Silver Year 19

(1985)
_______________________________

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #22. Batman learns all the details of the Earth-Mars War (aka Earth/Mars War), during which a depleted JLA repelled a Martian invasion. The conflict—as seen in Justice League of America #228-230 (“War of the Worlds 1984”)—resulted in defeat for the Martians but saw the destruction of the JL Satellite, which now floats in complete ruin. At a UN General Assembly meeting, the JLA officially disbands for the first time in its existence. Batman watches with keen interest as a new JLA reforms with Aquaman as its leader. Within a few days, the JLA moves its HQ to Detroit, earning the nickname “Justice League Detroit”—with a lineup consisting of Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Elongated Man, Vixen, Steel, Gypsy, and Vibe.

–Batman and The Outsiders #22-23 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT HALO”)
Having heard about the destruction and abandonment of the ruined JL Satellite, Batman takes the Outsiders and Dr. Helga Jace there with hopes of using some of the old JL tech left behind—specifically to help fill the gaps in Halo’s origin story. Upon arrival, Batman is shocked and devastated at the sight of the damage, going on an unhinged rant in front of his uncomfortable teammates. Dr. Jace runs Halo through a radiation scanning device aboard the satellite, which gives Halo her lost memory. She tells all that she is an Aurakle, part of a race of sentient energy orbs that came into existence during the Big Bang. Having silently witnessed all of Earth’s history since it came into existence as a planet, the Aurakle’s first ever physical action was to resurrect Violet Harper by using her body as a host vessel, shortly after her murder at the hands of Syonide. With the Aurakle part of her consciousness restored, a bunch of Aurakles enter the satellite, demanding the return of the “errant one” to their tribe (at the cost of the host vessel’s life, of course). The Outsiders fight the Aurakles. Katana kills one of the Aurakles with her sword, but the alien orbs wind up winning the day and kidnapping Halo. The Outsiders travel to Tokyo to rough up Noguri’s Yakuza operations, gaining access to his mystic artifacts. Katana is able to commune with the victims of the Soultaker, including her most recent kill. Under her occult command, the deceased Aurakle guides the Outsiders to Halo’s location. The Outsiders defeat the Aurakles and rescue Halo. Shaken by what she has learned about her two selves—both her Violet Harper history and her Aurakle history), Halo has a complete emotional breakdown. She tells the Outsiders that she can’t be a part of the team anymore and flies away.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #400. Batman roughs up drug kingpin/restauranteur Stick Chuvalo and his tattooed cronies.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #551. The impeached Hamilton Hill is formally indicted for a multitude of crimes. We are not told if Hill resigns or is ejected from office, but Councilman George Skowcroft replaces him as Interim Mayor (aka “Acting Mayor”).[1] With his relatively out-of-the-blue pro tempore appointment, Skowcroft has augmented his political power sans the mandate of the citizenry. And, democracy be damned, an election isn’t even in the works. Even with zero opposition, Skowcroft begins holding political rallies to scaffold his legislative authority. Skowcroft will remain “Acting Mayor” for the remainder of the calendar year. (Note that Skowcroft is the final pre-Crisis Mayor of Gotham on our Earth-1 timeline.)

–World’s Finest Comics #316-317 (“THE FAMILY WAY”)
Bruce’s current significant other Marissa Pace invites him to her friend Sam Massamino’s mansion for an Italian dinner. Bruce knows (from his crime files) that Massamino is a mobster, but he agrees to go anyway. Partway through dinner, Bruce has had enough and starts to leave. Bruce and Marissa argue, with the latter accusing Bruce of still being involved with Lilanne Stern (which isn’t true). Wanting to avoid further conflict, Bruce reluctantly stays. Mssamino’s rivals—the drug gang known as The Werewolves of London (led by the eccentric Cheapjack)—crash the party and kidnap his daughter Theresa Rose. While Bruce continues to argue about the company his girlfriend keeps, Superman fights the Werewolves of London but can’t bust them for fear they might harm Theresa. Soon afterward, a disguised Superman infiltrates the Massamino mob (via super-hypnotism) while Batman disguises himself as one of Cheapjack’s men to infiltrate the Werewolves of London. Batman does his best to delay a gang war from erupting, but he is soon outed and captured. Superman fares better, stifling both sides of the gang war on the docks of Gotham Harbor. However, Superman’s actions merely delay the inevitable, and soon the gang war erupts in the woods just outside Gotham’s city limits. Batman and Superman enter the fray and duel with Cheapjack, who charges at them in a ridiculous wood-and-steel mobile trailer with retractable arms. Theresa is rescued, but she decides to stay with the female members of the Werewolves of London, who start their own faction of the group. Batman and Superman then finish off the rest of the Werewolves of London and Massamino mobsters. In light of their opposing values (and because we won’t see Marissa again), we can assume Bruce breaks up with her (or the other way around). Either way, bye bye, Marissa.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #384 and Detective Comics #551. Bruce kinda-sorta begins dating Vicki Vale again, but he immediately begins pulling all the same moves, blowing her off left-and-right. Making things even awkward, Bruce also has feelings for Julia Remarque, Natalia Knight, and Selina Kyle—and likely lingering emotions in regard to Lilanne Stern and Marissa Pace too (although, these latter two are definitively in his past). It’s been quite a soapy rollercoaster of love for our ol’ chum Brucie boy in these past few months, hasn’t it?

–Detective Comics #549
Harvey Bullock sets up a meeting with Batman, wanting to discuss the remains of the Dr. Fang mob. After the Skull Smashers trash Bullock’s apartment, Bullock aims at revenge but gets cornered by the whole gang. Batman swoops in to help Bullock kick their asses.

–Batman #383
Mid February—this item occurs a month prior to Batman #385. Bruce sets up a painting crew and renovation contractor to do some work on the aging Wayne Manor. He then spends a few busy days making public appearances as playboy Bruce and a few busy nights fighting crime as Batman. An exhausted Bruce drives Jason to school and then meets with his teacher, who tells him Jason has been yawning in class. Back home, Bruce finds Lucius Fox waiting for him. After they discuss business, Julia Remarque arrives to invite Bruce on a concert date (set for 7 PM the next evening), to which Bruce says yes. Bruce tries to get some much-needed sleep, but the contractors tear a hole in his bedroom ceiling, giving him a rude awakening. Vicki Vale visits Wayne Manor next, delivering news that Bill Modell has proposed marriage to her! Vicki tells Bruce this is his last chance to be with her, telling him to meet to discuss their relationship (or lack thereof) at 7 PM the following evening. Bruce then picks up Jason. Back home, Amanda Groscz is waiting. She tells Bruce that Jason is now officially his legal son, and that she will we doing periodic check-ins for the next six months. Amanda grills Bruce with an on-the-spot five hour interview. Then it’s patrol time. Batman busts a convenience store robber, a serial rapist, a break-in artist, an arsonist, a safe-cracker, and a mugger. As the sun comes up, Batman sleeps high atop a ledge of a downtown building.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #384. Mid February. Bruce, having made contradictory overlapping plans with both Vicki Vale and Julia Remarque, blows them both off, thus earning the wrath of both women. (Bruce bails on Julia, but doesn’t even remember making plans with Vicki, so he simply no-shows.)

–Detective Comics #550
Batman chases after minsogynst scumbag Joey Redwine after he murders a nun. Redwine falls off a roof to his death.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Annual #9 Part 1. Bruce visits Jason’s school to see a science fair project that he and fellow classmate Donald Brinks have put together. As a reward for his parental involvement, Bruce gets chemical stains all over his clothes.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Annual #1. Late February. Batman gets Superman a b-day gift.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Annual #9 Part 2. Bruce decides to hold a huge party at Wayne Manor. The party is set to occur in few weeks. Invitations are sent out.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Annual #9 Part 2. Batman shakes down Gotham’s biggest arms dealer, a man known only as The General. After scaring him straight, the General agrees to quit dealing arms.

–Batman #384
March 13-17. Our story opens on March 13, with Batman motorcycling to the site of Catwoman’s disappearance in the woods outside Gotham. Concurrently, the Monitor and Harbinger continue plans to further test Batman’s mettle, connecting the remnants of Dr. Fang’s gang (Rico Gervais, Broz, and three unnamed others) with a recently paroled Calendar Man. The Dark Knight spends three nights in a row searching for any clues as to Catwoman’s whereabouts. As referenced in World’s Finest Comics #251, we can assume that Batman pauses his search for long enough to send an interdimensional b-day card to Bob Haney on Earth-Prime (as he does on every Ides of March). On the eve of March 15, Batman skips a meeting with Harvey Bullock in order to search a bit further from the site of Catwoman’s last known location, finding her parachute and a thank you message left for him. Batman is happy to know she’s still alive and well. Meanwhile, Calendar Man robs a bank to draw Batman’s attention. The next day, Bruce chats with Alfred about his mixed up feelings he has for Natalia Knight, Vicki Vale, and Julia Remarque. (He doesn’t mention his other recent love interests Selina Kyle, Lilanne Stern, or Marissa Pace, but there’s no doubt they are all weighing heavily upon his mind too.) Alfred advocates on behalf of his daughter, suggesting he date Julia! Their conversation is interrupted by Vicki, who phones to tell Bruce that any opportunity he had with her is gone, and that she’ll be marrying Bill Modell. Of course, this is a lie. Vicki breaks off her engagement with Modell, having only ever used the poor sap as leverage with which to try to hold Bruce’s romantic affection. On the 16th, Batman and Robin tackle Calendar Man, who bests them. The next night, Alfred sets up a Wayne Manor dinner for Bruce and Julia, but Bruce bails in order to go after Calendar Man. Alfred sups with his daughter instead, and she tells him she will now be going by “Julia Pennyworth” instead of “Julia Remarque.” Calendar Man runs circles around Batman and Robin again.

–Detective Comics #551
March 17-18. Picking up directly from Batman #384, a worried Batman decides to bench Robin for the duration of the Calendar Man case, at which Robin vents his frustration. Batman and Robin argue, with the former calling the latter impetuous and immature! Batman orders Robin to head upstairs and go straight to bed. Later, Bruce has a heart-to-heart and apologizes to his adoptive son, telling him he just doesn’t want to see him get hurt. The next night, Interim Mayor Skowcroft turns the dedication ceremony of a new tunnel into his own political rally. Vicki Vale and Julia Pennyworth are present, and they speak openly about their feeling in regard to Bruce. Calendar Man duels Batman at the ceremony, but an intervening Rico Gervais shoots Batman, grazing him in the arm. Calendar Man and Gervais run away. Meanwhile, Robin sneaks off to patrol on his own. (The Batman versus Calendar Man and Gervais fight is also shown via flashback from Batman #385.)

–Batman #385
March 18-21. Picking up directly from Detective Comics #551, an injured Batman returns home to receive medical treatment from Alfred. Meanwhile, Robin fights Calendar Man to a stalemate before returning home himself. Once again, Bruce and Jason argue. Bruce scolds him for having disobeyed orders and recklessly gone out alone. An overconfident Jason tells his adoptive dad,  “I’m Robin, and being Robin gives me magic.” Surprisingly, Alfred sides with Jason, which leads to Bruce immediately forgiving the Boy Wonder without any type of punishment or lesson learned. So much for a teachable moment (or for an opportunity to curb Jason’s ever-growing ego). Commissioner Gordon reports that Dr. Fang’s mob has aligned itself with Calendar Man, which prompts the Dynamic Duo to set up a meeting with the gang, offering immunity in exchange for information. The Dr. Fang gang meets with Batman and Robin, telling them that the mysterious Monitor hooked them up with Calendar Man. Batman then reneges on his promise and turns the entire group over to the cops. Later, Calendar Man blows up an abandoned bank and makes another quick getaway from the Dynamic Duo. The next night, Bill Modell argues with Vicki Vale at the gym, and their relationship ends for good. Across town, Batman and Robin fight Calendar Man yet again. Batman tells Robin to wait in the wings, but when the Dark Knight gets overwhelmed, Robin disobeys orders again, this time saving his mentor’s life and helping bust the villain. Robin’s bad habit of being disobedient is truly getting a lot of positive reinforcement. Jason even gets rewarded for his actions as Bruce takes him to an NBA game and dinner the very next night.

–Batman Annual #9 Part 1
Bruce runs into Jason’s school friend Donald Brinks (and Donald’s parents) on the street. As they chat, a thief speeding away from a nearby robbery runs over and kills Donald’s parents with his car. Batman tracks down and busts the thief. Batman then meets with Donald at the orphanage to tell him justice has been served and to give him a pep talk.

–Batman Annual #9 Part 2
The criminal group known as the Black Heart Liberation Army returns to Gotham with a vengeance, enacting terror strikes they call “heart attacks.” Batman works the case but cannot bring any members to justice. Later, Bruce hosts a huge party at Wayne Manor but leaves early to survey the scene of a Black Heart bank robbery that has resulted in the death of a teller (who suffered a stroke during the heist). Batman patrols, soon finding a fatally-injured General, who has been forced to reveal the location of some bomb detonators to the Black Heart. The General dies but points Batman toward the warehouse location of the detonators. Batman arrives at the spot only to find that the Black Heart and another gang have accidentally blown each other to smithereens.

–Batman Annual #9 Part 3
April. After routine patrol, Batman comes home to check his mail. Alfred RSVPs to several parties that Bruce will undoubtedly never attend. Notably, though, Bruce gets a party invite from his old chum Phillip Vernon Jr, who was tragically paralyzed after falling down a flight of stairs the last time Bruce saw him ten years ago. Just as Bruce opens the envelope, Phillip Vernon Sr shows up at Wayne Manor. He tells Bruce that Phil Jr is convinced that he was pushed down the stairs a decade ago, and he is throwing the party as a means of flushing out the culprit. The next night, Bruce attends the party. During the festivities, Phil Jr makes his accusations but winds up dead. Batman and Commissioner Gordon lockdown the house and settle in to solve the Whodunnit. As the sun rises, Batman fingers Phil Jr’s jealous brother Larry as both the person that pushed Phil Jr down the stairs and his murderer.

–Batman Annual #9 Part 4
Batman fights an arsonist that sets ablaze a records room inside a physical therapy hospital. The Caped Crusader takes a bullet in the arm but still busts the arsonist and saves the lives of several kids and a therapist. Back home, Alfred patches up Bruce and puts him to bed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #387. Bruce befriends socialites Stevens and Marconi.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #318 and Crisis on Infinite Earths #2. Batman begins carrying adhesive tape and a special solvent in his utility belt.

–Detective Comics #552
Harvey Bullock tells Batman that a hitman named Cutter is in Gotham. Batman tracks him, learning that he has accepted a multi-payout hit against the Dark Knight from every top mobster in town. Batman enacts a classic ruse, disguising himself as a random guy underneath his cowl before taking a dive against Cutter. After slowing his own heart rate and lowering his body temperature to fool Cutter into thinking he’s done the impossible and killed the Caped Crusader, Batman patiently waits in a coffin, bursting out at just the right moment to join Robin and bust his would-be killer and a group of mobsters.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #386. When Janus Cosmetics—which is run by Bruce’s childhood acquaintance Roman Sionis—files for bankruptcy, Bruce tells Lucius to bail them out (with the caveat that the Wayne Foundation will be running the show). Sionis secretly becomes the super-villain Black Mask. He starts a bizarre mask-themed gang known as The False Face Society, making big plans to attack Gotham City.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #26. Batman begins working on a new experimental truth serum. He also tells his Outsiders to refer to Wayne Manor using the codename “The Belfry” if they have to call-in regarding superhero business.

–Batman and The Outsiders #24-25
Halo has been living on the streets for months. Down-and-out, Halo is taken-in by a young hippie named David Harrison, who brings her to live on an upstate commune called Eden. Meanwhile, Bruce pays for a Komodo dragon to be added to the Gotham Zoo, inviting the Outsiders (in their civilian guises) to the dedication ceremony. Rex Mason brings his fiancée Sapphire Stagg along, and she invites her dad Simon Stagg. Naturally, Rex and Simon fight like  a couple of petulant children. A terrorist group called The Liberators take over the zoo, prompting the Outsiders to go into action and kick their asses. Batman exposes Simon’s top advisor Fallon as the secret leader of the Liberators, busting him as well. Impressed by Metamorpho’s heroism during the conflict, Simon gives his blessing to the Mason-Stagg union. Wedding invitations are sent out. (The wedding rehearsal is scheduled for June 23, which hints at a June 24 wedding date. However, the wedding won’t happen until after the Crisis, so that date should be summarily ignored.) Meanwhile, Halo arrives at Eden, meeting its founders—Brother Abraham and Lady Eve. (Unknown to her, Brother Abraham is secretly Jeffrey Franklin Burr aka Kobra.) Sapphire and her bridesmaid Katana try on dresses while Rex and Jefferson get fitted for tuxedos. Denise Howard, who has spent over six months recovering from trauma suffered from her sexual assault and suicide attempt, finally leaves the hospital and goes on a date with Brion. A few days later, Katana meets bank teller Emily “Lia” Briggs. At Eden, David’s father, US Army General Robert Harrison, visits the commune, trying to prove that Brother Abraham is up to no good and has brainwashed his son. Back in Gotham, Bruce and Alfred watch the TV news, learning that President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars Program (aka the Strategic Defense Initiative) has gone into effect with General Harrison at the helm. As night falls over Eden, David sneaks-off on a romantic tryst with Halo. Smitten, David proposes marriage to her! Lady Eve and some cultists come upon them, punishing them for being out past curfew by knocking them unconscious. Brother Abraham reveals himself as Kobra to a captive Halo, threatening to kill David unless she tells him Batman’s secret ID. Halo spills the beans.

–Batman and The Outsiders #26-27
Brion goes on another date with Denise Howard, after which he is attacked by some Kobra soldiers. Geo-Force easily dispatches them. Meanwhile, Katana, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning best their Kobra attackers in Metropolis. Bruce defeats Kobra intruders inside Wayne Manor. The Outsiders then assemble in the Batcave. Leaving Sapphire in Alfred’s care, the team examines a captive Kobra cultist, finding evidence of his connection to Eden. By the time the Outsiders arrive at Eden, Kobra has already left, putting into motion the next phase of his master plan. Having brainwashed General Harrison, Kobra has taken over Reagan’s Star Wars defense satellite. He publicly demands all the gold in Fort Knox, threatening to sell the satellite to the Soviet Union if he doesn’t get what he wants. The US military fires missiles into space, but Kobra shoots them down. Kobra then speaks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, but Gorbachev refuses to deal with the cult leader, offering assistance to the US Government instead. With only twelve hours on the countdown clock, Batman does a deep investigation, finding a corporation in India called Naja Naja, which he believes to be a front for the Kobra Cult. Sure enough, after getting inside the building (by using disguises), the heroes find themselves fighting Kobra agents. The Outsiders battle to an inner sanctum to find and rescue a captured Halo and David Harrison. The heroes then rocket into space to board the Star Wars satellite. Once inside, the epic melee erupts. Batman and Kobra fight to a stalemate, but the self destruct mechanism is activated aboard the satellite causing all aboard to flee in escape ships. With the world saved, Halo officially rejoins the Outsiders and gives her beau David a kiss, promising to see him again. In Gotham, Lia Briggs chats with her husband Greg Briggs. A mysterious man known as Tagon stalks Lia outside her apartment. (Note that a flashback from Convergence: Batman and The Outsiders #1 also shows this Outsiders vs Kobra adventure.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #555. Batman pumps-up his Matches Malone persona, befriending some new underground pals, including a smalltime criminal named Frankie.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #555. Batman adds a Robin-sized sidecar to his Bat-cycle.

–Batman #386
A month has passed since Wayne Enterprises took over Janus Cosmetics. Since then, no one has seen nor heard from Roman Sionis, who has secretly become the super-villain Black Mask and started his False Face Society Gang. The False Facers terrorize Gotham, crossing paths with Batman. Soon after, Black Mask kills one of the Wayne Foundation heads of Janus Cosmetics. Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Bullock examine the crime scene, learning that Sionis is behind the murder.

–Detective Comics #553
Black Mask and the False Face Society murder another Wayne Foundation-appointed director of Janus Cosmetics. Lucius Fox phones Bruce and tells him that the Wayne Foundation stock price is being negatively affected by the Janus fiasco. Bruce promises to attend a gala the following evening in an effort to do some PR and damage control. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock have a meeting with Interim Mayor George Skowcroft, during which the cops tell Skowcroft he needs to earn their respect if he wants their endorsement. The following evening, Bruce brings Julia Pennyworth as his date to the gala. Concurrently, Black Mask kidnaps his ex-girlfriend, fashion model Circe. The next night, Bruce and Jason visit the theater to see Ridley Scott’s Legend. After the flick, Batman and Robin fight the False Facers.

–Batman #387
Early June. Bruce and Alfred set up a masquerade party at Wayne Manor as bait for Black Mask, sending out invites. A few nights later, on the eve of June 6, the party begins. Vicki Vale makes an appearance just to show off her new fit bod (she’s been a gym rat for the past few months) and to tell off Bruce. Sure enough, Black Mask shows up and tries to kill Bruce, but Robin is ready and waiting. The Boy Wonder chases Black Mask to his cemetery hideout. Once Batman joins him, the Dynamic Duo kicks some False Face Society asses and then chases Black Mask to the old Sionis mansion. There, Batman and Robin kick even more False Face Society asses. Our heroes also bust Black Mask, who burns his ancestral home to the ground, accidentally searing his mask onto his face.

–REFERENCE: In Crisis on Infinite Earths #2. Batman begins following the criminal trial of the Flash with keen interest. What trial, you say? Well, let’s get caught up to speed on a mega-arc that spans from Flash #323 all the way through Flash #350! Many months ago, Reverse-Flash ruined Barry Allen’s wedding, nearly killing his fiancée Fiona Webb in the process. Flash responded by publicly executing Reverse-Flash, which thrust criminal manslaughter charges (now upped to second-degree murder charges) upon the hero. Batman will nervously follow the legal proceedings in the news over the course of the next few weeks. Eventually, Flash will be found guilty! But thanks to some last second evidence delivered by a returning Iris West-Allen, the verdict is overturned. Unknown to Batman and his peers, Flash decides to permanently move to the 30th century with Iris following his emotionally-draining ordeal.

–Detective Comics #554
Batman and Robin respond to a hostage situation aboard a freighter parked in Gotham Bay. While Batman scuba dives to the ship, Robin teams-up with Harvey Bullock, taking a motorboat out to the vessel. While Robin and Bullock bust the onboard-terrorists, Batman takes out a frogman, who accidentally bazookas a cruise liner. The heroes learn that the terrorists were trying to get a fake passport to their gangster boss, who was being deported. Of course, he went down with the sunken cruise liner.

–World’s Finest Comics #318
Pop star Marlon Monroe is nearly killed during a live stadium show, but Superman and Sonik are on hand to save him. Superman appoints Sonik as Monroe’s bodyguard. Meanwhile, Bruce hears that a nurse named Karp is asking for Batman, citing an emergency threat on one someone at the hospital—Ronnie, a boy in a bubble (i.e. a boy with an auto-immune disease that keeps him permanently behind a wall of quarantined plastic). Batman meets with Ronnie, who isn’t impressed, citing that he likes Flash better! Nurse Karp tells Batman that someone has been puncturing holes in Ronnie’s plastic shielding. Ronnie’s parents tell Batman that Ronnie was just moved back into the hospital, much to the chagrin of cost-cutting administrator Robert Glasser. Bruce’s ex-girlfriend Lilanne Stern, on an investigative report for RTV, tries to interview Glasser about Ronnie, but he turns her away. Batman confronts Glasser, but Glasser turns him away with just as much ease. After further investigation, Batman learns that a disheartened Ronnie has been tearing holes into his own bubble. Meanwhile, Superman discovers that Monroe’s weird in-house scientist Mr. Penumbra, who has made him a small army of robot servants, is behind the assassination attempt on his boss. Superman busts Penumbra. Later, Bruce sets up a “Make a Wish”-style meeting between Monroe and Ronnie. In the Fortress of Solitude, a contemplative Superman ponders about nightmares he’s been having recently. Later still, Bruce, via that Wayne Foundation, meets and offers an archeological grant to the manipulative Monica Zehringer, who is leading an out-of-town group in dredging the Gotham River as part of a search for a lost artistic masterpiece. Bruce sets up a visit to Lilanne’s Rockslide Club for the visiting Monica.

–Red Tornado #1
The Construct re-activates (as Construct 4.0) and begins causing destructive tornados that get blamed on Red Tornado. The Construct also mind-controls a group of heroes—Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, John Stewart, Hawkman, Flash, and Black Canary. Under the Construct’s spell, these heroes tell Red Tornado that he is a menace and ask him to permanently retire from crime-fighting. (Red Tornado #1 is also shown via flashback from Red Tornado #2.)

–Red Tornado #3
Ushering in the “Age of the Machines,” the Construct mind-controls nearly all of humanity, making them his slaves. The superhero community is able to resist, but the Construct retaliates by beginning an all-out war against humanity. Across the globe, the superheroes takes on an army of deadly robots. Soon, the Construct’s power grows so great that he can control even simple machines like radios, lamps, and wristwatches. Kathy Sutton meets with TO Morrow, hoping to get him to help bring down the Construct. TO Morrow shows her a way to do so, but he is soon mind-controlled into the evil AI’s ranks as well. Kathy proves her undying love for Red Tornado by risking life and limb to find him atop a mountain in the Colorado Rockies. There, she convinces him that only he can be Earth’s savior. As seen in the Batman-less Red Tornado #4, Red Tornado does indeed save the planet.

–World’s Finest Comics #319-321
Superman invites Batman to the Fortress of Solitude to tell him that he’s been having terrible nightmares for weeks. While Superman sleeps, Batman connects with a Kryptonian machine that allows him to enter the Man of Steel’s subconsciousness. There, Batman meets a beings called REM, whose intention is to both destroy Superman and control everyone in Metropolis via their dreams. With Superman out cold, Batman chases REM into the real world, confronting him just as he is about to dump hallucinogenics into the Metropolis Reservoir. Back at the reservoir, Batman prevents REM from tainting the water supply. Batman returns to the Fortress of Solitude only to be attacked by Superman, who is under REM’s mind-control. Batman is able to snap Superman back to his senses only by temporarily sending him into the Phantom Zone. Batman and Superman then bust REM. Meanwhile, in prison, Ray and Dot realize that Cathode has merged with them. Elsewhere, Chronos is hired to kill Batman by a new super-villain called Powerbroker. Following the REM affair, Batman returns to routine patrol in Gotham. When Chronos strikes, Superman and Batman challenge him. Chronos sends time-missiles into the past, which sends Superman chasing after them. Superman prevents the missiles from altering time. (Incredibly, Superman is forced to make sure the atomic bomb explodes exactly as it did over Hiroshima in 1945.) With the odds evened in present day, Chronos captures Batman. Chronos, having traveled all throughout time, reveals that he knows Batman’s secret origin. Playing an Emperor Palpatine role, Chronos offers Batman the chance to rewrite time and save his parents’ lives. (Chronos knows Batman won’t risk altering the time-stream and that this will be pure psychological torture for the Caped Crusader.) Batman time-zaps back to the moment of his parents’ murders and, sure enough, although it takes all of his strength not to act, he does not. From the shadows, the Dark Knight watches his parents get killed all over again. Superman arrives and returns Batman to the present. The World’s Finest heroes then angrily confront Chronos in his lair. Chronos flees through a time-portal to make his escape. Batman and Superman realize that Chronos was working for a higher-power, but they still don’t know about the mysterious Powerbroker.

[2]

–World’s Finest Comics #322
Batman reads about the disappearance (and presumed death) of burlesque dancer Johnnie Angel. Later, when Superman collapses in pain and is rushed to the hospital, Batman visits him in Metropolis. Superman has a second attack, collapsing in Batman’s arms. Unknown to them, gangster Lou Marino has hired Professor Seagall Hess to create a special invisible ray that is damaging Superman’s internal organs. While Batman investigates possible causes of Superman’s condition, he saves Helena Olafson from members of Marino’s gang. Helena is Johnnie’s twin sister, a Minnesota cop in town to investigate her sibling’s disappearance. Batman and Helena join forces, soon stumbling across a corpse with evidence linking Superman’s illness to both the Marino mob and Johnnie. The next day, Batman roughs up more of Marino’s men and then meets with a resurfaced Johnnie, who tells him that she got in too deep with the mob and faked her own death to escape trouble. (Johnnie’s tombstone has August 29 as her date of death, but we have to ignore this since we are still in June at this juncture on our timeline.) Johnnie also tells Batman all about the deadly “blood ray” that is hurting Superman. While Batman goes after the mobsters, a gun-toting Helena does the same. Both Batman and a weakened Superman save Helena’s life. Helena returns the favor by helping Batman shut down Marino’s crew. Later, Batman watches from the shadows as Helena and Superman visit Johnnie’s grave. Thinking of Johnnie’s safety, Batman decides not to tell them she is still alive.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #392. Batman helps out an Italian restaurant owner named Tony.

–DC Comics Presents #83
Early summer. Alfred accidentally interrupts an Outsiders training exercise, bonks his head, and turns back into the evil Outsider! The Outsider fights the Outsiders before disappearing into the streets of Gotham. Batman tells his team about Alfred’s condition. Meanwhile, the Outsider assaults Superman in Kansas, fighting him to a draw. The Outsider then fights Superman, Geo-Force, and Black Lightning inside the Batcave. He animates the T Rex and giant penny, causing them to come to life and attack. Concurrently, Batman and the rest of the Outsiders trail a radioactive signature to a creepy mansion on the outskirts of Gotham. Upon entry, the heroes view a video message from IQ (Ira Quimby), who reveals not only that he knows Batman’s secret ID, but that he is controlling the Outsider as well. Batman and his crew defeat IQ and his henchman, ending this control over the villain. Superman forces the Outsider to remotely erase IQ’s knowledge of the Dark Knight’s secret ID via mind-wipe. The Outsider then reverts back to Alfred. Later, the heroes dig up a time-capsule that IQ had buried outside of Wayne Tower—part of a now-foiled hundred year crime plan. The Outsiders visit a recuperating Alfred at Wayne Manor, paying homage to the original Outsider.

–World’s Finest Comics #323
The mysterious Powerbroker hires mystic super-villain Nightwolf as his newest top gun. Nightwolf comes out of the gate strong, using his vast powers to blanket Metropolis in unnatural daytime darkness. Superman has his hands full with the resultant chaos, but gets fully overwhelmed by Nightwolf and his spectral wolf familiars. Batman travels to Metropolis to help out. While there, Alfred patches through a phone call from Monica Zehringer, who tells Bruce that she has information pertaining to Nightwolf. Batman meets with Monica, who tells him that Nightwolf was an archeological partner of hers on several Wayne Enterprises-funded digs across the globe. She explains that Nightwolf got his powers from a Mexican shaman. Batman, disguised as the shaman, gets the jump on Nightwolf. The Dark Knight battles Nightwolf on a farm outside of the city, saving Superman’s life. Batman then busts Nightwolf, brining sunlight back to Metropolis. Afterward, Superman downplays the seriousness of the situation despite the fact that he nearly died. Batman chastises the Man of Steel for his cavalier attitude and for having been so reckless in his confrontation with Nightwolf. Batman calls Superman foolish and impetuous. With their friendship strained, the two part ways. And that’s all, folks! A truly shitty way to end World’s Finest Comics. Of course, while this was always meant to be the last issue of WFC, it was never meant to be the end of writer Joey Cavalieri’s ongoing narrative. DC higher-ups merely wanted WFC to go on hiatus, and they had every intention of continuing the story. Dangling plot points surrounding Cathode and Powerbroker were meant to be picked up after Crisis in a new monthly, but, alas, no follow-up was ever given the green light. We’ll never know about Cathode, Powerbroker, or whether Cavalieri was planning on mending the strained Batman-Superman relationship. Thus, the Silver/Bronze Age nears its end with the greatest of pals being in a petty feud over relatively nothing at all. We’ll see the butthurt heroes continue their feud in the upcoming Heroes Against Hunger #1.

–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.

–Heroes Against Hunger #1
When a couple Wayne Foundation-backed aid-relief pilots flying food and supplies into Ethiopia are shot down and killed, Batman travels to Africa seeking justice. Superman just-so-happens to be in Ethiopia as well, doing some humanitarian work. Batman reluctantly signals Superman, asking him to help with his case. Superman reluctantly agrees. Clearly, both men are still very upset with each other following their spat in WFC #323. They refuse to work together directly, but agree to help each other out by swapping cases. Thus, Superman sends Batman to meet with an escaped Lex Luthor to inquire about a plant growth formula that could help the people of Ethiopia while the Man of Steel himself digs deeper into the airplane attacks. Superman soon discovers that an alien tyrant known as The Master is responsible for shooting down planes over Ethiopia. The Master feeds on desolation and despair, hence his arrival in the poorest region of Africa. Meanwhile, Batman asks Luthor to help with the starvation problem in Ethiopia. Luthor agrees only as long as the world acknowledges him as a hero afterward. Just as Batman and Luthor join Superman in Africa, the Master plunges the entire Earth into darkness, blocking the suns rays from reaching the planet. Upon seeing the horrible starvation conditions affecting the locals, Luthor is nearly moved to tears. While Batman provides support to some malnourished refugees, Superman and Luthor battle the Master aboard his ship, causing it to explode. The Master retaliates by sending Superman to an alternate dimension. When Superman easily returns, the Master launches four mega-bombs capable of destroying the entire planet. Superman stops the bombs and returns to help Batman and Luthor take down the Master once and for all. The trio then administers hundreds of acres of topsoil and plant growth accelerant to the arid landscape, but their experiment fails. A Peace Corps worker admonishes them, explaining that no magick or super-sci-fi trick will save Ethiopia. She gives a brief history lesson to the heroes, telling them that only a well-funded multinational geo-political effort, spanning the course of decades, can turn the tide. Batman, Superman, and Luthor heed her words with keen ears before flying off together. While our story ends here, the implication is that Batman, Superman, and Luthor truly are changed men as a result of the Peace Corps worker’s speech. We can presume that all three of them (maybe together) take actionable steps to kickstart significant aid and reform in Ethiopia. And while WFC #323 left the Batman-Superman relationship in a very bad place, Heroes Against Hunger #1 explores the damage done and does a little bit to heal the wounds. It’s not hard to imagine Batman and Superman making-up after this. Hell, they basically even befriended Luthor here, which is nothing short of an amazing miracle. (Luthor will be back to his wily wicked ways come Crisis, of course.)

[3]

–Batman #388
The sky turns blood red over the Earth, but astronomers tell the public not to worry, citing that the effect is related to the impending passing of Halley’s Comet (set to pass by Earth in about six months). Of course, the astronomers are dead wrong about the cause of the ruby atmosphere. The skies have changed color as a dire warning of a terrible cosmic crisis that will soon commence. As a tint of scarlet continues to permeate the moonlight night, Batman fights ex-partners Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang at the Gotham Museum, but the villains escape. Back in the Batcave, Robin mentions that several members of the False Face Society are still at large. Batman shows Robin a crime-file video pertaining to the origins of the Flash rogues. Across town, three False Facers appoint Mirror Master as their new leader. The next night, Bruce goes on another date with Julia Pennyworth, bringing her back to Wayne Manor. But when the Bat-signal shines in the night sky, Bruce leaves her with Alfred and absconds to the cavern below. Soon after, Batman, Robin, and Harvey Bullock insert themselves into the middle of a spat between Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang, both of whom are trying to rob the same jewelry store. Batman busts the remaining False Facers while Robin and Bullock apprehend Mirror Master. Captain Boomerang flees the scene only to later help Mirror Master escape custody. But Captain Boomerang has other plans for his frenemy. He hypnotizes Mirror Master into becoming his mindless slave—or so he thinks. Mirror Master is able to prevent hypnosis but plays along anyway. Meanwhile, Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and Bullock meet to discuss a plan of action. (Batman #388 is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #555.)

–Detective Comics #555
Despite the sky still being red, life goes on in Gotham as per usual. Jason’s schoolteacher notifies Bruce that Jason has shown improvement and has entered the top 3% in his class. Bruce couldn’t be prouder. Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Bullock meet again to concoct a plan to deal with Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang. During their meeting, a clumsy Bullock accidentally shatters the Bat-signal. Batman dons his Matches Malone disguise to let Gotham’s underworld know that Bullock will be escorting a priceless museum piece out of city limits within the next twenty-four hours, setting up bait for Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang. Captain Boomerang sends Mirror Master to intercept Bullock, but Bullock screws-up the plan and gets kidnapped. Batman and Robin tail Mirror Master and Bullock to a rendezvous point with Captain Boomerang. There, Mirror Master turns on Captain Boomerang and hypnotizes Bullock into becoming his mindless follower. Mirror Master orders Bullock to kill Captain Boomerang, but Batman and Robin swing in to stop him. The Dynamic Duo and Bullock then bust the villains. Later, Jason tries his first attempt at keeping a journal, reading his first entry to Bruce. Jason decides he’s not into it and throws the journal in the trash.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #557. Batman checks-in the with the Detroit-based JLA to see if they have any info on the red sky situation. They don’t, but they tell Batman they will continue to monitor the situation and keep him in the loop.

–Batman #389
Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that Catwoman is back in town. He also makes a cheeky remark comparing Batman and Catwoman to Bernard Goetz. Catwoman, acting as a hero, patrols the streets, busting a False Facer and then nailing his mask to a pole. A few days later, at the Picture News office, Vicki and Julia ponder the true meaning of the red skies. They also discuss how Mayor George Skowcroft is now targeting vigilantism as major city issue, and how the mayor is now attacking Gordon just like Mayor Hill did before. Notably, news of a False Facer being brutally murdered has hit the mainstream publications. Unknown to all, Night-Slayer is responsible. At the edge of the city, Nocturna takes over the now abandoned Gotham Observatory, evicting the Savage Skulls gang in the process. (The Savage Skulls bear no relation to the super-villain Savage Skull or the Skull Smashers gang.) Nocturna also brainwashes a security guard named Marsh into becoming her personal slave. Meanwhile, Bruce feels compelled to reach out to Vicki and get some relationship closure for the both of them. He tracks down Vicki at Hardbody Health Spa and speaks with her, but she angrily tells him to piss off. Later, Batman brings a blindfolded Catwoman to the “cat” stalagmite in the Batcave.[4] Using cryptic rock formation metaphors, Batman tries to tell Catoman that he wants to be with her. Catwoman simply tells Batman that she understands before turning away and asking him to take her back into the city. The two have a tense conversation in the Batmobile before Catwoman slips back into the scarlet-tinted night. A couple days later, Harvey Bullock and Robin investigate the observatory in search of Nocturna. (Bullock has been led there by Marsh’s wife, Jillian Marsh.) Robin finds Nocturna high atop the observatory dome. In the windswept rain, Robin joins Nocturna, who tells him that the cerise haze has nothing to do with Halley’s Comet, citing that the red skies will bring about “the death of the night.” The Boy Wonder, starved for a maternal figure in his life, couldn’t be happier to spend time with the slightly unhinged (and barely clothed) Nocturna. He even calls her “mom.”

–Detective Comics #556
Picking up directly from Batman #389, Nocturna and Robin continue chatting about the carmine skies above them until they are interrupted by Harvey Bullock. Robin tells Bullock that everything’s cool. Meanwhile, Night-Slayer continues murdering False Facers left-and-right. Meanwhile, Nocturna officially takes control of the remnants of the False Face Society. At police HQ, Bullock tells Commissioner Gordon that he thinks Robin might be Nocturna’s biological son. Gordon tells Bullock that he realized there was a new Robin at some point last year despite the fact that Batman never said anything to him about it. Gordon assumes (correctly) that the original Robin simply grew up and moved on. Later, Batman rescues a False Facer from Night-Slayer and then visits Nocturna at the observatory to tell her that Night-Slayer is coming after her. Nocturna tells Batman that she’d rather die by Night-Slayer’s hand than by “something so alien and unknown” as whatever has caused the sky to burn red. Batman and Nocturna give into their lingering emotions and kiss passionately.

–Batman #390
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #556, Batman and Nocturna continue smooching. She tells him that she has come back to the observatory to study the red skies, convinced that the end of the world is nigh. The once-lovers soon begin to argue about their different life paths, and Batman leaves in a huff. Concurrently, Catwoman spies on a False Face Society gathering, at which Nocturna assures her men that she will deal with Night-Slayer. Across town, Batman spies on Vicki Vale, watching as she canoodles with her personal trainer. Several small earthquakes begin to rumble across the Eastern seaboard, all connected to the oncoming Crisis. Robin visits Bullock, telling him that Night-Slayer is responsible for the False Face murders. Robin then visits the observatory to find Nocturna in conversation with Catwoman. Naturally, a fight breaks out. Batman intervenes only to get stuck in the middle of the battle. Catwoman ascends to the top of the dome where she is struck by lightning! Batman takes a barely-breathing Catwoman in his arms and carries her out of the observatory as a large aftershock ravages the surrounding terrain. (Batman #390 is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #557.)

–Detective Comics #557
Picking up directly from Batman #390, Batman rushes a critical Catwoman to the hospital where she is stabilized but left in a coma. Batman refuses to leave her side, refusing to speak with Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock even for a moment. Meanwhile, the red skies have churned-up a vermilion snowstorm over Gotham. Flooding and earthquakes pummel the entire North American continent. In the Batcave, Robin gets a call from the JLA in Detroit. Martian Manhunter tells him that there is still no new news to report regarding the red skies and earthquakes. Later, at the hospital, Selina awakens. Batman professes his love to her. Meanwhile, Night-Slayer kills some more False Facers and heads to the observatory where he confronts Robin.

–Batman #391
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #557, Night-Slayer swats aside Robin and enters the observatory to confront Nocturna. Robin radios Batman for assistance before hang-gliding to the top of the observatory just in time to see Night-Slayer stab Nocturna in the chest. Despite being mortally-wounded, Nocturna fights back. Batman arrives in time to save Nocturna, but he takes a blade in the abdomen for his trouble. While Robin drags the dying Nocturna into her hot air balloon basket and releases her into the red night sky, Batman and Night-Slayer continue their struggle. Catwoman, having left the hospital and commandeered a helicopter, crashes it into the observatory dome, demolishing the entire building. The biggest earthquake yet strikes, causing the telescope to collapse, which sends Catwoman and Night-Slayer hurtling over the edge of a newly-formed cliff. Batman and Robin crawl down the vibrating cliffside to the shoreline below. A resilient Catwoman emerges from the waters with a knocked-out Night-Slayer in tow. The heroes look into the swirling claret hurricane winds above and know that Nocturna has paid the ultimate sacrifice to help them bust Night-Slayer. RIP Nocturna!

–Detective Comics #558
Picking up directly from Batman #391, Batman shrugs-off his injuries, escorts Catwoman back to the hospital, and delivers Night-Slayer to police HQ. At City Hall, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock meet with Acting Mayor George Skowcroft to discuss the earthquakes, hurricanes, and red skies. At the observatory, Marsh, still under Nocturna’s spell, attacks Robin. The Dynamic Duo track Marsh to the top of the Ardeco Building (an analogue for the Empire State Building). They try to help him, but he falls to his death. Batman reports the news of Marsh’s death to Bullock, who informs Batman that Joker has just escaped from Arkham Asylum. Batman then visits Selina in the hospital. Across town, Bullock delivers the bad news about Marsh to his wife. The skies continue to burn red. The Crisis is about to begin. But first, Convergence! Sigh.

–Convergence
A time-traveling (and metaverse-traveling) Brainiac, who has come to this point from 2015 of the alternate New 52 timeline, places Gotham under an impenetrable dome and relocates it onto the sentient planet Telos. Batman and company spend an entire year stuck under the dome before suffering total cosmic erasure. However, 2017’s “Superman Reborn” arc undoes Convergence, thankfully retconning it to an outside-of-time-and-space story that registers as nothing more than a worthless seconds-long blip on our chronology. Not only that, but Batman and company retain zero memories of Convergence in the end. Even though Convergence doesn’t count, because it is such a lengthy story, I’ve included a timeline in the following footnote.[5]

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #2
July.[6] Note that Batman does not appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, hence the reason it doesn’t appear on our timeline. Here’s a brief recap to get us caught up to speed. The red skies phase back into blue, but only because we’ve reached the eye of the storm. Entire worlds across the multiverse begin to evaporate, notably Earth-3 where the Crime Syndicate and Alexander Luthor are killed, but the latter sends his only child (Alexander Luthor Jr) to the safety of Earth-1 via an interdimensional rocket. The Monitor and Harbinger retrieve the child. Harbinger also recruits super-powered warriors from throughout time and the multiverse, brining them to the Monitor’s satellite. Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 picks up here, with time anomalies affecting both the Legion in the 30th century and the Bear Clan (Anthro, Emba, Lart, and Ne-ahn) in the Paleolithic Era. In 1985, Batman battles the escaped Joker. As they fight, a ghoulish visage of Flash appears, crying out for help and claiming that everything around him is dying. Flash says that he and his wife Iris are dying. Turning into a skeleton, Flash disappears. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 Part 2.) Meanwhile, aboard his satellite, the Monitor addresses a collection of heroes and villains—Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2’s Psycho-Pirate, Psimon, Earth-4’s Blue Beetle, King Solovar, Geo-Force, Firestorm, Killer Frost, Arion (from circa 40,000 BCE), Dr. Polaris, Earth-2’s Obsidian, Cyborg, Dawnstar (from the 30th century), John Stewart, and Earth-2 Firebrand (from 1942). (Note that Crisis #2 says Firebrand is scooped-up from 1945, but All-Star Squadron #50-54 correctly says 1942.) The Monitor tells this group that waves of destructive anti-matter have already erased over a thousand universes—and the wave is heading their way now. (The anti-matter has been deliberately unleashed by the Monitor’s evil rival, The Anti-Monitor.)[7] Harbinger—who has secretly been corrupted by one of the Anti-Monitor’s Shadow Demons—tells the gathered super-people that the Monitor has placed towering golden antennae in five different time-eras throughout the multiverse. The Monitor refers to these antennae as the last hope against the Anti-Monitor’s plan, deeming that they must be protected at all costs. In Metropolis, Batman meets with Superman to tell him about Flash. The mysterious Watcher-esque Pariah briefly appears before the World’s Finest, warning them that the multiverse is nearing its end. Meanwhile, Harbinger visits baby Alexander Luthor Jr, who has bizarrely begun to age rapidly. The infant has now become a toddler and will soon be a teen. On Earth-AD, the group of Earth-2 Superman, Dawnstar, and Solovar help Kamandi protect a golden antenna from Shadow Demons. Arion, Obsidian, and Psycho-Pirate are sent to protect an antenna in Ancient Atlantis (Earth-1, circa 40,000 BCE). When Psycho-Pirate turns on them, the heroes, along with Atlantean warrior Lady Chian, fight against their former comrade. The Anti-Monitor teleports Pyscho-Pirate away, recruiting him to the other side.

–Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #44 (aka Saga of the Swamp Thing #44)
July—picking up directly from Crisis on Infinite Earths #2. The skies turn red again and violent hurricanes begin to rage as before. The eye of the cosmic storm is well behind us now. Batman helps the citizens of Gotham deal with the raging scarlet storms of the Crisis. While patrolling the streets, the Dark Knight runs into Mento (Steve Dayton) and John Constantine! Meanwhile, Swamp Thing checks-up on his wife Abigail Holland (née Arcane, née Cable) before executing a serial killer in the bayou.

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #3
July—picking up directly from Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #44. Batman and Superman join the Outsiders and the Teen Titans (including one of their newest members, Kole Weathers) in New York City to help save lives as a wave of destructive contraterrene energy cuts a path across the scarlet sky, erasing everything in its path. As before, Flash is able briefly appear before the heroes by vibrating through the time-barrier. But all he can do is offer a belated warning and scream in terror before disappearing. Meanwhile, Geo-Force, Dr. Polaris, and Blue Beetle time-travel to Marvokia (June, 1944) to protect another of the Monitor’s antennae. They join up with Sgt Frank Rock’s Easy Company (including Four-Eyes, Flower, Farmer Boy, Jackie Johnson, Worry-Wart, Short Round, Long Round, and others), The Losers (Captain William Storm, Johnny Flying Cloud Gunner MacKay, Sarge Clay, and Pooch), and the Haunted Tank Unit (Lt Jeb Stuart, Sgt William Craig, Eddie Craig, Gus Gray, Rick Rawlins, Arch Asher, and the ghost of General JEB Stuart) to fight some Nazis. They can handle Nazis but are no match for Shadow Demons. The evil creatures kill the Losers and injure Blue Beetle, who gets pulled back to the Monitor’s satellite. Things go badly on Earth AD too, as Solovar is also killed. Cyborg, John Stewart, Firebrand, and Psimon are sent to Texas (1879) to defend another antenna. They join with locals Bat Lash, Johnny Thunder (John Tane), Nighthawk, Scalphunter, and Jonah Hex to battle Shadow Demons, but the entire group gets trapped in a collapsed mineshaft. Nighthawk escapes to a nearby town, but it gets swallowed whole by anti-matter, killing everyone there. In the 30th century, Legionnaires Brainiac 5 and Dream Girl watch remotely as their fellow teammates fair poorly against the death-wave. Legionnaire Kid Psycho is killed by anti-matter exposure. Similar death-waves devastate different time-periods and universes simultaneously. At each location in time and space, red skies blaze in stark contrast to the void-like white bomboras that threateningly encroach upon all life. Meanwhile, Harbinger struggles but is unable to fight off the Anti-Monitor’s control over her.

–New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13 Part 2
July. Picking up directly from the Outsiders/Teen Titans scene in Crisis #3, the red sky-fueled storms continue to brew with more ferocity while all-consuming anti-matter waves grow in size all over the planet. Superman, Batman and the Outsiders, and the Teen Titans continue providing support in New York City. Chaos reigns across all time and space.

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #4
July—picking up directly from New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13. In Gotham, Supergirl visits Batgirl, who is very worried about the steady incline of bad weather, sunspot phenomena, and anti-matter cloud activity. Meanwhile, Steve Dayton and John Constantine have left Gotham and moved to the temporary safety of Dayton’s East Hampton mansion. Death spreads across the multiverse as only six universes now remain! On Earth-6, Pariah watches helplessly as Lord Volt, Lady Quark, and Princess Fern struggle against the chaos. Volt and Fern are killed along with the entire planet. Pariah is able to save Quark, pulling her into another universe. Meanwhile, the Monitor turns scientist Kimiyo Hoshi into the new Dr. Light. The Anti-Monitor matches his rival’s move by kidnapping Red Tornado. Concurrently, Firestorm and Killer Frost time-travel to Earth-2’s Medieval England where they team-up with Shining Knight to defend a golden antenna against Shadow Demons. Another antenna tower rises up over the New York City skyline. At each antenna location, the Shadow Demons merge to form Godzilla-sized monsters. The new Dr. Light joins, Batman, Superman, the Teen Titans, and the Outsiders to help them in their NYC battle. Dozens of superheroes—from Air Wave and Blue Devil to Dolphin and Zatanna—struggle as volcanos and typhoons bring terror across the only remaining planets: Earth-1 and Earth-2. Aboard his satellite HQ, the Monitor is visited by Pariah. The Monitor tells Pariah that the multiverse is doomed and that there’s no saving it in its current form. The begins to explain that his golden antennae will reshape the multiverse into something new after its erasure, but before he can go into greater detail, the mind-controlled Harbinger assassinates him! Universe-1 and Universe-2 are nearly destroyed, but the Monitor’s antennae save the universes by merging them together into a newly formed “netherverse.” (Aside from this newly-merged universe, only Universe-4, Universe-S, and Universe-X remain intact.)

[8]

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
July—picking up directly from Crisis #4. The Monitor is dead, but his antenna towers have merged all the remaining Earths into one unified netherverse. Of course, the creation of a netherverse mashes all time into present day, leading to chaos as dinosaurs, cavemen, future teens, pilgrims, 18th century pioneers (like Tomahawk and Miss Liberty), 19th century cowboys, WWII soldiers, and everything else you can imagine occupy the same space. Meanwhile, Alexander Luthor Jr grows into his late teens, explaining to Harbinger and Pariah that his late father genetically-engineered his accelerate growth, thus allowing him the chance to play Crisis hero. On the new merged Earth, Batman joins up with Huntress (Helena Wayne) and Earth-2 Robin, but—along with every other superhero and super-villain—they are quickly teleported to the Monitor’s satellite. Harbinger and Alexander Luthor Jr brief the large group in this famous “gathering of the super-powers” scene. Present are: Earth-2’s All-Star Squadron from 1942 (Earth-2 Plastic Man, Liberty Belle, Earth-2 Johnny Quick, Amazing Man, Tarantula, Star-Spangled Kid, and Firebrand), Earth-2 Green Arrow from 1942, Earth-2’s JSA, Sargon, Earth-X’s Freedom Fighters, John Stewart, Earth-2’s Infinity Inc (Brainwave Jr, Fury, Jade, Obsidian, Northwind, Nuklon, Silver Scarab, and Star-Spangled Kid—yes the same person from two different time periods is here), Earth-2’s Stripesy, Earth-4’s Blue Beetle, the Detroit-based JLA, Firestorm, Black Canary, the Atom, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Earth-AD’s Kamandi, the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th century (Blok, Invisible Kid II, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, and many others), the Legion of Substitute Heroes from the 30th century (Polar Boy and Chlorophyll Kid), the Fatal Five from the 30th century (Persuader, Tharok, and Validus), the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, Air Wave, Amethyst, Aqualad, Aquagirl, Batgirl, Black Orchid, Blue Devil, B’wana Beast, Creeper, Deadman, the new Dr. Light, Dolphin, Hawk, Dove, Firehair from the early 19th century, Firehawk, Jemm, folks from the late 19th century (Johnny Thunder, Jonah Hex, Cinnamon, Scalphunter, and Bat Lash), Jonni Thunder, Earth-6’s Lady Quark, Phantom Stranger, the Spectre, Plastic Man, Ragman, Swamp Thing, Warlord, Windfall, folks from the 1940s (Blackhawk Andre Blanc-Dumont, Blackhawk Stanislaus Drozdowski, Sgt Rock’s Easy Company, the Haunted Tank Unit, Samurai, and Earth-2’s Per Degaton), the Doom Patrol (Robotman, Negative Man, and Celsius), the Challengers, the Metal Men, the Sea Devils (Biff Bailey, Dane Dorrance, Judy Walton, and Nicky Walton), Earth-2 Lex Luthor, Big Sir, Blockbuster, Brain Storm, Brother Blood, Captain Boomerang, the Rogues (Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, and Captain Cold), Earth-2 Cheetah, Dr. Polaris, Killer Frost, Kung, Earth-2’s Mist, Ocean Master, Penguin, Copperhead, Plastique, Poison Ivy, Rag Doll, Riddler, Silver Swan, Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris), Earth-2’s Ultra-Humanite, Earth-2’s Vandal Savage from Medieval Times, Earth-2’s Vulcan Son of Fire, the Brotherhood of Evil (the Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Warp, Phobia, and Plasmus), the Fearsome Five, and Catwoman. (Note that, as per Detective Comics #558 and Batman #392, Catwoman is currently in the hospital, nursing injuries. So, either her appearance in the crowd is a continuity error or she’s temporarily sneaked out, as she is wont to do.) The cover of Crisis #5 also shows several Earth-2 characters from the 1940s: Nacht, Neptune Perkins, Tsunami, and The Guardian, so we can assume they are present at the gathering as well. (Infinity Inc #22 Part 1 overlaps with Crisis #5, showing Batman in the crowd, along with Earth-2 Harlequin, Earth-2’s Deathbolt from the 1940s, and Earth-2’s Helix—a villainous team comprised of Mr. Bones, Arak, Baby Boom, Kritter, Penny Dreadful, and Tao Jones. Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46 also overlaps with Crisis #5, and also shows Batman in the crowd, along with John Constantine, Hans Von Hammer from the 1940s, Ambush Bug, Captain Compass from the 1950s, an alternate universe version of Adam Strange, and Eclipso. All-Star Squadron #53 also overlaps with Crisis #5, showing Batman in the crowd, along with Cyclotron from the 1940s.) The gathered super-folks learn about the Crisis and watch a live feed of Adam Strange and Alanna Strange fighting prehistoric beasts on Rann. After their briefing, the large gathering of super-powered beings are teleported back to the merged-Earth. On Oa, members of the Green Lantern Corps (including Arisia, Katma Tui, Xax, Tomar-Re, Ch’p, and seven unnamed Green Lanterns) are shocked to discover the Guardians of the Universe imprisoned in a stasis beam. In Metropolis, both Supermen chat with Lois Lane and Lana Lang as a gawking Peter Parker (of Marvel’s Earth-616) watches on! Meanwhile, the Time Masters get trapped within the damaged time-stream. At Wayne Manor, Batman gathers a motley crew of his own, including Jason Todd, Alfred, the Outsiders, Earth-2 Robin, Huntress (Helena Wayne), Nuklon, Weather Wizard, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Samurai, Per Degaton, Monsieur Mallah, the Brain, and Plastique. The entire Paleolithic Era Bear Clan shows up at Wayne Manor as well. Starfire, Firebrand, Firestorm, Killer Frost, and some Legionnaires help Red Star fight monsters in the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the Anti-Monitor kidnaps Flash and forces him to watch Psycho-Pirate takes over Red Tornado’s mind. The brainwashed Red Tornado attacks over a dozen heroes, shattering Wildcat’s legs in the process. The heroes, aided by Yolanda Montez, are able to defeat Red Tornado, who shuts down in a comatose-like status. Across the planet, all the heroes and villains decide to officially band together against whatever evil threat lay ahead. The Anti-Monitor begins the destruction of both Monitor’s satellite HQ and Universe-X. The Freedom Fighters prepare to meet their doom.

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
July. Batman isn’t in Crisis #6, but here’s what happens in a nutshell before we move on. The Monitor’s satellite is destroyed. At the behest of the Anti-Monitor, Psycho-Pirate mind-controls the Freedom Fighters into battling against their comrades on Earth-X. On Earth-4, he causes Earth-4’s heroes (Blue Beetle, Thunderbolt Peter Cannon, Nightshade, Peacemaker, Judomaster from the 1940s, The Question, and Captain Atom) to fight against their fellow good guys, including Teen Titan Azrael. On Earth-S, Psycho-Pirate forces the Marvel Family to turn heel as well. Harbinger is able to begin the process of merging these three Earths with the combination Earth 1-2, creating the start of a new five-way Earth. Yolanda Montez debuts as the new Wildcat. Crisis #7 picks up here with Harbinger restoring sanity to all the Psycho-Pirate-controlled heroes. Two Earth-S villains—Dr. Sivana and Ibac—get teleported to Brainiac’s spaceship as Earth-S heroes Captain Marvel and Tawky Tawny look on. Members of Earth-S’s Marvel Family, including Uncle Marvel, check-in to say they are healthy and safe. Earth-2’s other Firebrand (Rod Reilly) rejoins his Earth-X Freedom Fighter teammates. Alexander Luthor, Pariah, and Harbinger call a meeting with representatives of six Earths—Superman, Earth-2 Superman, Lady Quark, Uncle Sam, Captain Marvel, and Blue Beetle. Harbinger tells them the story of the ancient Oan (Malthusian) scientist Krona, who peered backward in time to view the origin of the multiverse, seeing the mysterious Great Hand of Creation. (This story was also partially told in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40, in which the Great Hand of Creation is implied to be the very appendage of the Islamo-Judeo-Christian God—or at least the hand of a divine agent of God, such as the Spectre). Krona’s dangerous spying experiment has a significant impact on the evolution of the multiverse as it causes a butterfly effect and eventual Big Bang that spawns the positive-matter multiverse and anti-matter universe, including the central Earth-1 planet Oa and central anti-matter planet Qward. (The implication here is that the Great Hand’s intention was to create one singular universe, but Krona’s actions splintered the universe into the multiverse and anti-matter universe.) Harbinger explains that Krona’s actions led to the formation of the Guardians of the Universe, Manhunters, Green Lantern Corps, and the Controllers and helped create the Monitor and Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor was born on the moon of Qward, creating Shadow Demons and an army of warriors known as Thunderers.[9] Pariah explains that it was his own foolish Krona-esque experimentation that awakened the dormant Monitor and Anti-Monitor along with the deadly anti-matter waves. With the full story now told, fifteen of the strongest flying heroes join Pariah, who leads them to anti-matter universe. At the Anti-Monitor’s floating space fortress, the heroes battle rock monsters and destroy some of the Anti-Monitor’s cosmic tech. Superman, Supergirl, and the new Dr. Light take on the Anti-Monitor himself. Supergirl injures the Anti-Monitor, who is forced to retreat. But before he flees, he kills Supergirl! Back home, a multi-globally-televised funeral is held for Supergirl. Nearly every superhero is present. (The cover to Crisis #7 is very thematic and not to be taken as a canonical scene, but it does include some extra characters that were likely at the funeral: Big Bear, Vigilante Alan Welles, and 30th century Legionnaires Broot and Night Girl.) A short period of relative peace (while both the Anti-Monitor and the heroes lick their wounds) now starts before we’ll pick up with Crisis #8 and Justice League of America Annual #3.[10] 

–Justice League of America Annual #3
JLofA Annual #3 overlaps with Crisis #8, following-up directly from Crisis #8 Part 1 (which doesn’t include Batman). Here is a brief synopsis of Crisis #8 Part 1 before we head into the action of JLofA Annual #3. Just about everyone thinks the Crisis is over. Boy, are they dead wrong. Darkseid and Desaad stay hidden, having cloaked Apokolips. On Oa, the Guardians of the Universe argue about their path forward. In the 30th century (which is back in its proper place on the timeline), the Legion—including Proty and White Witch—tries to figure out how to fully separate the five overlapping universes. Several heroes and Dr. TO Morrow board the ruins of the old JL Satellite in an effort to awaken the still-comatose Red Tornado. During the process, Red Tornado’s body causes an explosion that pushes the JL Satellite out of orbit and plummeting to Earth. Blue Devil is teleported to deep space where he joins the Omega Men (Doc, Rynoc, Shlagen, and Zirral). JLofA Annual #3 picks up here. The Detroit-based JLA, Green Arrow, and Black Canary prevent the fiery wreck of the old JL Satellite from causing harm on Earth below. However, Red Tornado is killed. His lifeless android shell is delivered to the JLA’s tech specialist Dale Gunn. Soon after, Kathy Sutton gets a strange video message from Red Tornado, telling her to come to Gotham. In Gotham, a confused Kathy climbs to the top of a bridge, but is rescued by Batman and the Outsiders. Green Arrow and Black Canary report the news of Red Tornado’s demise to the Outsiders and an arriving Superman. They also report that the STAR Labs satellites have been hijacked and are causing severe weather patterns across the globe (in addition to the already severe Crisis-related weather anomalies). When a black hole-like space warp appears in the sky, the JLA and Superman mobilize into action. Green Arrow can’t stand Vibe and punches him in the face. Eventually, Tornado Champion (the Air/Wind Elemental formerly housed within Red Tornado’s android body) emerges and claims responsibility for the storms, citing that humanity has ruined the planet. Kathy talks down Tornado Champion, giving the heroes (sans Batman and the Outsiders) the opportunity to trap him. However, Tornado Champion easily breaks free and departs, vowing that there will one day come a reckoning.

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10
Batman doesn’t appear (aside from in a flashback) in Crisis #8, but it is critical to our ongoing narrative and leads directly into Crisis #9, so here’s a rundown of what happens in Crisis #8 Part 2 before we get to Crisis #9. On Qward, the Anti-Monitor orders his Thunderers to build a giant super-weapon. Flash escapes from his imprisonment and forces Psycho-Pirate to turn the Thunderers against their master. Flash knows he can destroy the super-weapon by running at top speed around its outer casing, but he realizes it will be a suicide mission. As he runs to his doom, Flash vibrates his image through the time-barrier to appear before Batman and Joker (in Crisis #2)! Flash sacrifices his life to fully destroy the Anti-Monitor’s weapon. Meanwhile, the Challengers pick up a noise emanating from deep space—the Spectre screaming in agony. Crisis #9 picks up here. On Oa, the Guardians make Guy Gardner an official Green Lantern. A burst of anti-matter kills all the Guardians except for one. Meanwhile, Brainiac has gathered an assemblage of dozens of super-villains aboard his starship. Present are: Lex Luthor, Earth-2 Lex Luthor, Ace of Spades, Earth-S’s Black Adam, Black Manta, Black Spider, Blackstarr, Blockbuster, Bolt, Bulldozer, Bug-Eyed Bandit, the Rogues (including Golden Glider), Earth-S’s Captain Nazi, the Cheetah, Earth-2 Cheetah, Chemo, Cheshire, Chronos, Circe, Clock King, Cluemaster, Copperhead, Cosmic King from the 30th century, Count Vertigo, Crime Doctor, Deathstroke, Dr. Double-X, Dr. Phosphorus, Dr. Polaris, Dr. Psycho, the Legion of Super-Villains from the 30th century (Dr. Regulus and Lightning Lord), Earth-S’s Dr. Sivana, Earth-S’s Ibac, Earth-4’s Dr. Spectro, Earth-2’s Dragon King from the 1940s, Eclipso, Evil Star, The Cadre (Overmaster, Black Mass, and Fastball), Felix Faust, Earth-2’s Fiddler, Earth-2’s Gambler, Floronic Man, Earth-4’s Ghost, Gorilla Grodd, the Brotherhood of Evil (including Houngan), the villainous Earth-2 Huntress, The Hyena, Earth-2’s Icicle, Earth-4’s Image, Earth-4’s Punch, Earth-4’s Jewelee, Joker, Kanjar Ro, Killer Frost, Killer Moth, Kobra, Kung, Lady Lunar, Epoch from the 38th century, Matter Master, Earth-2’s Mist, Earth-S’s Mr. Mind, Earth-4’s heel-turned Nightshade, Ocean Master, Penguin, Earth-2’s Per Degaton, Poison Ivy, Quakemaster, Queen Bee, Riddler, Scarecrow, Shadow Thief, Shaggy Man, Karshon, Earth-X’s Silver Ghost, Silver Swan, Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris), Starro, Syonide, TO Morrow, Trickster, Earth-2’s Vandal Savage from Medieval Times, an alternate version of The Harlequin, the Fatal Five from the 30th century (including Emerald Empress and Mano), the Fearsome Five, and the Masters of Disaster. (The cover to Crisis #9 also shows Shrike, Weasel, and Predator, so we can assume they are present as well.) Earth-2 Lex Luthor speaks his mind, which results in his immediate execution at the hands of Brainiac. Meanwhile, Jericho joins Starfire and Nightwing (who are now dating) board a Tamaranian spaceship helmed by Taryia and Karras. Starfire has been summoned back to her home planet by her father, King Myand’r. In Greenwich Village, Manhattan, a bizarre time-anomaly warp zone has opened up. Famous TV news journalists Lois Lane, Jack Ryder, Tawny Young, and Megan O’Dell interview scientists Will Magnus, Jenet Klyburn, Rip Hunter, and Darwin Jones about the warp zone. Clark Kent also does a warp zone TV report, which is viewed by Bernie the Brain (of Sugar and Spike fame), who has been time-displaced from the early 1970s. All the displaced WWII heroes return to 1944 (which also returns to its proper place on the timeline), unsure about what they have just experienced. Earth-4 remains in the worst condition of the five Earths, with most of its heroes injured and most of its cities leveled. Harbinger, Pariah, and Alexander Luthor Jr address the UN about all that has occurred, but they are interrupted by Brainiac and Lex Luthor, who announce that their villain army has taken control of Earth-S, Earth-4, and Earth-X, placing impenetrable barriers between the universes. TV audiences, politicians, and newscasters at the UN—Clark Kent, Lana Lang, Jack Ryder, Mona Nockwood, and Bethany Snow—are shocked. In 1917, the skies briefly turn red over Europe, surprising WWI hero Balloon Buster. (This signals the Anti-Monitor’s impending return.) In present day Greenwich Village, all the superheroes gather—including Teen Titans that haven’t been active in a while, the Doom Patrol (with Negative Woman and Tempest), the Metal Men, the JSA, the JLA, Infinity Inc, Batman, Robin, the Outsiders, and many more. Using the Cosmic Treadmill, Earth-2’s Jay Garrick and Kid Flash send the heroes through the barriers and onto the various Earths. Epic battles erupt on each Earth. Dozens are injured. Chemo poisons Earth-4’s New York City, mortally injuring Aquagirl and making the entire planet all but uninhabitable in the process. Negative Woman destroys Chemo. In Earth-1’s Atlantis, Aquagirl succumbs to her injuries and dies. Meanwhile, in a would-be power grab, Psimon tries to kill Brainiac but fails and pays for his attempted coup with his life. As the war rages on, more villains join-in: Despero, Dr. Destiny, Dr. Cyber, and Hector Hammond. They help Dr. Sivana capture Earth-S’s Marvel Family (including Fat Marvel, Tall Marvel, and Hill Marvel). The heroes rescue the Marvels. On Earth-X, Batman, Robin, the Outsiders, Infinity Inc, and Elongated Man (in his “Molder” persona) duke it out against Calendar Man, Penguin, Multiplex, Earth-2’s Dummy, Typhoon, and others. Dozens of other heroes battle against other villains across all the Earths. Spectre appears before all combatants, halting the fighting. He addresses the heroes and villains of multiple Earths (including some not even directly involved in the chaos) across time and space, declaring that the Anti-Monitor lives and the theater of war must be fought on two simultaneous fronts—on Oa (ten billion years ago) and at the Dawn of Time itself. Shown listening to the address are: the Legion (including Tellus and Sensor Girl aka Princess Projectra) in the 30th century; Space Ranger and Cryll in the 22nd century; Chris KL-99, Jero, and Halk from the 21st century; The Time Trapper at the End of Time; Tokamak, Lord Satanis, Atomic Knight, Maaldor, and Earth-2’s Insect Queen in present day; and many others. A truce is formed, and both heroes and villains meet in Earth-1’s Death Valley for a summit. New folks in attendance are: LightningMagnetic Kid from the 30th century; Silver Slasher from the 30th century; more Legion of Super-Villains members from the 30th century (Magno Lad , Chameleon Chief, Tyr, and Radiation Roy); Chun YullMadame Xanadu; Jennifer Morgan; Enforcer; and Earth-Prime Superboy aka Superboy-Prime. While the cover to Crisis #10 should be regarded as thematic and not canon, it includes 30th century Legionnaire Computo, so we can assume she is present as well. Likewise, a visual reference in the New 52’s Justice League Vol. 2 #40 includes Jack O’Lantern, Duplicate Boy of the 30th century, Earth-12’s Inferior Five (Awkward Man and Merryman), Kid Devil, Quislet of the 30th century, Earth-4’s Son of Vulcan, Sunburst, Super-Chief, Earth-Prime’s Ultraa, and Valda the Iron Maiden from the 9th century. During the Death Valley summit, Harbinger begins typing up an official history of the Crisis, titled “The Monitor Tapes.” In her recording, she writes about the deaths of the Losers and Immortal Man, the near deaths of Swamp Thing and Earth-2 Hawkman, and the destruction of Earth-Prime, Mibrannu, Thanagar, Olympus, Gemworld, Takron-Galtos, Kranaltine, and six versions of Kuraq. (The failed defense of Olympus involved Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Zeus, and Apollo; the failed defense of Gemworld involved Amethyst and Lady Sapphire; the failed defense of Takron-Galtos involved Sun Emperor, Titania, and Esper Lass; the failed defense of Kranaltine saw the death of Prince Gavyn aka Starman; and the failed defense of Kuraq-1 through Kuraq-6 involved X’Hal and the death of Nimbus.) Harbinger also includes good news: the Amazons successfully defended Paradise Island; Tommy Tomorrow and The Planeteers of the 21st century saved sixteen planets in the NGC-2683 system; and the Forever People (Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider, and Serifan) saved Adon. At the Death Valley summit, Earth-2 Superman bids adieu to his wife Lois Lane-Kent (Earth-2 Lois Lane). The superheroes then travel to the Dawn of Time where they battle the Anti-Monitor in a stark white void that exists prior to the creation of the multiverse. This sentient blank space is what will, in later continuities, be referred to as the Overmonitor or Overvoid. All hope seems lost until the Spectre himself challenges the Anti-Monitor. Locked in a dead heat, it’s up to the super-villains to stop Krona from completing his experiment on Oa in 10 million BCE. The super-villains fail in their task (with several of them dying). Seeing no other option to defeat the Anti-Monitor, Spectre does so by altering the creation of the multiverse. Everything shatters and explodes as history unravels. The local multiverse containing the five remaining Earths is erased and replaced with a singular Universe-0. The Modern Age is upon us. (This final battle is also visually referenced in Justice League Vol. 2 #40.) While the Silver/Bronze Age ends, for the purposes of our current chronology (which is a closed loop ending with a Big Chill at the End of Time), the surviving heroes return to present day to live out their lives. (See the end of the Doug Moench saga below and the Silver Age Future section for details.) Notably, Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2 Lois Lane-Kent, Alexander Luthor Jr, Superboy-Prime, Earth-2 Robin, Earth-2 Huntress (Helena Wayne), Earth-2 Green Arrow, Earth-4’s Captain Atom, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Earth-2 Steve Trevor, and Earth-2’s Power Girl get forever trapped in the Modern Age.

[11][12]

–Batman #392
Catwoman finally gets out of the hospital. She was seen in the Crisis #5 “gathering of the superheroes” scene, which means that she either sneaked-out to be there (and then returned to the hospital afterward) or it was continuity error. In any case, Catwoman joins Batman on patrol, and it’s not long before romantic sparks heat up the Gotham night. Batman takes Catwoman to Tony’s Italian restaurant where they share a Lady and the Tramp spaghetti dinner in the adjacent alley. Batman and Catwoman’s attempts to canoodle are interrupted by crime-fighting endeavors, including busting a mob assassin and saving a rape victim. Catwoman takes Batman to a discotheque where they shake their booties (!), pausing to rough up some druggies and their dealer. In an attempt to get a bottle of wine, our heroes are again stymied as they walk into a robbery in progress by one very unlucky crook. Batman and Catwoman drop off the criminal catch of the night at police HQ, after which they have pizza with Gordon, who accepts Catwoman as one of Gotham’s legit protectors.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #566 and Batman #400. Despite having been freed to participate in the events of the Crisis, most of the Bat-rogues are returned to jail now that the cosmic affair is over. Batman confirms everyone’s return to their respective pens.

–Detective Comics #559
Green Arrow helps a robber named Curtis Sample rob a chemical company called the Kemson Corporation. In a heated argument with Batman, Green Arrow cites that they guy is poor and has been let down by the justice system and modern capitalist society! Green Arrow even calls Batman “Bat-Nazi” (!) before Black Canary—in her brand new costume—breaks them apart. Over coffee at a cafe (!), Black Canary and Green Arrow explain their actions with more clarity, explaining that Kemson must be exposed of corruption as they are guilty of poisoning their own employees via a highly unsafe work environment. Green Arrow goes on a left wing rant, trashing “Bat-Ronnie” (i.e. Bat-Ronald Reagan, lol), the entire damn system, and Secretary of State George Schultz. Man, he’s really on a roll. Batman reluctantly agrees to help the duo, but only because a level-headed Black Canary cools him down. The trio captures a Kemson stooge and then learns that Sample is in the hospital with critical injuries thanks to an assault by another Kemson stooge. Batman and Green Arrow argue again, angrily going their separate paths. Via Lucius Fox, Bruce sets up an entrapment sting, sending Selina Kyle to Star City’s Kemson plant to purchase illegal chemicals for a foreign military. Bruce also tells Lucius to buy out Kemson. At the sting operation, Selina outs Mr. Kemson himself, which leads to Batman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary busting him and his cronies. Catwoman and Black Canary share a coffee in the plant cafeteria.

–Batman #393-394
The CIA tasks Batman with a top secret mission: to bust a Bulgarian terrorist and art thief known only as the Dark Rider in Venice, Italy. Batman chases the Dark Rider, but the latter escapes. Three days later, Batman tracks down the stolen art—a statue called “The Dark Rider”—at an underground auction in Bonn, West Germany. Batman boldly bids ten million dollars for the piece, which causes a stir and forces the auctioneer (KGB Agent Katia) to end the proceedings prematurely. A couple nights later, Batman follows the statue to a  warehouse in Moscow where he is ambushed by KGB agents. Katia, working deep cover, helps Batman fend them off. Katia explains that the Dark Rider is a KGB agent that has gone off the reservation to steal hidden plutonium that was sealed inside the statue. In Switzerland, Batman and Katia go after the Dark Rider, who briefly meets with members of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF). Batman tangles with a CIA agent, who soon turns up dead. When the Dark Rider heads to the States, Batman returns home to warn Alfred, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon, who warns the US Government’s Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) and the US Coast Guard. Soon after, Batman, Katia, and Gordon chase after the Dark Rider in Gotham. After learning that the Dark Rider plans on radioactively-tainting the Gotham Reservoir, Batman, Robin, and Katia confront him there, taking out his henchmen. The panicked Dark Rider douses himself in liquid plutonium and attempts to dive into the water, but the Dynamic Duo stops him at the last second.

–Detective Comics #560-561
In an effort to get Catwoman and Robin to engage with one another as friends, a meditative Batman arranges for them to work a Savage Skulls case with Harvey Bullock. Batman’s plan works as Catwoman and Robin not only make a great team to bust the Savage Skulls, but they also get along and even hug it out. Pleased, Batman goes on a solo patrol.

Early September. Fourteen-year-old Jason develops an instant crush on a new student at North Gotham Junior High School, a girl named Rena, who invites him to smoke some weed. A nervous Jason tries to talk to Batman about recreational drug use, but of course the square Bat isn’t very comforting or helpful. While Batman patrols, Jason meets with Rena and they hit it off. Rena tells Jason that she’s never actually smoked weed before. Stoner jerk Shane Rivers shows up and bullies Rena into to ditching Jason to hang out with his crew instead. Later, Rivers and his two unnamed friends break into a pharmacy and steals some pills. Robin fights Rivers a couple times, eventually confiscating the drugs.

–Batman #395
Catwoman meets with Batman, telling him she wants to be totally transparent in their relationship, first by discussing everything that went down with Nocturna. With Jason stuck doing junior high algebra homework, Batman and Catwoman respond the scene of an active shooter calling himself Film Freak. With Vicki Vale and Julia Pennyworth snapping photos, Batman and Catwoman chase Film Freak away. Robin, despite having recently befriended Catwoman, becomes extremely jealous and frustrated that he’s losing time in the field to a substitute. Hoping to patrol with Harvey Bullock, Robin seeks him out, but Bullock is off courting Jillian Marsh. When Bullock returns to his apartment, he finds Robin waiting. Together, they vow to bust Film Freak and start an investigation. Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman interview all of Film Freak’s acquaintances, including ex-girlfriend India Blue and ex-friend Al Jacobs. Once their investigations meet in the middle, all four stake out an art gallery that is displaying old movie props. Batman is bummed to witness Robin’s returned contempt for Catwoman. Film Freak, onto his would-be captors, bails on the heist. Meanwhile, Vicki and Julia work some angles on the case as well. Julia mentions that she hasn’t seen Bruce in “weeks,” but it’s actually been months. Film Freak, also onto them, lures Julia to a motel outside of Gotham. (Batman #395 is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #562.)

–Detective Comics #562
Picking up directly from Batman #395, Film Freak tries to knife Julia Pennyworth in the shower à la Norman Bates in Psycho. Julia defends herself until Vicki Vale shows up, causing Film Freak to flee the scene. Batman and Catwoman continue their investigation while Robin and Harvey Bullock continue theirs. The former duo interviews movie director Paul Vasseria and then finds Film Freak attacking India Blue at her apartment. They fight Film Freak, but allow him to get away in order to tend to an injured India. Back at police HQ, Robin and Bullock realize that Film Freak has stayed one step ahead of the law by spying on them from a building across the street from Commissioner Gordon’s office. (Detective Comics #562 is also shown via flashback from Batman #396.)

–Batman #396
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #562, Batman and Catwoman fail to stop Film Freak from murdering his old buddy Al Jacobs. Pissed off at the two separate bungled investigations, Commissioner Gordon calls a meeting of Batman, Catwoman, Robin, and Harvey Bullock. With Gordon as mediator, the foursome forms a truce, pooling together their intel to learn that Film Freak plans on attacking Paul Vasseria’s new premiere. Just before the movie’s climax, Batman realizes the film has been boobytrapped. He tosses the reel into a safe just before it explodes. The heroes then realize that Film Freak is going after Julia Pennyworth again. They rush to her apartment just in time to save her life and bust Film Freak. While Batman tends to Julia, Catwoman and Robin make up with one another.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #564. Batman already keeps magnesium flares in his utility belt, but he now begins carrying special magnesium bombs that can detonate underwater.

–Detective Comics #563
Jason continues his puppy love relationship with Rena, inviting her to hang out at Wayne Manor after school. Jason also continues his feud with Shane Rivers and his gang. At their after-school hangout, Rena expresses her admiration of Robin, to which Jason nearly tells her his secret and show her his costume. Only the quick intervention of an eavesdropping Alfred stops this from happening. Later, Alfred tattles to Batman regarding Jason’s behavior. Batman and Catwoman survey the old Sionis crypt, searching for any remnants of the False Face Society. Black Mask’s old flame Circe (the former model, not the ancient Greek sorceress) secretly watches them. Meanwhile, Robin goes on solo patrol, stalking a drug dealer named Candyman. But before Robin can make the bust, an escaped Two-Face—with his twin hoods Ugly and Freddie—robs Candyman.

–Batman #397
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #563, Robin drops Candyman off at police HQ and tells Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock that Two-Face is loose. While the Dynamic Duo goes after Two-Face, Catwoman goes after Circe, finding her dancing at a strip club. After Two-Face steals a pair of super-computers to help him plan out perfect crimes, Batman, Robin, Gordon, and Bullock interview the computer scientist that built them. The next day, Lucius Fox meets with Bruce, telling him that he is considering running for mayor in the upcoming election against Acting Mayor George Skowcroft! (The election is scheduled to occur at some point next year.) Guided by the computers, Two-Face steals a security pass once belonging to Jillian Marsh’s deceased husband. Using it, Two-Face and his henchmen rob a bank. Batman and Robin bust henchman Freddie, but Two-Face gets away. (As referenced in Detective Comics #564, Batman orchestrates a plan to fool Two-Face using the help of Gordon, Bullock, Circe, and the Gotham Museum.) On Batman’s orders, Circe meets with Two-Face.  

–Detective Comics #564
Picking up directly from Batman #397, as part of Batman’s plan, Circe and Two-Face work out an exchange wherein which she will help him steal a supposedly magickal artifact from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and he will help her get revenge upon Black Mask. Meanwhile, Catwoman—thinking that she still hasn’t completely earned Batman’s trust—begins keeping her distance from him. As does Robin, but only because he’s more interested in his love life with Rena than in crime-fighting. Batman takes on Two-Face, Ugly, and new henchman Grimes at a brewery. As part of his ongoing plan, Batman lets Two-Face get away. Catwoman shows up dressed as Circe, then angrily reveals herself, telling Batman she is pissed that he didn’t tell her about the Circe plan.

–Batman #398
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #564, Catwoman argues with Batman, complaining that he’ll never trust her completely or treat her as an equal. Batman pours out his heart, telling Catwoman that he loves her. They have a deep talk about their future and about Jason, but ultimately table the discussion to go after Two-Face. With the sting set up, Circe leads Two-Face into the Gotham Museum to rob the “magick” sarcophagus. They load it into a truck and take off with Batman, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Bullock tailing. At Two-Face’s hideout, the plan continues. Two-Face dons the sarcophagus pharaoh mask, at which point Circe hypnotizes him, brining his Harvey Dent persona to the surface of his psyche. But Two-Face’s scars run far too deep. He wigs-out and tries to kill Circe, prompting Batman and Catwoman to intervene. Robin, having bailed on a date with Rena, shows up to help bust Two-Face. Circe takes off into the night. (A flashback from Batman #400 shows a generic scene of Batman fighting Two-Face that is likely depicting this issue.)

–Detective Comics #565
Batman responds to the scene of a grisly murder where the head of the victim (Mona Lamont) has been removed with an axe. Catwoman realizes Mona has been misidentified by Batman and Harvey Bullock, so she corrects this by finding her roommate Nancy Campbell. Nancy and her boyfriend Jim Zwaitek point Batman and Catwoman in the direction of Mona’s boyfriend George Michaels, who points them in the direction of Mona’s jealous ex Roy Spivey. Catwoman gives Batman the cold shoulder, deciding to pursue the case solo. With Jason off on a date with Rena, Batman visits the “cat” stalagmite to sulk about his life. The next day, while Batman and Catwoman stalk Spivey, they argue about their relationship. Catwoman tells Batman that their love wasn’t meant to last, putting the official kibosh on the Bat-Cat relationship once again. Catwoman purchases a new pet panther. Batman busts Spivey’s hired bodyguard and tosses his apartment, but can’t link him to the murder. The Caped Crusader begins longterm surveillance on Spivey, which will last for a full month! A lovestruck Jason begins a monthlong hiatus as Robin, deciding to spend each night with Rena instead. After a month passes, despite any evidence, Batman is even more convinced Spivey is guilty.

–Batman #399
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #565, Batman continues his surveillance of Spivey, which has already lasted over a month. While waiting and watching, the Dark Knight tortures himself, wondering if Catwoman could be seeing someone else. An emboldened Spivey sends Mona Lamont’s shrunken head to Jim Zwaitek in the mail. Meanwhile, a restless Jason, on yet another date with Rena, starts to reconsider his crime-fighting hiatus. Batman phones Catwoman and they have a tense conversation, after which he tasks her with looking after Zwaitek. Spivey tries to kill Nancy Campbell, but Catwoman and her new panther partner save her life. Spivey runs back to his apartment where Batman is in the process of planting bugs. Batman records Spivey confessing and then, with Catwoman’s help, busts him. A couple days later, Batman and Catwoman view Mona’s funeral from a distance. Catwoman tells Batman that they are through as a couple, giving him a mixed-message goodbye kiss.

–Batman Annual #10
Lucius Fox publicly announces that he will be running for Mayor of Gotham. (The election is a mere three months away.) Shortly thereafter, several of Wayne Enterprises/Wayne Foundation’s top stockholders are threatened or bullied into selling off Wayne company stock, which sends Wayne Enterprises spiraling toward bankruptcy overnight. With a takeover looming, Bruce has an emergency meeting with Lucius. Lucius tells him that his mayoral campaign is already ruined and that one of the shareholders was supposedly haunted by a ghost before selling his share. Lucius also reveals that all the shares were purchased in cash a business consortium that is undoubtedly involved in multiple illegal dealings. Having finally detached himself from his girlfriend Rena, Robin joins Batman to dig through some files, looking for dirt on the consortium members. When the Dynamic Duo returns home, they find Alfred on the floor unconscious, having suffered a stroke! (What they don’t know is that Alfred collapsed after being startled by a returning Hugo Strange.) While Bruce and Dick rush a comatose Alfred to the hospital, Strange dons a Bat-costume and steals both the Batmobile and the Bat-copter. In the morning, Lucius visits Bruce to tell him that, under direct orders from Mayor Skowcroft, the city has seized and sold off all of Bruce’s possessions (including Wayne Manor) at auction to a secret bidder. The municipal government also remands custody of Jason to Amanda Groscz of the Child Welfare Bureau. Having lost everything, Bruce retreats to an abandoned church, becoming a literal Bat in a belfry. With only a ratty mattress, hot-plate, and a few cans of beans to his name, the homeless hero begins his new life. Batman interviews three of the shareholders that sold Wayne stock, learning about how they were intimidated. In the morning, Bruce, Jason, Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Vicki Vale, and Julia Pennyworth visit a still-comatose Alfred in the hospital. Meanwhile, the fake Batman (Hugo Strange) has begun a crime-spree to tarnish the Caped Crusader’s name. Batman soon realizes Strange has intimidated the shareholders, bought all of Bruce’s possessions via a phony consortium, and is now masquerading as the Dark Knight. The Dynamic Duo blasts into Wayne Manor to find it swarming with Strange androids. They battle into the Batcave to confront the real Strange and some Robin androids. Batman chases a fleeing Strange, causing him to crash the Batmobile. Batman then explains Strange’s scheme to Gordon, thus fixing up all the Wayne Enterprises financial and legal issues. Batman also tells Gordon that he has hypnotized Strange into thinking Bruce Wayne is Batman. Thus, in this way, the Dark Knight’s secret ID is safe because no one will believe Strange when he says it. The next day, Alfred gets out of the hospital and joins Bruce and Jason at Wayne Manor. (We never learn whether or not Mayor Skowcroft’s meddling in this affair is enough to force Lucius off the election ballot or if Lucius decides to drop out of the race himself, but, either way, it’s likely that Lucius’ brief foray into politics ends here.)

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman orders and receives a new Batmobile from Jack Edison.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #25. The Rex Mason-Sapphire Stagg wedding occurs. The actual wedding is detailed in Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2, but that is a Modern Age story, so it’s technically non-canon here. However, since Batman and The Outsiders #25 clearly set up the wedding months ago, we can assume that it still happens in the Silver/Bronze Age, hence placement of this item here.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #400. Batman beats up two random goons.

 

_______________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

<<< Year Eighteen <<< | >>> Year Twenty >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Here’s an updated list of the Mayors of Gotham City.
    Year 1-7 – Mayor Alan Dent
    Year 7-8 – Mayor Taylor
    Year 8-10 – Mayor Hayes
    Year 10-11 – unnamed younger red-haired man
    Year 11-13 – unnamed older gray-haired man
    Year 13-14 (interim, for only one week) – unnamed middle-aged red-haired bushy-mustachioed man
    Year 14-14 (interim, for only four months) – unnamed bald thinly-mustachioed man
    Year 14-15 – unnamed thickly-mustachioed man
    Year 15-19 – Hamilton Hill
    Year 19-current (interim) – George Skowcroft
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: DC Spotlight #1, published September 1985, features Batman, but it is merely a preview and interview issue, highlighting upcoming stories and giving behind-the-scenes info about various titles. Notably, DC Spotlight #1 features the first ever published Watchmen material in the form of a special sneak-preview. As such, this rare item currently sells for upwards of $2,000 in mint condition. Goodie on you, if you have a decent copy!
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: DC Challenge! #1-12 was released from November 1985 through October 1986. However, it is non-canon, taking place, according to Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium, on Earth-32. DC Challenge! #1-12 also takes place on Earth-B. Notably, alternate versions of Earth-2 and Earth-S appear in this series.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: As definitively shown in Batman #355 and ‘tec #526, Catwoman knows Batman’s secret ID—so the need for her to be blindfolded here makes no sense. An easy fanwank is that Batman simply doesn’t want her to know about one of the alternate entrances into the Batcave. However, in a rare attempt to cover their asses, DC editors actually published a letter of explanation in Batman #393, saying that Catwoman shouldn’t have been blindfolded since she already knew Batman’s secret ID. They actually owned up to a continuity error! But then, in Batman #397, DC editors retracted their statement in a second letter! Instead of letting things go and providing an easy out for the blindfold thing, they disavowed all prior instances of Catwoman knowing Batman’s secret ID, even going so far as to say that she never knew—even in tec’ #526! What?! That is a huge (and bogus) retcon. She definitely knew, and if she doesn’t know now then she was friggin’ mind-wiped. Go with your headcanon on this one because it’s better than anything DC has to offer.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: July 1985 brings us Crisis on Infinite Earths, a multiverse-shattering cosmic event that serves to end the Silver/Bronze Age timeline. But, shortly after Crisis #1, another cosmic event called Convergence happens in the blink of an eye. While the inclusion of Crisis on this quick list is obviously necessary, Convergence is worth mentioning as well because it features Earth-1 Batman. Although, thanks to retcons in 2017’s “Superman Reborn” arc), we should regard it as something that happens outside of normal space-time that is then basically erased from having ever happened at all. The following is a timeline with synopses for Convergence.

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence #0-1 and Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1. Brainiac, operating from 2015 of the alternate New 52 timeline, collects” Gotham City, literally digging it up and putting an impenetrable energy dome around it mere moments after The Crisis on Infinite Earths begins. (By 2015, Brainiac will not only have survived multiple reboots, but he will also somehow be able to travel to prior defunct timelines, an act that goes beyond mere time-traveling and into the realm of navigating through the “metaverse,” the actual fictional history of DC Comics. The less said about that here, the better.) Gotham is placed, along with other stolen cities from alternate chronologies, onto the sentient planet Telos, who exists outside of time and space. (Telos is a transformed Arak Red-Hand aka the pre-Flashpoint Son of Thunder.) Besides Batman and his Bat-Family, several other non-Gothamites, including members of the the JLA, Flash (Barry Allen, who had been visiting Gotham from his 30th century home), Superman, Supergirl, and Swamp Thing, are present in Gotham at the time of its “collection.” (Brainiac, or possibly someone else, was able to cause a large number of heroes to gather at one spot before the dome fell, thus ensuring a “good catch.” Different lures are used for different cities.) Brainiac and Telos use special tech to depower any metahumans under the domes they collect. No one under the dome will have any idea how or why they have come to be prisoners. Nor will they even realize their city has been removed from a dead timeline and taken to an interdimensional planet. Twelve hours after Gotham is stolen away by Brainiac, Batman is able to determine that there is no way out. Beyond that, Batman cannot ascertain who has domed-off Gotham, nor where the city has been taken. Batman (along with everyone else) will live trapped under the dome for the next year. Telos will provide energy and limited resources to the “collected” Gotham. Despite the new status quo, Batman begins a routine patrol of the streets of Gotham with the support of his Outsiders and the GCPD. Without her powers, Halo slips into a coma. Batman’s protection of the domed city will continue for the next calendar year.

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence: Adventures of Superman #1. Batman teaches Supergirl a special dive-bomb double-punch technique.

    –Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1 Part 1
    It’s been exactly 364 days since Gotham was domed-up and removed from its timeline. Commissioner Gordon meets with Batman to discuss the restlessness of the citizens. A frustrated Batman then chats with Alfred, who speaks about how everyone in Gotham is miserable except for Metamorpho, who is happily cured of his powers.

    –Convergence: The Flash #1
    It’s been exactly one year (365 days) since Gotham was domed-up and removed from its timeline. Barry Allen, now a GCPD cop, meets with Bruce for lunch. Barry seems defeated by all that has happened, but Bruce remains stalwart in his hope that they will escape.

    –Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1 Part 2
    Shortly after having lunch with Barry Allen, Bruce suits-up in his Batman costume, but takes a power nap in preparation for the afternoon’s patrol. Batman’s snooze is interrupted by a towering voice that thunders through the entire dome. Telos has taken initiative and decided to start a fighting tournament that includes all of the captured domed cities. (Brainiac was defeated, as seen in The New 52: Futures End, while attempting to collect another city, thus giving the abandoned Telos free reign to carry on his master’s mission as he sees fit.) All of the domes on Telos are lifted, all powers are re-granted, and Telos himself declares that only being the last warrior standing will spare destruction for one’s respective city. (Telos’s declaration is also shown in Convergence #1.) No sooner has Gotham’s dome been deactivated than OMAC (mind-controlled by Godmother) and a horde of monstrously mutated warriors from the alternate “Earth-AD” future timeline storm into the city looking to kill everyone in sight.

    –Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #2
    Batman assembles his Outsiders to defeat the Godmother-controlled OMAC and a bunch of mutated warriors from the alternate “Earth-AD.” Afterward, Modern Age Deimos, having wrenched control of Telos away from the sentient planet, appears in the sky (as also seen in Convergence #5).

    –Convergence #6-7
    Deimos (from Modern Age Skartaris), having bested Telos and taken control of him and his inhabitants, pilots Telos through the Bleed and through time into the New 52’s Universe-0 in the year 2015. This immediately registers an alarm with the New 52’s Justice League United. New 52 Martian Manhunter quickly alerts the New 52 Justice League. New 52 Superman assembles a task force which stands at attention as Telos comes into full view in deep space of New 52 Universe-0. On Telos, a grand battle between those allied with Deimos versus a conglomerate of heroes has begun. After scaring off the pre-Zero Hour Extremists, a bunch of displaced heroes from the Modern Age and from the New 52 Earth-2 unite under the leadership of Modern Age Earth-0 Superman (pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent) and New 52 Earth-2 Superman (Val-Zod). New 52 Earth-2 Flash (Jay Garrick) meets Barry Allen. With the encouragement of Modern Age Superman, New 52 Earth-2 Dick Grayson appeals to Telos’ humanity and brokers a peace with him. Telos assembles an army of heroes from various times, planets, universes, and alternate chronologies. (The heroes come from 1985 Earth-1, 1985 Earth-4, 30th century Universe-1, 2011 pre-Flashpoint Earth-0, and more.) This gaggle of time-and-space-paradox warriors, including our very own Batman, attacks Deimos head-on. But Deimos already has an army of villains from various times, planets, universes, and alternate chronologies (including Flashpoint, Kingdom Come, 1994 pre-Zero Hour Angor, 1985 Earth-3, and more) at his disposal. A burst of energy erupts from Telos, scaring New 52 Earth-0’s heroes out of their wits. The battle rages on as Telos himself battles Deimos. Yolanda Montez (of New 52 Earth-2) tells everyone that Deimos wants to steal everyone’s power by killing them all, including the villains too. This news causes the villains to join with the heroes. The pre-Zero Hour Parallax Hal Jordan swiftly executes Deimos. Unfortunately, this act releases all of the time-energy that Deimos has pilfered. A flash of electric red lightning spiderwebs through the multiverse as reality begins to crack and literally die.

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence #8. Brainiac regains control of Telos, stops the destruction, and sends all the time displaced captives from each domed city back to the moment right before each city was dug up and lifted out of its timeline. All memories and lived experiences of the year under the dome are erased. From the perspective of our Silver/Bronze Age Earth-1 Batman, it’s like Convergence never even happened.

    –NOTE: Superman: Lois & Clark #1 tells us that several timeline-displaced heroes (including Silver Age Earth-1 Barry Allen and Silver Age Earth-1 Supergirl) travel from Convergence #8 to fight in the original Crisis, significantly altering events to such an extent that the entire archived/defunct Silver Age Earth-1 timeline is completely erased. These characters then go on to live in the New 52 for years until the publication of “Superman Reborn,” which not only reboots the New 52 into the Rebirth Era, but also serves as a coda to Convergence, tying up its loose ends, fixing its narrative conundrums, and undoing any screwing-around-with the original Crisis, thus restoring the archived/defunct Silver Age Earth-1 timeline to its status-quo. In other words, all that happens with Convergence basically gets erased. Barry Allen and Supergirl return (with their experiences and memories of both Convergence and life in the New 52 erased) to this point on the timeline, just in time for the Crisis—and, unfortunately for them, just in time to die. But we’ll get to that soon enough below.

  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Crisis #1 and Crisis #4 both say we are in July whereas Crisis #2 add specificity by saying it is late July. New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13 Part 2 tells us a week passes between Crisis #1 and Crisis #3. Based upon this info, the “late July” reference should be read as a marker placing us in the latter half of July at the start of the Crisis, not necessarily the very tail end of the month.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: For the most comprehensive write-up about the history of the Anti-Monitor, check out Profsuperman’s aptly named article, “A Comprehensive Look at The Anti-Monitor” (2018), on Reddit.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, written as a “lost chapter” of the original Crisis by Marv Wolfman in 1999, takes place during and after Crisis #4. While writing Crisis in 1985-1986 and preparing for the new Modern Age DCU to come afterward, Wolfman pitched the idea of the altered continuity to feature multi-racial superheroes as its primary characters. Of course, this concept was rejected. Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 basically functions as Wolfman’s opportunity to showcase this denied concept in the form of Earth-D, which debuts and then ultimately gets destroyed in this issue. However, as a story published in 1999, it cannot go on the Bronze Age timeline. Thus, this story should be regarded as an out-of-continuity.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: This is the cosmic creation story of the DCU that will more or less be intact for decades to come. Later continuities will expand upon this origin in ways that may or may not be canonically-relevant in regard to the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age. In any case, they are definitely worth mentioning. According to Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis, the Great Hand of Creation was born unto/out of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid, an omnipotent and infinite-sized living void that existed prior-to and originally incubated/cared-for large portions of the proto-omniverse. By the time of the New 52 continuity, a time-displaced Volthoom is revealed to be the Great Hand (as shown in Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern Vol. 5) while Morrison’s Multiversity introduced a counterpart to the Great Hand in the form of The Empty Hand, a cosmic evil basically representing the meta-hand of the comic book creator and/or comic book reader engaging with the comic book itself. The Rebirth Era’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22 (2019, by James Tynion IV) delivers a flashback depicting the creation of the multiverse that is meant to be canon for all continuities. In this flashback (which spans 20 billion years ago all the way up to the Big Bang), the Great Hand is implied to be the über-goddess Perpetua. The Monitor’s name is Mar Novu. The Anti-Monitor’s name is Mobius (creator of Metron’s Mobius Chair). These three beings create the multiverse together along with help from their other brother Alpheus aka The World Forger and Alpheus’ demonic dragon pet Barbatos. Notably, Perpetua, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and Barbatos each reside in a higher (6th Dimensional) plane of existence. (Superstring Theory states that the 6th Dimension is a plane in which one can view possible worlds, comparing and positioning all the possible universes. Snyder has referred to it as the “hypothetical dimension.”) Because these Super Celestial 6th Dimensional beings are all beyond-meta-cosmic in nature, they will live through each future continuity-erasing reboot (including this Crisis) totally unfazed. Note that the idea of the Anti-Monitor specifically living through multiple reboots unfazed originates from the New 52’s “Darkseid War” (by Johns).

    In Tynion’s cosmogonic flashback from Justice League Vol. 4 #22, the Great Hand is implied to be Perpetua herself. However, there are reputable sources—including brilliant Reddit comic book analyst Earthmine52—that say Perpetua’s involvement in the origin of the DC multiverse isn’t so cut-and-dry. It’s hard to say for certain, although Scott Snyder doubles down in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1, implying that Perpetua was indeed around from the get-go. Snyder, however, curiously links the Source with the Abrahamic deity (aka The Presence), further obscuring things. Perpetua seems to be a Great Hand, but is she the original Great Hand? The original Great Hand could very well be the Source/the Presence, having come forth out of the Overvoid. This remains to be seen.

  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: The preeminent Crisis scholar Jonathan Woodward (creator of the brilliant Annotated Crisis) claims that this period of quasi-peace in-between Crisis #7 and Crisis #8 lasts for weeks, perhaps even months, of in-story time. While I haven’t seen this claim made anywhere else, there’s nothing within the comics that gives any hint of how much time passes in this gap. It could be days, a week, weeks, or, as Woodward says, much longer. Without concrete evidence, I’m hesitant to offer a guess myself. I will say, however, if there’s a large enough gap here, it might be a great spot for some of the dangling post-Crisis/pre-Modern Age stuff (namely Doug Moench’s Bat-run conclusion). But again, that is really a headcanon decision, one that must be made on an individual reader-by-reader basis. Choose your own adventure.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Starting with Crisis #11, the Silver/Bronze Age is no more (as it was erased by the Spectre and the Anti-Monitor’s brawl at the grand finale of Crisis #10). Thus, both the Earth-1 and Earth-2 timelines are officially concluded. Of course, determinism should be applied here. Time is a Nietzschean flat circle (in the sense that the entirety of DC’s narrative history—from the Big Bang to the Big Freeze—is set in stone, cycling back upon itself over and over). This means, no matter what, Earth-1 and Earth-2 live on as historical recordings in the form of these very chronologies. When a reboot happens, the previous continuity is indeed technically erased. However, we shouldn’t regard the previous continuity as simply vanished, but rather as defunct and/or locked up.

    Crisis #11-12 is a weird coda to our maxi-series because these issues take place on a newly formed Earth (New Earth aka Earth-0) within a newly formed continuity i.e. the Modern Age continuity. (These issues are the first ever Modern Age comic book stories, meaning they feature the first ever appearance of the Modern Age Batman!) However, due to the metaphysics of “Crisis inertia,” remnants of the old Earth-1 and Earth-2, mostly in the form of bogus memories, still remain in the new Modern Age continuity. In the months following Crisis #12, as stated in Crisis #12, the Modern Age characters lose all memories of the pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2 at which point the Modern Age history of Earth-0 will end its period of flux, settling and hardening. Of course, the fluctuation doesn’t truly end completely until Zero Hour in 1994. Because of this, some scholars refer to the chronology spanning from Crisis #11 to Zero Hour as the Sigma timeline or pre-Zero Hour timeline. (DC publishers—as per Convergence—seem to have gone with the pre-Zero Hour timeline route.) Others use the Earth-Sigma label for only Crisis #11-12 while others don’t use it at all, simply referring to everything starting with Crisis #11 as being part of the Modern Age New Earth/Earth-0 timeline instead. The amazing Mike Voiles goes so far as to refer to the chunk of stories published in the year or so after Crisis #11-12 as occurring on “Merged Earth.” It’s totally a personal headcanon choice how to approach the matter, but I’ve gone the route of referring to everything starting with Crisis #11 as being part of the Modern Age New Earth/Earth-0 timeline. In any case, since the Silver/Bronze Age timeline definitively ends in Crisis #10, our Silver/Bronze Age chronology ends here.

    If you’d like to see the mind-blowing conclusion to Crisis, and find out what happens to our eleven metaverse-displaced heroes, check out the start of Bat Year 11 on the Modern Age timeline.

  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Because everything is still in flux for a couple months following Crisis on the brand spankin’ new Modern Age timeline, this allows for a few more final Silver/Bronze Age stories to close us out neatly on our timeline here. Everything from this point forward occurs after Crisis but is still part of Silver/Bronze Age Earth-1 continuity. (As such, Doug Moench finishes his long mega-arc as the definitive final Silver/Bronze Age Batman tale. Plus, we get the added bonus of the final issue of ‘tec by Harlan Ellison!) DCU Guide lists several other Silver/Bronze Age stories as occurring during this post-Crisis period, including WFC #323, Heroes Against Hunger #1, New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18, Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2, Batman and The Outsiders #28-32, Justice League of America #250-255, and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55. Scholar Mike Voiles also includes New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18-31. There’s no indication that WFC #323 and Heroes Against Hunger #1 take place after the Crisis, so I’ve kept them prior to it. New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18, Batman and The Outsiders #28-32, and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55 are definitively post-Crisis, in the sense that they are decidedly new continuity, so they shouldn’t be here. Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 is tough as it could fit (with only minor caveats) here or in the Modern Age. However, I’ve pushed it into the Modern Age because it directly connects to Batman and The Outsiders #28-32. Scholars seem to be most confused about JLofA #250-255. This run gets placed in the Modern Age, Silver/Bronze Age, paradoxically in both at the same time, or split up between the two. Despite this confusion, there is a heap of evidence that places JLA #250-255 in the Modern Age. New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18-31 is also a tough run that could go either way, but it seems to build toward ongoing Modern Age narrative and it references Crisis #12, so I’ve marked it as Modern. Thus, for Batman, Moench’s Batman/Detective Comics finale arc occurs below. The only other comics that go below are Superman #416-422, Action Comics #577-582, DC Comics Presents #89-97, Legion of Super-Heroes #19-27, Infinity Inc #26-29, Warlord #101-112, Green Lantern Vol. 2 #199-201, and Fury of Firestorm #43-47, Lois Lane #1-2. Since these other issues don’t involve Earth-1 Batman, we won’t worry about them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *