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 waldo 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, in November’s mayoral election. (The incumbent is not re-running.) Also, note that Bruce mentions the election is in six months, but we are actually eight months away. 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 World’s Finest Comics #275. Batman fights a returning Mr. Freeze and his new number one henchman Icehouse Wallace.

–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 Part 1. 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.

–World’s Finest Comics #275
June. When a manmade snowstorm blankets Gotham and an unnatural heatwave threatens to melt Metropolis, Batman and Superman are on the case. By shaking down Icehouse Wallace, the World’s Finest heroes learn that the perpetrator is Mr. Freeze. After putting insulating circuits into his costume, Batman joins Superman to confront and defeat Mr. Freeze aboard an abandoned Soviet satellite in Earth’s orbit.

–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 Part 1, 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.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #183. Mid August. Writer Hugh Rutherford Creighton and his assistant Milo begin a systematic attack campaign against Batman, designed to wear him down. While we won’t see it on our timeline specifically, Creighton and Milo will hire henchmen to mess with Batman every night for the next six weeks straight. Batman won’t have any clue that Creighton is behind it all, simply thinking that crime is on the uptick.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #510. Bruce and Lucius Fox install the high-tech Centron-200 business computer system at the Wayne Foundation Tower.

–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 (aka Ivor) 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. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman #343.) 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. (As referenced in Justice League of America #195, Earth-2 Superman officially comes out of retirement after this affair.)

–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 has ended his stint with the Hill’s Brothers Circus. (Dick won’t actually return to Gotham for another month-and-a-half.) Batman scoffs at the mere mention of Dick’s name, still upset about Dick having left college. The Caped Crusader makes a remark about Dick still being under-twenty-one, but this is a continuity error—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 2
Batman helps Commissioner Gordon with a random Whodunnit at the Sawyer residence, solving the quickie murder mystery in record time.

–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), meets with his new assistant Peter Pauling. Thorne re-assumes control of the Tobacconists’ Club and, in doing so, 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 surprised Dr. Thirteen discovers and enters the Batcave. (This issue is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #509.)

–Batman #342
Early October. Picking straight up from the cliffhanger from the previous issue, Dr. Thirteen enters the Batcave, interrupting the fight between Batman and Man-Bat. The latter attacks Dr. Thirteen, knocking him out cold, before fleeing into the night. After a comatose Dr. Thirteen goes to the hospital, Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that he’s been receiving threats from Hamilton Hill-backers. In the morning, Lucius Fox tells Bruce that “Penelope Ivy” (Poison Ivy) is making a wild public claim that she owns Wayne Enterprises public. Due the post-hypnotic suggestion, Bruce can’t say a word. At the Tobacconists’ Club, Rupert Thorne chats with his assistant Peter Pauling, reads about the mayoral election, and sees a hallucination of Hugo Strange. (Again, Gerry Conway says that Thorne was in Arkham for months, but that’s just not possible. Anyway, the same page accidentally has a newspaper headline that reads “Harrison Hill” instead of “Hamilton Hill,” so there’s a lot of clumsy errors going on here.) Bruce does a little digging, learning that the Langstroms are living on Crime Alley! He visits Francine and Rebecca (now two-and-a-half-years-old). Francine tells Batman that Kirk has continued to hate Batman ever since their last encounter (in The Brave and The Bold #165). She also tells him that Kirk tried a new stronger version of the Man-Bat Serum last week, freaked out, struck her, and then flew off. Later, Batman goes spelunking into the caverns adjacent to the original Batcave, to parts in which he’s never been before, in search of Man-Bat. Batman, with surprise, discovers a subterranean tributary that feeds into the Gotham River. The surprise here is a little dubious. Batman definitely already has access to the Gotham River and beyond to Gotham’s bays via the Batcave, so while this particular access point might be new to him, it would hardly be surprising—at least not in the sense of it being a new geological discovery. Maybe Batman’s surprise has more to do with security, marveling at the fact that there is a rare way to get into the Batcave that he didn’t know of before. The Dark Knight soon finds Man-Bat, who immediately attacks him. Batman administers anti-serum, but it fails. Man-Bat screeches and flies away. Batman worries whether or not he’ll ever be able to revert Kirk back to normal now.

–The Brave and The Bold #183
Commissioner Gordon invites Bruce to the Annual Banquet of the Bow Street Constabulary and Amateur Cracksman’s Society for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (BSC+ACS), a detective fiction convention and black tie gala. At the convention, via thought bubble, we learn that Bruce has now been patrolled as Batman for sixty straight days without a break. During the gathering, guest of honor Hugh Rutherford Creighton is seemingly kidnapped. With Riddler having recently escaped from prison, he is the prime suspect, especially after a board game clue set is shipped to police HQ. Batman isn’t so sure and suspects that Creighton may have kidnapped himself. In any case, Batman goes on a wild goose chase through the night. Upon finding that Riddler is also playing the mystery kidnapper’s game, they form an unlikely team-up, following clues all across Gotham and narrowly avoiding death traps along the way. Eventually, they are held at gunpoint by Luis Quintero, but he’s a red herring, part of the ongoing game. Quintero sends them to Creighton’s mansion. There, Riddler turns on Batman and tries to kill him, prompting Batman to kick his ass and move on alone. Batman soon finds Creighton, who reveals that he’s set up Batman and has been working him for the past six weeks. Creighton also reveals that he’s deduced Batman’s secret ID and that he has a terminal illness. As such, he’s decided to burn his entire property to the ground, killing himself and Batman all at once. As a great arson-driven conflagration burns Creighton alive and threatens to end the helpless Dark Knight’s life, Riddler saves his foe! Later, the injured Batman thanks Riddler and tells him he will visit him in prison to chat. We can assume that Batman visits Riddler the next day to discuss the end of the Creighton case.

–Detective Comics #508
Bruce decides he wants to have a heart-to-heart with Selina Kyle. But when Selina doesn’t answer her phone, a concerned Batman visits her apartment to find it in shambles. Batman rescues Selina’s two pet cats and finds evidence that Selina has been abducted to Egypt. After stopping to gawk at a gross Arthur Reeves political rally, Bruce goes to the Gotham Metropolitan Museum to ask his buddy Gregory Griffin about mummy dust. But Griffin’s office has been ransacked and he his also missing. After Bruce finds a secret shrine to Selina behind a hidden door, Griffin’s assistant tells him that Griffin has gone loco and believes Selina is the reincarnate of an ancient Egyptian queen. Soon after, Bruce is in Cairo, meeting with an official from the Egyptian National Police. By night, Batman stalks the grounds near the Sphinx, fending off jackals and discovering a secret entryway inside the ancient statue. In the bowels of the structure, Batman finds an unconscious Selina and a pharaoh-costumed Griffin, who wields a magick medallion and believes he is “Khafre, Lord of the Nile.” After allowing himself to be wrapped up like a mummy, Batman bursts free of his bandages and rescues the comatose Selina. After battling Batman atop the Sphinx, Griffin drops his medallion and is mauled to death by the jackals. A few days later, Bruce and a recovered Selina accompany a police detective to the site of Griffin’s murder. His tattered clothes are found, but there’s no trace of his bodily remains. Bruce shrugs it off and focuses on something much more important: mending his relationship with Selina! The two go off to spend some time in the desert sun together. Just like that, Bruce and Selina are dating again! Yay!

–Batman #343
October 26. Batman returns to the States from Cairo and conducts a search of the old Batcave for Man-Bat, finding neither hide nor hair of him. While heading back home, Batman comes across new super-villain Dagger, who sends the Batmobile to the bottom of the Gotham River with a precisely-aimed-and-timed dagger toss. A couple hours later, Bruce and the entire Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors gather at Gotham National Bank, having been called there by bank president Jansen. Jansen tells them that “Penelope Ivy” has authorized the liquidation of the company’s entire assets. Poison Ivy shows up to gloat over the men, who are unable to speak due to her post-hypnotic suggestion. Jansen tells all that the sell-off will be finalized in seven days. Across town, Rupert Thorne and Peter Pauling meet with Arthur Reeves, handing him supposed proof of Batman’s secret ID. Batman studies one of Dagger’s weapons, finding a link to Rennington Steel Company. Taking one of the extra Batmobiles, the Dark Knight visits owner David Rennington, quickly learning that he is Dagger. After a brief fight, Dagger goes down hard.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3 and Batman #344. We can assume that Batman orders a new Batmobile from Jack Edison to replace the one at the bottom of the Gotham River. While not shown on our timeline, we can also assume that Batman picks up the new ride sometime in the coming week. We do know that the new ride is one of Edison’s finest models—a high tech job that appears as a civilian Rolls Royce but can morph into the Batmobile at the push of a button.

–Detective Comics #509-510
October 29 to November 2. Bruce and Selina—fully in love with one another again—go on a date. After Bruce drops Selina off at her apartment, a stalking Cat-Man strikes at her. Nearing midnight, Bruce gets word from Commissioner Gordon that Dr. Terence Thirteen has come out of his coma. At the hospital, Bruce is relieved to learn that Dr. Thirteen has no memory of having seen the Batcave. Later, when the Wayne Research Institute alarm goes off, Batman travels to Long Island, NY to find Cat-Man in the facility, looking for the piece of his costume that is stored there. Cat-Man knocks-out Batman and ties him spread-eagle on the Long Island shore. The tide swallows up Batman, but he escapes, soon finding Cat-Man and a kidnapped Selina aboard a boat in Gotham Bay. Batman easily busts Cat-Man and rescues Selina. The next day, Selina, traumatized by all she’s gone through, breaks up with a disheartened Bruce yet again. He and Alfred see her off as she leaves on a train for parts unknown. Hiding in the shadows, a returning Vicki Vale (!) snaps some pictures of Bruce, convinced that he’s Batman. After several brutal police shootings, Hamilton Hill turns up his anti-Gordon rhetoric at a public debate between he and Arthur Reeves. Batman swoops down to bust up a robbery adjacent to the heated debate. Later, a returning Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), along with his pet chimpanzee, kidnaps Lucius Fox and asks for a hefty $2 million ransom. Bruce transfers the funds, but then (as Batman) attempts a daring rescue upon discovering Mad Hatter’s location. Batman bests Mad Hatter’s henchmen, but can’t free Lucius, offering to switch places with him. Soon, Batman finds himself strapped to a brainwashing device, but thanks to a rubber cap under his cowl, he is able to protect himself and easily bust Mad Hatter. The case is neatly wrapped, but the Dark Knight and Gordon both worry when they read the latest news headline about Arthur Reeves planning to expose Batman’s secret ID. (Gordon mentions that Arthur Reeves announced his candidacy six months ago. It’s actually been just almost exactly eight months to the day.)

–Batman #344
November 2-3. Picking up straight from the end of Detective Comics #510, Batman spends the rest of the night helping Commissioner Gordon book Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch). Stressed and exhausted like he’s never been before, the Dark Knight returns home. Not far away, Poison Ivy, mere hours away from liquidating all of Wayne Enterprises’ assets, consolidates her power by forcing gangster Big Jack Johnson under her heel. As “Penelope Ivy,” the villainess once again meets with Bruce, the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors, and bank president Jansen in order to finalize the liquidation. Wayne Enterprises is officially cleaned out, but Poison Ivy has no time to gloat as Batman begins stalking her in a silent but threatening fashion. Later, Vicki Vale, who has been shadowing Bruce, makes her presence known. Bruce is happy to see Vicki and they embrace. Bruce mentions that she ran off so quickly after their last encounter a couple years ago. An editorial notation tells us this is a reference to Detective Comics #320, which occurred ten years ago. However, this is a huge continuity error. Bruce has run into Vicki a couple times since then. The last time they met was two years ago for Bruce’s birthday party! So, the dialogue is kosher—just ignore the bad editorial notation. Vicki, now divorced, has permanently moved from Paris back to Gotham. Later, Arthur Reeves has a televised rally and announces that Batman is none other than Jack Johnson. (This rally is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #511.) Later still, Batman crashes into Poison Ivy’s greenhouse and fights with her partner Evan (aka Ivor), whom she’s turned into a hideous plant monster. Batman struggles against the monster until Robin returns to help make the bust! Ivor spills the beans to Commissioner Gordon about Poison Ivy’s illegal takeover of Wayne Enterprises, resulting in the company being restored to its financial status quo. Meanwhile, Peter Pauling delivers proof to Olivia Ortega’s office that Reeves’ exposé of Batman’s secret ID is bogus. (Rupert Thorne has screwed over Reeves in an effort to boost Hamilton Hill.) On election day morning, Ortega reports the news about Reeves to Gotham, all but guaranteeing the councilman’s defeat.

–Detective Comics #511
November 3-5. Batman, Robin, and Alfred watch the live election results as they pour in on TV. Hamilton Hill wins in a landslide. The next day, Bruce visits Vicki Vale at her office, meeting her boss Morton Monroe. Vicki tells tale of her firsthand experience witnessing illusion-casting super-villain Mirage rob the Raytona Raceway in New Jersey the night prior. Vicki and Bruce walk and talk,—the former asking if there’s any possibility of them rekindling old relationship fires. (Vicki once again believes that Bruce is Batman and is really just looking for an angle.) Meanwhile, Dick, hoping to make Bruce feel better about him, late enrolls into Gotham University. (Dick mentions that he dropped out of school “months ago,” but it was almost exactly one year ago.) After registering, Dick strolls around campus, bumping into a gorgeous student named Dala DuBois (aka Dala Vadim) with whom he goes on a coffee date. Since the Earth-1 version of Dala is similar to the Earth-2 version, those who’ve read the account of Earth-2’s history with attention will recall that Dala is bad news. Watch out, Dick! As night falls, Batman and Robin face-off against Mirage, whose crime spree continues. Mirage bests the Dynamic Duo with illusions, escaping. Later, a better prepared Batman kicks Mirage’s ass. Early the next morning, an exhausted Bruce stands before the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors, Lucius Fox, and Dick. He announces that, effective immediately, he is resigning from his role as CEO of Wayne Enterprises and the Wayne Foundation, appointing Lucius Fox in his place! Bruce later tells Dick that he can now devote 100% of his time to being Batman. Awesome!

–World’s Finest Comics #272-274
Batman busts Red Higby, a Ponzi scheme hustler that has screwed a bunch of people out of their life savings, and his right hand man Gobbler. Superman, thinking his buddy has been really overdoing it lately, visits Batman, telling him to take a vacation. After reluctantly accompanying Superman to the Fortress of Solitude, Batman views a holographic video of one of the World’s Finest’s classic adventures screened from the Man of Steel’s new toy, an alien holo-projector. As they watch, the debuting Weapon-Master causes an earthquake, which lures Superman away. He then sends Kryptonite-powered robots into the Fortress of Solitude to steal weaponry. Batman (and eventually a returning Superman) defeat the robots, but not before they steal some stuff and run away with their master. Soon, Batman and Superman find themselves battling Weapon-Master’s minions once more, this time at the super-villain’s mountain lair. Superman is captured and used to power a machine that holds the entire Earth hostage via mind-control. Only Batman escapes, fleeing to the Fortress of Solitude where he straps himself into a strange Kryptonian device that endows him with superpowers for four hours. The only catch is that once his power burns out, he will die! Using his temporary abilities, the Batman of Steel rescues Superman. Batman and Superman then chase Weapon-Master to Metropolis. There, the heroes defeat him and save the entire planet. Superman rushes a dying Batman into the Weapon-Master’s energy crystal chamber, which spares Batman’s life.

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

–Justice League of America #195-197
Earth-2’s Ultra-Humanite reassembles the Secret Society of Super-Villains with a brand new lineup, featuring Earth-2’s Brainwave, Earth-2’s The Mist, Earth-2’s The Monocle, Earth-2’s Psycho-Pirate, Earth-2’s Rag Doll, The Cheetah, Floronic Man, Killer Frost, and Signalman. After the JLA and JSA meet aboard the JL Satellite for a small party, Black Canary is left behind for monitor duty. The Mist infiltrates the HQ and takes her out. In a quick succession of highly coordinated attacks, the Monocle defeats Earth-2 Hawkman, the Cheetah defeats Wonder Woman, Psycho-Pirate defeats Hourman, Signalman defeats Batman, Rag Doll defeats Jay Garrick, Floronic Man defeats Earth-1 Atom (along with the Ivy Town Police Department), Brainwave defeats Earth-2 Johnny Thunder (and Yz), Killer Frost defeats Firestorm, and Ultra-Humanite defeats Earth-2 Superman. The bested heroes are taken captive and held prisoner in a Nepalese mountain stronghold (on Earth-2). There, the villains place the captives into a “cosmic-centrifuge” that makes them disappear into Limbo and re-writes reality in Universe-2 making it so that superheroes no longer exist. Done with his Earth-1 super-villain pawns, Ultra-Humanite sends them back to Earth-1. Feeling used and abused, they decide on revenge. After kidnapping Hal Jordan and using him to gain access to the JL Satellite, the Earth-1 villains take down Elongated Man and then use the transmatter cube to go to Limbo. The villains free the heroes from the centrifuge, but get their asses immediately kicked as a reward. After learning about the Secret Society’s plan, the freed heroes travel to Earth-2 and confront the remaining Earth-2 Secret Society members, who have easily taken control of their entire planet. After a fight, the Earth-2 bad guys are exiled into Limbo. (This adventure is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #45.)

[3]

–The Brave and The Bold #184
December 22-25. Batman drops of presents at the Gotham Children’s Home and then responds to the Bat-signal, getting tasked with tracking down mobster Spurs Sanders’ gunsel, who is carrying important accounting documents. (Batman knows all about Sanders from his criminal database.) The Dark Knight soon roughs up the gunsel and recovers the documents, which reveal that Thomas Wayne supposedly once bankrolled Sanders. Huntress arrives from Earth-2 to spend X-mas with her “Uncle Bruce.” At Bruce’s penthouse, Helena hangs out with Alfred and a disturbed Bruce, who can’t believe his pop might’ve been a crook. In the morning, Bruce and Helena visit Thomas Wayne’s old accountant Amos Randolph, who turns over old financial records that confirm Thomas was sending money to Sanders. Batman and Huntress visit Sanders himself, who plays a tape recording of his interactions with Thomas from twenty-five years ago. Sanders blackmails Batman, telling him he will smear the Wayne family name unless Batman turns over the documents before Christmas. Before his parents’ graves, a stunned Batman removes his cowl, contemplating giving up his crusade entirely. At night Bruce goes out on the town with two lovely ladies, but is in no mood to keep up his playboy facade. Bruce witnesses Helena rescue Sanders’ gunsel from a mob execution, which inspires him to take on his father’s case with more gusto. After giving Huntress a tour of Wayne Manor, Batman realizes that it wasn’t his dad that was in league with Sanders—it was Randolph! After exposing Randolph and gloating in Sanders’ face, our heroes drop off the documents with Commissioner Gordon. Batman and Helena spend X-mas morning visiting Bruce’s parents’ graves.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 25. Batman gives his usual X-Mas gift to Commissioner Gordon.

–The World’s Greatest Superheroes Present Superman News Strip 10/26/1981 to 1/10/1982 (“The Joke is on Superman”)
This has not been collected, so I have never read it. Presumably, Batman and Superman team-up to defeat an escaped Joker.

CALLING DR. DEATH!/FATAL PRESCRIPTION OF DR. DEATH!
———————––Batman #345
———————––Detective Comics #512

Bruce attends a fancy high society soiree with Vicki Vale. While there, he plays up his playboy act and flirts with everyone, including a intoxicated gal named Cindy. He ducks out and switches to Bat-mode to check out a murder scene with Commissioner Gordon before returning to the party. Dick also attends the party, introducing Dala DuBois to Bruce and Vicki. Bruce also meets Dr. Karl Hellfern at the party. He has no idea Hellfern is the super-villain Dr. Death, whom he fought way back in Year One. (This means Hellfern was either wearing a mask back then or has undergone plastic surgery.) When Dick steps out onto the balcony to neck with Dala, he sneezes on some poisonous dust that permeates the night air. Later, Batman and Robin test the dust, learning that it is a fatal allergen. Meanwhile, having been sworn-in as mayor, Hamilton Hill demands Commissioner Gordon’s resignation. Gordon refuses, to which Mayor Hill says he will initiate impeachment proceedings. After learning that the murder victim from earlier in the evening died from poison dust, the Dynamic Duo shakes-down a known associate and heads to Relief Island. There, they are attacked by Dr. Death’s henchman Togo. As Dr. Death appears, Batman recognizes his voice, but seemingly not from their Year One battle, only from the party. This story is ostensibly written as though Batman never fought Dr. Death in Year One. However, that would be a direct contradiction of The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. This is either an error or we should just read things in a way that glosses over the contradiction. Maybe Batman is making a revelatory connection—recognizing Dr. Death’s voice, both from the party and from long ago. Gordon seems to treat Dr. Death as a newcomer, which must be summarily ignored. In any case, Dr. Death reveals that he’s poisoned most of the city. Anyone infected will be dead in forty-eight hours unless he hands over the antidote—and he’s not doing that unless he gets paid a hefty ransom. While Mayor Hill scoffs at paying, Batman, who has a natural immunity to the dust, rushes Robin to the hospital. The Dark Knight then confronts Dr. Death and Togo, taking them down and getting the antidote just in time to save the entire city.

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<<< Year Fourteen <<< | >>> Year Sixteen >>>

  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.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: DC Special Series #27 (“Batman vs The Incredible Hulk”) was published in September 1981, but it is out-of-continuity, canon only on the Marvel/DC “Crossover Earth” aka Earth-7642.

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