Bronze Year 11


–Batman #247 Epilogue
January 1. Batman has just stopped the New Year’s Eve ball from exploding and releasing a deadly nerve gas all over Gotham—with one second to spare! It’s after midnight and the city is safe. You can relax. Happy Year Eleven, Dark Knight!

–The Brave and The Bold #113
Early January—editorial notation says that it’s springtime, but this story starts with the inauguration ceremony of the new Mayor of Gotham City, so ignore the spring thing. After grandstanding and hotdogging before a large crowd, the new mayor fires Commissioner Gordon and orders Batman to retire from crime-fighting! Gordon is replaced with his man John Higgins, and Batman is replaced with the Metal Men! An upset Bruce heads off to work at the much-neglected Wayne Enterprises Building—(he’s spent the past two years working primarily out of the Wayne Foundation Building, in which he lives). There, he sees the Y in “WAYNE” atop the tower is unlit, ordering it to be fixed. After Batman gets involved in an armored-car hijacking that ends with the Metal Men stopping the crime, an angry mayor officially outlaws Batman from committing acts of vigilantism. An even more upset Bruce hangs up his Bat-costume at home. The next day, terrorists take over the entire Wayne Enterprises Building, demanding a ransom of $27.4 million exchange for the lives of everyone inside. When Commissioner Higgins botches a rescue attempt with the GCPD, the mayor reluctantly calls Gordon back in for help. Gordon’s first step is to immediately switch-on the Bat-signal. While the Metal Men secretly infiltrate the building, Bruce sees the light and goes into Bat-mode. After fighting some of the terrorists, Batman switches back to civilian clothes to speak with their leader, a one-armed man that Batman busted a while ago. Atop the Wayne Enterprises tower, Gordon does the ransom handoff, but gets a bullet courtesy of the terrorists. Bruce gets chained to the Y atop the building, but the Metal Men save him. Batman, in a Whirly-Bat, chases the terrorists, who are in a helicopter, bringing them down and recovering the ransom. Later, Bruce, in his office, convenes with the Metal Men, the mayor, and Commissioner Gordon. The mayor reinstates both Gordon and Batman.

–Batman #269
January 8-9. When three men each named Terry Tremayne are murdered, Batman travels to the Gotham suburb of Oakville in an effort to protect a fourth. Upon arrival at Terry’s house, Batman is surprised to find that Terry is a pretty woman. Terry tells Batman that her husband, a thief, was recently been killed by three of his partners that were looking for the priceless “Florentine Box,” which he had hidden from them. To send a message to Terry, they’ve been killing people that share her name. Batman leaves to take-on Terry’s tormentors—first, busting an illegal casino operator and his men after flushing them into the subway; and second, busting an exotic weapons collector and his bodyguard after surviving a death trap. The next day, a smitten Bruce goes on a date with Terry and plays tennis with her. At the Parkside Tennis Club (aka Gotham Tennis Club), a fourth Terry Tremayne is murdered, seemingly as a message to Terry that she is still in danger. Bruce instantly realizes that Terry is the murderer of all the other Terrys. She’s set up her husbands rivals to take the fall so that she can keep the Florentine Box. Back at Terry’s house, Bruce kisses Terry passionately knowing that it’ll be the last time that they do. As evening falls, Batman returns and exposes Terry. She tries to seduce him, but he busts her.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 1. Batman begins hunting vicious professional killer Mike Caine. While we won’t see it on our timeline below, Batman will spend the next six months (on and off) investigating and tracking the murderous Caine.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #115. Batman meets Debbie Manton, a girl that regularly volunteers helping underprivileged kids in the ghetto. Soon after, Debbie introduces Batman to her parents, Howard Manton and Mrs. Manton.

–Superman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Annual 1973
In late 1973, DC authorized the first (of four) Brown Watson Ltd published Annuals for the UK market, featuring original Batman stories. This book is extremely rare (seemingly for British eyes only), so I don’t even have a synopsis for the tales within since I have never read it. If anyone has any details, I’d love to have them! One of the prose stories, entitled “House of Fear,” features Batman solo, while another, entitled “Dragged Through Time,” features a team-up between the Dark Knight and Man of Steel. Presumably, at least one of our heroes gets dragged through time in the latter, but you never know.

–The Brave and The Bold #110
Ted Grant, as the new vice president of Tryton Oil, invites Batman to witness a drag race testing Tryton’s new miracle fuel formula. At the race, Peter Voss accuses Tryton of stealing the formula from his long lost father Hans. After meeting with Tryton officials and questioning Peter, Batman chats with an agent of the Bureau of Industrial Espionage in DC, learning that a spy-for-hire named Radek, was recently in Peter’s employ. At Tryton Oil HQ, Batman finds further evidence of the company’s involvement in theft, murder, and fraud. He tells Ted, who angrily suits-up as Wildcat and trails his boss BB Sanford to a wooded hunting lodge. Wildcat fails to save Radek’s life from Sanford’s henchman and takes a bullet himself, winding-up unconscious in the woods. Meanwhile, Batman visits the ruins of Peter’s father’s lab in Germany. Four days later, Peter, a recovered Ted, and all the other Tryton higher-ups sit before a judge, who hears Peter’s lawsuit claims. Batman arrives with an elderly Hans Voss, whom he found in Germany wandering near his old lab. Hans can’t testify due to dementia, but Batman presents a sculpture the scientist made long ago that holds the hidden fuel formula in question. Ted then accuses Sanford of murder. Exposed, Sanford and his henchmen flee the court room. Batman and Ted chase them and bust them at the Tryton Refinery. Having lost the case, Tryton likely shuts down. At the very least, Ted quits.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #443. Batman begins using former arms dealer cum bookstore owner Mole as an informant.

–Batman #254 Part 1
When a returning Getaway Genius runs circles around Batman and the GCPD, Kirk Langstrom decides that he will help Batman. Downing his signature serum, Langstom become Man-Bat and chases after the Getaway Genius and his henchmen, who flee a robbery in a helicopter. Man-Bat causes the copter to crash, allowing both he and Batman to bring the bad guys to justice. Afterward, Batman shakes Langstrom’s hand and tells him he’s got a bright future as a superhero.


–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #221-222 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #221-222 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Superman and Batman watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons. In this sim, the Super-Sons watch over teenager Danny King, who reunites with his long lost father only to discover that his dad is the head of a brutal concentration camp mining operation in a poor island nation. Batman, Superman, and Danny shut down the operation, after which the heroes bust Danny’s jerk father and reunite him with his foster dad. Soon after, scientists discover a hidden civilization living on a small island off the southern coast of South America. The Western world begins debates on how to react to the new people, prompting Bruce Jr to think about his own upbringing. The sim shows various flashbacks to Bruce raising Bruce Jr from a baby into young adulthood, and it shows the same for Clark and Clark Jr too. Eventually, the Super-Sons travel to the island and assist in two experiments: one hoping to prove that humans are naturally evil and the other hoping to prove the opposite. Batman Jr and Superman Jr argue, taking opposing viewpoints. Superman Jr sees that “team evil” is led by a highly unethical scientist that is conducting a racist behavioral study on the innocent island folk. Batman Jr somehow has trouble seeing things from the same perspective. When one of the natives kills the evil doctor in self-defense, a hotheaded Batman Jr attacks the native and refuses to listen to the rational reasoning of Superman Jr. When the native is killed saving Batman Jr’s life from a volcanic fissure, Batman Jr realizes that he’s been horribly wrong and hangs his head in shame. End sim. This second part of the sim surely must have been a deep and impactful gut punch to Batman. After all, Batman Jr’s failure here stems from AI programming that reflects the teachings and belief system of the real Caped Crusader. Food for thought, Dark Knight. (Note that this item is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.)

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #111. A gangster named Rizzo becomes the new head of Gotham’s crime syndicates. With a team of shady lawyers, Rizzo makes himself virtually untouchable by the law.

–Action Comics #431 Epilogue
Clark—along with Jonathan Slaughter, May Marigold, Nathan Warbow, Mrs. Frumel, a bus driver, and Martin Thorpe—has just time-traveled to the Prehistoric Era on a Metropolis city bus. In the Stone Age, Clark’s ID as Superman was exposed while fighting the creature responsible for the strange trip: Thorpe, who reveals himself as The Quakerer, a hyper-evolved chameleon from 420th century, who wants to kill all humans. (Writer Cary Bates was smoking a lot of chiba for this one.) Having battled his way back to present day with the bus in tow, and with the Quakerer lost into the timestream, the Man of Steel now needs to go back and get his neighbors from the Prehistoric Era. Superman calls up Batman, tells him the score, and they get to work. Batman disguises himself as Thorpe and accompanies Superman on a jaunt to the past. Superman sneakily installs onto the bus hypnotizing windshield wipers, which, en route back to the present, make everyone forget the entire ordeal, including knowledge of Superman’s secret ID.

–The Brave and The Bold #111
When a police informer and his entire family (including young children) are viciously butchered, an escaped Joker is fingered for the crime, despite the fact that the victims don’t have rictus grins on their faces. An enraged Batman snaps and tells Commissioner Gordon that he’ll break his anti-lethal vow and kill the Clown Prince of Crime once he gets his hands on him. Later, someone breaks into the morgue and injects the corpses with Joker Venom to give them his signature smiles. A violent Batman cracks so many heads looking for Joker that crime-boss Rizzo calls the Dark Knight and gives him the location of Joker’s hideout just to get Batman to calm down. Batman’s investigation of Joker’s lair leads him to the Turkish Baths where he finds Joker in a standoff with gangster Burt Slade, who the Dark Knight recognizes from his crime-files. Slade shoots Batman in the shoulder. When Batman comes-to, he’s in the hospital with Gordon standing over him. Batman quickly deduces that Slade has framed Joker for the mass murder. Joker hires the famous Graffiti Gang to tag messages for Batman, which leads to Batman forming a truce with Joker over the phone. Joker sends Batman to an underworld auction to find Slade, who purchases an old-timey sedan. Batman hides in the backseat and ambushes Slade, but the latter throws him from the vehicle. Joker then instructs Batman to go to remote Canalville. Upon arriving, Joker and Slade pop-out and point guns at Batman. Joker has duped the Dark Knight! It was Joker who indeed murdered an entire family then used Slade and Rizzo, both his partners, to throw Batman off the trail. Joker and Slade attempt to drown Batman in a canal, but Batman survives and busts Joker. Since we won’t see Rizzo or Slade again, we must assume Batman busts them too.

–Batman #255
Batman saves a woman from a werewolf, who unknown to the Dark Knight is Bruce’s acquaintance, famous Olympic athlete Anthony “Tony” Lupus. Lupus is under the thumb of a returning Professor Achilles Milo, who has turned him into a werewolf and now wants him to kill Batman. At the Gotham Health Club, Tony works-out with Bruce and says that he’d like to personally meet Batman to donate money to a charity of the Dark Knight’s choosing. Bruce “passes along the message” and soon Batman is chatting with Lupus at the latter’s home. In an ambush, the room is gassed, knocking-out the Caped Crusader. Milo chains-up Batman in a nearby construction site. As night falls and a thunderstorm rages outside, Lupus turns back into a werewolf, but immediately mauls Milo, injuring him badly. Lupus then fights Batman, who frees himself from his chains. Batman is scratched badly, but manages to skewer Lupus in the chest with some rebar. Lupus is unfazed, but lightning strikes the rebar, shocking him, and causing him to flee. Presumably, Batman doubles-back and busts Milo. Come morning, Lupus decides to leave Gotham for good, moving to Alaska.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #505. Batman, mistakenly believing Tony Lupus to be dead, rifles through Tony’s apartment, learning the star athlete’s full history. Despite having worked out with him at the gym on occasion, Bruce never really got to know Tony. Batman learns that Tony has a little sister named Angela Lupus, who lives with their mom, Mrs. Lupus. Batman also does some research on werewolves and crafts a special anti-werewolf silver mesh net, just in case he should ever cross paths with another lycanthrope in the future.


–The Brave and The Bold #112
Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and a full GCPD unit get involved in a shootout at the museum with cultists, who are after an ancient Egyptian bat-statue that supposedly holds the map to a hidden tomb that holds the key to immortality. After the cultists blow themselves up with a suicide bomb, a representative of the Egyptian Government arrives, demanding the return of a mastaba and the bat-statue, which have been purchased through illegal channels. Batman helps broker a deal between the museum and the Egyptian Government, and the structure and artifact both go back home. Meanwhile, at the Eiffel Tower, daredevil escape artist Mr. Miracle (Scott Free, a New God from New Genesis) performs a stunt before thousands of onlookers, including his manager Oberon and fellow New God (and fiancée) Big Barda. Batman, hoping to solve the mystery behind the illegal sale of the Egyptian artifacts, travels to Cairo to find the seller murdered. Batman then travels through the desert on camelback until he finds the bat-themed Tomb of Atun. Upon entering, Batman is overcome by some ancient force and opens Atun’s sarcophagus. He strips and puts on Atun’s robes and helmet, lost under the spell. Meanwhile, archeologist Dr. Ingrid Borg and Mr. Miracle—equipped with a sentient computer known as a Mother Box, which every New God carries at all times—enter the tomb from the other end, running into “the immortal Atun” (aka Batman). Ingrid steals Atun’s ankh scepter out of Batman’s hands and high-tails it toward the exit with Mr. Miracle right behind her. Trapped in the tomb, Ingrid reveals that she’s been hired to steal the secret of immortality. She betrays Mr. Miracle and tries to shoot him, but misses and accidentally kills herself via a bullet ricochet. Mr. Miracle then confronts “Atun,” knocking off his helmet, which restores Batman back to his usual self. In the depths of Atun’s tomb, Batman and Mr. Miracle find a 50,000 year old spacecraft, proving that that the great Pharaoh Atun was an alien. Using the craft, the heroes navigate out of the tomb and inexplicably, almost as if they were being telepathically-guided, wind-up leveling the structure and destroying the scepter. The heroes never learn that the immortal alien Atun was responsible for “cleaning up his mess” from 50,000 years ago, so to speak. It was he who hired Ingrid and guided them telepathically.

–Detective Comics #440
Late January. Bruce becomes a “key-holder” at a fancy new Playboy Magazine-styled restaurant called The Playhour Club. During a date with a random gal pal, some Appalachian rednecks from rural Darkhill County smash into the Playhour guns a-blazing. They grab their sister, Sarah Beth Tull, a scantily-clad waitress, and haul her out into the snow, claiming that she must return home to the sticks because she’s “The Chosen.” Batman chases them down, but gets conked-out from behind. After healing-up a bit, Batman travels to Darkhill County and speaks with the local sheriff, who tells him that the Tull family is a bunch of inbred villains that are led by their matriarch, a veritable witch with dark magickal powers. He says that the Tulls have been living on Ghost Mountain for generations, responsible for strange behavior and several murders. Batman scales Ghost Mountain alone to witness Granny Tull and her kin attempting to sacrifice Sarah Beth as an offering to the Native American gods. A Tull cousin was recently killed, and Granny believes it is a result of a curse. Batman takes down the Tulls, but they start a huge kerosene fire in the woods. After saving Sarah Beth, Batman fights and defeats a badly burned black bear that has become an aggressive man-eater. Batman finds a sill inside a nearby cave, learning that the sheriff killed the Tull cousin in cold blood. Back in town, Batman punches-out the sheriff and brings him to justice.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Annual #8. Batman busts small-time thief Willy. While we won’t see every instance on our timeline ahead, Batman will come face-to-face with Willy on-and-off again in the years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #281. Batman works an unspecified case with Interpol, teaming-up with an Italian secret agent named Aldo Fondi. Batman gives Fondi a communicator device and code signals to use in case the spy ever needs to contact him in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #277. Bruce purchases a lavish beachfront property on the Gulf Coast of Florida, which he turns into his private vacation getaway. Bruce meets some of the local townsfolk, including fisherman Sam Taggart. While not usually seen on our timeline, Bruce will visit this new home from time-to-time to give himself a break from the rigors of crime-fighting. Whenever Bruce goes down there, he will continuously familiarize himself with all the important goings-on of the town and surrounding areas.

–Aurora Comic Scenes #7 (Booklet for Aurora Kit #187)
Special thanks to site-contributor James Mahoney for this synopsis! In 1974-1975, the Aurora toy company produced model kits for statuettes of DC characters, Marvel characters, and Lone Ranger characters. With each kit came a special comic booklet. Aurora Comic Scenes #7—by Dick Giordano, Len Wein, and Glynis Wein—was the comic that accompanied Kit #187 (the Batman statuette). A gangster named Big Joe orders his men to kidnap the new mayor’s daughter. Soon after, in the wintery woodlands beyond Gotham, the kidnappers examine a supposedly-hefty ransom they’ve gotten from the cops. When the “ransom” turns out to be a bag full of old newspapers, the angry crooks set off for their cabin, but Batman begins picking them off. Only one of the henchmen makes it back to the cabin where Joe holds the mayor’s daughter hostage. Batman saves the mayor’s daughter and chases Joe into a forest clearing where the three henchmen have been left tied to a tree (one swinging with a rope around his arms and torso). A fun meta-note from the mayor’s daughter tells the reader to “Place your completed Batman model in front of this exciting action backdrop for an outstanding 3-D effect!” Joe threatens to tear Batman apart with his bare hands, citing that he’ll take his final fall if he goes back to prison, to which Batman clotheslines him while delivering the great line, “Correction, you take your final fall right now!” Batman soothes the mayor’s daughter as they walk together towards the approaching police lights.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #115. Batman meets an affable homeless vet named Army Eddie.

–Batman #256
Batman chases some bad guys all over Europe. After busting them, an exhausted Batman decides to take a week off. He orders Alfred to temporarily reopen Wayne Manor, so he can go off the grid completely. But when Bruce receives a cryptic telegram from Dick saying that he’s taken a leave of absence from Hudson University to tour with a circus, Batman ends his break to see what’s going on. After deducing that Robin is working a circus murder case, Batman goes to assist him. It’s not long before they find an escaped Catwoman, who has infiltrated the circus as a tiger-tamer. After Batman easily dispatches her henchmen, Catwoman tells the Dynamic Duo that she is merely trying to free the abused circus tigers. Catwoman flees (riding a tiger!), prompting Batman to chase her on horseback. With Catwoman busted, there’s still the matter of the unsolved murder case. Batman cracks it wide open, though, fingering the murder victim’s brother. Why did he do it? They had a lover’s quarrel over Catwoman! Batman busts the bad guy. Later, in the Batcave, Batman prints out large photos of both Catwoman and Talia al Ghūl. With a forlorn look, he stares at them and tells Robin how much it sucks to only fall for evil women.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #459. Bruce meets and befriends famous mystery novelist Elliot Quinn. They chat about the author’s writing style and work ethic, discussing an old unsolved murder about which Quinn is currently writing a true crime book. Bruce also learns that famous B-list action movie star Gaunt, who had been cast to play Quinn in a movie, has suffered a horrible car accident that has left the actor permanently mute. Gaunt currently owns the house where the subject of Quinn’s latest book (the cold-case murder) occurred. Bruce reads several of Quinn’s books and will read a couple more, moving forward. Likewise, Bruce watches a Gaunt picture and will watch several more, moving forward.

–Superman #279
Alfred reminds Batman that he has a charity event, the annual Gotham Folk Festival, to MC and perform at. But Batman is in the middle of a case, so he calls up Superman (the first time they’ve spoken in weeks due to very busy personal schedules), asking him to sub for him in disguise. While Superman (dressed as Batman) works the Folk Festival, which is also attended by Congresswoman Barbara Gordon, Batman works the Gotham Harbor, tracking some oil smugglers. After the concert ends, Superman joins Batman and helps bust the bad guys. Babs, meanwhile, enters Batman’s dressing room to find Clark’s ID. The next day, Babs visits the Galaxy Building to speak with Clark. After stepping through the door, she tosses aside serial bully and sexual-harasser Steve Lombard. (Steve is Clark’s office rival, Galaxy’s on-air sports broadcaster, and the winning quarterback of Super Bowl III in 1969.) Babs then confronts Clark, asking him how and why he came to sub for Batman at the concert. Clark stalls for time, asking her to join him for lunch. But when a villain going by “The Controller” (oil magnate J Saul Kerry, leader of the oil smugglers) attempts to blow-up a skyscraper using Metropolis’ Twin Towers as a giant tuning fork, Clark bolts. Superman and Batgirl wind-up teaming to defeat Kerry. They stop him from destroying the skyscraper and from dumping crude into the bay. Later, Babs hangs out with Lois and Clark, who has stated publicly that he subbed for Batman at the Folk Festival as part of a story he was writing. Clark “tells all,” maintaining that he used special tech to help him to acrobatics. His secret ID remains safe.

–Wonder Woman #212
Clark is reporting live for WGBS at the UN Building in New York when terrorists attempt to kill the Pamanasian Prime Minister, Indira Gamal. Clark is surprised to bear witness as Wonder Woman—in her old costume and with her powers fully restored—shows up and busts the terrorists with ease. (She gets a little help from man-of-action Morgan Tracy, who works for the UN’s Crisis Bureau). Afterward, Tracy chats with Diana, offering her a job with the Crisis Bureau. Clark then chats with Diana, asking when her powers returned, but Diana has no clue what he’s talking about. In fact, she doesn’t even remember having resigned from the JLA. Diana shows her concern regarding the memory loss, but Clark calms her, telling her to meet with the rest of the JLA at HQ to figure out what’s going on. When Wonder Woman fails to appear at the JL Satellite, Superman realizes where she’s gone. He finds her standing outside the abandoned Sanctuary in Happy Harbor. Diana has no memories of her entire time without powers, nor does she remember losing and regaining her powers. Aboard the JL Satellite, the JLA tells Wonder Woman about her missing chunk of history. Batman says it was “months,” but it was two years. Get it straight! Maybe he is trying to sugarcoat it. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Wonder Woman #223 andWonder Woman #244, although the latter flashback retcon-adds the Atom, Green Arrow, and Black Canary to the scene while they weren’t originally present.) They also invite Wonder Woman to rejoin the team, but she refuses, citing that she can’t with her current amnesiac state. She does say, however, that she will undergo twelve trials, after which, if she succeeds, she will accept reentry into the League. With someone from the JLA judging, Wonder Woman will undergo twelve major adventures over the course of the next twelve months-plus (i.e. roughly one major trial per month). Wonder Woman then visits her mother Hippolyta on Themyscira, demanding answers. In tears, Hippolyta spills the beans. A couple months ago (in Wonder Woman #204), I-Ching was shot and killed by a sniper. While trying to avenge him, Diana was injured and became a full amnesiac. The Amazons, who had been using strange tech to record all of Diana’s memories and thoughts ever since she was born, restored her mind and her super-powers. However, they were unable to capture her memories while she was powerless, so they couldn’t return that portion of her mind. Thus, Wonder Woman returned with her powers, but had no recollection that she’d ever even lost them! Hippolyta was also concerned with how her daughter would react to the death of Steve Trevor, who was killed during Diana’s powerless phase (in Wonder Woman #180), so the queen has been implanting false hallucinatory interactions with Trevor into Diana’s mind for the past couple months. Upon hearing all this, Diana is dumbfounded. Shocked at the loss of I-Ching and Steve Trevor, Diana weeps. Later, the Cavalier makes his return, kidnapping Prime Minister Gamal and Tracy. He reveals that he was behind the terrorist attack at the UN, and he’s angling to control all of Pamanasia. Superman leads Wonder Woman to Tracy’s location. There, Wonder Woman takes down the Cavalier’s henchwomen. The Cavalier uses a special pheromone powder that causes Wonder Woman to become sexually attracted to him. However, the Amazon princess is able to fight it off, and take down the villain. The Cavalier’s aphrodisiac powder box explodes all over him, causing his henchwoman to lustfully and ravenously dog-pile on top of him. Wonder Woman tells Tracy that Diana will accept his job offer. Back aboard the JL Satellite, Superman reports back to Batman and Flash, saying that Wonder Woman’s first trial is done. Flash will be in charge of judging her next trial, at a future date. The JLA maps out a full schedule for Wonder Woman’s trials.

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

–Justice League of America #111-112
Batman chases after an escaped Scarecrow, who disappears without a trace. Over the course of a few days, other villains begin disappearing too. Unknown to the JLA, the villains have been gathered aboard a hidden orbiting satellite by one-shot newcomer Libra, who has formed the Injustice Gang of the World! His team consists of Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Shadow-Thief, Tattooed Man, Mirror Master, and Chronos. When the Injustice Gang strikes at different location all over the planet, the JLA—much to Batman’s annoyance—draws names out of a hat to see which heroes will deal with which villains. In Singapore, Poison Ivy and Mirror Master struggle with Aquaman and Hal Jordan until Libra shows up and takes down the heroes all by himself. Then, in Hollywood, Libra takes down Superman after the Man of Steel is about to apprehend Scarecrow. In London, Batman, Elongated Man, and Flash easily take down Chronos, Tattooed Man, and Shadow-Thief, but once again Libra arrives and crushes the heroes. Having stolen the powers of each defeated JLAer, Libra has no need for his pawns, leaving the entire Injustice Gang in police custody. With the captured JLA watching aboard his satellite, Libra begins to suck energy from the Earth itself. The JLA escapes captivity, but Libra gains so much power that he starts to become one with the universe. He grows larger and larger until he achieves cosmic consciousness. But the power is too much for him to handle. Libra screams in terror as his body dissolves and merges into the infinite blackness of space. With their powers lost (Batman has lost half his intellect), the JLA returns to their HQ to meet with the rest of the team. There, they reprogram Amazo, hoping to use him as a magnet to draw back their energies. The only catch is that Amazo will have to be in a constant state of adrenaline rush in order to strengthen the force of his magnetization. Thus, the JLA programs Amazo with the thought that his life in on the line unless he’s incredibly violent. With not-smart Batman left behind, the JLA antagonizes an irritable Amazo, first at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, then in the Arctic, and then Brazil. Once Amazo has collected all of the stolen JLA molecules within his body, the JLA knocks him out and brings him back to the Satellite. Batman, even in his low-intellectual state, has been smart enough to put a failsafe into motion. Sure enough, Amazo, playing possum, strikes as soon as they strap him into a machine that can redistribute the heroes’ powers. Thankfully, as per Batman’s failsafe, his intellect gets immediately siphoned back into his brain. Thanks to insulated boots, Batman is able to avoid a devastating energy redistribution shockwave. And thanks to steel gloves, Batman is able to punch Amazo’s head clean off.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #224 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #224 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Superman and Batman watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons. In this sim, the Super-Sons are pissed at their dads for treating them like kids, so they invite their dads to travel out West to a Hippie campground (akin to the Esalen Institute), hoping to expand their consciousnesses and reconnect as family members. After a few days studying and learning under Dr. Zamm, the guru determines that the father-son pairings must be switched. (He’s tricking them into all getting along.) Thus, Bruce begins mentoring Clark Jr, and vice-versa. Soon after, the Super-Dads and Super-Sons take on Bio-X7, a rogue government cyborg. In the end, Bio-X7 realizes the error of his ways and sacrifices himself to save a bunch of people. Likewise, Dr. Zamm proves himself to be a great healer of minds, successfully fixing the Wayne and Kent family problems. (Note that this item is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #454. Bruce watches pro boxer (and number one contender to the heavyweight title) Kid Cobra in action. Impressed, Bruce studies his fighting style closely. Despite being at the top of his game, Kid Cobra will lose his one shot at the title at some point in the coming months. While not on our timeline, Bruce will likely be watching the big fight.

–The Brave and The Bold #114
Bruce reads about US Government intervention in the small Eurasian nation of Karatolia, which has sent more drugs to the US than any other country in recent years. Via US military action, one month ago, thousands of drug manufacturers’ poppy fields were recently razed in Karatolia. Later, when Aquaman captures a passenger flight containing 184 people, including fugitive mafioso Joe Angel, Batman is on the case. He scuba dives under the Atlantic to the location of the still intact airplane, which is being held in a giant air bubble by Aquaman. There, Batman fights-off some Gotham mobster frogmen and Aquaman himself. Aquaman subdues the angry Batman and brings him aboard an Atlantean sub, explaining that the plane was carrying an active hydrogen bomb, revenge against America direct from the Karatolian drug cartels. While the heroes chat, a rescue ship pulls the plane up to the surface and begins hauling it into shore. Batman boards the ship, but he gets conked-out by some Gotham mobsters, who have been sent by the new syndicate head to retrieve Angel dead or alive. Eventually, Aquaman busts Angel and the mobsters. Aquaman and Batman then race to Gotham Harbor on a humpback whale just in time to prevent the H-Bomb from detonating.

–World’s Finest Comics #225
Morgan Kilbec arrives in Gotham to inform Bruce that his two remaining Scottish relatives have died, making him owner of Castle Wayne in Inishtree, Scotland. Morgan begs Bruce for help, citing that, with the death of the last Waynes, a curse has fallen upon the children of Inishtree, turning them all into rowdy snarling demon-spawn. A flight later, Bruce and Morgan are accosted on the streets of Inishtree by evil kids, who then vanish without a trace. At Castle Wayne, Morgan’s young son Seamus hypnotizes Bruce and nearly gets him to commit suicide. Later, Batman spies on the demon kids, but gets swarmed by them. Thankfully, Superman shows up and rescues Batman. Later still, Batman and Superman rescue Morgan from the kids, but he’s badly hurt and barely clinging onto life. Superman reports that kids are turning evil all up and down the coastline. After capturing Seamus, the heroes learn that the children are all victims of a ghoulish epidemic of evil that is being spread by blackbird spirits. With his dying breath, Morgan gives Batman a key to a locked upstairs room. The opened room unleashes a bunch of ravenous trained hunting hawks, which proceed to kill all the vile blackbirds. Meanwhile, Superman destroys their eggs, returning the rampaging kids back to human form. A day later, Bruce, Clark, Seamus, and some of the other townsfolk attend Morgan’s funeral. Unknown to everyone, two malevolent spirit eggs are hidden in the cemetery atop a centuries-old statue of Bruce’s old ancestor Contarf Wayne. Bruce vows to return to check-in on his Inishtree property in the future. (He won’t, nor will we ever see the remaining evil eggs hatch. Bye, Inishtree. It’s been real.)

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #213-214. The Justice League learns the details of Wonder Woman’s recent ongoing trials—via an audio recording by Flash and a video recording by Hal Jordan. In trial #2, monitored by Flash, Wonder Woman bested a giant cybernaut that had unleashed a wave of lethargy over the planet. In trial #3, monitored by Hal, Wonder Woman stopped the wild plot of Henry Tudor, who attempted to kill all life on Earth with nuclear bombs.

–The Brave and The Bold #115
When Debbie Manton witnesses a gangland murder, mobster Buggsy Cathcart orders her kidnapped. Shortly thereafter, Cathcart is jailed, but with Debbie still missing, Batman is on the case. After finding her location, Batman attempts to enter through a window, but it is booby trapped and shocks him into unconsciousness. Later, in a hospital bed, the Dark Knight is pronounced completely brain dead by doctors. However, Ray Palmer happens to be in the building and soon takes a look at his fallen comrade. Left alone with Batman, Ray switches into Atom-mode, shrinks down, and enters the Dark Knight’s cranium. After running around and pulling some fancy footwork inside Batman’s brain, the Atom is able to control Batman’s body! Relying on Batman’s muscle memory, the Atom locates Debbie’s location. The puppet Batman, with the Atom controlling him from inside his own brain, takes down some goons but eventually collapses in front of the final bad guy, who holds Debbie hostage. The Atom shoots out of Batman’s nose and kayos the final guy to rescue Debbie. The brain dead Batman is once again rushed back into intensive care. Miraculously, Batman’s brainwaves restart again, re-stimulated due to the Atom’s control of his body. Despite having no brain activity for at least thirty minutes, Batman sits up and is all better! Not even a hint of brain injury! This issue is without-a-doubt one of the most ludicrous stories in the entire history of DC Comics. Only Bob Haney could have delivered this, and he sure did.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Annual #11. Late February. As he does every year, Batman gives a birthday gift to Superman.

–Detective Comics #441
Early March. Batman assists GCPD Lieutenant Detective Harvey Bullock (!) bring rescue a hostage from a cop-killer. Bullock can’t stand Batman or Commissioner Gordon—and he lets the Dark Knight know exactly how he feels. (Despite this being the first interaction between Batman and Bullock, the later has been with the GCPD for at least five years, likely longer.) Back home, Alfred reports that Robin has gone missing, his motorcycle having been found in a roadside ditch. Batman soon finds himself at the abandoned seaside resort where he once witnessed the murder of a drug-dealer named Snow. There, Batman meets Robin’s abductor, a shrouded gavel-wielding villain known as The Judge, who challenges Batman to survive several death traps. After Melissa Clay appears, Batman realizes the Judge is the actual honorable Judge Clay, a high-ranking member of Gotham’s court system. After Batman pounces upon Judge Clay, the latter tells Batman that he was indeed the person that killed Snow all those years ago, but he did so because he was running Snow’s heroin operation. Robin, having escaped a death trap of his own, helps bust the Judge. Sadly, Melissa is killed, falling into one of her dad’s traps.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #361. Commissioner Gordon suspends Harvey Bullock, who leaves the Force entirely.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #257 Part 1. Batman busts an escaped Penguin, who reveals his love for Edgar Allan Poe’s Purloined Letter.

–Action Comics #440
While Clark conducts an interview with a scientist employed by STAR Labs (Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Labs), Metropolis’ top crime syndicate—led by Michael J Coram—attacks the compound with a tank and a rocket-powered Iron Man wannabe. Superman stops the threat while Jimmy Olsen shoots video and reports back to Morgan Edge. Clark musses-up his clothes to make it seem like he barely survived the STAR Labs attack and crawls back to Galaxy HQ. In front of the building, Clark runs into Bruce, who is attending a meeting as minority shareholder of WGBS. Later, the very STAR Labs scientist that Clark interviewed shows his true colors as a syndicate man, utilizing a sci-fi device that causes Superman to hallucinate the ghosts of his long dead parents. Superman’s “parents” tell him to create a new Krypton in deep space, but Superman realizes that they aren’t real. The Man of Steel plays along anyway and flies off to fuse asteroids into a crude new planet, temporarily allowing Coram’s syndicate to go on an easy crime spree, hoping that a cocky Corum will expose himself. When Metropolis Police Department’s top cop Inspector William Henderson—a canon-immigrant from the old Golden Age Superman radio show—can do nothing to stop the mob, Corum and his men step out into the light to claim victory. Superman returns and imprisons the entire syndicate inside his asteroid Krypton. Defeated, the syndicate folds.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #444. Batman begins using underworld lowlife Specs as a stool pigeon.

–World’s Finest Comics #226
The Pentagon alerts Batman and Superman that the country of Mariposa has been taken over by a Soviet-backed dictator called El Jefe. Top US military men task the heroes with helping the world’s greatest biophysicist, Dr. Jan Vronsky, safely defect to the US. Batman and Superman disguise themselves as Mariposan soldiers and infiltrate El Jefe’s castle, rescuing Vronsky. Unfortunately, Vronsky is an impostor working for El Jefe. In the jungle, the fake Vronsky kayos Batman and runs off. The World’s Finest then meet with Rex Mason (aka Metamorpho), who is in Mariposa as a distinguished guest of El Jefe, sent by Simon Stagg to check-up on Stagg’s mining ventures there. After Superman helps some local farmers, he joins Batman in re-infiltrating El Jefe’s castle. Once inside, the heroes find that everyone is covered in sores and are dying. El Jefe’s fake Vronsky had been turned into a human germ bomb that was going to unleash a virus in the States upon his defection. However, thanks to Superman’s delay to assist the farmers, the timing of the germ bomb’s detonation was off and it released its poisons early. El Jefe and his men drop dead, leaving a military junta in control of the nation. Batman and Superman return to the States, thinking Vronksy has died. Metamorpho, knowing better, finds the real Vronsky and sneaks him into the States. In Washington DC, Batman and Superman are surprised to meet a living Vronksy and a gloating Metamorpho.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #123. Batman shares his secret ID with Metamorpho.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #273. Bruce begins a business relationship with a Wayne Enterprises manager named Haines, who runs one of Bruce’s many banks. Bruce and Haines will work very closely together, moving forward. Bruce, on occasion, will conduct Wayne Enterprises business at Haines’ bank, working out of a private office inside the branch itself.


–Wonder Woman #215
Aquaman heads to New York City to monitor Wonder Woman for her fourth trial. In NYC, Ares (aka Mars), Greco-Roman God of War, strikes out at Wonder Woman from a distance. Eventually, Wonder Woman flies to Themyscira to find that her island home has vanished. After a warning to be careful from Hera herself, Wonder Woman soon finds Themyscira magickally moved right above Atlantis. The Amazons have mobilized for armed conflict with an equally mobilized Atlantean military. Aquaman and Wonder Woman quickly realize that Ares has manipulated both races into war. Ares himself appears, admitting responsibility, citing that he’s been starving for violent energy ever since the Vietnam War ended. Aquaman prevents both armies from clashing while Wonder Woman apprehends the mighty God of War. Upon being captured, the Ares claims innocence and demands a trial! Thus, Ares is brought aboard the JL Satellite where his case is heard by the JLA. Ares loses his trial, is found guilty, and is shipped off to an alien prison. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman has passed her fourth trial with flying colors.

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman #216. Black Canary trails Wonder Woman to observe her for her fifth trial. After Wonder Woman busts some art thieves in New York City, she returns to the UN Building. A disguised Black Canary meets with Diana to witness Diogenes Diamandopoulos, the world’s richest man, threaten war against Themyscira. Wonder Woman immediately flies to her home. Batman rigs the JLA teleporter to send Black Canary to Themyscira as well. Black Canary watches a monitor that shows hordes of robot-mechs and armed military contractors clashing with the Amazons in heated battle on the shores of a fake Paradise Island some distance away. While Hippolyta leads the Amazons to victory and then chats with Black Canary, Wonder Woman greets a slippery Diamandopolous, who attempts to sneak onto the real island. Captured, Wonder Woman takes him off-panel to deliver the secret punishment for all men who somehow manage to set foot on the island. What is it, you ask? It’s a secret! Even I don’t know what it is.

–The Brave and The Bold #116
When three people are strangled to death, Batman and Commissioner Gordon investigate. NYPD Lieutenant Detective Jim Corrigan (host to the Spectre) turns up in Gotham, claiming that Kali-worshipping Thuggee cultists are responsible for the murders. After the Spectre quickly apprehends one of the Thuggees, John T Weaver, Corrigan drags him into GCPD HQ. However, with a solid alias, an airtight alibi, passed lie detector test, no evidence, and a botched line-up fingering, Weaver walks free. Later, when one of the victims is stolen from the morgue, Batman follows the Thuggee bodysnatcher and confronts him in the woods. The Spectre and Batman bust him, but he, like his accomplice, similarly avoids conviction. Upon interrogation, both killers seem to have no recollection of the crimes they’ve committed. Spectre investigates and learns that the killers fought in WWII together and, as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers, bulldozed a road through a sacred Kali burial site in India, thus forever earning the wrath of the god, who has now sent homicidal Thuggee spirits to possess them. Later, at a US Army Corps of Engineers reunion, Batman watches as his suspects and their pals go into a collective trance, unveiling a statue of Kali. They grab Batman and try to kill him, but the Spectre pretends to be Kali and tells them to calm themselves and go home. The ghosts of the Kali-worshiping murderers possessing the ex-Army engineers are exorcised. Despite having been possessed by evil spirits at the time of the murders, the engineers accept responsibility and turn themselves before the mercy of Gotham’s judicial system.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #228 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #228 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Superman and Batman watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons. In this sim, Superman and Batman stage one of their classic elaborate death ruses to expose an Alaskan seal poacher named Simon Link. First, Bruce fakes his own death. After a funeral and will reading, Batman Jr and Robin bitterly feud over who should be the rightful heir to the mantle of the Bat. Batman Jr, Robin, Superman, and Superman Jr travel to Alaska where they tussle with some Inuit tribesmen and bust Link, after which Batman makes his grand re-appearance. (Note that this item is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #258 and Detective Comics #496. The majority of Batman’s rogues—including Joker, original Clayface (Basil Karlo), and a recently returned Two-Face—are transferred to the brand new Arkham Hospital for the Criminally Insane (aka Arkham Asylum)! Originally, Arkham was written as being located four hours north of Gotham, in Arkham, Massachusetts—Denny O’Neil’s nod to HP Lovecraft. However, early 1980s retcons moved Arkham to Gotham City proper. Thus, any future mentions of Arkham being in New England, of which there will be a few, should be summarily ignored.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #258. Ex-US military general John Harris becomes a right wing pundit and begins publicly speaking about the state of the nation. Bruce reads about Harris’ rants in the news.

–Detective Comics #442-443
Late March—editorial narration tells us it is springtime. Batman deals with a ghost WWI bi-plane, which machine guns a man named Mason Terrell to death. After the plane disappears, Batman runs into Eve Dancer, daughter of famous pilot and antique plan collector Barry Dancer, who killed himself a few years ago. Batman rides along with Eve to her dad’s old airfield. En route, Eve tells Batman that she thinks her brother Benjy has decked-out a bi-plane to look like a ghost plane and is now killing-off the men that drove their dad to suicide. Terrell was number one. Batman seemingly is too late to save victim number two, Doug Garth, who goes up in flames at the airfield. Batman and Eve fly an old German bi-plane in hot pursuit of the ghost plane. As he’s done before, Batman mid-air leaps from a bi-plane to another and back again. The ghost plane crashes, revealing that Benjy isn’t the pilot after all. It’s Garth, who faked his death at the airfield fire. The final would-be victim, Rick Halstrom, explains that he and Terrell found out Garth was embezzling money. Thus, Garth concocted the ghost plane scheme, knowing the law would finger Benjy after he faked his own death. Everyone finds Benjy tied-up nearby.

Bruce, at the last second, is asked to host a gala to celebrate the birth of a new African democracy in the nation of Congola. Thus, Bruce and Alfred temporarily re-open Wayne Manor to hold the event. Later, Batman’s judo detective pal Dan Kingdom calls him with news that he’s about to crack a case involving the new Prime Minister of Congola. Kingdom asks for a meet-up, but by the time Batman gets there, Commissioner Gordon is fishing Kingdom’s body out of the harbor. Later that night, Bruce makes an appearance at the gala only to witness as an assassin kills the Prime Minister of Congola right in his own home. Batman tackles the assassin outside in the yard, but is challenged by a masked warrior calling himself Enforcer. Enforcer takes down Batman and escapes with his man, who leaves behind the murder weapon. Batman shows the tricked-out firearm to Mole, who says it was made by master Kenyan gunsmith Kolu Mbeya. Batman goes to Nairobi and soon finds the Prime Minister’s killer, who says that he committed the assassination on behalf of the criminal organization known as The Council. (As revealed in The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 2, the Council is run by the mysterious man known only as The Head. Of course, Archie Goodwin’s Council—seen here in ‘tec #443—was not necessarily written to be the same as Cary Burkett’s Council from The Brave and The Bold #169-170, but there’s no reason why they couldn’t conceivably be one and the same. In fact, it actually makes sense if they are one and the same.) The Prime Minister’s killer moves-in to strike at Batman, but Manhunter (Paul Kirk) shoots him dead. (Manhunter is a former WWII mystery man, who died in 1946 only to be brought back to life via cybernetic resurrection by the Council. Realizing the Council was evil, Manhunter broke away from their ranks.) Manhunter introduces Batman to his crew: Interpol agent Christine St. Clair, ninja Asano Nitobe, and Kolu Mbeya. Their mission is to destroy the Council, which has created an army of evil Manhunter clones. Batman asks to join their mission, but they deny him, citing his unwillingness to kill. Upon arrival at the Council’s Australian Outback HQ, Mbeya is immediately taken down. Manhunter, Christine, and Asano take heavy fire, but thankfully Batman has ignored their denial and tagged along, wiping-out the shooters. Replacing Mbeya, Batman joins the crew and they descend into a mineshaft, immediately battling their way through swarms of Council soldiers. Batman learns that Enforcer is none other than a sellout Dan Kingdom! The Council had faked his death by dumping a clone into Gotham Harbor. Batman gets his revenge against his former bestie, kayoing him. While Manhunter faces-off against the leader of the Council, his resurrector Dr. Anatol Mykros, Mbeya returns to help the rest of the crew escape from the underground fortress. As Batman and company fly off, Manhunter activates a self-destruct mechanism, sacrificing his own life to destroy the Council.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 2 and The Brave and The Bold #170. FBI Director Ben Marshall is assassinated by FBI Agent Craig Tresser. Bruce reads about the tragedy in the news, learning that Craig’s brother, Tom Tresser, is also in the FBI. Unknown to all, Craig had been brainwashed by ex-Nazi scientist Otto Von Riebling, who is in the employ of the Council.

–Batman #257 Part 1
Early spring. King Peeble IV, the twelve-year-old monarch of Swawak, visits Hudson University only to get kidnapped by goons that unleash a swarm of birds upon the campus. Robin tells Batman, who temporarily opens up the Batcave to use the crime lab there. The heroes quickly deduce that Penguin is behind the abduction. Two days later, the Dynamic Duo ascends the side of King Peeble’s castle in Swawak, which Penguin has taken control of in an effort to become legal ruler of the nation. Batman and Robin swing in and take out Penguin’s henchmen, but Penguin knocks-out the Dynamic Duo with a poisoned emperor penguin beak. Batman and Robin wake to find themselves tied-up and hanging next to Talia al Ghūl, who had also infiltrated the castle in hopes of robbing the king. The trio escapes from the claws of a giant eagle and confronts Penguin together, besting the super-villain and his men, and rescuing King Peeble.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #259. Willy Hank Stamper is released from prison.

–Batman #258-260
Early spring. Dick is on Spring Break, so Batman and Robin patrol Gotham like old times, spotting several crooks (whom they recognize from their crime-files) entering a hotel. After roughing them up, one bad guy says that something is going down at Arkham Asylum. Batman and Robin rush to Arkham to find that Two-Face has escaped, having been replaced by a fake, who says that right wing pundit General John Harris orchestrated the break-out. Sure enough, Harris has recruited Two-Face to help with a big uranium ore heist, but Two-Face wants to be in charge. Flipping his scarred-coin (a new coin, since Batman has the original), Two-Face pushes Harris to the sidelines and takes control of the plan. Angered, Harris meets with Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin and rats on his own heist. Batman accuses Harris of being in cahoots, to which Harris breaks down and admits that he planned the heist but fell out of favor with Two-Face, leading to his current betrayal. Embarrassed and ashamed at what he’s become, Harris commits suicide by leaping out the window of Gordon’s office. Soon after, Batman and Robin challenge Two-Face and his henchmen in Maryland, but are overwhelmed and captured, allowing Two-Face to steal the uranium. A day later, in Washington DC, Two-Face hijacks Congress and displays an active atomic bomb inside the Capitol Building! Taking all the representatives and senators hostage, including Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill (and presumably Babs Gordon, even though she isn’t shown), Two-Face demands $2 million or else kaboom. Batman and Robin escape, but Spring Break is over so the Teen Wonder returns to college! I can’t believe a few college courses outweigh a nuclear attack on the nation’s capital! Batman, on his own, confronts Two-Face and busts him on Capitol Hill.

Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that the famed Starlight Tiara will be on display in Gotham. Recalling that Willy Hank Stamper tried to steal it twenty-five years go, only to get foiled by the Shadow and Bruce’s dad, Bruce pays longtime family friend Mildred Miller, who was also present at the original Starlight Tiara burglary attempt, a visit at her old folks home. At the care home, Batman finds Stamper, recently released from jail, out for revenge against anyone involved in the old case. Batman rescues Mildred and ex-jeweler Thornton Swofford, but Swofford collapses and dies of a heart attack as Stamper flees the scene. At the Wayne Foundation Building, Stamper continues his revenge, sabotaging the elevator and nearly killing Bruce. When the tiara is found to be swapped with a fake, Batman confronts Stamper in the same place the thief fought the Shadow twenty-five years ago. There, the Shadow makes his presence felt, laughing from the darkness as Batman is overwhelmed by memories of the past. As the Shadow cackles in the background, Batman gets a grip on himself and kayos Stamper. The Shadow then emerges, offering Batman one of his guns as a gift. Batman politely refuses. The Shadow then turns over the real tiara, explaining that Swofford had kept the real one all these years. The Shadow also reveals that he’s known Batman’s secret ID for a long time. Before Batman can ask him any questions, the Shadow disappears.

Arkham Asylum has only been open for a couple weeks and already it’s garnered the reputation it will have for decades to come: a revolving door prison with the worst security ever. When Batman receives an anonymous tip that Joker is planning an escape, he rushes to Arkham. Upon arriving, Batman finds that Joker, along with eleven other random inmates, is free. Batman is overwhelmed by the odds, but is saved by Two-Face, who has flipped his coin to the good side. Two-Face, while explaining that a “good flip” also guided him to call in the anonymous tip, returns to his cell. Batman goes back to Gotham to find that he’s absorbed a large amount of Joker Venom into his system. Starting to lose himself to uncontrollable giggling, Batman visits world famous chemical expert Dr. Hamish. A delivery of tainted flowers to his doorstep causes Dr. Hamish to keel over stone cold dead with a rictus grin on his face. Batman busts Joker’s delivery man, who turns over a tape recording of the Joker himself, telling the Dark Knight he has three days until he laughs himself to death. The next morning, Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Oliver Queen, and Clark Kent attend Dr. Hamish’s funeral. A laughing Batman then flies to London to meet with another famous chemical scientist, Dr. Rockwell. At Rockwell’s office, Batman finds the doctor held at gunpoint by Joker himself. Batman laughs so hard that he is unable to rescue the doc, who Joker hauls-off to an abandoned vaudeville theater. There, the chuckling Batman saves Rockwell from a guillotine and punches-out a bad one-lining Joker. Rockwell cooks-up an antidote to the Joker Venom running through Batman’s veins, saving his life.

–Action Comics #443
Queen Bee (Zazzala) forms an “Anti-Justice League” consisting of Brainiac, Clayface (Matt Hagen), The Harpy, Merlyn, Ocean Master, Chronos, Gorilla Grodd, and a bunch of Bee-Men. The Anti-Justice League is able to secretly defeat and capture the entire JLA, except for Superman. With the JLA imprisoned aboard Zazzala’s beehive ship in outer space, Superman begins trying to figure out who is responsible for his friends’ disappearance. Superman speaks with King Solovar, ruler of Gorilla City, learning that Grodd has escaped custody. Likewise, the Guardians of the Universe tell the Man of Steel that Sinestro is on the loose. Warden Marwell confirms that Lex Luthor and Terra-Man are still in his Metropolis prison. Superman deduces that Brainiac must be involved somehow, so he decides to mess with Brainiac in an effort to confuse him. Using a Kandorian Brainwave Machine, Superman “reverses the attitudes” of all human beings on Earth in regard to his alter egos. In an instant, all of humanity believes Superman is a mild-mannered costumed reporter with no powers whereas Clark Kent is a suit-wearing super-powered super-being. Superman (wearing his Superman costume) delivers his regular TV news report with meteorologist Oscar Asherman and director Josh Coyle. Brainiac is stupefied, which stalls the Anti-Justice League’s plans in regard to capturing the Man of Steel. Eventually, Clark (in his suit and tie) defeats a bunch of Bee-Men and locates Zazzala’s ship. Infiltrating it, Superman (back in his Superman costume) takes on the entire Anti-Justice League, but gets frozen by Brainiac. Flash vibrates himself and the rest of the JLA to freedom. The JLA kicks ass and busts all the super-villains. Hal un-freezes Superman, who then undoes his Kandorian Brainwave Machine reversal. At the Galaxy Building, Clark has his JLA teammates—all in their civilian IDs—act out a scene just to rib that jerk Steve Lombard. Each JLA member asks Clark for an autograph, but then snubs Steve.

–Batman #261
Hal Hemingway shows Bruce around the industrial complex that Hemingway Security is protecting. When thieves—including Eddy (who Batman once busted before)—break in, Bruce switches to Bat-mode. Batman and Hal tango with the crooks, but Batman gets knocked-out. When he comes-to, plant manager Tom Wilson reports that the robbers stole a high-tech reactor and scared-off Hal. Batman tracks down Eddy, busts him, and then disguises himself as Eddy to meet with his buddies. However, his buds see right through Batman’s disguise, but play along. Batman, thinking Hal might be a secret member of the gang, unwittingly leads the bad guys straight to his motel hideout. (The bad guys mention that it’s “late in the season,” which implies that it’s late summer, but we’ve got to ignore that line of dialogue.) Batman realizes that he’s been wrong about Hal, but it’s too late. The villains capture Hal and Batman, sending the latter into the sky in a hot air balloon. Hal jumps in front of a hail of gunfire, sacrificing his own life to save Batman’s. On a train bound for Washington DC, Batman catches-up with the gang and brings them to justice. Back in Gotham, Batman busts the real leader of their crew, plant manager Tom Wilson, who had used the thieves as decoys, so that he could sell the “stolen” reactor plans himself. Later, Batman visits Hal’s grave.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #456. Shady business tycoon Ulysses Vulcan rumbles into Gotham, taking Bruce Wayne head-on. While we won’t see their feud on our timeline until its conclusion, we can imagine a few clashes occurring here-and-there on our chronology below.

–Superman #285
“TV Detective” Roy Raymond has been missing for years. Superman thinks it’s high time someone found out what happened to the world’s smartest man. Deciding to devote all of his attention to the search, Clark has a disguised Bruce take his place at WGBS for the week. After delivering the nightly news on TV, “Clark” has dinner with Perry White, Lois Lane, Steve Lombard, and gossip reporter Lola Barnett. When Steve and Perry bet Lola she can’t keep a secret for more than a week, “Clark” gives her a suitable ante—that he is secretly Bruce Wayne, having swapped with Clark just for kicks. Bruce plays Clark for six whole days—including getting to “accidentally” kick a bullying Steve in the chest—while the the real Clark searches for Raymond. Eventually, Superman comes face-to-face with telepathic scientist Roger Rivers, who kidnapped Raymond years ago and has held him captive in a catatonic trance ever since. In this time, Rivers has been using a strange device to harness Raymond’s genius brainwaves as fuel to amplify his own telepathic abilities, with which he’s been sowing seeds of chaos across the globe in an effort to become dictator of Earth. Rivers alone has been responsible for the outbreak of several recent wars! Superman is able to fight-off Rivers’ telepathic strike via sheer will, taking down the villain and freeing Raymond from his spell. Clark hooks-up Raymond with a spot at WGBS, so the “TV Detective” can continue his old show. With Lola reporting, Bruce unmasks on live TV, ending his fun week masquerading as Clark.




–The Brave and The Bold #118
Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum again, going on another brutal murder spree. Batman and Gordon are able to bust one of Joker’s henchmen, ex-pro boxer Mike Dubcek, putting him behind bars in New England’s Sparta Prison. As coincidence would have it, Ted Grant fights an exhibition match inside Sparta Prison against Dubcek a week later. One of Joker’s other henchmen takes the opportunity to poison Dubcek with a virus during the match (in order to keep him quiet about Joker’s plans). Two days later, the virus has spread to nearly every inmate in the prison. After obtaining a dog that has antibodies in his system that can stop the disease, the GCPD, Batman, and Wildcat escort it in an armored car headed up North. But before they even get out of Gotham, Joker tries to swipe the pup in traffic, causing the doggie to run away. Eventually, the dog gets picked up by the pound and Joker simply claims it, pretending to be its owner. Later, at Jefferson Square Garden, with Joker’s man holding a gun to the puppy’s head (!), Joker forces Batman and Wildcat to box wearing spiked-knuckled gloves that are infected with the deadly virus! Here, Joker reveals that he knows Wildcat’s secret ID! I wonder what else Joker knows. Batman and Wildcat pummel each other, delivering a double knockout. Batman tricks Joker into chasing the puppy, which leads to Joker falling into one of Gotham’s bays. In a pretty wild reveal, we learn that Joker can’t swim! Despite having fallen into water a bunch of times in the Golden Age (and literally swam through a vat of chemicals when he was turned into a super-villain), this is apparently the first time Joker has ever been fully submerged in the Silver/Bronze Age! (Is Joker’s inability to swim a continuity error? Many people angrily think so! This one’s up to your own personal headcanon.) Batman and Wildcat bust Joker, recover the dog, and cure everyone in Sparta Prison, including themselves. Afterward, Joker is imprisoned in Sparta Prison.

–Justice League of America #113-115
Spring. Batman, Elongated Man, Hal Jordan, and Superman visit Earth-2 and help the JSA (Hourman, Jay Garrick, Sandman, and Earth-2 Wonder Woman) defeat the Horned Owl Gang. All these trips between Earth-1 and Earth-2 and the Batmen still haven’t crossed paths. At this point it has to be on purpose that they don’t see each other (and never will). After busting the villains, an alarm registers on Sandman’s car, causing him to run home. The collected heroes follow to learn that a monster has escaped from the captivity of Sandman’s lair. The monster is Sandy the Golden Boy, his old teenage sidekick, who has been missing for decades. Sandman breaks down and spills the beans. Upwards of thirty years ago, an experiment went horribly wrong, turning Sandy into a hulking sandstone monster. Rather than tell anyone, Sandman gassed him and has kept him prisoner in his lair ever since! The JSAers and JLAers chase and fight the rampaging monster Sandy across York City. (Sandman and Sandy were originally from New York City, but this story is very specifically set in York City, which has to be more southerly since it has open beaches, yet we are still in springtime. Otherwise, this thinly-veiled analogue city should be retconned back to regular ol’ New York, as should the beach scene be ignored.) After, the heroes take down Sandy, a massive earthquake erupts, but Superman is able to stop the rumbling. Sandy then reveals that he wasn’t really rampaging, he was running across town and absorbing the ground vibrations along a fault line in order to prevent a major earthquake from occurring. Only when the heroes defeated him did the earthquake begin. Sandman, seeing that his former sidekick is back, breaks down, ashamed at the fact he’s locked him away for so many years. Unable to forgive himself, a shaken Sandman hangs his head and walks off. And as he should! This story has basically made a villain out of Sandman! Earth-2 Wonder Woman mentions that Amazonian tech could have easily restored Sandy years ago, if only Sandman hadn’t tried to cover up his mistake by unjustly jailing his supposed best friend.[7]

Superman hosts the first Annual National Super-thon, a televised charity phone-a-thon fundraiser in which the lines are answered by the JLA, Kid Flash, and Zatanna. The Super-thon also is a variety show with stunts, circus animal acts, and a performance by Frank Sinatra! As the show goes on for hours and hours, a crazy dude dressed-up as a centurion and calling himself Anakronus breaks into Snapper Carr’s home and takes his entire family—including Mr. Carr, Mrs. Carr, sister Jenny Carr, and brother Jimmy Carr—hostage. Eventually, Anakronus forces Snapper to call into the Super-thon to demand all the money they’ve raised in exchange for his family’s life. Atom, Elongated Man, and Red Tornado immediately go to the Carr household and kick the guy’s ass.

Martian Manhunter arrives in Earth’s orbit in a panic, telling tale that a giant alien “god of rage” called Korge has demanded a fight with with the JLA on New Mars. With Batman staying behind because he is on monitor duty, J’onn, Superman, Atom, Flash, and Hal Jordan teleport to New Mars via Korge’s high-tech transporter. There, J’onn and the four JLAers use Korge’s transporter to swap power-sets, which confuses Korge, leading to his defeat.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #347 Part 1. Batman trails a bunch of escaped convicts into the woods, taking a bullet in his abdomen (just a flesh wound!) for his trouble. Despite this injury, Batman spooks the convicts enough that they panic and begin gunning each other down, leaving only one survivor, who the Dark Knight easily busts.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #456. The details behind this one are vague, but Batman begins using an underworld disguise of criminal “Fast Artie,” hanging around a seedy pool hall to get dirt on crooks. It’s likely that Batman busts the real Fast Artie and assumes his identity. In any case, “Fast Artie” gains the confidence of smalltime crook named Chuckles—or, possibly, continues Artie’s relationship with Chuckles, picking-up from where it left off before the real Artie’s incarceration.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #230-231 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #230-231 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Superman and Batman watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons. In the sim from WFC #230, the Super-Dads are once again annoyed by their Super-Sons, so they send them on an archeological expedition to the jungles of Mexico just to get them out of their hair for a bit. There, the boys bring down a villain posing as an immortal Mayan king. In the sim from WFC #231, Bruce Jr and Clark Jr get so mad at their dads that they publicly accuse them of being grandstanding tools of oppression rather than pure-of-heart superheroes. A bizarre trial is held, after which Batman and Superman are jailed in a mini-concentration camp. Batman and Superman sneak-out in disguise as fellow JLA members (and then send their android doubles) to help the Super-Sons defeat the crime organization called Tempo Unlimited. (Note that this item is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.)

–Justice League of America #116-117
The JLA collects the latest mail from their PO Box and brings it up to the JL Satellite. There, an annoyed Green Arrow is tasked with sorting through it all. After reading a letter from Midway City’s biggest Hawkman super-fan Charley Parker, Green Arrow decides to go pay the teen a visit. In Midway, Green Arrow spots Hawkman analogue Golden Eagle busting a clown-themed gang. Golden Eagle drops-off the bad guys in front of the Midway City Police Department‘s HQ, leaving them for Commissioner George Emmett. After Golden Eagle is remotely-attacked by Matter Master, Green Arrow saves him and calls-in Batman, Elongated Man, Flash, and Aquaman. Golden Eagle reveals himself as Charley Parker. Matter Master, still using his magickal Mentachem Wand remotely, turns the JLAers into anthropomorphic animals. The villain then conjures-up giant creatures to attack them. For instance, Batman becomes a mouse-man, after which he is attacked by a large owl. While the JLA fends-off their attackers, Matter Master teleports Golden Eagle to his lair, mistaking him for Hawkman. In his lair, Matter Master, from a state of deep mediation inside a glass coffin (!), continues to speak through his floating Mentachem Wand. Matter Master awakens and not only realizes that he’s nabbed a fake Hawkman, but also that he is the one that subconsciously endowed young Charley with powers in the first place (by accident during one of of his deep meditations). Golden Eagle finds that Matter Master has also accidentally conjured-up a JLA signal device for him, so he activates it. The JLA arrives and kicks Matter Master’s ass. Using the wand, the JLA removes Charley’s powers. All of a sudden, the Hawkman appears, calling for the JLA to meet aboard the Satellite. Upon gathering at their floating HQ, Green Arrow introduces Charley to the rest of the team, citing that he is being considered for honorary JLA membership! The heroes soon realize that Hawkman hasn’t really returned. It was merely an illusion sent by a weakened Hawkman, who is currently flying around Mars in his ship, having been infected by a disease-spreading alien villain known as The Equalizer. The JLA infiltrates Hawkman’s ship, but doesn’t recognize him because he’s out of costume and very sickly. Despite being ill, Hawkman fights-off his friends and steals some of their energy, which causes the JLAers to temporarily swap power-sets as they land on Mars. The JLA soon joins the sallow Hawkman near the Polaris system to fight the Equalizer, who attacks in a high-tech alien spacecraft. Realizing that the Equalizer’s power can only be counterbalanced with a strong emotional response, the team musters up deep hatred in order to defeat him. Very odd that HATE is treated as a positive thing that wins the day in this one. Later, a cured Hawkman tells the JLA that all of Thanagar will remain under quarantine for the immediate future. Being it as he cannot return to his home planet, Hawkman asks to be fully reinstated onto the JLA lineup. The team immediately votes him back in.

–Wonder Woman #216
Batman phones Black Canary to remind her that she is due to report on Wonder Woman’s fifth trial at the next JLA meeting. As such, Black Canary types-up the events of the trial, which occurred “several months ago” (actually about two months ago, immediately after Diana’s fourth trial). She includes all the info about Diogenes Diamandopoulos’ ill-fated war against Themyscira, but leaves out the last bit about Wonder Woman’s secret punishment of Diamandopolous. The last bit is a closely-guarded Amazon secret.

–Batman #263
Batman tracks some out-of-state gangsters to a new Gotham restaurant and busts them, learning they are in town to meet an escaped Riddler. Batman follows Riddler’s trail to a new history museum where the Dark Knight winds-up in a death trap. Meanwhile, Riddler cavorts around town, accosting people with riddles. If they fail to answer correctly, he mugs them. But if they do answer correctly, then he gives them money! Riddler then takes control of the out-of-state mob, which he uses in an attempt to steal some live giraffes from a ship in Gotham Bay. Batman stops Riddler’s men and chases after Riddler in a Whirly-Bat. Batman realizes Riddler’s hideout is in the temporarily empty giraffe house at the Gotham Zoo, and that Riddler was trying to prevent the new batch of giraffes from being delivered. Sending Riddler a riddle of his own, the showy Batman easily busts the question-marked villain at the zoo.

–Wonder Woman #217
As per Wonder Woman’s sixth trial, Oliver Queen observes Diana inside the UN Building. There, he’s shocked to find a disguised Duke of Deception dressed up as Green Arrow. The Duke runs away, but causes everyone in the building to believe they are in a different illusion. The real Green Arrow, along with everyone else, begins fighting each other. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman monitors the situation from her invisible jet, seeing that the Duke is responsible. Using his powers of illusion, the Duke manages to capture Wonder Woman! Once Green Arrow comes out of his hallucination, he finds himself back in civilian clothes and trapped in a cage along with Tracy Morgan, UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, and numerous ambassadors. The captives are forced to watch as the Duke toys with Wonder Woman, eventually placing her on a bed of nails. Wonder Woman psychs-out the Duke, causing him to slip-up. With the tables turned, Wonder Woman defeats the Duke and frees the captives. The next day, a flustered Green Arrow visits Batman to tell him about Diana’s sixth trial. Seeing that Green Arrow is still flummoxed and off-kilter due his recent magickal hallucination, Batman hypnotizes him and hears his story about Diana’s conquest of the Duke. Batman also has Green Arrow undergo a polygraph test while he tells his story.

–The Brave and The Bold #119
When Batman and Commissioner Gordon hear that top syndicate hitman Killer Max Krag will be targeting mobster Augie Moran at a packed horse-racing arena during the middle of a race, they stuff the place with undercover cops and nervously watch from the stands. Krag disguises himself as Moran’s jockey, manages to swap places with the real jockey mid race, and then executes Moran after the race ends. Krag then escapes to the Caribbean island nation of Santa Cruz where he is put under the protection of the military dictator Domingo Valdez. When Moran’s wife puts out a $100,000 bounty on Krag’s head, a few bounty hunters—including Man-Bat—travel to Santa Cruz. On the island, Man-Bat saves a scuba-diving Batman’s life from some scared fishermen. Later, Batman saves Man-Bat’s life from a swarm of vampire bats! Despite teaming-up, Batman and Man-Bat are captured by Valdez’s men. After a day in cages, Man-Bat slips Batman a vial of Man-Bat Serum. Batman turns into a man-bat for the first time ever! The two men-bats (man-bats?) grab Krag and fly him back to the States. After the case is wrapped, Batman accepts Moran’s wife’s bounty, but publicly gives it to Kirk Langstrom.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #320. Batman opens up a dummy business called Sigerson Limited in a commercial building downtown. He begins having news clippings about various crimes mailed to “Sigerson” at the business’ address. From this point onward, at random intervals, Batman will send for clippings and then visit Sigerson Ltd to pick up his clippings.

–Batman #264
While playing high-stakes pool at Mr. Cue’s Billiard’s, Bruce is approached by stuntman Al Dayre aka Devil Dayre. But before Dayre can utter more than a few words, he is attacked and kidnapped. Batman shakes-down one of the kidnappers, which leads him to a yacht full of musclebound hooligans. While roughing-up the bad guys, they admit to kidnapping Dayre in an effort to ruin a motorcycle-rocket jump scheduled to occur in a week’s time. The bad guys ask for a million bucks for the return of Dayre. But instead of paying them off, Batman agrees to do the stunt himself. Sure enough, a week later, before a crowd of onlookers, Batman drives a three-wheeled rocket off a cliff, crashing into the water below. Switching into scuba gear underwater, Batman emerges safely but allows the audience to think he has died. With Alfred, waiting in the wings, delivers a Whirly-Bat to Batman, who chases one of the kidnappers to a nearby cabin. There, the guy tells Batman that Dayre has escaped. Batman realizes that Dayre has faked the entire kidnapping scenario himself in an effort to get out of the dangerous stunt and to swindle a cool million in the process. Back in Gotham, Batman confronts Dayre and busts him.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #119. Batman begins carrying special pellets that contain an oxygen-destroying gas within them in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #275 and Detective Comics #479. Batman adds a special silencer to the Whirly-Bats, making them stealth silent. Batman also makes the Whirly-Bats collapsable and begins keeping one in the trunk of the Batmobile.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #488 Part 1. Batman busts escaped convict Simon Thatcher, preventing him from crashing a pair of jet-liners at the Gotham International Airport.

–Wonder Woman #218
Red Tornado delivers his report about Wonder Woman’s recent seventh trial, during which she defeated super-villain Damon Celestris. After reading Red Tornado’s report aboard the JL Satellite, the JLA argues over who should proctor Wonder Woman’s next trial. As they argue, the Phantom Stranger appears, telling them that he has just bore witness to Wonder Woman’s successful eighth trial. Via a crystal ball, the JLA watches Diana’s latest feat of ingenuity and strength. Felix Faust had made the Statue of Liberty come to life in an attempt to steal it. Wonder Woman defeated the animated Statue of Liberty and then bested Felix Faust in a magickal duel.

–Batman #272-275 (“THE UNDERWORLD OLYMPICS ’76”)
June 9-21. Batman assists the US Customs Service in busting some emerald smugglers at the airport. But little does Batman know that the emerald smugglers are mere divertissement, allowing dozens of foreign criminals to sneak into the country for the International Crime Olympics, an underground contest that pits four teams (each representing an entire continent) competing for the gold medal award of being the best (or worst, I guess) thieves and killers on the planet. The South American team’s task? To assassinate JP Vandermeer. As coincidence would have it, Vandermeer’s annual charity ball is being held and, like in previous years, Bruce is in attendance. When Vandermeer is lured away by the South Americans by a fake emergency call, Batman follows, but finds his friend dead via a hit-and-run car accident. Batman chases down the car-crashers and busts them. At the hospital, Vandermeer’s corpse is stolen out of the morgue by the rest of the South American squad, as a continuation of their ongoing challenge. After finding a pair of trackers, Batman hacks them and, using the Batmobile’s scanner, he finds the remaining South Americans and brings them to justice while recovering Vandermeer’s body. The next night, while Batman does JL Satellite monitor duty, the European team strikes, murdering a bunch of Revolutionary War re-enactors. The next day, the masked European team tries to rob a bank in which Bruce happens to be working. Batman takes down the Europeans, including Speed Durkin. Batman trails Durkin to his regular fence, Simon Hakes, and busts them both. KGB member of the Euro-team, Boris Chomsky, conks-out Batman and makes off with the loot. The next day, at the bank, Bruce sees the European crooks (who are top clients of the bank) return the stolen safety deposit boxes. Batman picks the locks at night, finding pieces of an antique canon that was lifted from the re-enactment massacre. Later, Batman watches as the Euro-team fires the canon in the direction of the park. With Alfred’s help, Batman follows the artillery shell to its destination and busts all of the squad. The next night, Batman takes on the Afro-Asian Bloc at the public library, defeating two of their best men to recover some would-be stolen loot, including an ancient tome, which the Dark Knight takes to the Batcave for a deep analysis. Later, at the Gotham Aquarium, Batman bests the “Double-A” has to offer, one of the world’s deadliest assassins, Amba Kadiri. Batman knows Kadiri’s vile reputation quite well. Batman bests Kadiri, but she’s is merely a decoy while the rest of AA steals some gold dust unopposed. The next day, Batman busts the rest of AA at a Humphrey Bogart film festival. After several routine nights of patrol for Batman, the final Olympic team, representing North America, begins its crime-challenges, attacking a Wayne Foundation benefit soccer game, which Bruce and Alfred happen to be attending. Batman fights off the baddies, but they steal the ball. In fact, all over town, the North American team steals various things. Batman next confronts the bad guys aboard a ferry. There, he recognizes a couple of them from his crime-files. After trailing one of the crime-referees, Batman finally finds the Olympic HQ. The entire GCPD swarms-in and arrests everyone.[8]

–Detective Comics #457
June 26-27. Writer Denny O’Neil begins the opening splash by telling us the Waynes were murdered on Crime Alley twenty-one years ago. In spite of all the retcons and Sliding-Time, this is remarkably close. Bruce’s parents were killed nineteen years ago. As he’s always done on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, Batman goes to visit Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley. Upon arrival, Batman finds that there are more muggers than roaches on the old seedy street, busting heads left-and-right. Eventually, Batman greets Leslie, chats with her, and then heads home with a smile on his face.

–Justice League of America #118-119
With Flash fighting mysterious pink blobby aliens known as Adaptoids in Central City, Aquaman and Hawkman send out a JLA alert. Unfortunately, Bruce is occupied, trailing a crime czar at a wild playboy party. Superman, Black Canary, Red Tornado, and Hawkman assist Flash. Soon, they split up and battle the Adaptoids all over the globe. After being injured, the JLA retreats to the JL Satellite to find a note from Hawkman, telling them he has returned to a plague-infected Thanagar in an effort to see his sick wife. When the Adaptoids announce they want to exterminate all life on Earth, Elongated Man and Green Arrow take a crack at them, but get their butts kicked too. Batman (who has presumably busted the crime czar he was after) and the Atom then fight some Adaptoid blobs, but Superman teleports them to the safety of the JL Satellite. Shortly thereafter, the Adaptoids declare themselves rulers of the entire planet. They then break into the Satellite and begin taking the JLA apart. Hawkman returns with Hawkgirl, infecting everyone in the Satellite with the Thanagarian disease. The Adaptoids collapse while, thanks to some science-fictiony hoo-ha, the JLAers and Hawkgirl become inoculated and immune to the effects of the disease. Hal then arrives to tell the world that the Adaptoids are defeated.

–The Brave and The Bold #120
Batman collapses and goes into a coma. While in the hospital, Batman’s spirit phases out of Universe-1 and winds-up on Earth-AD (aka Earth-295), a post-apocalyptic alternate future where humans have been enslaved by mutated animal-men.[9] A tribe of humans trapped at the former site of Mount Rushmore, having learned about Batman by reading Brave and the Bold comics, has magickally summoned the Dark Knight to help them. But the astrally-projected Batman first comes across some gorilla-men that are hunting enslaved humans. After Batman bests the gorilla leader, the gorilla-men declare Batman their new boss. Soon, Batman leads gorillas in a chase against “the last boy on Earth,” Kamandi! Realizing the full scope of the situation, Batman allows Kamandi to escape. Batman then joins Kamandi and the humans that have summoned him. Shouting through loudspeakers atop the ruins of Mount Rushmore, Batman pretends to be a god and orders the gorilla-men to do hard labor, which allows the human tribe to escape. The gorilla-men see through Batman’s ruse and capture him, leading Kamandi to make a daring rescue. Batman, Kamandi, and the humans escape from both gorilla-men and bear-men in an old train car. After goodbyes, the wizened mystic of the human tribe sends Batman back to Earth-1. Batman wakes up from his coma. Commissioner Gordon has been sitting by his side for days.

–REFERENCE: In Superman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Annual 1974. Bruce (oddly Bruce, not Batman) begins using informant Half-Pint Jaxon.

–Superman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Annual 1974 
In late 1974, DC authorized the second (of four) Brown Watson Ltd published, British-only Annuals, featuring two original Batman prose stories. Special thanks to site contributor PurpleGlovez (TipTup Jr 94) for the synopses. In “The Goblin of Gotham,” Bruce and Dick attend the magic show of a magician named Mysterio when the Goblin appears and paralyzes the audience members with rays from his eyes while announcing his intentions to wreak havoc on Gotham. Soon, apparitions of the Goblin appear all over the city causing chaos. The villain extorts City Hall for one million dollars. Batman deduces he must be using a machine that transmits a force field that is picked up by a device on the Goblin’s person, allowing him to scramble his atoms and teleport around the city. Batman traces the signal to the brownstone of Professor Franz Gobelin. When Batman is momentarily paralyzed by the goblin eyes, Robin swings in before Goblin has a chance to teleport away, and the caper is finished. In “Batman’s Journey into Danger,” Bruce receives a tip from an informant named Half-Pint Jaxon that a shipment of nerve gas is being delivered on a train from Washington DC to Gotham. Bruce tries to investigate, is kidnapped, and then (as Batman) comes face to face with the man behind it all, Ulysses X Penworthy, the owner of the railway line, who dies after falling from the top of the train when Batman pulls the emergency brakes. Notably, we learn that a younger Bruce trained under a man named Stevee-San, a master of unarmed combat.

–Detective Comics #444-446

Commissioner Gordon reports that a bunch of out-of-town muscle has come into town. Batman investigates, which leads him to a confrontation with Talia al Ghūl, who is attempting to rob famous actress Elizabeth Baylor (a thinly veiled analogue of Liz Taylor). Talia throws a gun at Batman, who catches it. Talia then runs and Batman shoots her in the back, seemingly killing her! At police HQ, Batman tells Gordon that he’s been framed—that the gun was rigged to go off on its own. Gordon tells Batman he’s under arrest, prompting Batman to violently throttle him and then take-off! Gordon makes Batman public enemy number one and a GCPD manhunt begins. (As referenced in Wonder Woman #219, Batman tells the JLA he will be missing the next meeting—during which Elongated Man will report on Wonder Woman’s ninth trial—in order to spend time proving his innocence in Gotham.) Later, Batman delivers Talia’s top henchman atop the GCPD roof before swinging back into the night. After Jack Ryder (forced by his director) delivers a devastating anti-Batman news report on his TV show, Commissioner Gordon visits Bruce and asks him to head up a citizen’s group dedicated to getting Batman to turn himself in. After telling Dick that he’ll be okay via phone, Batman sneaks into Gotham Prison and confronts Rā’s al Ghūl in his cell! Much to Batman’s shock, Rā’s al Ghūl pulls out a gun he’s sneaked into his cell and seemingly commits suicide! Prison guards rush into the corridor, fingering Batman as a double-murderer. Batman grabs Rā’s al Ghūl’s gun, fights-off a swarm of guards, and escapes through one of the Spook’s tunnels. Batman then doubles-back and seals-up the Spook’s tunnel. Later, Commissioner Gordon talks with Bruce in Bruce’s art warehouse while the latter and some movers prep for a charity event. A giant Batman statue, which Bruce doesn’t recognize, cracks open to reveal a human skeleton hidden within. Gordon takes the skeleton to police HQ. Taking a page out of the Shadow’s playbook, Batman disguises himself as a janitor to infiltrate police HQ. There, he spots two men trying to steal the corpse from the coroner’s office. Batman fights-off the men and then flees when cops come running his way. Soon after, Batman tracks the corpse-robbers to their boss, the bulletproof-business-suit-wearing criminal mastermind Sterling Silversmith! The argent-obsessed super-villain’s men then capture Batman. After a monologue revealing that the corpse was that of his own brother, killed because he was about to betray him, Silversmith tries to kill Batman too, but fails. The cops, having been brought to the location by an alarm that Batman tripped on his way in, bust Silversmith. Batman runs-off.

–Detective Comics #447-448
Having just left Sterling Silversmith with the police, a fugitive Batman heads towards Rā’s al Ghūl’s grave. As the Dark Knight travels, Phantom Stranger watches him from a distance (presumably just to make sure he is okay). At the cemetery, Batman digs up the grave and finds the coffin empty! But when he tries to show some cops, Rā’s al Ghūl’s corpse is now inside the casket. Back at the penthouse, Alfred reports that Rā’s al Ghūl’s gun not only was handmade, but it also had a lion’s hair inside a barrel. Batman rushes to the zoo where the Creeper confronts him and fights him. After someone opens the cages, Batman and the Creeper fend-off some lions and then grab the guy that unleashed the big cats. Before they can pump him for info, an assassin kills him from afar. Soon after, Batman figures out that Talia and Rā’s al Ghūl’s guns were both specially designed to fire fake bullets that cause a heartbeat-less trance-like state, which, along with a healthy dose of hallucinatory gas, fooled the coroner into thinking they were dead. Likewise, upon another gravesite inspection, Batman sees that Talia and Rā’s al Ghūl’s coffins contain dummies on a swivel-pivot. Not long after these discoveries are made, the Creeper’s alter-ego Jack Ryder guides a hobo-disguised Batman to the only other lions in town: at a traveling circus. In yet another disguise, Batman wanders the busy circus grounds and finds hidden high-tech gun-smithing equipment. After easily handling an attacking Muscle Squad in the house of mirrors, Batman chases a little person to a backstage area. Batman then disguises himself as Rā’s al Ghūl to discover from some cronies that Rā’s al Ghūl runs the circus. Awesomely-named circus ringleader Gaston St. Lucifer and a clown knock-out Batman. When the Caped Crusader comes-to, he stands before St. Lucifer, some circus folk, and a very-much-alive Rā’s al Ghūl. Talia tells Batman that she and her father have framed Batman in order to strip him of everything so that he will join them. Batman scoffs, defeats a series of also-awesomely-named League of Assassins killers: cowboy Slapleather Smith (who killed the guy in the zoo earlier), knife-juggler Swordini the Slasher, contortionist Shondu the Rubber Man, and the returning Muscle Squad. The clown, revealing himself to be a disguised Creeper, helps Batman fight the bad guys. Batman grabs the little person, who is revealed to be a disguised Rā’s al Ghūl! The carnival tent burns to the ground, seemingly taking Rā’s al Ghūl up in flames along with it. Batman and the Creeper rush out with Talia in tow. Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD arrive, and Batman proves his innocence to them. Presumably, although it isn’t shown, Talia goes to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #501. Alfred takes a well-deserved vacation, staying at the Hotel Vendome in Paris. Upon his return home, Alfred tells Bruce all about the lovely hotel.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #450. US Senator Locksley is murdered. Batman is tasked with the case and begins an investigation.

–The Brave and The Bold #121
Early July. First off, the topical reference of this being the US Bicentennial is incorrect. Due to Sliding-Time, we are in 1977, not 1976. Batman agrees to curate a special crime exhibit for an Independence Day museum train, which also includes a tech exhibit curated by the Metal Men. When the Metal Men get a telegram saying that their long lost founder Will Magnus might be alive in Texas, they depart. Batman rides with the so-called Liberty Train for a few days, giving lectures about “crime in America” at each stop. Midway through the tour, a group of Native American radicals hijack the train, capture Batman, and threaten to destroy the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution (which are on display in the train museum) unless their demands are met. We are never specifically told what the Red Power group’s demands are, but we know they are politically potent enough to throw President Jimmy Carter into a panic. We can assume the group’s demands include the return of stolen Native American land, increased environmental protection, and an end to racist civil rights abuses committed by the US Government. The Metal Men, finding that Magnus isn’t in Texas, return to the Liberty Train to help Batman fight the Native Americans. When everyone realizes that a foreign terrorist organization has planted a bomb aboard the train, a truce is called. Batman, the Metal Men, and the Red Power group team-up to find the bomb and get it off the train safely. Afterward, Batman shakes hands with the Native Americans and promises to help them “win their rights.” After all, says the chief, “We’re all… Americans!” Does Batman follow-up on his offer to help? Not in the pages of this book. Maybe Bruce donates a ton of money to progressive Native American causes, but, sadly, the massive oppression will continue.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #186. Batman meets fence Pinky Maxwell.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #183. Batman busts Luis Quintero, a dastardly criminal that mugs senior citizens.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #331 Part 1. Batman finally busts killer Mike Caine.

–REFERENCE: In The Joker #1. Batman is a guest of honor at an Interpol Conference in Paris.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #271. Batman begins carrying a mini-power drill in his utility belt.

–The Brave and The Bold #122
Summer. World famous circus promoter BB Riggs captures Swamp Thing and puts him on display as part of a traveling carnie exhibit. When the exhibit comes to Gotham, Batman is mortified. Soon after, Gotham is suddenly swarmed by giant roots that sprout from the ground. These roots come from experimental Conclave seeds that have accidentally gotten into the city’s water supply. Gotham’s citizens mistakenly blame Swamp Thing for the root problem, pelting his crucified body with rocks and trash. A US Military unit led by Conclave agent Sabre (Jonathan Zero) tries to steal Swamp Thing away from Riggs, but Batman rescues Swamp Thing. As building crumble and the vines wrap around everything, the citizens of Gotham riot and the US National Guard is called-in. Batman and Swamp Thing search for the “king root” that can be destroyed to kill all the invasive growth. As they search, Conclave agents in US Military helicopters spread defoliant across the city. Swamp Thing, despite being painfully sprayed with poison, rips out the king root, which causes all the vegetation to fade into ash. The military choppers are praised for saving the day. Batman sneaks Swamp Thing into a van and, along with Riggs (who has had a change of heart), drives him back to Louisiana.

–Batman #271
Summer. Alfred spots an antique rug at a downtown gallery and knows Bruce would love it. Alfred purchases this perfect gift (with plans of giving it to Bruce for his birthday, which is still over half-a-year away, so either this is a continuity error or Alfred is celebrating Bruce’s half-birthday), arranging for it to be sent to the penthouse while Bruce is at the Parkside Tennis Club. When Alfred unrolls the gift, he is shocked to witness the rug disintegrate and to find a corpse inside. Alfred immediately calls Bruce home. Soon, Batman and Commissioner Gordon examine the corpse together. Gordon has brought Newsbreak photojournalist Carol Ames to do a ride-along on this case, much to Batman’s chagrin. Batman questions the antiques gallery owner learning that the dead man in his apartment had stolen three Hindu prayer rugs from a violent Vedic cult and sold them to the shop, thus earning the wrath of the cultists, who worship the Vedic fire god Agni. A pair of cultist hoodlums crash into the shop and steal one of the other prayer rugs. At Carol’s studio, the hoods strike again, but Batman brings them down, taking from them their murder weapon, a sonic-vibration gun. Batman temporarily re-opens the Batcave in order to disassemble the sonic gun and create a special amulet protection device against it. This project takes two whole days to complete. When one of the other stolen prayer rugs turns up at another antique shop, Batman drives it around in a truck, hoping to bait the cultists. They blast the truck with sonic waves, taking Batman captive. At the lair of the Agni-worshipping cult, the guru shows Batman his other captives: the rug thief’s partner and Carol. Sexy belly dancers then begin a “dance of death,” whirling like dervishes while wearing sonic-vibration bracelets. Batman is protected by his amulet, but the other two captives begin to quaver and tremble. Using his own body as a shield, Batman absorbs all the sonic energy into his amulet and then tosses it like a bomb into a statue of Agni. The cultists get trapped in the basement as the building explodes into flames. Case closed.

–Superman Family #171
Lilibet, a student at Florida’s New Athens Experimental School (which has ties to Carter Hall and where Linda Danvers aka Supergirl now works as a student advisor), uses a magickal scepter that once belonged to Cleopatra to make Congress abolish the Constitution and name her the Queen of America! Having dealt with Lilibet (with help from Batgirl) a few weeks ago, Supergirl ditches her roommate Shari Jones and flies to Washington DC to find Queen Lilibet and her boyfriend Danny—decked-out as Cleopatra and Mark Antony—lording over mind-controlled members of Congress. Supergirl and Congresswoman Barbara Gordon, the only people not affected by the mind-control (thanks to having dealt with her before), watch in amazement as President Jimmy Carter personally turns control of the nation over to Lilibet. The JLA, also under Lilibet’s spell, arrives to fight Supergirl. After Lilibet strips Supergirl of her powers, the JLA knocks-out Supergirl and dumps her into the Potomac. Batgirl fishes her out and somehow resuscitates her using a car tire as an air pump. Just as Chief Justice Warren Burger places a diadem on Lilibet’s head, Batgirl appears disguised as Cleopatra. After a staged fight between “Cleopatra” and Supergirl, Lilibet is tricked into restoring Supergirl’s powers. Supergirl promptly takes-down Lilibet, ending her reign of terror.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #265. Batman bugs the phone lines at GCPD HQ and begins listening-in to phone calls.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #449. Batman upgrades his undersea travel motor, morphing it into a backpack version.

–Batman #265
Bruce visits the Gotham set of his latest Seven-Star Pics production, a Detective Harry Zoe film, starring Robert Trenton. During a stunt involving live explosives, Trenton gets horrible burns all over his face and winds-up being paralyzed from the waist down. An angry Trenton, with help from his loyal bodyguard Brutus, leaves the hospital early. Trenton vows to kill Hugh Larabee, blaming the director for his condition. Despite all that has happened, Bruce callously orders the shoot to start back up with a new lead actor replacing Trenton. Trenton orders Brutus to kill Larabee and other members of the cast and crew using various booby traps. Batman quickly sees the booby traps, but decides to play head games with Trenton and Brutus. After Batman seemingly fails to prevent three murders, Gordon is so mad that he tells Batman to drop the case! But the murders have been faked, thanks to some good old fashioned movie magic. Batman trails Brutus to Trenton’s remote lair. As Batman brawls with and busts Brutus, a fire breaks out and Trenton burns to death in his cabin.

–Detective Comics #449
When a national meat shortage hits Gotham hard, several slaughterhouses are robbed of their livestock. Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and soon spots a discontinued ferry liner operating in one of Gotham’s harbors. Batman boards, busts rustler Tad Wolfe, and brings him to justice. At police HQ, Tad is chastised by his brother, trucking tycoon Zachary Wolfe, who refuses to bail him out. That night, Bruce has a vivid dream about a Native American man he trained with in New Mexico years before becoming Batman. Bruce has this same dream for seven nights straight. At the end of the week, Bruce attends a gala, but leaves early, disguising himself as a card shark to pump Gotham’s underworld for info related to Tad. The Caped Crusader learns that Tad took the fall for his brother. (The Dark Knight’s reoccurring Native American dream was very tangentially—and only thematically related—to the case, yet Batman’s subconscious was hard at work trying to get him to see the truth via this vision.) Batman catches Zachary red-handed—in the act of ordering his men to move more stolen livestock—and busts him. Hundreds of cows are accidentally released onto the highway. Batman rides a horse and corrals the cattle.

–Batman #266
When a bunch of prisoners are transferred to Gotham State Prison via passenger train, Bruce rides along to keep tabs on everyone. When the train accidentally derails, all the prisoners escape, including Catwoman and Crusher Baines. Batman recognizes Baines and knows his MO from his crime-files. While Batman takes down Baines, Catwoman is picked up by one of her old henchmen, Rudy Stern, who happens to be driving by. Back with her gang, Catwoman dons her old purple-and-green-dress costume. Later, Batman invents “Bertha Carrington-Bridgewater,” disguising himself as a elderly eccentric old lady that flaunts her wealth all over town! Catwoman’s pals, which have been very active in past weeks (and are now even more emboldened by Catwoman’s return), can’t resist the hammy Bertha. Gentlemen Jeremiah Jimson, an acquaintance of Catwoman’s that Batman also recognizes from his crime-files, tries to break into Bertha’s hotel room only to run smack-dab into Batman. While Batman busts Jimson, Catwoman’s trained siamese kitty steals Bertha’s jewelry. Batman trails the siamese to Catwoman’s lair. There, Batman busts a pair of ocelots and Catwoman’s men, including Stern (who the Dark Knight again recognizes from his crime-files). Catwoman flees, but her kitty leads Batman right to her hiding spot where he makes a quick bust. A photo in Selina Kyle’s scrapbook, a visual reference in Batman #322, shows Batman hauling Catwoman to prison following this adventure.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #458. Bruce agrees to host this year’s Annual Policeman’s Costume Ball, which is scheduled to be held in late September (as it always is) at the Jasper Hotel in Gotham. In an unrelated note, Batman upgrades the red hotline phone, making it so that the line can be connected to any phone in the city.

–Justice League of America #120-121
Superman, Elongated Man, Black Canary, Hal Jordan, and Flash—after finishing a mission in the South Pacific—are teleported to Rann via Zeta-Plus Beams, courtesy of Kanjar Ro. On Rann, the heroes join Adam Strange in defeating a giant floating gun, after which Adam Strange tells them that his fiancée Alanna has recently been vaporized to death by a giant floating lens. Not long after, the heroes combat a radioactive bird and a killer robot, which vaporizes the JLA. (All of these menaces have been Kanjar Ro creations.) Meanwhile, on Earth, Batman, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Red Tornado, and the Atom try to figure out where their missing teammates are. Sardath (Alanna’s father) sends Adam Strange to Earth for help. Adam Strange shows Batman and company the costumes of their fallen comrades, but before they can go to Rann, a strange storm whips-up over Long Island and our heroes find themselves battling a giant sentient poison cloud, another Kanjar Ro creation. When Kanjar Ro attacks Adam Strange inside the JL Satellite, Adam Strange steals his energi-rod and beams back to Rann. Adam Strange then finds Kanjar Ro’s lair and, inside it, five black orbs. Using the rod, he revives the disappeared JLAers and Alanna! The JLA members on Rann travel to Earth and turn the tide against the cloud creature, defeating it and Kanjar Ro. A couple days later, the entire JLA attends the wedding of Adam Strange and Alanna on Rann! The wedding of Adam and Alanna is also shown via flashback from Showcase #101.

–Detective Comics #450
Batman has finally caught a break in the Senator Locksley assassination investigation. He chases down a linked-crook named Harcourt, shoving it in the guy’s face that he is above the law and doesn’t have to follow due process. We know, Batman. We know. Harcourt spills the beans that famed assassin Wormwood killed the senator, but he doesn’t know who ordered the hit. With Harcourt behind bars, and knowing that a seasoned assassin like Wormwood won’t talk as easily, Batman begins an inane overly-complicated ruse to fool the killer into telling him who was behind Locksley’s murder. The Dark Knight disguises himself as Harcourt and invites Wormwood to Bruce’s penthouse (citing that he is friends with Bruce and borrowing his pad). “Harcourt” orders Wormwood to kill Batman and take his cape and cowl as trophies. Later, Bruce goes on a date and brings his new bae home to the penthouse. But when Commissioner Gordon calls the hotline with news of Wormwood threatening the Caped Crusader, Bruce ditches his date and goes into Bat-mode. At a wax museum, Batman evades a death trap, but leaves his cape and cowl for Wormwood, making him think he’s won. Back at Bruce’s penthouse, Wormwood delivers the cape and cowl to “Harcourt.” With his guard down, Wormwood reveals that big-time mobster Mike Carley orchestrated the senator’s demise. Batman sheds his Harcourt disguise, slides into his Bat-togs and brings Wormwood down hard.

–Batman #267
Bruce agrees to host the upcoming Wayne Foundation-sponsored UNESCO Benefit Rock Festival, set to occur in a few days. When Commissioner Gordon gets an anonymous letter saying that the Jewelers’ Exchange Building will be robbed, Batman is on the case. When an explosion rocks the building, but no robbers appear, firefighters enter. Batman realizes the firefighters are the crooks and busts them. Later, another letter to Gordon says that an experimental flight set to land in Gotham will be hijacked. Batman boards the plane upon its landing and fights off would-be hijackers as it takes-off again, but their leader escapes. Batman and Alfred go to the Batcave to dust off some of the older crime-files. Upon arrival in the Batcave, the sonar body-scanner alerts Batman to the presence of tiny microscopic explosives in his cowl, left there during his fight with the bad guys aboard the plane. After looking over crime-files, Batman deduces that the leader of the crooks is a mastermind named Django. Later, Django, via another letter, threatens to publicly execute the Dark Knight at the UNESCO benefit. After getting some intel from Gotham’s underworld for a few nights, Batman heads to the Gotham Palace on the night of the big concert. Bruce greets two mob bosses and pickpockets microscopic explosives that have been secretly given to them by Django. (Django plans to blow up his mob rivals, Commissioner Gordon, and Batman all at once.) Django, performing with a Burmese band, tries to detonate all the micro-explosives, but Alfred has already taken them far away where they can’t go off. Batman disguises himself as Django underneath his cowl, unmasking before Django in an effort to scare the villain, who then surprisingly displays a super-powered ability to turn into a living tornado! Despite this, Batman takes down Django and ends his threat.

–Detective Comics #451
Bruce—along with Molly Post, Robert Redford, and other celebs—is invited to be a part of a charity backgammon competition in the Caribbean island nation of San Lorenzo. Commissioner Gordon hears word that the mob plans to murder someone famous at the competition. Since he’ll already be there, Batman is on the case. In San Lorenzo, Bruce meets and befriends Molly Post and photographer Cumming Streeter. Yes, that is a real name that Denny O’Neil came up with. Batman violently shakes down ex-mobster Baldy Amber, kicking some sailor asses along the way. Molly is so grossed-out by Batman’s machismo that she smashes a bottle over his head. Batman catches-up with Amber, who tells him that famous Christian MLB player Lefty Colon is planning to ice Bruce Wayne. Bruce, in a thought balloon, reveals that he’s come to hate “coming on like a monster” and “selling fear,” wishing there were some other, less bully-like way of fighting crime. Kudos for O’Neil touching on this inner-conflict, even if it’s just scratching the surface. This deep and dynamic characterization is why O’Neil was one of the best raconteurs of the 1970s. Batman returns to his hotel to find Molly getting tossed out a window by the real assassin: Streeter. Amber had been paid-off by Streeter to send Batman on a wild goose chase. Batman saves Molly and takes down Streeter. Later, Bruce walks with Molly on the beach and tells her that Batman seldom enjoys himself and, in fact, has an obsessive compulsion to fight crime, actually envying those who can lead peaceful lives. Good stuff. Presumably, Bruce takes part in the backgammon tourney before returning to Gotham. Who knows—maybe he even beats Robert Redford.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #453 Intro and Wonder Woman #222. Batman begins carrying several brand new types of tracking bugs in his utility belt. The first type of new bugs not only allow one to listen-in on radio communications, but also—when connected to state-of-the-art triangulation devices—allow one to one to pinpoint the source of of the communications. The other type of new bugs function akin to regular homing beacons.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #452Detective Comics #453 Intro, and Batman #278. Batman meets Lieutenant Riley and Officer Flanagan, members of the GCPD’s new Safe-and-Loft Squad, a unit that specializes in the prevention of high-profile robberies. Batman #278 reveals that one of these guys, Riley or Flanagan, is named Mike. Not sure which one.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #270. Batman connects a Bat-Beeper to the hotline, so that he can be reached by Commissioner Gordon even when he is away from home or the Batmobile.

–Detective Comics #458
Late September. Bruce attends the Annual Policeman’s Masquerade Ball for the first time in a few years, acting as MC of the festivities. At the hotel party, Commissioner Gordon’s favorite officer, Bucky Dunlop, who wears a Batman costume, is shot dead by a previously placed automatic gun. Scrawled across his forehead in tattoo ink are the words “The real Batman dies next.” Batman visits Dunlop’s wife and learns that her hubby worked closely with ex-con cum tattoo artist Slats Johnson. After Bruce puts in an “inadvertent” tip to Gordon, the cops round-up Johnson and fellow ex-cons Squire and Charlie Fellman, who are each linked to Dunlop in some way. Batman does a little background investigation on Johnson and checks-out Johnson’s apartment, but finds no evidence of criminality. Soon after, Batman exposes Fellman as the true murderer and busts him.

–REFERENCE: In Man-Bat #1. Batman begins carrying oral sedatives in his utility belt.

–Batman #268
October. When the Wayne Foundation purchases a bunch of camels for donation to various zoos (god knows why), Bruce and Alfred personally oversee their arrival at the Gotham Pier. The Sheikh, a super-villain wearing a hooded burnous, causes a stampede that kills world famous oil baron Fredrick Goforth. Later, Dick invites Bruce and Alfred to meet him at the Gotham Sports Arena for an NCAA hockey game. Dick is doing a college newspaper story on the Hudson team. At the game, the Sheikh kills Goforth’s business partner Oliver Hopkins, who is known around the globe as a huge hockey buff, with a sniper shot. Batman is bested by the Sheikh, who escapes. While Alfred tends to Batman’s injuries, Robin visits the morgue to examine the victims’ bodies only to find that their corpses are missing. Robin takes down an ambulance driver that has been working with Sheikh, learning that the bodies have been taken to a nearby ice skating rink hideout. Across town, Batman visits Goforth’s other partner Leo Lunt. Once again the Sheikh bests Batman and murders another target. Batman and Robin, in skates and with hockey sticks, take to the ice rink where they easily expose the full scope of the Sheikh plot. There are actually two Sheikhs—the first two supposed victims, Goforth and Hopkins. With the ambulance driver’s help, they each faked their own deaths in an attempt to get away with the murder (the only real Sheikh killing) of their partner Lunt. Batman and Robin have fun picking apart their foes on the ice, toying with them for a while before knocking them out and bringing them to justice.

–World’s Finest Comics #232
For three nights in a row Bruce has nightmares about fighting a katana-wielding warrior monk on the famous Tong-Buk Footbridge in Gotham Park. Batman then patrols and spots Whitey Lewis, who supposedly died last year, for a brief moment. Superman visits Batman and tells him he’s been having the exact same warrior-monk dream as well. This prompts Batman to visit a sleep specialist, after which he sees the monk from his dreams in real life. The monk breaks his sword in half as part of a sacred ritual and introduces himself to Batman as Chang-Shi, an ex-monk from the Himalayan nation of Tong-Buk and current director of Gotham’s Inner Peace Foundation. After a tour of the Inner Peace Foundation sanctuary, Batman visits Commissioner Gordon and they both are surprised to encounter Sgt. Phil Moss, who died two years ago. Moss punches-out Batman and avoids further interaction. Superman returns to Gotham to report that he’s just seen a person that died a few years ago too. When a riot breaks out downtown, Batman and Superman quell it and learn that the rioters have all stopped dreaming. Back at the sleep specialist’s office, the heroes learn that the top doctor and his patients have also stopped having dreams. After the World’s Finest undergo brain-scan tests while they dream, Superman travels to Tong-Buk and speaks with a Buddhist lama, discovering a huge mystic secret about the Tong-Buk Footbridge. Meanwhile, Batman goes to Gotham Park to find that the footbridge has been torn down. He then goes to the site of the Inner Peace Foundation only to find an empty importing warehouse. There, Batman gets cold-cocked and knocked-out by Chang-Shi. When he awakens at a circus in the woods outside of Gotham, Batman sees a resurrected Moss and Lewis—along with other zombies—rebuilding the footbridge yet again. Chang-Shi explains that he made a deal with a demon wherein which he could resurrect the dead via the magickal footbridge (as long as a snow leopard was nearby to activate the bridge’s magick). After being expelled from the lamasery by his fellow monks, Chang-Shi smuggled the Tong-Buk Footbridge brick-by-brick and then had it rebuilt as a gift to Gotham’s Parks Department—built next to the Gotham Zoo, home to some snow leopards. On the rebuilt footbridge (built near a circus that has a live snow leopard act), Batman fights a snow leopard and causes the bridge to collapse. The zombies all fade back into the afterlife and the snow leopard kills Chang-Shi.

–Detective Comics #466-468[10]
Mid October. For the first time in seven years, Signalman returns, robbing one of the middle games of the MLB World Series. In the DCU, the Gotham ball club replaces the Yankees against the LA Dodgers in 1977! Batman confronts Signalman, who causes a riot in the crowd to escape. Later, at a GCPD awards gala, Signalman strikes again. Batman fights him, but gets captured, bound, and thrown inside the Bat-Signal! The Commish goes to switch on the Bat-Signal, but Batman smashes his way out. This is the first time ever that the Bat-Signal has been destroyed! The Dark Knight eventually catches up with Signalman in the countryside where Signalman drives an antique car off a cliff to his apparent demise. Don’t worry. This is comics. He survived. (As referenced in Batman #325, Batman and Commissioner Gordon have a replacement lens made by the Acme Glass & Mirror Company, who complete repairs on the Bat-Signal. From this point forward, if the Bat-Signal is ever damaged, Acme will do the fixing.) Batman then begins tracking Benny “The Rat” Ritzo, whom he learns is a runner for a gambling ring. After following Ritzo for a couple days, Batman surveils his meet-up with well-known gangster Sneaky Danton. After switching into his Matches Malone disguise, Batman trails Danton into the subway. Danton switches into a fake Batman costume in an attempt to order the train operator to stop the car early so he can get off. This leads to Batman fighting the fake Batman, who gets electrocuted to death via the third rail. Realizing that Danton had dropped the gambling money off with the subway motorman, Batman doubles back and fights him as well, recovering the money. Upon arriving home to the penthouse at dawn, Batman is surprised by Carter Hall waiting for him in the living room. Over breakfast, Carter tells Bruce that he (as Hawkman) just defeated The Calculator, who actually has attacked a few other JLA members and even disrupted Game One of the World Series. Carter further reveals that the Calculator has already broken out of jail and is likely targeting Batman next. After busting the Calculator, Bruce chats with Morgan Edge before meeting with the JLA. When the Calculator escapes yet again, the JLA—Batman, Elongated Man, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hawkman, and the Atom—challenges him. The Calculator defeats the entire JLA. Bruce sets up a lure that the Calculator can’t refuse—getting STAR Labs to advertise a new fancy time capsule. Bruce then sets his trap and adds a special electro-Batarang and some anti-Calulator powder to his Bat-arsenal before blowing-off a visiting Morgan Edge and confronting the Calculator once again. The villain succumbs to Batman’s trap, winding up behind bars. Later, the JLA hangs out in Bruce’s penthouse. An angry Morgan Edge phones Bruce, telling him that he was unable to sell the dwindling Galaxy Paperbacks division due to Bruce blowing him off. Bruce tells Edge not to worry—Batman will write a personal memoir for Galaxy Paperbacks. Presumably, Batman will write this book over the course of the next few months, turning it into Edge. Presumably, it will be a big best seller that rejuvenates Galaxy Paperbacks. (All of the action from this episode—pitting the Calculator versus the JLA—is also shown via flashback from Action Comics #522 Part 2.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #517. Batman busts a crook named Marley.

–Justice League of America #123-124
Welcome to Earth-Prime, an Earth that is a stand-in for our own “real world.” The concept of Earth-Prime, at its inception, was that it was literally meant to be our real world, but of course, if it exists on ink-and-paper then it literally can’t be the world in which you and I (the readers) exist. Thus, Earth-Prime is another alternate Earth, but an Earth where superheroes are fictional within the pages of superhero comics (just like IRL). Our story begins in the Earth-Prime offices of DC Comics in New York City. Earth-Prime Julius Schwartz hounds his writers Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin to put together a decent script for the latest issue of Justice League of America. Bates then shows Maggin a Cosmic Treadmill (which was assembled by Flash and left with Schwartz when Flash first visited Earth-Prime in Flash #179). Maggin accidentally activates the Treadmill, which sends Bates to Earth-2! Maggin decides to go after Bates using the Treadmill, but winds up on Earth-1! Schwartz guards the Treadmill, shooing away Carmine Infantino. Maggin, as one of the creators of the fictional JLA, has the godlike ability to “re-write” situations on Earth-1. After meeting Aquaman, Maggin is brought aboard the JL Satellite where he tells the JLA that he writes their stories on Earth-Prime. After Flash vouches for him, Maggin asks the JLA to help find Bates. The JLA (Batman, Black Canary, Flash, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Green Arrow) and Maggin teleport to Earth-2. (Here we get some mumbo-jumbo referencing Denny O’Neil’s metaphysical spacetime concept that Earth-2 is twenty years behind Earth-1 because it rotates at a slower speed. Don’t forget that this concept is not true, retconned out-of-continuity by All-Star Squadron Annual #3!) The Injustice Society of America (Wizard, Icicle, Shade, Earth-2 Sportsmaster, Earth-2 Huntress, and The Gambler) casts a spell on Bates causing him to become a costumed super-villain. Bates, who has also developed godlike “writing” powers just like Maggin, joins the Injustice Society and turns plants to into monsters at a botanical garden, prompting the JSA (Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Earth-2 Johnny Thunder, Yz, Earth-2 Wildcat, Earth-2 Robin, and Dr. Mid-Nite) to go into action. After Bates uses his powers to control the JSA, he dresses them up like the Injustice Society and sends them into battle against the JLA. Creating his own “plot twist,” Bates causes the JLA to murder the JSA! After a sad burial ceremony, the JLA hunkers-down and decides on a course of action. Meanwhile, on Earth-Prime, Schwartz begins nervously typing-up Justice League of America #123, the very start of this story you are reading about right now! With the core of the JSA dead (and the rest of the team on an unspecified mission in deep space), the JLA takes over global protection duties on Earth-2, patrolling for days. Eventually, Bates kidnaps Maggin, which lures the JLA into a knock-down-drag-out melee with the Injustice Society. Bates, using his “writing powers,” causes the JLA to struggle towards defeat. And then, as if this arc couldn’t get any wilder, the Spectre shows-up and asks God to resurrect the dead JSAers! God speaks directly to the Spectre and, with the line “ASK NO LONGER, MY SON… FOR YOUR REASONS ARE GOOD,” brings the dead heroes back to life! The JLA and JSA easily defeat the Injustice Society. Maggin, meanwhile, tells Bates he’s a terrible writer before knocking him on his ass! Yz then poofs both of them back to Earth-Prime. At the DC Comics Office, Bates and Maggin tell Schwartz how Justice League of America #124 should end (being as that they just lived-out its events), but Schwartz calls it plot-hole-filled drivel!

———————-––Detective Comics #452
———————-––Detective Comics #453 Intro
Mid to late October. Batman learns that Allied Bullion is set to auction off a million dollars’ worth of Austrian gold coins. When strange noises are heard a few levels beneath their 30th story offices, Batman and the Safe-and-Loft Squad are both on the case. Despite this, two daring acrobatic musclemen steal a safe full of the coins, defeat Batman, and escape in a helicopter. After the crooks pull off several more “perfect crimes,” the citizenry begins to lose confidence in Batman and the GCPD. Op-ed newsman Walter Grimes particularly rails against the lawmen on his highly-rated weekly TV show. Batman tracks the bad guys to a nearby circus, busting their ringleader, a genius strongman named Yak. A week later, disguised as Yak, Batman discovers that Yak was merely a middleman in working for the Crime Exchange, an organization that sets up foolproof heists for anyone that buys-into the network. Batman charges into the Crime Exchange, boldly taking on more than a dozen armed men (including the Vice President of the Crime Exchange) all by himself, but the numbers are overwhelming and the Dark Knight is subdued. The shrouded President of the Crime Exchange, via closed-circuit TV, orders Batman’s execution, but Batman buys time by claiming that he is actually an undercover Gotham Gazette reporter. (SPOILER: Walter Grimes is the President, but that seemed pretty obvious, no? If you didn’t see that one coming, you’ve probably never read a detective story before. Oy vey.) Batman’s inane Gotham Gazette ruse not only allows him to plant a tracking device on the Exchange’s communications control console, but also allows him to make an easy escape. Now able to listen-in on all Exchange communications via his bug, Batman begins to bust all of their “perfect” crimes with ease. Batman’s triangulator is unable to pinpoint the President’s location (due to the fact that he operates out of a mobile trailer). As part of a plan to flush-out the President, Bruce asks a couple of his fancy high society friends to report phony robberies. (These wealthy friends are not specifically named, but they could very easily be folks linked to Bruce’s many club affiliations—and possibly people we’ve already tangentially met before on our chronology.) Batman then begins immediately shutting down Exchange robberies all over the city.[11]

–Detective Comics #456
October 30-31. Bruce meets sexy high-society single Angie Larner and they immediately hit it off, deciding to go on a impromptu hot date. After their date, Alfred chauffeurs Bruce and Angie to her house in the boonies. After some canoodling, Bruce departs with Alfred. Since they are only a stone’s throw away from Wayne Manor, Bruce picks up one of the Batmobiles from the Batcave to head out on patrol for the night. While driving, Batman has a hallucination and crashes the Batmobile into a lamp post! Later, while fighting some drug-thieves, Batman has another hallucinatory experience. After returning the stolen goods to a doctor, Batman passes out. The medical expert injects a “heavy stimulant” into Batman’s arm to wake him up (!), after which he tells Batman he’s ingested (inhaled) a deadly chemical that has been causing him to hallucinate. The cranked-up Batman only has one hour to find the antidote or he’ll die! After unsuccessfully scouring the town for clues, Batman realizes that Angie has poisoned him with lipstick! Batman wildly bashes his way into Angie’s house, slugging it out with two goons that are there with her. Angie confesses to poisoning Bruce, but tells him that Bruce’s rival Ulysses Vulcan made her do it. Batman gets the antidote from Angie, telling her he will rush it to Bruce. Out of sight, Batman guzzles-down the serum, curing himself at the last second. In the morning, Batman busts Vulcan. Presumably, as referenced in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3, the Batmobile gets fixed up (or replaced with a new ready-to-go model) by Jack Edison.

–Detective Comics #453 Conclusion
Early to mid November. For three straight weeks, Batman shuts down Crime Exchange robberies left-and-right. Simultaneously, reports of the successful robberies (i.e. the fake robberies that Bruce’s friends have been reporting) cause the President of the Exchange to think that there’s another better crime syndicate outdoing his organization. Posing as a rival crime lord, Batman opens up a fake syndicate office and meets with the Veep of the Exchange. Batman’s trap works, as he is able to bust the Veep and the top men of the Exchange, but the Prez is still on the loose. Batman is finally able to pinpoint his location. After messing with the Prez’s trailer’s antennae, Batman somehow pirate-broadcasts his closed-circuit signal to nearby TVs. Thousands of people watch live as Batman beats-up and unmasks the Exchange Prez as anti-Batman TV journalist Walter Grimes.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #470. The corrupt Boss Rupert Thorne becomes the new president/chairman of the Gotham City Council. (The shady Thorne has been an elected official in Gotham for decades, but has finally now ascended to new political heights.) Over the next couple of years, Thorne will populate the City Council with his criminal cronies. Batman is fully aware of Councilman Thorne’s activities, but he and Thorne won’t clash head-to-head for a while. Bruce, on the other hand, as part of his socialite persona, meets Thorne, becoming casual acquaintances with him.

–World’s Finest Comics #233
Superman and Batman meet in the Fortress of Solitude to watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons. As referenced in World’s Finest Comics #263, all the Super-Sons adventures, including the one detailed in WFC #233, are computer sims. WFC #233 has the distinction of being the first Super-Sons issue to actually show Batman and Superman watching a sim. (Prior to this, only the sims have been shown, but not who is watching them.)[12] In this latest tale, the Super-Sons go on a road trip to the Deep South, soon finding themselves in the radical feminist commune of Belton where they are thrown in jail for being male chauvinists. After breaking-out and witnessing the town’s leader addressing the women of the commune from behind a giant “all-seeing eye” monolith à la The Wizard of Oz, the Super-Sons realize something is off. They then evade capture by the townsfolk, fight-off some mutated alligator women, and confront the lady behind the curtain: a monstrous one-eyed alien called Sister Sybil. Sybil explains that she founded the commune as a means of slowly kidnapping women to turn them into alligator monsters. Superman sends the alien beast back to her home planet where she is imprisoned. The unshackled women of the commune, free of their misguided feminism inclinations, line up around the block to make-out with an insatiable Bruce Jr. Yes, this sim ends with radical feminists dropping their beliefs and throwing themselves into the sexual embrace of Bruce Jr. Ummm, Bob Haney, I have a TON of questions for you regarding this issue, but I’m not going to waste my breath asking them. Let’s move on, shall we? (Note that the main narrative of this issue is not only a Super-Sons computer sim on Earth-1, but it also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.)

–Detective Comics #454
Batman busts public enemy number four, Rex Giles, at Gotham’s Jefferson Arts Center (a thinly-veiled Lincoln Center). But when Batman brings him in, Commissioner Gordon and company are surprised to find not Giles but pro boxer Kid Cobra in Batman’s custody. Kid Cobra, who had been disguised as Giles in order to scout Batman, then reports back to Giles. The next day, Batman fights who he thinks is Giles in a bus terminal, but it turns out to be another of Giles’ cronies in disguise—ex-world Savate champion Jacques Sato. A day later, Batman takes-on the real Giles at the South Gotham Charity Bazaar. Despite all his scouting, Batman easily defeats Giles.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #168. Batman does soul-searching and comes to believe that his charity appearances in costume as Batman have caused crooks to begin losing their fear of the Dark Knight. Wanting Batman to be less of a public figure, Batman decides to put a moratorium on making entertainment appearances. From this point forward, we won’t see many Batman charity events anymore, although Bruce will always be doing public charitable works.

–The Brave and The Bold #123
When a totem is stolen from the African Kahari Tribe, causing them all to go out-of-control, Batman decides to help them. Before departing overseas, Batman runs into Plastic Man, who is poor, destitute, and living on the streets of Gotham. Batman decides to help out Plastic Man, not only revealing his secret ID to him, but also asking him to protect Gotham while he is gone. Plastic Man agrees and morphs himself into a Batman lookalike. Soon after, Bruce purchases the stolen totem at an auction in Istanbul. Meanwhile, in Gotham, “Batman” teams-up with some GCPD cops to bring down some bank stick-up men. Commissioner Gordon then delivers a warrant to bust Bruce Wayne! Plastic Man travels to Istanbul and arrests Bruce. Brought back to Gotham in shackles, Bruce is placed before a judge and indicted on counts of fraud and murder! That very night, Metamorpho busts Bruce out of jail and they set out to figure out who’s behind the frame-up. The heroes trail Plastic Man to Ruby Ryder’s tower. Listening-in, they learn that Ruby supplied the bogus evidence against Bruce. Plastic Man, eager to get back in the good graces of his former lover (coupled with a brainwashing polymer adhered to his brain by Ruby’s chemists), hauled-in Bruce just to impress her. Ruby’s motive to screw over Bruce? She wants the coveted Kahari totem. Batman and Metamorpho trail Ruby and Plastic Man to Istanbul. Ruby obtains the totem and then flies to her estate in the Caribbean. There, Batman steals the totem. Metamorpho morphs into a fake totem and tape-records Ruby as she muses aloud (on tape) about framing Bruce and brainwashing Plastic Man. Metamorpho is exposed when he chokes on Ruby’s cigar smoke, prompting an amazing shapeshifting battle between Metamorpho and Plastic Man! When the brainwashing polymer fades away, Plastic Man comes to his senses and helps Metamorpho bust Ruby and her lawyer Hinton. A few days later, with Ruby behind bars and his name cleared, Bruce returns the totem to the Kahari Tribe.

–Superman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Annual 1975 
Like the previous two Brown Watson Ltd Annuals published for the UK market, I haven’t read this title. If anyone has, please let me know!

–Detective Comics #455
Late Autumn. While en route to a party in the sticks, Bruce and Alfred’s car breaks down, forcing them to seek assistance in a nearby house. Inside the house, they find a coffin with solar lights pointed at it. Bruce turns off the solar light, freeing hundred-year-old vampire Gustav Decobra! Bruce switches into Bat-gear and stakes Decobra in the chest, but the vampire laughs and reveals that he’s removed his heart and hidden it somewhere. Batman and Alfred try to hide in the garret, but Decobra follows. Batman and Decobra fight through the house. Eventually, Batman realizes Decobra’s heart is pulsing inside a grandfather clock. The Dark Knight shoots an arrow into the heart, which instantly kills Decobra.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #281. Batman works an unspecified case with Interpol, teaming-up with a Panamanian secret agent named Jorge Zamora. Batman gives Zamora a communications transmitter and code signals to use in case the spy ever needs to contact him in the future.

–Batman #270
The unnamed red-headed Mayor of Gotham, always plagued by corruption (even during his campaign), steps down after less than a year in office. A much older man replaces him as the new unnamed Mayor of Gotham. The Civic Conscience Council, inactive for nearly two years, is restarted by this new mayor, although he changes its name to the Gotham City Civic Committee. The mayor meets with Bruce and tasks him with heading the GCCC’s Youth Division, which consists of a group of elected teens. Bruce hosts the new mayor, his fellow members of the GCCC, and Commissioner Gordon in his penthouse for a special dinner gala. When someone screams for help a few floors down in the Wayne Foundation Building, Gordon orders Bruce (being the only “able-bodied man” around since everyone in the GCCC is decrepitly old for some reason) to see what’s going on. It’s weird that, by sending Bruce to investigate, Gordon, who is Gotham’s top cop, basically categorizes himself as specifically “not able-bodied.” But anyway, Bruce enters an office below to find ADA Jim Standish’s corpse next to a flaming torch carved with the likeness of Standish’s head. The killer appears and sets Bruce on fire using the flaming head before running off. After a little stop-drop-and-roll, Bruce is okay. A few days later, Bruce hosts the GCCC Youth Division in his home, but has to depart early to go to the home of retired adjudicator Judge Bromley, where another head torch has been delivered. At the judge’s home, the killer attacks Batman and runs off again. Batman finds Bromley dead in the basement. A few days later, Bruce tries to meet with the GCCC Youth Division again, but once again has to cut the gathering short when a Batman head torch is delivered to police HQ. After Earl Peterson is murdered, Batman figures the killer is an old rival with ties to all the victims, Blinky Johnson. After scouring the underworld, Batman finds Johnson, but soon realizes that Johnson has been framed by his old cellmate Harry Watkins. Batman finds Watkins at the Gotham Museum of Art, trying to steal a Rembrandt. At the museum, Batman fights Watkins, who gets accidentally crushed to death by a falling statue. After realizing he’s stood up the GCCC Youth Division once again, Bruce apologizes by “arranging” for Batman to meet with the kids. A day later, Batman hangs out with the kids.

–Man-Bat #1
Batman leaves town to chase after a fugitive Joker. After a few days, Batman busts Joker and returns to Gotham. In town, magick-villain Baron Tyme (Clement Tyme) controls She-Bat, forcing her to attack his rival. Man-Bat tries to stop his wife, but she brutally murders the victim with a vicious vampire bite. When news reports about the killing hit the airwaves, Batman fears that She-Bat is on the prowl again. Batman visits Museum Curator Wilkins in search of the Langstroms, but Wilkins informs Batman that they moved to the suburbs after Batman gave Langstrom the Augie Moran bounty a few months ago. In the ‘burbs, Batman barrages the Langstrom home with sonar pulses to disorient Man-Bat. Man-Bat explains to Batman that Tyme has been controlling his wife. With She-Bat sedated, Man-Bat spurns Batman’s offers of assistance and flies-off to confront Tyme at the latter’s sanctum at Antioke University. Tyme tells Man-Bat that he’s summoned a demon that has granted him occult powers, but only in exchange for human sacrifices. Thus, Tyme has been using She-Bat to commit these sacrificial murders. Man-Bat defeats Tyme, forcing him to release control of Francine. Tyme escapes, but not before his sanctum burns to the ground. And once again, Francine avoids jail-time despite having committed murder. As referenced in Man-Bat #2, Kirk gets her right out of Gotham, bringing her to a hospital in Chicago.

–NOTE: In Batman Family #3 Part 1 and Detective Comics #526. Robin and Batgirl work a case together and deduce each other’s secret IDs! (Presumably, Batgirl also learns Batman’s secret ID here as well, but that’s not entirely clear. It’s possible that Dick would and could protect Batman’s secret ID—although, it would probably be quite obvious that Bruce is Batman if Dick is Robin.) In any case, we know that Batman will be fully aware of Batgirl’s secret ID in a few years’ time, so we can assume that Robin tells Batman who she is here and now.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #154 and Batman #305 Part 1. Bruce and Morgan Edge join the Board of Directors for a new venture to build the Gotham Starscraper Hotel, a state-of-the art luxury tower in the heart of the city. Professor Ray Palmer is consulted on the blueprints, which focus on catering to wealthy people with disabilities. Soon after, ground is broken and construction begins.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 1. Batman keeps a close eye on the trial of Mike Caine, who is sentenced to Death Row.

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

–Batman Family #4 Part 2
December 24-25. As nearly three feet of snow blankets New Carthage, NY, Dick, his new girlfriend Lori Elton, and Hudson University Campus Police Security Chief Frank McDonald (Lori’s uncle) attend the annual Hudson U Santa Claus Charity Convention. Afterward, dressed in Santa outfits, the trio takes a horse-drawn sleigh through town, handing out candy and presents in the snow. When thieves hijack their sleigh and attempt to rob the Santa Convention charity box, a freezing Robin warms himself up by beating-down the baddies. Later, Dick learns that all flights have been cancelled due to the blizzard. Back at his dorm, Dick is surprised by Bruce, Alfred, and Aunt Harriet, who have come to visit him for the holidays! Everyone celebrates a merry Christmas at Lori’s family’s house in New Carthage. Yay!

–World’s Finest Comics #234
Bruce and several of his top space engineers visit NASA HQ to watch the launch of the Star-Home spacecraft, which will be humankind’s first official “Mission to Colonize Mars.” After a successful launch into orbit, NASA contacts the ship only to realize that the androids supposed to be piloting the mission have actually been replaced by lead scientist Dr. Calvin Lucas, his wife Helen, and their young son Jamie. Angry NASA heads contact Washington and, even after a phone call from President Carter, the Lucas family refuses to return. Batman and Superman fly to Star-Home, but after meeting with the Lucases, they contact NASA and tell them they fully support the family! Soon after Batman and Superman depart back for Earth, they get a distress signal from a science lab in the Arctic. After preventing the lab from collapsing due to an unstable glacier, the heroes return to outer space to check-out anomalies related to an asteroid belt. While checking-out the asteroids, Batman and Superman return to Space-Home to find that a strange invulnerable alien astronaut has infiltrated the ship and is running amok. Batman and Superman defeat the stranger, who turns invisible. Dr. Lucas reports that some unknown force is messing with Earth’s magma core, which could lead to the destruction of the entire planet. Lucas says a bunch of science-baloney about how only a charged-up Star-Home, flown directly into the Indian Ocean at full-speed can save the planet. Lucas agrees to sacrifice his own life kamikaze-style in order to save Earth, citing that only he knows how to pilot Space-Home and that Superman has to save his family. (This is totally bogus. Superman could easily save Lucas and his family while simultaneously pitching Star-Home into Earth like a baseball. He’s done way crazier stuff than that countless times over.) Anyway, Batman does a quick switcheroo with Lucas, taking the sacrificial mission unto himself. Superman leaves the Lucas family on the Moon and follows the asteroid belt trail to its origin point on a distant planet ruled by evil aliens. By spying on the aliens there, Superman learns that their agent (the invisible guy aboard Star-Home) is the cause of all the strange occurrences on Earth. Aboard Star-Home, the invisible alien swaps places with Batman in an effort to take control of the ship. Superman rushes back, grabs the Lucases off the Moon, and saves Batman. Star-Home crashes into the Indian Ocean (and supposedly all the way into Earth’s core, which, even for this bad story, is highly dubious). Thus, the planet is saved.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #241. NASA’s Star-Home mission was a bust, but not because of any failure on the part of Wayne Enterprises. Thus, Bruce is offered a lucrative contract extension, which culminates in the immediate construction of a new spacecraft and planning of the Aquarius I mission, basically a re-tread of Star-Home. (Bob Haney writes Aquarius as if it is the first of its kind, completely ignoring Star-Home, which he himself wrote less than a year ago! Oh, Haney.) Dr. John Travis is put in charge of planning the mission. Bruce, presumably, will oversee certain aspects of the Aquarius I mission planning over the course of the next several months as well—although Travis will keep him in the dark on most things. Travis assembles a crew of astronauts: Major Jordan, PK Osborn, Kitty Carstairs, Spider Hart, Midge Dexter, Holly Bishop, and Bud Williams.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3—and referenced in Batman #330. Lucius Fox, a go-getting Wayne Enterprises employee working in the Finance Division, pitches lucrative portfolio management plan to Bruce. Bruce loves the plan and asks Lucius to take personal charge of it, essentially promoting him within the Finance Division. From this point onward, Bruce and Lucius will become very close. Eventually, following the success of Lucius’ financial management plan, Bruce will promote Lucius again. This will lead to various promotions from Bruce over the years to come. (Most of Lucius’ exponential ascent through the company and positive personal interaction with Bruce won’t be seen on our timeline, but we should imagine these occurrences scattered throughout the chronology, moving forward. In fact, as referenced in Batman #330, Lucius will work directly with Bruce in some capacity almost every day, moving forward.)


<<< Year Ten <<< | >>> Year Twelve >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #254 Part 8 is a single page “Bat-Maze” by Bob Rozakis. Yes, it’s a kids activity page, which comes with a little mini-story. The attached dialogue tells us that a bevy of escaped criminals—including Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, Penguin, and Riddler—have constructed the maze and thrown Batman in the center. This maze scenario is non-canon both because it’s a maze, and also because an older Catwoman costume is shown. The whole of Batman #254, in general, is also notable for it’s goofy framing devices; Batman, Robin, and Alfred break the fourth wall and give commentary about each story, most of which are reprints. So, yeah, lots of poorly done metalepses going on here, including the maze. (As the line enters a phase where all titles are “100-Page Specials,” meaning one new story and a bunch of reprints, we’ll again see Batman, along with other characters, act as narrator—mostly in opening splash pages. The omniscient narrator portions of these stories are never canon.)
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Bob Haney’s zaniest and boldest derivation from canon (thus far) happens now—in World’s Finest Comics #223, featuring art by Dick Dillin and Vince Colletta, and editing by the “B-Boys” Murray Boltinoff and E Nelson Bridwell. In WFC #223, we learn that Thomas and Martha Wayne had another child! Born a few years prior to Bruce, Thomas Wayne Jr had a brain injury and was sent to live in an asylum. Mom and dad died before ever revealing the existence of big brother to Bruce. Thomas Jr makes his dramatic debut as the twisted Boomerang Killer. Batman and Deadman take down Thomas Jr, after which Deadman decides to take Thomas Jr’s body as a semi-permanent human host. You can see why this isn’t canon? Add this to the ongoing adventures of the Batman of Earth-B. This story also takes place on Earth-32.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #227, published now on our timeline, is the one and only follow-up to WFC #223, continuing and concluding Bob Haney’s wild Thomas Wayne Jr saga. Thus, WFC #227 is out-of-continuity, canon only on Earth-32 and Earth-B.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #229 is a reprint of World’s Finest Comics #94, which makes it non-canon. However, it is worth noting that WFC #229 inexplicably re-colors Batman’s chest emblem, turning it from the black insignia to the yellow oval. Why did DC Comics do this? Who knows. It could have been a misguided attempt to contemporize the story for new readers or merely a stylistic choice. Either way, it’s a reprint, so the need to alter it makes no sense. Interestingly, DC Comics made the same woeful choice decades later with a reprint of Alan Moore/Brian Bolland’s Killing Joke, in which Bolland did the reverse, switching from the yellow oval to the black insignia, simply for aesthetic reasons. The only other instance I can think of where DC re-drew Batman’s chest logo was for a reprint of Grant Morrison/Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated Vol. 2, but, in that instance, the change was done in an effort to place the narrative in multiple continuities.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #117, published at this point on our timeline, is another Bob Haney/Murray Boltinoff Sgt. Rock/Batman team-up tale, a continuation of the ongoing Sgt. Rock saga from The Brave and The Bold #96 and The Brave and The Bold #108. As such, The Brave and The Bold #117 is non-canon on Earth-1 and Earth-2, and only canon on Earth-B.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: In the mid-1970s, DC Comics teamed-up with Peter Pan Records to produce 45rpm vinyl recordings of original Batman comic stories. Each vinyl record was packaged with a single-issue comic book as a “Power Records Book & Recording.” If you’ve got your hands on any of these, then you’ve got your hands some pretty cool collectibles. Unfortunately, the stories attached to these hot items are out-of-continuity. Batman Power Records Comic #PR-27 and Batman Power Records Comic #PR-30, both of which were released around this juncture on our timeline, are only canon on the weird wild timeline of Earth-B.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Justice League of America #113 Part 2 is a reprint of an old JSA story. It is notable because the JLA gives an introduction to the story, which doubles as a history lesson about the 1947 Freedom Train. This intro is obviously non-canon.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the mayor of Gotham shown in “The Underworld Olympics ’76” is the older gentleman that succeeds our current red-haired mayor. This teeny tiny continuity error happens because this arc got slid backward on our timeline to its correct June time period (from the spot it would have gone—i.e. next year when it was originally published—had it not included specific seasonal time references). We should either ignore the scene with the mayor or imagine him as being the current correct ginger dude. This is your typical case of unnecessary narrative topical specificity leading to a continuity flub.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Paul Levitz details the Earth-AD timeline in The Amazing World of DC Comics #12, citing specifically that Earth-AD is an alternate branch where WWIII occurs, leading to the Great Disaster and God War. This is in stark specific contrast to the primary timeline that leads toward a future with no WWIII and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Levitz is very specific with dates for Earth-AD, saying that Kamandi’s adventures begin in the year 2006.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the second features to Detective Comics #464-466 happen just prior to Detective Comics #466-468 i.e. just prior to right now. In those second features, the Calculator strikes out at several JLA members. This leads directly to the main action of Detective Comics #466, which is followed by Detective Comics #467-468. Flash #247 also overlaps with Detective Comics #468. The main action of Detective Comics #464-465 is separate from all of this, occurring next year.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: As Commissioner Gordon says in this arc, “What an elaborate setup!” Despite the fact that Bat-writer David Vern Reed had been out of the game since the 1950s, his best bud Julius Schwartz decided to bring him back onboard in 1975. Like an old man lost in a new world, the fifty-one-year-old Vern Reed immediately began churning-out overly-elaborate hackneyed 1950s-style mysteries. Despite Vern Reed immediately penning the inanely-bizarre and out-of-touch “Crime Exchange,” Schwartz rewarded his pal with a contract to write Batman for THREE YEARS! This way-too-lengthy run, comprising the majority of Batman #269-304 (November 1975 to October 1978), feels horribly out of place in the 1970s. 1976-1978 is a lackluster time for the main title—a low point for the Bronze Age. Sadly, none of the freshness of the new blood in the DC office rubs-off on Vern Reed. Even as late as October 1978, he sticks out like an ugly sore thumb when compared to his peers—genuine greats like Jack Kirby, Denny O’Neil, Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko, Bob Rozakis, and Steve Englehart. Thankfully, by 1979, Vern Reed will get phased out and these guys will take center stage.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: While we see Batman and Superman omnipotently watching their Super-Sons in WFC #233, their viewing session, as shown in the opening page, is vague. The full reveal that the Super-Sons are nothing more than computer simulations doesn’t occur until WFC #263. This is the reason WFC #263 is the primary reference listed for all these Super-Sons stories, as opposed to WFC #233.

3 Responses to Bronze Year 11

  1. James IV says:

    Just a very, very small correction: For Batman #270, you mention that the new mayor says that Bruce is the only able-bodied man and tells him to do something, but it’s actually the Commissioner who says it to Bruce, as Bruce later thinks that the Commissioner forced him into action. That doesn’t make it any less absurd (though if it were the Modern Age, I’d say it was Gordon suspecting Bruce of Batmanliness), but hey, if the Commissioner wants to admit he’s not able-bodied in a crowded room of people, that’s his business.

    • Ha! Thanks for catching this, James. I am tickled by anyone yelling out anything about “able bodied men.” And Gordon saying this about himself makes this even weirder (and much funnier).

      • James IV says:

        I have to mention this as well. Reading The Brave and The Bold #113, Bruce has this great thought bubble at the beginning of the story when Gordon announces he’s been forced to retire: “He really is getting too old! They did him a favor–retiring him before he becomes decrepit!”

        Considering how good of friends they are, and that Batman works with Gordon for at least ten more years, this is hilariously insulting on Batman’s part. Nothing you need to edit, I just found it amusing and actually slightly related to my last comment.

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