Silver Year 15

(1981)
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[1]

–Detective Comics #501-502 (“THE MAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED MLLE. MARIE”)
When Alfred and Lucius Fox both receive startling telegrams about the death of “Mademoiselle Marie” that call them away to Paris immediately, Bruce tails them to the City of Lights. There, Batman takes-down some angry elderly ex-Resistance fighters, who are also embroiled in the Marie mystery, before meeting with the Sûreté Nationale. A Parisian detective named Dupré tells the Dark Knight the tale of WWII freedom fighter Anais Guillot, better known as Mademoiselle Marie, who was killed under mysterious circumstances at the end of the war. Dupré reveals that both Alfred (while working with British Intelligence) and Lucius (while working with the OSS) fought side-by-side with Marie (although not at the same time). Furthermore, rumor has it that a Parisian named Julia Remarque is Marie’s daughter—father unknown. Soon, Batman finds himself confronting Julia, Alfred, and Lucius in a flat across town. Not wanting Batman to be involved, Alfred sucker-punches Batman on the noggin, knocking him out. Julia and her adoptive father Jacques Remarque then accuse Alfred of killing Marie at the end of the war. Batman awakens, bound and tied to a beam, to bear witness to a kangaroo court held by Julia and ex-Resistance fighters. Batman breaks free and departs, saying he will prove Alfred’s innocence within twelve hours. An investigation takes the Dark Knight to the woman that last saw Marie alive. She tells Batman that a Nazi-sympathizer named Roget betrayed Marie’s cell. Of course, when Roget turns out to be Dupré, Batman busts him and hauls his ass to the Resistance court, exonerating Alfred. In the process, Batman also realizes that Julia’s father is none other than Alfred! Batman sees off Alfred and Lucius at the airport. A teary-eyed Alfred, who has known about and sent money to his daughter for decades, tells Jacques to finally tell her the truth once the plane takes off. As referenced in Batman #336, Alfred decides to take an extended vacation in Europe in order to clear his head.[2]

–Batman #336
Early January to mid January. Batman, having already spent the past few days in France (as seen in ‘tec #501-502 aka “Who Shot Mlle Marie”), goes on an unspecified case that keeps him out of Gotham for a couple more weeks. (Writer Roy Thomas’ intention here with this absence was to reference Batman being abroad for both “The Lazarus Affair” and “Who Shot Mlle Marie.” However, this is a continuity error on Thomas’ part, who mistook “Who Shot Mlle Marie” to occur prior to “The Lazarus Affair.” This chronological order is a narrative impossibility because Thomas himself, in Batman #336, has Alfred return from “Who Shot Mlle Marie” with no knowledge of “The Lazarus Affair” when in fact Alfred appears in “The Lazarus Affair,” shown nursing Bruce back to health at the story’s conclusion. However, Thomas also slightly hints that Bruce’s absence involves traveling around Asia in order to undo the damage that Gregorian Falstaff and Rā’s al Ghūl have done to Wayne Enterprises. Thomas definitely botches this understanding of the prior Marv Wolfman arcs, but I’d lean towards this latter answer if I have to make sense of things. And I do have to make sense of things.) Anyway, since Batman has been out of town, the Monarch of Menace, claiming to have imprisoned the Dark Knight, has run Gotham’s costumed crime with an iron fist. The newspapers even run a story claiming that Batman is dead. Batman returns to Gotham just as Alfred is returning from his extended European trip. First up, the Caped Crusader takes down a returning Cluemaster. Next, he takes down a couple of the Monarch’s henchmen. In the morning, Bruce calls a long overdue meeting of the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors and all the CEOs of the firms that work with the company to discuss the state of business following Gregorian Falstaff and Rā’s al Ghūl’s hostile takeover from a month ago. The implication here, as mentioned above, is that Bruce tells his people that everything screwy with Wayne Enterprises has been made right. As night falls, Batman busts Spellbinder, taking his costume as a disguise to wear to infiltrate the Monarch’s HQ. Batman busts up a crime meeting and takes down the Bouncer before fighting the Monarch one-on-one. The Monarch tells Batman that his people had been spying on him abroad these past weeks, which, again is Thomas erroneously referencing both “The Lazarus Affair” and “Who Shot Mlle Marie.” The Monarch should correctly be referring only to “Who Shot Mlle Marie.” Unless Bruce was doing some compulsory vigilante patrolling while business traveling through Asia, there wouldn’t be much, aside from “Who Shot Mlle Marie,” for the Monarch’s spies to spy on. There’s probably no way business-minded Bruce didn’t also do Batman stuff in the past couple weeks, so this dialogue still makes slightly-fanwanked sense. Batman takes down the Monarch and then meets with Commissioner Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #506. Bruce visits the hottest club in Gotham, Studio 52, meeting the eccentric unnamed doorman.

–Justice League of America #189-190
Wonder Woman hangs out with Red Tornado, Kathy Sutton, and Traya Sutton in Central Park. (Ignore the unseasonably nice weather.) Kathy mentions having met Red Tornado “months ago,” but that’s a ludicrous continuity error of a statement since they first met five years ago. Starro the Conqueror makes a dramatic return, attacking the heroes, who flee to the JL Satellite to heal-up and meet with Superman, Hal Jordan, Black Canary, and Firestorm. Shortly thereafter, these heroes fight Starro in Manhattan, but Starro emits millions of mini-starfish out of his body, all of which attach to the faces of the populace of the city, putting them under the alien creature’s control. The heroes battling Starro also fall mercy to this fate (except Red Tornado, who is an android and therefore invulnerable to Starro’s mind-control). In the Upper Bay just south of Manhattan, the rest of the JLA (Batman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, Aquaman, Flash, and Zatanna) gather aboard a US Navy carrier. When reports of Starro’s attack hit the airwaves, the US Government orders the military destruction of the entire city of New York via nuclear strike! Batman and the rest of the JLA, representing cooler heads, ask for an opportunity to save NYC. The Navy gives them until nightfall before the nukes start flying. As they infiltrate NYC, Batman mentions that the Proteus affair took place “weeks ago,” but it actually occurred about three months ago. Again, Gerry Conway’s time errors are piling up in this one, not sure why. Moving on, the JLA splits up all over NYC, fending-off mini-Starros as they go. Batman defeats Black Canary in combat, but is unable to remove her starfish. Eventually, the heroes realize that extreme cold blocks Starro’s ability to mind-control. Thus, Zatanna casts a spell that lower the temperature around the Justice Leaguers, freeing them. The JLA then puts Starro on ice inside Grand Central Station.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #337. Purely as part of a means to bolster his playboy image, Bruce meets and befriends a party girl named Cissy and obnoxious Olympic gold medal-winning skier Klaus Kristin. Seeing an opportunity to augment his own pleasure-seeking credibility, Bruce schedules a lavish party for Kristin at his penthouse, set to happen in a few weeks.

–World’s Finest Comics #267 Part 1
Superman and Batman are summoned to the Pentagon to meet with half of the Challengers of the Unknown (Kyle “Ace” Morgan and Professor Walt Haley), who tell  them that a government scientist named Dr. Charles Brock has been kidnapped to the Andes Mountains by a terrorist group known as The Gravity-Masters. The terrorists have not only forced Brock to build them a bomb that can destroy the entire planet, but they’ve also captured the other two Challengers (Matthew “Red” Ryan and Leslie “Rocky” Davis). While Batman and Haley infiltrate the Gravity-Masters’ Andes base and rescue Ryan, Superman and Morgan tackle the Gravity-Masters’ floating fortress above the North Pole, rescuing Davis and Dr. Brock. Superman destroys the fortress, leaving UN Peacekeeping troops to round-up the remaining Gravity-Masters.

–The Brave and The Bold #172
After Firestorm acts erratically and talks about blackouts during a JLA meeting, Batman tails him to Professor Martin Stein’s research lab only to find that Jason Bard is tailing Stein for a case as well. Firestorm appears and, as if in a trance, dispatches with Batman. The Dark Knight chases Firestorm to a hospital, watching him steal a pair of robotic arms, and then follows him to the site of a never-completed and now-abandoned nuclear power plant that was once designed by Stein. There, Batman witnesses the cause behind Firestorm’s behavior. A sentient nuclear core has come to life and has taken control of Firestorm. Batman listens as the core speaks about Ronnie Raymond, a name he’s never heard before. Firestorm then fights Batman, but accidentally destroys the core, freeing himself from its spell. Back in New York City, Jason Bard, having found a connection between Raymond and Stein, catches both of them together, but they lie about their relationship to throw him off. Firestorm’s dual secret identity is still a secret for now.

–Best of DC #10
Batman takes on an escaped Penguin, who knocks out the Dark Knight with a gas-umbrella. Batman escapes captivity and busts Penguin and his henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #340. Having just busted Penguin, Batman escorts him to Gotham State Prison. There, Batman meets Warden Rothstein, the new director of the penitentiary.

–World’s Finest Comics #268 Part 1
Early to mid February. When some priceless zodiac coins are stolen, Bruce knows that he will be targeted as he owns one of the twelve coins. After meeting with Commissioner Gordon, Batman returns home to find Alfred kayoed and the coin stolen from the penthouse. Alfred tells Batman that the culprit was a man with a lion’s head. After Morgan Edge, owner of one of the other coins, is also robbed in a similar fashion, Superman meets with Batman in Batcave II to discuss the matter. Superman studies pictures of the coins, realizing they are Atlantean. The Man of Steel visits his mermaid ex-girlfriend Lori Lemaris and her husband Ronal in Atlantis. A merman-wizard (as amazing as it sounds) tells Superman about the history of the zodiac coins, showing him one of them. A merman with a bull’s head then swims-in and steals the coin. Meanwhile, Batman does a little detective work and all signs point to Dr. Zodiac as the thief. Batman pays Dr. Zodiac a visit, but later finds that he has a seemingly airtight alibi for each of the dates the coins were robbed. In the weeks that follow, Batman and Superman war against the strange coin thief, who can morph into zodiac-monsters at will thanks to the power of the coins. After numerous defeats, Batman tails the zodiac-monster to his undersea lair. The World’s Finest then decide a little trickery is in order. They plant a fake coin in Bruce’s penthouse, luring the zodiac-monster in for the theft. Our heroes tail the monster back to his lair. Unable to morph into a new form due to the false coin, the zodiac-monster reverts back to his true form: Dr. Zodiac. After an easy bust, Bruce and Clark return the coins to their rightful owners.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #192. Following a battle against his former master and creator (as seen in World’s Finest Comics #268 Part 3), Red Tornado reports the death of TO Morrow to his fellow JLA teammates. Of course, Red Tornado is mistaken. Morrow lives. It was actually Morrow’s strange doppelgänger Future Man that has died.

–Batman #337
Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD SWAT team hold tense positions outside of a downtown sporting goods store that has been barricaded by some men that have an arsenal of weapons. Batman crashes in and busts the one of the crazed men, finding his partner mysteriously encased in a block of ice. After learning that a mysterious ice-powered super-villain known as Snowman was responsible, Batman returns home to join Klaus Kristin’s party at the Wayne Foundation Tower penthouse. Seeing a connection between Snowman and Kristin, Batman rifles through Kristin’s hotel room the next day, taking his mother’s diary. Batman then examines the scene of a second Snowman murder. Returning home, Bruce and Alfred read the diary, which reveals that Kristin is the offspring of a yeti. That’s right folks, Kristin is the snow-powered Snowman because his mom had consensual sex with a Himalayan Yeti. Knowing that Kristin is heading to ski in Austria, Bruce follows him to the mountains there. After gearing-up with flares, skis, and poles, Batman fights Snowman on the Austrian slopes. Snowman falls off a cliff to his apparent demise, but of course, we’ll see him again.

–Detective Comics #503
February 23-March 6. Batman spends a week casing a shady pawnshop. On March 1, Bruce reads in the newspaper that Councilman Arthur Reeves will be running against his friend, progressive Reform Party candidate Hamilton Hill, (and presumably also against the current incumbent) in September’s mayoral election. After spending most of the day daydreaming about Selina, Batman returns to the pawnshop and makes an easy bust of a would-be thief. While bringing him in, an escaped Scarecrow, from hiding, shoots a special chemical dart into Batman’s neck. The chemical causes anyone that Batman goes near to become deathly afraid of him. The next day, Bruce meets Commissioner Gordon for their monthly lunch, briefly meeting Hamilton Hill in person for the first time. Thanks to the chemical in his system, Bruce causes Gordon to recoil and depart early. The next night, Batman busts some crooks at a roller rink, but everyone in the building freaks out at the sight of the Dark Knight. In the morning, Alfred has a similar reaction. Worried, Batman puts himself into quarantine in his apartment and sends Robin to get help from Babs, who is on a business trip to Washington DC as part of her new role as a Director of Social Services at Humanities Research and Development. Back in Gotham, Robin and Batgirl then fight against Scarecrow, which soon leads them to Lunden Chemicals. Batgirl roughs up some Lunden employees before joining Robin in rural Hudson County. There, they find a strange Batman-scarecrow that emits a signal, causing them to drop into a catatonic dread, allowing for their easy capture by Scarecrow’s henchmen. With the Bat-Family seemingly off the playing field, Scarecrow taunts Commissioner Gordon. Batman leaves his quarantine to confront Scarecrow in Hudson County, defeating him and saving Robin and Batgirl. Batman then takes an antidote, curing himself of his condition. Scarecrow, on the other hand, gets injected with so much “Fear Pheromone” that he is even scared of himself. The shell-shocked Scarecrow is thrown into Arkham Asylum.

–The Brave and The Bold #173-174
Batman busts a random bad guy, who spills the beans about an upcoming shipment of stolen jewels coming into Gotham Harbor. After the Guardians of the Universe lose contact with the entire Green Lantern Corps, one of the Guardians visits Batman, telling him that an imposter has joined their ranks, causing the problems. The Guardian helps Batman deal with the jewel smugglers, after which they depart for Ferris Aircraft Company in Los Angeles. There, they find Hal Jordan, who has recently started working for Carol Ferris again. Except Hal has no memories of ever being a Green Lantern. With Carol and Tom Kalmaku watching, Batman puts Hal under hypnosis, finding that Sinestro is behind his mind-wipe. The Guardian uses his emerald powers to restore Hal’s mind and memories. The trio then travels to the planet Maltus where they meet with Hal’s old pal (and former Guardian) Appa Ali Apsa. Joining the trio, Appa Ali Apsa travels with them to Oa. There, the Green Lantern Power Battery, having been corrupted by Sinestro, spews out an emerald knight that attacks the heroes. After besting the knight, Appa Ali Apsa and Batman expose Sinestro, who reverts from a fake Guardian into his normal state. Using the energy stolen from the Green Lantern Power Battery, Sinestro controls all the Guardians, forcing them to fight against the arriving Green Lantern Corps—including Chaselon, Tomar-Re, Green Man, and others. An epic battle ensues, ultimately ending with Sinestro’s defeat. The Guardians offer Appa Ali Apsa immortality and a spot back on the roster, but he turns them down.

–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 Detective Comics #506. Despite knowing full well that Selina wants space from him, Batman secretly stalks her and learns where she is living. Creepy, Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #504. Bruce becomes a stockholder in The Dallas Corporation, parent owner of the biggest luxury department stores and retail malls in the country.

–Green Lantern Vol. 2 #139
Eclipso takes over Dr. Bruce Gordon, turning his experimental satellite into a Death Star-like “Murder Moon,” which he uses to block out the sun, demanding a planetary ransom of $1 billion. In Earth’s orbit, Eclipso uses a special ray to create a “negative energy” doppelgänger of Hal Jordan. Hal struggles with but defeats his own evil half before preventing Eclipso from using the Murder Moon to destroy all of Los Angeles. When Eclipso puts an impenetrable energy dome around LA, the JLA—Superman, Batman, and Firestorm—respond, but they are unable to break through. Hal debriefs with Tom Kalmaku, who gives him an update about Eclipso, but also tells him that Carol Ferris tried to blow up her own aircraft plant with a bomb. (Carol’s former business associate Conrad Bloch is forcing her to do his bidding, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t.) Hal doesn’t have time to deal with the Carol situation right now, choosing to focus on the greater issue at hand. Hal creates a giant solar panel to drain power from the Murder Moon before ripping it open with a giant can opener, all the while reciting a Walt Kelly line from Pogo! After pushing aside Eclipso’s Nega-Men servants (transformed colleagues of Bruce Gordon), Hal confronts Eclipso head-on, exorcising him from Bruce Gordon. Defeated, Eclipso is sucked out into deep space.

–The Brave and The Bold #175
A radioactive-poisoned Metallo (Roger Corben) steals from uranium from STAR Labs in Gotham, after which he fights Batman to a stalemate! The next day, Lois Lane visits Bruce, asking for an audience with Batman. She tells Bruce that Metallo needs wither uranium or Kryptonite in order to survive. She also reveals that Metallo is hunting down the man who turned him into a robotic freak, Dr. John Cranshaw, former head of the criminal organization known as SKULL. After night falls, Batman is on-hand for a meet-up between Cranshaw and Lois. Of course, Metallo strikes, leading to round two between Batman and the radioactive villain. Metallo defeats Batman and takes the Dark Knight and Cranshaw captive inside STAR Labs. Batman escapes captivity, defeats a giant killer robot, and confronts Metallo, who has been weakened by a Cranshaw tune-up. Metallo blasts Batman with radiation, but Lois saves the day, swinging down from a hook and knocking-out the weakened villain. Batman takes down Cranshaw for good measure.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #270. Batman makes his first visit to the gulag in the sky known as The Mount Olympus Correctional Facility (aka Superman’s Island), escorting Metallo there. Two years ago, Superman and Carl Draper (who would become the super-villain known as Master Jailer) built this floating prison for high-powered super-villains, which hovers in an undisclosed location high above the American Southwest.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #177. Batman connects the Commissioner Gordon hotline phone link to secret carphones in his civilian vehicles.

–The Brave and The Bold #176
Batman investigates the murder of safecracker Albert Cowper. Upon returning home, Bruce finds Selina Kyle waiting for him! She explains that her sister Felicia Kyle, who, despite being currently in prison in Louisiana, is the target of a mob hit. Later, Batman discovers that Felicia was Cowper’s former criminal accomplice at the big Gem Expo heist from two years ago. The Dark Knight travels to Louisiana immediately. In the bayou, Batman sees Swamp Thing protecting an escaped Felicia from some attackers. In the chaos, Batman crashes his Whirly-Bat. When he regains his composure, Batman finds that Felicia has been killed. Swamp Thing, recalling the death of Alec Holland’s wife at the sight of a deceased Felicia, freaks out and fights Batman before running off in despair. Eventually, Swamp Thing calms down and helps Batman fight Felicia’s killers, one of whom Batman recognizes (from his crime database) as Gotham hitman Calvin Traller. Batman and Swamp Thing bust Traller, who had been hired by a mobster that worked with Felicia and Cowper on the Gem Expo heist two years ago. The mobster was trying to silence his old partners and collect a full share of the old loot. Presumably, Bruce acts as the bearer of bad news, telling poor Selina about her sister’s fate.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #338. Early May. Billy Robins, hot-headed manager of the Gotham Champs (an unspecified sports team, possibly baseball), is murdered under mysterious circumstances. Batman hears about it on the police scanner. Unknown to all, a new sports-themed super-villain (another one, sigh) called Sportsman, has debuted.

–The Brave and The Bold #177
Spring. While Alfred picks up a new criminology textbook for Bruce, the latter puts on appearances and playboys it up at the Hangman Club’s 10th Anniversary Gala. When Hangman Club founder Mark Dresden is hanged to death, Batman and Elongated Man are on the case. They visit the club’s accountant only to find him hanged as well. Soon after, the culprit, a super-villain called The Hangman, fights and defeats Batman and Elongated Man, even stretching out Elongated Man’s neck and trying to hang Batman with it! Having bested our heroes, the Hangman kills Marcia Quigley, one of the Board Directors of the club. Eventually, Batman and Elongated man out Marcia’s husband Tom, another Board Director, as the Hangman, busting him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #338. One week has passed since the death of Billy Robins. Batman hears about the murder of Olympic swimmer Bruce Spits. Batman and the GCPD still don’t know they have a serial killer on their hands in the form of newcomer Sportsman.

–World’s Finest Comics #269
Batman schedules a meeting with Superman, but doesn’t appear because crook Ed Wiley blows-up the Batmobile, taking the injured Dark Knight hostage and burying him alive in a coffin. When Batman no-call-no-shows and fails to respond to the Bat-signal and hotline, the Man of Steel, Commissioner Gordon, and Robin fear the worst. Metropolis’ Chief of Police Bob Tobias phones Gordon when Wiley appears atop a Metropolis bridge with a bomb strapped to his chest, demanding money in exchange for Batman’s safe return. Superman and Robin try to apprehend Wiley, who blows himself up. Robin is badly injured in the blast, going into emergency surgery. Meanwhile, Superman finds Batman’s location at a Metropolis cemetery, using his x-ray vision to spot a freshly dug lead-lined coffin. Superman arrives just in time to find a smiling Batman, who has already used his advanced escapology skills to deliver himself from the early grave.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. We can presume that Batman orders a replacement Batmobile from his man Jack Edison. As he always does, the ace mechanic likely immediately delivers a back-up or will in the very near future.

–Batman #338
Mid May. One week has passed since the death of Bruce Spits. Batman hears about the brutal slaying of Olympic skier John Claude Hilly. A few days later, following another sports-related murder, Commissioner Gordon calls in the Dark Knight. After a cursory investigation, Batman determines that the star player of the Gotham Goliaths NHL team will be targeted. Sure enough, the sports-themed Sportsman kills the player right on the ice in front of a sold out crowd inside Gotham Square Garden. Sportsman then fends-off Batman’s attack to escape. Soon after, Batman gets his rematch against Sportsman at a sporting goods store. Defeated, Sportsman goes to jail.

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #524. An escaped Lex Luthor creates a fully grown Superman clone, complete with the real Superman’s personality and memories. After busting Luthor and defeating the clone, who loses his powers via Gold Kryptonite, Superman takes the unconscious clone and places him into a suspended animation coffin in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman video-phones and chats with Batman, who is wrapping up monitor duty aboard the JL Satellite. After Superman departs to relieve Batman, the clone awakens and smashes his way into the caverns beneath the Fortress of Solitude. There, he will remain hidden (and comatose) for several months to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #339 Part 2. Dick, feeling aimless ever since he dropped out of college, decides that he needs to find a new purpose in his life. He packs a bag and tells Batman that he’ll be gone for a while. Robin heads down to join the Hill’s Brothers Circus in Florida. Ignore references to the winter season.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #339 Part 1The Brave and The Bold #180, and Batman #341. Batman puts defoliant spray, liquid explosives, and metal strips in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #505. Bruce initiates the Wayne Foundation Wilderness Fund, a new charity devoted to ecological causes all over America.

–Detective Comics #504
An escaped Joker kills a toymaker, putting Batman on the case. At the scene of the murder, anti-Batman mayoral candidate Councilman Arthur Reeves arrives with his own TV crew and Spotlight News anchor Olivia Ortega. They give everyone a big hassle. The next day, at the grand opening of a new mall in Gotham, Joker strikes again, gassing the crowd. Batman is on-hand, but Joker escapes with a golden train set. Later, Batman runs some lab tests on evidence from the toymaker’s shop that point toward an ice cream factory on the outskirts of Gotham. After besting some henchmen, Batman infiltrates Joker’s lair, finding himself in a deathtrap-laden “rumpus room,” which is filled with deadly animatronic toys. Batman bests the killer toys and busts Joker.

–Justice League of America #192-193 (“THE QUEST FOR AND SECRET OF GENESIS”)
Gerry Conway continues his trend of trying to mega-compress everything, having Wonder Woman say that Hawkgirl joined the JLA “months ago.” Hawkgirl joined the JLA three years ago! In a meeting, Wonder Woman tells all that the UN isn’t pleased with how overstuffed membership has gotten with the JLA lately. Before they can discuss further, a phony Red Tornado duplicate—sent by TO Morrow—attacks everyone, badly injuring half the team. After it self-destructs, a second fake Red Tornado attacks and self destructs as well. Morrow then causes the real Red Tornado to spazz-out, wreck his apartment, and come to meet with him. Having been unable to recreate any more working androids, Morrow has kidnapped his one success (Red Tornado) in order to study him. Aquaman tries to intervene, but Morrow brutally defeats the hero, freezing him in a block of ice. Back aboard the JL Satellite, Wonder Woman is miraculously able to save Aquaman’s life. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hal Jordan immediately go to Morrow’s lab in the Rocky Mountains. There, Morrow explains that he was studying Red Tornado when the latter exploded and vanished. Instantly, Tornado Tyrant appears, causing destruction and attacking all. Flash and Firestorm come to help fight against the powerful elemental force. Tornado Champion also appears, pulling Firestorm to the side of the action. Tornado Champion says that he and Tornado Tyrant are Red Tornado! Years ago, Morrow built Red Tornado’s body and activated it, but it was a re-merged Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant that really gave Red Tornado his sentience. This whole time, Red Tornado has not only been an android, but a powerful dual Wind Elemental as well! At Tornado Champion’s request, Firestorm defeats Tornado Tyrant by forcing him to remerge into Tornado Champion. Firestorm then creates a new Red Tornado body, returning Tornado Champion back into it. Once again, Red Tornado is whole and brimming with genuine life, although he still has no clue about his true nature. Firestorm, the only one who knows, decides to keep it a secret.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #507 Part 1. Bruce meets and befriends Gotham Gazette higher-up Margaret Thorndyke.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #506. Bruce, to keep up playboy appearances, begins seeing a lovely young woman named Crystal.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #178. The mysterious Origami Man kills his first victim, leaving behind a paper doll as his calling card. Batman begins working the case, which will continue (with eight more murders) for the next three weeks. Unknown to all, the Origami Man is nothing more than a subconscious telekinetic manifestation created by racist TV demagogue Dr. Clayton Wetley. Not even Wetley knows that his subconscious mind is creating this monster.

–Detective Comics #505-506
Man alive, I just don’t get Gerry Conway’s wonky time references. In the Justice League series, things that happened years ago are said to have happened months ago. But here, in ‘tec #505 where we could have used some of that compression, Conway goes the other direction, telling us that the Tony Lupus werewolf affair occurred six years ago when, due to Sliding-Time, the Tony Lupus affair really only took place four years ago. When Tony’s kid sister Angela is dying of leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant from Tony, Batman is tasked with finding the reclusive werewolf. Upon exiting the hospital, Batman is accosted by Arthur Reeves. Batman shoves Reeves aside, an act that is photographed by news reporters and used as fodder for every newspaper front page in town. A flight across the country and a day later, Bruce is in Alaska. Bruce is guided by an ecologist named Clayton to a cabin belonging to Tony, who is an illegal poacher. By nightfall, Tony—in werewolf mode—returns and attacks, but Bruce and Clayton manage to fend him off. In the morning, Clayton bails, leaving Bruce to deal with the werewolf alone. Batman marches into the snowy wilderness and captures Tony in a silver mesh net. Batman lights a campfire and stays with Tony for the final night of the full moon, holding him at bay inside the silver mesh net. With the threat of the full moon over, Batman and Tony return to Gotham to save Angela’s life. Batman mentions that he can cure Tony. Since we won’t see Tony again, we can assume that Batman does so. The next day, Batman pumps iron while watching a televised mayoral debate between Arthur Reeves and Hamilton Hill. Reeves trashes Batman while Hill trashes Commissioner Gordon. Later that night, Bruce takes his girl Crystal to Studio 52. At the club, a woman enters and brutally kills fashion designer Kevin Clane (an analogue for Calvin Klein). Bruce switches to Bat-mode in the street and fights the woman, who sheds her disguise, revealing herself as The Manikin, a powerful faceless living-manikin. After fighting to a stalemate, Manikin flees. Batman takes Manikin’s tattered dress to Selina, who IDs it as an original piece by Hoston (an analogue for Halston). Batman visits Hoston at his Garment Row pad, but the two are attacked by the Manikin.

–Detective Comics #507 Part 1
Picking up straight from ‘tec #506, Batman saves Hoston, but the designer’s entire studio burns to the ground and he winds up in the hospital. The Manikin escapes. Batman learns that the Manikin is fashion model Miranda, whom he saved from a car-bomb fire ten months ago. The next day, Bruce meets with the managing editor of the Gotham Gazette to get info about Miranda. At Gotham General Hospital, Batman clashes with the Manikin again, defeating her in battle. Hoston admits to having planted the bomb in her car ten months ago. Meanwhile, in a backstory, Rupert Thorne is released from Arkham Asylum! (Gerry “Bad at Time” Conway tells us that Thorne has only been in Arkham for months. Wrong! He’s been there for well over two years! Conway, in Batman #341, will tell us Thorne has been there for a year. He’s mad bad at time, yo.) Note that we won’t see Bruce’s latest girlfriend, Crystal, again. Assume she gets dumped. Sorry, Crystal!

–Detective Comics #507 Part 3
Bruce attends the Sherwood Diamond display. When the diamond goes missing, Commissioner Gordon rounds up the only four possible suspects for a classic Whodunnit. Batman solves the case in record time.

–World’s Finest Comics #270
When Metallo escapes from the floating Mount Olympus Correctional Facility (aka Superman’s Island), Superman and Batman visit the prison to survey the scene. As they pass by some of Superman’s toughest rogues in their cells, including Parasite and Atomic Skull, Batman and Superman discuss how Metallo could have escaped, noting that the power of a artificial mini black hole was involved. Batman and Superman then visit a black hole expert in England to learn more about black holes. What educational fun! Back in the States, Superman cobbles together a gravity-wave detector while Batman does some searching on the computer. Soon after, Batman confronts Metallo, who uses his new “black hole heart” (created by his henchmen) to capture the Dark Knight. Superman shows up only to succumb to the tidal force of the black hole heart as well. Batman is able to smash the artificial black hole controls, which causes Metallo to get sucked into himself (which is pretty damn cool).

–The Brave and The Bold #178
Batman stalks the Origami Man, who murders his tenth victim in three weeks. Meanwhile, Dr. Clayton Wetley spews racist vitriol on Gotham’s WHAM-TV, blaming minorities for the serial killings. Jack Ryder, despite having quit his TV job, visits WHAM news reporter Vera Sweet and station manager Hugo Marlies to complain about Wetley’s program. Soon after, Ryder turns into the Creeper to help Batman fight the Origami Man, who reveals himself as a bizarre super-powered paper monster. A night later, Batman and the Creeper take on the Origami Man for a second time, fighting him to a stalemate. Batman snips off a piece of the Origami Man’s leg, which he is able to link back to Dr. Wetley. Batman and the Creeper visit Wetley, but can’t find definitive evidence connecting him directly to the killer. The next night, Ryder goes on air as a special WHAM-TV news guest, delivering a rousing progressive monologue about equality. You go, Ryder! After night falls, Batman and the Creeper, using Dr. Wetley as bait, lure out the Origami Man. The heroes realize that Wetley has latent psychic abilities and his angry subconscious has created and given life to the Origami Man. Wetley renounces his wicked ways, causing the Origami Man to disintegrate.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #180. Millionaire philanthropist and art collector Stewart Rothblatt dies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #340. Bruce puts Wayne Manor on loan to the Gotham Historical Society, which turns the old mansion into an official heritage site.

–Batman #339 Part 1
When Batman nearly misses swinging back onto his penthouse roof after a night’s patrol, Alfred tells him he’s been burning the candle at both ends, especially since he returned home from Alaska (in the recent ‘tec #505). This prompts Bruce to take a responsible four hour nap. Then it’s right downstairs to for Wayne Enterprises daytime work. Lucius notices that Bruce is exhausted. Later, Bruce meets mayoral candidate Hamilton Hill for lunch. The two argue about Commissioner Gordon, with whom Hill isn’t fond. While they chat, a disguised Poison Ivy grabs Bruce and kisses him on the lips, claiming she mistook him for someone else. Later, Batman bails on a waterfront bust as Poison Ivy’s lipstick toxins take hold of the Dark Knight’s mind. Like a sleepwalker, Batman marches toward a downtown theater. Seeing that his fellow Board of Directors have fallen under Poison Ivy’s spell as well, Batman gets ahold of himself enough to switch back into civilian clothes before joining the other zombies there. Poison Ivy and her accomplice Evan gather the company top dogs. She kisses each of them some more in order to hold her hypnotic drug-control over them, then forces them to sign legal documents turning all of Wayne Enterprises over to her. Batman fights Poison Ivy, but the villainess gets away. In the morning, Batman phones Commissioner Gordon, but due to the toxin in his system, he is unable to rat out Poison Ivy. Pamela Isley is now the legal owner of Wayne Enterprises!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #340. Now that Poison Ivy is the legal owner of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce will remain in near constant worry about what Poison Ivy will do with his company. For now, Poison Ivy will gloatingly bide her time, which will only make Bruce even more nervous—and due to her post-hypnotic suggestion, Bruce can’t even tell anyone about it.

–The Brave and The Bold #182
Editorial notation places this issue prior to WFC #271, hence its out-of-order placement here. Thanks to a powerful electrical storm created by Earth-2 Hugo Strange, an interdimensional rift opens up a gateway between worlds, pulling Batman to Earth-2. At JSA HQ, Batman meets-up with Earth-2 Robin, who fills him in on the details of Strange’s return. Batman mentions that Earth-1 Strange died “over a year ago” (two years ago) and writer Alan Brennert tells says that Earth-2 Batman died “many months ago” (two years ago). Using a Starman’s Cosmic Rod, Strange steals old items that linked to Earth-2 Batman’s history. Strange remotely attacks our heroes with these items. Earth-2 Batwoman (who has to be nearing age fifty by now but looks amazing and is still fit as a fiddle) comes out of retirement to help out. The trio awkwardly works together, besting a re-animated giant T Rex and an old Batman Robot in the Batcave! A decrepit Strange then appears and tries to wield the Cosmic Rod against Batman, but he winds up accidentally killing himself. Starman sends Batman back to Earth-1 using the Cosmic Rod.

–World’s Finest Comics #271
Superman has a nightmare about his old Powerman android, except it is an evil German super-villain that calls himself “The Atoman.” Upon waking, Superman helps Batman and the Gotham Fire Department put out a four-alarm blaze. With the conflagration snuffed, firefighters find a coffin, out of which emerges the Atoman himself, live and in the flesh. Before departing, the Atoman thrashes Batman and Superman. The latter slips into unconsciousness and has a strange dream about discovering Batman and Robin’s secret IDs in 1945. (This is a dream of The Adventures of Superman radio show arc “The Mystery of the Waxmen,” which aired 2/28/1945 to 3/15/1945.) Batman and Superman try to decipher the mystery of the dream by reminiscing about their shared past. They recall how they met as teens (in WFC #84), how Robin traveled back in time to meet young Superboy (in Adventure Comics #253), their second teenage team-up (in Adventure Comics #275), their third teenage team-up (in Superboy Spectacular #1), and the original Powerman episode (in WFC #94). Soon after their trip down memory lane, Superman fights a losing contest against the Atoman, during which Batman forcibly ejects a nosy Steve Lombard from the battlefield. Batman asks the Atoman to back down, challenging him to make the fight between he and the Man of Steel public, but in twenty-four hours’ time. The next day, as Bruce cares for an injured Clark, they reminisce about their classic SS Varania team-up (in Superman #76) and the first time the tricked Lois with a switcheroo (in WFC #71—erroneously listed by editorial as WFC #200). Batman, realizing that Atoman must be from Earth-2, visits Earth-2 Superman, who confirms that he defeated the super-Nazi Atoman in 1945 (in The Adventures of Superman radio show arc “Looking for Kryptonite,” which aired from 12/4/1945 to 1/8/1946). Believing the Atoman to be dead, Earth-2 Superman put him into a coffin and buried it. Somehow, the revived Atoman unknowingly traveled through the Bleed and picked up where he left off—now thirty six years later and on a completely different Earth with a completely different Superman. In a packed Metropolis Stadium, Superman wars against the Atoman, vibrating with him through the Bleed onto Earth-2. There, Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2 Robin, and Batman help corral the old Nazi baddie. Batman and Superman return back to Metropolis Stadium to the cheers of an adoring public.

–The Brave and The Bold #179
Batman watches over a STAR Labs armored car delivering a World’s Fair time-capsule from Metropolis, preventing a robbery by three stick-up men. Immediately thereafter, a super-villain from year 2981 named Anton Halkor, having just bested the Science Police and Legion of Super-Heroes (Element Lad, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Princess Projectra, Sun Boy, and Chameleon Boy) to steal an alien anti-matter bomb, appears in 1981. Inside the Museum of Science and Technology, Halkor replaces the anti-matter bomb with the time-capsule just as Batman arrives to fight him. Upon making contact with Halkor, Batman and Halkor both phase to the future world of 2981, where Gotham is nothing more than a neighborhood “district” in the vast Metropolis mega-city. While Halkor meets with his boss Universo (who has just escaped from the prison planet of Takron-Galtos), Batman orients himself with his surroundings and heads toward Legion HQ. (Batman showing up in 2981 and going to Legion HQ is also shown in Legion of Super-Heroes #280, which overlaps with this issue.) Batman and the Legionnaires deduce that Halkor swapped the anti-matter bomb with the time-capsule, which is due to be unearthed in a few hours. The heroes then discover that Shadow Lass, Duo Damsel, Shrinking Violet, and Rond Vidar (Universo’s superhero son) are missing. (Having been mind-controlled by his dad, Vidar has exiled Shadow Lass, Duo Damsel, and Shrinking Violet to random points in the timestream.) After the Legion defeats Halkor in the sewer, Sun Boy tells Batman that Halkor is an arch-rival of James Gordon-Wayne (Bruce’s distant future relative). Shortly thereafter, while the Legionnaires (including the returning heroes that were lost in time) bust Universo, Batman re-wires the anti-matter bomb, causing it to rocket into space and detonate where it can cause no harm. Cosmic Boy then gives Batman a ride home in a time-sphere.

–Batman #340
Mid September. When well-known stockbroker William Elder is murdered, Batman and Commissioner Gordon are on the case. Upon returning home, Batman is informed by Alfred that Dick is returning from his sojourn with the Hill’s Brothers Circus. Batman scoffs, still upset about Dick having left college, and makes a remark about him still being under-twenty-one. This is a continuity error and a foolhardy attempt by writers Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas to turn the clocks back a bit on the ever-aging former Teen Wonder. At this juncture Dick is twenty-four-years-old. When another murder occurs, Batman soon finds himself in an underground burrow, facing off against the killer, the recently paroled Mole, who is now a horrible mutated mole-creature. After escaping from the Mole, Batman makes a call to Warden Rothstein and learns that the Mole has been killing everyone on the parole board that refused to grant him his release from jail. Bruce reaches out to the last potential victim left, chemical magnate Sandra Clark, inviting her (with the Historical Society’s permission) to Wayne Manor. Baiting the Mole with a newspaper story about Sandra visiting the mansion, Bruce prepares for his arrival. Sure enough, the Mole burrows his way to Wayne Manor, winding up in the Batcave beneath. A fully-prepped Batman—complete with floodlight, image intensifier goggles, and a jury-rigged water system—saves Sandra by flooding part of the Batcave. Batman fends off the attack of the crazed Mole, who is fatally swept into the underwater currents at the bowels of the natural cave system.

–The Brave & The Bold #180-181
The resurrected ancient Japanese wizard Wa’ar-Zen brings samurai warrior costumes to life inside the Metropolitan Museum. A patrolling Batman takes down the living costumes, after which a museum curator tells him that Wa’ar-Zen will be seeking out parts of a magickal scepter, the first of which is on display at a NYC gallery opening. At the gallery, Batman teams-up with the Spectre to fight Wa’ar-Zen, but the latter steals the scepter part and heads for the final piece in Shizuoka, Japan. The Spectre disguises Batman as Wa’ar-Zen’s old rival, but the evil sorcerer—powered by the final piece—sees through the ruse and takes down both Batman and the Spectre. Wa’ar-Zen is about to finish off the Spectre, but Batman saves him by destroying the scepter, an act that sends Wa’ar-Zen back to his grave.

Batman heads to San Francisco to bust a drug ring run by Tom Kurland and his son Tom Kurland Jr. While there, Bruce meets up with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, who are in town just to hang out. Later, Batman goes after Kurland Jr and a Gotham buyer, but Hawk shows up, targeting them as well. Hawk botches the bust, which leads to Kurland Jr falling to his death and the Gotham buyer escaping. Hawk, seemingly out of his own control, morphs back into his secret ID of Hank Hall before running away in a panic. The next morning, Hank argues with his wife Linda Hall née Kieves, raising his hand to beat her, but stopping himself before he does. Hank freaks out and runs off again, prompting a scared Linda to check into a hotel. Meanwhile, Batman tracks down Don Hall, visiting him at his home in Elmond, OR. Batman and Dove go to Linda’s hotel room to find a captured Linda, held hostage by Kurland’s henchmen. Batman and Dove fight off the bad guys and hear from Linda, who says that Hank has lost his marbles. And boy has he. Across town, Hawk shakes-down a strip club looking for Kurland, physically assaulting a dancer in the process. Kurland’s thugs knock out Hawk and take him captive. Batman and Dove make a rescue effort, during which Hawk and Dove are stripped of their powers by the mysterious cosmic forces that first endowed them with abilities over a decade ago. (These mysterious cosmic forces are never named in the Silver Age, although, in the Modern Age, they are revealed as the Lords or Order and the Lords of Chaos.) Batman and a powerless Don bust Kurland and his men, saving Hank.

–Batman #341 Part 1
Early October. When unsubstantiated reports about supernatural activity at Wayne Manor come into police HQ, Commissioner Gordon tells Bruce that he will be getting the Gotham Historical Society’s permission to conduct a search of the property. Bruce worries that the Mole might be back. Meanwhile, Rupert Thorne, now out of Arkham Asylum for the first time in over two years (not “one year” as Gerry Conway mistakenly tells us), re-assumes control of the Tobacconists’ Club. In doing so, he becomes the king of Gotham’s underworld once again. Thorne tells his cronies that he owns one of the mayoral candidates. Later, Gordon, Dr. Terence Thirteen (!), and Miss Crum of the Historical Society visit Wayne Manor. Batman disrupts their search and instructs them to wait outside. In the Batcave, Batman finds the “ghost that haunts Wayne Manor,” a crazed Man-Bat Kirk Langstrom. Man-Bat kayos Batman just as a surpirsed Dr. Thirteen discovers and enters the Batcave.

–Batman #342-343
Early October.
. . .

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman: Belt ‘em For Safety, a mini-foldout comic commissioned by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and published in early 1981, is one of the rarest and most expensive-to-purchase Batman-related items that exists today. It is out-of-continuity, canon only on Earth-B.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The adventures of Anais “Mademoiselle Marie” Guillot were originally told in the Star Spangled War Stories series. Notably, Star Spangled War Stories reveals that Anais dates Sgt. Rock before hooking up with Alfred! In fact, the Modern Age version of Anais survives the war and has a child with Sgt. Rock instead of Alfred.