Bronze Year 14


–The Brave and The Bold #150
Early January. When the Battalion of Doom threatens to abduct businessman Edward Weeks, Batman prepares for their attack, but they are still able to grab him. The Battalion of Doom then manages to kidnap Bruce and Alfred in their own home! Bruce is taken to the countryside and thrown into a silo, but he easily escapes. After debriefing Commissioner Gordon as Batman, Bruce is caught by the Battalion’s strongman Moses “Keeper” Karns while trying to slip back into the silo. The Battalion then seemingly executes Weeks right in front of a shocked Bruce. After Bruce escapes again, he (as Batman) rejoins Gordon at the morgue, where Weeks wakes up alive and well. Karns is actually an undercover Superman, who had infiltrated the ranks of the Battalion after they kidnapped Jimmy Olsen. Using his powers he had saved Weeks and made it look like the execution was successful. With his secret out, Superman aids Batman in rescuing Alfred and shutting down the Battalion for good. However, before going behind bars, the Battalion reveals that their is an atomic bomb hidden in Gotham, set to detonate. Batman, Superman, and Alfred then deduce the locations of the other abductees. Everyone is rescued, but Jimmy is still missing. When news of the A-bomb is leaked, the city panics, but Gordon and the new unnamed bald mustachioed interim Mayor of Gotham (clearly modeled after Mayor Hayes—could this be a returning Mayor Hayes?) do their best to keep the masses calm. The previous mayor, the one that took over a week ago, had to have merely been an interim mayor, acting as a placeholder until this new Hayes lookalike took over for him. This Hayes lookalike mayor is also an interim mayor, who will be the grandee of Gotham for the next four months only.[1] At the Gotham Museum, Batman finds a clue that tells him Carleton French has also been kidnapped and is being held in an old underground lead mine near the Wayne Foundation Tower. Superman finds French there along with Jimmy and the A-bomb. After rescuing the duo, Superman throws the bomb into deep space.

–World’s Finest Comics #256
Early January. Gotham scientist Professor Jeremiah Terry studies the vibrations between Earth-1 and Earth-2, accidentally opening a portal to the Phantom Zone, releasing a Kryptonian were-creature (Lar-On) that vexes Batman. The portal causes Superman’s Phantom Zone Projector to short out, releasing General Zod momentarily as well. The next night, after Batman and Superman have conferred, Batman rescues Sandy Terry, the professor’s kidnapped daughter, from some crooks that he’s been surveilling for months. Batman and Superman fight the were-creature for hours, eventually reverting him back to humanoid Kryptonian form. Lar-On is sent back to the Phantom Zone. (This episode is also seen via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #258.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #325. Elected officials have come and gone over the years in Gotham, but Commissioner Gordon has been a relative constant in a place where crime has evolved into a bizarre Bronze Age mishmash of organized crime, wacky super-villainy, and murderous serial killings. But now the people have spoken and they want a change. Thus, a special recall election is called for Gordon’s job, scheduled to occur in six months. Bob Brand begins campaigning against Gordon.

–The Brave and The Bold #159
The Wayne Foundation begins funding the scientific experiments of Professor Elias Hatter, who refines his latest creation—a crystal that disintegrates anything that comes into contact with it. After Hatter is kidnapped by the Sensei’s League of Assassins, Batman fights League of Assassins members. Rā’s al Ghūl and Talia approach Batman, offering to help rescue Hatter in order to thwart the Sensei’s plans. When the weakened Rā’s al Ghūl drops dead (!), Talia and Batman rush him to the Lazarus Pit in the Swiss Alps. Revived, a half-naked Rā’s al Ghūl chokes Batman to the brink of death before coming back to his senses and releasing the Dark Knight. Soon, with Rā’s al Ghūl’s assistance, Batman sky-dives and hang-glides into a League of Assassins compound in Hong Kong. Batman fights his way aboard a nearby ship to rescue Hatter, but the distraught scientist commits suicide by pouring his crystal formula onto his own body. A disintegration wave obliterates the ship and begins consuming the circumambient ocean, but Rā’s al Ghūl is able to stop its spread. A departing Rā’s al Ghūl thanks Batman for the lovely team-up, but says they will once again face each other as enemies when next they meet.

–World’s Finest Comics #257
Batman trails some Mercenaries Incorporated goons, preventing the attempted kidnapping of a zoologist, during which an alien telepathic flying lizard escapes. Winding up the pet of a xenophobic old Metropolis beggar lady named Maudy, the lizard begins causing telekinetic chaos on behalf of its jaded new owner. Batman drives into Metropolis just as Maudy and her lizard collapse all the bridges leading into the city. When Superman and Batman confront Maudy, she has most of the citizens of Metropolis turned to stone. Hoping to break through to Maudy’s Right Wing nationalism, Batman disguises himself as George Washington and delivers a progressive pro-immigration speech to her! With her guard lowered, Maudy undoes the stone-spell. Superman and Batman quickly bust her. A big-hearted Batman cites Maudy’s faults as being lonely and misunderstood. He then puts Maudy in “a good man’s care”—”a warm and safe place” where she’ll “have many friends.” Is this simply prison? Who/where is he talking about? Who knows? Oh well. The alien flies off into outer space, leaving the complications of Earth behind.

–REFERENCE: In Superman #343. Superman defeats the immortal wizard Moximus, who, for a short time, mistakes the Man of Steel for a villain. At the end of Superman #343, Moximus realizes the error of his ways, apologizes, and retreats to a distant planet where he conjures up a vision of his next target: Batman! Of course, Moximus is a pretty one-dimensional character that was only good enough to warrant this one-shot appearance. Thus, we never actually see the promised Moximus vs Batman duel. However, we can imagine that Batman deals with Moximus in typical Bat-fashion.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #313. Batman adds laser cannons to the Batmobile.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #161. Batman adds a new stethoscope listening device to his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #489 Part 1 and The Brave and The Bold #168. Batman, on a big stage magic kick, begins following the career of world famous stage magician Moon the Mystic and the Magician’s Club hypnotist known as The Great Rhinehart.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #489 Part 5. Batman, under a false name, purchases an apartment at 110 W Houston St in Manhattan, New York City to use as a safe-house.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #326. Batman busts Mad Dog Markham, who gets sent to Arkham Asylum for life.

–World’s Finest Comics #258 Part 1
February 1-2. A month has passed since World’s Finest Comics #256. Due to a side effect of having been scratched by Lar-On, Sandy Terry metamorphoses into a centaur-unicorn hybrid. Batman chases and contains the creature until it reverts back into a flustered and half naked Sandy. The next night, at STAR Labs in Gotham, Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Professor Jeremiah Terry, and a team of STAR Labs scientists watch in a controlled environment as Sandy transforms once again. Sandy rages and breaks free, but Superman flies her to Japan where she returns to human form in the light of day. Unknown to all, Batman has been infected with the Kryptonian were-virus too. (As the next month goes on, Batman will become more and more unhinged and violent as the virus begins to take hold of his system.)

–Detective Comics #500 Part 5
February 2-5. When rumor that a deadly Chinese gang-lord called Gray Face has come to Gotham’s Chinatown to shake-down and extort merchants that haven’t been loyal to him, Batman is on the case. The Dark Knight suggests that Commissioner Gordon reach out to Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox, who might be able to name some of Gray Face’s next targets in the Chinese import/export world. After skulking around Chinatown as Batman, the Caped Crusader puts his civvies back on and, as Bruce, meets with Gordon and a Chinese businessman to discuss Gray Face. Later, Batman pays one of Gray Face’s victims a visit in the hospital, who claims that he was attacked by Gray Face’s dragons. Bruce wanders around Chinatown for three straight nights, taking in information as he strolls. Upon spotting a possible Gray Face target, shipowner Blair Gownset, Bruce switches to Bat-mode and tails him into an old restaurant, following him through a secret passage and through a  booby-trap-laced labyrinth. Winding up in the Dragon Room, Batman realizes that Gray Face’s earlier hospital victim had been dosed with a hallucinogenic hashish that caused him to see dragons. Batman is then captured by Gray Face’s henchmen and bound with ropes, forced to enact a Houdini escape routine. Although it takes him over an hour, Batman escapes, earning the respect of Gray Face’s henchmen. Gray Face then takes off his robe and mask revealing himself as Gownset. Defeated and exposed, Gownset straps a bomb to his chest and dons an elaborate devil costume, departing into the Chinese New Year Celebration, which has just begun outside. Gownset blows himself up. Case closed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 2. Commissioner Gordon tells Batman about his favorite place to get away from it all—a recently purchased hunting lodge in the woods.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #314, Batman #327 Part 2, Batman #336, and The Brave and The Bold #171. Batman adds phosphorus capsules, oil slick capsules, pyrotechnic capsules, and radar-jamming tinfoil ribbon capsules to his utility belt.

–Justice League of America #171-172 (“CRISIS ABOVE EARTH-1 / I ACCUSE…”)
Right off the bat (pun intended), writer Gerry Conway and some of his characters reference the “seemingly annual” JLA/JSA “Crisis Crossovers.” Mind you, they were mostly once per year originally, but due to Sliding-Time and other editorial compressions, these “Crises” tend to happen multiple times a year. After a joint gathering aboard the JL Satellite, Mr. Terrific tells both teams that his old nemesis The Spirit King has stolen some mysterious tech, which spells trouble for all. Batman and Huntress miss Mr. Terrific’s reveal because they are off in another section of the satellite where Huntress tells Batman that her father (Earth-2 Bruce Wayne) has died. (As mentioned in this issue, it’s been six months since Earth-2 Bruce died.) While everyone is hanging out, a terrorist bomb rips through the hull of the satellite, killing Mr. Terrific. After patching the hull, the JLA and JSA begin a search of the entire satellite, ultimately determining that the culprit is one of the heroes! An Agatha Christie-style investigation begins, culminating in another explosion that nearly kills Huntress. Batman, in the Hercule Poirot role, gathers all and reveals his findings, accusing Jay Garrick, who has been controlled by the Spirit King this entire time. Exposed, the Spirit King (still in Jay’s body) teleports back to Earth-2. The JLA and JSA have a solemn funeral for Mr. Terrific, after which the JSA returns to Earth-2 to rescue Jay/bust the Spirit King. (“Crisis Above Earth-1 / I Accuse…” is also shown via flashback from America vs The Justice Society #4.)

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

–The Brave and The Bold #160
Batman tries to save a wounded secret agent, whose cover has been blown, but the agent dies in his arms, telling the Dark Knight about stolen rocket fuel formula on his deathbed. After several nights of failed investigation, Batman tries to focus on Wayne Enterprises business. Linda Danvers visits Bruce in his office telling him that her foster father, STAR Labs scientist Fred Danvers, has been kidnapped in relation to his work on the aforementioned stolen rocket fuel formula. After a quick investigation, Batman and Supergirl find themselves in a seedy Gotham arcade, HQ of mobster Jasper Casbeer. After roughing up Casbeer’s goons and scanning the area for clues, our heroes eventually learn that a returning Colonel Sulphur is responsible for the abduction of Fred Danvers. Batman infiltrates Sulphur’s factory hideout only to get captured as well. After Sulphur foolishly leaves Batman in a death trap, the Dark Knight easily escapes and rescues Fred. With Supergirl’s help, Batman busts Sulphur. Batman, Supergirl, and Fred have a cup of coffee to celebrate.

–Justice League of America #174
Superman, Zatanna, Green Arrow, Flash, and Hal Jordan test Black Lightning’s powers and then offer him JLA team membership, but the teen hero turns them down![2] Elongated Man, Green Arrow, and Zatanna visit MPD Inspector William Henderson in an attempt to find Black Lightning and ask him once more if he will join. During the heroes’ visit to MPD HQ, a new super-villain called The Regulator, who has the power to enlarge and control roaches and rats, attacks the city. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Black Lightning join the trio of heroes to fend off the monster vermin. While the JLA heroes corral the vermin and launch them into deep space, Black Lightning defeats the Regulator, who falls to a grisly death in an incinerator. The JLAers once again invite Black Lightning to join their team, but once again Black Lightning says no.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #487 Part 1. Hack writer Sergius reaches out to Batman, begging to interview him as part of an effort to pen a book about the adventures of the Dark Knight. Batman tells the bothersome supplicant to piss off. While we won’t see it on our timeline, Sergius will bug Batman on-and-off for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #316 and Batman #318. Batman adds mini-grenades and new top-of-the-line incendiaries to his utility belt arsenal.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #180. Bruce reads about supermodel Sabrina Sultress, who has recently rocketed to stardom. Due to her bizarre occult nature, she has been nicknamed “The Satin Satan.” Unknown to all, she has been possessed by a Hell-demon called Sataroth.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #2-3 and Batman #328. Batman begins using some new stool pigeons: Queen Bess, Slugger, Poet, a homeless rummage lady named Mary Ann Warner, and a dude with the terribly apt name of Snitch, whose primary hangout is the seedy Last Resort Bar. While we won’t see much of these folks on our timeline, Batman will get info from these singing canaries quite often, so we should imagine visits randomly scattered throughout our timeline below. Notably, Batman will develop a fond affection for old Mary Ann, helping her out as often as he can.

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

–World’s Finest Comics #258 Part 2
Early March. The Kryptonian were-creature virus within Batman’s system begins to stir more intensely, causing him to act even bolder than he usually does. (This has been building for the past month and now is about to come to a head.) Batman begins an international crime-crackdown, even traveling to Berlin to bust some Soviet spies. Back in Gotham, Batman gets a bogus tip, but proceeds to thrash an innocent man within an inch of his life anyway. Batman then joins Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Professor Terry to observe Sandy Terry at STAR Labs. Like clockwork, Sandy morphs into a centaur-unicorn, but everyone is shocked when Batman morphs into a were-bat! Superman catches up with the raging were-bat on Crime Alley, stopping him from killing some homeless men. Back at STAR Labs, Batman and Sandy undergo a double blood transfusion with each other, which clears the virus out of both their bodies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 2. Batman meets and befriends GCPD Officer Al Nelson.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #163. Bruce meets socialite Simon Nast. Shortly thereafter, Bruce agrees to have the Wayne Foundation host an Ecology Seminar, featuring Governor Putnam himself as guest speaker.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #488 Part 1. Batman does a clean-sweep of Gotham Prison, checking for anything strange. He winds up discovering some of the Spook’s trap doors and hidden passageways, blocking all of them up. Notably, one of the trap doors is in Simon Thatcher’s cell. Batman chats with an unnamed Death Row prison guard, telling him to keep an eye on the wily Thatcher, who is set for execution in a few short months.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #251. Mid March. Batman, as he now does every year, sends a birthday card to Bob Haney at the DC Offices on Earth-Prime.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #163. Batman begins tracking a new gas-stealing gang, but will remain one step behind them for weeks to follow.

–The Brave and The Bold #161
Batman and Commissioner Gordon spend several nights searching for a serial killer in Gotham. While searching, Batman is zapped by a Zeta-Plus Beam, courtesy of Sardath and Alanna Strange, swapping places with Adam Strange and winding up on Rann. Alanna explains that Adam Strange has been wrongly accused of murder and they need Batman to prove his innocence! With only two hours remaining before Batman will be whisked back to Earth, the Dark Knight begins his investigation. Batman, finding that a top police official of Ranagar has framed Adam Strange, stands before a court and begins to show evidence exonerating his pal. Just then, Batman phases back to Earth, swapping places with Adam Strange, who had been in the middle of fighting the Gotham serial killer. Batman finishes the job and hauls in the villain. Meanwhile, on Rann, Adam Strange is found not guilty.

–NOTE: In a reference in Detective Comics #489 Part 2. Michael Pendergast becomes new warden of Gotham Penitentiary (aka Gotham Prison).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #324. Batman already keeps a sheathed blade in his utility belt, but he now adds a retractable pen knife (pocket knife) as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #492 Part 1. Commissioner Gordon tells Batman about the untouchable new leader of Gotham’s biggest criminal syndicate, General Scarr (Anthony Scarano). Batman won’t meet General Scarr for months.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #327 Part 2. Bruce meets John Taggart, vice president of Taggart Train Lines.

–World’s Finest Comics #258 Part 3
Early April. Batman and Superman meet in the light of a full moon, confirming that Batman’s Kryptonian were-virus has completely left his system.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 2. Batman meets GCPD Detective Mark Rearden, one of Commissioner Gordon’s top cops and someone the Commish regards as a surrogate son.

–World’s Finest Comics #261 Part 1
Penguin is released on parole, after which he turns up with a man claiming to be Butch Cassidy, who had supposedly been in suspended animation in Mexico for the past hundred years. (Penguin has actually hypnotized someone into thinking he is Cassiday.) While Penguin shows off “Cassidy” on a daytime talk show, Batman appears and starts a scene. Terra-Man, riding his alien winged-horse Nova, also shows up and makes a fool of Batman on live TV. Terra-Man, Penguin, and the fake Cassidy evade Batman and Superman, returning to Penguin’s hideout. Soon, Penguin hypnotizes Superman into thinking he is the Sundance Kid. The brainwashed Superman points a six-shooter at Batman, thinking he is a Pinkerton agent. The confused “Cassidy” runs in and breaks up the high noon shootout, allowing Superman to come to his senses. Batman and Superman then easily bust Penguin and Terra-Man.

–World’s Finest Comics #262
The brand new unnamed thickly-mustachioed Mayor of Gotham hosts a dedication ceremony for the grand opening of the Gotham Municipal Center, which is being powered by Professor Pincus Bridger’s new experimental power generator known as the Pi-Meson Field. (Note that the new Mayor of Gotham looks like a warped alt-version of the unnamed mayor from The Brave and The Bold #148, but he has white temples. As I’ve said time and time again in regard to these damn mayors, make of it what you will.)[3] Bruce, Clark, and Lois are on hand. Professor Bridger, unfortunately, was seriously injured by his own invention and, as a result, is not present. He also hates the new mayor. When the Pi-Meson Field engine explodes, Superman saves the day and, with Batman’s backing, quickly believes Bridger to be responsible for sabotage. Oddly, a blind girl named Betsy Pyatt claims she “saw” Bridger present at the ceremony. The next day, Batman saves Betsy from an orphanage arson fire started by Bridger, who has the power to invisibly attack from great distances via an astral-projection. For some cosmic synchronic reason, only Betsy can see the astral-figure. While Superman checks on the actual Bridger, the villain’s invisible astral-self chases Batman and Betsy into Batcave II. There, astral-Bridger knocks the giant penny on top of Batman. Superman grabs Batman and Betsy, flying them to Gotham University to confront Bridger, who introduces himself as “The Pi-Meson Man.” Superman is able to defeat the Pi-Meson Man, trapping both he and his now apparently sentient astral-self in a lead-lined cell. An audacious Denny O’Neil ends this story by stating that we will definitely see Betsy and the Pi-Meson Man again in future stories. LOL. We won’t.

–Justice League of America #177-178
All across the globe, Justice Leaguers go about various crime-fighting business (Aquaman busts whalers, Atom busts kidnappers, Black Canary and Green Arrow bust Neo-Nazis, and Btaman and Superman bust airplane hijackers) only to witness their foes turn into deadly giant chess pieces. What’s happening here? A returning Despero has abducted Martian Manhunter and is forcing him to play a vile game of cosmic chess. Unless Martian Manhunter wins the game by killing the JLA, all of his fellow Martians will die by Despero’s hand. Soon afterward, the heroes join Zatanna aboard the JL Satellite only to be attacked there by a killer bishop. J’onn holds back with his bishop, sending a hidden message to his friends regarding his location. Soon, the JLA smashes its way onto Despero’s spaceship, takes down the remaining chess-bots, rescues J’onn, and busts Despero. Afterward, the JLA visits Mars II to celebrate their victory.



–The Brave and The Bold #163
Batman busts half of the gas-stealing gang he’s been tracking for weeks, after which he switches into Bruce-mode and attends the Wayne Foundation’s Ecology Seminar. There, he meets ex-Vietnam general and anti-Batman hard-ass Senator Hargrave. Batman’s continued investigation into the remainder of the gas-stealing gang leads him smack-dab into a temporarily de-powered Black Lightning, who is also working the case at the other end. After fighting off a cadre of henchmen, the heroes find the leader of the gang: none other than Senator Hargrave himself! The nationalist extremist Hargrave has assembled a small rogue army, with which he plans to take over Middle Eastern oil fields in an effort to solve America’s energy crisis. Batman and Black Lightning easily take down Hargrave and his men.

–World’s Finest Comics #263-264
Superman and Batman watch yet another computer-simulated adventure of their teenage Super-Sons, in which the boys defeat Earth-S’s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. (Note that this sim, like all the other Super-Sons sims, also takes place in the “reality” of both Earth-154 and Earth-216.) Afterward, Superman dumps some radioactive ore into his disintegration pit. This ore, combined with the fact that the Super-Sons have gained sentience, brings them out of the digitized world and into the real world! Later, after Batman busts some low-level crooks while on patrol, he is greeted by the Super-Sons. When buildings and mountains near which the Super-Sons have traversed begin to crumble and collapse, Superman realizes that not only have the sims have come to life, but they also are spreading a destructive radiation wave wherever they go. Superman collects Batman, Batman Jr, and Superman Jr, and brings them all to the Fortress of Solitude. Batman and Superman tell the boys that they aren’t real, urging them to take a swan dive into the disintegration pit. Saddened but accepting of the truth, the boys comply and commit suicide. A few hours later, Batman shakes down some Clayface (Matt Hagen) henchmen, learning that Clayface is back and up to no good. Having kidnapped Lois Lane, Clayface asks for a big ransom for her return. Batman dresses up as Superman to confront Clayface at his protoplasmic grotto. There, Clayface displays his new ability to replicate minerals and rocks, turning himself into a being made of pure Kryptonite. Of course, it doesn’t work on a fake Man of Steel. Superman (disguised as Batman) shows up and takes a bullet from Clayface. Of course, bullets can’t harm Superman. A bewildered Clayface easily goes down and Lois is rescued. Superman destroys his grotto pool.

–Detective Comics #487 Part 1
Bruce reads about the impending prison release of Mabel Mhurder (aka Ma Murder), a notorious gangster that has been in jail for twenty years. After some research of his files, Bruce fears that Ma Murder, based upon criminal history and reputation alone, might be even crazier than Joker. Upon release, Murder immediately takes a job working for the League of Assassins. The League orders her to kill Sergius, who the Sensei mistakenly believes is working with Batman. After a botched hit on Sergius, Murder and her henchmen try to lay low, but Batman threatens her and busts one of her henchmen. Batman then saves Sergius from hit attempt number two, busting a second henchman. After getting close to Sergius using his Matches Malone disguise, Batman saves the writer and busts Murder’s third boy. One of the Sensei’s men (who Batman recognizes from his crime-databases) then tries to complete the task that Murder’s gang failed to accomplish. Batman kicks his ass too. Batman then leaves a note for Sergius saying he will be back. Presumably, Batman returns and finally gives Sergius the interview for which he’s been clamoring for the past few months.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #487 Part 3. Bruce sends Dick to a Wayne Enterprises division in West Germany to learn about European business interests. Naturally, Robin gets involved in international intrigue at a US Army base where some American soldiers have been stealing military materiel, which had been affecting Wayne Enterprises business poorly. Bruce likely knew about this and secretly sent Dick, knowing he’d straighten everything out in the FRG.

–Justice League of America #179-180
Firestorm (the merger of teenager Ronnie Raymond and scientist Professor Martin Stein) joins the Justice League! Notably, when Ronnie separates from Professor Stein, the latter retains no memory of their time as Firestorm. In fact, Stein still doesn’t even know he is Firestorm! Notably, Firestorm opts not to share his secret ID with the JLA. Ronnie mentions becoming Firestorm “all those months ago.” It’s been about eleven months since Firestorm debuted. (The scene of Firestorm joining is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #239 and Flash #290 Part 2.) Everyone is thrilled to have Firestorm on the team except Green Arrow. Upon returning to his hometown of New York City, Ronnie meets with his girlfriend Doreen Day , friend Cal Remington, and frenemy Cliff Carmichael, who tell news that Rosco Remington (Cal’s brother and Tony Manero analogue) has gone missing from a dance club. At the club, someone tells them that Rosco left with famous supermodel Sabrina Sultress aka “Satin Satan.” Firestorm visits Sultress at her penthouse and she quickly seduces him. Realizing Sultress is bad news, Firestorm sends out an emergency signal to the JLA. They arrive and quickly defeat a fire monster. Soon after, at a Central Park roller disco, the JLA finds Sultress with a captive Firestorm. After the JLA defeats Sultress’s steel soldiers, Zatanna exorcises the demon possessing Sultress, revealing the soldiers to be several abducted men, including Rosco. Unknown to all, the sneaky demon Sataroth remains within Sultress, although we won’t see Sataroth or Sultress again. During this adventure, as referenced in The Brave and The Bold #172, Batman realizes that Firestorm’s power is related to nuclear fusion.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #319. Early May. Bruce decides to host a charity masquerade gala at Wayne Manor, sending out invitations for the party, which is scheduled to happen next month.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #487 Part 5. Early May. Barbara Gordon loses her Congressional re-election bid against Republican candidate Della Zigler, thus ending her four year tenure as a US House Representative. Batman has nothing to do with this item, but he surely follows the numbers closely on election night, lamenting Babs’ defeat.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #496. Bruce meets and befriends caterer Rita Morgensen.

–Detective Comics #488 Part 1
Bruce goes on another date with Selina Kyle. They hang out at the penthouse, read from Simon Thatcher’s new Death Row memoir, then go to a stage performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Bruce muses to himself that he hopes he gets lucky and that Batman won’t be needed tonight since Selina is dying to spend some one-on-one time with him after the show. Things are really heating up between the two! Writer Cary Burkett gives us a nice ellipses, showing that, indeed, Batman doesn’t get called on duty. It’s safe to say that Bruce and Selina are an official consummated couple now. The next day, a chipper Bruce works on some Wayne Enterprises business with Lucius Fox. As the sun sets, Batman tries to quell a Gotham Prison riot orchestrated by the Spook, who has been hired by Thatcher’s publishing company to break Thatcher out of jail. Using a hypnosis device, the Spook causes all the prison guards to think that Batman is Thatcher and that the Spook is Batman. Thus, Batman gets locked up on Death Row. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon supposedly has a heart attack and is rushed into intensive care, but of course, the “commish” is actually a disguised Spook, messing with everyone. Batman quickly escapes from prison and deduces that the Spook is working with the publishing house. He busts the Spook and the publishers, jailing them all. Thatcher, meanwhile, had never even left the prison. The Spook had merely moved him to another cell, hoping to break him out at a later date.

–Detective Comics #488 Part 5
Dick has just completed his fifth year of college. Despite this, he is still not that close to graduating due to having missed credits because of superhero stuff. Dick registers for the next semester at Hudson University and goes to ask out the lovely Jennifer Anne, but she is kidnapped by masked men outside of the student center. Robin investigates her abduction, finding a link to his (Dick’s) friend Bernie Johnson, who has mailed out ransom notes to a bunch of kidnapped kids’ parents. Robin busts the kidnapping ring and rescues all the abductees. Later, Dick smooches with Jennifer. (They will begin officially dating shortly after this.) In Gotham, a ransom note arrives in the mail at Bruce’s penthouse. (The kidnappers had planned on nabbing Dick too.) Dick phones Bruce and Alfred to tell them he is okay.

–Detective Comics #489 Part 1
Batman studies the scene of a murder victim that has been bitten on the neck and drained of all her blood. Famous stage magician Moon the Mystic, along with his bodyguard Ivorn, approaches Batman, telling him that he is tracking the vampire responsible. Soon after, Batman fights a vampire, but the latter escapes. After watching Moon’s act while disguised as Matches Malone, Batman later confronts the vampire again, knocking off his mask to reveal Moon himself. Ivorn appears and tells Batman that Moon has developed a split-personality, one of whom thinks he is a vampire. For months now, Moon has been hunting himself! Ivorn then reveals that he is a legit vampire. Ivorn, blaming himself for his master’s condition, turns into a bat and flies into the light of day, committing vampire suicide.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #489 Part 5. Batman and Robin target the Butler Gang, a literal gang of thieving butlers that operate out of NYC. Robin disguises himself as Alfred in order to infiltrate the group, helping Batman bust over half the organization.

–Detective Comics #489 Part 6
Batman learns that Bronze Tiger is at a Gotham hospital, so he goes to pay him a visit to inquire about the death of Kathy Kane. Upon arrival, the Caped Crusader sees that the Sensei has sent two assassins to kill Bronze Tiger. Batman saves Bronze Tiger, who tells him that the League of Assassins is now targeting a geologist. At an amusement park, Batman fights the Sensei’s men, chasing the Sensei away. He then rescues a kidnapped geologist, Barton McManus, from an assassins knife high atop a rollercoaster.

–Detective Comics #490
Batman fights some of the Sensei’s laborers as they unload explosives on a Gotham quayside. Lurk, having been sent by Rā’s al Ghūl to fight the laborers as well, can’t resist a rematch against Batman. Batman wallops him, but the Sensei’s men escape. At the airport, high-ranking Catholic official Archbishop Reverend Reeney is greeted by the mayor and Commissioner Gordon. (I’m assuming this is the same mayor we’ve previously seen since he looks kinda similar, although it’s worth nothing that he no longer has his white temples. And now he’s practically a dead ringer for the unnamed mayor from The Brave and The Bold #148.) Reeney has just arrived to attend a global peace summit at a mansion in the outskirts of Gotham. Batman brings Barton McManus into the Batcave to ask him questions about why he was kidnapped by the League of Assassins. Together, they deduce that the Sensei is planning on triggering a fault line that will cause an earthquake that will kill Reeney and the others gathered at the summit. Batman battles through League of Assassins henchmen, GCPD officers, and heavily-armed security to make it to the summit, but Reeney refuses to listen to Batman nor to leave the building. Defeated and disgusted, Batman exits to the front portico. There, a gloating Sensei is waiting for him, ready to sacrifice his own life just to witness his great earthquake assassination. When Reeney steps onto the porch, the Sensei shoots him dead and then runs inside. Before Batman can follow, Rā’s al Ghūl and Talia arrive and knock him out with a tranquilizer dart. Rā’s al Ghūl goes after the Sensei inside the mansion as everyone else is clearing out. The earthquake levels the structure into rubble. Batman awakens hours later in a bucolic cottage alongside Talia. She claims that both her father and the Sensei have died in the quake. Deep down, Batman knows there’s no way they both kicked the bucket so easily, but for now he will accept a hard fought victory.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #182 and Batman #318-319. Batman adds fire-extinguishing CO2 foam capsules and a new state-of-the-art motion sensor (connected to the Bat-Beeper) to his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #172. Bruce reads in the news about a nuclear power plant in upstate New York, designed by Martin Stein, which doesn’t open and is shuttered due to scientific complications.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #509. Bruce opens the brand new Wayne Research Institute on Long Island, NY. Due to the dangerous chemicals that are stored there, Bruce has a special emergency alarm installed at the location. The alarm is routed straight to Bruce’s downtown penthouse.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #499Detective Comics #500 Part 7, Detective Comics #503, Best of DC #10, and The Brave and The Bold #173. Batman begins carrying plastique explosives, syringes, a small mirror, aerosol tranquilizer gas (sleeping gas), and a special “universal antidote”—essentially a cure-all for most known poisons—in his utility belt.

–Justice League of America #182
Late May. This item occurs less than a month after Justice League of America #180. Following a Batman-less JLA battle against yet another new Star-Tsar, Green Arrow quits the JLA, leaving his resignation notice on an audio tape recording. When Superman hears the notice, he calls an emergency team meeting and plays it for everyone. The JLA beams Green Arrow aboard the satellite to confront him. Their intervention is interrupted by a mystical cry for help from a reformed Felix Faust, who has been taken over by the evil spirit of 17th century occultist Nostromus, who has summoned him to his tomb in the Swiss Alps. The JLA—sans Green Arrow—immediately departs for the tomb and combats the possessed Faust. Faust defeats the JLA, but Green Arrow shows up just in time to destroy Nostromus’ magick tome, releasing Faust from his control and preventing a resurrection. Green Arrow tells the JLA that he’s still quitting, asking Black Canary to come with him. In tears, she refuses. Green Arrow storms off in a huff. He’s officially off the team.

–Batman #312-314
Early to mid June.[6] Bruce and Lucius Fox work on some new Wayne Enterprises business. Bruce also sets up another date with girlfriend Selina Kyle. Meanwhile, Calendar Man makes a big return, dressing up in a Moon-themed costume to rob the planetarium on Monday, then dressing up as the Germanic god Tiw (aka Týr) to rob a military antiques museum on Tuesday. (During his weeklong crime-spree, Calendar Man will leave March pages from a calendar as calling cards, which is odd since we are in May. Oh well.) On Wednesday, Calendar Man dresses up as Odin to challenge Batman directly, getting the better of the Dark Knight and wrecking a Whirly-Bat. (Batman mentions the upgraded Whirly-Bat model as being “new,” but he’s been using this model for almost eight months now, so it’s not really that new anymore.) On Thursday, Calendar Man wears a flashy New God-styled Thor costume to take on Batman yet again. The fight ends in a draw, although Batman’s hearing is damaged. On Friday morning, Dr. Douglas Dundee pays Bruce a visit at the penthouse, ordering him to stay in bed for a few days. This leaves Calendar Man, dressed up as the Norse goddess Frigga, to rob and steal unmolested. On Saturday, Lucius Fox visits a bedridden Bruce to discuss a big Wayne Enterprises merger. Once again, Calendar Man, this time dressed up as Saturn, commits another unchecked robbery. On Sunday, Bruce hops out of bed, cancels his date with Selina, and, as Batman, confronts Calendar Man at the train station, preventing him from skipping town. Calendar Man dons a brand new calendar-themed costume only to get his clock cleaned by Batman. Concurrently, across town, an escaped Two-Face plots a big score, having already stolen top secret US Navy missile defense system codes. The next day, Bruce attends a charity telethon and donates a bunch of money to the cause, after which Selina Kyle approaches him to say hello. Bruce and Selina go out on another date, after which they passionately kiss and make plans to hang out again soon. Later, Batman fights Two-Face and his gang, but the villains get away due to unwanted interference from US Government secret agent King Faraday! Despite reservations, Batman agrees to team-up with Faraday. Meanwhile, Timothy Fox, Lucius’ son, visits home from college. Timothy has gotten mixed up in some bad juju, prompting a feud between he and his dad. The next night, Batman and Faraday chase after Two-Face, but they get in each other’s way, resulting in Two-Face’s escape. Bruce bails on another date with Selina in order to follow Two-Face to New Orleans. During a Mardi Gras-style celebration (it’s not the actual Mardi Gras because we are currently in June), Batman shakes-down one of Two-Face’s henchmen, Weasel, who Batman knows about from his crime-files. Batman and Faraday reach Two-Face at the same time, again bungling each other’s attempt to bring him to justice. Eventually, Batman and Faraday cause Two-Face to fall from a blimp into Lake Pontchartrain, seemingly to his death. (It’s a lake and this is comics—he ain’t dead.) In Gotham, Selina visits Wayne Enterprises. Lucius Fox puts his foot in his mouth and reveals that Bruce asked him to keep an eye on her. Selina is furious and storms out. Gregorian Falstaff’s secretary Karlyle Krugerrand begins secretly following Lucius.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #330. Bruce tells Dick about Lucius’ troubles with Timothy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #322. Batman meets and begins using an Irishman named Shamrock (who also goes by “Irish”) as a new informant. Shamrock leads a network of “panhandling cronies,” which is apparently a very good thing for an informant to be in charge of.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #323. Bruce reads about a newly discovered catabolic agent in a science journal.

Batman #315-317
Mid June—Batman #315-317 spans a five day period, starting three days after the end of Batman #314. Batman busts three small-timers at City Hall, not realizing that they work for the returning Kite-Man! The next day, Lucius Fox finally confronts Karlyle Krugerrand, who tells him that Gregorian Falstaff wants to make him an offer. Lucius sets up a meeting. Meanwhile, when Falstaff’s Trans-Atlantic Airways announces it will be moving its HQ out of Gotham, Bruce meets with top city officials, including City Commissioner Arthur Reeves, to discuss. At lunch, Bruce meets Selina, who angrily throws water in his face for having had Lucius keep tabs on her like a common criminal. Bruce apologizes profusely, but Selina bails. Bruce has his secretary Gwen blast Selina’s phone all afternoon, but she refuses to answer. Later, Batman realizes that Kite-Man is back. The Dark Knight upgrades his Bat-glider (hang-glider), which includes adding a parachute, before heading out. Batman busts some jewelry thieves and Kite-Man. The next day, Batman and Robin patrol. (Dick is home for a brief summer vacation before summer classes begin next week.) The Dynamic Duo busts a teen arsonist that has set the Gotham Community Hospital ablaze before taking on a returning Crazy Quilt, who steals an eye surgery laser. Back home, Bruce tells Robin that he is heartbroken, revealing all the details of his stalled relationship with Selina. A day later, Bruce gives Dick a tour of the Wayne Foundation, telling him that the entire business will all be his one day! As lead trustee and the main funder of the Gotham Community Hospital, Bruce phones ophthalmologist Dr. Norman Dexter at the medical center to check-up on the condition of the building following the arson fire. Bruce and Dick learn that Dr. Dexter has been kidnapped, realizing that Crazy Quilt, who is going blind, is forcing him to perform eye surgery upon him in the burned out hospital wing. Batman and Robin rescue Dr. Dexter and bust Crazy Quilt, who is left permanently blind. The next day, an escaped Riddler sends word to Batman and Robin that he is going to strike in the near future. A day after that, Robin visits Warden Michael Pendergast at Gotham Prison. (Pendergast had brownish-auburn hair two months ago, but is grey now, so either this is an coloring error or he’s seen a rough two months.) He and Pendergast interrogate one of Riddler’s accomplices, infamous gun-runner Jake Hammer. While Riddler runs amok, Bruce visits Selina at her apartment and apologizes. They fight but ultimately make up and kiss. Later, Batman and Robin bust Riddler. Across town, Lucius meets with Falstaff, who (as referenced in Batman #318) offers him a huge sum of money to betray Bruce and join him instead.

Batman #318-319
Mid June—Batman #318-320 picks up straight from Batman #317, spanning about one week. Bruce reads about a shipment of recently discovered Egyptian cat-god artifacts that are due to be shipped to Gotham. Soon after, Batman helps out at an inferno started by newcomer Firebug (Joe Rigger), saving lives and chasing the villain away. Later, Bruce and Selina attend a hip airplane celebrity party hosted by “Truman,” who is definitely supposed to be Truman Capote! Selina complains of bad headaches. The next night, Lucius Fox meets with Gregorian Falstaff again, telling him that he won’t betray Bruce. Meanwhile, Batman learns that Firebug is targeting the Gotham State Building. After switching to a fireproof costume, Batman defeats Firebug, who winds up dying a brutal death as he leaps off the top of the Gotham State Building and explodes. At a cemetery outside of Gotham, Gentleman Ghost reunites with his henchmen Alf and Reggie, setting up their next big scheme. The next morning, while Alfred cleans and preps Wayne Manor for the big charity masquerade, Bruce decides that he misses the old cave and begins thinking of new ways to put it back into use. As such, Bruce does some elevator repair work on the lift between the house and the cave. (As referenced in Detective Comics #493 Part 3, Bruce decides to permanently keep Wayne Manor and the original Batcave open, moving forward. Bruce tells Dick about these plans.) In the city, some of Joker’s current henchmen (an unnamed guy and Sidney) kidnap one of Joker’s old henchmen (Southpaw), who was going to squeal on the gang to the cops. (Joker has escaped and is planning a dramatic return.) As night begins to fall, Batman prevents Gentleman Ghost from pulling off a diamond heist at a factory, after which the Dark Knight leaves behind a motion sensor just in case Gentleman Ghost returns. Bruce, dressed as Henry the VIII, then hosts his charity gala at Wayne Manor. Bruce mingles with Selina (dressed as Catherine of Aragon) and Lucius Fox (amazingly dressed as Abraham Lincoln). When Gentlemen Ghost returns to the factory, Bruce ducks out and goes to challenge him. Batman is quickly captured and put in a death trap. He escapes, of course, returning to Wayne Manor to find Gentleman Ghost an his cronies trying to rob the place. Batman punches out the cronies and chases Gentleman Ghost away.

–Detective Comics #500 Part 1
June 20-21. Bruce sees Dick off on a European trip, after which he has a nightmare about his parents dying. While patrolling, Batman (and Robin all the way from Europe) are teleported onto Crime Alley by the Phantom Stranger, who tells them that the Waynes are about to be killed on an alternate Earth! (Batman mentions that his parents were killed twenty years ago, but it’s actually been twenty-two years since the tragedy.) The Phantom Stranger offers Batman the opportunity to travel to Earth-5 to prevent the Earth-5-Waynes from dying! So, Batman and Robin are transported to a slightly off-kilter version of Gotham where they meet Lieutenant Gordon and his fiancée Babs (weird, I know). The Dynamic Duo roughs up Lew Moxon and surveils the Waynes. When Batman finds Joe Chill dead, he realizes that, on this Earth, his alt-parents won’t be killed on the 26th but instead on the 21st (which is today). Batman arrives just in time to prevent a different Moxon-hired assassin from offing the Waynes. Unknown to all, Batman has just inspired the young Earth-5 Bruce to begin training to become Batman in the future! With their mission done, the Dynamic Duo returns to Earth-1.

–Detective Comics #500 Part 3
Batman prevents three jewelry thieves decked out in red from head to toe from robbing a high society penthouse party.

–Detective Comics #500 Part 7
After new reports come out that show that crime rates have drastically risen in Gotham over the past few years, Bruce holds a meeting with the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors, encouraging them to vote yes to donating a whopping $2 million to the GCPD. Discouraged by the abysmal numbers, Batman tells Alfred that he is losing faith in the mission. On patrol, Batman is attacked by a criminal mastermind named Stryker, whose poison-toothed canine bites a chunk out of Batman’s arm. Batman drops into a coma and is delivered to a hospital by some cops that find him. Despite being in a coma, Batman is somehow able to subconsciously make his EEG send off a message in morse code. Robin reads the message, which is a call for Deadman. Sure enough, Deadman shows up, claiming that Bruce has one foot in the afterlife and he could sense his plea. Cary Bates, this is sheer ridiculousness, pal. Batman then flatlines and his spirit enters an afterworld limbo. In the pathway to the great beyond, Deadman tries to prevent Batman’s spirit from going past the point of no return. But the appearance of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s spirits stops ghost Batman in his ghost tracks. They tell him how proud they are of his war on crime, as do a multitude of other spirits that have been touched by the Dark Knight while they were alive. In the hospital room, despite having been clinically dead for minutes, Batman’s heart starts beating again. Deadman hops into Batman’s body and takes to the streets to find the mad poisoner and his toxic mutt. With Deadman and Batman co-sharing Batman’s dying body, the heroes begin an investigation that takes them to an upstate kennel. There, they kayo the dog and take a sample of its blood. The Deadman/Batman-controlled Caped Crusader fights Stryker, who gets killed by one of his own dogs. With the blood sample, doctors are able to synthesize an antitoxin, which saves Batman’s life.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #457 and Batman Special #1. June 26. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, visits Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley.

–Batman #320-324
Late June to early JulyBatman #320-324 spans a ten day period. Batman checks his clippings at Sigerson Ltd, learning about some brutal unsolved priest slayings in a small town in Spain. Intrigued and bored, Bruce travels to Spain to solve the case! After digging deep into the local scene, Batman soon finds himself battling against a cloaked villain called The Inquisitor and his medieval garbed hunchback sidekick Gorko. After another priest death, Batman learns that the Inquisitor is a local serial-killing cop, killing men of the cloth with a “seven deadly sins” theme. This is the original Seven! Batman takes down the Inquisitor, who is accidentally shot to death by Gorko. After returning to Gotham, a relative calm spell washes over the city. Batman spends a few days filled with routine patrol and plenty of dates with Selina, whose headaches have gotten worse and worse. Noticing this, Bruce sets her up with an appointment to see Dr. Douglas Dundee. Later, Bruce departs a business meeting with Lucius Fox when the Bat-Signal streaks across the stormy Gotham sky. Joker, who has already kidnapped Robin, boldly kidnaps Commissioner Gordon straight out of GCPD HQ, besting a bunch of officers and Batman in order to do so. Joker then dynamites his way into Bruce’s penthouse, punching-out Selina and kidnapping Alfred. After learning that Joker plans to celebrate his birthday by filling an arena with hundreds of people (ludicrously by simply offering free baked goods via a newspaper ad) and then conducting a live murder session in front of the crowd, Batman visits the arena in secret and rigs Joker’s giant death cake with rockets. The following evening, with a literally captive audience (thanks to special paralyzing gas pumped into the crowd), Joker unveils the cake with his abductees attached to it. Batman allows himself to be captured, activates his rocket candle, rescues everyone, and then chases Joker into one of Gotham’s bays. Joker’s boat explodes, seemingly taking him into the drink for good. Of course, this is hardly the last we’ll see of the Clown Prince of Crime. The very next night, Batman fights Captain Boomerang, who is trying to shake down a Gotham tabloid owned by Gregorian Falstaff. The following morning, Selina has her exam with Dr. Dundee, who tells her that she has a rare disease and only has a month to live! Dundee mentions that the Ancient Egyptians had a cure for this disease, but it was lost long ago. Coincidentally, there just so happens to be an Ancient Egyptian cat exhibit at the Riverside Museum. Uh oh. While Selina cases the exhibit, Batman fights and defeats Captain Boomerang atop Falstaff’s downtown skyscraper. After the sun sets, Selina phones Bruce’s penthouse, leaving a message with Alfred to tell Bruce that she loves him. Selina contemplates the burglary, but ultimately decides not to go through with it. However, there’s another cat in town that can’t resist. Cat-Man (!) robs the exhibit, but the cops immediately blame Catwoman. Upon learning of Catwoman’s supposed return, Batman immediately goes to her apartment to confront her. Selina pleads her innocence but flees when Batman refuses to listen. The next day, Bruce goes into work to find that Gwen has left her post for unknown personal reasons. New secretary Caroline Crown has been sent as her replacement. In his office, Bruce is surprised to find Catwoman, who again pleads her innocence. When Bruce suggests she turn herself in, Catwoman bails. Eventually, the clues lead both Batman and Catwoman to a booby-trap-filled underground lair beneath a warehouse where they wind up captives of Cat-Man in a spider-web-like “Cat’s Cradle” trap. With their costumes torn to shreds, Batman and Catwoman barely escape death. In Batcave II, Batman is able to track Cat-Man to Greece while Catwoman recovers from injury. Batman also contacts Dr. Dundee, confirming Catwoman’s condition. Batman and Catwoman team-up and travel to Greece where Cat-Man is trying to sell the stolen Egyptian artifacts to a rich collector/gangster Andros Akropolis. Akropolis double-crosses Cat-Man just as Batman and Catwoman arrive. Cat-Man gets shot by a fleeing Akropolis, losing one more of his mystical nine lives. Catwoman then struggles with Cat-Man pushing him into a steaming hot geyser. Cat-Man loses yet another life here, so he’s down to at least five or six at this point in his career. (The fight against Cat-Man is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #509.) Selina then succumbs to her disease and drops dead! Despite this, Batman rushes her into intensive care and she regains a heartbeat. After being airlifted to a Gotham hospital, Selina makes a quick recovery. Catwoman had indeed died, but thanks to a piece of Cat-Man’s tattered magickal costume, she was resurrected and cured of her disease! Bruce and Dr. Dundee care for Selina in the hospital while she regains her strength.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #509. Selina gives Bruce the tattered magickal piece of Cat-Man’s costume. He delivers it to the the bio-lab at the Wayne Research Institute on Long Island, NY for safekeeping.

–The Brave and The Bold #164
Batman helps Hawkman escort “The Mysterious Ones,” a pair of eldritch statues from the Gotham Metropolitan Museum to the Midway City Museum. While en route, Batman is magickally attacked, nearly crashing the Bat-copter (not the Whirly-Bat as writer JM DeMatteis incorrectly calls it). The same magickal force lifts the entire museum (along with Shiera Hall) off its foundations and into the sky, Batman jumps int the building just as it blasts into outer space. Hawkman enters to help Batman fend-off inanimate objects, prehistoric skeletons, and mummies that have come to life inside the museum. The magick force recoils, sending the museum back to its original location in Midway City, before entering and taking control of Shiera’s body. Hawkman is able to force the mystic power from his wife, which manifests itself as a giant glowing eyeball. The eyeball says it is a member of the ancient alien race known as the Ma-Prusha, beings of pure energy that once worshipped “The Mysterious Ones” (Merr and Wann) as gods before their civilization was destroyed by a cosmic storm. Batman and Hawkman volunteer to accompany the energy eyeball on a mission to return the statues of Merr and Wann to the Ma-Prusha. In deep space, the trio arrives at what appears to be the kaleidoscopic entryway of a black hole. Our heroes are nearly psychedelically torn asunder as they travel through the black hole with only flimsy protection from their alien guide. Eventually, Batman and Hawkman reach the other side, delivering the statues back to the Ma-Prusha. The powerful beings then instantly teleport Batman and Hawkman back to Earth.

–Batman #325
With the special recall election a mere twenty-four hours away, a terrible crime-wave washes over Gotham, making Commissioner Gordon drop in the polls against rival Bob Brand. When an assassin tries to snipe Batman atop police HQ, shattering the Bat-signal in the process, Batman shakes down and busts the shooter. The next morning, Acme Glass & Mirror fixes the Bat-signal. Bruce gives his support to Gordon before the Commish engages in a public debate against Brand. Batman makes an appearance to back Gordon, but when two armed men unsuccessfully try to shoot up the debate, the afternoon papers praise Brand for heroism in aiding Batman while chiding Gordon for looking pathetic under fire. Bruce meets with the city’s most influential businessmen, trying to convince them to vote for Gordon, but they all say they are going with Brand. Later, Batman follows-up on a lead from his would-be assassin, visiting the digs of a gangster named Candyman to find out that Brand himself has supposedly put the hit out on the Dark Knight. At Brand’s apartment, Batman finds Brand dead, shot to death by the real culprit, the candidate’s crooked manager Hamilton. Candyman’s men accidentally kill Hamilton while gunning for Batman, who realizes that the Acme repairmen were actually working for Hamilton and they’ve booby-trapped the Bat-signal. Batman arrives atop the GCPD HQ roof just in time to save Gordon from a bomb blast. Presumably, the real Acme repairmen fix the Bat-signal afterward. The recall election, now in shambles, is postponed one week.

–Superman #349
Mr. Mxyzptlk uses his magick to alter reality, gender-swapping much of Earth’s populace. (Batman becomes Batwoman, Wonder Woman becomes Wonder Warrior, Black Canary becomes Black Condor, Lex Luthor becomes Leslie Luthor, Lois Lane becomes Louis Lane, Jimmy Olsen becomes Jenny Olsen, etc). Mxyzptlk also creates some brand new superheroes (like Superboy and Superwoman and further warps reality so that Superman is branded as a criminal. Eventually, Superman realizes what has occurred, defeats Wonder Warrior, and sends Mxyzptlk back to the 5th Dimension, ending his spell. Later, Clark meets Lois cousin, the real Louis Lane.

–Batman #325 Epilogue
Gotham’s recall election for the commissionership of police is held. With no real opponent on the ballot, Commissioner Gordon easily wins. Batman meets with Gordon to check-up on him.

–Batman #326
Selina Kyle gets out of the hospital, having recovered from her recent injuries at the hands of Cat-Man. Having had time to think about love, life, and the trust of her peers, Selina decides to break-up with Bruce. Sadly, Selina departs from Gotham, leaving behind a devastated Bruce, who laments the loss of both Silver St. Cloud and Selina, telling Alfred, “Damn the Batman… and damn the world that needs him!” Hoping to take his mind off his troubles, Batman patrols, but gets his butt whooped by an escaped Mad Dog Markham. After consultation with Commissioner Gordon, Batman comes to believe there’s something fishy going on at Arkham Asylum. Batman secretly breaks a convict named Shank Taylor out of Gotham State Prison, drugs him, and confines him inside Batcave II. Then, Batman disguises himself as Taylor, secretly breaks back into jail, and plays crazy, which gets him transferred into Arkham within hours. First of all, a transfer within hours? Also, why didn’t Batman just swap places with someone already inside Arkham? I love ya Len Wein, but you are really jumping the shark here. Anyway, “Taylor” is brought before the Arkham’s current “director,” Professor Achilles Milo (!), who has secretly been running the joint for weeks alongside his “orderlies” Bruno and George. Batman is drugged by the bad guys, but, upon reawakening, gains an audience with Milo.

–Batman #327 Part 1
Still undercover in Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight finds a Batman costume in Joker’s empty cell (on a target dummy) and puts it on. However, the Dark Knight gets drugged by Professor Achilles Milo yet again and wakes up in a straitjacket. The bound and tripping Batman manages to take down Milo’s henchmen, freeing himself thanks to some help from his fellow inmates. Eventually, Milo is swarmed by a mob and winds up accidentally inhaling his own face-melting designer narcotic, which leaves him drooling and hallucinating. Control of the facility is returned to Warden Clark, who is also sometimes called “Director of Arkham Asylum.”

–Batman #327 Part 2
Batman reads up on the latest crime reports, learning that long time inmate Frankie Franconi has been released from jail and that crook Joe Carson is slated to speak before a grand jury in a few days. Later, Dick arrives from Hudson U to spend a leisurely weekend with Bruce. At the end of the weekend, Bruce and Dick chat with with John Taggart, the VP of the train company, while waiting for Dick’s train to depart at the station. When Bruce spots Franconi and known felon Shark Armstrong (whom Batman knows about from his crime files), he and Dick switch to superhero mode. The crooks pull the train out of the station early in an attempt to silence Carson, who is a passenger. While Robin saves Carson’s life, Batman stops the runaway train and busts the gangsters. Back at the station, Batman fingers Taggart as being a part of the assassination scheme, arresting him in front of dozens of live TV news cameras. Batman then drives Robin back to Hudson.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #265 Part 1. Dick tells Bruce that he is working as a reporter for the Hudson Herald, the local university newspaper. Dick has been and will work closely with fellow student reporter Kenny.

–Detective Comics #491
Writer Denny O’Neil begins our tale by saying Gotham’s “citizens hurry toward the warmth of their homes,” implying a fall or winter setting, but we are 100% in summertime, so ignore that line. A scientist named Professor Price meets with Bruce in the penthouse, showing him a golden fleece he created by accident in his lab via some unknown alchemical formula. Impressed, Bruce offers Price the full use of the Wayne Foundation’s science labs to try to figure out the formula. When some of Maxie Zeus’ men (led by Fred Britt) try to steal the fleece, Batman busts them. But before Batman can haul in Britt, a mystery assassin snipes him to death from afar. With permission from the Arkham Asylum’s director (Warden Clark), Batman disguises himself as Britt and visits Zeus at Arkham, but Zeus sees right through the disguise, kayos Batman, and escapes! Batman returns the fleece to Price only to learn it’s a fake. Batman deduces that Zeus somehow has the real one and is planning on gifting it to his daughter Medea. Batman buys a doll, goes to Medea’s school, and delivers the doll to her on behalf of her father, letting Zeus save face in front of his adoring little girl. Batman takes back the fleece and returns Zeus to Arkham. Back at the Wayne Foundation Tower, Batman fingers security guard Bernard O’Hara as Zeus’ inside man, who not only killed Britt but also swapped-in the fake fleece in order to quietly sneak away with the real one. Batman makes an easy bust.

–Detective Comics #492 Part 1
The morning after busting Maxie Zeus and Bernard O’Hara, newspapers report the tragic death of Batgirl at the hands of an unknown killer in downtown Gotham. (Babs has recently moved back to Gotham, taking a city government job with the Social Services Department.) After a quick trip to Commissioner Gordon’s house, Batman finds Batgirl injured but alive and otherwise well. Batgirl explains that she was attacked by someone that used a kidnapped little girl (Tracy Dover) as hostage to gain a tactical advantage. The attacker left Batgirl for dead, barely surviving. Shaken, Batgirl tells Batman that she is quitting the superhero game, effective immediately! Elsewhere, top mob boss General Scarr praises Batgirl’s attacker, the world-famous super-assassin known as Cormorant. After hearing Batgirl’s story, Batman deduces that Cormorant, with whom the Dark Knight is very familiar having studied his criminal database dossier, must be involved. Batman then beats up some baddies, learning that Scarr is involved too. After researching Scarr, Batman soon infiltrates his HQ but gets captured. Feeling guilty that Batman is doing her dirty work, the injured Batgirl cancels her early retirement and goes after Scarr and Cormorant. Batgirl arrives at Scarr’s HQ just in time to see Batman escape, kick henchmen asses, and combat against Scarr’s robotic mini-planes and mini-tanks. Batgirl turns her attention to Cormorant, who is so shocked to see someone he thought he killed that he collapses in tears. Batgirl then easily busts Scarr just as Commissioner Gordon and the cavalry arrive.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #494. Bruce helps set up a Wayne Foundation benefit party, scheduled for a month from now. Bruce sends out invitations to various organizations. Upon Dr. Douglas Dundee’s recommendation, Bruce sends an invite to Gotham Medical Charities, a nonprofit run by the prominent physician Dr. Bradford Thorne. The 1990s Batman The Animated Series cartoon links Dr. Thorne to Rupert Thorne as brothers. However, this is never stated in the Silver/Bronze Age comics. It’s possible they are brothers, but we have zero confirmation of that fact.

–The Brave and The Bold #165
Batman busts some pushers that are smuggling some rare South American drugs into Gotham. Man-Bat lends an assist, but only so he can secretly steal some of the drugs for his daughter Rebecca, who is gravely ill. After Bruce gets patched-up by Dr. Douglas Dundee, he suits-up and meets with Commissioner Gordon, who tells him the drugs he intercepted have been tainted. Realizing that Man-Bat has taken some of the tainted drugs, Batman rushes to his apartment, but he isn’t there. Batman then meets with Jason Bard, who tells tale of Rebecca’s illness and a potentially crooked doctor, Lawrence Lucerne, who is caring for her. Batman deduces that Lucerne is behind the earlier smuggling, arriving at the doc’s clinic just in time to prevent him from injecting the tainted drug into Rebecca. Batman chases after a fleeing Lucerne, but is attacked by an enraged Man-Bat. Batman calms him down and they team-up to bust Lucerne and his gangster associates. Later, Gordon reports that not all of Lucerne’s drugs were tainted. With Rebecca still sick and all the drugs now destroyed, Man-Bat departs, silently blaming Batman for her condition. (This item is also shown via flashback from Batman #342.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #493 Part 1. Batman adds a mini acetylene torch to his utility belt.

–The Brave and The Bold #166
Several weeks ago, Robin busted Penguin (as seen in the Batman-less Detective Comics #492 Part 4). Penguin’s fast-tracked trial is now held and Batman is present. Penguin’s henchmen (Frank Alzetti, Skip Davis, Blinky Norell, and Skeeter Johnson) plea bargain, turning against their boss in exchange for freedom. Batman personally takes Penguin back to prison, hearing him vow revenge against his former boys. Batman learns that Penguin’s ex-henchmen immediately leave town for Star City. Soon after, Michael Pendergast’s short tenure as Gotham Penitentiary warden ends as he is replaced by new Warden Phelps. Phelps gets to celebrate his new position by dealing with an immediate mass breakout caused by a vindictive Penguin. Batman corrals most of the inmates, but Penguin goes free into the night. In Star City, Penguin takes over one of the top mobs and begins his revenge, first killing Alzetti, which draws the attention of Black Canary. Batman saves Black Canary’s life from Penguin and his new mob, after which the heroes decide to team-up. After Penguin dresses in drag in order to kill Norell, the heroes split up. Black Canary is abducted by Penguin, stripped to her bra and panties, and bound and gagged. Penguin then sends a fake Black Canary to seduce Batman, but the Dark Knight sees through her bullshit. Batman soon busts Penguin and rescues Black Canary, who rewards him with a kiss.


–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #265 Part 1. Batman goes after an unnamed cat-burglar, who manages to avoid capture. Batman will chase this slippery baddie (although unseen on our timeline) for weeks to come.

–The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3
Batman narrowly avoids death, just barely escaping a warehouse explosion while on patrol. A couple days later, Batman picks up his mail, opening a package containing the shredded remains of his father’s old bat costume. In the Batcave II display case where the costume usually can be found is a note exclaiming that the Dark Knight’s days are numbered. Alfred worries about Batman’s state of mind following Selina’s breakup with him and the recent warehouse explosion. Batman reminisces about his origin and the death of his parents, shedding tears for them as he heads out to find out who has infiltrated Batcave II and desecrated his dad’s costume. Batman says this is the first time he’s cried about his parents since they died—a dubious claim that isn’t true. Worried about Batman’s state of mind, Alfred calls-in Robin, who stops Batman from using excessive violence while shaking down Gotham’s underworld for answers. Back home, a bomb blows up the Batmobile, leaving behind only a second (slightly charred) death threat note. Robin phones Jack Edison to order a replacement Batmobile. Batman goes out on patrol, saving Shamrock’s life from a mugger. After speaking with all his informants and Commissioner Gordon, Batman is still no closer to solving his case. The next day, a shaken Bruce gives Lucius Fox the brush-off and pays a visit to Wayne Manor. In the original Batcave, Bruce begins to hallucinate. All of a sudden, Robin appears wearing Thomas Wayne’s old masquerade bat costume (now repaired). Robin has deduced correctly that Bruce has temporary schizophrenia due to a head injury sustained in the earlier warehouse explosion! The Batcave II thief and bomber is none other than Batman himself! Robin’s appearance in character as Thomas Wayne is enough to snap Batman back to his senses, curing him of his schizoid episode and ending his paranoid delusions. Yeah, because that’s how schizophrenia works. Another shark-jumper from my man Len Wein. A few days later, Jack Edison delivers a new Batmobile to Batman and Robin.[8]

–REFERENCE: In Batman #328. Lucius Fox seals some mega-lucrative deals for Wayne Enterprises.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #494. Batman adds a fold-up biohazard face-mask, which is quarantine-safe and oxygen-filtering, into his utility belt.

–Detective Comics #493 Part 1
Batman tracks an escaped Riddler to Houston, TX. There, Batman teams-up with local superhero Swashbuckler, the nephew of the Vigilante. Batman and Swashbuckler fight Riddler twice, and twice Riddler gets the best of them. On a third solo attempt against Riddler, Batman gets drugged into unconsciousness, but Swashbuckler saves him. Realizing that Riddler will attempt to kidnap a rich Texas oil baron, Batman disguises himself as the oil baron and waits for the villain to come. Sure enough, Riddler shows up at the oil baron’s mansion where Batman and Swashbuckler are ready and waiting to bust him.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #493 Part 3. Bruce goes on an unspecified Bat-mission, for which he tells Lucius Fox that he’s been “called away unexpectedly.” It’s possible that Batman is still in Houston, wrapping up the Riddler case.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #503. Bruce’s relationship with Commissioner Gordon hasn’t been that great in recent years, mostly due to Bruce’s idle playboy nature, which Gordon can’t stand. However, in an effort to reach out to and reconnect with Bruce, Gordon sets up a regular lunch date with him. Bruce and Gordon will have lunch on the first Monday (barring unavailabilities) of every month, moving forward. Since this would be a hell of a lot of entries onto our already cluttered timeline, we’ll just imagine that Bruce and Gordon meet at the beginning of each month. And we can also imagine that their relationship strengthens as a result.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #266. Bruce announces new Wayne Foundation funding for STAR Labs’ ongoing research and development of space colonies, extending the working relationship between both organizations. This earns the Wayne Foundation a spot at STAR Labs’ lunar expo to be held in Metropolis in a few months’ time.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #506. A bomb goes off in fashion model Miranda‘s car, turning her vehicle into a fiery wreck. Batman pulls her from the pile of burning hot steel. Miranda will live but she is horribly burned all over her body.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #497. Batman goes after a Gotham mob boss known as The Squid (Clement Carp), but the latter evades capture.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #496. Director John Carlinger sends Bruce an invitation to the First International Horror Film Exposition, set to be held on the SS Varania III.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #328 and Batman #329 Part 1. Batman hears that Gilda Stevens’ husband, Gotham’s District Attorney Dave Stevens, has been murdered by a man named Anton Karoselle. Karoselle is fast-tracked through the legal system, but found not guilty of the crime. Unknown to all, Karoselle is actually a returning Boss Sal Maroni! A returning Two-Face, disguised as “Carl Ternion” kills Maroni.

–The World’s Greatest Superheroes News Strip 9/1/1980 to 12/13/1980 (“Nuclear Crisis”)
As mentioned already, 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. The web contains almost no information regarding “Nuclear Crisis” other than the fact that it features both Batman and Superman teaming-up. So, we can only assume that Batman and Superman prevent a nuclear crisis here.

–Detective Comics #494
Late Summer. Writer Michael Fleischer mentions icy rain in ‘tec #494; writer Jack Harris, in the Batman-less third feature to ‘tec #494, mentions the first warm day of spring; and writer JM De Matteis mentions a hot summer’s day in the Batman-less fourth feature of ‘tec #495. Who is right? Spring or summer? Thanks to Sliding-Time, we are in late summer, so ignore the topical-seasonal references of Fleischer and Harris. The debuting Crime Doctor (Dr. Bradford Thorne) runs circles around the GCPD, helping mobs pull of heists with ease. After Batman’s arm is injured while fighting one of the mobs, Alfred puts a call into Dr. Douglas Dundee, but he is on vacation. As comic book coincidence would have things, Dundee’s substitute is none other than Dr. Thorne. A few nights later, Bruce mingles with Dr. Dundee and Dr. Thorne at a Wayne Foundation charity gala. Soon after, Batman confronts the Crime Doctor, who squabbles with some turncoat clients (Frenchy and two unnamed partners) during a pharmaceutical lab robbery. The Crime Doctor notices Batman’s arm wound, realizing that he is Bruce. Likewise, Batman realizes that the Crime Doctor is Dr. Thorne. The thieves steal a vial of drugs and flee the lab, detonating a bomb that destroys the entire building.

–Detective Comics #495 Part 1
Late Summer. Picking up directly from where ‘tec #494 ended, Batman saves Dr. Thorne’s life, barely escaping the laboratory explosion caused by Frenchy and his pals. The thieves then report back to their boss, Sterling Silversmith (!), revealing that the Crime Doctor knows Batman’s secret ID. After locating and searching Thorne’s hidden lair, Batman goes to question forger Elmo Kraft, but finds him dead in his home. Meanwhile, Silversmith’s men kidnap Thorne and interrogate him. Batman follows the clues to Silversmith’s hideout. There, he busts Silversmith and his gang, but is too late to save Thorne, who has been poisoned with mercury. Batman rushes Thorne to the hospital, but the Crime Doctor will be comatose for years to come. (He will recover, though. We will see him healthy in Crisis.)

–The Brave and The Bold #168
Late summer. Batman busts some muggers and checks-in with Commissioner Gordon, who tells him a priceless diamond has been lifted from a jewelry store. Batman works the case for a few days, but can find no leads. Green Arrow then shows up at the penthouse, asking Batman to participate in a charity event with an escape artist named Samson Citadel. Despite having swore off entertainment appearances in costume years ago, Batman agrees as a favor to Green Arrow, but only if Ollie will patrol with him in Gotham for a full week. Thus, the Dark Knight and the Emerald Archer take to the streets together, soon coming across the diamond heist gang. The heroes bust them all except one, who escapes. At police HQ, each member of the gang is confused, having no memories of committing any crimes. Batman visits the world-famous Magic Palace (home to the equally-famous Magician’s Club) where he is immediately ambushed and captured by a henchman working for master hypnotist, The Great Rhinehart. Rhinehart admits to hypnotizing members of the Magician’s Club to commit crimes, including Citadel. Rhinehart throws the Dark Detective into a Houdini-style water-filled deathtrap, but Batman easily escapes just in time to witness Green Arrow snap Citadel back to his senses. Batman then arrests Rhinehart. Presumably, Green Arrow finishes out his week of Gotham patrols with Batman, and then Batman does his charity act with Citadel.

–World’s Finest Comics #265 Part 1
After Batman sees visions of Robin screaming for help (both in a dream and in the face of the cat-burglar he’s been chasing for weeks as he is finally busting him), the Dark Knight checks-up on Robin to find that he is missing. When Superman has similar visions, he joins Batman on a search. Their investigation brings them to a cave on the outskirts of New Carthage, through which they pass, emerging in the Magic Dimension (aka Magic-Land World). There, they are greeted by the immortal Merlin, who tells them their old foe Simon Magus has abducted Robin! While Superman tackles a balrog, Batman fends-off a small army of living skeletons. Merlin guides the heroes to Robin’s location where they easily dispatch some trolls (gnomes, really) and confront Magus, who, despite being surrounded by and powered by magick, pulls a handgun! Batman and Superman kick his ass, rescue Robin, and go home.

–Detective Comics #496
Bruce attends the First International Horror Film Exposition aboard the SS Varania III cruise liner. When a Godzilla statue topples over, Batman saves Myrna Gentry’s life and chats with John Carlinger. Soon, an escaped Clayface (Basil Karlo), who has been behind bars for the past thirteen years, boards the Varania and attacks Carlinger. Carlinger easily handles the elderly villain, killing him. Seeing an opportunity to get rid of some actors that have threatened him with a lawsuit, Carlinger dresses up as Clayface and tries to kill them as well. (Carlinger was already behind the Godzilla “accident.”) Batman battles the fake Clayface three times, eventually exposing him as Carlinger and making the bust.

–Batman #328
Carl Ternion beats a murder wrap in court when a jury determines that the victim, Anton Karoselle, died of accidental reasons. Not long ago, Karoselle himself killed District Attorney Dave Stevens, who was married to Harvey Dent’s ex-wife Gilda. Upon winning his case, Ternion, protected by double jeopardy immunity, declares that he did murder Karoselle, challenging Batman to come after him. Soon after, Batman views film footage of Ternion in court and begins an investigation, which includes asking bag lady Mary Ann Warner for info. Later, Mary Ann is beaten to a pulp by some hooligans, sent by Ternion to see what she knows. (As referenced in Batman #329 Part 2, Batman rushes Mary Ann to the hospital, where she is put under the care of a Dr. Phillips. Batman also tells Robin all about Mary Ann.) Batman tracks one of the assaulters to Gotham Dam. There, Ternion kills the henchman and then fights an arriving Dark Knight. Batman is almost swept away by raging spillway waters, but survives. Later, back at the Wayne Foundation, Lucius Fox tries to tender his resignation, citing family problems with his son. Bruce denies his request, offering him a paid leave of absence instead. When world famous plastic surgeon Dr. Albert Ekhart is killed by Ternion, Batman realizes that Ternion is actually a temporarily surgically-repaired Two-Face, who has used Ekhart’s skills to heal himself (again, only temporarily). Unknown to Batman, Two-Face has gone to these great surgically-altered murderous lengths in order to win back his ex-wife Gilda, whom he is already dating as “Ternion.” Returning home, Batman is told by Alfred that there is a strange sound coming through one of the Batcave II walls. Batman rams his car through the cave wall, emerging into the adjacent abandoned subway line. There he finds a bound Commissioner Gordon, who explains that he had been abducted by the vengeful son of a man he busted thirty-five years ago when he was a rookie beat cop. Batman and Gordon bust the unhinged man, who goes to Arkham Asylum. Later, Batman finds stolen jewelry from the thirty-five-year-old cold case, delivering the loot to Gordon. Presumably, Batman and Alfred patch up the damaged Batcave II wall.

–Batman #329 Part 1
While extending his investigation into Two-Face’s masquerade as “Carl Ternion,” Batman is nearly killed via grenade (at Dr. Ekhart’s office) and via fire (at the morgue). At Anton Karoselle’s mansion, Batman finds clippings about Two-Face’s history, realizing that Karoselle is actually Sal Maroni. Batman then checks-up on Mary Ann Warner at the hospital before having a long heart-to-heart with poor Gilda, who can’t believe her new beau is actually her old beau. Meanwhile, Harvey’s temporary facial reconstruction falls to pieces, returning him to full-on Two-Face. Disguising himself as Maroni, Batman lures Two-Face to a courthouse. There, as per Batman’s plan, Alfred projects a film reel showing Two-Face’s origin. The overwhelmed villain is then approached by Gilda, who tells him to stand down. Two-Face listens to the love of his life and turns himself into Arkham Asylum custody.

–Detective Comics #497-499
Early to mid October. Commissioner Gordon meets with Batman, telling him that the Squid (Clement Carp) is now dealing in government secrets and the FBI wants the Dark Knight’s help busting him in Baja California. Thus, Bruce and Alfred take a Cali vacation. Soon, Batman fights the Squid and his henchmen, retrieving the stolen government documents, but the he takes a bullet in his side courtesy of the Squid. Batman switches back to civilian clothes and hobbles to a nearby hotel where he phones Alfred for help. The bloody and battered Bruce accidentally leaves the stolen docs in the bar, escaping into an alley with help from a patron. Despite being in intense pain, Batman regroups, sheds his civvies, and takes the fight back to the Squid and his goons, who flee into Mexico. Bruce spends a few weeks recovering from his wounds received from the Squid. Once fully healed, Batman busts a circus strongman thief named Ajax. Batman then sees a TV news story about a union presidential election in the small coal mining town of Bleak Rock, West Virginia, noticing immediately that Blockbuster is standing in the background of the shot! Batman hightails it to Bleak Rock where he finds Blockbuster working in a mine. Corrupt union president Boss Dooley collapses the mineshaft in an effort to kill his progressive opposition candidate, Willie Macon, who has taken Blockbuster under his wing. In the collapsed mineshaft, Batman and Blockbuster form an unlikely union, helping save the life of Macon and others. Batman and Blockbuster bomb, climb, and dig their way out of the tunnel, rescuing all the trapped miners. Exposed, Dooley and his henchmen kidnap Macon’s daughter and try to flee, but Blockbuster kicks their asses, allowing Batman to make easy work of Dooley. Seeing that Blockbuster has truly become a superhero and found a new loving family in the citizenry of Bleak Rock, Batman lets him be, allowing him to stay in the small town for good.

–Batman #329 Part 2
It’s been two weeks since Batman #329 Part 1. At the hospital, Batman and Robin take down some hitmen that are gunning for a gangster named Razor Reynolds, who is in for a heart transplant. Robin then visits Mary Ann Warner in her hospital room. Dr. Phillips expresses anger over the fact that Batman hasn’t come to visit himself. When Reynolds’ donor heart is stolen by hitmen at the airport, Batman and Robin chase them down, recovering the organ. Batman gets one of the goons to confess that Reynolds’ own daughter is the one that put the hit out on her dad. After rushing to the hospital, Robin delivers Reynolds’ new heart and busts his daughter. Meanwhile, Batman surprises all by hand-delivering flowers and chocolates to Mary Ann.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #503. Batman begins investigating Lunden Chemical Company, which he believes to have ties to Joker. While we won’t see it, Batman will investigate Lunden on-and-off for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #503. Arthur Reeves steps down as City Commissioner to take a weightier role as City Councilman. It’s not a city election year, but in the topsy-turvy Gotham legislative world, which features constant special recalls and never-ending scandal, there are myriad ways Reeves could have increased his existing power.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #171. Bruce hears that Professor Carter Nichols, after a nine year absence, has recently returned to Gotham City!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #330. Early November. State Governor Putnam is replaced with Governor Corley. It’s not an election year (it’s not even November yet), nor are we told what happens, so we must assume that Putnam has resigned or been forced out of office.

–The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 1
Writer Mike W Barr says that it is early spring, but that’s just not possible. Batman hears about the heart attack death of faith-healer Raymond Marcy at his house of worship, known as the Marcy Temple. Batman and the police suspect that mobster Steel Springer or Raymond’s own magickal daughter Angela Marcy might have had a hand in Raymond’s death. A few days later, Batman visits Marcy Temple to find a cop in a gunfight with some hoods. Batman is aided by Zatanna to bring down the bad guys. In Batcave II, Batman and Zatanna discuss the Marcy case. Later, Batman snoops around the Marcy Temple. The next day, Batman and Zatanna rescue a kid (whose paralysis had supposedly but falsely been healed by Angela) from getting run over by a car. Bruce sets up a meeting with the Marcy Temple’s manager Jim Yost in order to secretly obtain Yost’s fingerprints. After running the prints, Batman discovers that Yost is really a disgruntled former follower of the Marcy family, John Yoder, whose son died after a bogus cure from Raymond. Yoder had infiltrated the Marcy Temple with vengeful intentions, but now has come to love the organization. As night falls, Batman and Zatanna return to the Marcy Temple. There, Springer kidnaps Zatanna, revealing that he killed Raymond because the latter refused to cure his illnesses. Meanwhile, a fearful Yoder drugs Batman, knocking him out. After Zatanna takes down Springer’s gang, Batman comes-to and confronts Yoder, who admits to having faked all of Angela’s healings since she doesn’t actually have any powers like her dad. Yoder dies. Springer dies. Batman and Zatanna suggest that Angela close the temple and open a mission to help the poor and needy.

–The Brave and The Bold #170-171
A few days have passed since The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 1 (and the Batman-less The Brave and The Bold #169 Part 2). Batman hears rumblings about a secret criminal cartel that has existed for a long time and has been clandestinely run by a mystery man. After three straight gangland murders, Batman investigates, coming to believe that assassin Danny Krebs is behind the killings. When a fourth murder happens, Commissioner Gordon informs Batman about a hit put out on a top secret government spy called Nemesis. Batman converges upon a mob hideout only to find another man dead. Nemesis (aka secret agent Tom Tresser) is there as well. He tells Batman that the aforementioned secret criminal cartel—known as the Council—is behind all the murders. After another gangster body surfaces, Batman and Nemesis officially team-up. After locating Krebs, Batman and Nemesis realize that other mobsters are trying to silence him. Batman tries to protect Krebs, but the assassin gets shot and killed. In Batcave II, Nemesis tells Batman that the Council’s Otto Von Riebling (an ex-Nazi scientist) was responsible for brainwashing Craig Tresser into killing FBI chief Ben Marshall a few years back. After combing through his crime files and feeding info through the Bat-computer, Batman learns that the Von Riebling has a long lost brother. Bruce sets up the ultimate skeevy sting, purchasing a bunch of WWII memorabilia and reaching out to Neo-Nazis to set up an auction. At the auction, Nemesis pretends to be Von Riebling’s brother, drawing the attention of other ex-Nazis. At a phony apartment, the ex-Nazis meet up with the still-disguised Nemesis, arranging to connect him with Otto Von Riebling. A few days later, Batman and Nemesis gain entry to Von Riebling’s lab. A fight breaks out, Von Riebling’s lab is burned to the ground, but Von Riebling escapes. Later, Nemesis installs new stealth silencing tech onto Batman’s Whirly-Bats. The Council then kidnaps Craig Tresser’s wife (Nemesis’ sister-in-law), which leads to Nemesis turning himself into their custody. Batman trails Nemesis to a secret Council hideout, finding Von Riebling badly injured and Nemesis strapped to a brain-swapping machine alongside the Head (the leader of the Council). The Head is attempting to swap his body—which is permanently in an iron lung—with the healthy spry body of Nemesis! Batman saves Nemesis and his sister-in-law, preventing the body swap. Von Riebling, in his final act before dying, kills the Head. Thus ends the Council—for now.

Batman purchases a Civil War chest at a charity auction, later discovering inside a campaign patch with a Bat-symbol on it. Just like old times, Bruce pays the recently returned Carter Nichols a visit, asking the prof to send him through time to Virginia, 1862. (Note here that writer Gerry Conway unveils a seemingly new and contradictory take on the Nichols time-traveling method, having Bruce say that it’s pure scientific hogwash and merely illusory. Nichols always had a few means of sending folks through time—hypno-induced chrono-travel, astral avatar projection, and time machines. However, all the Nichols-backed time jaunts were always 100% real. Hell, after Nichols left Gotham, Bruce even tried and failed to adapt Nichols’ scientific breakthroughs at the Wayne Foundation—then Alfred Foundation—science lab. So, when Conway tries to retcon this, we should ignore. When you time-travel with Nichols, you legit time-travel, son. A possible fanwank: Bruce comes to believe that Nichols’ time-traveling abilities are bunk only because he is unable to replicate them. After all, it’s not very often that Bruce fails at something. I kind of like that idea, but it’s up to you how you wrap this around your own headcanon.) In 1862, Batman joins Kiowa warrior Scalphunter (Ke-Woh-No-Tay aka Brian Savage) to save Martha Jennings from some Confederate States Army soldiers. Batman, Scalphunter, and Martha join-up with members of Brigadier General John Pope‘s Union Army platoon and watch the Second Battle of Bull Run from a safe distance. When Batman attempts to fight some of the rebels, he is captured and strapped to a cannon. Batman soon escapes and helps Scalphunter and Martha take down more rebel soldiers. Impressed by Batman’s valor, Martha says she will sew a special Bat-symbol campaign patch in his honor. Mystery solved with time-paradox as per usual, Batman returns back to 1981.

–World’s Finest Comics #266
Bruce attends the STAR Labs lunar expo in Metropolis where he and Dr. Jenet Klyburn are interviewed by Clark for WGBS TV. Super-villain Lady Lunar (Wonder Woman’s friend and former co-worker, astronaut Stacy Macklin) attacks, besting the heroes. Later, in Batcave II, Batman tells Superman that Lady Lunar reminds him of their old foe Moon Man (Brice Rogers). Batman and Superman visit Rogers, but he is unable to help them. While Batman investigates Rogers further, Superman fights and is again defeated by Lady Lunar, who steals a bomb from STAR Labs. The heroes soon come to believe that Lady Lunar not only got her powers the same way Moon Man once did, but also that Lady Lunar must be Dr. Klyburn. Batman stakes-out Dr. Klyburn’s house for twenty-four hours, but ultimately learns he’s been barking up the wrong tree when he gets kidnapped (along with Klyburn) by Lady Lunar. Batman and Dr. Klyburn escape just in time to witness Superman fighting Lady Lunar, who has mesmerized the entire population of Metropolis. Superman reflects sunlight to illumine part of the night sky, allowing Batman to push Lady Lunar into a shaft of sunlight, restoring her sanity. Batman and Superman leave Stacy in the care of Brice Rogers Dr. Klyburn until her lunar affliction wears off.

–Justice League of America #183-185 (“CRISIS ON NEW GENESIS & APOKOLIPS”)[9]
Writer Gerry Conway makes reference to the “annual” JSA-JLA meetups, but, as mentioned before, these meetings happen more than once a year thanks to Sliding-Time retcons. While en-route to a JLA-JSA meeting, members of the JSA (Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Huntress, and Dr. Fate) and JLA (Superman, Batman, Hal Jordan, and Firestorm) are whisked away to New Genesis by New God Metron. (At this point on our timeline, Martin Stein now knows he is a part of the Firestorm matrix.) On New Genesis, the heroes are greeted by the brainwashed New God Orion (son of Darkseid), who immediately starts fighting them. But against the group of superheroes, Orion is overwhelmed and defeated. Metron arrives with Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, and Oberon. They de-program Orion using a Mother Box, explaining that some dark force—allied with Earth-2’s Injustice Society—has abducted the entire populace of New Genesis and enslaved them on Apokolips. Metron, Orion, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, and the heroes of two Earths boom (i.e. teleport via Mother Box) to Armagedda, the capitol city of Apokolips. As the heroes fight past Apokoliptian Shock Troopers, Mr. Miracle explains that Darkseid recently was supposedly killed following a fight against Orion. (Darkseid was wounded after being pushed into the Source Wall, after which he was accidentally killed by his own minion Desaad.)[10] While Superman and Earth-2 Wonder Woman rescue enslaved children from Granny Goodness’ torture-orphanage. Elsewhere, Orion, Power Girl, and Firestorm come across the Shade, the Icicle, and the Fiddler, who have resurrected Darkseid using a giant machine. The Fiddler single-handedly defeats Orion, Power Girl, and Firestorm. Meanwhile, Big Barda and Oberon introduce Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Superman to the Apokolips Underground, a guerrilla resistance army comprised solely of child soldiers. On the other side of Apokalips, Hal, Dr. Fate, and Oberon rescue Mr. Miracle’s dad Izaya, the Highfather (ruler) of New Genesis. Concurrently, Batman, Huntress, and Mr. Miracle infiltrate Darkseid’s Imperial Palace, discovering that Darkseid plans to replace Earth-2 with Apokolips, destroying the planet in the process. The trio watches from the shadows as Darkseid turns upon and imprisons his Injustice Society partners. They then sneak to the prison sector and free their captured pals, the Injustice Society members, and a bunch of New Gods. Outside of the palace, Izaya, Dr. Fate, Oberon, and Hal take down a bunch of Parademons. At Granny Goodness’ orphanage, Superman, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, and the Underground kids free all the enslaved children. Big Barda takes down Granny herself. Soon after, Firestorm and Orion face-off against Darkseid. Firestorm is able to bounce an Omega Beam back into Darkseid! Batman leads a freed army of fighters, including New Gods Lightray and Forager—into battle against Darkseid and his Parademons. Metron rejiggers the machine designed to destroy Earth-2, causing it to instead blast away Darkseid, killing him once again.

–REFERENCE: In New Teen Titans #1Batman #330, and Detective Comics #503. Dick, despite being twenty-three-years-old and in his fifth year of university, has been failing classes left-and-right due to mass absences (as revealed in the recent Detective Comics #495 Part 5). Dick decides to end his relationship with Jennifer Anne, drop out of college, and move into the Wayne Foundation Tower (into his own apartment a few floors down from the penthouse). Bruce is so disappointed and upset, he refuses to even speak to Dick. Batman does, however, vent to his pals in the JLA about Dick’s behavior and life choices.

–Justice League of America #186
When Shaggy Man #2 awakens and runs amok in the USSR, two Soviet cosmonauts pay a direct visit to the JL Satellite to meet with the JLA (sans Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hal Jordan, who are helping with reconstruction on New Genesis). When the cosmonauts report Shaggy Man’s return in Russia, the JLA exclaims that they defeated him “months ago,” bottling him in a jar. That was three years ago, dudes! This would be a continuity error with or without Sliding-Time! After the aggressively commie-hating Flash produces a jar complete with teeny Shaggy Man inside, the other JLAers remind him that there are two Shaggy Men. However, Flash tells them that he and Hal defeated a returning Shaggy Man #2, freezing him in an iceberg, ten months ago. Flash says the commies should deal with Shaggy Man on their own, but ultimately the heroes do some prep-work and then go to Russia to take on the hairy beast. While the Atom, Black Canary, Flash, and Elongated Man deal with Shaggy Man, Batman punches out a Soviet Army soldier and re-programs a Soviet rocket to fire into deep space. Batman sticks a dummy of himself with a recording of his voice on top of the rocket to lure Shaggy Man onto the projectile. Shaggy Man is blasted-off into space, ending his threat.

–Batman #331 Part 2
Commissioner Gordon has recently formed a special mob investigation task force, led by Detective Mark Rearden. When Rearden goes missing, Batman gets a clue from a tipster telling him that something is funky within the group. After doing some preliminary homework, Batman disguises himself as Officer Al Nelson and goes undercover to canvas the cops in the group, including Hank Samuels and Frank Trask. Batman then switches briefly to his Shadow-inspired janitor disguise to snoop around GCPD HQ. Switching back to his Officer Nelson disguise, Batman joins Gordon, who has discovered a bomb in the file room. They defuse the bomb and quickly expose Samuels as the villain. Soon after, they find a drugged-up but safe Rearden. Batman and Gordon visit a healthy Rearden in the hospital the next day.

–Batman #330
Late November—(opening text tells us of early autumn frosts, which implies October, but, of course, in order to fit neatly with everything else, we must be in late November). On the eve of his execution, Archie Skyler puts a Death Row hit out on Batman. In the morning, Bruce leaves work early to visit Lucius Fox at the hospital after learning that he has been mugged. This leaves secretary Caroline Crown free to steal some business papers from Bruce and Lucius, delivering them to her secret boss, Gregorian Flagstaff. At the hospital, the injured Lucius begs Bruce to find his son Timothy. Dick shows up at the hospital as well, prompting an uncomfortable first conversation between he and Bruce—the first chat they’ve had since Dick dropped out of college. Despite the tension, the Dynamic Duo patrols together, busting a couple of hitmen out to collect Skyler’s bounty. Batman then goes through Lucius’ personal notes, learning that Timothy has joined a gang. After researching the gang, Batman rendezvouses with Robin to interrogate one of the assassins in prison. The Dynamic Duo then heads towards the site of a gang meet-up that Timothy is supposed to attend. Nearby, another assassin tries to kill Batman, but Talia shows up and saves his life! Batman and Talia then ditch Robin to track Timothy. When they find him, they phone into Alfred, telling him to relay a message to Dick to stay clear. Dick is furious and suits-up anyway. Meanwhile, Batman roughs up Timothy’s gang (Ron Watkins and two unnamed others), which is secretly in the employ of Gregorian Flagstaff. The Dark Knight puts a tracer on the gang’s leader. Upon leaving, Batman is immediately attacked by more hitmen, with whom he dispatches. Batman then makes a public announcement challenging all his would-be assassins to meet him on Grosvenor’s Island. There, Batman defeats biker boss Blackjack, Blackjack’s motorcycle hoods, and a couple more hitmen. (Batman knows all about Blackjack from his crime-files, but this is their first in-person meeting. Blackjack even verbally confirms this is their first face-to-face only to later say the odd seemingly contradictory line, “You always wanted me to turn straight, didn’t ya?” We should take this in the general sense, as in Batman’s MO is to try to get all criminals to reform.) Batman and Robin then separately follow Timothy and his gang to the Wayne Foundation Tower where they plan to blow up the building. Batman thrashes the teen gangbangers, stopping their plan. Batman scolds Timothy, but Robin tells Batman to chill out, citing that Timothy has been lied-to and manipulated by the gang. Just then, another hitman named Cowboy (son of a dude that Batman busted a few years ago), enters the scene guns a-blazing. Batman and Robin easily take him down, after which Robin tells Batman not to lecture Timothy. Robin demands to have a sit-down meeting with Batman later on.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #331 Part 1. Late November. Seeing no other option after their Wayne Foundation Tower attack, Bruce presses criminal charges against Timothy Fox and his gangbanger friends.

–Justice League of America #188 Part 2
December 2—the first day of Hanukkah. Batman and Black Canary bust some crooks in Gotham, after which Hawkman and Hawkgirl set off an alarm aboard the JL Satellite. Batman, Black Canary, and the Atom arrive aboard the satellite to find Hawkgirl putting out fires, citing attack by a spacecraft with which Hawkman is currently dealing. After Hawkman destroys the spacecraft, the heroes work quickly to repair the damaged JL Satellite, which is de-powered and falling out of orbit. While they toil, Black Canary realizes the spacecraft was a US military AI drone that had gone rogue. Against all odds, the JLA is able to repair the satellite. It’s a Hanukkah miracle! While not shown, Batman mentions that he is going to talk to Pentagon officials about the rogue drone, which we can assume he does.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #190. Early December. While half the JLA was dealing with the rogue AI drone in Earth’s orbit (as seen in Justice League of America #188 Part 2), the rest of the JLA was Earthbound, fighting the super-villain known as Proteus (as seen in (as seen in Justice League of America #188 Part 1). At a JLA meeting, both teams tell tale of what they’ve gone through. Aside from the group, Superman and Aquaman tell Batman that they noticed that Flash and Zatanna were a bit chummy during the Proteus affair. Sure enough, Flash and Zatanna did go on a date shortly before Proteus struck, but they are quite far from being an item.

–Batman #331 Part 1
Early December. Later, Batman reads about Death Row inmate Spike Rafferty getting released on a technicality. A few days later Rafferty is killed by a new super-villain called The Electrocutioner. A few days after that, another Death Row killer, Mike Caine, is also released on a technicality. Batman threatens Caine at his home, but, shortly after leaving, the Electrocutioner executes Caine. Batman chases the Electrocutioner but gets shocked into submission. Back home, Dick tries to talk to Bruce about his decision to drop out of college, but Bruce doesn’t want to hear a thing. Dick also tells Bruce that he thinks Timothy Fox’s gang didn’t beat up Lucius, who is still in the hospital. While Dick trails Ron Watkins to Gregorian Falstaff’s building, Batman prevents the Electrocutioner from assassinating another Death Row inmate that has been freed due to a judiciary technicality. The next morning, a news story is published about Wayne Enterprises having purchased slum housing. Bruce had no idea the purchases had even been made. When another Death Row inmate walks free, Batman disguises himself as the crook to get the jump on the Electrocutioner, who attacks at the ex-con’s beachfront property. Batman finally bests his opponent, who escapes after falling into the ocean. Back home, Batman is visited by Talia, who asks him for help. Dick angrily tells Bruce that it’s either Talia or him. Bruce chooses Talia, causing Dick to storm off.

–Batman #332-333 (“THE LAZARUS AFFAIR”)
December 9-13. Picking up from the end of Batman #331 Part 1, Dick packs some of his things, tells off Bruce, and departs. Bruce (with Talia) runs over the most recent Wayne Enterprises business ventures, looking for signs of malfeasance. He also reviews the seemingly shady history of Gregorian Falstaff’s businesses, realizing that Caroline Crown has been leaking info to Falstaff. He also concurs with Robin’s earlier assessment of Lucius Fox’s mugging, noting that Falstaff must have been behind it. Batman swings over to Caroline’s apartment to find her being threatened by one of Falstaff’s Monster Men-like “mutate” henchmen. The bruiser beats up Batman, but the scuffle allows Caroline to escape unharmed. Bruce visits Lucius at the hospital then returns to work to find an upset Caroline, who admits to spying on behalf of Falstaff, claiming that he kidnapped her daughter Elizabeth and blackmailed her into spying when she started at Wayne Enterprises five months ago. Bruce rushes over to Falstaff’s office to confront him, but Falstaff laughs in his face, telling him that he’s purchased all his Asian oil properties out from under him. Falstaff is on the verge of bankrupting Wayne Enterprises! Back in Batcave II, Talia eases Bruce, kissing him with drug-laced lips. (As referenced in Batman #334, Bruce knows Talia’s involvement here can’t be pure coincidence, realizing that Rā’s al Ghūl must not only still be alive, but also must be Falstaff’s secret boss. The Dark Knight will play along with Talia’s game, moving forward.) After his nap, Batman tails Talia to Falstaff’s office. There, Batman kayos Karlyle Krugerrand and mows down a bunch of mutates, catching up with a fleeing Falstaff, who puts a gun to the head of Elizabeth Crown. Talia unleashes Prisoner-esque death bubble that encapsulates and kills Falstaff, saving the girl. Talia tells Batman that Falstaff once worked for her father. Batman gives into temptation once more and kisses her. Robin and Catwoman, whom he’s recruited to talk some sense into Batman, watch from the shadows. Catwoman is heartbroken, but tails Krugerrand to a bizarre science lab across town. Here, Catwoman witnesses Krugerrand overseeing the creation of new mutate henchmen. Catwoman defeats Krugerrand, during which an energy surge blows up the entire lab, killing dozens of mutates and Krugerrand. Bruce and Talia depart for Switzerland to visit a crooked bank that Falstaff had been using in Switzerland. At the bank, which houses funds for HIVE (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Eliminations), the American Mafia, and the Sicilian Mafia (aka Cosa Nostra), Batman—disguised as Krugerrand—is quickly exposed and thrown into a death trap. He barely survives a daring ski-slope escape while getting shot at by chasing laser riflemen. Back at his Swiss hotel, Batman is nursed back to health by Talia, who tells him they should be a serious item. Batman rebuffs her, saying he can’t enter into something serious, especially since all his recent relationships have flopped so poorly. At dinner, an assassin tries to kill Bruce, but commits suicide after failing at his task. Back in their room, with adrenalin and wine running through their systems, Bruce and Talia give into a night of carnal passion. In the morning, Batman and Talia fly a plane into the Chinese Mountains and hike toward the Hong Kong border with hopes of meeting a Falstaff-linked contact named Captain Torrents. While avoiding the British Army and dodging Chinese Red Army (People’s Liberation Army Ground Force) helicopters, Batman and Talia swim the shark-infested Sham Chun River to cross the border. The next day, Bruce meets with Captain Torrents, but is gassed and knocked-out aboard his ship. Back in Gotham, Robin, Catwoman, and Lucius visit Ron Watkins’ gang in jail. The gangbangers confirm that they were working for Falstaff. Lucius makes-up with and hugs Timothy. Commissioner Gordon tells Robin that King Faraday needs him to come to Shanghai immediately. Robin and Catwoman fly to Shanghai right away. There, Faraday says that his long lost ex-partner turned up dead in the middle of the Indian Ocean, having scratched Batman’s name into his lifeboat. (SPOILER ALERT: Faraday’s partner was killed by Rā’s al Ghūl’s science man Saltzer. Yes, Rā’s al Ghūl is back!) The trio visits a temple to meet with Faraday’s contact only to find him dead. Assassins strike, kidnapping Faraday. Robin and Catwoman chase off the rest of the assassins before visiting Selina’s old acquaintance, a drug lord named Chin Ho. Chin Ho betrays Selina (oddly wearing a Selina face disguise overtop of her Catwoman mask) and Robin (oddly wearing a random face disguise overtop of his domino mask), ordering his opium den henchmen to take them captive.

–Batman #334-335 (“THE LAZARUS AFFAIR” Conclusion)
December 13-23. Batman wakes up in the bowels of Infinity Island, Rā’s al Ghūl’s private island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After being chased by a swarm of half-mutates, Batman is captured, strapped to a chair, and shown the two sides fo the island—one a utopia for friends of Rā’s al Ghūl, the other forced labor camp for enslaved enemies of Rā’s al Ghūl. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Robin and Catwoman best Chin Ho and his henchmen, freeing King Faraday. With a lead from Chin Ho, the trio travels to Infinity island only to be captured and thrown in the mines (along with Batman) to be brutalized by mutate henchmen. Batman, Catwoman, Robin, and Faraday struggle out of the mine and across the island to find a significantly aged Talia. Thanks to the Lazarus Pits, Talia had kept herself looking young, but she is really hundreds of years old! As more ornery mutates enter the room, Rā’s al Ghūl’s voice booms over a loudspeaker, claiming that he (via Falstaff’s prior actions) is about to legally control all of Wayne Enterprises. Rā’s al Ghūl restores Talia’s youth before confronting the heroes face-to-face. With the others thrown back into the mine, Rā’s al Ghūl and Talia show Batman the Lazarus Pit of Infinity Island. When Batman refuses to bow to Rā’s al Ghūl, six mutates beat the shit out of him. Back in the mines, Robin, Catwoman, and Faraday easily escape their mutate tormentors and, with help from Talia, rescue Batman. Saltzer shoots the turncoat Talia, after which Rā’s al Ghūl kills Saltzer for his brashness. Talia is healed in the Lazarus Pit, after which she, Robin, Catwoman, and Faraday depart, citing that the final battle between Rā’s al Ghūl and Batman must be a one-on-one affair. While they help evacuate the island, Batman epically duels Rā’s al Ghūl, throwing him into the Lazarus Pit. He emerges completely engulfed in flames but still rearing to go. Batman tosses Rā’s al Ghūl into the Lazarus Pit once more, which causes a huge volcanic eruption. Batman escapes on a helicopter with Talia just as the entire island blows up sky high. Batman slips into a coma that lasts several days. After several more days of recovery under the care of Dr. Dundee and Alfred, a wheelchair-using Bruce is visited by Dick and Talia. Talia thanks Bruce for freeing her from her father’s control. She is happy to be a good person, to grow old, and to see what the future holds for her. After Talia leaves, Dick tells Bruce they need to talk about him leaving college. Bruce tells Dick that there’s nothing to discuss—they have their entire lives ahead of them and they will always have a mutual understanding. Bruce and Dick then spend a well-earned day of rest together (well, as restful as Bruce could possibly be—they actually do some training).

–FLASHBACK: From New Teen Titans #5—and referenced in New Teen Titans #1 and New Teen Titans #4. Teenage sorceress Raven (Rachel Roth) sees a terrible vision of the demon Trigon (her father) destroying Earth and killing all the superheroes. Panicked, Raven boards the JL Satellite and warns the JLA about what could happen. Zatanna senses only evil connected to Raven (i.e. to her bloodline), so the JLA scorns her, forcing her to flee. She turns her attention to the more understanding teenage heroes—starting with Dick Grayson, whom she causes to begin having nightmares related to her dark vision.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 24. Batman gives Commissioner Gordon his usual Xmas gift of pipe tobacco.

–DC Special Series #21 (Super-Star Holiday Special 1980) Part 2
December 24-25. Batman ruins gangster Matty Lasko’s Xmas party, getting dirt on his ex-con buddy Boomer Katz. Then, for the first time in his illustrious career, Batman very sadly dons blackface in order to get more info on Katz. For shame! Batman learns that Katz, who is still working as the city’s best Jewish Santa Claus, is planning to rob the department store for which he works. Unknown to Batman, mob boss Fats Morgan is trying to force Katz back into crime, but Katz has refused to play ball. Batman arrives at the department store and sees Morgan, whom he instantly recognizes from his vast criminal database. Batman busts Morgan and his crew, rescuing Katz with the assistance of a Christmas miracle befit for a Denny O’Neil Christmas tale.

–New Teen Titans #1
(Note that New Teen Titans #1-5 is written as if it occurs in a summertime setting, but thanks to Sliding-Time we are in winter, so we must ignore topical stuff in this opening arc.) For over a week, Dick has been having nightmares of a new Teen Titans group being horribly defeated in battle. After Dick has another nightmare, Raven, one of the heroes in his dreams, pays him a visit at the Wayne Foundation Tower, telling him the dream is an image of a possible future—unless they take action to prevent it. Raven tells Dick to form a new Teen Titans, urging him to phone Kid Flash first. Dick does so, but Wally says he is still focused on college and wants no part of superhero adventuring. Dick suits-up as Robin and heads out to recruit the latest incarnation of the Teen Titans (aka “The New Teen Titans”). Bruce asks a determined-looking Robin what’s up, but Robin gives his mentor the brush-off. First, Robin signs-on Wonder Girl and Beast Boy (now going by the name “Changeling“). Kid Flash, having changed his mind thanks to secret brainwashing manipulation on the part of Raven, joins too. Raven officially joins as well, adding the teenage cyborg aptly named Cyborg (Victor Stone) to the team. (Cyborg was turned into a cyborg by his dad Dr. Silas Stone.) Soon after Cyborg joins the team, alien warriors from the planet Gordan, representing the intergalactic Citadel Empire, attack New York City, prompting the new Teen Titans into their first action as a team. In Manhattan, the Gordanians’ arch-rival, alien princess Starfire (Koriand’r), gets injured and lands in the care of Grant Wilson and Carol Sladky. The Gordanians abduct Starfire with plans of holding her ransom to the royal family of her home planet of Tamaran, prompting the Teen Titans to infiltrate and battle the Gordanians aboard one of their motherships. The Teen Titans save Starfire, who officially joins the team! Meanwhile, Grant Wilson watches from the shadows, blaming the Teen Titans for the problems in his life. The evil criminal organization known as HIVE, also watching in secret, offers to help Wilson get revenge against the Teen Titans.

–New Teen Titans #4
Note that New Teen Titans #1-4 is written with a summer setting, but we must ignore that due to Sliding-Time. When Zatanna feels powerful magickal tremors of evil, she guides the JLA (Batman, Hal Jordan, Hawkman, the Atom, and Wonder Woman) to the interdimensional realm of sorcery known as Azarath, which happens to be Raven’s place of birth. There, mistaking them for bad guys, the JLA prevents Raven and some wizards from performing an anti-Trigon spell. Raven appeals to her estranged mother Arella for help, but she turns her away. Back at Titans Tower (a massive Teen Titans HQ built by Dr. Silas Stone), Raven confers with her teammates, telling them they need to meet with the JLA to explain the situation. The Teen Titans, however, have been brainwashed by telepathic super-villain Psimon of the Fearsome Five (Psimon, Dr. Light, Mammoth, Shimmer, and Gizmo). The Teen Titans listen to Raven, but thanks to Psimon’s brainwashing, they decide they need to kill the JLA! The Teen Titans board the JL Satellite, introduce their new lineup, and ambush the adults. An epically awesome battle ensues, but it’s cut short when Raven puts the JLA into a time-stasis. After the Teen Titans regain their marbles, Raven whisks them away to Azarath. The JLA easily escapes the time-stasis and appears in Azarath as well, picking up where they left off, immediately fighting the wizards that are trying to prevent Trigon’s arrival. Cue round two! The JLA vs Teen Titans battle royale erupts again, only stopped by a fiery pentagram lighting up the dark sky. Trigon has returned. He vows to destroy Earth, claiming that the first of his monsters, the demon Goronn, will soon come to kill everyone. Trigon then vanishes. Robin yells at the JLA for allowing this to happen, but Zatanna tells him Raven has used them and lied to them. Raven, in tears, cannot deny the manipulation. Everyone goes back home with their heads hung low.


<<< Year Thirteen <<< | >>> Year Fifteen >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Here’s an updated list of the Mayors of Gotham City.
    Year 1-7 – Mayor Alan Dent
    Year 7-8 – Mayor Taylor
    Year 8-10 – Mayor Hayes
    Year 10-11 – unnamed younger red-haired man
    Year 11-13 – unnamed older gray-haired man
    Year 13-14 (interim, for only a week) – unnamed middle-aged red-haired mustachioed man
    Year 14-current (interim) – unnamed bald mustachioed man
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Batman-less Justice League of America #173, in which the testing of Black Lightning occurs, Green Arrow pushes hard for Black Lightning to be on the team, but Flash warns the team that they shouldn’t hire Black Lightning just because he’s Black. This prompts an ugly war of words between a Right-minded Flash and Lefty Green Arrow. Hal Jordan whispers to Zatanna that Flash has lost his marbles ever since Iris was murdered. This is some heavy Bronze Age material—and damn unnerving too.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Here’s an updated list of the Mayors of Gotham City.
    Year 1-7 – Mayor Alan Dent
    Year 7-8 – Mayor Taylor
    Year 8-10 – Mayor Hayes
    Year 10-11 – unnamed younger red-haired man
    Year 11-13 – unnamed older gray-haired man
    Year 13-14 (interim, for only one week) – unnamed middle-aged red-haired bushy-mustachioed man
    Year 14-14 (interim, for only four months) – unnamed bald thinly-mustachioed man
    Year 14-current – unnamed thickly-mustachioed man
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: In late 1979 and early 1980 (roughly here on our chronology), DC published a large number of titles (or released mini-comics with breakfast cereals) that were definitively non-canon, all happening on the wild wacky world of Earth-B. Among these titles are:
    –Aquateers Meet the Super Friends (1979, also canon on Earth-32 & Earth-1A)
    –Batman: The Peril of the Penguin (Post Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles mini-comic, 1979)
    –Super Heroes: Prisoners of the Stars (Post Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles mini-comic, 1979)
    –Batman: The Joker’s Last Laugh (Post Super Sugar Crisps mini-comic, 1980)
    –Super Heroes: The Secret of the Sinister Lighthouse (Post Super Sugar Crisps mini-comics, 1980)
    –The Brave and The Bold #162 (1980, also canon on Earth-2)
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Superman Family #200 (1979) was published right around this time period on our chronology, however it features a special 200th anniversary “imaginary tale” depicting a future version of the DCU in 1999. In Superman Family #200, Bruce and Dick appear at a wedding anniversary party for Lois and Clark, but this issue is unfortunately non-canon, taking place on an unnamed/unknown world nicknamed “Earth-Celebration.”
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Len Wein’s mega-arc ramps-up and takes-off like a rocket here. Wein’s narrative is mostly continuous, but the specific time references don’t add up. First, in Batman #312, Calendar Man throws-about pages from a March calendar throughout his weeklong crime spree, hinting at a March timeframe. However, a couple days later, in Batman #314, we are specifically told it is Mardi Gras (February 19). Then, in Batman #315, only three more days later, Wein reveals that it is June! Obviously, the March and February dates are not to be trusted. The June reference is also on shaky ground, but we’ll stick with it, since nothing else seems to violate it. Calendar Man is wacky, so who knows what his deal is. And maybe it was just a Mardi Gras-esque celebration in New Orleans, not the actual Mardi Gras.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum’s alt-WWII story featured in The Brave and The Bold #167 , released a month after The Brave and The Bold #166, is non-canon on both Earth-1 and Earth-2. In it, Batman wears his original Golden Age 1939 costume despite it being 1944. Also, the special guest Blackhawks do not correctly reflect the 1944 version of the Blackhawks (of either Earth). Yep, you guessed it. Notch another one into the annals of the fantastic and fabulous Earth-B.
  8. [8]JEFF G / COLLIN COLSHER: Len Wein’s 1980 Batman run abruptly ends with Batman #327 Part 1 and The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3, leaving dangling plot points like Gregorian Falstaff and Timothy Fox. Marv Wolfman’s yearlong-plus run will begin in a few weeks with Batman #328. Thankfully, Wolfman will honor continuity, wrapping-up Wein’s plot points before year’s end in Batman #331-335 (which includes the classic “The Lazarus Affair” story arc).
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Legendary artist Dick Dillin’s twelve-year run on Justice League of America comes to a sad end with “Crisis on New Genesis & Apokolips.” Dillin, age 50, died while penciling this classic arc, leaving future legend George Pérez to finish and take over on the title, moving forward.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: The Source Wall exists at the edge of each universe and operates as as the first barrier between gaining access to an alternate universe (although there are other means of traveling to alternate universes such as Mother Box/Boom Tube technology, metahuman speed/vibrational/teleportation abilities, magick, other sci-fi devices, etc…). Beyond the Source Wall is the sentient Source itself, which also separates the various universes. Within the Source resides the mysterious and dangerous Anti-Life (also sentient). The Bleed, a tesseract space that serves as the final blank void/highway between universes, also exists beyond the Source Wall. Notably, most of this metaphysico-theologic-cosmology was originally imagined by Jack Kirby, but it really gets fleshed-out jointly by both Marvel and DC in Walt Simonson and Chris Claremont’s 1982 Uncanny X-Men/New Teen Titans crossover. Further ontological fleshings-out occur in the frustratingly-canonical-across-all-continuities flashback from the 2019’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22, in which James Tynion IV (guided by Scott Snyder) reveals that the Source Wall was created 15 billion years ago when the Judges of the Source, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World Forger fought against Perpetua and her armies (comprised of warriors of her own creation). (Despite being associated with the Light, Perpetua went rogue and rebelled against the Source.) Upon defeat, Perpetua and her armies were trapped in the wall, which was created by the Source specifically to be a prison for them. Notably, DNA from Perpetua’s warriors wound-up providing the evolutionary building blocks for proto-human life and proto-Martian life to emerge on their respective planets billions of years later. Also notable, since that time, the Source Wall has trapped many other adventurers that have dared attempt breaching through to the other side. These imprisoned explorers appear—intermixed with the Perpetua’s frozen warriors—as gigantic stone idols (Kirby’s colossal “Promethean Warriors”) attached to the face of the Source Wall.

2 Responses to Bronze Year 14

  1. James IV says:

    Just a note for your reference for Batman #330, the one regarding Blackjack. He says to Batman “Me an’ the boys never ran into you before, but we’ve been ready!” It seems likely Batman just knows about him from police reports and his crime files, and hasn’t actually met him.

    Blackjack quips later that “You always wanted me to turn straight, didn’t ya?” It’s very hard to jive this with his previous comment. At best he means in general, as he knows Batman would want all criminals to turn straight, or he’s just using it to lead into his logical argument that if Batman would let Blackjack kill him, he’d become straight due to being so rich from the reward money that he wouldn’t commit crime anymore.

    Not sure why the writing is so unclear, but just wanted to pass this by you.

    • Yeah, very strange contradictory lines there. I think that Batman #330 definitely must be Blackjack’s first clash with Batman.The second comment, as you have said, must simply be a general statement about Batman wanting criminals to go straight. I’ll make this change. Thanks for the deep read and assist here!

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