, Julia, and Vicki all try to console Bruce, but he storms off in anger. Taking to the streets, Batman searches for Night-Slayer in vain before heading to Nocturna’s penthouse hotel room. There, he finds Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), who is attempting to rob Nocturna. Mad Hatter mind-controls Nocturna into attacking the Dark Knight. Robin shows up just in time to snatch away Mad Hatter’s brainwashing computer, which brings Nocturna back to her senses. Mad Hatter makes a clean getaway.

–Detective Comics #545
Mid July. Picking up directly from Batman #378, Bruce hacks into Mad Hatter’s mind-control computer and then delivers it to Lucius Fox, asking him to search for any clues leading to Mad Hatter’s possible whereabouts. Batman searches for Night-Slayer once again, realizing that he went into the sewers after getting shot by Nocturna. Unknown to Batman, Night-Slayer has been recuperating with a blind woman named Tina and her dog Cerberus, who found the injured villain and took him into their care. Night-Slayer has convinced the gullible sightless gal that he is Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #380. Batman searches hospitals and morgues for the missing Night-Slayer. While unseen on our timeline ahead, Batman will periodically search for the missing Night-Slayer over the course of the next three months.

–REFERENCE: In Tales of the Teen Titans #50. Bruce receives an invitation to the wedding of Donna Troy and Terry Long.

–Batman #379
A week has passed since Batman #378. Julia Remarque—going solely by “ReMarque” (sans “Pennyworth” now)—covers the final day of the Jason Todd custody trial for Picture News. Julia’s article mentions that she lived at Wayne Manor for only a month, which is ridiculous. She was there for about eight months! The final day of trial is a mere formality. A judge declares that Jason will go home with Natalia Knight immediately with the official adoption going into legal effect in two-and-a-half weeks. Later, while Vicki Vale rejects the advances of a persistent Bill Modell, a disheartened Bruce gets a drink with Julia but rejects her advances as well. Back home, Bruce and Alfred watch a TV news report by Olivia Ortega that highlights how Batman hasn’t been seen with Robin in nearly a week. Later, Batman busts one of Mad Hatter’s henchmen, who is able to put a tracer bug onto the Dark Knight’s cape. Batman arrives at Nocturna’s penthouse to interrupt a very creepy and overtly sexual bedtime story session between mother and newly adoptive son. Batman and Robin head out on patrol with Nocturna secretly following them. While Batman and Robin take down Mad Hatter’s henchmen, Nocturna busts Mad Hatter (and his chimp Carol Lewis). Meanwhile, the badly injured Night-Slayer continues to recover at Tina’s house.

–Batman and The Outsiders #14 Part 2
July 28. The Outsiders (in their civilian guises) attend the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, anticipating Maxie Zeus’ pending attack. Bob Costas and Chet Wilcox interview Jefferson Pierce and Brion Markov on live TV. (Jefferson is a 1976 Olympic gold medalist and Brion is a Markovian prince, hence the network having interest in putting them on air during the ceremony.) Sure enough, backed with some super-powered heavies provided by the Monitor, Maxie Zeus shows up and takes control of the stadium. Maxie Zeus, with his New Olympians (Antaeus, Argus, Diana, Nox, Proteus, and Vulcanus), takes President Ronald Reagan and famous athlete Lacinia Nitocris hostage. The Outsiders challenge the New Olympians to battle.

–Batman and The Outsiders #15
July 28. Batman negotiates the release of the entire stadium audience at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics. In an empty arena, the Outsiders begin an “athletic contest” against the New Olympians. Each Outsider pairs off with a New Olympian to take them on in a series of competitions. Eventually, the Outsiders best the New Olympians. Meanwhile, Batman, having deduced Maxie Zeus’ LA address, goes there to find an abducted Medea (Maxie Zeus’ daughter). Batman fights Maxie Zeus’ henchmen in an effort to free Medea, but the Dark Knight is held at gunpoint. Maxie Zeus arrives with Lacinia Nitocris, introducing her to his daughter. The villain reveals that his entire scheme was concocted just so he could introduce Lacinia and Medea, with hopes that the former would adopt the latter. Lacinia agrees. The Outsiders then show up to bust Maxie Zeus and his gang. In deep space, the Monitor and Harbinger review what has just occurred. It seems that they were merely testing the heroes, but for what purpose? Could a crisis be looming? Oh, yes.

–Batman Annual 1985
Egmont UK (Egmont Ehapa’s English language publishing branch) released eight DC-authorized Annuals for the British market, spanning 1979 to 1989, which primarily featured only reprints of old American comics. However, the 1985 and 1986 Annuals contain original prose stories. The 1985 UK Annual has two. The first, entitled “‘Birdsong: Mickey’s Day Out” (by Jamie Delano with illustrations by Alan Davis), features Batman dealing with a pickpocket. The second, entitled “The Gun” (by Alan Moore with illustrations by Garry Leach), features Batman taking down small-timer Johnny Speculux at a World’s Fair-type event in Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #313-314. Bruce meets and befriends Ron Page, an executive at the MetroSteel Company.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #311. Superman shows Batman three intergalactic robots that he has collected and stored in the Fortress of Solitude.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #311 and Batman and The Outsiders #18. Batman begins keeping salt tablets and a variety of maps in his utility belt.

–World’s Finest Comics #308-310
Bruce reads science reports about Klyburnium, a new crystal-based energy source named after STAR Labs’ Dr. Jenet Klyburnium. When a new synthetic drug called Zerodine floods the streets of Gotham, Batman works the case and shakes down a dealer named Curly for info. Curly leads Batman to the storehouse where small-timer Spud Malloy and his henchmen use high-tech sci-fi weaponry to best Batman. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, some thieves attack STAR Labs and steal the Klyburnium crystal right from under Superman’s nose. A few hours later, Bruce visits a store and flirts with a gal named Veronique only to be interrupted by Clark. Bruce gets lunch with Clark and they discuss Klyburnium and Malloy. Later, Batman busts Malloy and his gang while Superman recovers the Klyburnium. Superman and Batman realize they are working the same case and team-up to face-off and bust the Big Bad, a super-suit-wearing teenager named Hector Alvarez. Afterward, Bruce goes to a party with Veronique before ducking out early to patrol.

Batman goes after a radioactive super-villain called Quantum, who has confounded the GCPD, NYPD, and Metropolis PD for the better part of a month. With some help from Superman, Batman roughs up some hoods in a bar looking for information about Quantum’s whereabouts. After getting info on all the baddies and phoning Chief O’Hara (!), Batman brings Superman to Wayne Manor for a chat over coffee. Together, the heroes learn that a wealthy Metropolis citizen, Raymond Arnau, who wrote Superman into his will, has been murdered by Quantum. The next day, Batman and Superman interrogate Raymond’s punk rock daughter Heather, Raymond’s manufacturing executive Philip Crane, and Fast Willie Jackon (one of the goons from the bar the night prior). Batman and Superman expose Crane as Quantum and fight him, during which he gets sent to an alternate dimension via one of his high-tech sci-fi devices. Batman, Superman, Heather, and Raymond’s lawyer visit Raymond’s grave. Raymond’s lawyer tells Superman that the inheritance will transfer from Superman to Heather when she turns eighteen in a week’s time.

Batman travels to Metropolis in an effort to shut down the international criminal organization known as Assassins Incorporated. After busting one of their members, Batman disguises himself as the man and meets with a bagman named Billy Ray, handing over $1 million in an attempt to follow Ray to the big bosses. Rookie superhero Sonik (William Parker)—on his very first case—tails Ray to the Assassins Inc HQ. There, both Batman and Sonik are captured. After escaping from a death trap, the heroes rescue Ray from Assassins Inc, who are about to execute him for his failure. Superman, having just foiled an Assassins Inc plot across town, arrives just in time to help Batman and Sonik mop up the rest of the gang. Sonik unmasks, revealing his secret ID to Batman, Superman, and some local street kids (including a youngster named Barry and six unnamed others). Later, Batman does his research on Parker, learning that he is owner of an old Boys’ Club and a staple for positivity in a lower-income Metropolis neighborhood. Bruce purchases Parker’s rundown Boys’ Club, meeting with Parker to tell him he will have unlimited funds to revamp the building. Clark is on hand to do a live WGBS-TV new story about Parker and the new Boys’ Club.



–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #315. The state government abolishes the death penalty. Batman notes the change with interest.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #546. Batman saves the lives of an unnamed random GCPD officer and a fellow cop named Joe. Batman saves the latter from a knife-wielding criminal.

–Tales of the Teen Titans #50
It’s the amazing wedding of Donna Troy and Terry Long—one of my favorite single issues of the Bronze Age! Changeling (Gar Logan) has planned the biggest and most expensive ceremony possible, and everything is ready to go at the palatial East Hampton mansion belonging to his stepdad Mento (Steve Dayton). With an army of frantic workers, Mento’s trusted assistant Vernon Questor, and Adrienne Roy (colorist extraordinaire) at his disposal, things fall neatly into place. Here’s the guest list: Vic Stone (Cyborg), Sarah Simms, Adeline Kane-Wilson, Joe Wilson (Jericho), Cindy Evans, Fay Evans, Hank Evans, Jerry Evans, Jenny Long, Barry Long, Barry Long Jr, Terry Long’s dad, Terry Long’s mom, Terry Long’s unnamed sister, Jillian Jackson, Koriand’r (Starfire), Lilith Clay, Sharon Tracy, Phoenicia Banu, Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Dick Grayson (Nightwing), Elmira Cassiday, Clark Kent (Superman), Lana Lang, Garth (Aqualad), Tula (Aquagirl), the rest of Donna’s bridal party (Howard, Samuel, and Randolph), Carl Woods, Mal Duncan (Guardian), Karen Beecher-Duncan (Bumblebee), Roy Harper (Speedy), Roy’s date Lynda, Wally West (Kid Flash), Bruce Wayne (Batman), gawkers that melt at the sight of Dick and Bruce (Lucy, Tina, Mercy, and Margie), Mike Price, Hank Hall (Hawk), Don Hall (Dove), Duela Dent, Bette Kane (Bat-Girl), Charley Parker (Golden Eagle), Joe Richiani, Joe Richiani’s film crew (Janet and Doug), Frances Kane (Magenta), Marv Wolfman, Michele Wolfman, Jessica Wolfman, Dabney Everly, Anthony Tollin, Mike DeCarlo, Carol Flynn, Steve Montano, Gary Martin, Len Wein, Todd Klein, Rob Liffield (likely an incorrectly spelled Rob Liefeld), Pat Bastienne, Dick Giordano, Romeo Tanghal, John Costanza, Sam Sanders, Bob Greenberg, George Pérez, David Hoover, and someone named Taylor. Dick walks Donna down the aisle and gives her away to the groom. The wedding ceremony is lovely and goes off without a hitch. Afterward, at the wedding party, several musical acts perform—including Michael Jackson, Sting, the Waldos, and a band comprised of Dick, Joe Wilson, and Mal Duncan. Bruce and Dick chat—with the former lamenting losing custody of Jason Todd to Natalia Knight. Dick asks Bruce why he never tried to legally adopt him (Dick was Bruce’s legal ward, not his legal son), to which Bruce says he’s always thought of him as a son. Bruce tells Dick he loves him and couldn’t be prouder of the man he’s become. With permission from Athena herself, Queen Hippolyta is allowed to leave Paradise Island to attend the festivities and give her blessing to Donna and Terry. The celebration ends joyously, after which Donna and Terry fly off to Greece for their honeymoon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #16. Tatsu tells Bruce that Gaby has been having horrible nightmares every night. Bruce tells Tatsu that he will try to help Gaby by looking into her mysterious unknown past. Bruce also hangs out with Gaby, who spends most of her time listening to the same pop song over and over. Later, Bruce takes the clothes that Gabby was wearing when he first met her, and is able to trace them to the Midwest. Bruce also deduces that Gaby, before losing her memory, was a runaway named Violet. Too busy to dig any deeper, Bruce hires Jason Bard to continue the investigation. Bruce gives him all the leads, including an audio cassette tape of Gaby’s favorite pop song.

–World’s Finest Comics #311
The Monitor and Harbinger continue to monitor Batman and Superman from their interdimensional satellite HQ. Batman chases members of the terrorist organization known as Bleak December, foiling their plot to disrupt a telecommunications satellite launch. Meanwhile, a teen computer nerd hacks into the Fortress of Solitude’s security system, releasing a Kandorian kaptor (a Kryptonian dragon). Superman nabs the loose dragon and returns it to the Fortress. Not long afterward, the hacker activates three robots, which take Superman down with Kryptonite. Superman is able to blow up the Kryptonite with heat vision, vaporizing the robots. Batman drives (in an amazingly mis-colored red Batmobile) out to the ‘burbs to scold the teen hacker. Afterward, the Monitor decides to set up a new test for the World’s Finest, endowing a group of smalltime criminals with superpowers. The debuting Network (Blue Matt, Cathode, Erase, Fast Forward, UHF, and Volume) begin preparations to take on Batman and Superman.

–Action Comics #565 Part 2
Original meta ham extraordinaire Ambush Bug—whose primary superpower is being fully aware that he is a comic book character—solicits Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Teen Titans, asking them to cameo in his upcoming solo series! They all angrily tell him no. Meanwhile, on Earth-Prime, Julius Schwartz, Keith Giffen, and Robert Loren Fleming argue about the details of the Ambush Bug series.

–Detective Comics #546
Mid October—note that this story supposedly begins on August 13, but this cannot be the case since Doug Moench’s mega-arc now enters a period of mostly-uninterrupted narrative for a chunk of upcoming issues (starting with Batman #380). Instead, we must be in line with Batman #380-381‘s October timeframe. Batman still hasn’t been able to find enough evidence to prove to the world that Mayor Hamilton Hill is a crook. Likewise, Mayor Hill still hasn’t been able to get rid of Batman, Commissioner Gordon, or Harvey Bullock—and he’s fed up of outsourcing the job to bumbling hitmen and wannabe gangsters. Taking matters into his own hands, the mayor orders his man Blevins to conk him on the noggin. With legit injuries, Mayor Hill makes a claim to the Gotham Gazette that Batman has assaulted him, even producing a Bat-glove as phony evidence. (Blevins’ tailor uncle Herman Blevins has made the glove.) In a press conference the next day, Mayor Hill suspends Commissioner Gordon, citing his involvement and partnership with Batman, and labels the Dark Knight as Public Enemy Number One. Alfred worries about this latest development, but Batman isn’t scared. Alfred mentions Batman’s prior statements about how the system is corrupt, but there’s nothing fear in regard to the law. (This is likely a direct quote from somewhere earlier in Moench’s run, but I’m not sure specifically in which issue.) While Batman kicks the crap out of some cops and touches base with Gordon via phone, Night-Slayer, who has been nursing wounds for the past three months at Tina’s house, finally makes a full recovery. Concurrently, a frustrated Jason Todd, who has spent the last three months unsuccessfully trying to dig up dirt on his adoptive mother Natalia Knight, bluntly accuses her of criminality right to her face. Natalia denies having ever harbored bad intentions, going so far as to shed tears at the accusation. Later, Mayor Hill hires yet another assassin (once again, a Dr. Fang henchman) to go after Bullock, but Bullock is able to kill his would-be killer. A pissed-off Bullock storms into Mayor Hill’s office only for Mayor Hill to shoot him in the chest! (Bullock miraculously survives getting shot by Mayor Hill and goes into recovery in the hospital. Mayor Hill publicly claims that he shot Bullock in self-defense.)

–Superman #405
When a magick pan flute causes Superman to grow horns on his head, the Man of Steel decides to hide them by wearing a Bat-cape and cowl (which he takes from a Batman exhibit inside his Fortress of Solitude). After making headlines by patrolling wearing a mix of his Superman costume and a Batman costume, more magick eventually causes the Man of Steel’s horns to disappear. Afterward, Superman phones Batman, who has just returned home from his routine Gotham patrol.

–Batman #380
Jim Gordon decides to wait by Harvey Bullock’s hospital bed, standing guard until he is fit enough the leave. Meanwhile, Batman searches for the missing Night-Slayer once again, this time finding Tina and Cerberus. However, Night-Slayer has just left. A recently released-from-prison Dr. Fang tails Batman, who visits Nocturna’s penthouse to find her bound-and-gagged along with Jason, courtesy of a returning Night-Slayer. Batman fights Night-Slayer, who puts a fatal bullet into Dr. Fang as soon as he enters the room. Night-Slayer then kayos Batman, who suffers brain trauma and amnesia. Seeing that Batman is dazed and confused, Night-Slayer strips down himself and the Dark Knight, swapping their costumes. He convinces Batman that he (Batman) is Night-Slayer before departing and returning to Tina. (This issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #547.)

–Detective Comics #547
Picking up directly from Batman #380, Nocturna and Robin team-up (!) to dump Dr. Fang’s corpse in the park and search for Batman. The fake Batman (Night-Slayer) spends three nights in a row besmirching the good name of the Dark Knight, robbing stores left-and-right while dressed in the cape and cowl. Meanwhile, Batman comes to his senses (as referenced in Batman #381). Still dressed as Night-Slayer, Batman mediates on a rooftop for three straight days, piling up pebbles into a cairn as he comes up with a master plan bring all his rivals to justice. At Wayne Manor, Julia Remarque visits Alfred, who has a nervous breakdown, collapsing in his daughter’s arms. Nocturna and Robin catch up with Night-Slayer, on his fourth night of ruining Batman’s reputation. The heroes fight Night-Slayer, but he gets the better of the out-of-synch duo. Later, Herman Blevins, hoping to right the wrong he’s been involved with, meets with “Batman,” admitting that he tailored the glove used by Mayor Hill to frame him. The false Batman smacks Blevins on his ass and swings away. Batman—still dressed as the Night-Slayer—helps Blevins to his feet and has a chat with him.

–Batman #381
Late October—the October setting is given specifically via a Gotham Gazette headline. Doug Moench’s use of time is royally fucked up—and Batman #381 highlights this in a big way. In this issue, Tina says that Night-Slayer came into her life a mere two weeks ago. This is impossible. Tina met Night-Slayer over three months ago! And let’s not forget that three issues ago (in ‘tec #546, which definitively takes place only a couple weeks ago), Moench said it was two months ago (specifically August). This means that Moench, in two separate instances, is saying two weeks when he should be saying three months and saying two months when he should be saying two weeks. Onto a synopsis. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #547, the fake Batman (Night-Slayer) continues his crime-spree. Meanwhile, Jason Todd finally discovers some evidence (hidden jewels) linking Nocturna to criminal misdeeds. He confronts her but ultimately decides not to call the cops, seeing that there is good in her and that she has legitimately changed for the better. Batman—still dressed as Night-Slayer—tails the fake Batman (the actual Night-Slayer), seeing that he plans on robbing a fur warehouse, the operations of which Batman is very familiar from his routine patrols. Batman recruits Nocturna and they swing into the night together. Amanda Groscz spots Nocturna and “Night-Slayer” exiting her penthouse—just as Batman has planned. Batman then has Nocturna phone Mayor Hamilton Hill’s office to tell him that Batman is planning to rob the warehouse. Later, “Batman” exits the warehouse red-handed to find the mayor, Blevins, news-media, Jim Gordon, and a platoon of cops all waiting for him. The real Batman arrives and unmasks the phony. He also presents Herman Blevins, who tells all about the mayor’s criminality. Night-Slayer grabs Mayor Hill and tries to make an escape attempt, but Batman saves the mayor. Batman and the fake Batman tackle each other into the icy waters of the bay, with the latter disappearing. With Mayor Hill disgraced and facing impeachment and criminal charges, and with Batman’s good name restored, the heroes—Batman, Robin, Alfred, and Nocturna—celebrate in the Batcave. Nocturna laments that Jason, whom she’s truly come to regard as her son, will soon return to Bruce’s legal custody. Batman visits Tina and Cerberus to close out this case.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #556. Batman tells Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock that Nocturna has reformed and should no longer be treated as a super-villain.

–Detective Comics #548
Jason Todd arrives at Wayne Manor with news that Nocturna has cleaned out her penthouse and left town. It’s only a matter of time before custody of Jason reverts to Bruce. When a panther mauls someone on Crime Alley (or, more specifically, in the vicinity of Crime Alley i.e. in the “Crime Alley section” of Gotham), Batman tells Robin that Catwoman must be back in town. Batman and Robin are then called to the Egyptian Embassy where a Syrian terrorist called Darkwolf has kidnapped some people and is threatening to detonate a bomb. Harvey Bullock, having just left the hospital, joins a re-instated Commissioner Gordon to watch the action from street-level. While Batman fights Darkwolf, Robin rescues his hostages. Darkwolf then sets off a grenade and hang-glides away. Across town, While Vicki Vale and Julia Remarque investigate the panther situation in the Crime Alley neighborhood, meeting several members of the Skull Smashers gang, including Frankie. Vicki and Julia soon run into Catwoman. (Detective Comics #548 is also shown via flashback from Batman #382.)

–Batman #382
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #548, Batman and Robin intervene in a confrontation between Vicki Vale and Julia Remarque versus Catwoman and her pet panther Diablo. Catwoman explains that Diablo has been poisoned by her rival, Darkwolf. The panther dies in Robin’s arms. Batman and Catwoman go after Darkwolf, who has hijacked a plane at Gotham Airport. Catwoman boards the plane disguised as a flight attendant while Batman, thanks to a distraction by Robin, hitches a ride on the wing. Once the plane takes off, Catwoman lets Batman inside the jet via the emergency door. In the ensuing chaotic mid-flight melee against Darkwolf, Catwoman—with a parachute—leaps out of the emergency door to explode a grenade safely away from the passengers. Batman takes a bullet in the ribs, but kicks Darkwolf’s ass and manages to land the plane in the woods below. Afterward, Batman inquires as to Catwoman’s safety and whereabouts, but she’s gone missing. (This item is also shown via flashback from Batman #384.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #389. Batman discovers a stalagmite in the Batcave that looks like a cat. This causes him to think about Catwoman and the deep feelings he still has for her. From this point onward, Batman will often visit this “cat” stalagmite and meditate before it. The rock formation will always make the Dark Knight think of Selina.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #312 and World’s Finest Comics #315. Bruce meets and begins dating Gotham entrepreneur Lilanne Stern, who is in the process of opening a new music club called The Rockslide. Lilanne introduces Bruce to Andy Warhol and her friend, businesswoman Marissa Pace. Bruce and Lilanne will spend a lot of time together in the next month-plus, although we have to merely imagine their interactions sprinkled throughout our timeline ahead. Likewise, Bruce will also spend considerable time with Marissa—to such an extent that paparazzi will link Bruce with both Lilanne and Marissa.

–World’s Finest Comics #312-313 (“THE NETWORK”)
With Lilanne Stern’s Rockslide club set to open in a couple days, Bruce helps her out by purchasing her fancy Austrian glassware. At the grand opening, which is sponsored by RTV (an analogue for MTV) and remotely-hosted by VJ Mona Nockwood (an analogue for Nina Blackwood), Bruce is present—smoking a pipe, no less (!)—with Lilanne as she is interviewed by Clark, who is on assignment for WGBS. The night is interrupted by the debuting Network, which not only bests Superman and Batman but manages to send the entire building to a limbo-space known as the White Noise Dimension as well. When Batman suspects that a rock band called PurseSnatchers are linked to the Network, he visits his friend Ahmet Lateef at Pacific Records. The Network abducts Lateef, prompting Bruce to switch into fighting togs. The Network gets the better of the Dark Knight, trapping him in the White Noise Dimension. Superman rescues Batman, who quickly learns that the members of the Network used to be freelance video producers for PurseSnatchers. When the Network demands ten million dollars for the safe return of Lateef, Batman instructs Lilanne to act as courier. Batman gets the jump on the Network but winds up getting teleported along with Lilanne and the villains back to a studio where Lateef is being held. Realizing that the Network is using the RTV satellite in order to access the White Noise Dimension, Superman shuts down the satellite. Batman and Superman then defeat the Network. Later, Bruce purchases Lilanne some new glassware and invites her over to Wayne Manor for some champagne and a movie. As they kiss and move things to the bedroom (or couch), Bruce ignores the phone ringing. It’s Ron Page calling. He’s whistle-blown against his corrupt former employer, the MetroSteel Company—and now faces the corporation’s wrath in the form of a hitwoman named Executrix.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #231. Batman goes on routine patrol.

–World’s Finest Comics #314-315
Bruce is invited by a group of Wayne Enterprises architects to attend the grand opening of a new bridge (aptly named Gotham Bridge) in the city. Bruce, Lilanne, Governor Holmes, and Clark (on assignment for WGBS) attend the ceremony, during which Clark ducks out to prevent a plane from crashing. Executrix winds up crashing (no pun intended) the afterparty, one again attempting to kill Ron Page. She fights Batman to a stalemate before fleeing. Batman then interviews Page, learning that Metrosteel has been cutting corners and flooding the market with defective steel. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Clark learns that a Daily Planet reporter that spoke with Page has been killed. In Gotham, Batman sends Page along with Lilanne to Wayne Manor, tailing them as they ride on a passenger train. Executrix attempts to derail the train, but Superman saves the day. The villainess kidnaps her target and drags him onto Gotham Bridge where she is confronted by Batman. Meanwhile, Superman, having noticed that the bridge has been built with bad steel, fixes it using heat vision. This causes Executrix to fall off the edge into Superman’s waiting arms. The Monitor and Harbinger, from their interdimensional satellite HQ, continue to watch Batman and Superman’s actions with keen interest. They also watch Cathode (of the Newtork) as she recruits some henchmen (Ray, Dot, and one unnamed other). Cathode and her crew cause a brief citywide blackout, during which Batman busts some looters. Later, Bruce attends a party at Lilanne Stern’s apartment. A jealous Lilanne watches as a bored Bruce departs with her friend Marissa Pace. In front of Marissa’s place, she flirts with Bruce, inviting him up for a nightcap. He turns her down, but she kisses him! Guess this shows how seriously others are not taking Bruce and Lilanne’s relationship! Cathode warns the city that she will cause more blackouts unless a hefty fee is paid to her. The villainess then orders her henchmen to kidnap Marissa, hoping to get Bruce to pay them a hefty ransom as well. After Cathode causes a second blackout, Batman and Superman visit the main Gotham Power electricity station to investigate. When the ransom note for Marissa is faxed to Wayne Manor, Alfred hits up Batman on his Bat-Beeper, initiating a rescue mission. Batman goes to Marissa’s location at the now-abandoned Death Row wing at Gotham Prison. After getting ambushed, the Dark Knight is strapped into the electric chair. Meanwhile, Superman flies into an electric storm, allows himself to be zapped by lightning, and then re-charges the station with his own body. Batman escapes from the chair, saves Marissa, and busts Cathode’s goon squad. Cathode tries to attack the electrified Superman but winds up accidentally disintegrating herself. The remaining villains are ushered to prison. No one notices a pink energy cloud floating alongside of them. (As revealed in WFC #319, this is Cathode—in her new form—merging with Ray and Dot.) Note that, while we will see Lilanne again, she won’t be dating Bruce. In light of the jealously and cheating involved in this very arc, the Bruce and Lilanne relationship is now officially kaput.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #316. Bruce’s relationship with Lilanne Stern is over, but does ramp up things with Marissa Pace. They become an item, although Bruce will ditch her and blow her off just like all his other women, favoring his crimefighting nightlife over his social duties. While we won’t see it on our timeline, we must imagine Bruce blowing off Marissa here-and-again over the course of the next month.

–Batman and The Outsiders #16-17
December 21-23. Batman tells Tatsu that Jason Bard has been searching for Gaby’s true identity for quite some time now. In Arlington, Missouri, Bard discovers Gaby’s real name—Violet Harper—and meets with her parents, Sam Harper and Margaret Harper. Batman assembles the Outsiders and reveals Halo’s real identity to the entire team. She’ll be going to live with her folks. Before getting ready to depart for Missouri, Halo and Geo-Force hang out and smooch, discussing their creepy under-age relationship. Later, Katana patrols alone, nearly killing a burglar. Meanwhile, Dr. Helga Jace helps Metamorpho break into Stagg Manor. Inside, Metamorpho lovingly reunites with his ex Sapphire Stagg. Metamorpho kayos an interrupting Java, but is no match for Simon Stagg and his cronies. Using fake Orb of Ra weaponry, the henchmen kill Metamorpho! Dr. Jace takes the henchmen out using a sonic device. She gathers Metamorpho’s corpse and departs along with Sapphire, telling her that they must hurry if there is any chance of resurrecting her lover. In Arlington, Tatsu, Jefferson, and Brion accompany Gaby/Violet as she re-meets her parents. Batman breaks into the local police station to discover that Gaby was last seen in Paris with her boyfriend Mark Denninger, who died of a drug overdose right around the time of the Markovian Civil War. Bruce rejoins his friends at the Harper household just in time to say goodbye. The Outsiders return to Gotham to find a panicked Dr. Jace and Sapphire begging them to help resurrect Metamorpho. Thus, it’s off to the ancient pyramid of evil priest Akh-Ton in Egypt—where Rex Mason once became Metamorpho. There, the heroes (along with Sapphire and Dr. Jace) place Metamorpho’s corpse before a meteor in the center of the tomb. Sure enough, Metamorpho is resurrected, but the meteor erases his mind and takes everyone through time—specifically to some point in the 1130s BCE, the time of the 20th Dynasty. A mind-wiped Metamorpho pledges his allegiance to Akh-Ton, captures Dr. Jace, and sends his comrades fleeing into the desert. The heroes meet the royal guard Saied and gain an audience with Pharaoh Ramesses VII, Queen Tiy, and mystic high priest Abdu. The Pharaoh enlists the Outsiders into his ongoing war against Akh-Ton. Back in the 20th century, Chief Edgar Smalley of the Arlington Police Department visits with Gaby/Violet, telling her about her shady past as a troubled delinquent.

–Batman and The Outsiders #18-19
December 23-25. Shortly after being enlisted into Ramesses VII’s army, the time-displaced Outsiders get stuck in the middle of a melee between the Pharaoh’s army and Akh-Ton’s fanatical followers. The Outsiders are able to snap Metamorpho out of his funk, thus gaining the edge needed to defeat Akh-Ton. High priest Abdu sends the heroes back to 1984. Back in present day, Sapphire asks Metamorpho to marry her and he says yes! Meanwhile, Gaby/Violet learns that she used to be a bully in her hometown of Arlington. At school, Gaby is approached by her ex-boyfriend’s sister, Jane Denninger, who accuses her of killing Mark. At Gotham Community College, Professor Raeburn sexually assaults Denise Howard and then threatens to flunk her out of school if she doesn’t date him. On X-mas Eve, a devastated Denise tries to kill herself, taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Meanwhile, Gaby visits Brion in Gotham for the holidays. They tell each other that they don’t have romantic feelings for one another—thankfully, ending their short-lived creepy love affair. Although, Brion does say some weird shit about how his love for her was merely filling the gap for the loss of his half-sister Tara. Since when do you date your sister, Brion? Maybe it’s a Markovian thing. Let’s just move on, shall we? Denise, on death’s door, phones Brion, who rushes over to her apartment, saving her life by delivering her into the arms of EMTs. Denise manages to tell Brion that Dean Raeburn assaulted her, which enrages him. Geo-Force tells Halo that he will kill Raeburn. Halo immediately gets Batman for help. Batman signals Superman, who joins up with Halo to prevent Geo-Force from murdering Raeburn. Superman winds up fighting Geo-Force in an epic battle. Meanwhile, Batman does some digging and visits seven other women that have been sexually assaulted by Raeburn, getting them to not only sign affidavits but to agree to testify in court as well. Let’s think about this in greater detail because it’s truly amazing what’s gone on in this scenario. Batman visits multiple women to hear about their horribly traumatic experiences—on Christmas Eve, no less. Clearly, as with most victims of sexual abuse by people that hold power over them, these women didn’t speak up, either out of fear or because they didn’t want to relive the trauma. (There are dozens of reasons why the abused don’t or can’t come out.) Did Batman force them to speak about their assaults? To obtain this info in mere hours (or less), he must have used some of his patented Bat-interrogation techniques, which is weird and unsettling—to say the very least. Or maybe he’s Batman, so his sworn oath of protection was enough to make these women feel comfortable and safe? There’s so much to unpack here, but I digress. In any case, Batman’s work is just (no matter the means or lack of therapeutic manner) and scumbag Raeburn goes to jail. Happy X-mas! In Arlington, Missouri, Jane Derringer dials a strange number found among her brother’s belongings, connecting with Tobias Whale and his henchwoman Syonide. Whale tells her that her brother Mark and Violet Harper stole something from him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 25. As he does every holiday season, Batman gives an X-mas gift to Commissioner Gordon.

–Batman and The Outsiders #20
Tobias Whale, Syonide, Jane Denninger, and Dr. Moon (!) kidnap Gaby/Violet and her parents. Jane fills in some of the gaps of Gaby/Violet’s history, incorrectly citing that Violet and Mark left Missouri “months ago” when they actually left last year. Jane tells Gaby that she (Gaby/Violet) and Mark came across a stranger in the burning wreckage of a totaled car. Upon finding a lucrative drug formula in the backseat, they took it, leaving the man to burn alive. The duo then traveled to Paris where Syonide was sent to recover the formula (which belonged to Whale). Instead, she found a dying Mark, who claimed that Violet had poisoned him in an effort to go solo and sell the formula to European syndicates on her own. Syonide caught up with Violet in Markovia and wound up killing her during a fight. Responding to Gaby/Violet’s secret alert, the Outsiders crash the party, taking the fight to Syonide and Dr. Moon. When the Harpers try to intervene, Syonide kills them both. During the chaos, Whale and Jane escape. Later, Batman meets with Chief Edgar Smalley and arranges a cover-up to keep the details of the Whale/Harper fiasco out of the newspapers. A day later, a small funeral and burial service is held for the Harpers. Gaby returns to the legal custody of Tatsu.


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Jack Kirby’s Super Powers #1-5, Jack Kirby and Paul Kupperberg’s Super Powers Vol. 2 #1-6, and Paul Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino’s Super Powers Vol. 3 #1-4—published from 1984 through 1986, right around here in terms of chronological placement—are unfortunately out-of-continuity, canon only on Earth-32 and Earth-B.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Superman Taschenbuch #72 (Superman Paperback #72), released as part of German publishing group Egmont Ehapa’s reprint series, features an original story by Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, and Romeo Tanghal. Entitled “Superman Quarterly #19: The Wall to Infinity,” this tale features Superman challenging Brainiac, who re-creates the mythic Kryptonian “Wanting Wall,” a huge cosmic barrier through which the Man of Steel sees visions of the past—including the destruction of Krypton, Ma and Pa Kent, himself as a child, Perry White, and Lois Lane. Batman also appears, but since I’ve not read this one, I’m not sure if he is real, part of a flashback, or merely part of a vision. Since the original material in Superman Taschenbuch #72 is indeed canonical, this item belongs on our timeline here (if, of course, Batman’s appearance is legitimate).

1 Response to Bronze Year 18

  1. James IV says:

    Just so you’re aware, you have a listing for Action Comics #405 when you meant Superman #405.

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