I'm looking for my Batman History file. I'll post it when I find it...
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Ok, here is my plea. I am forever behind in the Batman comic series. I have been reading this board and realized that things have went on so fast that I no longer know anything about Batman. So, can someone please give me a basic run-down of what has happened as of late. You can skip small details and what not, just give me a real basic time line. Since after Nightwing came into existance (I know, I'm ancient). If there are too many crossovers or side stories, skip them. I want the mainstream story with major characters. Thanks to anyone that can accomplish this great task
Wanting revenge on James Gordon, the Joker set out to drive him mad. He busted into Barbara Gordon's apartment and shot her through the spine, paralyzing her. He then stripped her naked and did God knows what. Some think that he raped her. Others think she was tortured. The Joker kidnapped James Gordon, and sent him through a fun house with images of Barbara's torture. It was intended to drive him mad. But when Batman rescued the commisioner, James Gordon didn't want blood. He told Batman.
"Bring him in...by the book. We have to show him that our way works..."
Batman apprehended The Joker, but Batgirl was no more.
Meanwhile, an older Dick Grayson had tired of living in Batman's shadow. He was tired of taking orders, and left to lead the Teen Titans. Batman operated alone for a while. Finally he and Dick had a falling-out and Dick left, leaving the Robin costume behind. No one heard from Dick for a while, and then he reappeared, with a new hero persona: Nightwing.
Meanwhile, Batman caught a street urchin trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile. He confronted the child, who didn't back down. Batman discobered that the boy's parent's were dead, murdered by Two-Face. Bruce Wayne took Jason Todd as his next ward. He began training Jason as the next Robin, and Jason loved it. He was a great Robin, but he was reckless, and didn't like following orders. He found out that his mother might still be alive while Batman had suspended him from being Robin, and disobeyed Batman, traveling to the Mid East to search for his mother. Batman met up with him while tracking the Joker, and helped him find his mother.
He left Jason alone with her and instructed him to stay put. Jason saw his mother kidnapped and disobeyed Batman again. He followed the Joker, trying to save his mother...
But she wasn't his mother. The woman Jason Todd thought was his mother was in cahoots with The Joker, who trapped them in a warehouse. Then he beat Robin with a crowbar until he was near death, and left, setting a bomb. As the bomb exploded, Jason threw himself in front of it, trying to shield "his mother." Batman found him stone dead, and set out to find Joker. He couldn't find him. Back in Gotham, Superman arrived to tell Batman that The Joker was an ambassador to a mid east country and could not be touched. Eventually, the Joker tried to kill the United Nations, and vanished in a fiery explosion.
Without a Robin to temper the darkness, Batman became more brutal. He put criminals in the hospital and became a creature of the night. A young man named Tim Drake who had discovered Batman and Robin's id's observed this, and decided to get Dick Grayson back with Batman. Dick refused, but went to help Batman as Nightwing. Batman was on the trail of Two-Face. Nightwing arrived to help him, but they fell into a trap. Tim, worried, put on Jason Todd's Robin costume and saved the day. Batman rewarded him by training him as the next Robin. Robin has his own history.
This all leads into KNIGHTFALL, which will come later...
SWORD OF AZRAEL
Not long after Tim Drake became the new Robin, Batman had taken a young man named Jean Paul Valley under his wing. Valley had been selected from birth to be an assassin for the Order of St. Dumas. He was brainwashed by something called The System, which gave him incredible fighting and deductive ability when he put on the costume of the order's avenging angel, Azrael. He saved Batman's life, and in turn, Batman gave him a job and revealed his identity. Determined to stop Azrael's killing ways, Bruce had Tim train Azrael as one of them. Azrael took to the training, and he fast became one of Batman's trusted allies.
Years ago, in the small city of Pena Duro, a young boy had been imprisoned for crimes his father committed. The young man was haunted by dreams of a far off city and it's protector, a monstrous Batlike creature. He was determined to conquer his fear. The young man built himself into the perfect model of a man. Then he was subjected to a sadistic test, and pumped full of Venom. Enhanced by Venom, the man killed his jailers and broke free, heading for Gotham. He called himself Bane. He was determined to take Gotham and destroy the Batman. Bane broke many of Batman's deadliest enemies out of Arhkam and watched as Batman went without sleep for weeks, determined to keep his city safe. Finally, battered and beaten, Batman returned to Wayne Manor to find Bane, who had discovered his identity. He challenged Batman, who found new strength, and attacked him. But the Venom made Bane nearly invincible. He beat Batman within an inch of his life, and then, deciding Batman's death would end his suffering, broke his back over his knee. He took over Gotham. Bruce survived, but his body was battered seemingly beyond repai. He went abroad to seek help for his broken body, and left Jean Paul Valley as Batman in his stead.
Immediately the system corrupted the new Batman. Valley became brutal, crippling and killing criminals, and he even designed a new Batsuit, an armored suit much like his Azrael one. When Robin tried to talk to him, Valley beat Robin within an inch of his life. Jean Paul decided to go after Bane, and discovered his weakness. Venom. He beat Bane, and was about to kill him when he realized what Batman stood for. He dropped Bane and left him sobbing and broken at the hands of the Gotham police.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne was across the world, healing at the hands of a miracle worker. Somehow his back healed itself, and he went off to get his edge back at the hands of an old enemy, Shiva Woosan. Shiva helped Bruce return to form, but wanted him to kill. When he would not, she ended his re-training, and Bruce returned to Gotham to reclaim the mantle of the bat. But Jean Paul Valley would not give it up. He had been brainwashed by the system into thinking that it was his destiny. A battle ensued, and Bruce won, leaving Valley beaten. He didn't become Batman again right away though. Bruce realized he had to regain his edge first. He left Dick Grayson as Batman...
Bruce returned and reclaimed the mantle. He returned to his roots as a dark terrifying batcreature, redesigning his costume and Batmobile to reflect his roots. He rededicated himself to his cause, trying not to become obsessed again...
It wasn't long before Batman faced a new evil. A horrible virus, set on the world by Rha's Al Ghul, in an effort to cleanse the Earth. Thousands of Gothamites died, in an event that became known as Contagion, and then Legacy. Robin even became sick and would have died without a cure. Batman, Nightwing and Robin tracked down Rha's Al Ghul to find that he was working with Bane. Batman, Nightwing and Robin ended the threat. But the damage was done. Gotham's mayor and thousands were dead...
This leads into CATACLYSM, and NO MAN'S LAND...
After Contagion and Legacy, Gotham was slowly recovering. Until a huge earthquake struck in the heart of the city. The quake destroyed much of Gotham, the Batcave, and left thousands dead or homeless. Chaos reigned. Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Huntress and Spoiler did all they could, but Gotham spiraled toward oblivion. Finally, the U.S government was discussing cutting Gotham off from the rest of the country, because it couldn't be salvaged. Bruce Wayne went to Washington to argue for Gotham, but his playboy image had tarnished him, and the government declared Gotham a No Man's Land, and cut it off, blowing the bridges out of town. Upset at his failure, Bruce left and went off...
Meanwhile, the GCDP banded together to protect what was left of Gotham, and gangs started to form, with Gotham being carved up among them. Territories were established. With no food and water, or guards, Jeremiah let the inmates out of Arhkam so they wouldn't die. They ran rampant over Gotham. The remaining heroes did what they could, but it was anarchy. Finally The Huntress, tired of people not listening to her, donned a Batman-outfit, and became the new Batgirl. Batman returned to Gotham and watched her, pleased. Then a new face emerged, Cassandra Cain, daughter of Batman's enemies. She had been trained as a child to be a killing machine, but had renounced it. She was mute, and the only language she understood was combat. Oracle took her on as a "runner", and eventually the Huntress failed Batman, and Cassandra became the new Batgirl. There was something going on, and Batman was tracking the activities of a mysterious presence in Gotham, someone with plans. It was revealed to be Lex Luthor, and at long last, the government reopened Gotham and Luthor used his money to rebuild the city. But The Joker killed Commisioner Gordon's wife.
Since then...we've seen Batman tangle with Ra's Al Ghul...more details if you want...and a revived Hugo Strange, as well as pushing away his partners and friends, becoming darker...
I'm just starting to get into comics and that was a nice run down of books I would like to get with Batman. Thanks very much too.
"Every day you sit behind your desk and you learn a little more how to accept the world the way it is. Well, here's the rub: heroes don't do that. Heroes don't accept the world the way it is. They fight it." - Lindsey McDonald, Angel
For the Honor of Grayskull
wow that was an amazing summary of quite a few years of bat-history-- WELL DONE!
wow..nice summary man...
BTW- I suggest anybody wanting to read up on everything in Batman's comic-History get DK's "Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight"..it's only $20 and covers everything up to Catyclsym.
Here is a link to it on Amazon.com:Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight
great summary! but... i personally don't think the storylines in the Batman books have become weak... they're pretty powerful stuff IMO.... they're alot better than some of the other stuff that we've had in the past few years... like Spider-Man's "Clone Saga." I'm a Spidey-fan as well as a Batman fan, but the clone saga was ridiculous..... just MO...Originally posted by Domino
That was a very nicely done summary of what has happened in the past several years. But it sure does highlight just how weak the storylines in the Batman books have become.
"You will be different. Sometimes, you will feel like an outcast. But you will never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine.
The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son."
--Superman, Superman Returns
I bought The Ultimate guide to the Dark Knight, and I have to say, it's well worth the money for the cool diagrams alone.
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