Silver Year 12

(1978)
_______________________________

[1]

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #125-126. Batman leaves the country to go on an unspecified case. During this time, an escaped Two-Face, having learned about an alien plot to destroy the universe, solicits the help of the JLA. Two-Face teams-up with a Batman-less JLA to help defeat the evil Dronndarians and the Weaponers of Qward, a group of warriors from the Antimatter Universe aka Universe-3 planet of Qward. (The Weaponers are led by Chief Kiman.) After helping save the entire universe, Two-Face returns to his Arkham Asylum cell.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #461. Bruce’s business associates try to hook-up Bruce, Gotham’s most eligible bachelor, with their daughters. Bruce goes on a series of dates and, while we won’t see any on our timeline, he’ll go on a few more dates over the course of the next few months too.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #278. Scotland Yard’s Inspector Clive Kittridge, an old school chum of Alfred’s, visits Gotham to hang out with Alfred. While in town, Alfred introduces him to Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #235. Bruce proposes a deal for Wayne Enterprises to build “New Metropolis”—essentially a new urban center to act as a mini-sister city to the original Metropolis. For his big venture, Bruce makes a non-binding introductory offer to purchase a large plot of farmland from a man named Mr. Hamlin. The plot is only miles away from Metropolis. Bruce also starts an investment company that immediately begins raising funds for the project.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #127. Ted Grant makes a pro boxing comeback, but in his return match, he accidentally pummels his opponent, Kid O’Hare, to death! Vowing never to use his fists for violence again, Ted quickly moves onto his next out-there venture, purchasing the small Caribbean island known as Key Allegro, which he gets for cheap because it is smack dab in the middle of Dead Man’s Quadrangle (a poor man’s Bermuda Triangle).

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Batman and Superman travel to Earth-Prime and meet Bob Haney! They hit it off and become fast friends. Oh Bob Haney, you ridiculous man, you.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #235. Bruce attends a night club performance of a mentalist named Sagittarius, who makes quite an impression upon Bruce.

–Justice League of America #127
A new super-villain called the Anarchist, who kidnapped a bunch of world leaders a few weeks ago, publicly challenges the JLA, telling them that he will kidnap more foreign dignitaries from a UN gathering. The next day, at the UN Building, the Anarchist—along with three metahuman warriors—defeats Superman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Red Tornado. A day after that, Clark, Lois, and Steve Lombard visit a sermon by notorious Christian faith healer Simon Elis. After watching Elis heal Steve’s broken leg, Superman suspects that he might be the Anarchist. Later, Superman, Batman, Hal Jordan, Black Canary, and Elongated Man confront Elis, confirming that he is indeed the Anarchist. (Turns out the Anarchist isn’t an anarchist at all—he’s actually a religious wing-nut that wants to be dictator of the entire world.) The heroes also learn that the Anarchist has been siphoning power away from Hal’s ring. Eventually, the entire JLA takes on the Anarchist at his Long Island mansion, defeating him and his men.

[2]

[3]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #458. Charlie Fellman gets out of prison and starts up a paint shop. Batman hears on the street that Fellman took up a calligraphy hobby while in the joint.

–The Brave and The Bold #125-126
The US Government, hoping to curtail the flow of a deadly new strain of heroin, commits to a back-alley deal with Burmese drug-czar General Lin Chan. The US Government’s deal with Chan, which will see a large payment go to the drug-czar, is told to Commissioner Gordon and Batman. Batman responds by telling US Government officials that Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen (as civilians) will personally meet with Chan to finalize the deal. Soon after, Batman busts-up a drug ring that is spreading Chan’s heroin on the streets of Gotham. Batman “arrests” Cheech (Gordon’s informant), who delivers a bag of Chan’s stuff to GCPD HQ where Barry lab-tests it. Soon after, Bruce and Barry travel to Rangoon, Burma to meet their contact. In Rangoon, they spot famous missing aviatrix Amy Stimson, but she runs off. Two days later, Bruce and Barry go on a safari tiger-hunt where they are supposed to connect with their contact. Instead, Barry is captured by one of Chan’s trained tigers. Bruce confronts Chan at his jungle palace, seeing that the general keeps the missing Amy as a slave. Bruce and Barry then accompany Chan to the vast poppy fields. They watch as the opium fields are defoliated, after which Chan demands a whopping sum of $10 million in exchange. Flash secretly tests the defoliant and the opium, learning that the whole thing is a fake show. As night falls, Batman and Flash search for the real poppy fields only to find Amy walking about freely. Upon questioning, Amy claims that she is an American journalist named Helen. Later, Batman and Flash find Amy’s plane completely intact in a nearby hanger. Batman gets “Helen” to leave on a drinking glass a fingerprint, which Flash sends to the FBI via teletype. The FBI quickly sends back their analysis report, determining that “Helen” is escaped fugitive Ruth Tuck. Ruth spills the beans, admitting that she escaped from jail, got plastic surgery to look like Amy, and then came to Burma in search of an old boyfriend that used to work for Chan. Coincidental, eh? Ugh. Anyway, Batman and Flash fail to find the secret poppy fields, but they do find something even better—Chan’s entire hidden stash. Our heroes then realize that Amy is not a slave, but Chan’s partner in crime. Amy, continuing to play the fake slave role, goes along with Batman’s “rescue,” which involves Ruth swapping places with her so as to not arouse suspicion. Back home, Amy is greeted with a hero’s welcome, but Batman and Flash immediately bust her. Batman and Flash then return to Burma to collect Amy’s plane as evidence of her malfeasance. There, they also bust Chan and free Ruth. Back in the States, Ruth receives a reduction in her sentence for having helped with the case.

When a sailor provides police officials with a crime tip, Batman accompanies him to shut down an illegal arms shipment at a buoy out in one of Gotham’s bays. While out there, Batman gets in the way of a US Navy Destroyer trying to destroy an undersea radar satellite sphere that can pinpoint the exact location of US submarines. Soon after, a high-ranking Pentagon official orders Batman, to make amends, to track down the supposedly Soviet satellite and destroy it.  When Batman learns that the the satellite is actually Atlantean, he has a chat with Aquaman, who has recently been deposed as king of Atlantis. Aquaman reluctantly agrees to help Batman get the sphere. After US frogmen acquire the sphere, Batman and Aquaman fight them for it, knowing that it’ll be safer in Aquaman’s hands than in the hands of any Cold-Warring government. Aquaman retrieves the sphere and hides it away for safekeeping. Batman soon stands before President Carter to offer an explanation, but the Prez is none too pleased. Eventually, Batman and Aquaman turn the sphere over to whom they think is a UN official, but is really international ex-Nazi war criminal Baron Mannheim. Once again, Batman gets chewed-out, this time by UN representative. Jeez, Batman and Aquaman are real dopes in this one. Under threat of federal prosecution if they fail, Batman and Aquaman go after Mannheim. Eventually, Batman and a US Navy commander discover that Mannheim and some of his old Nazi comrades from the war are planning to use the sphere to destroy trick the US and USSR into igniting the Cold War into a Hot War. Aquaman and a scuba-diving Batman kick some Nazi frogmen asses, get the sphere back, and win the day. Aquaman decides to keep the sphere in his Aquacave.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #137. Batman upgrades his costume to a new tougher material that is strong enough to deflect most knife thrusts.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #460. Bruce begins frequenting The Stingaree, a new hot restaurant aboard an old docked schooner in one of Gotham’s many harbors. While dining, Bruce meets and befriends the owner/manager of the Stingaree, an old-timey pirate called Captain Stingaree.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #277. Batman begins keeping a mini-toolkit and lock picking equipment in a secret compartment in his boot heel.

–The Brave and The Bold #137
Early February. Batman’s old friend Danny Loo asks him to pay a visit to Chinatown to bust up a new violent teenage gang called The Savage Dragons. Upon arrival, Batman busts up an illegal gambling den run by the Savage Dragons and then meets with Danny. Batman also runs into Jason Blood and Glenda Mark, who are in Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year festivities. Soon afterward, Shahn-Zi returns, turning Jason into a fly! (Jason turns into Etrigan to escape his insect form.) At the other end of Chinatown, Batman defeats a the leader of the Savage Dragons, Willie Chang, who is dressed up as a fake Shahn-Zi. After Chang is quickly released from jail, Batman tails him to Gotham’s version of Blackwell’s Island. There, the Dark Knight spots Chang and his gang meeting with the real Shahn-Zi. Spotted, Batman is turned into a bat by Shahn-Zi. At the Chinese New Year parade, Etrigan battles Shahn-Zi. When the villain morphs into a cobra, Merlin turns Etrigan into a mongoose to defeat him. Destroyed for a second time, Shahn-Zi disappears. Batman reverts back to human form.

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 2. Bruce watches Kojak on TV.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #138 and The Brave and The Bold #155. Batman befriends geologists Dr. Steve Lang and Dr. Wheelwright. He discusses science with both and will see them each on occasion, moving forward.

–Wonder Woman #221-222
Hawkman and the Atom have just simultaneously witnessed Wonder Woman’s 10th and 11th trials. Hawkman watched Wonder Woman defeat Dr. Cyber (Cylvia Cyber) and Dr. Moon in the Catskills while the Atom watched Wonder Woman defeat Chronos in Manhattan. Aboard the JL Satellite, the JLA ponders over how Wonder Woman could have been in two places at once. Meanwhile, Batman witnesses Wonder Woman’s 12th and final trial! In NYC, Batman watches as Diana returns from her Catskills adventure only to run into a Diana doppelgänger! The two Wonder Women fight, eventually both winding-up back in the Catskills at Dazzleland, New York’s rival amusement park to Disneyworld. With Batman still watching from the shadows, Wonder Woman soon finds herself before owner of Dazzleland and creator of Jerry Gerbil and Harriet Hamster—the thinly-veiled Walt Disney: Wade Dazzle! The Jerry Gerbil-ear-hat-wearing Dazzle immediately reveals that he’s actually an android replicant of the real Dazzle, who is in cryo-freeze in a glass coffin. The Dazzle replicant further explains that the rides at Dazzleland routinely secretly kill some visitors, draining their life energy into Dazzle’s cryo-casket! Wonder Woman sees that the real Dazzle is dead inside his coffin, so she smashes-up the murder machine and fights her way through some gun-toting Jerry Gerbil and Harriet Hamster mascots. Wonder Woman then again comes face-to-face with her double, at which time Batman realizes that the latter is yet another Dazzleland replicant. (The Wonder Woman that bested Chronos was actually this very android.) The Dazzle android tries to spew acid onto the real Wonder Woman, but accidentally destroys the phony. While Wonder Woman wraps-up loose-ends, Batman immediately goes to the JL Satellite and reports on what has occurred. Batman tells his teammates that, because the Wonder Woman replicant really thought she was the real deal and was acting as the real Wonder Woman would have, they should still count her 10th trial versus Chronos as valid! The decide to put it to a vote. Red Tornado is absent, but the team gives him an automatic yes vote. Phantom Stranger arrives to vote as well, making it a unanimous twelve yes votes. Wonder Woman’s trials are officially over! Not long after, the JLA throws a party for Wonder Woman aboard the JL Satellite. Wonder Woman is officially a member of the JLA again. Yay! Also, this evil Disneyworld/Dazzleland story—written by (at the time) relative newcomer Martin Pasko—is some next level shit. Totally bonkers in the best possible way. (In case you didn’t know, Pasko will write some really killer stuff in the 1970s and 1980s—and eventually win a much-deserved Emmy Award in 1993 for the amazing Batman the Animated Series! Even at the start of his career, you can see that Pasko was headed for greatness.)

–Justice League of America #128-129
When each member of the JLA has a vision of their own death, they decide to disband the team. The heroes have their visions while out on solo adventures. Superman has his while fighting Lex Luthor. Hawkman has his while fighting Gentleman Ghost. As the team packs-up trophies and books into crates aboard the JL Satellite, Wonder Woman, the only person who hasn’t had the vision, tries to talk sense into her teammates to no avail. Meanwhile, the alien creature known as Nekron, responsible for messing with the JLAers’ heads via his own brand of Fear Gas, defeats Hal Jordan. Hal’s power ring summons Wonder Woman for help, so she drags the shaken rest of the team into battle. Batman dons Hal’s ring, but it is totally drained of power. After fighting Nekron to a stalemate, the villain summons a giant fireball, which he hurls toward Midway City from outer space. With the rest of the JLAers still in a mind-scrambled fear-funk, Wonder Woman is able to cure Hawkman with her lasso. Together, they save Midway. Red Tornado shows up and sacrifices his own life while fighting Nekron. Aboard the JL Satellite, a Guardian of the Universe appears and tells them that Nekron feeds on fear like a drug addict, and only pure courage can stop him. Pumped-up, the team splits in half to go into action. Superman, Flash, and a fixed-up Hal fight Nekron’s giant robot warrior in the Grand Canyon while Batman and the rest of the team fight Nekron himself in Paris. After Nekron topples the Eiffel Tower, Flash dons Hal’s power ring and helps his pals defeat the alien. Back aboard the satellite, Nekron blasts Superman with a Kryptonite laser. Nekron then feeds off of Superman’s fear, but overdoses and keels over, shrinking down to his true one-inch-tall size. The JLA throws the little guy into permanent suspended animation. With Nekron’s threat over, the JLA mourns the loss of their fallen comrade, Red Tornado.

–Wonder Woman #223
In the immediate aftermath of their victory over Nekron, the JLA commends Wonder Woman on a job well done, telling her to take a much deserved vacation. Wonder Woman tells them that she will return to Themyscira, not for a vacation but to discover the missing memory gaps that she still has in her mind. Upon arriving on Paradise Island, Wonder Woman is shocked to find an invading platoon of faceless male soldiers made out of living clay. After fighting off the soldiers, Wonder Woman finds that her sisters have all succumbed to a curse and are rapidly aging, some aging all the way to death. After Wonder Woman unmasks the final soldier to reveal a resurrected Steve Trevor, Hippolyta emerges, explaining that it had all been a test—one final 13th trial for Wonder Woman to overcome. Diana begs her mother to let Steve remain alive. Hippolyta consents, but says he must stay on the island. Is Steve really back? Nope. This is the Greco-Roman God of Love Eros, who has been placed into a fake Steve body and implanted with the still-deceased Steve’s memories. Eros/Steve will eventually leave the island and begin going by “Steve Howard.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman #310. Hawkman tells Batman all about Gentleman Ghost.

–Detective Comics #459
Bruce is invited to and attends a party celebrating the impending release of his friend Elliot Quinn’s new true crime book about an unsolved murder case from ten years ago. The party is held in the very home where the murder occurred. Of course, Elliot gets shot dead, leading to a whodunnit. Batman first chases down ex-actor and current owner of the murder house, Gaunt, but he seems to be a red herring. After Alfred gets accused of the murder, the housekeeper turns up dead as well. Soon after that, Batman exposes Quinn’s secretary Lyle Keane as the killer. Keane was the original killer from the unsolved murder from a decade ago, and Quinn’s new book would have shown that.

–The Brave and The Bold #127
Batman attempts to intervene in a duel between two Hispanic men on the wharf, but he is too late as both men kill each other. Later, Batman and Commissioner Gordon chat with an agent of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), who propagandistically tells them that one of the men was linked to the notorious El Zapatero. After a murder victim, killed by Zapatero’s machinations, turns up at the airport, Batman goes a cursory investigation. Batman learns that Ted Grant personally picked up some unsavory characters and escorted them to his spa on the Caribbean island of Key Allegro, which is smack dab in the middle of Dead Man’s Quadrangle. For some insane reason (ahem, Bob Haney, cough cough), Batman—in full costume—rides a fully-booked flight down to the Caribbean, even chatting with some of his fellow passengers, including Hannibal Kinglsey, author of a best-selling book about the Dead Man’s Quadrangle. Batman meets up with Ted and they quickly bear witness to yet another Zapatero-arranged murder. Ted goes undercover, joining a group of refugees that Zapatero has promised to smuggle into the  US (but whom Zapatero actually means to kill). Batman, in a boat, follows Ted and the refugees in a freighter bound for Florida. Eventually, Batman and Ted (who has switched to Wildcat duds) get captured by Zapatero, who reveals himself as Kingsley. Wildcat is forced to spar with karate expert Iron-Fist, but the hero refuses to fight back and gets his ass kicked. With no other choice, Wildcat breaks his vow and throws some devastating jabs in return. Batman, along with the refugees, joins-in and helps take down Zapatero and his men. Batman backhandedly thanks the refugees, telling them “maybe someday you can enter the US legally!” Oof. Zapatero tries to flee in a plane, but he crashes to his death. Later, Batman pays graveside respect to some of Zapatero’s victims.

–Batman #276
The Gotham Assistance Corporation (GAC), a company that helps the city government decide the GCPD’s annual budget, has completed an audit of the GCPD. Bruce, representing the Wayne Trust Company Bank, schedules a meeting with the GCPD, city officials, and the GAC to discuss police budgetary concerns. Bruce also meets a new lady friend and schedules a date with her. Soon after, an escaped Spook returns, attacking Batman and secretly implanting him with some post-hypnotic suggestions. After some lab-work using the special equipment in the closed-up Batcave, Batman visits with Commissioner Gordon. Gordon complains that wholesale layoffs are going to hit the police department following thanks to the GAC audit. He begs Batman to ask Bruce to help them out. The next day, Bruce lobbies on behalf of the police department before the GAC, but his post-hypnotic suggestion kicks-in, causing him to abandon the meeting mid-speech. In a daze, Batman visits the museum and once again fights the Spook, who hits him with more hypnosis. The next night, Bruce’s brainwashing kicks-in again. He blows-off his date and, as Batman, once again finds himself getting bested and hypnotized by the Spook. Yet one night later, Batman fights the Spook again, discovering that the villain has hypnotized him to break his vow to never kill. Batman fights-off the urge to kill and collapses, feigning death with his old Eastern yoga death-trance trick. Secretly switching on his recorder, Batman tapes Spook monologuing about how his plan has now failed. He had meant to hypnotize Batman into murderously attacking him, during which he (the Spook) would have himself gone into an Eastern yoga death-trance. Thus, Batman would have “broken” his vow to never take a life and the Spook would have faked his own death to live a free life abroad. Later, Batman scares the Spook with some cloth bats and then busts him. The next day, Bruce meets with the GAC again gets them to sign a compromise deal in regard to GCPD layoffs and budget cuts.

–The Brave and The Bold #128
With the Soviet-backed Shah of Karkan’s imminent arrival in Gotham to sign a treaty with the US Government, the city is on high alert. Batman reaches out to the Shah and comes up with a security plan. While patrolling an abandoned sports arena, Batman runs into Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, and Oberon! Mr. Miracle tells Batman that he and Barda got married, but left their home of New Genesis to flee from Darkseid. They now live on Earth. As per plan, a disguised Batman disguises the Shah upon his arrival, driving him in a laundry van to a safe-house. But once Batman opens the back of the van, he finds the Shah is gone. Back at police HQ, a nervous Commissioner Gordon hops on the phone with an also-nervous President Carter. Realizing the phone is bugged, Batman grabs the receiver and lies, telling the POTUS that the kidnappers bagged a phony double. Batman returns to Mr. Miracle asking for his help on the case, but Mr. Miracle has little interest. Batman challenges him to an escape-off, citing that if Mr. Miracle loses he must assist him. After cheating, Batman wins. Later that night, Batman poses as the Shah and allows himself to be kidnapped in order to infiltrate the perpetrators’ secret undersea lair. There, Batman meets the villain behind it all: the evil New God Granny Goodness! Granny explains that the Shah’s top scientist has developed an eternal youth serum, which she craves. As per their deal, Mr. Miracle crashes the party. Batman, Mr. Miracle, and the Shah escape, allowing the latter to sign his treaty with the President.

–World’s Finest Comics #235
Late February.[4] At Galaxy Broadcasting HQ, Bruce shows off a model of “New Metropolis” (his recently-approved Wayne Enterprises project) to Morgan Edge, Clark Kent, and the new Mayor of Metropolis. Bruce tells them that his New Metropolis investment group has raised one billion dollars. When Galaxy exec Ed Dawes tries to commit suicide, Superman saves him. Dawes reveals that he is being blackmailed by someone calling himself Cyclops. Later, Bruce visits Mr. Hamlin’s plot of farmland, which will be the future site of New Metropolis, only to find that Hamlin has sold the land to a higher bidder, the Bull’s Eye Corporation. While looking up info on Bull’s Eye at the Hall of Records, Batman is conked-out from behind and tossed out of a window. Batman barely survives and, with Superman’s help, finds out that Bull’s Eye is run by a man named Lazlo Trask. That night, Bruce and Clark go to a Sagittarius mentalism show. A day later, Clark does a news story calling Sagittarius a crook. Sagittarius responds by suing WGBS. Later, Sagittarius visits Clark in his office and accuses him of being Superman. After some investigation, Batman learns that Trask is both Sagittarius and Cyclops. Superman goes on live TV and accuses Sagittarius of criminality, to which Sagittarius responds by claiming he will reveal his secret ID in front of a live audience in the Smallville Cemetery. Luckily, before he can tell-all, Sagittarius freaks-out and falls into an open grave, breaking his neck and dying. Bruce moves forward with his purchase of Hamlin’s land and, soon after, Wayne Enterprises construction crews break ground on the future site of New Metropolis. While we won’t see it on our timeline moving forward, we must assume that Bruce continues to oversee the development of New Metropolis until its completion (likely at some point years from now).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #287. Bruce reads a science article about pterosaurs.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #134. Batman, thanks to years of yoga training, is immune to the effects of many drugs. However, under the supervision of the Justice League, Batman undergoes a series of experimental nerve treatments, which make him immune to even more drugs that criminals might use on him. The Dark Knight is simply covering all his bases!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #285. Maybe I’m totally misinterpreting this tidbit, but writer David Vern Reed tells us that Bruce begins keeping an “emergency gift cache” in his apartment. The way this information gets delivered (and knowing Vern Reed’s track record), there seems to be some innuendo involved. Thus, we can assume that Bruce—ooh la la—brings a date home to spend the night. In the morning, after she leaves, Bruce notices that she’s left her pearl necklace behind. Bruce winds-up keeping the pearl necklace in a small box.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #281-282. Batman works an unspecified Interpol-backed case in Burundi, teaming-up with the Burundian Bureau of Intelligence‘s Colonel Kafi. International secret agent Nkuma Senghor reluctantly aids in the case. Like with his other Interpol contacts, after the case wraps, Batman gives Senghor a communicator device and code signals to use in case the spy ever needs to contact him in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #465. Batman devises a network of information sharing known as “The Boards.” Using bulletin boards at supermarkets, taverns, and parking lots all over the city, Batman instructs all of his informants and stool pigeons to begin using special bordered paper and a cypher code to communicate with him. Batman will check the Boards and also disseminate information using the Boards periodically, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Mid March. In what seems like a gross misuse of the JLA’s Transmatter Cube, Batman sends a birthday card to Bob Haney at the DC Offices on Earth-Prime. From this point forward, Batman will send a birthday card to Bob Haney every year.

–Batman #277
Bruce begins dating a lovely young gal named Susan, whom he brings down to his beach house on the Gulf Coast of Florida for a little mini-vacation. While there, reports of a nocturnal sea monster pop-up in the news, prompting Bruce and Susan to investigate. Sure enough, the monster appears. Bruce manages to fend off its attack, but Susan is shaken enough to leave for the airport in Tampa. Batman returns to the area where the monster appeared only to find local fisherman Sam Taggart, who attacks him. Batman gets knocked out by a third party. When we wakes up, he’s back in his civilian clothes (except for his boots) and the police are standing over him. Taggart is dead and Bruce is charged with his murder! Later, Bruce quickly escapes from his cell and joins Alfred. Alfred tells Bruce that he found him unconscious next to Taggart’s body and, in a panic, removed his clothes and called the police. Batman follows the only clues he’s got and soon locates some drug-smugglers aboard an abandoned oil rig. The Caped Crusader confronts them, but gets knocked-out again and thrown into the sea. After escaping certain death, Batman tracks the smugglers to their drop-point. Batman takes down the monster, one of the baddies in a rubber costume, and then ambushes the pick-up crooks as they arrive. The Dark Knight leaves the crooks tied-up with a note for police. Bruce then breaks back into jail, so it looks like he’s been there the entire night when the apologetic officers come to release him. Since we won’t see Susan again, we must assume Bruce breaks up with her upon his return to Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #279. Bruce gets an invitation to the Fair Harbor Yacht Club’s Annual Commodore’s Ball, which includes a dazzling fireworks show, set to be held a few weeks from now. Bruce RSVPs, accepting the invitation.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Limited Collector’s Edition #C-44 Part 3, Batman #306 Part 1, Batman #306 Part 2, Batman #344, and Detective Comics #511. Bruce orders some aesthetic renovations done to to the Wayne Foundation Building, including some interior landscaping. Most notably, the center of the building is re-done by one of the most famous (unnamed) architects in America. The center of the building is hollowed-out and a large artificial tree is installed that reaches the penthouse level. Bruce secretly installs (likely with help from his superhero pals) a new hidden elevator that runs from the penthouse, through the tree, and into the new labs below. The elevator can be accessed by a combination fingerprint scan and key card reader hidden behind several panels in the penthouse. Bruce also secretly adds some Bat-laboratories to the bunker in the the sub-basement of the building.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #236. Batman befriends geologist Dr. Walt Simpson.

–Batman #278
Scotland Yard’s Inspector Clive Kittridge writes to Alfred, telling him he will be visiting Gotham again. Bruce invites Kittridge to stay at the penthouse while he is in town. After arriving and settling-in, Kittridge visits the GCPD and joins Batman on a patrol, helping him bust some truck hijackers. Back at police HQ, Commissioner Gordon reports that a strange hooded man interrupted a local puppet show to wring a marionette’s neck. Later, at breakfast, Kittridge bets Bruce $100 that he (Kittridge) can outwit Batman on their next patrol together. As night falls, Batman and Kittridge take to the streets and find the hooded man upstaging a ventriloquism act to attack the dummy. The mute villain, whom Batman and Kittridge call “The Wringer,” evades capture, but soon finds himself face-to-face with the duo again, this time throwing a doll at them. The heroes chase after the Wringer, but he escapes once again. The next day, Bruce takes Kittridge to a Revolutionary War history expo. (It’s actually a Bicentennial exhibit, but since Sliding-Time has moved this story from 1976 to 1978, we must ignore that bit.) At the expo, the Wringer shows up and attacks an animatronic person before running off. Batman has already figured out the madman’s deal and is waiting to bust him at his final destination, a stock broker’s apartment. The Wringer is a schizophrenic man that was trying to give Batman clues to help him stop his other personality from murdering his stock broker. Later, Kittridge gives Bruce $100 for losing their bet.

–World’s Finest Comics #236
Batman attends a medal of honor ceremony for GCPD top cop Sergeant Ed Farley. During his ceremony, Farley collapses of illness. Later, at the hospital, Superman uses his super-vision to discover microscopic alien forms inside Farley’s body. When the disease begins to spread, the boys call in the Atom, who is tasked with entering the victims’ bodies and administering a poison that will kill the micro-beings. While the Atom does his thing, Batman investigates where the deadly virus could have emanated from, finding that the tiny beings came from Farley’s meteorite collection. Batman soon learns that the carrier that has been spreading the disease is model Liza Faraday. Batman confronts Liza, but she judo chops him out cold. After meeting with Superman and the lead doctor on the case, Batman realizes that the the micro-beings are actually antibodies that are fighting the disease. Liza is a sentient alien disease that has taken human form. While Batman fights Liza, Superman uses a Kandorian shrinking ray to shrink down and stop the Atom from killing the micro-beings. On the subway tracks, Liza touches the third rail and electrifies herself into dust just as Batman collapses from her sickness. Back at the hospital, the micro-beings cure everyone, including Batman.

–Action Comics #472 Part 2
March 31-April 2. It’s almost April Fool’s Day and Clark knows that his WBGS rival and resident prank-bully Steve Lombard is going to pull out all the stops at the office. Thus, Clark and the gang decide to get the one-up on Steve, bringing in master of disguise Batman to help out in the prank war. First Batman disguises himself as Steve and confronts Steve, freaking him out. When Clark, Lois, and Jimmy enter the room, they pretend that they can’t even see the doppelgänger. Cameraman Roddy Jenkins and a famous Gotham footballer get in on the action, gaslighting Steve on live TV. The next day, Batman continues the gag—I guess Gotham crime is down this week? The Dark Knight, disguised as Steve, confronts the real deal once more, but this time the master of pranks is ready. He shakes his double’s hand, giving Batman a shock with a trick palm buzzer.

–Detective Comics #460-462
Owner of the Stingaree restaurant Captain Stingaree pulls the original Speed, planting in Commissioner Gordon’s car a bomb that will explode if he goes under fifty miles per hour! Meanwhile, Bruce takes a new date, Barbi Brendan, to Stingaree’s restaurant, but bails on his babe when Gordon hits him on the Bat-beeper. With Alfred driving the Batmobile, Batman leaps from his car onto Gordons. While moving on the busy highway, Batman is able to go under the hood. Just as Batman de-fuses the bomb, Stingaree runs Gordon’s car off the road and fights the Dark Knight. Thinking he’s won, Stingaree reveals his belief that there are actually three Batmen—identical triplet private investigators Michael, Jerome, and Robert Courtney. Batman knocks-out Stingaree and decides to play a wild game with the villain. Batman tasks the triplets with assisting him. First, Michael dons a Batman costume and switches places with the real Batman, allowing himself to be captured and unmasked, further fueling Stingaree’s delusion. Later, Stingaree kidnaps Bruce, whom he thinks is funding the triplets’ war on crime. Bruce easily escapes, switches into Bat-mode, and patrols. Soon, Batman faces-off against Stingaree again and, as before, switches places with one of the triplets, Robert, who purposefully gets captured. After Stingaree captures Robin inside a fake ice block (made with Captain Cold tech), Batman constructs a fake lab and swaps places with Jerome, who allows himself to get captured in another ice block. With Flash’s help, Batman gets the jump on a confused Stingaree at the fake lab. With Stingaree behind bars, Batman reveals the reason behind the elaborate ruse and the truth about the new pirate villain: Stingaree is Karl Courtney, the fourth Courtney brother.

–World’s Finest Comics #237
While walking by a performance in the park, Batman watches as a huge agglomeration of metal crashes through the stage from underground. When the chunk of metal proves to be impenetrable, Batman calls Superman, who also is unable to move it or put a dent in it. As night falls, a Mothra-like creature emerges and briefly terrorizes the city before returning to its “nest.” When the creature comes out again, Superman faints and Batman follows it to Shark Island, a military testing ground in one of Gotham’s bays. After attacking Batman, the monster makes his new home on Shark Island. With the military contemplating nuclear strike(!), Commissioner Gordon receives word that large alien locusts have attacked a NASA ship in outer space. Soon after, the alien bugs have swarmed the Eastern seaboard. Superman, realizing that the monster is linked to his long dead father Jor-El, prevents a nuclear strike and protects the monster from destruction. Soon after, the monster attacks the locusts, killing them one-by-one. A monster battle ensues and all the creatures kill each other off. Superman, having found a Kryptonian data-recording within the original metal chunk, explains that the creatures were all emitting red sun energy, which is why he fainted. Superman further explains that his dad Jor-El engineered the monster to fight off alien locusts. Decades ago, the monster was encased in the impenetrable metal along with recordings about its history and purpose. When Krypton exploded, the monster—still in its encasing—survived in suspended animation, eventually crashing into Earth.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #238 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #238 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 #238, the still-misogynist Super-Sons travel across the country helping sexy ladies in exchange for kisses. After falling for the charms of a traveling puppeteer named Dora Redson, our “heroes” join her troupe and unwittingly help her break Lex Luthor out of prison. Dora is Lex and Ardora’s daughter! After chasing Lex and Dora to planet Lexor, Batman Jr and Superman Jr defeat a host of alien monsters and bring Lex back to Earth prison. (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 DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 2. Batman begins keeping tabs on recently paroled crook Snazzy Trope. Batman will keep tabs on Trope for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #239. Batman is told of a new top secret government radio station/communications tower that has opened up on the top of Mount Palador, which is only a few miles outside of Gotham. The Mount Palador station is the most powerful communications antenna in the world, capable of making contact with the far end of the galaxy in mere minutes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #282-283. Bruce reads in the news that Soviet Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Lucas Nagy has gone missing. Unknown to the world, a new international terrorist organization known as Omega is responsible for Nagy’s kidnapping.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #132. Batman begins keeping nitrous oxide gas tablets in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 1. Batman begins keeping a few new items in his utility belt: a knife, a mini-chemistry kit, and a beta version of a mini-radiograph that can transmit image results directly to police HQ.

–World’s Finest Comics #239
When something extraterrestrial bores a mile-deep hole through the center of an old farmer’s property, leaving the farmer and his wife in a shell-shocked mania, Superman and Batman are on the case. After the farmer and his wife describe an alien abduction scene, complete with a UFO and little grey men that have stolen their horses and the water out of their pond, the locals go into a panic, begging Superman and Batman to help them defend against the alien threat. Gold of the Metal Men, being a UFO nut, joins the heroes. Superman leaves Earth to scour the far reaches of the galaxy for any clues. Meanwhile, Batman visits the farmer at the hospital, learning a big clue of his own. While rushing to the communications tower on nearby Mount Palador, Batman is forced off the road by laser-fire from an alien craft. Gold pulls a comatose Batman from the wreckage of the Batmobile and brings him to the hospital. After calling Superman home via the Palador radio, Gold meets with the Man of Steel. Knowing that the aliens are watching, Superman and Gold decide to enact a plan to fool them. At super-speed, Superman fake unplugs Batman’s life-line, replacing him with the inflatable Batman dummy. Within the very same second, Superman hurls Gold into outer space and moves the real Batman to the Fortress Solitude. From Earth’s orbit, Gold is able to jam the alien signal. Inside the Fortress of Solitude, Superman uses Kryptonian healing technology to cure Bruce’s brain damage and bring him out of his coma! Why has this never been used before?! Fanwank your reasons away, kids! Superman, Batman, and Gold are able to trace the aliens to a system billions of miles away. With Superman about to destroy the entire planet of Ulgor without even an attempt of diplomacy (!), Batman and Gold realize that the aliens aren’t evil at all. Writer Bob Haney then unbelievably out-Haneys himself, having Gold stretch himself into a long thin strip of metal that stretches for billions of miles, in mere minutes, all the way to distant Ulgor. Using Gold’s body as a communication device, Batman taps out a morse code message, telling Superman to stand down. Superman, finally acting with common sense for the first time in this story, convenes with the Ulgorians to learn that they are under threat of invasion from legit evil aliens from the planet Pyra. The “attack” on the farm was merely a test of their battle capabilities and the Ulgorians have already fixed everything they destroyed. After the Ulgorians bow to Superman, the Man of Steel helps them defend against the Pyrans. Superman then coils up the billions of miles’ worth of microscopically-thin coil that comprises Gold’s body before returning home. I know I’ve already said it about previous Haney stories, but the sheer ludicrousness here really takes the friggin’ cake. Good? Bad? We are beyond any normal terms like that. It’s simply Bob Haney—what else can I even say? Presumably, as referenced in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3, Batman orders a new Batmobile from Jack Edison, which he either already has ready-to-go or will deliver in the near future.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #240. Batman begins carrying some new high-tech items in his utility belt: a collapsable hang-glider that can be balled-up to the size of a baseball and wall-climbing suction cups for his feet. (He already has retractable wall-climbing suction cups for his hands that are hidden in his gloves.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #7. Technically, this isn’t a specific reference (and yet it also could be linked to many issues beyond just Batman Family #7). Just like in real life, House Representatives in US Congress must be re-elected every two years to continue serving. Since Babs will still be serving elected office (as seen in numerous future issues on our timeline), we must assume Babs is now re-elected. Yay! (Two years ago, Babs was elected during a special election in May. While it would make sense to have her re-election occur in November during normal election season, I’ve kept her re-election around May since her next election campaign—two years from now—will end in May as well. We just have to assume that certain Congressional elections are staggered in different seasons in the DCU. It’s not pretty, but what can you do, right?)

–Justice League of America #132-134
As seen in the Batman-less Justice League of America #131, super-villain Sonar spread a plague across America making it so that anyone that handled US paper currency went insane. Posing as a STAR Labs scientist, Sonar offered an immediate saving grace—a special credit system to replace the old US economy. The new STAR Labs credit system was initiated by Congress overnight, leading to the mass distribution of special credit cards for every US citizen. However, Sonar’s bogus credit cards, which were supposed to turn everyone into his slaves, went haywire and instead caused animals all over the world to go crazy. Cut to now, the JLA—sans Superman—defeats a swarm of Queen Bee’s bees, which have been affected by Sonar’s signal. Upon returning to the JL Satellite, the team is ambushed and taken-down by Sonar. Sonar monologues out-loud, revealing all the details of his botched plan to the JLA, who have actually faked being kayoed. Supergirl then smashes into the satellite, chases Sonar away, and tells everyone that Superman is missing. Soon after, in Washington DC, Batman, Green Arrow, and Hal Jordan take on a bunch of zoo animals and then capture Sonar. In Chicago, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, and Supergirl track down and bust Queen Bee. Aboard the JL Satellite, the heroes learn that Queen Bee actually hijacked Sonar’s credit cards to use for her own devious purposes, channelling his brainwashing from humans to animals. With the villains behind bars, the heroes turn to the other pressing issue of the moment—where in the world is the missing Man of Steel? Where, you ask? Seventy light years away, an unconscious Superman awakens on the peaceful planet of Sirkus, a guest of the cyclopian Sirkans, who wish him to join them in superhero cosplay! No sooner has Superman met his super-fans does Despero (!) appear on a television screen declaring that he has taken over the entire planet. Superman, along with some fake robot Justice Leaguers, take the fight to Despero, but they are defeated. Soon after, the last of an intergalactic race known as The Krill, Albon and Nordon, capture Despero, bringing him aboard their space station. Meanwhile, the real JLA, along with Supergirl, boards Hawkman’s ship and flies across the cosmos in an attempt to locate Superman. En route, Albon and Nordon kidnap all the heroes, bringing them too aboard their station. There, the Krill play with everyone like action figures, forcing the heroes to combat against Despero for their entertainment. Eventually, Supergirl verbally challenges the Krill and then defeats Despero all by herself, earning the freedom of the entire JLA.

–Batman Family #7
Batman receives word that Batgirl has been abducted, so he phones Dick. Dick is already in Washington DC to work the case, telling Bruce to stand down and that he will handle this one solo. Bruce agrees, but tells Dick that he must have a crush on Batgirl. Dick scoffs, citing that Batgirl must be “seven years older” than him. I’m not sure if this is deflection on the Boy Wonder’s part or if writer Elliot S! Maggin was trying to retcon Babs’ age here in an effort to make more sense of her many accomplishments achieved so young. (Babs is only three years older than Dick, if you were wondering.) Anyway, Robin works the case and follows the trail to the jungles of Mexico. There, Robin discovers that Batgirl is being held captive by husband-and-wife super-villain duo Sportsmaster and Huntress, who wish to test both Batgirl and Robin for their own entertainment. After capturing Robin too, the villains force the heroes to battle each other in a series of contests, including chariot racing, archery, fencing, gymnastics, and more. Robin and Batgirl realize that Sportsmaster and Huntress are merely using them to get a hidden treasure, so the heroes turn the tables on the villains and eventually bust them. The next day, Batman reads about the case in the newspaper.

–World’s Finest Comics #240
After Superman uses excessive force while busting a mentally-challenged sniper and then needlessly gets involved in a Middle Eastern war, which leads to casualties, the global court of public opinion turns against the Man of Steel. Batman visits Metropolis in an effort to chat with Superman, but while he’s there he runs across a tiny Van-Zee, who has left Kandor for unknown reasons. Van-Zee punches Batman and flies away. When Metropolis’ World Trade Center Tower catches fire, Batman helps rescue folks trapped in the building. Superman watches and yawns, unwilling to assist. Concerned, Batman breaks into the Fortress of Solitude (in ridiculous fashion, by freezing the giant keyhole lock). In the Fortress, Batman finds a Zirkonian cat loose from Superman’s interplanetary zoo. After putting the cat back in its cage, Batman shrinks himself down into Kandor. Batman spies on the Kandorian Science Council, learning that Superman recently took the throne of Kandor in order to stop a municipal civil war, after which the Man of Steel began having Jekyll and Hyde-like mood swings. Soon, the leader of the governing Science Countil, Dev-Re, allows Batman to attampt to figure out what is wrong with Superman, who is currently being held captive by the Kandorian government for his own (and everyone else’s) safety. After Superman escapes and causes massive earthquakes to occur all over the Earth, President Carter orders Batman to assassinate him! Batman, seeing no other option, agrees and preps for the killing by whipping up a special Kryptonite-based poison. Batman re-enters the Fortress and re-programs a decommissioned Superman Robot to infiltrate Kandor and replace the real thing. Batman is then attacked by Kandorian forces—another reprogrammed Superman Robot, a blue alien ape released from the interplanetary zoo, and a killer robot. Inside Kandor, the Kandorians see through Batman’s ruse and reprogram the reprogrammed Superman Robot to attack Batman. Besting one Superman Robot is tough enough, but the second one proves to be too much for a ray-gun-wielding Dark Knight. Batman is captured, but not before poisoning the real Superman to his ostensible death! Thankfully, some sci-fi hoodoo causes the poison, instead, to cancel-out the effects of the shrink ray, causing the Man of Steel to grow to regular size, crashing out of the Bottle City. The heroes they learn the cause of the Jekyll and Hyde thing: the Zirkonian cat, which has mutated into a sentient and telepathic talking super-villain kitty! Superman, back to normal, sends the kitty back to its home planet and then fixes the damaged Kandor.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #279. Due to massive municipal budget cuts, many of Gotham’s museums lose a lot of funding. One of the consequences of this is that many security guards get laid-off. Both Batman and Robin notice the negative effect of these lay-offs immediately.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #463. Batman begins studying new patterns of drug shipments that are coming into the US. He familiarizes himself with international air traffic control systems and the latest in international drug enforcement.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #280. Four top mobsters begin vying for control of Gotham’s underworld. Batman does his research on all four, including Big Jake Hackett and three unnamed others. Batman learns that Hackett, the biggest and baddest of the bunch, runs with top men Maxie Flack and Andy Novak while operating out of the seedy Lotusland Club.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #463-464, Batman #296, and Batman #298. Batman decides to recruit some new underworld informants. First, he forces small-timer Lonnie, who hangs around the seedy club known as The Purple Lion, to be a stoolie. Then he convinces sex worker Maria to become his pigeon as well. Batman does the same with Schemer Leo, Monk, Blinky, and Needles.

–Batman #279
Batman is called in by the new unnamed warden of the Gotham Maximum Security Prison to quell a riot. Batman re-cells all the inmates, but Riddler escapes. The next day, Dick pays Bruce a surprise visit from Husdon University. Together, they go out in search of Riddler, first tackling him at the Gotham Horological Society. After getting distracted by two fake Riddlers and a bunch of riddles, the real Riddler escapes capture. Later that night, the Dynamic Duo fights Riddler all over the Fair Harbor Yacht Club mansion. Riddler makes another clean getaway, leaving a live cobra in his wake. The normally animal-loving Batman uncharacteristically immediately screams in terror at Robin: “Kill it!—it’s poisonous!” Immediately thereafter, following a dead snake and another clue, the Dynamic Duo find themselves at the Gotham Museum of Art where they finally nab Riddler. The boys switch into tuxedos and rush back over to the Yacht Club gala in time to mix it up with some very sexy single ladies. Writer David Vern Reed does an interesting (i.e. ridiculous) job of depicting how Dick, now 20-years-old, has grown into adulthood. For example, while in combat, Dick monologues about his own bulk, often lifting his opponents high above his head into showy gorilla-press slams. Also, while macking-it with a young woman at the gala, Dick makes an eye-rolling very-blunt sexual pun about getting laid later in the night. Ummm… Dick is currently dating Lori Elton. What a heel!

–The Brave and The Bold #129-130
Oliver Queen purchases a historical statue that has brought bad luck to everyone that has ever owned it. Shortly after purchasing it, Ollie is mugged and robbed of the deed to the statue. Ollie chats with Batman about his purchase before heading off to England to pick it up himself. A few days later, Ollie has collected his statue and is flying home when an escaped Joker and Two-Face hijack the plane and redirect it to Pathanistan. Batman calls President Carter for help, but the POTUS tells him he can’t militarily intervene. In Pathanistan, Ollie learns that dictator General Mahmood Khan has hired the super-villains to steal the statue for him. Not only that, but Khan decides to imprison and put Ollie through a public show trial. (The Brave and The Bold #130 tells us that Ollie is imprisoned for weeks before his trial starts, but there’s really not strong indication of this in The Brave and The Bold #129, nor do I believe Batman would let Ollie rot in a cell for weeks. Thus, we can assume a mere couple days pass.) Batman enters Pathanistan and interrupts Ollie’s trial, demanding his release. The mad dictator allows Batman to compete in horseback ring-tilting quintain with Ollie’s life on the line. With the Atom’s secret help, a horseback-riding Batman threads the eye of the needle with his lance, saving Ollie’s life. The next night, Joker and Two-Face kidnap Batman and steal the statue, prompting Green Arrow and the Atom chase after them through mountainous desert terrain. After saving Batman’s life, the heroes join the Dark Knight in a battle against the villains. When Batman is seemingly killed in a rockslide, Green Arrow and Atom venture onward, getting captured by a bandit named Zardik. Green Arrow convinces Zardik to help him. They forge a new fake statue, which they replace with the real thing in the dead of night. Green Arrow and the Atom then escape from Zardik and his men by faking their own deaths. Batman, having discovered that the real statue is filled with gold, rejoins Green Arrow and the Atom. General Khan then steals the statue, but falls off a ravine (along with the statue) to his death. Batman, Green Arrow, and the Atom head home, laughing at the thought of Joker and Two-Face opening up their fake statue to find it empty and worthless. Joker and Two-Face wind up as broke as they started, but they do evade capture in this one, so I guess the joke is really on Batman and company!

–Batman #280
After some crooks surrender to Batman without putting up a fight, Batman and Commissioner Gordon realize that some top mob enforcer has put a crime-curfew on the city, which prevents organized gangsters from taking part in any illegal action during the one o’clock AM hour. The next night, Batman shakes-down Big Jake Hackett’s men, but it’s all a distraction as a rare coin collector is robbed across town. Not only that, but Batman has accidentally busted up one of Hackett’s legit fronts, prompting Hackett to press charges against him! The public goes into an uproar about the curfew-robbery and Batman’s actions. That night, one of Hackett’s top men, Andy Novak, flags-down Batman and, in an act of betrayal, tells the Caped Crusader that his boss is going to violate the curfew with another coin collection robbery. Batman busts the robbery, but, with the help of the GCPD Safe-and-Loft Squad, allows the news media to think that the heist has gone off without a hitch just like the last one. In the morning, Bruce meets with sexy numismatic expert Nola Roberts, who guides him in the direction of a possible third rare coin heist. There, Batman realizes the big scheme. The “victims” of the first two crimes are actually the baddies, both in-cahoots with Hackett, working together to steal the third set of coins. Batman busts both men, closing the case. Later, Bruce goes on a date with Nola.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #20 Part 1. The Wayne Foundation purchases some apartment buildings in the Grove Park neighborhood of Gotham, turning them into low income housing. Bruce sets-up the buildings under third party management.

–The Brave and The Bold #139
Early June. Batman saves Commissioner Gordon from assassination twice in less than a week, then nearly gets offed himself. Hawkman saves Batman, revealing that the would-be assassin is an intergalactic bounty hunter named Vorgan. Gordon breaks down and admits that he shot an alien dead and covered it up way back in 1939 when he was a rookie lieutenant straight out of the academy. (Yes, this comic reveals that Gordon is pushing sixty-years-old.) After Hawkman saves Gordon yet again, he begins a proper defense of the Commish with the Dark Knight. Gordon spies and overhears Vorgan talking to one of Gotham’s most famous citizens, the wealthy socialite Orson Delacorte. Gordon learns that the alien he killed in 1939, Laz, had helped Delacorte commit a series of crimes for the mob. Vorgan has finally come to Earth to avenge Laz’s death. Vorgan and Delacorte argue, causing the latter to pull a pistol. Gordon intervenes—as does an arriving Batman, having trailed a mob spy he recognized from his crime-files. A fight breaks out and Delacorte winds up dead by his own gun. As Batman and Hawkman stand before Vorgan to defend Gordon, the alien bounty hunter, impressed by Gordon’s valor, calls off the hit and leaves Earth.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #298. Bruce competes in Parkside Tennis Club’s Singles Cup Tournament. Naturally, Bruce wins the competition, particularly impressing an unnamed raven-haired female club member.

–Detective Comics #463-464
Batman fights some heroin dealers only to watch one of them get blown-up with a car bomb. Public Works Commissioner Arthur Reeves, who has kept his distance from Batman for the past two years after being humiliated by him on several occasions, finally has the cojones to return, once again giving the Dark Knight shit for his actions. Soon, Batman finds himself shaking-down drug dealer Doc Sugarman, during which a arachnid-costumed sniper—Black Spider—kills the dope-peddler. Batman confronts and fights Black Spider, who is responsible for the earlier car bomb. Black Spider tells Batman to join him in his crusade to murder all drug pushers. When Batman refuses, Black Spider knocks him out, leaving him for the police while framing him for Sugarman’s murder. (Black Spider is being funded by drug lord Hannibal Hardwicke, who is actually tricking him into bumping off competitors.) As dawn rises, Batman once again combats Black Spider, but can’t stop him from executing another drug dealer. Later, Batman confronts Black Spider for a third time. The new vigilante is trying to stop a drug shipment by blowing-up a subway car, innocent passengers be damned. Batman saves the subway from explosion and fends-off the dangerous Black Spider, who is presumed and reported dead. (He’s not.) This item is also shown via flashback from Batman #306 Part 1.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #8. Batman is interviewed and photographed by Gotham Magazine for an upcoming issue’s cover story. After wrapping-up, the producers and interviewers give Batman an early draft copy of the magazine, which is set for publication release in a month or two.

–Batman Family #8
Catwoman escapes from jail, prompting Batman to begin a manhunt for her. While unable to nab Catwoman, Batman—with Commissioner Gordon’s assistance—begins an unrelated job, attempting to bring down Motown Nathan’s illegal floating poker game. Meanwhile, Dick’s chemistry class at Hudson University is interrupted by the appearance of Catgirl, a knock-off Catwoman. She causes an explosion and then runs away. After Catgirl runs circles around Robin, Bruce reads about his ward’s troubles in the newspaper. After disguising himself as a crook in order to go undercover at Nathan’s poker game, Bruce takes a phone call from Dick. While on the phone, a Wayne Tower security guard enters the penthouse, thinking that the disguised Bruce is a thief. Bruce runs-off, but Robin mistakenly thinks Bruce has been abducted. Robin immediately heads for the airport, but again runs into Catgirl, who claims she is Catwoman’s daughter. Robin handcuffs her and hops on a plane bound for Gotham, which writer Bob Rozakis calls “The Big Apple.” Bob Haney also refers to Gotham as “The Big Apple” from time to time as well. I guess NYC is “The Little Apple” in the DCU! Robin meets with a concerned Alfred, who confirms that Bruce has been kidnapped. Robin scours the streets all night long, but can’t find hide nor hair of Bruce. The next night, Robin runs into Catgirl tussling with Catwoman’s henchmen at the Kit-Kat Club, the current site of Nathan’s poker game. Robin and Catgirl team-up to take down Catwoman’s henchmen, after which Robin unmasks Catgirl, revealing her to be Duela Dent aka Joker’s Daughter. (Duela Dent is a kooky character that has a penchant for pretending to be the daughter of famous Batman rogues just for kicks. She’s not actually the daughter of anyone famous—or, at least, we never learn who her true parents are in the Silver/Bronze Age.) Bruce, at the poker game, reveals himself and kills two birds with one stone—he busts Catwoman and shuts down the game. As referenced in Batman #324, Batman keeps Catwoman’s costume as a trophy.

–Detective Comics #465
Commissioner Gordon is kidnapped by gangsters that want Batman’s secret ID. As per their plan (concocted over a decade ago), Gordon tells them that Batman is real estate agent Neil Merrick. When one of the gangsters goes to Merrick Realty, Bruce’s secretary activates the camera, which trips a hidden alarm inside Bruce’s penthouse apartment. Using his informant Boards, Batman is able to ID Starkey Kell as the Merrick Realty visitor. After roaming across the city disguised as an ass-kicking old lady (Batman really does have fun with his getups, doesn’t he?), the Dark Knight pounces upon Kell and chases him to the location of a bound Commissioner Gordon. After freeing Gordon, Batman tells him they will have to set-up another elaborate plan, involving a new fake secret ID and false business front to replace the Merrick ruse. Batman leaves without ever doing so, meaning either they don’t come up with a new plan or they do it shortly thereafter. If it’s the former, thank god. If it’s the latter, who really cares—this will never come up again.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #281. Batman meets new GCPD Lieutenant Morehouse.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #138. Batman reads about the Scandinavian criminal cartel known as Kraken.

–DC Super-Stars #10
The husband-and-wife duo of Sportsmaster and Huntress decide to pit a team of superheroes versus a team of super-villains in a good old fashioned baseball game. But first they need to forcibly recruit teams. At a Wayne Foundation-sponsored pro bowling tournament in Gotham, Bruce, Ollie, and Dinah watch the players roll until they are interrupted by Joker and Matter Master! When the trio switches into combat gear to fight the bad guys, Sportsmaster and Huntress capture the whole bunch, heroes and villains alike. At a Metropolis charity tennis match featuring Superman playing against himself at super-speed, an escaped Lex Luthor, having stolen and reactivated Amazo, strikes. Just like at the bowling alley, Sportsmaster and Huntress capture all three. Next, at a UN-sponsored soccer match in Washington DC, Chronos and Weather Wizard wind up fighting Wonder Woman and Plastic Man. Sportsmaster and Huntress nab all four. At the empty Saratoga Race Track, Robin and Kid Flash chase after Tattooed Man and Dr. Polaris. When an escaped Felix Faust gets involved, Uncle Sam—having recently moved from Earth-X to Earth-1—appears as well! Sportsmaster and Huntress take the opportunity to abduct these last six folks for their American Pastime challenge. Huntress then “lures” 66,000 people into a stadium. With the threat of Huntress hurting the crowd looming large, the heroes are forced to comply with her wishes. Once nine full innings go by with a clear winner, only then will she release the audience. Uncle Sam and Amazo are made umpires and the ridiculous game begins! No powers allowed! Despite a ton of cheating by the villain team, the heroes manage to eke out an 11-10 victory, after which a bench-clearing brawl erupts between both sides. Amazingly, writer Bob Rozakis and editor Julius Schwartz include a complete play-by-play and box score sheet for this game in this issue! Batman goes 5 for 5 with 2 RBIs!

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #480. The JLA, fresh off their baseball victory, deactivates Amazo and encases him in a new reinforced display cocoon in the Hall of Trophies aboard the JL Satellite.

–Batman #281-283
Three Interpol-linked secret agents with whom Batman has worked before—Aldo Fondi, Nkuma Senghor, and Jorge Zamora—are murdered in Gotham. Soon after, Batman rescues Fondi’s fiancée, Pamela Drew, from some machine-gunning thugs. The Dark Knight takes Pamela to her place at a nearby marina only to find it swarming with more ruffians that are looking to snuff-out the poor gal. After busting up the bunch, Batman puts Pamela into protective police custody. Batman’s investigation points toward a globe-trotting adventure, so he charters one of Interpol’s private jets, which he will pilot himself. A worried Alfred makes Batman promise to wear a protective headgear while flying, so Batman agrees to wear a magnesium crash helmet. Batman flies to Budapest where he meets Fondi’s anti-communist pals, who tell him that Fondi had been helping plan Dr. Lucas Nagy’s Soviet defection before the good doctor went missing a couple months ago. The Hungarian Secret Police then enters and tries to detain Batman, but he takes them all down. Next stop: Senghor’s home of Burundi. There, Batman meets with Colonel Kafi, who points him in the direction of a Christian missionary in the savannah. After finding his way to a uranium/radium mining colony, a disguised Batman is knocked out by contract soldiers and thrown in a cell. After switching to Batman duds, the Caped Crusader escapes, destroys the mine’s uranium processing capabilities and then causes all the soldiers to get into a crash on a bridge that surely should have proven fatal to all of them, but oh well. I guess they survived. The clues next point to Zamora’s home of Panama. While flying there, Batman is attacked by stowaway killers, who shoot him in the head. Thankfully, his magnesium crash helmet saves his life and he is able to take his attackers down. Having a change of plans, Batman instinctively returns to Gotham to learn that the terrorist organization Omega, whom he has been battling for this entire arc, has threatened the city with the possibility of a nuclear detonation. Omega has ransomed the mayor for one billion dollars in gold. Batman realizes that Pamela is an agent of Omega and busts her and some of her crony buddies, rescuing from them a catatonic Dr. Nagy, who had been tortured for months by the terror cell. Batman swims into Gotham Harbor and boards Omega’s ship, soon finding himself in a psychedelic disorientation room, fighting against Omega soldiers in psychedelic-camouflaged bodysuits. After fighting his way to the leader of the organization, Batman realizes that Nagy never caved. Omega doesn’t actually have a bomb. In the vein of Borges’ Death and the Compass, Omega had been duping Batman into buying into a vast global conspiracy involving an elaborate plot to build a bomb when in fact there was never any bomb to begin with. The group, realizing the jig is up, scuttles the ship, which sinks to the bottom of the harbor. Case closed.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #263. Early July. Batman wasn’t involved, but “Crisis on Earth-S” has just occurred (as seen in Justice League of America #135-137). The JLA fills Batman in about what he missed. In Universe-S, the immortal King Kull attacked the Rock of Eternity, home to the wizard Shazam and other gods and godlike beings. With Earth-S’s main superhero team—The Marvel Family (Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr)—nullified, the JLA and JSA teamed up with another Earth-S team—Shazam’s Squadron of Justice (Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Ibis the Invincible, Mr. Scarlet, Pinky the Whiz Kid, and Spy Smasher)—to defeat a horde of villains from multiple Earths. Eventually, King Kull used Red Kryptonite to make Superman go crazy, prompting a fight between Captain Marvel and Superman! However, King Kull was defeated in the end. Not only does Batman learn all about the “Crisis on Earth-S,” but he also learns all about Earth-S in general, including the history of the Marvel Family, notably details about their rival Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

–Action Comics #466
Lex Luthor uses a combination of hypnosis and an age-reversing ray to turn Superman into a teenager! Luthor, as part of his master plan, then builds a teenage Flash android and a teenage Batboy android, releasing them in Central City and Gotham, respectively. Superboy, under hypnosis, recruits the patrolling androids, believing that Luthor has also used the age-reverser on his pals. As per his scheme, Luthor causes the disintegration of both his androids while fighting Superboy. Distraught and defeated, Superboy is able to shake off the effects of the hypnosis to realize what is going on. With the hypnosis broken, the age-reversing effect wears off too. Superman, back to his old adult self, kicks Luthor’s ass and sends him back to jail. The Man of Steel then catches-up with the real Batman and the real Flash aboard the JL Satellite.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #481. Superman shows Batman a brand new metallic element that he has created—the strongest metal on Earth, aptly named Supermanium! Superman tells Batman all about Supermanium.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #303 Part 2. Bruce reads the junk tabloid magazine Graphic, which he comes to regard with utter contempt, especially the articles by schlock journalist Marty Rail.

–World’s Finest Comics #241
July 7-21. NASA and Wayne Enterprises are set to launch the Aquarius I mission, which will see a manned-spacecraft (Aquarius I) fly to the edge of the galaxy. Bruce, having helped plan the mission, decides to join. Morgan Edge sends Clark Kent to join as well. After a week out into deep space, the crew gets a signal report that shows Earth has been completely obliterated. Superman flies back to the location of Earth and confirms that it is totally gone. Bruce and Clark then fake suicides in order to switch into superhero-mode aboard Aquarius I. Superman then builds an entire new planet with his own hands, dubbing it New Earth. On the new planet, the seven astronauts begin building homes and gardens. Batman does his best to encourage one of the female astronauts that they need to procreate for the good of humanity. Seriously. The astronauts quickly begin feuding with one another like Lord of the Flies, and when an alien lizard man shows up, they attack him. When a large cyclopian alien arrives, they allow the lizard man to go free in order to fight the monster for them. After the lizard man is killed, the astronauts put aside their differences and band together to defeat the cyclops. Everyone soon learns that the lizard man was none other than the man behind their mission, a disguised Dr. John Travis. The mission was designed not with deep space travel as its top priority, but as more of a social experiment. Travis had fooled the crew (including Superman) into believing the Earth was destroyed and then was studying them to see if they could keep humanity going in case of a legit apocalypse scenario. With Travis dead and his scheme exposed, Superman flies the now damaged Aquarius I ship back to Earth. Bruce and Clark then reappear and lie, saying they were part of the experiment the whole time, in order to protect their secret IDs. What happens to the whole new planet that Superman made? Presumably, he disassembles it.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #303 Part 2. July. Angus McKame drops dead of a heart attack while playing Bruce in a tennis match at the Parkside Tennis Club. Batman visits McKame’s mansion to find tabloid journalist Marty Rail digging around. However, Batman makes a mistake, letting Rail go and instead punching-out McKame’s adopted son Buzzy. Later, Batman goes to Rail’s apartment to find him fighting Buzzy. Rail accuses the late Angus of a fifty-year-old cold case murder in California, after which both men wind-up killing each other. Since Angus had done so much good charity work in his life following the murder (and since all parties involved are now dead), Batman decides that he won’t besmirch a legacy, keeping the truth from the police.

–Batman #304 Part 2
July. Bruce has his regular check-up with Dr. Douglas Dundee, during which some bullet-wounded crooks break-in and force Dr. Dundee to fix them up at gunpoint. After they leave, Bruce does some investigating and disguises himself as Dr. Dundee, ambushing and busting the crooks at their apartment. Thus, Dr. Dundee earns a reputation as someone not-to-be-fucked-with in the community.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #330. Batman busts Archie Skyler, who will wind up on Death Row.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #132. Bruce makes a business deal with reclusive Howard Hughes-esque Las Vegas-based billionaire Calvin Curtis, former partner of famous Mexican drug-lord Carlos Esteban. Completely unkempt and dressed like a hobo for their meeting, the infamous Curtis makes only a quick appearance, the first he’s made outside of his own home in years.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #242 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #242 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 #242, the Super-Sons continue their travels across the country, ending up in an deserted old ghost town out West. Only this ghost town ain’t so deserted—it’s filled with evil immortal cowboy and cowgals! After besting the bad folks and taking them out of town in a covered wagon, the boys discover that their opponents have turned into skeletons. Whatever had been keeping them immortal clicked-off the second they left the town. At one point in this tale, Batman Jr tells tale of a time that his dad “accidentally murdered” a sniper. This never actually happened outside the world of this sim. (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.)

[5]

–The Brave and The Bold #132
Eccentric Las Vegas billionaire Calvin Curtis dies, but his will goes missing, sparking national news headlines. Soon afterward, Batman interrupts a martial arts brawl in the park. After kung-fu master Richard Dragon takes down The Stylist, Batman takes on Dragon, fighting him to a stalemate. Dragon is then delivered an envelope containing a safety deposit box key and a quarter. The envelope is from an old bum that Dragon once saved and provided a bike tire pump to in Las Vegas a year ago. Batman believes that Curtis was really the bum and that Dragon must be the heir to his fortune. Later, Batman roughs up the Stylist, but lets him go since there’s nothing to hold him on. The next night, Batman and Commissioner Gordon try straight-up illegal entrapment in an attempt to goad the Stylist into committing a crime. Disguised as Dragon, Batman attempts to fight the Stylist, but the latter sees through the Dark Knight’s disguise and flees, assaulting a police officer as he does. Dragon and Batman—now with an international warrant in hand—chase the Stylist to Matanzas, Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula home of notorious drug-lord Carlos Esteban, who was once partnered with Curtis. After sneaking into Esteban’s compound, the heroes learn that Esteban had sent the Stylist to kill Dragon in order to steal away the inheritance that Curtis has indeed left to Dragon. The heroes put Esteban behind bars and chase the Stylist into the jungle where he dies in quicksand. A week later, Batman and Dragon go to a Las Vegas bank to open Curtis’ safety deposit box. To their surprise, Curtis has given all his money to charity. However, in the box is the bike tire pump that Dragon gave him a year ago.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #303 Part 1. Batman goes after crook Max Wedge, who evades captures and goes on the lam.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #472. Bruce becomes a big-time stockholder in a bunch of businesses, including comic book company DC Comics (!), information tech company NBM, and gas company Roxxon. Roxxon was originally created in 1974 by Steve Englehart in the pages of Marvel’s Captain America as the major petroleum conglomerate on Earth-616 (Marvel’s primary Earth). Englehart also wrote Roxxon as DC’s main energy conglomerate in the 70s as well! Later Marvel stories in the 2010s reveal Roxxon as having financial interests within the scope of the cosmic and multiversial, so it’s a distinct possibility that DC’s Roxxon and Marvel’s Roxxon are one and the same!

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 1. Batman shakes-down an illegal casino aboard a mob yacht and meets croupier Fast Eddie.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #292. Bruce befriends shipping magnate Stefan Niros and his wife Elena Niros.

–Justice League of America #138-139
After finishing monitor duty and tagging-in Flash, Batman (and Flash) are sent a message from Alanna Strange, who tells them that Adam Strange has been poisoned with Zeta Beam radiation and is trapped in the year 7250 CE! As such, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman travel to the 73rd century. There, they find a crazed and confused Adam Strange, who has caused massive destruction across the mega-city. (The majority of Earth’s population in 7250 lives in one single 100 square foot megalopolis.)  Even after teaming with a future Green Lantern, the super-powered heroes are defeated by Adam Strange, who causes a massive earthquake. Thankfully, Adam Strange’s radiation poisoning fades away, returning him to normal. The heroes then go home. However, upon arriving back in the 20th century, the heroes are invisible and unable to communicate with their fellow JLAers. Adam Strange arrives to illuminate, explaining that Kanjar Ro had poisoned him and has now caused the afflicted heroes’ conditions. Kanjar Ro—having taken dictatorial control of the future mega-city—then threatens the League from the 73rd century. Hal then uses his power ring to teleport the entire satellite to the 73rd century! The tangible heroes are quickly defeated by mind-controlled 73rd century super-warriors working for Kanjar Ro. Adam Strange is able to revert the phantom heroes back to normal, after which the JLA turns the tables and defeats Kanjar Ro’s crew. Adam Strange then exposes and busts the future Green Lantern, revealing him as a disguised Kanjar Ro. The 20th century heroes, with their mission a success, return home only to find more trouble. Members of the underground Secret Society of Super-Villains—Captain Cold, The Icicle (visiting from Earth-2), Minister Blizzard, and Shadow Thief—have turned Ecuador into an frozen tundra. (Note that writer Steve Englehart pens a more utopian version of late 1970s Ecuador than actually existed in real life. In the DCU, Ecuador is a peaceful democracy whereas in reality, Ecuador, in 1978, would have been in the midst of great civil unrest with a nationalist military junta in power. Also note that the Secret Society is led by Funky Flashman, who is secretly an agent of Darkseid. And the Secret Society itself is legitimately secret—the heroes don’t know about it yet!) While on half of the JLA helps-out in Ecuador, the other half the JLA nabs the icy baddies in Gotham. When Shadow Thief attempts to rescue his pals, the JLA intervenes. Phantom Stranger arrives just in the nick of time to bust Shadow Thief. With the villains behind bars, Ecuador returns to its correct climate. The heroes celebrate with the Ecuadorian president, but they still don’t know about the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

–World’s Finest Comics #243
An archeologist named Dr. Bazraki appeals to the Wayne Foundation for help with a dig in North Africa. The famed Colossi of Maheps, giant ancient stone statues, have been exposed but are now being threatened by rising floodwaters created by a new dam. Batman asks Superman for help, but he’s too busy. Thus, Bruce funds the raising-up of the Colossi of Maheps to a higher elevation. After they have been raised-up, Bruce and Dick tour the site and celebrate with archeologists and locals. At night, two super-powered bedouins attack the camp, besting Batman and Robin and moving the statues back to their original location. The next morning, Superman moves them back to higher ground. After night falls, Superman confronts the bedouins, who fight him and reveal themselves as aliens from a group known as The Twelve Immortals. After the two Immortals kidnap Robin, Superman visits their asteroid home-world of Cy-Tor (near Pluto), learning that the Immortals long ago put the Colossi statues on Earth. The statues keep Cy-Tor’s gravitational field stabilized, thus providing the reason the they need them kept in place. With Robin placed in a floating cell that is designed to explode if any space debris touches it, Superman is forced to stand guard over Robin 24-7. Robin deduces that the Immortals used to live on Earth one million years ago, but migrated to Cy-Tor when they mistakenly thought that Earth’s atmosphere had become toxic to their species. Still unable to leave Robin’s side, Superman uses long-range heat vision to etch a message to Batman, partially filling him in on the details. Batman is able to crack the oxygen mask of one of the Immortals to convince him that Earth’s atmosphere is breathable to them. With Robin set free, Superman returns to Earth and builds a permanent “Shangri-La” settlement for the Twelve Immortals in a hidden valley.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #286. Joker steals $70,000. Batman nabs him, but the money is not recovered. Joker is then fast-tracked through Gotham’s legal system and put on trial for his most recent crimes. Harrison Steakbury is Joker’s public defender. Batman is on-hand for the trial, which sees Joker sentenced to a long stint in Arkham Asylum.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #249. Bruce reads about the seafaring Frenchman, Captain Kalamari, environmental champion of the world’s oceans.

–The Brave and The Bold #133
Batman and Commissioner Gordon take on some drug smugglers. During their extensive operation, Batman deduces that ol’ timer Achille Lazlo is back in action, sending skag across the Atlantic from his European lair. After concocting a rather sinister scheme, Batman then contacts Deadman via newspaper ad, recruiting him to help out with it. On the Dark Knight’s orders, Commissioner Gordon has some undercover men swap-out heroin with sugar in order to make Lazlo look bad. Then, a couple days later, on Batman’s orders, Deadman takes over Lazlo’s bodyguard and haunts Lazlo with some of his past misdeeds—specifically murdering the former leader of the drug combine, Turk Bannion. A spooked Lazlo freaks-out and shoots his own bodyguard dead! Batman and Gordon then interrupt one of Lazlo’s drug drops, getting involved in a violent shootout with helicopters, military planes, and an exploding minefield. Deadman, meanwhile, continues to make Lazlo look bad in front of his Stateside conspirators, who have already lost faith in him due to the high-profile shootout. As an expected result, a week later, the combine puts Lazlo on trial for his recent failures. While Deadman once again hops in someone’s body to ensure bad news for Lazlo during the trial, Batman boards the ship upon which the trial is being held and un-anchors it, causing it to drift from international waters back into US territory where Gordon and his men are happily waiting to make many busts. Meanwhile, Lazlo escapes on an old boat, but crashes into a reef. Haunted by the actual spirit of Bannion, Lazlo drowns.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #473. Bruce hires a finance expert named Broome to be a part of Wayne Enterprises’ security exchange. Bruce will come to quickly regard Broome as a decent, honest, and hardworking employee.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Batman goes on an unspecified adventure and collects what appears to be a strange alien-looking chiminea.

–Batman #286
Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum, taking his therapist as hostage in order to do so. Joker then horrifically uses a new special Joker Venom to shrink down the shrink (get it?), leaving him tiny and dead with a rictus grin on his face. Meanwhile, the world’s most notorious international fence Pierre Frage enters Gotham. Robin joins Batman in Gotham to hunt for Joker and Frage. At Gotham’s answer to Coney Island, Batman chases Joker into a Tunnel of Love ride. Once the Dark Knight closes within striking, he realizes “Joker” is actually Joker’s most recent defense lawyer, Harrison Steakbury, who has disguised himself as the villain in an attempt to hide from the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman realizes that Joker had left Steakbury the missing loot from his most recent robbery, so Batman leaves Steakbury for Commissioner Gordon and his men, who are currently scouring the carnival grounds for Frage. (Steakbury has just fenced the dirty money with Frage for some jewels.) When one of the rides catches fire, Batman saves a little girl. He then turns his attention towards Frage, busting him on the beach with Robin. With the money recovered, Batman and Robin meet back up with Gordon, who reveals that Steakbury was released due to circumstantial evidence. Batman realizes that a double-fake-out has been played upon him. He finds Joker, who claims to be Steakbury, but he ain’t foolin’ no one anymore. Batman chases Joker into a hall of mirrors and arrests him.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #175. Superman tells Batman all about a new super-villain he has just recently encountered—the second Metallo (Roger Corben), brother of the now-deceased original Metallo.

–World’s Finest Comics #244
Batman busts mobster Michael Staziak, who is fast-tracked through Gotham’s legal system. At trial, the slippery Staziak walks due to lack of evidence. On the court room steps, he drops dead, shot with an invisible bullet. After reading reports that two other mobsters from the same syndicate have died the same way, Batman calls in Superman for a super-autopsy on Staziak, which determines the strange nature of the fatality. Batman and Superman interrupt a syndicate war conference, telling them to cool their jets before retaliating against their rivals. The heroes tell the syndicate stooges they will find the killer or killers in three days’ time. Batman, Superman, and Commissioner Gordon study FBI films of the deceased men, finding that Superman is in the background of their most recent surveillance reels. Superman denies having been near the men, but Gordon immediately accuses him of murder. When the film somehow is leaked to the press, Superman voluntarily turns himself into police custody. Batman scours the city for clues, but comes up empty. The next day, Bruce meets with an off-kilter energy magnate, who purchases a special alloy from Wayne Enterprises to start building a solar power grid in Arizona. Meanwhile, Superman sneaks-out of jail, re-activates a Superman Robot, and does a switcheroo. Superman and Batman trail the strange alloy-purchaser, who teleports to his power station Arizona. Inside the station, the magnate approaches the heroes, revealing himself as Robespierre Two, a time-traveler from the 23rd century! Robespierre explains that Earth, in his time, has been ravaged by global climate change and the brutality of widespread fascism. Rebels, now exiled to satellites in outer space, decided to put humanity out of its own misery by eliminating those responsible for the anthropogenic environmental destruction and initial decline of civilization: the Baby Boomer generation! Upon arrival in the 20th century, Robespierre killed the three gangsters as a means of testing his invisible laser beam, which he plans to utilize as a mass-genocide weapon once it is fully charged by rays from the red star Betelgeuse. Eventually, Superman flies into space and blocks Betelgeuse’s rays from reaching Earth. Robespierre, who runs out of time and energy, fades back to the 23rd century, failing in his mission. Humanity is saved today, but doomed in the future. Thanks, Baby Boomers.

–The Brave and the Bold #134
When the US Government hears about a new torture method invented by the sadistic Soviet military official Colonel Miklos Vakla, they recruit Batman and Hal Jordan to enter into a spy game. The plan is that Hal will publicly defect to the Soviet Union, after which Batman will get captured in a “botched” rescue. Badass Batman will undergo Vakla’s torture session in order to see what it’s all about and learn ways of defending against it. Soon after, the plan goes into effect. Batman is captured and brought before Green Lantern, who, despite his defection, has been rotting in a prison cell for days thanks to Vakla, who didn’t trust Hal’s betrayal to begin with. Then the torture begins. The Dark Knight is placed into an underwater sensory deprivation tank. After several days in the tank, Batman starts to lose his mind, clinging onto his sanity by repeating the word “Joe Chill” over and over. Next, Batman is strapped into a spinning chair and bombarded with overwhelming psychedelic imagery for hours. On the verge of actually suffering permanent mental damage, the beaten and broken-down Batman begs for mercy, which Vakla says he will grant if he shoots Hal to death. Batman, knowing that blanks must be in the chamber, pulls the trigger. Hamming it up, a weeping Caped Crusader collapses at Vakla’s feet. Hal admits defeat as well, revealing the entire scheme. Able to steal back his power ring, Hal snatches-up Batman and escapes with him in tow. At the border, the heroes fend-off a chasing Vakla to get back safely to the West. Batman reports the details of his torture session to the Pentagon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #296. October. Bruce, as one of the directors of Gotham City National Bank, is notified that the State Turnpike bonds have been stolen from the main branch. After a cursory investigation, Batman is unable to locate them.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Batman encounters crook Chalkie Gans, who evades capture by getting face-altering plastic surgery from Gorilla Boss’ old pal Doc Willard.

–Justice League of America #140-142
Hal Jordan calls an emergency JLA meeting, but says they must meet somewhere on Earth. Batman tells everyone to meet at his penthouse. Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hal arrive first only to be attacked and knocked unconscious by a new Manhunter (Mark Shaw). Batman arrives to confront Manhunter, who reveals that the previous Manhunter (Paul Kirk) is dead. Shaw dispatches with Batman, but flees with the unconscious trio when he sees Superman and Wonder Woman arriving. At a hidden fortress in Nepal, Shaw delivers his quarry to his boss, the Manhunter Grandmaster of Earth. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash attempt to rescue their kidnapped pals, taking the Grandmaster head-on in the Himalayas. After besting the Grandmaster, the heroes free the rest of the JLA. Hall then spills some serious beans, which he had planned to spill at the meeting earlier. Hal tells all that he accidentally destroyed the entire planet of Orinda, killing millions, while trying to contain raging magnetic energy waves coming off of a nearby moon. As a result, The Manhunters—an intergalactic police force locally run by the Grandmaster (with Shaw as a top agent)—have come to Earth to arrest him. (There are many Grandmasters, one of the highest ranking positions that can be bestowed upon a Manhunter. This happens to be the Grandmaster stationed to Earth.) Superman asks the Grandmaster if the JLA can conduct their own investigation, which the Grandmaster allows. After cobbling together a spaceship, the JLA departs to the location of Orinda at the other end of the universe. Upon visiting a neighboring planet, the heroes find the locals roughing up a Guardian of the Universe! After the JLA saves the Guardian, the planet’s governor, Tozad, tells the heroes that he personally called for the Manhunters to hunt down Hal after his act of planetary genocide. The JLA, along with Tozad and the Guardian, visits the magnetic moon to find a giant space monster. Batman not only saves the day with the monster by realizing that it isn’t real. In the process, the Dark Knight also realizes that Orinda has merely turned invisible. Tozad, responsible for the manipulations, is exposed as a Manhunter agent by the Guardian. Before fleeing, Tozad admits that the Manhunters framed Hal in order besmirch their intergalactic police force rivals, the Green Lantern Corps. Back on Earth, another Guardian frees Hal from captivity. Soon after, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Hal take down Shaw. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Flash arrive back onboard the JL Satellite only to be put into a death trap by the Grandmaster. They escape with help from the Dharlu, the alien being merged with the satellite computer. On the red moon in deep space, the Guardian tells Batman and Superman the sordid history of the Manhunters. Long before the GLC, the android Manhunters were the Guardians’ first attempt at creating a space police force. After the Manhunter venture failed horribly, the Guardians exiled the Manhunters. Now, over one thousand years later, the Manhunters have returned for revenge against the Guardians and their new group, the GLC. Batman and Superman then charge onto Orinda, which they also learn is the HQ of the Manhunters. The World’s Finest kicks serious ass until a Manhunter wearing a Kryptonite suit of armor enters the fray. On Earth, Wonder Woman and Flash join Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hal to fight against a resurgent Shaw, now joined by his fellow human predecessor, the grizzled old Manhunter-Prime. The five heroes defeat the Manhunters and catch the Grandmaster by surprise. Across the cosmos, Batman single-handedly defeats dozens of Manhunters and returns visibility to Orinda. The leader of all Manhunters, Manhunter Highmaster, sends out a universal message signaling their defeat. Angered and feeling like he’s been on the wrong side the whole time, Shaw attacks the Grandmaster, punching him until he explodes! Hours later, having reassembled on the satellite, the Guardians reveal more details about the Manhunters and Shaw tells everyone his story. He says that he was played for a fool, but will remain a superhero. After the Guardians and Shaw all leave, Hal reports that Aquaman, Elongated Man, and the Atom have gone missing! Before the heroes tackle this new problem, Green Arrow pulls Superman and Flash aside for a private conversation. Wearing sexism on his sleeve, Ollie tells the Man of Steel that Wonder Woman needs to be kicked off the team due to her condescending attitude. Green Arrow goes so far as to call her “nasty” and a “razor-tongued witch!” Jesus. Superman soon finds Aquaman and Elongated Man in Miami, having just defended the city against the hench-robots of the evil super-robot known as The Construct. The Atom, after defeating the Construct itself along with help from Willow, soon rejoins his teammates aboard the satellite. Willow—aka Mantis, Lorelei, and The Celestial Madonna—hails from Marvel’s primary Earth (Earth-616).[6]

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #143. The US Government gives the JLA a direct connection to The Button, linking its American Defense Command directly to the JL Satellite. The heroes now have been trusted with all of America’s nuclear arsenal!

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #152. The US Government creates a new top secret position, official liaison between the government and the JLA. This newly appointed unnamed JLA liaison will be able to confirm the validity of every US secret agent in the field (if there is ever any doubt).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #471. Bruce meets and befriends wealthy socialite Jerry Robinson. Robinson tells Bruce about Graytowers, an exclusive “no questions asked” Gotham clinic, specially tailored to financial elites. While not seen on our timeline, Bruce will hang out with Jerry from time to time, moving forward.

–Justice League of America #143
Superman meets with Wonder Woman to talk to her about her “edgy” behavior as of late. Wonder Woman responds to Superman’s sexist commentary by dropping some harsh pipe-bombs of truth. Amazingly, she calls Green Arrow a “loud-mouthed know-it-all” and Flash a “closet male chauvinist!” Superman obtusely responds, “Oh, so it’s a women’s lib thing,” to which Diana angrily replies by saying that the men on the team all treat her like Snapper Carr! Diana then quits! Back in New York, Wonder Woman breaks-up a heist job by an escaped Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. When Mark Shaw (now going by the name of The Privateer) tries to bust the baddies, he gets in Wonder Woman’s way, thus accidentally allowing the crooks to escape. Aboard the JL Satellite, the rest of the team learns about Wonder Woman quitting. Batman angrily accuses Ollie of bullying her off the team, after which Batman and Green Arrow nearly come to blows. Green Arrow and Flash then quit the team as well! In Manhattan, Wonder Woman gets a meal with the Privateer, but wigs-out and flips the table in a fit of rage. Her mind possessed by the Construct, Wonder Woman flees to the old Injustice Gang satellite. (The Construct calls himself “The Construct II,” but Red Tornado #1 confirms that this is the same Construct as the first one. The vile AI must simply mean “Construct 2.0,” in reference to his second strike against the heroes.) Wonder Woman had gotten so legitimately angry, her guard dropped, allowing Construct II to mentally-control her. Aboard the bad guy satellite, the Construct assembles a mind-controlled Injustice Gang (Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Mirror Master, Chronos, and Tattooed Man), plus the evil Wonder Woman. Across the United States, the heroes are attacked by Injustice Gang members. Wonder Woman boars the JL Satellite and attacks Superman! The rest of the JLA (plus Hawkgirl) put aside their differences and crash into the Injustice Gang Satellite, defeating the villains. The members who had quit earlier are back on the team just like that.  (The scene of the team fighting the Injustice Gang here is also shown via flashback from Red Tornado #1.) The evil satellite explodes, taking out the new Construct with it. In the JL Satellite, Wonder Woman, sobbing, comes back to her senses and collapses into Superman’s arms. She’ll stay on the team after all as well.

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular 1978) Part 3. Bruce meets and befriends Bernie Sorrel, Gotham City’s Special Prosecutor against mob-related activity. Bruce and Bernie will hang out from time-to-time, moving forward.

–DC Special #28 Part 1
New super-villain Quakemaster challenges Batman by causing massive earthquakes to occur all over Gotham. After one of the Batmobiles is wrecked and all the computers in the Batcave are ruined, Batman scours his old analog crime-files to discover the secret ID of the new baddie, a disgruntled architect named Robert Coleman. Batman then easily busts Quakemaster. We can presume that, following this case, Batman and Alfred fix-up all the damages to Wayne Manor, the Batcave, the penthouse, and any other Wayne-owned properties. We can also assume, as referenced in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3, that Batman orders a new Batmobile from Jack Edison, which he either already has ready-to-go or will deliver in the near future.

–World’s Finest Comics #245
Martian Manhunter’s biggest rival, fellow Martian N’or Cott, attempts to kill J’onn, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl with a bomb, but fails. While Batman trails N’or Cott on Earth, Superman and J’onn travel to New Mars (aka Mars II) to find warmongering Martian leader R’es Eda stirring up trouble. Thanks to a smear campaign and some trickery, J’onn has been branded an outlaw and exiled so that Re’s Eda can march his troops upon the last remaining native Vonnian city on New Mars, Baltaz. The Martian army chases-off Superman and J’onn. After a two-day search, Batman finds N’or Cott, who has contracted a Vonnian disease. All the Martians marching upon Baltaz will capture the disease too unless they are stopped. On New Mars, Superman and J’onn meet with the political council of Baltaz, stop a panicked Vonnian elder from self-destructing the city, and then re-confront the Martian army once again. Batman and N’or Cott arrive just in time to halt the attack upon the defenseless city. With his dying breath, N’or Cott fingers R’es Eda as a megalomaniac psychopath. R’es Eda is arrested and J’onn takes his place as rightful ruler of New Mars!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #298-299. Bruce meets and befriends wealthy socialite playboy Baxter Baines. Baines takes Bruce for a flight in his single engine plane. Bruce and Baines will go on leisure flights from time-to-time, moving forward. Baines also talks to Bruce about his famous bucket list, which includes various achieving various Wall Street goals, inventing new technology, and completing in extreme sports. Bruce will follow Baines’ “bucket list career” closely, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #1 (5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular 1977) Part 5 and The Brave and The Bold #144. Batman adds infra-red film to the mini-spy camera in his utility belt. He also adds a special intra-red viewfinder to his utility belt as well.

–Action Comics #473
One of the deadliest Kryptonian criminals in the Phantom Zone, Faora Hu-Ul, brainwashes an innocent human named Jackson Porter to help her lead a mass Phantom Zone breakout. She escapes along with Zod, Jax-Ur, Kru-El, Va-Kox, and others. Faora single-handedly defeats Superman and begins sending as many humans as she can into the Phantom Zone. Likewise, Faora sends the entire Justice League and all the Kandorians into the Phantom Zone. A disguised Superman finds the sci-fi device that Faora used to free herself and her comrades, switching it into reverse mode. Superman then unmasks and kicks the asses of all the male Phantom Zoners. Once again, however, Faora proves that she is the superior fighter, besting Superman. Luckily, the device kicks-in, returning the baddies back to the Phantom Zone while bringing everyone else back out. The heroes celebrate their victory inside the Fortress of Solitude and oddly send the still-brainwashed Porter to haunt Faora for all eternity in the Phantom Zone.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #142. Batman investigates Digger Fallon, owner of a rip-off travel agency that runs sleazy tours and works in conjunction with flea-bag hotels. Batman doesn’t think much of Fallon or his business, but thinks that he’s harmless enough.

–DC Special Series #1 (5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular 1977) Part 5
On a quiet night, Bruce stays in and watches a late night movie. The next night, Batman busts some members of terror organization known as the Kobra Cult, who attempt to rob a post office of a letter addressed to Bruce Wayne. Back home, Bruce and Alfred read the letter, sent to him from Jason Burr, who was trying to connect with Batman through Bruce. Jason, in the letter, explains that his twin brother Jeffrey Franklin Burr is the aptly named Kobra, leader of the vile Kobra Cult. The clues in Jason’s letter take Batman to Rā’s al Ghūl’s old mountain fortress in the Swiss Alps, which has now been taken over by Kobra. Batman battles his way inside, but soon finds himself strung up with Jason over an open Lazarus Pit. Kobra himself, along with a his brother’s brainwashed girlfriend Melissa McNeil, addresses the captives, telling them of his plot for world domination. Batman and Jason then escape. While Batman fights Kobra, Jason flees with Melissa, who—still under the cult’s spell—stabs her own boyfriend to death! Kobra then escapes. Batman vows to avenge Jason’s death.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #299. Batman busts three random unnamed crooks.

–The Brave and The Bold #135-136
Ruby Ryder has gotten out of jail thanks to appeals and the work of her shady high-priced lawyers. Back atop her corporate throne, Ruby attempts to dig up a one-hundred-year-old time capsule belonging to now-deceased scientist Thaddeus Morgan. The capsule is located on the edge of a property she owns that also borders a Bruce Wayne-owned property. Bruce decides that they’ll dig it up together, but brings along the Metal Men to do the job. Upon unearthing the capsule, two hulking brutes emerge claiming to be the sole son and heir of Thaddeus Morgan, Jason Morgan. One of Jasons dispatches with the Metal Men and kidnaps Ruby. Batman and the Metal Men take down the other, bringing him to Dr. Will Magnus, with whom the Metal Men have recently rediscovered and reconnected. Magnus reveals that the hulk-man is actually a recently created cyborg! The cyborg comes back to life and tries to smash his way out of Magnus’ lab, but he’s subdued once again and shut down permanently. Batman then goes to investigate Ruby’s penthouse only to find her in flagrante delicto with the the cyborg that “kidnapped” her. Peeping-tom Batman watches in stunned silence as Ruby gets it on with Jason! Later that night, after having left Tin as a lookout, Bruce tries to sleep, but he has jealous sexual dreams of Ruby with Jason! When Ruby and Jason take down Tin, Batman chases after them. Batman and Commissioner Gordon find the duo at a courthouse, standing before a judge. The judge declares that Jason is the legal heir to the properties previously owned by his “father” Thaddeus. The judge also issues a restraining order, preventing Batman or the Metal Men from coming near Ruby or Jason. Back at Magnus’ lab, the doc reveals new findings—that Ruby’s cyborg Jason had been placed into the capsule, and that the original Jason (the cyborg in their custody, who is Thaddeus’ actual “son”) had escaped the capsule prior to that only to fall into an inert state a few layers below the sediment. Trickery is afoot. The next day, Bruce wakes up to find that Ruby and her Jason are in charge of the Wayne Foundation tower, which was originally build on Thaddeus’ land, meaning that Jason now legally owns it. Okay, sure (eyes rolling hard here). Batman later sneaks into his own building, but gets nabbed by a giant robot snake (Ruby’s security guard). Batman escapes with some help from Green Arrow. Later, Green Arrow meets with Ruby, posing as an excavator that wants to help dig-up more of Thaddeus’ treasures. Green Arrow, during the dig, spends the next few days seducing Ruby away from her cyborg lover. Ruby and Green Arrow unearth a Civil War-era robot, which goes out-of-control and begins shelling Ruby’s tower with artillery fire. In the chaos, Ruby’s Jason cyborg dies saving her life. The heroes find legal documentation stating that Thaddeus was insane, meaning that his will is invalid, meaning further that Bruce gets his property back from Ruby.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #457. November 26. Batman, as he does every year, goes to visit Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley to honor the anniversary of his parents’ deaths.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Society of Super-Villains #7 and DC Special Series #6 (Secret Society of Super-Villains Special 1977). Captain Comet (Adam Blake) exposes the existence of the Secret Society of Super-Villains to the world. Captain Comet, a former member of the Secret Society, tells all to the Justice League. Comet reveals some of the Secret Society’s key members, including Funky Flashman, Sinestro, Gorilla Grodd, and Earth-2’s Wizard. (The Wizard has been commuting back-and-forth between Earths recently.) The JLA makes Captain Comet an “honorary member” and gives him teleporter access and a JLA communicator.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #248 Part 2. Batman donates a spare costume to a new Star City superhero museum run by the Star City Police Department‘s Detective Mack Morgan.

–Justice League of America #145-146
The sorcerer Count Crystal summons the demon Azgore, which gives him the power to infiltrate the JL Satellite and murder Superman! Meanwhile, Hawkgirl complains to Black Canary about not being in the JLA. It’s bullshit, right? Soon after, Phantom Stranger assembles Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, and Black Canary to perform a seance. After communicating with Superman’s ghost, the heroes go after Crystal in good ol’ Rutland, Vermont! There, the heroes greet Tom Fagan before Phantom Stranger guides them into Crystal’s psyche, which appears to them as the twisted “Carnival of Souls.” After barely surviving a rollercoaster of death, the JLA fights a demon, but Phantom Stranger is killed. Azgore is able to prevent Superman’s spirit from moving into the afterlife, instead bringing him to a demonic dimension with plans of devouring him. Phantom Stranger (now a spirit as well) rescues Superman. Crystal kidnaps Hawkgirl in an attempt to make her his lover, but she kicks his ass. An angry Hawkman charges at Crystal, but he gets killed too! An angry Azgore, having been unable to harvest any souls, kills Crystal, ending his threat. Phantom Stranger then uses the full breadth of his powers to resurrect himself, Superman, and Hawkman from the grave! (Phantom Stranger, who has been an “unofficial” JLA member for two years now, finally verbally acknowledges that he is a real member of the team—which is very awesome.) As the heroes celebrate their victory, a revived Red Tornado emerges from the brambles as well! Red Tornado claims that he was also able to return thanks to Phantom Stranger’s magick. The team is skeptical of Red Tornado’s return, fearing it might be some trick by TO Morrow or something. Sure enough, simple interrogation reveals that the Construct (version 3.0) is back, controlling Red Tornado’s empty husk. The JLA fights the fake Red Tornado, forcing the Construct out of his body and into hiding. The JLA splits up to search for the Construct—with half the team going to Atlantis and the other going to Themyscira. Soon, the team reassembles in an underground bunker beneath the World Trade Center in New York City, exposing it as the Construct’s secret lair! There, they find the Construct, but his body too is an empty shell. Plus, all his hench-robots are inactive. Meanwhile, a tiny spark of energy rekindled within Red Tornado’s body brings him back to life for real! Leading the team into battle, Red Tornado defeats the Construct in Metropolis. After the case wraps, the JLA elects Red Tornado back onto the team. And, for the first time ever, the JLA abandons one of its outdated bylaws and officially votes Hawkgirl onto the team! Woo-hoo!

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #261 Part 4. A random panel shows the JLA going into unspecified action with its newest member, Hawkgirl.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #248 Part 1. Bruce learns that the King of Moldacia has died, leaving Princess Portia (aka Bruce’s former fiancée Julie Madison) as the new ruling monarch of Moldacia.

–Secret Society of Super-Villains #7
Recently, Captain Comet exposed the existence of the Secret Society of Super-Villains to the world. Lex Luthor and Copperhead, angry that they hadn’t been invited, now crash their way into the Sinister Citadel, the San Francisco HQ of the Secret Society. Luthor tosses aside Earth-2’s Wizard and usurps leadership of the group from Funky Flashman! In his first act as leader, Luthor tells Flashman to bring in new occult muscle, namely Felix Faust and Matter Master. Soon after, Faust, Matter Master, and Wizard interrupt the filming of the latest Superman film, starring actor Gregory Reed, in Japan. Meanwhile, Batman relieves Hawkman of JL Satellite monitor duty. (Hawkman had invited Hawkgirl and Captain Comet to hang out with him during his shift.) Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Captain Comet, and the fake Superman soon fight the magick users in Japan, easily defeating them. In San Francisco, Flashman turns the tables on Luthor by calling the cops on him! Luthor is embarrassingly arrested by the San Francisco Police Department while walking down the street. Flashman reassumes leadership of his team.

–DC Special Series #6 (Secret Society of Super-Villains Special 1977)
Believe it or not, Funky Flashman, who thinks murder is morally wrong, has kept the Secret Society of Super-Villains non-lethal for their entire existence. Kill-starved embers of the group—specifically Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, the new Star Sapphire (Remoni-Notra), Angle Man, Poison Ivy, and Bizarro Number One—have had enough. They gang-up on Flashman and kick him out of the team! Flashman immediately goes to Captain Comet to rat on his former friends. In Gotham, Batman meets with an informer and busts up a robbery attempt. In Gotham Park, Batman is ambushed by five members of the Secret Society. The Caped Crusader is overwhelmed, poisoned by Poison Ivy’s kiss, and put into a death-like trance by Angle Man. In Star City, the Secret Society takes down Hal Jordan, putting him into the trance as well. Similarly, they best Wonder Woman in Manhattan and pummel Flash in Central City. The Secret Society is then able to infiltrate the Fortress of Solitude. Captain Comet comes to Superman’s aid against the villains, helping bust them all, except Grodd, who manages to escape somehow. (This fight is also shown via flashback from Secret Society of Super-Villains #11, but there must have been a mega editorial mis-communication here since the flashback shows the downed JLAers involved in this fight! Wrong, wrong, wrong.) Using Angle Man’s “Angler” device, Superman and Captain Comet are able to revive their friends. Captain Comet also uses his telepathy to mind-wipe the villains, removing any details about their secret IDs that might have been discovered.

[7]

–The Brave and The Bold #138
When Batman’s friend Steve Lang goes missing while studying Trond-Hag, an active volcano near the Arctic, Batman calls Superman for help. Superman is busy, but he helps Batman contact Mr. Miracle. The duo meets with the CIA to gets background information for the rescue mission, researches the history of the dangerous volcano, and then travels there in search of Lang. After navigating deep into the caverns, the heroes are attacked by Mr. Miracle’s top rival, the French escapist Cosimo, who has booby-trapped the surrounding corridors. Cosimo captures Batman and Mr. Miracle, stripping the latter down to his undies. Despite their precarious situation, the heroes escape and defeat Cosimo, taking a catatonic Lang with them as they attempt to flee from Trond-Hag. Cosimo is blown to bits by his own booby trap. Batman and Mr. Miracle soon find a trove of hidden treasure—including the real painting of Mona Lisa—hoarded away by the criminal organization known as Kraken. In the treasure vault, Batman is shocked to find that the leader of Kraken is nothing more than an AI built into a giant super-computer. As a Kraken agent remotely activates a detonation sequence within Trond-Hag, Batman uses the intel he received from the CIA to upload Kraken’s memory banks into a US government satellite hard drive. The heroes escape with Lang, who snaps back his senses, just as the volcano goes kablooey. Mr. Miracle departs to continue his ongoing war against Darkseid, leaving Batman and the CIA to clean-up the rest of Kraken.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #10. Babs decides to go on a trip up to Provincetown to meet with Kathy Kane! Bruce and Dick tell Babs to give their regards to their dear old friend. While Batman and Robin aren’t involved, this issue is notable because Kathy suits-up as Batwoman for the first time in six years and helps Batgirl defeat Killer Moth and Cavalier! Batwoman gives Batgirl her blessing and even tells her she can use the name “Batwoman” if she likes. Babs tells her she’s okay staying “Batgirl.” Also of note, Babs, as she always does, exaggerates the age difference between she and Dick, even referring to him as a teenager. They are only three years apart. And Dick is now 21-years-old.

–Action Comics #478
The Lunarians, a race of aliens that have resided inside the core of the Moon since before the Dawn of Man, decide the want what they believe to be rightfully theirs: Earth! First, the Lunarians use a special ray that causes every superhero on Earth (except Superman) to forget their superhero identities. Second, the Lunarians then cause massive earthquakes and flooding all across the planet. Third, they capture Superman. In Gotham, Bruce (having forgotten that he is Batman) and Alfred help survivors into medical camps. In Lunaria, the queen of the moon-people, Trena, tries her best to seduce the Man of Steel. Superman challenges the king of the moon-people, Ormong, to a duel. As the two powerful beings clash throughout the galaxy, Superman tricks Ormong into constructing a giant planetoid out of space rocks. After Ormong winds up accidentally killing himself, Superman bluffs the entire Lunarian race, threatening to destroy their civilization unless they depart for good. The Lunarians move onto Ormong’s planetoid and rocket it away to the other side of the universe. Back on Earth, the superheroes regain their senses and help a massive clean-up of the entire planet.

–Batman #284-285
December 14-25. Bruce keeps himself up-to-date with the latest Gotham news, including the opening of a brand new stadium and the upcoming city Christmas tree lighting. Dick and Lori Elton also make plans with Bruce to spend the upcoming Christmas holiday with him. Bruce is also invited to be a part of the Annual Ancient Order of Explorers parade in Gotham, set to occur in a couple days. Later, Batman busts-up a fence operation, ruining month’s worth of GCPD undercover sting work. At police HQ, Batman gets chewed-out by a pissed-off Chief Inspector PJ Maddox, who is in charge since Commissioner Gordon is on vacation. The next day, Bruce waves at onlookers while riding in a convertible in-between festival floats at the AOE parade. A returning Dr. Tzin-Tzin uses his magick to challenge lure Bruce into switching into Bat-mode, after which the wizard freezes the parade-goers and makes them attack the Dark Knight. Tzin-Tzin flees, but not before Batman grabs his magickal tulpa-knot scarf. After getting chewed-out by Maddox yet again, Batman joins Alfred and, together, they visit the Batcave to read-up on ancient Tibetan mysticism. After careful study, Batman makes an occult “tsam khang” on the Wayne Manor property. This, along with the tulpa-scarf, endows him with the mystic energy needed to track Tzin-Tzin. A Whirly-Bat ride later, Batman confronts Tzin-Tzin, who is attempting to steal Gotham’s brand new sports stadium in its entirety. Batman jails Tzin-Tzin, after which he snaps a picture of the villain in his jail cell with remote-control drone camera. Six days later, Tzin-Tzin escapes and causes hallucinatory chaos at the Christmas tree lighting in downtown Gotham. Tzin-Tzin runs circles around Batman before departing. On Christmas Eve, Alfred and Dick, who has just arrived, begin hallucinating and acting insane at the penthouse. Batman patrols, realizing that Tzin-Tzin has caused a plague of madness to spread across the city. Only Batman remains unaffected, and only so that Tzin-Tzin can taunt him. Batman finds Tzin-Tzin’s secret lair, but pretends to have succumbed to the madness in order to cause Tzin-Tzin to let his guard down. Within striking distance, Batman attacks and defeats Tzin-Tzin and his spectral demon henchmen. Tzin-Tzin suffers third-degree steam burns all over his body. With the curse lifted, the city celebrates X-Mas. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred celebrate at the penthouse. Bruce gives Dick a pearl necklace to give to Lori, who arrives on X-Mas morning to join in the festivities at the Wayne Foundation tower. Later, Batman develops the picture he took of Tzin-Tzin in his jail cell and puts it into his “black casebook” archive. Batman also writes a detailed entry about this case.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #470—and referenced in Detective Comics #469, Detective Comics #481 Part 5, Detective Comics #493 Part 3, Batman #319-320, and The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Batman (likely with help from his super-powered friends) expands the sub-basement Bat-Bunker underneath the Wayne Foundation tower into an adjacent cavern that was decades ago burrowed open for a planned subway that was never completed due to the interruption of WWII. While Dick (home on Winter Break) and Alfred at first grumble and groan at the idea of spending the rest of their holiday season working, they eventually help Bruce and his pals build-out a brand new downtown Batcave known as Batcave II. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred even move a bunch of the trophies—including the T rex, giant penny, giant chess game, giant dice, Thomas Wayne’s masquerade bat-costume, and many more—from the Wayne Manor Batcave to their new one. (Bruce doesn’t move the giant Joker playing card or the giant penny, but has a duplicates made, which both go into Batcave II. Not sure why he wanted doubles of these.) Batman also moves a chest of his late father’s personal mementos and a grandfather clock into the new cave too. Batman couldn’t be happier to have a fully-operational Batcave again! Batman then orders his team to go one further, building a series of extravagant underground rooms that resemble some of the Wayne Manor living rooms. Furniture and other ephemera are moved from the real Wayne Manor into the underground version. Immediately, Alfred shows his negative feelings about replicating Wayne Manor, stating that it makes him sad to see such a poor facsimile re-created deep beneath the streets of Gotham. Alfred will express this position often, moving forward, even refusing to set foot in the new underground space.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #341 Part 1. Batman securely seals up the old Batcave and creates a self-updating digital map of the underground lair, through which he will be able to tell is anyone has accessed or messed-with anything in the cave.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Batman installs a state-of-the art security system, complete with round-the-clock recording surveillance cameras, in the new Batcave II.

_______________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

<<< Year Eleven <<< | >>> Year Thirteen >>>

_______________________________

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In Sweden, Silver and Bronze Age Batman comics were reprinted in the magazine Läderlappen (literally Swedish for Batman). Beginning in 1978, the Swedish re-prints began printing short original Batman and Robin text stories by mystery writer Kjell E Genberg. While I don’t speak or read Swedish, nor have I ever seen these Läderlappen prose shorts, some collectors have stated that these shorts are not only original material, but also canon—sanctioned by DC back home in the States! This seems fairly unlikely, but I’m just not sure. In any case, Genberg wrote eight prose Dynamic Duo stories in 1978, spanning from Läderlappen #1978-01 through Läderlappen #1978-08. Whether or not these tales are canon remains to be seen, but the Läderlappen stuff is definitely worth mentioning, hence my mention here.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #124, published at this point on our timeline, is another Bob Haney/Murray Boltinoff-penned Sgt. Rock/Batman team-up, a continuation of the ongoing Rock saga from The Brave and The Bold #96, The Brave and The Bold #108, and The Brave and The Bold #117. As such, it is totally non-canon, taking place on Earth-B. Interestingly, in this story, a terrorist organization discovers that the lives of both Batman and Rock can be manipulated in an alternate universe where they are merely comic book characters. Thus, we see the terrorists, having somehow crossed through the interdimensional barrier, trying to force creators Bob Haney, Murray Boltinoff, and Jim Aparo into re-writing The Brave and the Bold #124 to show the deaths of the heroes. Meta enough for ya? Since the dimension-hopping villains visit a world that resembles our own (one in which real life DC Comics creators are shown plying their narrative craft), this heavily implies, based upon prior continuity, that the Earth-B bad guys visit Earth-Prime. However, several comic book historians, noting that these are specifically Earth-B villains that cross through the Bleed, have labeled this as Earth-B-Prime. To be Earth-Prime or Earth-Prime-B? That is the question. Who knows. It could be either one!
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Amazing World of DC Comics #11, published at this point on our timeline, features a single-page section called “The Wrong Arm of the Law” by Michael Uslan, which is essentially a look at superheroes who once operated on the edge (or outside) the law. The list includes early Superman and Batman, Hawk and Dove, the Creeper, and Plastic Man. All of The Amazing World of DC Comics #11, however, including “The Wrong Arm of the Law,” is non-canon, taking place only on Earth-B and Earth-32. The main story in The Amazing World of DC Comics #11 features the debuting Secret Society of Super-Villains. This story was originally prepared for release as Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, but due to massive editorial changes at the last second, the story was scrapped and re-written entirely. The original story is presented in The Amazing World of DC Comics #11 merely as a curiosity—one only fit for Earth-B and Earth-32’s zany-Haney continuity.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #235 features Superman’s birthday, which is February 29. (He was born in a leap year, so he celebrates it in late February of each year. Notably, Superman also celebrates a birthday on June 18, which he uses as Clark’s birthday. This was the date Ma and Pa Kent found him.) Since WFC #235 was originally published in 1976 (a leap year), the narrative includes an actual February 29th. However, thanks to Sliding-Time, we are in 1978 (not a leap year), so we must ignore the actual leap year date. Suffice to say, this story does still occur in late February.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #131, published now, is non-canon due to the fact that, in it, Catwoman is a raving homicidal murderer. This ain’t no Earth-1 Catwoman. It’s Earth-B Catwoman! Yes, this issue takes place on Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff’s wacky wild Earth-B—and also on its counterpart Earth-32.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Willow is indeed a Marvel character gracing the pages of Justice League of America! Writer Steve Englehart’s “Celestial Madonna” arc follows an alternate-universe-hopping character, who, for years, traveled with Englehart to whatever comic book company he was currently employed at. Thus, we see in this issue the Celestial Madonna herself, who began as Mantis in the Marvel Universe (as an Avenger, no less!), changed to Willow on Earth-1 (as seen here), will eventually return to the Marvel Universe, and will later take the name Lorelei in the Eclipse Universe. In Justice League of America #142, Willow tells part of her Marvel history to the Atom and we even get a panel (albeit obscured) showing her as Mantis along with her fellow Avenger husband Swordsman. Picking up from story threads in Avengers, Willow reveals to the Atom that she is pregnant with Swordsman’s child. Englehart will later reveal that living on DC’s Earth-1 was Willow’s way of keeping her newborn out of her enemies’ reach. Amazingly, “Willow” and “Lorelei” are also both listed as aliases of Mantis in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which even gives brief descriptions of her adventures in the DCU and Eclipse Universe. Pretty cool!
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: DC Special Series #8 (The Brave and The Bold Special), published now, is non-canon. It is part of Bob Haney’s Earth-B timeline. This issue features Sgt Rock, Easy Company, Deadman, Scottish Nationalists, the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, the ghost of Hitler, Batman getting beaten-up very badly over-and-over again, and Satan himself as the Big Bad. Basically, most of the time Sgt Rock is involved in a comic, it’s non-canon in the Silver Age/Bronze Age. Likewise, the existence of Sherlock Holmes as a historical figure makes this non-canon in the Silver Age/Bronze age too.

2 Responses to Silver Year 12

  1. James IV says:

    Sorry for being so all-over with my comments, but in relation to Justice League #140-142, you say this: (Batman wasn’t around for the Dharlu mission, which occurred earlier this year.)

    I’d point out that while the issue in which the ‘mission’ (considering the Dharlu came to them, hard for me to consider it a real mission) was recent at this time, it was actually an untold story shortly after the JLA got their Watchtower, certainly not earlier this year.

    • Righto you are, James. I forgot JLofA #130 was a casebook flashback story. Thanks for brining this to light. I’ve actually added in JLofA #130 as a reference back in Year Nine because, even if Batman wasn’t present, there’s no way the rest of the team wouldn’t tell him about an alien living inside their satellite computer.

      Talk to you soon, James! And thanks again!

Leave a Reply

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