Bronze Year 13


Early January to late January. Batman exposes Catwoman, who had been posing as high-end couturier “Madame Claudine” for the past couple months. Batman tangles with Catwoman and her pet jaguar, but they get away. Later, Batman keeps the jaguar’s cage and does some background research on the big cat. Batman spends the next few nights fighting an escaped Riddler, who disguises himself as Bruce to case a party. Batman prevents Riddler’s men from robbing the party and sets up Riddler for an easy bust. Yet, somehow, Riddler avoids capture. The next night, Batman and Superman discover that an escaped Lex Luthor is planning on using a sci-fi satellite ray to swap their consciousnesses. Superman dresses up as Batman and pretends as though Luthor’s plan has worked, even faking the Dark Knight’s death in the process. Soon after, Luthor’s satellite is destroyed. A day later, Batman prevents an escaped Joker from robbing a fur retailer. The day after that, Batman and Commissioner Gordon return to the same fur retailer to examine the corpse of a man wearing a Batman costume and whose face has been horribly burned away via acid. Since this is a David Vern Reed joint, not only does the plot have more holes than Swiss cheese, but it also requires that an elaborate ruse is necessary to find out whodunnit. After arranging for Two-Face to be put into solitary at Arkham, Batman uses his underworld connections to spread the rumor that he’s legit been killed. Posing as Two-Face, Batman sets up an underworld “trial” with all his rogues, hoping to finger the murderer. With Batman’s urging, the law enforcement community unbelievably grants temporary releases to all of Batman’s top rogues so they can attend the trial. Nearly all of Batman’s foes—Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Luthor, the Spook, Mad Hatter II, Scarecrow, Signalman, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Killer Moth, Cluemaster, the Cavalier, Captain Stingaree, the Getaway Genius, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and more—are given a two week reprieve and put up at a lavish mansion belonging to one of the nation’s top mobsters. Rā’s al Ghūl himself makes a triumphant return to preside as judge. First to take the stand is Catwoman, who lies and claims that she’s killed Batman, hoping to make a new big name for herself. “Two-Face” proves Catwoman is lying. A few days later, Riddler testifies, but also lies. A few days after that, Luthor is called before the bench. Luthor actually thinks he killed Batman (during his satellite brain-swap scheme), but the villain finds he didn’t when Superman crashes the trial and testifies. A few days pass and then it’s Joker time. He claims that he killed Batman on the second night at the fur factory and has pictures to prove it! After the court allows Joker to go to his Ha-Hacienda to retrieve the photos, Batman trails him, busts him, and gets the evidence. Batman learns that the murder victim was Jerry Randall, a huge Batman fan that was given to cosplaying as the Dark Knight and visiting the scenes of crimes the day after they happened. With the trial over, all the crooks go back to prison. Batman publicly announces that he is alive, returning to patrol.

–Batman #287-288
Late January—this item is said to take place three weeks prior to Detective Comics #473. Bruce agrees to allow Chester Cole, a journalist for Success Magazine, do a story on him. Cole will follow Bruce around for the next few days. After work, Bruce attends a gallery reception, but pays more attention to the sexy host, socialite Renée Cantrell, who sets up a date with him for the next night. Just as Bruce is leaving, he spots some goons, who release a robot pterosaur upon the gallery. Bruce switches to Bat-mode and destroys the robot. After a robot archaeopteryx trashes a downtown theater, Bruce skips his date with Renée and heads out for his top suspect, an escaped Penguin. While Batman pauses for some routine patrol-work, Penguin unleashes a third robot bird, this time upon a ship in one of Gotham’s roadsteads. Batman figures out Penguin’s hidden code—striking out at places that are in some way linked to famous historical “small men”—and confronts him, but the super-villain makes a clean escape and unleashes another extinct robot bird upon the city. The next day, Bruce plays tennis with Renée at the Parkside Tennis Club. By night, Batman visits a power plant and once again confronts Penguin, who captures the Dark Knight and sics a robot vulture on him. Batman defeats the vulture and saves Cole, who had shown up looking for Bruce. Batman then busts Penguin and his henchmen, recovering the missing Excelsior bonds that Penguin stole three years ago. A day later, Bruce goes on another tennis date with Renée. She’s been offered a job in Paris, but basically wants to know if he is serious about dating her before she makes a move to France. Bruce tells her not to take the job in Paris and to stay with him in Gotham! Since we won’t ever see Renée again, we must assume that jerk-face Bruce breaks-up with her (or is totally unavailable as usual, leading to a break-up) shortly thereafter. Why Bruce would tell anyone to halt big life plans for him when he clearly has no intention of committing is beyond me. What an asshole.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #473. Late January. Penguin escapes from jail.

–Justice League #147-148 (“CRISIS IN THE 30th CENTURY”)[1]
Late January. Having just defeated Earth-2 villain Psycho-Pirate (Roger Hayden) on Earth-1 (as seen in All-Star Comics #66-68), the Justice Society of America (with newest members Power Girl and Star-Spangled Kid) hangs out with the Justice League of America. Mordru, a magickal villain from the future, kidnaps both teams, bringing them to his time, 2977 CE. There, in the 30th century, Mordru has already captured members of the Legion of Super-Heroes—Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Sun Boy, Wildfire, and Ultra-Boy. Mordru explains that he seeks the artifacts linked to the Demons Three (the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Green Bell of Uthool), which are currently spread across the universe. Mordru has already sent out several Legionnaires to retrieve the items. Dr. Fate uses his own magick to convince Mordru release some of the time-displaced heroes to assist the Legionnaires. Thus, Superman, Earth-2 Hawkman, and Dr. Fate meet up with Sun Boy and Wildfire, collecting the Silver Wheel on Antares-II. Batman and the Green Lanterns travel to the planet Vaxon to assist Brainiac 5 and Princess Projectra in negotiating the release of the Green Bell from the Vaxonian ruling council. Jay Garrick and Power Girl get the Red Jar from an interdimensional Bleedspace. With the artifacts in hand, Mordru summons Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast. However, the Demons Three immediately take-down Mordru. After quarreling amongst themselves, the Demons Three try (but fail) to take each other down. This leads to each demon choosing proxy soldiers to war against one another. The heroes are all forced into a three-way battle pitting the JLA vs the JSA vs the Legion! As the giant team battle-royale ensues, Abnegazar attempts to usurp leadership from President Kandru (the President of Earth). Ghast, meanwhile, tries to take over a geo-lab deep under the planetary crust, but fails. Ghast’s mind-control spell also fails, leading to the JLA regaining their senses. Batman, Superman, Black Canary, and Green Arrow then take on Ghast and his Legion-cronies at Ice City, a metropolis built at the remains of the Arctic polar ice cap. When Rath combats Abnegazar, they obliterate each other completely, which releases the JSA and Legion from their control. The combined heroes then attack Ghast. They reassemble the scattered remains of the old JL Satellite to form a permanent prison for Ghast. Everyone then returns to their correct times and Earths. (This adventure is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #45.)

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #45. After a nearly three year hiatus, the Teen Titans have reformed! With a lineup of Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Speedy, Wonder Girl, and Hornblower (Mal Duncan aka the former “Guardian”), the team prevents the Wreckers from blowing up the Wayne Foundation. Bruce is so impressed that he immediately helps them set up a brand new Teen Titans HQ.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #4. Ned Creegan (formerly known as “Bag O’Bones”) returns under the new moniker of “Cyclotronic Man” to challenge Superman and newcomer Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce)—as seen in Black Lightning #4-5. Batman isn’t involved, but he does hear all about Creegan getting his butt whipped. Note that Batman and The Outsiders #9 tells us that Black Lighting is thirty-years-old in early 1984. However, it also tells us that Black Lightning debuts at age twenty-seven. Since Black Lightning debuts in early 1979, this math is fuzzy as hell. If Black Lightning is thirty in 1984, then he is currently twenty-six, not twenty-seven.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #474. Batman gets all the news about Robin’s latest action with the newly reformed Teen Titans. The team now includes Harlequin (Duela Dent, formerly known as Joker’s Daughter and Catgirl). (Duela Dent joined the Teen Titans in Teen Titans #47.) Batman also catches wind of a flirtatious relationship between Robin and both Wonder Girl and Harlequin. Don’t forget, tricky Dick is still dating Lori Elton!

–Superman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Annual 1977
This is the fourth and final Brown Watson Ltd Annual published for the UK market. (There is no 1976 edition.) Like some of the others, I haven’t been able to lay my hands on a copy, so I might be missing a synopsis. However, there are plenty of online scans of “The Riddler’s Ransom Robbery,” one of the original prose stories contained within this issue. Here’s what goes down. An escaped Riddler sends a series of typical clues to Commissioner Gordon and the Dynamic Duo, which sends the heroes to challenge the villain at a clothing store and then at the harbor. At the latter location, Batman and Robin best Riddler’s pet great white shark (named Mandibles) and a bunch of henchmen, eventually bringing the Riddler to justice.

–Batman #295
Magician David Hamton headlines Gotham’s world famous Magic Palace, a performance center for stage magicians and, as referenced in The Brave and The Bold #168, private meeting space for the elite Magician’s Club. Batman sees Hamilton’s poster plastered all over the city. Soon after, Commissioner Gordon interrupts Batman’s patrol to tell him the Mystery Analysts have called together a reunion! The duo joins Kaye Daye, Martin Tellman, Art Saddows, and former DA Danton (Hugh Rankin not present) at the old clubhouse. The Analysts tell tale of three recent murders where the corpses have gone missing. After a trip to the morgue and Batman getting attacked by an unknown assailant, the Analysts head to the Magic Palace for a classic whodunnit. (One of the victims was a magician’s assistant at the Magic Palace.) Quickly, Batman rounds up the suspects. Soon after, the killer captures Kaye and Batman, putting the latter into a death trap. Batman escapes and busts the killer, exposing him as Hamton’s jealous apprentice.

–Justice League of America #149-150
The Privateer (Mark Shaw) fights Dr. Light, calling the JLA in for help. After Dr. Light escapes the JLA, he runs into a gaudy new super-villain called The Star-Tsar, who challenges him to a crime contest. Meanwhile, the JLA gushes over the Privateer’s skills, except for Batman, who can’t stand his guts. After the JLA and the Privateer fight off the Star-Tsar’s Star-Lord henchmen, they run into a nervous and oddly-acting Snapper Carr! Following a brief chat, the JLA gets captured by Dr. Light, who is able to split their bodies into different colors, sending each spectrum into an alternate dimension. Thankfully (and amazingly), Hal Jordan’s crotch is turned green, thus allowing him (via the power of his crotch) to re-corporate his entire body! Hal saves his friends, but the whole team gets saved by the Star-Tsar. After an explosive battle, Dr. Light is bested. The Star-Tsar’s mask falls off revealing him to be none other than Snapper Carr! Snapper and his henchmen defeat the JLA and take-off, prompting the team to assemble every single member to hunt down their former mascot. Phantom Stranger shows up, but leaves immediately citing more urgent matters to deal with than a vengeful Snapper. While hunting for Snapper, a returning Key strikes, capturing half the team (including Batman) in an interdimensional limbo. Meanwhile, the other half of the JLA visits the Carr home where Snapper’s sister Jenny reveals that her brother has fallen on hard times, lost in the shadow of his former life. Broke, alone, and with no one to turn to, Snapper became the Star-Tsar, given a powerful suit by a manipulative Key. When Snapper attacks again, the JLAers chase him to his secret lair. There, a second Star-Tsar appears and knocks everyone out, including Snapper. The second half of the JLA (and Snapper) wakes up imprisoned with the rest of the team. An hour later, a third Star-Tsar bursts into the Oval Office and demands $100 million dollars from President Carter or else he will detonate a bomb! The heroes in limbo are able to free themselves and bust into the Key’s HQ only to find the second Star-Tsar there. Batman punches him and his head pops off, revealing a hollow costume with a tiny shriveled Key inside. (The Key’s body shriveled away to nearly nothing thanks to John Stewart—see the Key’s prior appearance for details.) After the Dharlu (aka the JLA computer) reports-in the news of the Star-Tsar’s actions in Washington, Red Tornado realizes that the Privateer has actually been moonlighting as the third Star-Tsar this entire time, trying to take advantage of the situation for his own benefit. The JLA busts the Privateer. Superman then tells Snapper that he will help him out. (Part of this JLA episode is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #181.)

–Detective Comics #469-470
Finally, Steve Englehart’s run on ‘tec begins. And it’s almost as if DC Comics knows its readers have been craving something better. Most of 1967-1977 was pretty bad, but Englehart can deliver the good stuff. Editorial opens ‘tec #469 with the line “Presenting: The Batman you’ve been waiting for.” Here we go! The radioactive Dr. Phosphorus (Dr. Alexander Sartorius) debuts by poisoning Gotham’s reservoir. People all over the city, including Alfred and Commissioner Gordon, drop into comas after drinking the tainted water. After Batman and Phosphorus fight to a stalemate, the villain departs, confronting new Gotham City Councilman Dr. Bell. Phosphorus demands that Bell and the City Council outlaw Batman. The scared Bell immediately phones his boss, the corrupt chairman of the City Council, Rupert Thorne, who also doubles as the head of Gotham’s underworld Tobacconists’ Club. A few days later, after busting lowlife Smiley Royale, Batman is served a subpoena to appear before a grand jury. Batman visits a recovering Gordon and Alfred at the hospital. While there, Dr. Bell warns Batman that his days are numbered. Later, Chief O’Hara phones Batman on the hotline to tell him that a new directive has made Batman’s vigilantism illegal. O’Hara also reports that Phosphorus has poisoned an entire arena full of concert-goers. Batman, now poisoned with radiation as well, boats out to a nearby offshore nuclear power plant, finding that it is being guarded by heavily-armed thugs. Later, Bruce schedules a yacht party, getting-out last second invitations to Rupert Thorne, Dr. Bell, and other members of the municipal government. A couple days later, aboard the yacht, Bruce meets and flirts with Silver St. Cloud! After ducking off the boat, Batman travels to the nuclear plant and fights Phosphorus, who falls into the ocean and goes missing. Bruce returns to his party to continue where he left off, flirting with Silver. (The battle between Batman and Dr. Phosphorus is also shown via flashback from Batman #311.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #478—and referenced in Detective Comics #471-472, Detective Comics #475, and Detective Comics #478. Bruce and Silver hit it off, hooking-up, and immediately start dating! A smitten Bruce tells Silver all about his life—sans Batman, of course—and even gives her a key to his office and penthouse. The lovers see each other every single night for a week straight. Silver gives Bruce a framed picture of herself that says “Love you always and all ways.” Jeez, these two are moving quickly.

–Justice League of America #151-152
The male JLAers hold a bachelor’s party for the Atom, who has announced that he is getting married to his longtime girlfriend Jean Loring. (As revealed in Justice League of America #156, the marriage was supposed to take place shotgun-style in a week or two from now, but has been moved to a more reasonable June by the couple.)  Meanwhile, in Honolulu, Wonder Woman defeats Amos Fortune’s robot, but gets captured by Fortune himself. Fortune uses a “Wheel of Misfortune” machine that drains each JLAer of their power, bestowing them upon the members of his very own “Luck League.” Fortune’s Wheel causes Bruce to become awkward and clumsy. While at a charity ball, Bruce dances with Silver St. Cloud and drops her on her ass in front of an astonished crowd. The Luck League systematically takes down the de-powered JLA. Wonder Woman is able to stop Fortune via hypnosis, after which she is rescued by Black Canary. The heroes get their mojo back and bring down the Luck League. Green Arrow apologizes to Black Canary or being a sexist jerkwad.

Justice League of America #152 is a Christmastime issue, but since it specifically occurs a few days after Justice League of America #151 it must go here. As such, we unfortunately must ignore the Christmas setting as a big continuity error. When three aliens crash land on Earth, they lose three powerful artifacts—one in the Middle East (possibly Egypt), one in Georgia (USA), and one in Canada. Despite noticing the disturbance on their radar, the JLA decides to continue playing poker instead of investigating. Eventually, Superman and Red Tornado travel to a war-torn battlefield in the Middle East where a young girl named Traya is wielding one of the alien artifacts to smash-up military jets. Red Tornado is able to calm the girl down, embracing her in his arms. This allows South American super-villain Major Macabre to grab the artifact and power himself up. Batman and Elongated Man visit the Georgia site where a group of environmental activists have morphed into monsters. While Batman and Elongated Man fight the monsters, Macabre steals the second artifact. Hawkman and Hawkgirl go to Canada where the third artifact has turned a stag into a giant beast-man. As before, Macabre sneaks-in and steals the final item. Soon afterward, the six JLAers confront and defeat Macabre at his HQ. The artifacts are returned to the three aliens. As referenced in Justice League of America #156, Red Tornado takes Traya to an orphanage, but he will visit her constantly.

–Detective Comics #471-473
Batman secretly listens-in on Thorne and his cronies (including top men Bruno Murdock and Marko) as they meet behind closed doors. While Thorne is glad Phosphorus is off the playing field, he still wants to move forward with eliminating Batman. One of the councilmen mentions Rā’s al Ghūl’s plot to frame Batman from “last year” (actually about 19 months ago) as both inspiration and and as a warning. The next day, Bruce checks himself into the private Graytowers clinic with hopes of treating lingering skin burns received from Dr. Phosphorus a week ago. However, upon arrival, Bruce is immediately drugged and thrown into a padded cell. Thankfully, he has his suitcase, which has all his Bat-gear packed inside. After escaping, Batman confronts the head doctor, who reveals himself as Dr. Hugo Strange, back for the first time in twelve years! Strange, along with his lovely assistant Magda, has been turning Gotham’s wealthy elites into new Monster Men. Batman knocks Strange on his ass, but gets bitten by the professor’s poisonous pet snake, getting knocked-out cold himself. Strange removes his mask to learn that he is Bruce Wayne! Strange takes Batman’s costume, puts it on, and orders some Monster Men to throw Bruce and Alfred into cell at Graytowers. Strange and his sidekick Magda move into the Wayne Foundation penthouse, claiming ultimate victory. Disguising himself as Bruce, Strange takes over Wayne Enterprises and immediately begins tanking the company and embezzling money. After six days pass with Bruce in a continuously drugged state, Silver St. Cloud visits the Wayne Foundation tower. Hugo, posing as Bruce, dumps her! Silver suspects that something happened to Bruce at Graytowers, so she goes snooping around at the clinic before phoning Dick for help. In response, the Monster Men attack and kidnap Silver. Meanwhile, Strange holds an auction to sell Batman’s secret ID to the highest bidder. An escaped Joker and Penguin are in attendance. Rupert Thorne shows up with his gang and kidnaps Strange. Despite being brutally tortured, the professor refuses to spill the beans. With his lips sealed out of pride, Strange is beaten to death! (SPOILER: Strange survives.) Robin busts-up the Monster Men at Graytowers, saving Bruce, Alfred, and Silver. Magda accidentally turns herself into a monster and dies. After a quick recovery, Batman learns that he’s missed his grand jury meeting, which caused the city’s anti-Batman resolution to pass without opposition. The GCPD is no longer officially partnered with the Bat-Family. Soon after, Batman and Robin patrol, taking down Bruno Murdock. They then speak with a local art gallery, which is putting a penguin statue on display. Unable to talk them out of the exhibit, they move on. Back at the penthouse, Alfred reports that the Wayne Enterprises attorneys have fixed everything that Strange did to the company. Bruce and Dick visit Silver in the hospital where Bruce reconnects with Silver. Later, when Penguin sends a bunch of clues hinting that he will be attempting to steal the penguin statue, Batman realizes it is a misdirection. The Dynamic Duo busts Penguin at the real heist, an attempted airplane skyjacking. Penguin also turns over the penguin statue, which he actually stole two weeks ago.

–Detective Comics #474-476
After getting a call from Wonder Girl, Robin departs to go on a Teen Titans mission. Batman then startles and threatens a nervous Rupert Thorne—who has started to see visions of the ghost of Hugo Strange—at the councilman’s office. (SPOILER: Hugo Strange is alive and well, and he is “haunting” Thorne with SFX projections.) The next morning, Silver, who works as an event planner, gives Bruce a tour of her current gig at the convention center. After dinner, during which Silver questions Bruce’s ties to Batman, the Dark Knight takes on a returning Deadshot, who has escaped from prison. (Deadshot has been rotting in prison for the past eleven years!) In a new spiffy costume, Deadshot takes on Batman while a cackling Joker watches from the shadows. Their fight winds its way into the convention center where the Caped Crusader defeats his opponent. (This fight is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #518.) Silver calls out to the Dark Knight, and when he turns to face her, she senses the truth—she knows that he is Batman! The Dark Knight then visits Silver St. Cloud at her home. He knows that Silver knows his secret, but he is too scared to say anything. Silver is also unable to broach the subject. Batman, flustered, swings out into the night, nervously musing to himself about how deeply in love he is with Silver. Silver phones Bruce, cancelling their hangout and basically calling-off their relationship entirely. Some fishermen then call out to Batman, who learns that Joker has enacted his “laughing fish” gag, putting his signature rictus grin on hundreds of thousands of fish all along the Eastern Seaboard. After telling Rupert Thorne to back-off of Batman, citing that Batman belongs to him, Joker publicly announces that he will murder copyright employee G Carl Francis at the stroke of midnight. (Francis refused to grant him the copyright on his piscicultural abominations.) Despite protection from the police and Batman (who can’t stop thinking about and phoning Silver), Francis dies when a timed-gas bomb goes off, triggering a deadly compound-reaction when he inhales through an oxygen mask. A couple hours later, Joker kills a second highly-protected copyright official in a similar fashion. Meanwhile, a confused Silver decides to hitchhike her way out of Gotham. Coincidentally, Thorne, hightailing it out of the city as well, picks her up. By the time they reach Ohio, they argue about Batman, which leads to Thorne kicking her out in the rain. The “ghost of Hugo Strange” then haunts Thorne, who completely flips out. Silver charters a plane right back to Gotham, running smack dab into Batman fighting the Joker on the street. Batman and Joker scrap atop a construction site with the villain falling into the river and getting washed away. Silver runs up to Batman and they passionately kiss. She tells him that they can’t be together due to the complicated nature of their situation. As Gordon turns the corner, Silver runs off in tears. (Silver running off is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #478.) Gordon reports that a babbling Thorne has been found in Ohio—having confessed to a litany of crimes.

–Detective Comics #477-479
Batman visits Rupert Thorne, who has just been sent to Arkham Asylum following his capture in Ohio. Thorne admits to having murdered Hugo Strange. After reminiscing about an old Tzin-Tzin case, Batman goes on patrol. Meanwhile, in Gotham’s Bowery, Clayface III (Preston Payne) makes his murderous debut. A heart-broken Batman takes his frustrations over losing Silver St. Cloud out on some hapless low-level thieves. Back at the penthouse, Bruce is all torn-up emotionally. He’s so upset about losing Silver that he blames his parents for putting him in this situation! He even contemplates quitting being Batman. Realizing what he is saying, Bruce quickly shuts up. Responding to a grisly murder scene, Batman examines an emaciated corpse that has seemingly been drained from the inside out. Batman soon confronts the perpetrator, Clayface III, at a STAR Labs facility miles outside of Gotham. Having foolishly tried to cure a medical condition by injecting some of Matt Hagen’s blood into his own body, Preston Payne has become Clayface III, a vampiric version of the prior Clayfaces—with an insatiable need to turn others into lifeless globs of protoplasm. Batman chases after Clayface, who murders his way back to Gotham. There, Batman fights him atop a bridge and the villain falls into the river. Meanwhile, at the Wayne Foundation tower, Selina Kyle tries to pay a visit to Bruce Wayne, but, of course, he’s not there. (Interestingly, this Selina thread won’t be picked up for eight months—not until late September in Batman #308 when she returns to visit Bruce again.) Batman catches-up with Clayface at the latter’s waxworks hideout, preventing him from activating a machine that supposedly will cure him. The place goes up in flames and Clayface runs into the flames in an attempt to save his “lover,” a mannequin. Of course, no body is found. Clayface has escaped to fight another day.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #518. Batman researches Deadshot’s new weaponry, learning that gunsmith Augustino Coppola made them. Batman busts Coppola.

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

–Batman Family #11 Part 3
February 18-19. As part of a plan to distract Bruce for a surprise birthday party, a recently-married Vicki Vale (now Vicki Vale-Powers) meets with Bruce to catch up on old times. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred open up the vacant Wayne Manor and prep for a big party. When Gordon gets close to discovering some Bat-secrets, Alfred pretends to be a burglar. Gordon chases him and knocks him silly, but Alfred escapes and doubles-back. (As referenced in Batman Family #13, Alfred getting knocked silly releases a tiny sliver of the Outsider that still remains within him. Alfred becomes the Outsider again! Holding it together, the Outsider pretends to be regular old Alfred, biding his time for revenge.) Later, Vicki brings Bruce to Wayne Manor under the guise of writing a story about the mansion. There, a large group surprises Bruce. In attendance are Alfred (aka the Outsider), Gordon, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Dick, Lori Elton, Jimmy Olsen, Kathy Kane, and Tom Powers (Vicki’s husband). Happy 33rd birthday, Bruce!

–REFERENCE: in Batman #344. Vicki Vale-Powers decamps to Paris, taking a bureau chief position at a large photojournalism magazine. Bruce only hears that she’s moved to Europe, but the details are foggy. (This reference is erroneously listed via editorial notation as being connected to Detective Comics #320. This is 100% wrong. Instead, it should be placed, as we have on our chronology, immediately after Batman Family #11 Part 3.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #311. Batman makes his cape radioactive-proof (likely through lead-lining). Batgirl is aware of this change, so she must be around for a visit when Batman initiates it.

–DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular) Part 1
Commissioner Gordon and Batman take on the challenge of the arsonist gang known as the Drungo Mob. They also plan for the annual Police Athletic League induction ceremony. Batman also perfects his mini-radiograph. Meanwhile, mystery writer Archer Beaumont announces that he will hold a public seance to commune with the dead. Shortly thereafter, Beaumont is found dead of an apparent suicide. Three days after that, a message arrives at police HQ, supposedly from beyond the grave. The message, seemingly from Beaumont himself, demands that Batman solve his murder and includes a hangman drawing. Batman, putting the Beaumont case on the back-burner, goes on patrol, searching for clues to prevent a heist by the Drungo Mob. This leads him to Fast Eddie, who points him further in the right direction. After seeing more hangman symbols across town, including at the PAL ceremony (during which someone gets mysteriously injured), Batman decides to take the supernatural case more seriously. Later, Batman busts the Drungo Mob, after which the city blacks-out, resulting in a giant hangman symbol appearing in the darkness. When a noose decal appears on Batman’s throat, he drives out to Beaumont’s home to speak with Beaumont’s longtime assistant (possible lover) Horace Hobson. After investigating the mansion, Batman solves the crime, fingering Beaumont’s rival Bucky Somoza for murder. After busting Somoza, Batman returns to Hobson, realizing that he had been behind the hangman symbols and PAL injury, all done just to get Batman interested in working the case. Batman has dinner with Hobson, who reveals that he co-wrote all of Beaumont’s books. Batman offers to co-write a true-crime book with Hobson. We can assume that Batman works with Hobson on-and-off over the course of the next year to complete and publish the book. (Don’t forget, Alfred is secretly being partly-controlled by the Outsider again in this issue.)

–NOTE: In Batman Family #13-14. Late February. While Batman isn’t a part of this one, he definitely would be notified. The Outsider completely takes over Alfred’s mind and body, traveling to New York City. With the help of the Sunset Gang and a were-jaguar, the Outsider attacks Man-Bat, who is the current primary superhero protector of the DCU’s other Big Apple (much to the chagrin of the NYPD, especially Captain Jim Daniels). After summoning Batgirl and Robin into a trap in NYC, the Outsider tries to kill them. Eventually, Batgirl, Robin, and Man-Bat save the day, forcing the Outsider to split from Alfred’s body. Alfred kicks the Outsider’s ass, causing him to fade into nonexistence. Shortly thereafter, the original Batwoman Kathy Kane briefly comes out of retirement again to work a case. After being taken out by Mr. Brain and Dr. Brawn, Batwoman is assisted by Batgirl, Robin, and Kid Flash. (Also notable in Batman Family #13-14, Dick uses Bruce as an excuse for disappearing for two days from school. In order to cover for Robin adventuring, Dick lies and tells his girlfriend Lori that he had to do intense studying in seclusion to prepare for one day taking over Wayne Enterprises. Bruce has never told Dick that he expects this for his future, so we can assume this is a total fabrication on Dick’s part.)

–DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular) Part 3
Late February. Dick comes home from Hudson University to spend a long weekend at the penthouse in Gotham. While Dick goes out for some repertory Buster Keaton film screenings, Bruce hangs out with his pal Bernie Sorrel, who, in his role as Gotham Special Prosecutor, discusses going after the notorious Milo Lewes Mob. They’ve recently tried to poison him, but failed. As Bernie chats with Bruce, the former is shot dead by mob assassins. Batman investigates his buddy’s murder, shaking-down and busting Bernie’s attempted assassin and Bernie’s actual killer. Batman gets info about an associate of Lewes, Tony “The Blind Man” Toombs, a blind man that has total recall, including detailed knowledge of all of Lewes’ criminal activity. The Blind Man, naturally, is scheduled for mob termination. Batman meets and threatens Lewes before heading out in search of the Blind Man. Batman finds two of Lewes assassins ready to take-out the Blind Man at the very Buster Keaton screening that Dick is at. Batman saves the Blind Man, who soon spills the beans on Lewes’ illegal activities. Lewes tries to flee the country, but Batman stops him.

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

–REFERENCE: In DC Comics Presents #83. Batman tells Superman all about Alfred’s bizarre Outsider alter-ego.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #198. Robin, having just teamed up with 30th century transplant and Legionnaire Karate Kid (in Karate Kid #14), tells Batman all about his experience.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Commissioner Gordon and Batman get a tip from a stoolie that three unnamed crooks are digging a tunnel under a bank in a robbery attempt that is scheduled to occur in a couple weeks. Gordon and Batman decide to secretly monitor the tunnel and wait to nab the crooks red-handed in a couple weeks. Their secret monitoring begins now.

–World’s Finest Comics #246-247
While busting Mad Dog Doyle, Batman obtains a stone tablet with Kryptonese written on it. In the new Batcave beneath the Wayne Foundation tower (Batcave II), Batman shows Superman the tablet, which makes an outrageous claim that Superman has a twin brother, Kor-El. The JLA calls Superman aboard the JL Satellite where Ram Drood, the “biggest bum in all the galaxies,” is waiting with a smirk on his face. Drood delivers news that a Kryptonian asteroid is heading toward earth—and within the asteroid is a trapped Kor-El! Batman, Superman, and Drood travel to the asteroid in Drood’s space jalopy to find, sure enough, an identical (except for a hunback) version of Superman trapped within. Kor-El claims that he landed on Earth when his brother did, but Clark, when he was Superboy, discovered him and exiled him into deep space. Having secretly transmitted Kor-El’s story to the news media of Earth, Drood causes Superman’s public reputation to plummet overnight. Unsure why he has no memory of hurting his brother but wanting to make amends, Superman rescues Kor-El from the asteroid, an act that leads to Superman’s apparent death by Kryptonite poisoning. Kor-El immediately declares himself the new “Big Brother” Superman of America, freeing countless criminals and becoming dictator of the nation. Batman is immediately made public enemy number one. While Batman investigates Kor-El, learning that Doyle has something to do with his phony origin story, Drood revives Superman, who still had a spark of life, by bathing him with the rays of a “semi-yellow sun volcanic furnace.” As Batman is attacked by Kor-El’s army of Gestapo soldiers wearing Nazi-like S-symbol armbands outside of Smallville, Superman returns to save his pal. Superman then fights Kor-El in Washington DC where they use the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument as weapons! Kor-El is able to defeat Superman, imprison him, and line him up for execution. After a swapping places with the Atom in order to escape, Superman joins Batman at the Fortress of Solitude. Using statues of Superman’s parents like Trojan Horses, the heroes gift them to Kor-El. With Doyle by his side, Kor-El brings the statues to the UN Building to announce that he will be taking complete control of Earth. There, a Kryptonite chemical in the statues causes Kor-El to revert to his true form: Parasite (Maxwell Jensen)! Defeated, Parasite poofs into dust. Batman easily busts Doyle. The Earth is saved.

–World’s Finest Comics #248 Part 1
Dulac’s company discovers a new metal that can revolutionize the energy industry. When he refuses to sell his so-called “Gaulium” to America, hinting that he’ll instead sell to the Soviets, the US Government sends Bruce Wayne to negotiate with Dulac. Atop the Eiffel Tower, Bruce meets with his old chum Dulac, who refuses to sell Gaulium to the States. Bruce then visits a public announcement being held by Superman and Dr. Klaus Bergman, who has invented a miracle drug. At the announcement, Bergman shocks the world by declaring that only a select few people of his choosing will have access to the drug. Later, Batman saves the US Ambassador from world famous assassin Esteban, but gets grazed by a bullet. With Esteban behind bars in Paris, Superman rushes Bruce into Alfred’s care and then stops a Gotham bomb threat by a duplicate Esteban. When the news reports that Senator Jack Clayton is planning to vote against his own human rights bill and that Princess Portia (Bruce’s old flame Julie Madison) has started a war in Europe, Batman and Superman know something crazy is going on. UN Secretary-General Kurt-Waldheim calls Bruce, tasking him with trying to reason with his ex. Bruce meets with the princess, who knocks him out with a poison lipstick kiss. (This kissing scene is also shown via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #253.) A fake Bruce then dons the Bat-costume and meets with Superman just in time to witness the Esteban doppelgänger melt into a puddle of green ooze. Realizing Batman is a fake, Superman takes him to the Fortress of Solitude. There, the clone disintegrates. Overhearing Morgan Edge (who also has been replaced) on the phone, Superman learns that clones have replaced influential people all over the planet, causing the current chaos. After allowing himself to be taken captive, Clark is brought before the Grand Mukta of the North African Dalsidi people, desert anarchist-alchemists behind the cloning plot. Thrown into cell with all the others, Clark spies (with x-ray vision) an escaped Batman fighting-off another of his clones and some Dalsidi warriors. Superman then helps Batman and defeats his own clone. (Hey, Bob Haney! This is two story-arcs in a row where Superman fights his double. Get some new material already.) Superman then erases the memories of the Dalsidi with Amnesium and frees all the captives. Bruce meets with the real Dulac and obtains Gaulium for America.

–Batman #296
An escaped Scarecrow orders Jarvis Skibo, the man who stole the turnpike bonds from Gotham City National Bank last October, to return them to the main branch. Batman arranges for the Gotham Post to print a false news story saying the returned bonds are fake. After checking with an informant, Batman learns that Skibo was the original heist man. Batman trails Skibo to a meeting with Scarecrow, learning that Scarecrow is trying to scare crooks into turning over their hidden loot from unsolved crimes. After determining who Scarecrow will strike at next, Batman disguises himself as the intended victim and gets the jump on Scarecrow and his Strawmen goons. Scarecrow doses Batman with one of his Fear Gas injecting “Sinister Straws,” but Batman is able to fight off the effect via sheer willpower. Scarecrow and his henchmen go to jail.

–World’s Finest Comics #249
Batman and Superman wrap-up an unspecified JLA case overseas. While en route back to the States, Batman gets word that a Wayne Fuel Corporation oil rig in the South Atlantic has exploded. For some odd reason Bob Haney tacks on the word “Unlimited” behind “Wayne Enterprises” on the side of Bruce’s leer jet, which he flies—along with Superman sitting on the wing—to the oil rig. (Wayne Enterprises is and always has been a publicly-traded LLC, not an unlimited company.) When they arrive at the rig, Captain Kalamari is waiting there to greet them. Kalamari chastises Bruce for polluting the ocean. Superman goes down to clean up the oil spill, but comes up comatose, a victim of some unknown magick. While Kalamari and his men clean up the spill, Batman investigates the sea floor and is magicakally attacked as well. As night falls over the ocean, one of Kalamari’s men turns into a “Trillig,” a marine-based werewolf-vampire hybrid. Kalamari easily subdues him. After further investigation of the sea floor, Batman is approached by Phantom Stranger, who reports that powerful sea-creatures of the Nega Realm, an underground world beneath the Earth’s crust, are responsible for the magickal attacks. The next night, more Trilligs strike. Kalamari imprisons Batman, fearing that anyone could turn into one. Phantom Stranger frees Batman, who re-appears as Bruce only to get attacked by Superman, who has turned into a vampire as well. Eventually, Kalamari urges Batman to fatally stake Superman in the heart. Thankfully, Phantom Stranger stops the Dark Knight, revealing that Kalamari and company are evil. The Nega-Beings, now murdered by Kalamari, were good all along. Phantom Stranger turns Kalamari and his crew into coral, ending their threat. Superman wakes up with no memories of ever having been a vampire.

–The Brave and The Bold #140
Batman is tasked by industrial tycoon Belmont to rescue his daughter Esemeralda, who has supposedly been kidnapped by the world’s current richest man, Dimitrios the Golden Greek. Belmont claims that Dimitrios wants information about a new solar panel technology that Esmeralda has. After offering Batman $10 million for charity, Batman takes the case, hopping aboard Dimitrios’s ocean liner. Wonder Woman, also hoping to bust Dimitrios, sneaks aboard as well. Soon, the heroes face-off against the Simian Squad, Dimitrios’ ape-men henchies. After being captured, Dimitrios forces the heroes to act like circus animals for his own amusement. Esmeralda appears, revealing that she is Dimitrios’ lover and in cahoots with him. Batman steals Belmont’s solar power chip (actually a fake) and runs into the bowels of the ship where he finds the kidnapped inventor of the chip, Dr. Calvan Morgan. Soon after, Wonder Woman kicks ass and saves Batman and Dr. Morgan. After Dimitrios threatens to blow everyone up, Wonder Woman lassos Esmeralda, who reveals that she isn’t actually in love with Dimitrios. She had been sent as an industrial spy by her own dad in order to infiltrate Dimitrios’ operation and get back the stolen tech from the kidnapped Dr. Morgan. Dimitrios tries to flee, but Wonder Woman nabs him. Belmont, Esmeralda, and Dimitrios all go to jail.

–World’s Finest Comics #251
Mid March. Batman sends a birthday card to Bob Haney at the DC Offices on Earth-Prime. Later, Batman meets with Superman to discuss a serious situation. Earth has been devoid of Kryptonite for years, but recently Kryptonite meteorites have been crashing onto the planet, returning the deadly green stuff to the world. Batman and Superman collect as much Kryptonite as they can, tossing it into a disintegration pit in the Fortress of Solitude. During this exercise, an explosion erupts within the Fortress, secretly creating a little Green Kryptonite creature that irradiates the heroes’ costumes, causing them to literally turn nearby green items white. Soon, Commissioner Gordon and Batman bust the tunnel-digging bank robbers they’ve been monitoring for weeks only to see a judge overturn the bust due to the stolen cash having turned white. After an amazing scene where Superman and Batman, in their respective lairs, examine radiation on their costumes WHILE FULLY NUDE, the Dark Knight notices something odd about Gorilla Boss’ brain-in-a-jar trophy. After reviewing security cam footage, Batman discovers that the brain has come back alive. He immediately flies to the Fortress and tosses it into the disintegration pit. The brain merges with the Green Kryptonite monster, which grows to a huge size. Gorilla Boss (George Dyke) is reborn as the Green Kryptonite monster! Green-K Boss flies off, bleaching everything in its path as it goes. Batman beats-on some of Gotham’s Underworld to find that Doc Willard is holed-up in the Amazon. Willard’s gal pal knocks-out Batman, who goes under the knife and wakes up with his mind stuck in the Green-K monster! Dyke has finally made it inside Batman’s body. As Superman arrives, so do the chlorophyll-hating aliens responsible for creating the Green-K monster in the first place. Superman nabs Dyke and performs the procedure that swaps his mind back with Batman’s. Superman then uses White Kryptonite (which kills all plant-life) to destroy the Green-K monster and send the aliens packing. In the chaos, Willard runs-off with Dyke’s living brain. (The events of this entire issue are also seen via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #254.)

–Justice League of America #153
At a JLA meeting, Green Arrow let’s it all hang out, giving the team hell for not caring about real world issues like starvation. When Superman and Batman tell Green Arrow that institutions like the UN can deal with stuff like that, Green Arrow calls Batman “rich—privileged—untouched!” All of a sudden, Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Flash, and Hal Jordan are whisked away to Earth-Prime! After busting-up a bank robbery in Manhattan, the boys realize where they are when an excited kid shows them a copy of Justice League of America #151. The heroes go to the DC Comics home office and meet with Earth-Prime’s Julie Schwartz. Julie reveals that there’s been a contest to determine who the most popular Justice Leaguers are (the results of which are to be published at the end of this very issue)! Julie surmises that the collective hive-mind of Earth-Primers thinking about their favorite heroes brought them through the Void and to Earth-Prime! Flash hops on Julie’s Cosmic Treadmill, but is unable to make it send them back. Batman, Flash, and Green Arrow wind-up getting defeated and captured by the alien robot known as Maxitron—the first ever super-powered super-villain of Earth-Prime. Meanwhile, near Hawaii, Superman and Hal come across Earth-Prime’s first ever superhero, the debuting Ultraa. (Ultraa and Maxitron are the last survivors of an alien planet that was destroyed long ago. They, and nobody else, are the only super-powered beings on Earth-Prime, which resembles our reality in every other way.) Earth-Prime’s US Air Force tries to shoot at Ultraa, which prompts a strong reaction from the strange being, which prompts Superman to knock him out. Superman, Hal, and Ultraa ultimately team-up to fight and destroy Maxitron. Afterward, Hal fixes all the damage that has been done and erases everyone’s memories of the entire affair, except for Julie’s. Ultraa permanently moves to Earth-1. Julie publishes the details of the Ultraa-JLA team-up as Justice League of America #153 (the very issue we just summarized)! This Ultraa adventure is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #201. Oh, and in case you were wondering who won the very real favorite JLAer contest, it was none other than Green Lantern. Batman got the second-most first place votes, but ultimately came in fourth!

–NOTE: In Teen Titans #50-53. Batman isn’t involved in this item, but he would surely be aware about its details. The Teen Titans have recently expanded their lineup by adding rookie heroine Bumblebee. Notably Mal Duncan, who can’t settle on a name, has switched back to his Guardian moniker. Now, they expand big-time, creating Teen Titans West, a whole new venture that includes Lilith Clay, Beast Boy, Hawk, Dove, Gnarrk, Golden Eagle, and Bat-Girl (Bette Kane). Yes, the original Bat-Girl has come out of retirement! Unfortunately, following a successful battle against a returning Mr. ESPer (now calling himself Captain Calamity), the Teen Titans (both branches) decide to disband so they can pursue solo careers.

–World’s Finest Comics #250
As seen in Superman Family #186-187, Superman and Jimmy Olsen recently teamed-up with Earth-2 Superman and Earth-2 Jimmy Olsen to defeat the super-villain Krogg, during which the JL Satellite Transmatter Cube was damaged. Cut to now. Black Canary decides she wants to visit Earth-2, so she and Green Arrow go to the satellite. Hawkman warns them not to activate the damaged Transmatter Cube, but a brash Green Arrow does anyway, causing massive localized time anomalies all over the planet. In an instant, history is re-written so that no superheroes ever came into existence on Earth-1. Black Canary and Green Arrow, caught in the Bleed, are spared. As are Superman and Batman, who are currently off-planet on a deep space emergency mission to help the alien locals of the double-star Alpha Centauri system. (In my personal headcanon, Superman and Batman are aiding the Alpha Centaurians to solve a dire proto-Liú Cíxīn-esque Three Body Problem. After all, Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri, if these stars actually did support life on neighboring planets, would form what could only be a chaotic “tri-solaris.” Someone please write this comic book!) Black Canary and Green Arrow briefly appear on Earth-2, 1942 where they crash into Earth-2 Wonder Woman. All three heroes are launched to Earth-1, August 1942. There, they meet with a US Government official named Professor Ronsom to get an experimental time-travel device. However, as Ronsom talks to them, top Nazi super-soldier Agent Axis II (himself displaced from Earth-2) shoots him. Hoping to save Ronsom, Earth-2 Wonder Woman activates the time-device, which turns him into an energy being known as The Ravager. Back in present day, Superman and Batman get back to Earth to find time-displaced 1940s Nazis and the Ravager, who begin appearing and disappearing all over the United States. Batman and Superman travel to Themyscira where Diana and Hippolyta’s history has been altered along with everyone else’s. Despite this, Hippolyta hears out the heroes and reveals that the Ravager is linked to the time anomalies. She tells them to seek out Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Earth-2 Wonder Woman back in time. Thus, Superman and Batman, who have now forgotten their own connection to Black Canary and Green Arrow, travel to August 14, 1942 to join them. There, the heroes meet with a bewildered President Franklin D Roosevelt and explain what they’ve deduced—that the Ravager is frantically bouncing back and forth between 1942 and 1979, bringing things back and forth with him and tearing-up time and space as he goes. Soon Agent Axis manages to capture the Ravager. Two days later, Batman and Green Arrow travel to Bavaria to infiltrate Agent Axis’ lab only to get immediately captured. Thankfully, Black Canary and Earth-2 Wonder Woman make a successful rescue. Seeing that he is losing, Agent Axis attacks the Ravager, which causes a giant chronal energy explosion that sends a time distortion wave across the planet. Green Arrow shoots a neutralizer device at the Ravager, destroying him and resetting time itself. The heroes return to their correct Earths and times. Only Superman, Batman, Black Canary, and Green Arrow retain memories of what has occurred.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #17. The JLA fixes the damaged Transmatter Cube aboard the JL Satellite.

–Batman #297
Bruce meets with Jason Bard, who has decided he wants to run for DA! Bruce agrees to be the finance chairman of his campaign. Bruce then goes on a date to keep up playboy appearances (and also in an effort to legit get over Silver St. Cloud). While riding in a moonlight horse-drawn carriage in the park, muggers stick-up Bruce and his date Kim. An escaped Mad Hatter II, who arrives as the cowboy-themed “Sheriff Tetch” and takes over the robbery. (Note that, thanks to later retcons, this is NOT the original Mad Hatter Jervis Tetch, but the second Mad Hatter, who is a copycat of and obsessed with the real Jervis Tetch. Thus, we must ignore any references to Mad Hatter II as being Tetch.) Bruce switches to Bat-mode and punches Mad Hatter onto a passing truck, which drives the villain to freedom. Soon, Mad Hatter returns in various hat-themed outfits, committing various crimes over the course of the next few days. A few days later, Bruce temporarily re-opens Wayne Manor to hold a gala to announce Jason Bard’s candidacy. All the big-wigs are in attendance, including Gotham’s top adjudicator Judge Harkness. Mad Hatter shows up, hoping to rob the party, but Batman is ready and waiting to kick his ass back to jail. Afterward, Bruce goes on a second date with Kim, which gets pretty hot and heavy in the backseat of the carriage. Despite the sexual chemistry, we won’t see Kim again. As usual, Bruce doesn’t follow up. Also, while the Wayne Manor gala was a lure for Mad Hatter, Jason Bard’s candidacy for DA is legit. Of course, as is the case with a lot of David Vern Reed works, nothing gets continued. We must assume that Bruce provides sustentation for Jason—but that Jason ultimately drops out of the running or eventually loses the election. (Note that this item is also referenced in Batman Family #16, which takes place a day afterward.)

–NOTE: In Batman Family #16. Late March. This is another big issue even though Batman is not involved. As with previous Batman Family issues, the Dark Knight would definitely be informed. Robin, Harlequin, Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, and Bat-Girl (Bette Kane) defeat the “Five-in-One Foe.” (Sadly, Bat-Girl and Batgirl don’t actually fight together at the same time in this one.) Meanwhile, Jason Bard teams-up with Man-Bat in New York City to bust The Shotgun Sniper, after which Francine Langstrom goes into the initial stages of labor. Man-Bat will soon be a dad! (Note that Francine won’t actually enter the actual birthing stage of labor for another two days.)

–Batman Family #17
Late March. Bruce meets up with Kathy Kane, who is at the Cliffside Castle amusement park in New Jersey scouting circus locations. The GCPD hands over a struggling months-long case of missing celebrities to Batman. After familiarizing himself with the case and going on a quick investigation, Batman patrols but is attacked by a woman with razor-sharp claws. A man named Drake, with his face hidden, appears and corrals the girl, telling Batman that they are circus folk working at Cliffside Castle. Later, Dick shows up randomly at the penthouse, telling Bruce that Lori’s ex-boyfriend has shown back up at Hudson University. A paranoid Dick expresses concerns that Lori agreed to meet the ex in a hotel room, where she currently is at the moment. But before Bruce can respond, security alarms go off and Earth-2’s Huntress (Helena Wayne) appears in the living room! Helena explains that she is not only a JSA member, but Earth-2 Bruce Wayne’s daughter as well! After regaling Bruce and Dick with the story of her family, Helena asks Bruce for extra help and guidance since she is still a rookie in the vigilante game. Bruce decides to pawn her off to Kathy Kane. At Cliffside Castle, Batman introduces Helena to Kathy and they hit it off. Kathy suggests that Helena meet Batgirl in Provincetown the next day. Before Helena departs, she kisses Batman on the check, calling him “Uncle.” Soon after, Batman is ambushed and knocked out by Drake. When the Dark Knight comes-to he is side-by-side with a tied-up Lori. Drake reveals himself not only to be Lori’s ex, but also the super-villain Scar, who has been kidnapping celebs and performing bizarre unnecessary surgeries on them. While Robin saves Lori (and then comforts her as Dick), Batman busts Scar. The next day, Huntress takes on the alternate version of her own mother—Catwoman! The feline villainess is saved by Madame Zodiac. Likewise, Batgirl takes-on an escaped Poison Ivy, who also gets saved by Madame Zodiac. Later, Helena hangs out with Kathy and Babs at the Provincetown amusement park. Soon after, Huntress, Batgirl, and Batwoman (she’s basically come out of retirement for real at this point) defeat Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Madame Zodiac—although the latter escapes. Later, Batman and Batgirl personally see-off Huntress as she returns to Earth-2 via the JL Satellite’s Transmatter Cube. Meanwhile, Morgaine Le Fay breaks free of centuries-old magickal captivity, which leads to mothers giving birth to demon-spawn at a NYC hospital—the very hospital where Francine Langstrom is about to have her baby! Jason Blood/Etrigan and Man-Bat deal with the demon baby crisis and turn Morgaine Le Fay to stone using the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Afterward, Kirk Langstrom rushes back to the hospital to find that Francine has just given birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl named Rebecca Langstrom. Yay! Great issue.

–The Brave and The Bold #141 Part 1
Early April. After some a couple folks spontaneously combust, Batman dons his old Shadow-inspired janitor disguise to infiltrate the police morgue for an autopsy. After an investigation and shaking down the local low-level baddies, Batman finds that the culprit is a new loan shark. Meanwhile, Dinah Lance debuts as a fashion designer, showing of her first professional line on the runway. When the loan shark causes another combustion at the show, Black Canary and Batman chase after him, realizing that the loan shark bomber is none other than an escaped Joker. Later, Alfred phones the loan shark number and put in an order for some cash. Batman and Black Canary tail Alfred, but lose track of him when he meets with Joker at a secret locale. When Alfred returns, he tells Batman and Black Canary that he was at a random funeral home somewhere in the city. Alfred has one week to pay up.

–Batman Family #18 Part 1
Early April. Batman takes notice that someone has stolen the city’s obsolete sewage planning maps from a municipal building. On patrol, Batman saves radio personality Barry Dark from a mugger. Later, the Gargoyle Gang tries to rob famous stage actress Tabitha Blatant, during which they shoot and kill an actor dressed-up as Batman. The Gargoyle Gang, having stolen the out-of-date sewage maps, escapes underground with a Tabitha’s kidnapped secretary in tow. The real Batman soon arrives, identifying the deceased as famous actor Harry Noah. Batman goes into the sewers, which slowly rise due to a big storm, and systematically busts the Gargoyles, cornering them in a flooded section of underground waterway. Alfred, as planned, blows-up a sewage wall, freeing the trapped folks beneath. Batman and Gordon then arrest Tabitha, exposing her as the mastermind of the robbery/insurance scam.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #303 Part 1. Batman encounters a ridiculous new museum-robbing super-villain called The Dodo Man two nights in a row. The Dodo Man evades capture both times, prompting Batman to begin hunting him. Batman plants hidden bugs at various museums that Dodo Man might likely target next. In-between his other many cases, Batman will go after the Dodo Man for the next month.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #20 Part 1. Bruce befriends Jim Channing, publisher of the muckraking newspaper known as The Gotham Blade.

–The Brave and the Bold #141 Part 2
A week has passed since Alfred took a loan from Joker, and the villain now comes a-calling for his high-interest recompense. Black Canary flushes-out Joker and attacks him, but winds-up getting captured. Joker demands Alfred pay him or Black Canary will die. When Alfred tells Batman that Joker gave him some wine last week, Batman realizes that Joker had been causing the spontaneous combustions via a time-release nano-bombs in the vino. Batman disguises himself as Alfred and kicks Joker’s ass, forcing him to undergo a blood transfusion with the real Alfred. (Joker, of course, has the antidote flowing through his own veins.) Then it’s back to Arkham Asylum for the Clown Prince of Crime.

–Batman Family #19 Part 1
Mid April. When Batman gets word that a foreign ambassador named Chaik is marked for death by an assassin’s bullet, Bruce offers to host Chaik and his team of attendants on a trip through the snow-capped mountains north of Gotham. After an assassin’s bomb blows-up a bridge and strands the travelers, some superstitious hillbillies—led by Granny Bleach—start firing guns at the group. Batman fights-off the mountain-folk, learning about their fear of a mythic white vampire bat before trekking-out in search of the assassin. After another attempt on Chaik’s life, Batman finds one of his aides dead with bite marks on his throat. Batman then falls into a pit via a trap set by the assassin, but escapes. After the fearful hillbillies strike again, Chaik’s bus-driver is outed as the assassin, but he gets bitten by the white bat! The assassin flees into a getaway helicopter, but, injured from the bite, cannot control the chopper and crashes to his death.

–Batman Family #20 Part 1
Mid April. Batman helps some tortured tenants at some Wayne Enterprises-owned apartments and busts some hooligans working for crooked realtors. The Caped Crusader leaves the latter for the cops as a crowd of onlookers—including Rory Regan (who moonlights as the vigilante Ragman) and his girlfriend Bette Berg—watches on. Rory and Bette are amateur photojournalists that also run a Gotham junk shop called Rags ‘n’ Tatters. Noticing that a strange man had tried to interfere with Bette’s photography, Batman trails Rory and Bette to a dark-room and listens-in, hearing that they will be try to sell the pictures to The Gotham Blade. Later, the crooked realtors bust-up Rags ‘n’ Tatters and give Bette a black eye to warn her off of publishing her pics. Ragman rushes to Bruce Wayne’s penthouse, believing that he must be in cahoots with the realtors. There, Ragman meets Batman for the first time! Batman instantly realizes that Ragman is Rory. They scuffle, but Ragman takes-off. Realizing that the agency that runs the apartments has been taken over by the mob, Batman joins Ragman at the realty office to help him kick ass. Two days later, Bette’s story is published in The Gotham Blade. Bruce personally visits Rags ‘n’ Tatters, offering to fix up the store for free and giving a generous grant to Rory and Bette.

–Batman Family #20 Part 2
Mid April. The majority of the JLA—including Batman—goes on an unspecified mission in deep space. Meanwhile, Lori Elton dumps Dick and begins dating David Corby, who is secretly a bird-costumed MAZE agent known as The Raven. Robin puts his heartbreak and Raven case on hold to help Elongated Man, Red Tornado, and Batgirl defeat The Power Sower in Washington DC. (We are told it is 95 degrees in DC, which is fine and dandy. But it is definitely not yet summertime, so maybe ignore that.)

–Batman Family #20 Part 3
Mid April. While Batman goes after the heavily-armed gang known as The Gotham Guerrillas in Gotham, he tasks Jason Bard to interrupt a Guerrilla arms deal in Upstate New York. Man-Bat, hoping to get a job recommendation from Batman because he wants Jason Bard to hire him as a private eye assistant, travels to Gotham. There, Man-Bat helps Batman bust some Guerrillas, after which, the Dark Knight gives him his blessing. Kirk meets with Jason, but the latter tells him to beat it. Later, Kirk turns into Man-Bat before Jason’s very eyes, saving him from the Guerrillas and busting-up their arms deal. Impressed, Jason officially hires Man-Bat as his assistant!

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #480. Batman begins tracking Ivan Angst and his gang of gun-runners called Mercenaries Incorporated. Batman will track them on-and-off in-between other cases for the next three weeks.

–Action Comics #480-483
Amazo reactivates inside the JL Satellite’s trophy room and begins thrashing Superman’s ass. Amazo emits red solar radiation that weakens the Man of Steel. While Superman flees to his Fortress of Solitude to recuperate and journal about his experience, the entire JL Satellite—with the rest of the JLA aboard—is thrown into an interdimensional limbo by Amazo. Clark takes a weeklong WGBS gig in Death Valley so he can go off the grid without any questions, but, before he can even depart, he is visited by a reformed Professor Ivo, creator of Amazo. Superman fights Amazo and saves Ivo’s life, brining him to the Fortress of Solitude for his own protection. Amazo enters the Fortress and attacks, prompting Superman to release an intergalactic zoo creature and debut the flying Supermobile! From the safety of his new vehicle, Superman takes-on Amazo yet again, warring with him for a couple days. Eventually, Amazo hounds Superman, Lois, and Ivo through time (five days into the future, to be exact) to a distant asteroid in deep space. Re-powered, Superman fends-off the angry android and returns back to Earth. (Superman, Lois, and Ivo simply return (they do not go back in time), skipping five days and saying, fuck it let’s just go from here. This should cause a time paradox of immense and headache-inducing proportions, but oh well, let’s just move on, shall we?) When they get back to Earth, the same red solar radiation that woke up Amazo has caused all of humanity to not be able to sleep a wink. For the past five days straight, everyone has been awake. Superman and Amazo call a truce, after which the JLA returns (thanks to Hal Jordan’s power ring) and defeats the android. The JLA uses Amazo’s inert body to suck up all the red solar radiation, thus allowing the populace of Earth to sleep once again. Amazo is then jettisoned into deep space. The JLA are hailed as saviors—as is Professor Ivo, who earns a full pardon for his former crimes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #298-299. Bruce begins dating a beautiful blonde named Phoebe, for whom he develops a quick affection. Overnight, Bruce comes to regard her as one of his favorite people. Of course, he immediately has to blow her off to do Batman stuff. Pheobe is furious, but she won’t run away yet.

–Challengers of the Unknown #87
When monsters from 12 million CE appear in the present, several heroes—including Deadman, Swamp Thing, the Challengers of the Unknown (Rocky Davis, Ace Morgan, Red Ryan, Walter Haley, and June Robbins), and the Time Masters (Rip Hunter, Jeff Smith, Bonnie Baxter, and Corky Baxter)—battle against them. While Ryan and Haley defend Challengers Mountain, the rest of the heroes time-travel to 12 million CE to take-on the monsters at the source. There, the heroes join with future superhero Lucas Lawspeaker to fight the monsters’ controllers: the Sunset Lords. Back in 1979, Ryan and Haley contact the JLA, the New Gods of New Genesis, and Jason Blood for help. This prompts Batman, Elongated Man, Hal Jordan, Lightray, and Etrigan to help defeat the monsters. With victories in both eras, the heroes call it a day on a successful mission.

–Batman #298-299
Batman follows a boat into an old house that was once a secret entrance to the Underground Railroad back during the Civil War. Descending into a hidden passageway, Batman finds a Caribbean occult ritual murder going on in the basement. After busting some oddly dressed priests, Batman ventures deeper into the tunnels to find some catatonic refugees and a tied-up investigative reporter. Batman is ambushed by gun-toting thugs and tossed into a pit. Later, Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, who tells him that some unknown party is threatening to reveal Batman’s true ID. The next day, Bruce goes on a lunch date with his new girlfriend and then plays tennis at the club. At night, Batman meets with Schemer Leo and other informants, even putting out a call on his Informant Boards, but the Dark Knight gets no info about the Caribbean occultists or his mystery would-be outer. Soon, Batman finds his way to the apartment of the still-missing intended victim of the cultists only to find the reporter, who reveals herself to be the leader of the cult. Batman fights both she and a henchman, but they escape. Later, Batman deduces that the person trying to out his secret ID is wealthy socialite Baxter Baines. Arriving at Baines’ penthouse, Batman finds him waiting in a gaudy superhero costume. When three crooks that Batman has busted in the past arrive to try and find out Batman’s secret ID, the Dark Knight and Baines kick their asses. Baines reveals that he doesn’t know Batman’s secret ID, but then tries to fight him in an attempt to unmask him. Batman easily handles Baines and then sends out a public message saying that Baines is Batman. The next night, Batman watches as the Caribbean cultists enter Baines apartment in an attempt to kill “Batman.” The real Batman then trails the cultists to their lair, once again interrupting another sacrificial Black Mass ritual, this one led by the “reporter.” Batman saves the would-be sacrifice victim and exposes the cult’s true purpose: to drug illegal immigrants into mindless cult assassins. Following this case, Phoebe breaks-up with Bruce. We know this because Bruce has now blown her off twice, we won’t see her again, and Bruce will begin dating someone new immediately. (Bruce must really be trying hard to get Silver St. Cloud out of his system with these rebound gals.)

–Batman #289-290
Late April. Bruce begins dating someone named Peggy. Soon after, Commissioner Gordon tells Batman some secret details about two recent odd heart attack deaths. Both victims had a skull branded onto their bodies. When Batman comes across another skull-marked heart attack victim at the hospital, he’s on the case. When three hired goons try to steal the corpse, Batman chases them off. After reviewing video footage, Batman finds that the same strange man was seen at the location of each death. After interrogating Gotham’s high-profile tax commissioner, Batman learns that his suspect is Cosmo Dugger aka Skull Dugger. After breaking into Dugger’s house, Batman finds strange sci-fi headgear. Bravely (or foolishly) donning the headgear, Batman is inundated with psychic energy, learning that Dugger will soon be attempting to rob a nearby mansion. Batman ambushes Dugger and his men, but feels the wrath of Dugger’s metapower: he feeds on people’s emotional joy, leaving them empty vessels with skull marks on their bodies. Batman is able to escape to police HQ, but drifts into a catatonic state. Eventually, Batman is able to wake up and go home, but he is shaken to his core. Thanks to Dugger, Bruce is unable to even think about putting on his Batman costume. After two full days of inaction, Bruce tries to distract himself with tennis, but it doesn’t work. Against his own wishes, Bruce breaks up with Peggy. Despite being in severe physical and mental anguish, Batman forces his way through a patrol and stalks Dugger, who attempts to psychically feed off of someone at a will reading. Batman tries to intervene, but Dugger uses his powers to stymie the Dark Knight yet again. Seeing no other option, Batman disguises himself as a prison guard and meets with Dr. Tzin-Tzin in the villain’s cell. Batman offers to help Tzin-Tzin escape (a bold-faced lie) in exchange for a temporary magickal power boost. Nearly invulnerable, Batman faces Dugger once again. The super-villain maxes-out his powers, resulting in his own death. Later, a restored Bruce relaxes with Alfred. He calls Peggy, presumably to make amends with her. But, as always, we can assume he quickly breaks-up with her again anyway since we won’t see her again on our timeline.

–Batman #301-302
Batman busts-up a robbery, but an innocent bystander is shot and killed. When an ankh implant is found in the dead man’s skull, Batman and Commissioner Gordon finally have proof that the ankh-puppet master from the years-old underworld rumor mill is real. They immediately put their plan to stop the puppet master into action. Batman appears before the GCPD’s top brass (and Gordon’s chauffeur) disguised as a ridiculous wizard named Akeldama the Annihilator. Akeldama “kills” random strangers (undercover GCPD officers playing along with the ruse) using his occult mental powers. After several days of Akeldama plaguing the city and Gordon feigning shock and terror, a mole (Gordon’s chauffeur) orchestrates Akeldama’s kidnapping, forcing him to use his powers to kill the ankh puppet master, who is revealed to be socialite Malcolm Millbrook. After pretending to kill Millbrook, Akeldama unmasks as Batman, kicks ass, and hotfoots over to Millbrook’s pad. There, a mob boss named Luke Brant shoots Millbrook dead. Millbrook’s wife enters the room, upon which Batman claims that he has executed Millbrook. (Batman realizes that Millbrook’s “wire-head” sleeper agents will now activate and go after Millbrook’s killer, so he has taken that burden upon himself.) The public goes into an uproar when Batman publicly admits to murdering Millbrook. After filling-in Alfred and Dick, Batman fights a bunch of “wire-heads,” all circus performers. After questioning Millbrook’s wife, Batman switches to Bruce mode and hits the clubs, meeting and flirting with a gal named Melanie. More circus folk “wire-heads” attack Bruce, instinctively knowing that he is Batman due to their ankh-programming. Batman and Robin bust the “wire-heads,” after which Robin dons the Bat-costume so that Bruce can be present when the cops arrive. With the case closed, Bruce takes Melanie on a sexy private jet-set trip to parts unknown.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #176. Batman hears about safecracker Albert Cowper, the top suspect in the robbery of the Gotham Gem Exposition. However, due to insufficient evidence the DA is forced to let Cowper walk.

–Aquaman #61
Aquaman is in a terrible state. His son has recently died and Mera is currently missing. With the rest of the JLA away on an unspecified mission, Aquaman, Batman, and Hal Jordan take on the Kobra Cult in Portugal. Kobra kidnaps a bunch of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) diplomats, including Aquaman’s pal General Horgan, and threatens to poison the entire country. Despite Batman getting beaten in a one-on-one fight against Kobra himself, the trio of heroes is able to prevent his lackeys from releasing the poison. Aquaman defeats Kobra in undersea combat, but the latter escapes custody. Batman chews-out Aquaman for letting him get away.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman #327. During a JLA meeting, Batman, Aquaman, and Hal Jordan tell Superman all about their recent experience with Kobra.

–Batman #303 Part 1
While stalking the Dodo Man at the Natural History Museum, Batman is conked on the head and gets his brain scrambled to such an extent that he begins patrolling as Batman, but dressed in his civilian Bruce Wayne clothes. Commissioner Gordon is shocked to see Bruce heed the call of the Bat-signal, but assumes that Batman is merely disguised as Bruce. After Bruce beats-up Max Wedge and returns to the penthouse with his civvies in tatters, Alfred doesn’t know what to think. But when morning comes, and Batman sits at the breakfast table, Alfred knows master has flipped his lid. Batman walks around town all day, getting hassled by the citizens of Gotham, who can’t figure out if he is the real deal or not. As night falls, Bruce drives the Batmobile and tracks the Dodo Man back to the museum. There, Bruce’s mind straightens itself out. Switching back to his correct fighting togs, Batman kicks the Dodo Man’s ass. Alfred retrieves the Batmobile and returns it to the garage beneath the Wayne Foundation Tower. Batman, with no memories of what has occurred, sees Alfred driving and demands an explanation. Later, Bruce donates money to the museum to fix damages caused by the Dodo Man.

–Batman #303 Part 2
Batman finally gets around to audio-recording the case-file entry for the Angus McKame case. He adds this story to the “time capsule” files.

–Detective Comics #480
This story is said to occur in late August, but that is an impossibility. It is May. Batman roughs-up members of Mercenaries Incorporated, but Ivan Angst gets away clean. Upon returning to the Batcave under the Wayne Foundation Tower (Batcave II), Batman feels dizzy and ill. After a visit from Dr. Douglas Dundee, it is determined that Bruce has pneumonia! Dr. Dundee orders a couple weeks of bedrest, with which Bruce reluctantly complies. For a week-and-a-half, Bruce recuperates at his penthouse, reading and studying lots of new things while Alfred watches over him. Half-recovered, Batman suits-up and takes on The Gork, a genetically-enhanced super-soldier created by Dr. Moon (!) for Angst. The Gork whoops Batman’s ass, but collapses due to the strain of the fight. Dr. Moon’s, seeing that his super-soldier enhancements have failed, flees the scene. The Gork angrily chokes Angst to death before dying himself.

–Batman #304 Part 1
Batman fights some crooks but gets kayoed and thrown into a truck. The crooks deliver Batman to their boss, an escaped Spook, who drugs the Dark Knight and puts him in a vision chamber, causing him to have various hallucinations. The Spook then takes a confused Batman onto the pier and turns loose mob enforcer Diamond Jock Cafferty on him. Batman, even through a drug clouded haze, recognizes Cafferty from crime-dossiers. Meanwhile, the Spook has a camera crew shoot what is meant to be the final moments of the Caped Crusader’s life, but Cafferty wings Batman’s arm, knocking him into the drink. The cold salt water jogs Batman’s senses and he listens from beneath the docks to learn of the Spook’s scheme. Batman then easily busts the Spook.

–Detective Comics #481 Part 1
This item occurs in close proximity to Batman Family #19, meaning a few weeks after it. Alfred tells Bruce that several threats have been made against his cousin, Sir Basil Smythe, a British doctor that has invented a secret new surgical technique. Thus, Batman travels to London to protect him. There, the Dark Detective witnesses the gunshot murder of one of Smythe’s friends, but the killer escapes thanks to a distraction by international crook Greeny Velvet (who Batman recognizes from his databases). Smythe tells Batman that he will not release his technique to the public unless Batman can stop his would-be assassin within 24 hours. The next day, Batman follows the clues back to the States, boarding a special 19th century-styled foamer train heading into Gotham. Batman soon flushes-out the trip organizer Milt Solo as the killer, busting him aboard the train. As Alfred arrives at the Gotham International Airport to greet his cousin, Batman also arrives with Solo in tow.

–Detective Comics #481 Part 5
Batman is introduced by Commissioner Gordon to a series of murders where the victims have been brutally torn to pieces. Batman realizes that all the victims are his father’s wartime associates that testified against a criminal named Xavier Simon during WWI. Batman visits Simon at his apartment to learn that Simon, after getting out of jail, vowed revenge upon Thomas Wayne and his friends, but he had to put his revenge on hold due to an accident that left him paralyzed. While immobile for decades, Simon had private detectives keep tabs on his intended victims—including Bruce, who would have to suffice for the deceased Thomas. Simon not only knows that Bruce is Batman, but he has also stolen body-swapping tech from a super-scientist that he has murdered. Putting his body into a white gorilla, Simon attacks Batman, drugging him and strapping him to a gurney.

–Detective Comics #482
Xavier Simon attempts to move his consciousness from his new white gorilla body into Batman’s body, but Batman breaks free of his restraints and destroys Xavier’s machines. A fire consumes Xavier’s original empty human vessel. An enraged Xavier fights Batman, kicking his ass. Thankfully, a random security guard shoots Xavier dead just before the latter can finish off the Dark Knight. Later, Batman discovers that Xavier, having planned to add his wealth to Bruce’s once he controlled him, has willed everything he owns to Bruce. A funeral is soon held, at which Batman orders Xavier’s human body to be buried next to his gorilla body. Two tombstones are erected. Batman and a confused Gordon pay their respects. A day later, Batman and Gordon watch the news, learning that Congresswoman Barbara Gordon and journalist Leslie Tauburn have been kidnapped by Chinese terrorist Wo Fong and his Sino-Supermen (a super-powered anti-Justice League team consisting of Sino-Supergirl, Sino-Firestorm, Sino-Batman, Sino-Flash, Sino-Green Lantern, and Sino-Superman). Senator Thomas Cleary and Lewis Efrem (director of the US Government’s National Security Bureau) also watch with worried eyes. In Peking, Babs switches to Bat-mode and kicks everyone’s ass. Batgirl’s long lost brother, Tony Gordon, makes his presence known, donning Sino-Superman’s costume and helping her defeat Wo Fong. Batgirl escapes with Leslie, but watches as the building explodes, killing everyone else inside, including poor Tony. Note that the rest of Detective Comics #482 (parts 3, 4, and 5) do not feature Batman. In them (respectively), Etrigan deals with Baron Tyme, Bat-Mite visits the DC Office on Earth-Prime (!), and the secret director of MAZE holds a private meeting with his underlings to discuss recent defeats at the hands of Robin. While parts 4 and 5 occur here and now, part 3 (Etrigan’s battle against Baron Tyme) actually occurs next month (in Detective Comics #483 Part 4). Likewise, there is a hidden ellipsis following part 5 as MAZE won’t actually attack Robin about a month (not until Detective Comics #483 Part 5).

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #252. Batman adds to his utility belt a sound amplification device that allows him to listen-in on other folks’ phone calls.

–Secret Society of Super-Villains #12
Batman reads the latest JL reports about the Secret Society of Super-Villains, noting that they have a new plant-based super-power on their team. goes on monitor duty aboard the JL Satellite. Captain Comet busts Copperhead and then switches to his alter-ego to hang with his girlfriend Debbie Darnell, whom he has no idea is actually Star Sapphire (Remoni-Notra). Meanwhile, Robin meets with scientists at the Wayne Foundation Tower to check-up on Blockbuster. Floronic Man aka Plant Master (Jason Woodrue), the new plant-based super-power in the Secret Society, attacks, causing Blockbuster to turn evil again. Robin calls Batman, who calls Captain Comet, who takes on the Secret Society (Earth-2’s Wizard, Floronic Man, Star Sapphire, Reverse-Flash, and Blockbuster). Captain Comet chases the Secret Society all the way to Earth-2.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #252. Batman investigates Tech-Ton Industries, finding that the company is a front for a large crime combine. Despite this, Batman is unable to drum-up enough hard evidence to bring down the corporation.

–Justice League of America #154
Bruce, Clark, Ray Palmer, Jean Loring, Barry Allen, Iris West-Allen, and Morgan Edge attend the grand opening of the Gotham Starscraper Hotel. Ollie and Dinah are there as well, but remain out of sight as they engage in a lover’s spat with one another. Dinah is mad at Ollie for being such a boorish sexist while Ollie thinks she is blowing thing out of proportion. Ollie is also stressed because it is an election year in Star City and, as promised to outgoing Mayor Jack Majors, he has thrown his hat into the ring, hoping to replace him. After a day of fun, everyone goes to their respective hotel rooms for the night. From afar, an escaped Dr. Destiny causes them to have horrible nightmares. The next day, Batman installs airbags into the Batmobile and heads out on patrol. All of the heroes that stayed at the hotel the night before, including Batman, see their nightmares come to life courtesy of Dr. Destiny, who makes his dramatic return—now skull-faced, sporting a new ruby Materioptikon, and with knowledge of the JLAers’ secret IDs. The Atom steals the Materioptikon, allowing Black Canary to kayo the villain. Using the powerful gem, the Atom erases Dr. Destiny’s knowledge of their secret IDs. The villain then goes to back to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #305 Part 1. Dr. Destiny is back behind bars, but he’s done enough damage to the Starscraper Hotel that has been made completely uninhabitable. The Wayne Foundation takes control over the building and Bruce rebrands his venture into a spa for people with disabilities. Re-construction begins on the tower.

–The World’s Greatest Superheroes News Strip 7/2/1978 to 10/24/1978 (“Flash Fights For His Life”)
The World’s Greatest Superheroes news strip has never been collected and the strips are extremely rare to find. As such, I’ve never read them. Suffice to say, certain online sources reveal that, in this arc, the superheroes—notably Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Black Canary—rally to save Flash’s life when he collapses into a coma. The primary villain is a small-time burglar, who has been granted teleportation powers from a yet-again-escaped Dr. Destiny.

–The World’s Greatest Superheroes News Strip 10/25/1978 to 1/21/1979 (“The Disco Disappearances”)
Again, I’m not sure about the exact narrative since The World’s Greatest Superheroes has never been collected. In this arc, a model gets badly burned in a fire. Criminal tech genius Giles Manning is able to give her a new robotic mask face, but she winds up turning to crime and fighting the superheroes. Eventually, the heroes—including Batman, Robin, Superman, Black Canary, and Black Lightning—help the robot-faced gal to war against Manning, who had been forcing her into the life of crime in order to repay him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #305 Part 1. A new anarchist gang calling itself The Death’s-Head, led by a skull-faced super-villain named Thanatos, begins a bombing campaign that will last for the next ten weeks. Batman and Commissioner Gordon will chase after the Death’s-Head, but will be unable to nab them. In fact, Batman won’t even come face-to-face with any members until ten weeks from now.

–Justice League of America #155
Batman chases after Rā’s al Ghūl all the way to New Delhi, India. When the alien planet of Regna appears in Earth’s orbit, causing catastrophic natural disasters to erupt all over the planet, the JLA scrambles, sending Red Tornado to help the Dark Knight with a rescue effort in India. Batman soon leaves Red Tornado to fight two of the Regnarians, who steal nuclear rods from a power plant. Superman and Hal Jordan take take on an army of the aliens on Regna. The alien leader tells Superman and Hal that they cannot move Regna or all their people will die. On Earth, the rest of the JLA continues the rescue effort. (Red Tornado makes reference to Super Friends #8, which must be regarded as a continuity error since that issue is out-of-continuity.) Batman and Red Tornado travel to Panama to fight more Regnarians, learning of their plot to eradicate all life on Earth. Batman disguises himself as a Regnarian and teleports to Regna to help Superman and Hal fight the main group of aliens. Regna is then ludicrously revealed to be the time-displaced second moon of Earth, which was transported from a billion years ago to now to escape an assault by Jovians. Diplomacy reigns as Superman simply moves Regna and its people to the year one billion CE.

–World’s Finest Comics #252
When Perry White is seemingly blackmailed into publishing the weekly “fake news” of a columnist known as The Whisperer, Superman and Batman investigate by visiting the folks the hack journalist has smeared. The heroes learn that the Whisperer is blackmailing his smear-job victims as well. When blackmailed singer Jon Rambo does a payoff, Batman chases after the Whisperer, who is dressed-up as the god Mercury. The Whisperer escapes. The next day, the Whisperer’s column tells tale of Commissioner Gordon’s execution of the criminal alien Laz in 1939 (which was detailed in The Brave and The Bold #139). Fed up, Perry cancels the Whisperer’s column, which results in him getting kidnapped. During the abduction, the Whisperer’s henchmen shoot a janitor, putting him into a coma. Batman and Superman soon discover that the Whisperer had gotten Perry to publish his column by threatening the life of Perry’s wife Alice White, who he has been holding captive. Later, Clark shows-up for work only to find that Morgan Edge has invited the Whisperer to appear on live TV. Clark protests, resulting in Edge firing him on the spot. After switching to Superman-mode, the Man of Steel smashes-up Edge’s recording booth to find a fake Whisperer inside. Edge, of course, couldn’t get the real deal to appear, so he was going to fake it. As the investigation against him continues, the Whisperer sends Doc Willard (!) to perform experimental brain-scrambling surgery upon the comatose janitor, who is the only witness to Perry’s kidnapping. Later, jealous copy boy Richie Turner is outed as the Whisperer. Richie falls to his death while fighting our heroes, but reveals the location of the Whites before passing on. Later, Perry he-hires Clark.

–Justice League of America #156
Note that the Atom mentions JLofA #156 occurs one week after JLofA #155, but Aquaman says that JLofA #156 occurs two weeks after JLofA #155. I guess we’ll split the difference and call it a week-and-a-half. An injured Aquaman calls an emergency meeting aboard the JL Satellite. Several members fail to arrive (Flash and Hal Jordan have been taken out by the forest god Tane in the American Pacific Northwest), but the team proceeds without them. Red Tornado shows-up with Traya, who is spending time with her surrogate dad away from the orphanage. Aquaman collapses into a coma after telling tale of a recent unsuccessful battle versus the bizarre Fiend With Five Faces, a towering humanoid being with five heads. A NATO commander phones-in that an armed skirmish has broken out in Eastern Europe between his soldiers and some Warsaw Pact battalions. While Superman and half the team head toward Eastern Europe, Batman, the Atom, Red Tornado, and Phantom Stranger head to the temple of the Fiend With Five Faces on an island in the Pacific. On the island, the heroes fight strange mist-creatures before entering the temple. On a war-torn battlefield in Eastern Europe, the other half of the JLA witnesses strangeness, including time-displaced soldiers from the past and future, the unicorn-riding war god Ku, and the jester god Rongo. Rongo explains that he and Ku, along with Tane, Mauri, and Tangora are the ancient Gods of Oceania. 70,000 years ago they merged together during a great cataclysm to become the Fiend With Five Faces. Having been mystically bound at their hidden temple since then, the four gods betrayed their partner Tangora in order to split apart and once again be free—now causing chaos across the globe. While, Superman and Black Canary fight against Ku and Rongo (respectively), Batman and company find the imprisoned Tangora and free him. Tangora teleports his comrades to the temple, immediately chastising them for their actions. The five merge back into the Fiend With Five Faces and submerge into the depths of the sea along with their temple prison. (As revealed in Justice League of America #157, Mauri secretly escapes captivity, leaving the Fiend short of one face.) Later, aboard the JL Satellite, the Atom asks everyone if he should reveal his secret superhero life to his fiancée Jean Loring. Everyone says he should—except, of course, Batman and Superman. The Atom has a big life decision to make.

–DC Special Series #11 (Flash Spectacular 1978) Epilogue
Early June. A 19-year-old Wally West finally graduates high school! In attendance for his graduation ceremony in Central City are his parents Robert West and Mary West, grandfather Professor Ira West, aunt and uncle Iris West-Allen and Barry Allen, aunt and uncle Charlotte West-Rhodes and Edgar Rhodes, cousin Inez Rhodes, family friend Stacey Conwell, Dexter Myles, Duela Dent, Donna Troy, Garth, Mal Duncan, Roy Harper, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Ralph Dibny, and Sue Dibny. The next day, Wally tells Barry that he is retiring from superhero-ing to attend college. (Of course, this is merely a semi-retirement. While we won’t see much of Kid Flash in the near future, he will occasionally costume-up.)

–The Brave and The Bold #142-143
Batman visits Gotham’s Cape Fear (for the first time in three years) to shake-down some low-ranking members of the longstanding über drug syndicate, which leads him back into the urban jungle to Digger Fallon’s travel agency. The place is cleaned-out, but Batman finds a clue that points him in the direction of an old sailor, who points him in the direction of a sunken ship off the coast of Gotham. Batman’s investigation hints that Aquaman’s adoptive human father Tom Curry might be the longtime secret kingpin of the syndicate. At the undersea wreck, Batman battles sharks, octopi, and the drug syndicate’s scuba-team before Aquaman and Mera show-up and imprison him in a “hard water bubble.” (Aquaman is dead-scared that his land-dad might really be a crook and doesn’t want the Dark Knight to expose this.) While Aquaman and Mera fight the scuba dudes, Batman escapes and finds the sunken ship’s logbook. Aquaman then fistfights Batman, trying to prevent him from opening the logbook. Eventually, a defeated Aquaman stands down. Batman opens the book, which exonerates Aquaman’s dad of wrongdoing, but reveals that the syndicate’s kingpin is none other than world famous TV news anchor Monty Walcott! Batman stalks Monty, confirming that he is the Big Bad. Before Batman can strike, the Creeper takes him down, mistaking the Dark Knight for a would-be assassin going after the beloved Walcott. After showing the Creeper his evidence, Batman gains a partner in going after Walcott. Batman and the Creeper quickly bust Walcott, who is fast-tracked through Gotham’s legal system. Before his hearing, Walcott’s men activate an experimental vertigo-inducing bomb, allowing him to escape. Batman and the Creeper regroup and bust Walcott for a second time.

–World’s Finest Comics #253
While on patrol, Batman reads a news-ticker that says Princess Portia of Moldacia (his ex fiancée Julie Madison) is marrying world famous Prince Jon Relondos of Tybern, a union that will bring peace to two warring nations. Soon after, Bruce is kidnapped by agents of Tybern and brought before Count Alexander Delos, who reveals that Jon has been abducted—likely by rival General Lazlo. Delos begs Bruce to enter into a “Prisoner of Zenda” scenario and play the role of Jon (so as not to upset the people of Tybern) until the real Jon can be found. Naturally, Bruce is a dead-ringer for Jon. I guess Portia has a type. Bruce reluctantly agrees, gets a quick hair trim, and begins masquerading as Prince Jon, even meeting Portia and kissing her in front of an adoring public. Portia instantly knows that it’s Bruce in disguise. Later, Clark interviews Jon, but immediately sees that it’s Bruce as well. Clark agrees to help find the real Jon. That night, Bruce is kidnapped by Lazlo’s men and strapped to a medical bed. Doc Willard, under Lazlo’s employ, administers drugs to Bruce and preps him for his trademark unnecessary surgery. Bruce escapes just in time to attend the wedding, during which Lazlo attempts to claim the throne of Tybern. Bruce, as Jon, challenges Lazlo, who is arrested. The wedding goes on as planned and peace falls over both troubled nations. Superman then rescues the real Jon, who is later actually married to Portia behind closed doors.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 2. Batman begins reading books about suicide, suicide prevention, and the psychology of suicide in an effort to learn how to better talk down those who would wish harm upon themselves. Batman will read books of this nature voraciously in the years to come.

–Justice League of America #157
June. Ray Palmer and Jean Loring are getting married tomorrow, so Ray decides to reveal his secret ID to his fiancée. Jean, who is prone to nervous breakdowns, tells Ray that she doesn’t know if she can marry him anymore! Meanwhile, aboard the JL Satellite, Phantom Stranger tells all that the evil love goddess Mauri is loose. Now using the super-villain name Siren, Mauri sends henchmen into aerial battle against Batman, Phantom Stranger, Green Arrow, and Aquaman. From a distance, Siren casts a love spell that enslaves Batman and Green Arrow. Concurrently, Hal Jordan and Red Tornado travel to Gorilla City to pick-up King Solovar for Ray and Jean’s wedding. In Africa, Siren strikes, casting a love spell over Hal, who becomes subservient to her as well. Soon, Siren controls Superman as well. Superman and Hal then capture Flash, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, and Iris West-Allen in Ivy Town. Diana, Dinah, and Linda leave a confused Jean to prep for her big day, switching to their alternate roles as Wonder Woman, Black Canary, and Supergirl. The females take on all the male JLAers in an epic battle of the sexes. Eventually, the women get the men to come to their senses before kicking Siren’s ass. A few hours later, everyone gathers in black and white for the church wedding of Ray and Jean, who forgives Ray for keeping his secret for so long. Enrichetta Negrini is the maid of honor and Carter Hall is Ray’s best man. Also in attendance for the nuptials are Bruce, Clark, Diana, Dinah, Ollie, Barry, Iris, Ralph, Sue, Hal, Carrol Ferris, Solovar, Phantom Stranger, Red Tornado, Traya, Linda, Shiera, Arthur, Mera, Adam Blake (Captain Comet), and Professor Alpheus Hyatt. (Note that Carol Ferris has recently gotten divorced, started sorta-but-not-officially dating Hal Jordan again, discovered and accepted Hal’s secret ID as Green Lantern, and purchased Hal his very own trucking company—of which Hal is not only in-charge but for which Hal has also happily begun driving a long-haul big-rig. You’ll see this status quo for Green Lantern in our very next item on the chronology.)

–Green Lantern Vol. 2 #108
An alien being known as Xum travels to Earth. After passing by Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash aboard the JL Satellite, Xum turns into a hybrid version of those heroes called Replikon. Replikon soon attacks Hal Jordan in Coast City before flying to Star City. The next day, Replikon watches Green Arrow and Black Canary beat-up a punk band called The Slogs (not kidding). The Slogs (aka Slog) consists of Rance, Marcy, and a third unnamed punker. Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hal then fight Replikon, who later morphs into a dapper socialite in an effort to court Carol Ferris. Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hal will best Replikon a week from now in the Batman-less Green Lantern Vol. 2 #109.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #306 Part 1. Batman and Commissioner Gordon believe untouchable drug lord Hannibal Hardwicke, operating from his luxury liner in one of Gotham’s bays, is responsible for a new pipeline of heroin into Gotham. However, they are unable to prove it.

–The Brave and The Bold #144-145
Green Arrow visits Bruce at his office to show him an ancient book that tells tale of Merlin’s magick arrow, which he believes is hidden somewhere in Agincourt, France. Since Bruce has unspecified Wayne Enterprises business in Germany, he offers to fly Green Arrow to Agincourt. After Green Arrow parachutes out of the Batplane, Batman strangely loses control of the craft and has to land. After following Green Arrow’s trail to a nearby castle, Batman finds himself transported through time to 1415 CE where he faces-off against medieval knights and an also-time-displaced Gargoyle (Bromwell Stikk). The Gargoyle and his knights capture Batman. Meanwhile, nearby, Green Arrow gets swept into the Hundred Years’ War’s famous Battle of Agincourt. Merlin himself greets Green Arrow and creates the magick arrow just for him! On the battlefield, the Gargoyle runs amok, siding with the French army and stunning King Henry V and his soldiers. Green Arrow takes-down the Gargoyle with the magick arrow. Batman and Green Arrow escape the war and go through the castle door to reemerge in the 20th century. Batman realizes that the Gargoyle had manipulated the heroes’ time-displacement in a calculated effort to free himself and return back to present day. Batman and Green Arrow soon find the Gargoyle, defeat him, and send him back to the 15th century.

Batman and the Phantom Stranger help the GCPD bust Lustig, an international diamond smuggler working for the Icehouse Gang. Batman then convinces Lustig to testify against his gang, which results in a long-distance voodoo attack by the gang’s leader Kaluu. After a briefing by the Phantom Stranger, Batman and the Phantom Stranger soon battle Kaluu face-to-face. Batman steals Lustig’s voodoo doll, but Kaluu gets a strand of the Phantom Stranger’s hair. Later, Batman, with the Phantom Stranger watching, successfully deprograms the shell-shocked Lustig in Batcave II. The heroes then return to confront Kaluu, who unleashes an enslaved voodoo zombie upon Batman. Kaluu stabs a Phantom Stranger voodoo doll, but the Phantom Stranger’s powers are far beyond his. As soon as the needle enters the doll, Kaluu drops dead along with his zombie.


–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #254. Super-chemist Batman creates a strange experimental neuro-serum in his Batcave II lab. Fun!

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #184. Bruce learns that his old family friend, Amos Randolph, has fallen ill and has gone into assisted living care.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Special #1. Batman reads about the murder of several police officials across the globe, realizing that it’s all the handiwork of one single master hitman. Batman won’t meet the mysterious Wrath yet, but he will dread facing him for years to come. Batman will also note multiple slayings in the years to come, all attributed to this secret super-villain hitman.

–The World’s Greatest Superheroes News Strip 1/22/1979 to 5/20/1979 (“The Gravity Magnifier”)
I’m not sure about the exact narrative of this item since The World’s Greatest Superheroes has never been collected. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman take on the challenge of an escaped Lex Luthor, who dons a brand new power-suit and wields the ultimate weapon known as The Gravity Magnifier, which immobilizes all the citizens of Metropolis. The heroes stop Luthor’s “Operation Standstill,” besting both he and his new gal pal Angela.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #254. Batman begins wearing a full bulletproof vest under his costume, donning kevlar for his routine patrol. Can you believe he’s gone this long without wearing one?!

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #147. Wayne Enterprises partners with STAR Labs to initiate the highly-publicized Project Globe-Span, upgrading the company’s television satellite capacity to reach a worldwide audience. Bruce also brokers a secret deal with STAR Labs to begin construction on an experimental mini space ship. STAR Labs and Wayne Enterprises technicians will work on both of these projects for the next few months.

–Detective Comics #483 Part 1
June 26-27. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, visits Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley. While there, Batman spots twin hoods from Ohio, who he recognizes from his crime-databases. After roughing them up, Batman learns that they work for gangster Maxie Zeus, who has plans to off Long John Logan for snitching. Batman and Leslie enter a nearby rundown tenement building, through which the Dark Knight wanders, pummeling domestic abusers and muggers as he goes. Leslie delivers one of her amazing signature monologues (Denny O’Neil-penned) about the need for compassion and mercy instead of brute force. Batman hears her, but the depth of the message is mostly lost on the punch-happy vigilante. Batman ascends to the top of the tenement to prevent Maxie Zeus’ men from poisoning the building’s ventilation system. Batman then sends a note to Maxie Zeus and his  telling him that his time as a free man is running short. Batman and Logan take Leslie to the hospital for minor injuries.

–Detective Comics #484 Part 1
June 28-29. A day after foiling Maxie Zeus’ revenge plot against Long John Logan, Batman sets his sights on Zeus himself. Zeus manages to destroy the Batmobile with a Tesla coil lightning bolt. Batman then enters Zeus’ penthouse, fighting his way past henchmen, booby-traps, and trained wolves. It’s not long before Batman catches-up with Zeus, preventing him from fleeing the city and jailing him. As referenced in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3, we can presume that Batman orders a replacement Batmobile from Jack Edison, which the ace mechanic likely delivers immediately or will in the near future.

–DC Special Series #15 (Batman Spectacular) Part 2
Early July. Batman acquires a rare Etruscan poison, which he studies in the lab. The Dark Knight also hears global news that Russian scientist Professor Vasco Markewitch, who has been working on a project to turn diamonds into a new energy source, has gone missing, throwing Soviet presidiums into an uproar. Later, Batman busts Snazzy Trope, who is casing a bank in preparation for a robbery. While training in Batcave II, Batman is knocked-out by an intruding (and returning) Rā’s al Ghūl. When Batman wakes up he is on a tanker in the middle of the Atlantic and has apparently just completed a wedding ceremony with Talia! Also at the wedding are Rā’s al Ghūl’s new top man Lurk (a relative of Ubu) and the missing Markewitch. Thrown into a locked room and ordered to consummate the marriage, Batman watches as Talia performs a seductive striptease. Unflinchingly, Batman punches-out the naked Talia. Batman fights his way through Rā’s al Ghūl’s men, including Lurk, to escape. Later, Rā’s al Ghūl and Markewitch gas bomb all of Gotham and attempt to steal diamonds from the bank that Trope had been casing. Batman defeats Lurk and chases Rā’s al Ghūl to his getaway submarine at the pier. There, a bikini-clad Talia proves her love to Batman by taking down Markewitch, allowing the Dark Knight to recover the diamonds. A disappointed Rā’s al Ghūl departs with his daughter.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #484 Part 6. Bruce meets and learns all about the Wayne Foundation Science Lab’s newest hire, Professor Higley.

–Detective Comics #483 Part 6
Batman and Alfred track and study the background of Australian arms dealer Swagman Ginty, who is set to pull off a big arms deal with respected importer Harrison Juke. Bruce decides to bait Ginty’s ethnic stereotype by hosting a ridiculous cash prize kangaroo race in downtown Gotham. Sure enough, Ginty shows up, wins the race, and collects the prize. Batman follows Ginty to the arms deal and promptly busts both he and Juke. Batman then gives the prize money (anonymously) to a children’s clinic. Bruce publicly cancels all future kangaroo races.

–Detective Comics #484 Part 6
Bruce and Alfred are called into the Wayne Foundation science lab operated by Professor Higley to examine a 17th century manuscript by Galileo Galilei containing a complicated formula for a universal solvent. But before Bruce can examine the manuscript closely, he and Alfred rush off to a political rally for “a friend” that is running for City Council. (We aren’t told the name of the friend, so it’s your guess as to whom it might be.) In the morning, Bruce returns to the lab to learn that Higley created the solvent, which accidentally disintegrated a security guard during the night. At a Gotham State University lab, Batman confronts Higley, who attempts to kill the Dark Knight using the solvent. In the ensuing chaos, the gaseous solvent seeps onto Galileo’s manuscript, destroying the formula before dissipating completely into nothingness. The formula is lost forever. Later, Batman audio-records details of this adventure into the top secret time-capsule archive.

–World’s Finest Comics #254
Batman chases after Doc Willard and his henchmen in an attempt to retrieve Gorilla Boss’ brain, during which he sees an odd hallucinatory vision of Superman fighting Sinestro in Metropolis. Later, in Batcave II, a still hallucinating Batman interrogates Willard, who claims that aliens have stolen the brain. Batman, while dodging more of Willard’s henchmen, realizes that Sinestro has stolen the brain. Due to his previous alien link to Kryptonite-monster Gorilla Boss, Batman is able to see realtime visions of Superman fighting Sinestro. Batman is also able to see that Sinestro has enlarged Gorilla Boss’ brain to the size of a planet in deep space. After a quick call from Batman, Superman travels across the galaxy to see that Sinestro is draining the now tumorous giant brain for extra power. Superman mercilessly fries the brain with heat vision and then returns to punch Sinestro so hard that he flies into space, through the Bleed, and onto Universe-3’s planet of Qward! With Gorilla Boss’ brain destroyed (along with Gorilla Boss’ consciousness), Batman stops seeing visions and puts Willard behind Arkham Asylum bars.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #210. On behalf of the Israeli government, the JLA begins testing experimental chemicals that can remove salt from ocean water.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #210. The JLA makes some upgrades to their satellite HQ, incorporating a Hawkman-devised fail-safe into its deflector shields. Should the shields become damaged enough, the life sensors aboard the satellite will emit a false signal to the attacker, making it seem like all lifeforms aboard are dead. The idea is that this will buy the team some necessary time in such an emergency.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #305 Part 1. Bruce meets and begins dating Italian journalist Lina Muller, who is in town for a few weeks to write a story about Thanatos and the Death’s-Head bombings. (SPOILER: Lina is actually Thanatos.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #307. Bruce appoints Lucius Fox as his second-in-command at Wayne Enterprises.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #166-167 and Justice League of America #169. Following the recent Batman-less Justice League of America #158, in which Ultraa went rogue, becoming a more-or-less a super-villain, Superman responds by designing a new way of detaining him. The process involves miniaturization and then storage in a space-efficient stasis cube. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hal Jordan, and Red Tornado decide to imprison the dangerous Ultraa in a stasis cube that gets stored in a lighthouse in Nova Scotia. Superman creates extra stasis cube tech that can be stored in a small cabinet aboard the JL Satellite.

–Justice League of America #159-160 (“CRISIS FROM YESTERDAY & TOMORROW”)
July 15. The JLA and JSA have a dinner party at Earth-1 Gotham’s fabulous Club 22. (Writer Gerry Conway harps about how the JLA and JSA meet once a year every year, but they meet more than that, so don’t take Conway too literally.) While everyone chats and eats lobster, Batman muses about how he envies his Earth-2 counterpart (not present, of course) for having retired and had a family. While looking at Huntress, Batman realizes that he would have loved to have had a daughter. From the year 3786 CE, the Lord of Time (Epoch), using a sentient cyborg time-machine, sends mind-controlled warriors from all throughout history to strike at the JLA and JSA. Jonah Hex, Hans Von Hammer, The Viking Prince (Jon Haraldson), Miss Liberty (Bess Lynn), and The Black Pirate (Jon Valor). With the majority of the present day heroes injured, those who are still able to fight take on the time-displaced champions, but soon they too are defeated. The time-displaced fighters are then brought to the year 3786 CE where the time-machine unleashes a dinosaurs and reptilian monster men to capture them. Back in present day, most of the JSAers and JLAers (including Batman) are in the hospital with injury except for Aquaman, who missed the battle because he was stuck on monitor duty. A group of eight heroes—Superman, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Huntress, Flash, Elongated Man, Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Star-Spangled Kid—use the Cosmic Treadmill to follow the chronal trail of the time-displaced warriors, soon finding their way to Epoch’s palace in 3786. But while smashing their way into the palace, several more heroes are badly injured. When only Elongated Man is left standing, he defeats a rubber Hindu robot from the future (can’t make that one up) and soon finds Epoch struggling with his own time-machine creation, which is threatening to destroy all of time and space. Elongated Man saves the day! Back in 1979, Aquaman uses Hal’s power ring to heal everyone. Alan Scott and Hal Jordan then travel to 3786 and rescue everyone, bringing them back to the present. The time-displaced warriors are sent back to their correct times.

Ray Palmer and his lab partner David Dorman (likely modeled after comic book artist Dave Dorman) discover a brand new element called the X-Element. Not only is the X-Element mysterious and rare, but the last of it is also in the process of decaying, which will lead to the destruction of the entire planet! Ray immediately assembles the JLA, and they fan out to save the world. All over the globe, the team notices that basic physics have been altered, weather patterns have changed, plants are dying, and water is evaporating too quickly. While their fellow teammates assist all over the planet, Batman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Aquaman help out in Southeast Asia. In London, aliens calling themselves “The Treasurers” appear, saying they can stop the decay of the X-Element in exchange for a few random gifts of animals, water, sand, and a man named George Arthur Stewart. After all are gathered and turned over, the Treasurers deliver a sphere that is detonated, spreading the X-Element back across the world. Everything is back to status-quo, except for the fact that millions of people and animals morph into monsters! Half the JLA—led by Superman—trails the Treasurers to their home planet where they are met by a rogue Treasurer called Truthspeaker, leader of a revolutionary cell. He tells them that his people are evil and have joined forces with a reptilian warrior race known as The War-Kohn. The heroes defeat the Treasurers and the War-Kohn, freeing the planet of its terrible overlords. Meanwhile, the War-Kohn attack the JL Satellite and begin an invasion of Earth, prompting Batman and Flash to take them on in Nebraska. Wonder Woman and Phantom Stranger fight them in Siberia. And Aquaman, Elongated Man, and Red Torando fight them in the South Pacific. Eventually, Superman’s crew rescues Stewart and returns home to help the rest of the team defeat the aliens for good. Stewart, who happens to carry the full genetic pattern of the entire human race, powers up a transmuter device that restores the global populace back to human form. Later, the Atom tells all that X-Element levels are stable, but they will one day naturally reduce, leading to the inevitable end of life on Earth.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #515. Batman goes undercover as Matches Malone and gets in an altercation with crooks Rawson and Lamelle, who swear revenge on Malone.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #147. Bruce visits Gotham’s coolest and hottest new nightclub, Le Soleil.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #308. Lucius Fox appoints his daughter Tiffany Fox as the head of the Wayne Foundation’s new Ghetto Drug Rehabilitation Program. Bruce meets Tiffany.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #347 Part 1. Batman takes over the case of an anti-capitalist arsonist called “The Fastidious Firebrand,” a case that Commissioner Gordon has been working for months with zero leads. After getting a tip from an older couple, Martha and Henry, who had refused to speak to cops, Batman discovers that the Firebrand is Jeremiah Jones, leader of a radical political action group. Soon after, Batman witnesses Jones and his followers set a new arson fire, but he doesn’t have any tangible proof to link them to the crime. When Henry dies as an indirect result of the previous arson fires, an enraged Batman drags Jones into a burning building to teach him a lesson. When the building collapses, a crowd pulls both Batman and Jones out of the scorched rubble. Batman performs live saving CPR on Jones. Teen delinquent Barry Hemor watches from the crowd, profoundly influenced by what he bears witness to.

–Batman #305 Part 1
Early August—editorial notation tells us the month is August. It also tells us this item occurs two months after Justice League of America #154, but the nitpicker in me concerns over the fact that it should read two-and-a-half months. No worries! Onto a synopsis. Bruce’s Starscraper Hotel reopens as Gotham Isle, a high-end spa for people with disabilities. The Gotham City Council approves an application for legal gambling at the site for one month and a temporary charity casino opens up at the site. Six of Gotham’s top businessmen visit the the grand opening of Gotham Isle. After their visits, the they make reckless decisions that cause them to lose their entire fortunes. Later, JLA reports to Batman to be protective of special atomic tests being done at STAR Labs in Gotham. Batman finally confronts the terrorist bombers of the Death’s-Head, but nearly gets killed in the process. Famous fireman Fred Farrell Jr reports on the bombings to Commissioner Gordon and Batman. Afterward, Lina Muller shows up, causing Batman to suspect that his girlfriend might be linked to the Death’s-Head. As night falls, Bruce decides to investigate Gotham Isle himself, bringing Lina with him on a date. In the casino a croupier—a disguised Amos Fortune—uses a mind-altering device that causes Bruce to become reckless. Bruce loses the max amount allowed by the casino before parting with Lina. The next day, Commissioner Gordon realizes that Batman is acting strange, clearly victim of the same thing the six businessmen went through. After busting Fortune, Batman receives word that the Death’s-Head has stolen an atomic device from STAR Labs. Batman then busts the Death’s-Head, unmasking Thanatos as Lina. With Amos Fortune’s “reckless gambling fever” still in his system (it will be for a full week!), Batman moves onto the next case (in Batman #305 Part 2). Gordon tells him to relax, but Batman says he can handle it, quipping that he’ll simply “stack the deck in his own favor.”

–Batman #305 Part 2
Early August. With Amos Fortune’s “reckless gambling fever” still rattling around his brain, Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon at the scene of a murder, the victim of which has a gold ring that carries an engraving that says she was married to the Dark Knight. Batman’s examination of the ring (using equipment at the old Batcave under Wayne Manor) takes him to a jewelry shop in Maine. In a bearded disguise, Batman is confronted by some locals who don’t like him asking too many questions. After some fighting, Batman realizes he’s hit a dead end. Back in Gotham, the dapper Jeff Richter breaks into Bruce’s penthouse. He admits to having killed the girl with the wedding band. He also shows x-ray photos that prove Bruce is Batman.

–Batman #306 Part 2
Early August to Mid August. Continuing directly from Batman #305 Part 2, Jeff Richter threatens to expose Batman’s secret ID, claiming that he has a trove of evidence hidden somewhere. Soon, Batman—still beset with Amos Fortune’s “reckless fever”—fights Richter in the Wayne Foundation Tower’s sub-basement Batcave (Batcave II). Richter escapes, but Batman takes an audio sample of his voice from surveillance video. Believing Richter to be some sort of performer, Bruce and Alfred spend a full week recording a bunch of actors and newscasters in an effort to find a vocal match. After zeroing-in on Richter, Batman spends another full week—while ignoring all other Gotham crime (!)—stalking Richter, who spreads a deadly “Ghetto Virus” into the poorer neighborhoods of Gotham. Eventually, Batman confronts Richter, who accidentally poisons himself to death in a fight. Later, Batman returns the Bat-wedding band to the grave of Richter’s Jane Doe victim, finding all the exposing evidence regarding his secret ID buried there along with her. During this issue, Bruce mentions wanting to pump more Wayne Foundation charity money into the poorer areas of Gotham. We can assume that he does.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #306 Part 1. Recent law school graduate Gelman wins a special district attorney election. It’s possible (but unspecified) that he defeats Jason Bard in the election. Jason, on Bruce’s dime, had previously been campaigning for DA, but he could have dropped out of the running by this juncture as well.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 1. Bruce reads about the case of famous Gotham faith-healer Raymond Marcy, proprietor of the Marcy Temple, who recently cured the ill son of a man named John Yoder only for the boy to die soon thereafter.

–Batman #306 Part 1
Following an informant tip-off, Batman intercepts a Hannibal Hardwicke heroin shipment on the docks. Batman then confronts Hardwicke, but a returning Black Spider shows-up and tries to kill the drug lord. Batman saves Hardwicke and brings him before Commissioner Gordon and new DA Gelman. Gelman puts Hardwicke under Batman’s direct protection. The Dark Knight brings Hardwicke to Bruce’s penthouse, which he outfits with booby traps. Soon, as predicted, Batman gets in a confrontation with Black Spider on the giant tree on the inside of the Wayne Foundation tower! Black Spider puts up a hell of a fight, but he falls victim to a shirtless Batman’s booby traps. Meanwhile, Hardwicke admits to Alfred that he had funded Black Spider’s original debut in an effort to bump off competitors.

–Batman #307
Lucius Fox reports to Bruce that the world’s most famous billionaire recluse, Gregorian Flagstaff, has moved into a penthouse in Gotham. After work, Batman begins his real work, tackling the ongoing case of a murderer that killed a homeless woman, leaving gold coins on her eyes. After visiting with some homeless folks, Batman learns that other homeless have been killed via poisonous gold coins, which have also been left on their eyes. Batman fights the killer, believed to be a man named Limehouse Jack Conroy, but the latter escapes. When Batman meets the killer a second time, he easily busts him, revealing him to be Quentin Conroy, son of the long-deceased Limehouse Jack.

–Action Comics #489
Superman has gotten in the habit of saving lives across the globe to such an extent that he stops responding to his JLA communicator and begins missing important WGBS meetings. After saving over one million lives in less than six hours (!), the JLA summons Superman to the satellite for an intervention. With the light from Krypton’s explosion finally reaching the Milky Way Galaxy, viewers with a telescope prepare to witness the once in a lifetime astronomical event. Similarly, WGBS prepares to show a simulated Kryptonian explosion on TV using the latest in cinematic special effects technology. As a commemoration service begins at the Bottle City of Kandor, Supergirl and the Science Council are upset that Superman has ditched in favor of fighting Brainiac. Brainiac traps Superman in outer space, forcing him to directly watch the light from Krypton as it comes into view. This causes Superman to soak up Kryptonian radiation, which makes him uncontrollably enraged. (Superman will wreak havoc for two more Batman-less issues—Action Comics #490-491—before coming to his senses and kayoing Brainiac.)

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #150. At the urging of curator Carelton French, Bruce donates part of his father’s art collection to the Gotham Museum.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #310. Since he’s in such a giving mood, Bruce removes a pair of antique golden lanterns from the front porch of Wayne Manor and donates them to the Riverside Museum.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #166. The JLA has long used alphabetized emergency priority alert codes, but Batman devises new emergency priority alert codes specifically for all things related to the JL Satellite. For example, “Code One” is the emergency alert code for unauthorized use of the JL teleporter. We can presume that there are a bunch of numerical alert codes for all sorts of emergencies and situations.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #308. Batman meets and begins using a new stoolie named Benny the Buzz.

–The Brave and The Bold #147
September 12. Bruce meets with Wayne Enterprises/Wayne Foundation shareholders to debut Project Globe-Span’s worldwide communications network. As the STAR Labs-powered satellites are activated, a terrorist organization called The Children of Light takes them over, arming them as WMDs capable of annihilating entire cities from outer space. With the rest of the JLA away on a mission, Batman soon fights the Children of Light solo. Batman visits Midvale’s STAR Labs building in search of a clue only to find an injured Supergirl there. Batman and Supergirl travel to the main Globe-Span satellite only to get shot back to Earth by a laser cannon. A clue points our heroes to the Le Soleil nightclub in Gotham. There, they find the true leader of the Children of Light—Dr. Light! Batman and Superman easily bust Dr. Light, ending his scheme. It is not mentioned what happens to Globe-Span, but it is likely shuttered.

–World’s Finest Comics #255
With WGBS cameras rolling, Batman busts some random crooks. For disobeying Morgan Edge’s orders, Clark is sent out to a small rural town called Dalton Corners to cover a parade. In Dalton Corners, Clark witnesses a sheriff busting a kid wearing a Batman costume, which he claims he found in a nearby abandoned house. Clark finds the house, which is covered with spray-painted reverse-swastika tags. Inside, Clark finds a photo of an old local newspaper cover page that shows a story about a costumed “Bat-Man” appearing decades before Bruce was born. After a bomb blows up at the newspaper’s HQ, Clark is accused of the crime and arrested. After breaking out, Superman calls Batman and they investigate the house, noting that the swastikas are actually Navajo whirling logs. Bruce officially bails Clark out of jail and does some snooping around town, discovering that the owners of the house, the Wainwrights, have moved to Australia. While Superman talks to the Wainwrights, learning that they fled to escape from a demonic cult of which they were members, Batman stumbles across the cult in Dalton Corners. The cult knocks-out Batman and summons a demon-god Gitchka, a giant bat with a reverse-swastika emblazoned on its chest. Superman, Batman, and Bat-Man (John Wainwright, the youngest of the Wainwrights, having donned an strange-looking ancient Navajo bat-costume) fight the giant bat-god, killing it. For centuries, there has been a Navajo bat-god cult centered in Dalton Corners. The cultists, up until now, had worshipped the bat-god Gitchka and had been wearing variations of a bat-costume in conjunction with their rituals. Bob Haney and José Luis García-López design an amazingly unique bat-costume for John Wainwright in this story, but they definitely fuck up by including the exact same version of Bruce’s modern duds as one of the cult’s costumes from decades before Bruce debuted as the Dark Knight. There definitely would have been lots of unique Native American bat-costumes associated with the Gitchka cult over the centuries, but one that exactly resembles Batman’s costume in the 1960s and 1970s? No way.

–DC Comics Presents #8
Earlier this year, Solomon Grundy traveled from his home of Earth-2 to Earth-1 in search of his alternate universe counterpart. Unknown to Grundy, he’s truly one of a kind—there is no Earth-1 Grundy. But as Grundy was searching, part of his reincarnating cell matter got left behind and formed a second Grundy doppelgänger: Earth-1 Solomon Grundy! Now, Swamp thing travels to Metropolis in search of the new Earth-1 Solomon Grundy, hoping to study the zombie man. There, Swamp Thing finds the original Earth-2 Grundy, intervening in a battle between Earth-2 Grundy and Superman, helping the former escape. Perplexed, Superman radios Batman, who vouches for Swamp Thing, telling the Man of Steel that there must be a reason for the benevolent monster’s actions. While Superman visits STAR Labs’ Dr. Jenet Klyburn and smooches with Lois, Earth-1 Solomon Grundy shows up. Superman promptly kayos him, destroying him completely. The original Grundy’s cells then multiply again, creating fifty-nine more alt-Grundys! Using a serum cooked up by Dr. Klyburn, Superman destroys all the alt-Grundys.

–The Brave and The Bold #155
Late summer. When a huge earthquake hits Gotham, seemingly of unnatural causes, Batman investigates, discovering monster footprints deep beneath the ground and a fault-line created by the removal of a massive rock. A construction worker reports that the rock was indeed removed. After checking JLA security footage of the Earth’s outer atmosphere, Batman sees that an alien did in fact arrive in Gotham to take the rock (a glowing meteorite), causing the earthquake, before departing for the planet Calaphon at the other end of the universe. On Oa, Hal Jordan is ordered by the Guardians of the Universe to apprehend the Calaphonian, a wanted criminal named Tri Vul. At first Batman and Hal refuse to work together, but they quickly put aside their differences and head to Calaphon. There, the Calaphonians defend Tri Vul and attack Batman. After escaping unscathed, Batman tracks down Tri Vul and, with Hal’s help, knocks him out. Hal and Batman argue over who will bring-in Tri Vul, prompting a fight between the heroes. Batman is able to kayo Hal! Soon, Hal’s fellow Green Lantern Corpsmen Chaselon, Medphyll, and Zborra intervene, confronting Batman, who realizes that Tri Vul is innocent and has a Jekyll and Hyde-like condition that can only be cured by the meteorite. After Batman presents his findings before the Guardians themselves on Oa, he, Hal, and Tri Vul locate the meteorite on the black moon of Calaphon. Meanwhile, in Gotham, the earthquakes begin again due to the lack of meteorite plugging up the fault-line fissure. The meteorite fully cures Tri Vul of his split personality disorder and Hal is able to rush it back into place deep beneath Gotham, stopping the quake.

–FLASHBACK: From The Brave and The Bold #149. Batman busts teenage car thief Fast Eddie Blaine (not to be confused with illegal casino croupier Fast Eddie). Blain gets fast-tracked through Gotham’s legal system and is immediately sentenced to five years in jail. Eddie says that he is a member of a top mobster’s gang known as The Runaways and that he’ll be free in no time. (Unknown to Batman, the big boss of the Runaways is notorious slumlord Max Cash.)

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #152. Batman learns about the FBI’s new top secret “Anvil Unit,” a cadre of highly skilled spies that each have an anvil tattoo on their body.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #153. Bruce meets wealthy industrialist partners Jeff Rand and Charles Gibson, whose Gibson-Rand Research Company is currently working on a big money Mars exploration probe project for NASA. Later, when Bruce plans a December charity gala at his penthouse, he makes sure to send an invitation to both Rand and Gibson.

–Justice League of America #161
Early October. The JLA votes to induct Zatanna into their ranks! (Hawkgirl mentions how she joined the team “a few months ago”—ten months ago to be exact.) However, before they can count the tally, Zatanna appears and tells the JLA she wants nothing to do with them! Batman visits Zatanna’s dad John Zatara, who tells him that Zatanna wanted nothing more than to be a Justice Leaguer. (Batman’s visit with John Zatara is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #163.) Batman realizes that Zatanna must be in trouble, so he calls an emergency JLA meeting. Aboard the JL Satellite, the Atom reveals that a fake Hal Jordan attacked him. The JLA tracks the faker to Angkor Wat, Cambodia where they are soundly defeated by him. Meanwhile, Zatanna enters the Tolkien-esque alternate universe known as Ys (aka “The Other Side of the World”) where she is captured by demons and trolls working for her rival, The Warlock of Ys, who has swapped places with Hal. With some help from some Ys locals, Zatanna and Hal escape, return to Universe-1, and kick the Warlock’s ass. Later, Zatanna gleefully accepts JLA membership!

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #154. Batman meets private eye Harry Cathcart, taking an immediate disliking to him and his cheap sleuthing methods.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #154. Gotham’s neighborhood with the highest crime-rate has gotten so bad it is now known as No-Man’s Land. Batman has long patrolled this rotten hood, but he will pay particular attention to it, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #154. Bruce initiates the Wayne Foundation’s Urban Revitalization Program, trying to outsource extra funding for the philanthropic gentrification venture outside of the usual channels or his own personal wealth. Unfortunately, initial alternate funding proves to be difficult, leaving the program with a weak foundation.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and the Bold #148. Batman upgrades the Whirly-Bat to a new state-of-the-art model. Batman also installs a new tracking beeper on both the Batmobile and the new Whirly-Bat models.

–The Brave and The Bold #149
Batman calls up Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and the semi-retired Kid Flash (the core members of the defunct Teen Titans) to help him infiltrate and bust the Runaways. Donna and Wally quickly go undercover and join the teen gang, soon receiving orders from the mystery big boss via radio. When the other gang members begin to suspect Donna and Wally, Batman pretend fights them and takes a dive. In the Wayne Foundation Tower sub-basement Batcave (Batcave II), Donna uses her power to perfectly imitate any voice (who knew?), replicating the voice of the big boss for the Bat-computer to analyze. When the Bat-computer says it’s Commissioner Gordon, Batman suspects that the big boss is messing with them. After Fast Eddie Blaine escapes from jail, Batman meets with the warden. Meanwhile, Robin abducts Runaway member Tiger Turk, brining him to Batcave II. Batman, Donna, Wally, and Speedy flush-out the big boss of the Runaways, who appears dressed up as Batman. The Dark Knight busts him, unmasking him to reveal notorious slumlord Max Cash.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. Batman meets GCPD Officer O’Brien.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #256. Batman begins surveilling two unnamed crooks. He will keep tabs on them for months to come.

–Justice League of America #163-165
October 13. Two weeks have passed since Justice League of America #161. Having just bested the Shark and discovered that John Zatara not only nearly killed Red Tornado but also mind-wiped some of Zatanna’s memories (as seen in the Batman-less Justice League of America #162), the JLA assembles its (mostly) full lineup to interrogate the retired sorcerer. But before they can ask any questions, Black Canary reports-in that Green Arrow has been attacked by new musical super-villain Anton Allegro. While the rest of the JLA fights Allegro, John Zatara tells his daughter the reasons for his uncouth behavior. Sindella Zatara (his wife and Zatanna’s mother), long thought to be dead, is actually alive but trapped in the spirit world. John had been trying his hardest to locate her, but didn’t want to involve, worry, or endanger Zatanna. With the entire JLA down-and-out except for Batman and Superman, the duo follows Allegro’s trail to a Boston apartment belonging to Dorothy Dumont, the villain’s ex-wife. There, Batman and Superman save Dorothy’s life. Allegro then uses his magickal music powers to conduct a mystic symphony that broadcasts around the world, enslaving anyone that listens. Zatanna, Black Canary, and Hal Jordan bust Allegro, sending him to Arkham Asylum. Soon after, the JLA—sans Red Tornado and Green Arrow—tracks Sindella’s life-signature to Turkey. In the remote northern mountains of Turkey, the Zataras use Allegro’s magickal music box to break down a hidden barrier, revealing the mystic Secret City of the Hidden Ones, home to ancient wizard species known as Homo Magus. Abaddon, high-lord of the Secret City, appears with a bound and sedated Sindella, claiming that she will soon die (as per her sorceress Homo Magus destiny), after which Zatanna will have to take her place. This leads to the wizard warriors defeating the JLA in an all-out-war. Meanwhile, Green Arrow and Red Tornado watch a 1954 BBC documentary (!) about the mysteries behind the Homo Magus. Green Arrow and Red Tornado than smash their way into the Secret City and rescue their pals. Zatanna restores her mother, who uses what is left of her magickal energy to destroy the Abaddon’s wizard warriors. This act by Sindella proves to be successful, but at the cost of her own life.

–Justice League of America #166-168
October 14-16. The JLA, John Zatara, and the remaining benevolent Homo Magi hold a funeral for Sindella Zatara in Turkey. A day later, the Secret Society of Super-Villains—The Wizard, Star Sapphire (Remoni-Notra), Blockbuster, Floronic Man, and Professor Zoom (Reverse-Flash)—escapes from the Bleed (where they’ve been trapped for the past six month), breaks into the JL Satellite, and attacks Red Tornado. Soon, in Israel, the JLA confronts the Secret Society, which wields powerful magickal artifacts (the power glove, invisibility cloak, and sorcerer’s prism thought to have been destroyed ten years ago in World’s Finest Comics #103) against them. The villains defeat the heroes then cast a spell that swaps minds and bodies with their foes! The Wizard swaps with Superman, Star Sapphire swaps with Zatanna, Blockbuster swaps with Batman, Floronic Man swaps with Wonder Woman, and Zoom swaps with Hal Jordan. The heroes are miniaturized and thrown into a stasis cube aboard the JL Satellite. However, they easily break out, subdue Red Tornado (who thinks they are the actual villains attacking him for a second time), and then break into Alcatraz to meet with an imprisoned ex-Secret Society man Hi-Jack (formerly Jack of the Royal Flush Gang). Hal (as Zoom) tricks Hi-Jack into revealing the location of the Secret Society’s hidden lair. At the lair, the swapped super-villains have already assembled the rest of the unsuspecting JLA and wait in ambush, easily apprehending the swapped superheroes. Only Zatanna manages to escape. The Wizard (as Superman) and Zoom (as Hal) encase the swapped heroes in a diamond cell and toss them into deep space. Zatanna flees to Red Tornado, who realizes who she really is beneath her swapped villainous exterior. In Mexico City, the JLA is tasked with guarding priceless extraterrestrial artifacts in a museum. The villains give themselves away when Zoom (as Hal) tries to sexually assault Black Canary, who kicks his ass. A big brouhaha erupts between fake heroes and real heroes. Eventually, the body-swapped heroes arrive to defeat the villains. Zatanna uses her magick to swap everybody back to their correct bodies. Presumably, she mind-wipes all the Secret Society members as well. Meanwhile, in Nova Scotia, the devious Ernest Sloane frees Ultraa from stasis cube captivity. (Sloane is actually merely disguised as a human. He is part of an symbiotic amoebic alien species known as The Over-Complex.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #308. Blockbuster, following the Secret Society/JLA body-swap affair, is brought back into the care of Wayne Foundation scientists inside the Wayne Foundation tower. They can’t handle him, so Bruce authorizes him to be anesthetized and turned over to STAR Labs.

–Batman #308
Autumn. It’s been eight months since Selina Kyle last tried to visit Bruce at his office, so either she’s tried but he’s simply never in or she’s waited patiently until now. Selina tells Bruce that she was paroled early in the year, wants to go straight, and wants to invest a recent inheritance in Wayne Enterprises. Bruce reluctantly agrees to help her and to go on a date with her in a week’s time. Bruce tells Lucius Fox to keep tabs on Selina. Meanwhile, at STAR Labs, scientists conduct experimental surgery on Blockbuster that seemingly kills him. Batman investigates the disappearance of several businessmen, which leads him through Benny the Buzz to Mr. Freeze, who has turned the businessmen into ice-zombies. Mr. Freeze, his beautiful assistant Hildy, and his zombies capture Batman, throwing him into a cryo-chamber. Batman quickly applies makeup to his face and pretends to be an ice-zombie, getting the jump on the villains. Hildy accidentally freezes herself to death and Batman busts Mr. Freeze. In a cemetery outside of Gotham, STAR Labs scientists bury Blockbuster. After they depart, Blockbuster emerges from his grave, alive and well.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. STAR Labs notifies Batman that Blockbuster has died.

–Justice League of America #175
October 31—Halloween. That good ol’ emotional train-wreck of an android Red Tornado, following an unspecified mission, decides that he is too unreliable to remain on the JLA, resigning from his post. After picking up Traya from the orphanage in his alter ego of John Smith, Red Tornado visits Kathy Sutton at her apartment. There, he reveals his superhero secret to both Traya and Kathy. Both Traya and Kathy declare their love (familial from Traya and romantic from Kathy) for Red Tornado. A beautiful family is thus born! Meanwhile, Dr. Destiny escapes from Arkham Asylum—still incorrectly described as being in Upstate New York (it won’t get retconned to being in the suburbs of Gotham until next year). John, Kathy, and Traya visit a Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, which gets mind-warped by an “Omega Machine” that Dr. Destiny has placed nearby. John switches to Red Tornado-mode and overcomes the powers of the machine, which restores his personal confidence. Red Tornado and Kathy decide to adopt Traya and make their family official! Not only that, Red Tornado decides to rejoin the JLA too! (As seen in the Batman-less Justice League of America #176 follow-up, the JLA—sans Batman—defeats Dr. Destiny and re-jails him.)

–Adventure Comics #464 Part 4
As part of her secret ID cover, Diana has quit her position at the United Nations and has joined NASA! She has recently started astronaut training in Houston under the tutelage of NASA’s Conrad Starfield. Queen Bee attacks Earth with swarms of bees, kidnaps and mind-controls a bunch of NASA scientists, puts Wonder Woman into a coma, and defeats the rest of the JLA aboard the JL Satellite. Diana’s friends, NASA scientist Professor Stone and NASA astronauts Stacy Macklin and Bill, watch over Wonder Woman until she recovers. Wonder Woman then kicks Queen Bee’s ass and rescues the JLA.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #328 and Batman #329 Part 1. Harvey Dent’s former assistant Dave Stevens becomes the new District Attorney of Gotham City. (DA Gelman was only elected three months ago during a special election, but for whatever reason—corruption, illness, etc—he has already stepped down or been canned.) New DA Stevens also marries Harvey Dent’s ex-wife Gilda!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #308. Bruce goes on a date with Selina Kyle!

–The Brave and The Bold #158 Part 1
This item goes here because it’s warm enough to still plausibly (barely) have an outdoor party and Diana has already left her UN job. Bruce accepts an invitation to a UN diplomat party in NYC, hoping to convince a French ambassador to allow an American automobile factory to be built in France.  At the party, which is also attended by Diana Prince, some robbers attempt a stick-up, but Bruce switches into Bat-mode and busts them. Later, Bruce meets with the ambassador, who invites him to an economic conference in Paris to be held in a week’s time. A French super-villain named Déjà Vu (or “Flashback” as Batman and Wonder Woman decide to call him) attacks, drugging both Wonder Woman and the ambassador, leaving a note saying there will be no deals between America and France. As referenced in The Brave and The Bold #158 Part 2, Batman analyzes Flashback’s signature weapon, a gas bomb that causes hallucinatory flashbacks.

–The Brave and The Bold #151
Bruce begins dating a gorgeous blonde named Rhonda, who he once kissed as Batman years ago during a charity event. When two girls mysterious die twelve hours after visiting a Gotham discotheque called The Stardust, Batman and Flash are on the case. Bruce and his new girlfriend Rhonda go on a double-date with Barry and Iris West-Allen at the Stardust. Later, when Batman learns that a third victim is in a coma, he returns to the club. Inside, Batman sees a man dressed-up as the Phantom of the Opera dancing with what appears to be the spirit of the comatose girl. Next to them, Flash, who had also returned to the club to investigate, seemingly compelled by the Phantom, dances with another spirit gal (one of the prior victims). Flash escapes and he and Batman then visit the owner of the Stardust Guy Stanton. He tells our heroes that the Phantom is Jack Dawes, a man whose girlfriend died in his arms during a marathon dance competition at the Stardust over forty years ago. During their conversation, some mobsters assassinate Dawes. Batman and Flash bust the mobsters. While Flash goes back in time (via the Cosmic Treadmill) to spy on Dawes and his gal in the 1930s, Batman investigates the mobsters, finding they work for the notorious Simpson Boys gang, who had been trying to get Stanton to pay into a racketeering scam. Batman busts the Simpson Boys, realizing that the supernatural Phantom case is entirely separate from the Simpson case—both only coincidentally occurring at the Stardust. Batman and Flash convince Iris to dress-up as Dawes’ deceased girlfriend and confront him at the club. Iris speaks to Dawes, who is revealed to he a long dead ghost. Gaining closure, Dawes is exorcised and disappears. Meanwhile, Batman finds a bomb left in the club by the Simpsons and uses it to non-fatally bring down the remaining members of the gang. The next night, Bruce and Rhonda go on another double-date with Barry and Iris. Since we won’t ever see Rhonda again, we must assume, as usual, that their relationship ends immediately after this. Bye, Rhonda.

–The Brave and The Bold #158 Part 2
A week has passed since The Brave and The Bold #158 Part 1. Bruce attends the economic conference in Paris while Wonder Woman fights Flashback for a second time. Later, Batman and Wonder Woman team-up to stalk the villain in the streets of Paris. Flashback hits Batman with a déjà vu bomb, which causes him to see a vision of Joe Chill killing his mom and pop. Batman flips out, but Wonder Woman saves him. The heroes then confront Flashback once more at the continuing economic conference, easily busting him.

–Flash #276-277
If the Bronze Age wasn’t already here, it certainly is now thanks to Cary Bates. This is one of, if not the, grim-darkest arc of the entire 1970s. The sadistic Professor Zoom aka Reverse-Flash has decided that if Iris West-Allen won’t be with him, then she won’t be with anyone else. At a masquerade party, Zoom drugs Barry Allen with enough PCP and heroin to put down an entire herd of elephants and then horrifically kills Iris, framing the murder on serial killer Clive Yorkin. Barry (who only remains standing due to his super-speed metabolism) fights Yorkin, but collapses, later waking up in the hospital to have a bad Angel Dust reaction. Barry is put under by the doctors and will remain in a catatonic state for five days alongside one of Yorkin’s actual victims, the permanently vegetative Dr. Gilbert Nephron. Barry’s friend from the Central City PD, Detective Frank Curtis, visits to confirm that Iris has died. After viewing Iris’ body in the morgue, Barry has a total breakdown. He suits up as Flash and visits the JLA aboard the JL Satellite, demanding they find a away to resurrect his wife. A devastated Flash—still with traces of PCP and heroin in his system—fights his friends, threatening to crash the entire satellite. Eventually, they restrain him and he slips into unconsciousness. A groggy Barry wakes up a day later to find Bruce and Clark helping him get dressed into a suit and tie. It’s time for Iris’ funeral. Jesus, this arc is dark as hell. Barry struggles but keeps his shit together through the service, which is attended by all his friends and family, including his parents (Thomas Henry Paul Allen and Nora Allen) and his boss (Captain Matthew Paulson). Later, a weary Flash notifies the press that he will be making a public retirement speech at the Flash Museum. The next day, Flash busts Mirror Master and discards his costume ring. At the Flash retirement speech gathering, Barry takes the microphone and begins to address the crowd, but before he can say anything, they demand Flash to appear, drowning him out. Rattled, Barry leaves, but is soon confronted by Melanie, his biggest fan (and teenage stalker), who not only knows his secret ID but has also collected his costume ring. Melanie gives Barry a pep talk, inspiring him to put the costume back on and address the crowd. A few minutes later, Flash stands before the lectern and says that he will never retire! (Note that, as per Flash #348, Iris is saved by her parents (!), who live in the 30th century. Unknown to all in the present, Iris’ parents collect their daughter’s spirit and use future tech to resurrect her. Iris decides to stay with her folks in the 30th century.)

–Justice League of America #169-170
Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hal Jordan, and Red Tornado are charged by the United Nations of violating several human rights laws in conjunction with their imprisonment of Ultraa, who was freed by Ernest Sloane last month. Meanwhile, Batman does monitor duty aboard the JL Satellite, noticing strange ecological disturbances across the globe. As the JLA is put before a UN tribunal, Superman ducks out to investigate the global ecological disturbances. Soon Superman fights and is defeated by the collective alien blob that comprises the Over-Complex, the species responsible for all the trouble. As fires rage across the planet, Batman worries that he, as a practical scientist and not a theoretical science genius, won’t be able to figure out how to help. Batman goes so far as to call himself a dilettante in matters of science, which is ridiculous because Batman is basically an expert in multiple fields of science. As Batman toils with the satellite computer, the UN World Court trial of the JLA continues in NYC. Ultraa, realizing that Sloane is part of the Over-Complex, drops all charges against the JLA and attacks Sloane. Soon, the accused JLAers team-up with Ultraa to fight the entire Over-Complex, discovering that they are trying to steal all of Earth’s hydrogen. With some JLAers off planet, others helping fight fires caused by the Over-Complex, and the rest dealing directly with the Over-Complex in NYC, Batman dons his astronaut suit and rides a jet-cycle to the Over-Complex spacecraft, which is disguised as an asteroid near the Moon. As his teammates defeat the Over-Complex on Earth, Batman is able to send their spacecraft spinning out into the far reaches of deep space.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #486. Batman comes across laundromat owner and criminal chemical expert Iggy Zafuto, familiarizing himself with Zafuto’s devious methodology.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #157. Batman busts a pickpocket named Benny (not to be confused with Benny the Buzz). When Benny promises to reform, Batman decides not to tell his parole officer, instead hooking him up with a new straight job.

–The Brave and The Bold #152-154
Bruce flies out West to donate some timberland properties that he owns to a conversation group. Upon returning to Gotham, Bruce finds a city in chaos due to various computer malfunctions connected to a company called Amalgamated Technics. Batman and Ray Palmer visit Amalgamated Technics, who reassure them everything will be fixed. Ray returns to Ivy Town to find that a hacker has embezzled university funds in his name. Meanwhile, the same hacker wipes out Wayne Enterprises’ bank accounts, making it look like Bruce embezzled the funds from his own company. Batman and the Atom visit Amalgamated Technics yet again, after which Batman trails their top programmer Howard Trask only to learn that Trask is an undercover agent working for the FBI’s “Anvil Unit.” Bruce follows the money trail to a bank in Zurich where he is angrily turned away. When someone tries to kill Bruce, the Atom saves his life. Later, Batman and the Atom break into the Swiss bank, discovering that Trask—not a legit FBI man after all—is indeed responsible for the embezzlements. After beating up some lederhosen-wearing goons, our heroes return to Gotham. There, Trask kayos Batman, prompting the Atom to not only save Batman’s life yet again, but to bust Trask solo too.

Batman investigates the murder of Charles Gibson then goes home to attend a Bruce Wayne-hosted gala at his penthouse. The next day, Bruce visits Gibson-Rand Research to speak with Gibson’s partner Jeff Rand only to find two golden robots wrecking up the joint. Batman and Red Tornado defeat the robots—one is shut down, the other escapes—before heading to Rand’s house. Rand tells the heroes that a disgruntled former Gibson-Rand robotics expert Dr. Gregory Tarre (who has worked on Red Tornado before), killed Gibson and is now targeting him (Rand) too. Back at the research center, the heroes learn that Tarre modeled his killer robots off of Red Tornado. They also learn that the remaining killer robot is unstable and could explode at any moment. Soon after, Batman and Red Tornado defeat the final robot and bust Tarre.

After a couple rare quiet days in Gotham, Sapphire Stagg meets with Batman to tell him that Metamorpho has been missing for months. To locate Metamorpho, she offers Batman a million dollars, which he decides to accept to prop up the Wayne Foundation’s struggling Urban Revitalization Program. As Batman begins his search, he sees that private eye Harry Cathcart—hired by Simon Stagg—is also on the trail. Batman tracks Metamorpho to Monaco, discovering that he had taken part in a Formula One race a few months ago. Batman follows Metamorpho’s trail through Marseilles, realizing that international assassin Achilles (who Batman knows about from his vast crime-files) is also tailing him along with Cathcart. In Istanbul, Batman learns that he is only two days behind Metamorpho. Traveling to the nearby ancient mountain city of Kaldoz, Batman finds Metamorpho living happily in relative seclusion, away from the trials and tribulations linked to the Staggs. Batman and Metamorpho sniff out a local gold smuggling scam being perpetrated by Achilles and some unsavory citizens of Kaldoz, using a robotic fire-breathing monster. They easily bust Achilles and his men.

–The Brave and The Bold #156
Batman attends a police promotion ceremony for William Tyler, meeting several cops he’s never met before. During the ceremony, the handwriting of a long-dead supposedly-corrupt cop Donald Sterling appears on the wall, cryptically claiming there is corruption within the ranks of the GCPD. Soon after, the entire police force—seemingly possessed—begins robbing, looting, and murdering across the city. Dr. Fate, having, having traveled from Earth-2 to Earth-1 to warn Batman, shows up just in time to prevent Commissioner Gordon from shooting the Dark Knight. Batman then fights even more cops inside police HQ, locating a file that shows clearly that Donald Sterling had been framed all those years ago, damned by false evidence turned over by a man named Whitey Kendall. While Batman shakes down Kendall, Dr. Fate travels to a spiritual Limbo to find the angry spirit of Sterling, which has been possessed by a demon. This vengeful demon-possessed spirit of Sterling has been causing all the chaos in Gotham. In the land of the living, Kendall points Batman toward Giuseppe Condotti’s mansion. There, Batman not only finds evidence that Sterling was innocent, but that Condotti is a crime lord that orchestrated the frame-up as well. Dr. Fate arrives to help Batman fight off some guard dogs, after which they visit William Tyler, who is in league with Condotti and was responsible for killing and framing Sterling. While Batman busts Tyler, Dr. Fate convinces Sterling’s spirit to reject the demon within, restoring the GCPD back to its usual state.

–DC Comics Presents #15
When a stressed-out Atom develops a spontaneous fear of using his powers, Superman vows to help him. With Batman on monitor duty, Superman and the Atom visit the Fortress of Solitude together. There, Superman secretly exposes the Atom to a delayed-reaction shrinking ray (the shrinking ray he uses to visit Kandor). Superman and the Atom are then attacked by evil aliens from the planet Sabrom. The Sabromians nullify Superman’s powers, after which the two powerless heroes are easily captured. Thankfully, the Kandorian shrinking effect kicks-in, allowing the Atom to overcome his psychological block. Superman and the Atom then send the aliens packing.

–The Brave and The Bold #157
When a group called Extortion Inc threatens and tries to assassinate a senator, Batman saves the politician’s life. Later, after another assassination attempt by Extortion Inc, Commissioner Gordon reports that the group is using a super-powered enforcer. Batman seeks the assistance of his old Mystery Analyst partner Martin Tellman! Using Tellman as bait by giving him a priceless pink diamond and notifying the public about it, Batman awaits for Extortion Inc to swarm. Sure enough, Extortion Inc sets up a meet, after which Batman disguises himself as Tellman and goes to the rendezvous spot only to find that the organization’s new muscle is none other than a confused and manipulated Kamandi, who immediately takes down the Dark Knight. (Batman still mistakenly thinks Kamandi is from the distant future of the primary timeline, but we know he is really from the alternate Earth-AD timeline.) Batman trails Kamandi to the gallery of famous art collector Max Beckmesser, preventing the gallerist from being robbed. With help from Tellman and former pickpocket Benny, Batman puts a tracker on Kamandi and follows him to Extortion Inc’s secret lair. After busting Extortion Inc’s top brass and rescuing Kamandi, Batman administers a hypno-serum (likely Sodium Pentothal) to the “Last Boy on Earth,” causing him to reveal what had happened to him. On Earth-AD in Australia, Kamandi and his friends Dr. Canus and Pyra got into some trouble. Using an alien spacecraft belonging to Pyra, Kamandi accidentally traveled through time and space, winding up on Earth-1 where he was immediately captured by Extortion Inc and forced to do their bidding. Batman does some research, after which he and Kamandi travel to Australia to meet with some Aboriginal shamans. The shamans are able to magickally send Kamandi home. Presumably, back in Gotham, Batman puts in a good word with Benny’s parole officer.

–REFERENCE: In DC Special Series #21 (Super-Star Holiday Special 1980) Part 2. Batman busts crook Boomer Katz, but Katz says he’ll go straight, taking a job as a Salvation Army Santa Claus. Batman trusts him and let’s him go.

–Detective Comics #485-486
Mid December. Rā’s al Ghūl warns Batman that the Sensei-led League of Assassins is going to attack Kathy Kane’s circus. At the circus, Batman and Kathy fight off the Sensei’s hooligans. Ultimately, one of the Sensei’s top men, Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner), kicks Batman’s ass. Down and out, Batman is unable to stop Bronze Tiger’s sidekicks from brutally stabbing Kathy to death. As Batman mourns the loss of Kathy, Rā’s al Ghūl appears, revealing that he is partly responsible for putting Kathy in danger (i.e. throwing Kathy in the fridge) in an attempt to use the Dark Knight as a vengeful pawn to bring down Sensei so he can regain control of the League. Sure enough, Batman goes after the Sensei, infiltrating a League lair and confronting the Sensei face-to-face. Soon, Batman takes on Bronze Tiger in a rematch. They fight to a stalemate until an overzealous henchman poisons Batman with a blowdart from the sidelines. An angry Sensei, who wanted a fair fight, kills the henchman immediately. When the Sensei orders his men to kill the downed Batman, Bronze Tiger flips out and betrays his comrades, incensed at their lack of honor. One of Sensei’s guards stabs Bronze Tiger in the back with a large blade. Despite this, Bronze Tiger escapes. Batman brings Kathy’s killers to justice, but the League of Assassins civil war is just heating up.

When Maxie Zeus, from Arkham Asylum, puts a curse upon one of his former henchmen Reuben Rice, Batman follows Rice’s every move. At a skydiving exhibition, Rice spontaneously combusts mid drop, crashing to the earth below as a skeleton. Batman visits Iggy Zafuto, getting him to confess to providing chemicals to Zeus’ cronies. After roughing up Iggy, Batman infiltrates a mob meeting run by a gangster called Plowboy, who hopes to take over Zeus’ rackets. Dark Knight knows Plowboy quite well from his crime databases. With all of Plowboy’s men eating dirt within seconds of coming into contact with the Caped Crusader, Plowboy calls a truce and sets up a rendezvous for later in the night. Batman sacrifices a Batmobile to Plowboy’s expected trap, but no one can prepare for the size of the fiery explosion that Plowboy’s crew detonate in hopes of killing the Dark Knight—not even Plowboy and his crew, who go up in flames. Batman deduces that Zeus’ newest top henchman faked Rice’s death in order to fulfill the prophecy. After quickly busting Zeus’ man, Batman notifies Alfred that he has already ordered the building of a new Batmobile. A reference in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3 tells us that Batman orders a new Batmobile from their regular mechanic Jack Edison. Edison, who always has a new model waiting in the wings, delivers as he always has before.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #491. Now well aware that Maxie Zeus can strike even from behind Arkham’s bars, Batman studies up on the members of his gang that are still active, notably gadget man Fred Britt. Batman also learns that Zeus has a young daughter Medea Zeus, who attends an all-girls school in Gotham.

–World’s Finest Comics #259-260
(This item goes here because it features the older jowly gray-haired Mayor of Gotham that pre-dates the interim mayor that appears in The Brave and The Bold #148.) Thanks to a strange mineral buried beneath Gotham by two aliens from the planet Smadan one hundred million years ago, all of Gotham’s citizens feel a sudden urge to leave the city and migrate to Metropolis. Batman goes on his routine patrol, noticing the mass exodus. Even Alfred tenders his resignation. Cheap crook Winks Cravane takes responsibility for the mass exodus, saying he wants $20 million in order to reverse the spell. After a quick peek in his crime-files to study up on Cravane, Batman shakes him down. Of course, Cravane admits he is lying, but Batman realizes that those who haven’t slept in a couple days haven’t succumbed to the migration spell. With Batman’s guidance, Superman finds the alien minerals and launches them into deep space. Superman then helps return all the Gothamites back to Gotham. Batman takes a much needed nap. Shortly thereafter, Bruce does an interview with Clark, Lois, and Jimmy in the Wayne Foundation tower. The aliens from Smadan come to see how their minerals have affected the human race. They immediately encase the Wayne Foundation tower in ice, prompting Superman to undo the damage and confront them. Soon, the alien duo chats with Superman and Mayor of Gotham. Hoping to avoid incident, the Mayor gifts the aliens an empty skyscraper. Inside the alien ship, the aliens attack and detain Superman. After Batman finds his friend held captive, he regroups with Alfred, Lois, and Jimmy to pull an old-school ruse on the unsuspecting alien goons. After tricking them into thinking that all Earthlings have super-powers and that Superman isn’t worth a damn as a prisoner, the bored aliens leave Earth.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #150. When a new terrorist gang called The Battalion of Doom begins abducting people in Gotham, Batman begins working the case. The Dark Detective won’t confront the gang for just over a week-and-a-half from now.

–The Brave and the Bold #148
December 22-24. Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD have been trying and failing to bust some buttleggers (cigarette smugglers) for a while now, so Batman decides to take a crack. After hitting up all his pigeons, including Benny the Buzz, Batman still isn’t one iota closer to busting up the illegal ring. While driving around through the snow, Batman pauses to say hello to Plastic Man, who happens to be in town to work a job as a mall Santa. Soon after, the entire Lacey’s Department Store Christmas display is stolen. Batman then chats with Gordon and the new unnamed interim Mayor of Gotham. (Yes, there’s yet another new mayor, and since there will already be another new mayor a week from now, we must assume that this middle-aged, jowly, red-haired, mustachioed man is merely an interim head of the city. Note that this mayor also appears in the non-canon Super Friends #22.)[3] Batman tracks the stolen X-mas display, which had been taken by the buttleggers, and finds that Plastic Man had been accidentally hijacked as well. After rescuing Plastic Man, Batman is soon rescued by Plastic Man, who saves him from a bad guy attack. The heroes follow the buttleggers to the Florida Keys home of their boss Big Jake Doyle where they are promptly captured. When an all-out mob war erupts, Plastic Man and an escaped Batman kick everyone’s asses, forcing them to drag the holiday stuff back to Gotham just in time for an X-mas Eve celebration.

–Batman #309-311
December 24-25. Batman gives Commissioner Gordon his X-mas present, the usual tobacco gift. Meanwhile, Blockbuster, having been in hiding for the past two months (and presumed dead), reemerges. He wrecks some muggers and returns a stolen purse to a morose woman, Kathy, that has just taken pills in a suicide attempt. Blockbuster takes the unconscious Kathy, but doesn’t know how to save her. Batman, having tried to talk her down via phone earlier, arrives to take Kathy off Blockbuster’s hands, but he doesn’t understand and begins fighting the Dark Knight. With Kathy awake but very sick, Batman fights an overprotective Blockbuster all the way to one of Gotham’s frozen-over rivers. When Kathy gets trapped on an ice floe, Blockbuster rescues her, tossing her towards the shoreline and into Batman’s arms. Blockbuster falls into the icy water and is swept away. (The fight between Batman and Blockbuster is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #498 Intro.)

December 26-27. Batman fights Gentleman Ghost (and his cockney cronies Reggie and Alf) in a losing effort, after which Batman returns home to find that Alfred is missing. Concerned, Bruce asks his secretary Gwen to make calls to local hospitals and police precincts. Bruce then cancels a lunch date with Selina Kyle in order to attend an important business meeting with Lucius Fox. As night falls, Batman disguises himself as a stuffy Brit (amazingly meta-drawn by Irv Novick to look just like the heavyset Alfred Beagle of Earth-2!) to inquire about Alfred at the latter’s favorite pub. Upon arrival back home, Batman finds Gentleman Ghost, Reggie, and Alf robbing the penthouse. Batman fights Gentleman Ghost again only to get conked on the head by Alfred, who has been brainwashed into joining the super-villain’s gang! Gentleman Ghost’s angle? He wants to move into Wayne Manor and live (if you can call being undead “living”) the Bruce Wayne lifestyle! Batman confronts Gentleman Ghost at the closed-up Wayne Manor, freeing Alfred from the ghoul’s spell. Batman then exorcises Gentleman Ghost from his family’s stately mansion.

December 28-30. When Alex Sartorius’ old nuclear plant nearly goes kablooey, Batman and Commissioner Gordon fear correctly that Dr. Phosphorus has returned. Meanwhile, in Washington DC, Batgirl busts Killer Moth just in time to switch back into congress-mode, voting against the party grain on a crucial amendment. Behind closed doors, angry House Reps—loosely modeled after real life Democratic politicians Fred Richmond and (likely) Norman Mineta—tell Babs that they won’t be supporting her in the next election! (The next election is to be held in May of next year.) In Gotham, Batman visits Rupert Thorne at Arkham Asylum to find Dr. Phosphorus there threatening the mobster. Batman chases Phosphorus away. The next day, Bruce does important Wayne Enterprises work and then goes on routine Bat-patrol when night falls. Batman visits an anti-nuclear power rally, at which Babs is speaking. Not long afterward, Batman and Batgirl fight Phosphorus at the airport. When Phosphorus takes out Batman, Batgirl defeats the super-villain solo, foiling his plan to cause irradiated rain to fall over Gotham.

–Detective Comics #498 Intro
December 31. It’s been one week since Blockbuster was swept out to sea. Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and some GCPD divers search for Blockbuster in vain.


<<< Year Twelve <<< | >>> Year Fourteen >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: From 1976 to 1981, DC published a comic book spinoff of its popular Super Friends animated TV show. Believe it or not, DC initially planned for this series to be canon and tried to shoehorn it into continuity for its entire first year of publication. However, despite the best efforts of writers E Nelson Bridwell and Gerry Conway to make the Super Friends series canon via references to the main line, it is definitely out-of-continuity, taking place only on the timeline of Earth-B. Even as early as 1978, Super Friends had too many contradictory elements to make any sense co-existing on the primary timeline. DC editors realized this and quietly relegated the series to non-canonical status. The Official Crisis on Infinite Earth Crossover Index confirms this history. But what does this footnote have to do with Justice League of America #147-148? Thanks to one of Bridwell’s forced references in Super Friends #8, an alternate version of “Crisis in the 30th Century” also takes place on Earth-B.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #146 is a flashback tale to WWII featuring a team-up between Batman and The Unknown Soldier. This tale is non-canon, fitting onto Haney’s Earth-B timeline. The Batman-less follow-ups in The Unknown Soldier #234-235 also occur on Haney’s Earth-B timeline.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Now’s a good a time as any to do one of my favorite things—listing the Mayors of Gotham City! Here we go.
    Year 1-7 – Mayor Alan Dent
    Year 7-8 – Mayor Taylor
    Year 8-10 – Mayor Hayes
    Year 10-11 – unnamed younger red-haired man
    Year 11-13 – unnamed older gray-haired man
    Year 13-current – unnamed middle-aged red-haired mustachioed man (one week interim)

4 Responses to Bronze Year 13

  1. James IV says:

    Just a quick question, I know this is in slight flux as you’re currently updating the year/page and all, but I notice that under Batman #301-303, you list the two part story from Batman #301-302 and the back-story for #303, but not the main story of #303, Batman’s Great Identity Switch!. Considering I don’t see it elsewhere on the overall year previews, I thought I might as well inquire about it.

  2. James IV says:

    I’ve gathered that from your synopsis’, lol. Personally, I’d take Reed over writers like Haney or a lot of 50’s writers any day, but that’s just because he’s done some good Spook stories (a favorite of mine), so I tend to cut him some slack. Obviously has nothing on Wein, Conway, or O’Neil, though.

  3. James IV says:

    For once, not a post on something that needs to be fixed. Just saying that the Gregorian Flagstaff is one of my favorite subplots of this time period, starting out a whole slew of great ones. From here on out, until 1983, Batman and the stories were in their prime. My favorite time period for this character.

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