III:  The Quiet Years

Section Intro | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s

Timeline

History Notes and References
1952  
  [Jan 2] The second Starman goes missing in action after a year and a day (as David Knight returns to his fate in the future). In his wake, Ted Knight resumes crimefighting with renewed commitment. Starman v2 #2 <12.94> [establishes duration], Starman Secret Files #1 <4.98> [misprinted as “1951”], Starman v2 #79 <7.01>. (Ted meets his future wife, Adele Doris Drew, on the evening David disappears.) Opal City clearly doesn’t share the era’s prevailing public mood against super-heroes.
  Ted (Starman) Knight—aided by the visiting Jester (and also, secretly, criminals Jake “Bobo” Benetti and the Shade)—defeats a scheme to kill him by the Gambler, the Icicle, and the Fiddler. Starman v2 #46 <9.98>. The story once again disagrees with the cover [cf. 1943], which would place this in “1954.”
  Dinah Drake (the former Black Canary) marries her partner-in-detection Larry Lance. They open a private detective agency together. Secret Origins v2 #50 <8.90>. Date approximate. It follows the JSA’s dissolution, but could easily be late 1951, or even ’53 or later. Regardless, they practice together for “ten years,” even as Gotham grows more corrupt.
  Al Pratt (the former Atom) marries Mary James. SO v2 #25 <4.88>. Date approximate, as above.
  “Frank Rock” (see 1945) and members of the Suicide Squad (see 1951) encounter a time-traveling Booster Gold on a secret Nevada research base. Booster Gold v2 #20 <7.09>. Date approximate; year only. Rock’s postwar authenticity is in doubt, as per the notes at 1945. The presence of Squad members Hugh Evans and Karin Grace in this era also remains unexplained, as previously they have only been associated with Rick Flag Jr.’s later versions of the Squad [see 1986, 2000/Yr12]. The Soviet scientist Sergei Pushkin featured in this story is established as the grandfather of his namesake, the Rocket Red who later served in the JLI.
  Thomas Wayne (son of Patrick; see 1929) does aid work in the Caribbean between college and medical school, and narrowly escapes a communist uprising. Batman Secret Files #1 <10.97> [text pages]. The reference to Cuban influence is likely an anachronism, but the region was politically turbulent all through this period regardless.
  Martha Kane, crusading young Gotham debuttante, briefly dates one Denholm Sinclair, who has ties to ganglord Cesare Rosetti’s mob (of the city’s notorious “six families”). Sinclair moves on to an affair with the less-affluent but more devious Celia Kazantkakis (see 1986, 2006/Year 18). Batman: Family #1 <12.02> [this must necessarily fall over 50 years earlier, not 40 as stated, to correspond with events below, but that doesn’t otherwise impact the story]. Rosetti was apparently taking opportunistic advantage of a period when “war broke out” [B:Family #4 <1.03>] between the otherwise more familiar “five families” [cf. 1949, 1960].
  Time-traveler Walker Gabriel competes with wealthy medical student Thomas Wayne for the affections of his girlfriend Martha Kane. Chronos #1 <3.98> [text page; gives date], DC Heroes SF #1 <2.99>. This is compatible both with the Wayne family history in Batman SF #1, and with this timeline.
  1953  
  Vartan Kevork, aka “the Shadower,” kills Dr. Charles (Mid-Nite) McNider’s girfriend Myra Mason. He is not brought to justice for over a decade. JSA v3 #40 <11.02>; date given in story.
  [Aug] Tiger (see 1945), now a young adult, leaves his mentor Rip (Judomaster) Jagger on a journey through India. Jagger retires to the lost city of Nanda Parbat. L.A.W. #4 <12.99>
  [Aug] The Unknown Soldier helps the Shah’s forces put down a popular uprising in Iran. Unknown Soldier v3 #2 <5.97>. Date from historical record.
  The Newsboy Army (see 1951) fragments amidst interpersonal scandal. SS: Guardian #4 <11.05>, which notes they were active for “a couple of years.”
  [Oct 30] The Spectre condemns the soul of black magician Roger Romaine, aka the Spirit King. (See 1997/Yr9). JSA v3 #60 <6.04> [postdating Swamp Thing v2 #147 <10.94>, which showed the Spectre active in 1951, previously his latest known Golden Age appearance]. Such flashbacks have repeatedly shortened the duration of Spectre’s imprisonment, below.
  The Spectre becomes trapped in the resurrected body of Jim Corrigan. The ageless Corrigan becomes a detective captain on the Gateway City police force. (See 1965 next.) Spectre v3 #26 <2.95>; (orig. Showcase #60 <1-2.66>, which set this c. 1945, but see above). (Corrigan was physically resurrected in More Fun #90 <5.43>.)
  1954  
  [Feb] The Ray’s 8-year-old son Joshua Terrill accidentally kills his mother with out-of-control powers. His father places him in suspended animation, then retires from costumed heroics. The Ray #28 <10.96>. Joshua will awaken—and inadvertently reunite his brother Ray Terrill with his parents—decades later, c. 2003/Yr15.
  Costumed heroes begin to appear overseas. Percy Sheldrake, the Earl of Wordenshire and formerly Squire to the Shining Knight (see 1940), becomes the Knight, with his son Cyril as the new Squire1. The Wingman protects Sweden2; the Gaucho is based in Argentina3; the Ranger roves through Australia4; the Legionary patrols Italy5; and France has the Musketeer6. Infinity, Inc. v1 #34 <1.87>. Respective origins/1st apps: 1(Batman #62 <12-1.51>); 2(Batman #65 <6-7.51>); 3-6(Detective #215 <1.55>). Note that canonicity of this is now questionable; inasmuch as “New Earth” continuity has now restored these characters’ connection with Batman as the “Club of Heroes” [Batman #667-69 <8-11.07>], it’s possible either that these are earlier incarnations of the same costumed identities, or that different heroes helped form the original Global Guardians [see 1957].
  1955  
  The wizard Shazam imprisons the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man, but soon after is reduced to an amnesiac state; Ibis the Invincible places a barrier of “temporal relevant suspension” over Fawcett City and retires into a hypnotic sleep. Power of Shazam #12 <2.96>, described as “15 years” after 1940. The field helps keep Fawcett curiously isolated from the rest of American culture for over 40 years, although life does go on.
  Government scientist Dr. Christopher Camel destroys all project records of “Heroville,” a town filled with bioengineered metahumans, hiding it from detection inside a tesseract in Columbus, Ohio. Adventures of Superman #614 <5.03>
  [Apr 24] J’onn J’onzz of Mars (see 1715) is accidentally teleported across time and space to Earth by Dr. Saul Erdel, who apparently dies when his equipment explodes. Disoriented, the Martian Manhunter begins invisibly following in the footsteps of Denver police detective John Jones, from whom he learns telepathically about humanity. ZHTL* [“35 Years Ago”]; Martian Manhunter v1 mini-series #1-4 <5-8.88>, Martian Manhunter v2 #0 <10.98>, etc.; (1st app. ’Tec #225 <11.55>; month/day from 1976 Super DC Calendar). Various retellings differ, but the latest seems the most authoritative—although it misnames Dr. Erdel as “James.” Other accounts that have Erdel surviving, and implanting J’onn with false memories, are apparently superseded, as is SO v2 #35 <Hol.88>, in which J’onn “invented” Jones. Post-Crisis, this was set in 1955 until ZH’s change—which seems arbitrary and unnecessary, as J’onn would still predate the rest of the Silver Age. At any rate, the ZHTL dating is impracticable, as it cannot accommodate other necessary events [see 1959]. This could still theoretically be as late as 1957, but there seems no compelling reason not to stick with the date of publication, often heralded as the true beginning of the Silver Age.
  1956  
  When Det. John Jones is killed in the midst of a case, the shape-changing J’onn J’onzz assumes his identity to finish the job and see justice done. MM v2 #0, which states that J’onn covertly tailed Jones “for the next year” after his arrival.
  1957  
  [Mar 25] The U.N. creates the Dome, an international headquarters through which Dr. Mist coordinates the new Global Guardians. (See 1954.) IInc. #34. The date is clearly intended to coincide with the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (aka Common Market, initially including Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany).
  Max Mercury reappears (see 1948), and begins operating as “Blue Streak.” Flash SF #1 <11.97>
  Sally Smart (see 1949) is orphaned—and institutionalized, due to her seeming youth. SS: Bulleteer #4 <5.06>. Date approximate. She is said to be 24 at the time.
  Calvin “Cave” Carson steals plans for the “Mighty Mole” digging machine from a defunct research project, and begins gathering a team of colleagues to aid in subterranean explorations. ZHTL*; SO v2 #43 <8.89>—although ZH places him just “15 years ago.” (1st app. Brave & Bold v1 #31 <8-9.60>.)
  [Oct 4] The Soviets launch Sputnik, Earth’s first man-made satellite, and thus begin the “space race.” Historical record; included for context.
  1958  
  The original Challengers of the Unknown are active—Rocky Davis, Prof Haley, Ace Morgan, and Red Ryan, adventurers “living on borrowed time”—chasing criminal Darius Tiko through the timestream. ZHTL*; SO v2 #12 <3.87>, Adv. Supes #508 <1.94> [re:Tiko]—although ZH places them a mere “13 years ago”! (Their origin/1st app., in ShC #6 <1-2.57> and recapped in SO v2 #12, was actually in 1956, but that can’t be confirmed as canonical absent a post-Crisis reference. Tiko 1st app. Challengers v1 #4 <10-11.58>.)
  A crime wave strikes Opal City, deterring Ted Knight’s plans to retire his Starman identity. Starman SF #1 [“Shade’s Journal”]; date in story.
  [Jun] African explorer Congo Bill becomes Congorilla, able to switch bodies with a giant golden ape. SO v2 #40 <5.89>; (orig. Action #248 <1.59>). (Congo Bill 1st app., sans powers, in More Fun Comics # 56 <6.40>.)
  1959  
  Zinda Blake, aka Lady Blackhawk (see 1942), repeatedly risks herself to save first Olaf, then the entire squadron, from the villainous Scavenger. Implicitly canonical as of her apperances in Guy Gardner: Warrior #24 <9.94>, #29 <3.95> et seq.; (orig. Blackhawk v1 #133 <2.59>, #140 <9.59>). Note, however, that this can no longer be her “first appearance”: Birds of Prey #75 <12.04> establishes that Zinda was active during WWII, and that a Zero Hour time anomaly bumped her to the present from some unspecified point in the past. The details of her story remain unrevealed. (Her last pre-Crisis appearance was in Blackhawk v1 #243 <10-11.68>.) Indeed, the status and activities of the Blackhawks in this period remain officially unchronicled… but the implied possibility is that they may bear noteworthy similarities to the pre-Crisis accounts.
  Mark Merlin begins a career as an occult detective (see 1990/Yr2). History of the DCU; (1st app. House of Secrets v1 #23 <8.59>). Date approximate, based on original publication.
  Sally Smart, aka Sally Sonic, is corrupted by ex-con British “hero” Vitaman. SS: Bulleteer #4. Date approximate.
  Contacted by Dr. Charles McNider (aka Dr. Mid-Nite), J’onn J’onzz helps root out a nefarious conspiracy (orchestrated by the long-lost Master Gardener of Mars) to render the human population submissive. Martian Manhunter: American Secrets mini-series #1-3 <10-12.92>. The date is in the story, which is intricately immersed in the cultural issues of the 1950s, and cannot plausibly slide forward.
  “Frank Rock” and Bulldozer (see 1945) go on a covert op to Dinosaur Island (see 1927), visiting the Jurassic with Rip Hunter. Suicide Squad v2 #10 <8.02>. Possibly apocryphal; even aside from the issue of Rock’s postwar non-survival, the Hunter seen here seems superficially more like his pre-Crisis incarnation than the current canonical version. If this tale is valid, it accounts for “Rock’s” slowed aging; also, Hunter would certainly be from this era’s future, persumably between his rescue from the Stone Age [see 48,000 BCE] and his initiation as a Linear Man [DCU 80-Pg Giant #1 <9.98>].
History Notes and References
1960   ↑ top
  Tomaso Panessa arrives in Gotham from Sicily, disrupting the balance of power among Gotham’s “Five Families” of organized crime. Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1 <6.00>. Date inexact, but stated to be “more than a decade” since the previous reference [see 1949].
  Cave Carson and his team (see 1957) discover a cache of Nazi gold, and become famous as independently wealthy adventurers. SO v2 #43 <8.89>—the date is a speculative interpretation of the story’s loose timeframe, to dovetail with Cave’s first published appearance (1960).
  1961  
  [Winter] The Challengers of the Unknown travel into space, saving humanity from an alien race seeking to judge its worth. Challengers v3 #16 <5.98>. Dated per the fact that President Kennedy is already in office, but America’s first offical manned space shot (Alan Shepard, in Mercury III, on May 5) is described as still “months” away.
  Rick Flag, Sr., dies fighting the War Wheel, and Task Force X (see 1951) officially disbands. Argent continues to operate. SO v2 #14 <5.87>. Date approximate. However, it has recently been revealed that on “New Earth” Rick Flag Jr. did not have a son as portrayed in this story, and Rick Flag Jr. [see 1986] is merely a man named Anthony Miller brainwashed to believe he was Flag’s grandson [Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4-5 <2-3.08>]. Thus, the details of Flag’s death as shown in this story may or may not remain canonical.
  A killer vigilante called the Reaper terrorizes Gotham City, and injures the golden age Green Lantern when he emerges from retirement to bring him in. The Justice Society reunites in response, and the Reaper quickly disappears overseas. Many JSAers partially emerge from retirement. SO v2 #50 <8.90> [“for the first time in a decade, the Justice Society emerged from its retirement”]. Note that JayGarrick appears in this story, contradicting sources that indicate Keystone City was “frozen” at an earlier date [see 1973]. Note also that the Reaper incident was originally set 20 years before his return and the events of Batman: Year Two [’Tec #575-578 <6-9.87>; see 1990/Yr2]… but those events may not remain entirely canonical, and in any event timeline sliding now compels that 20-year span to stretch.
  Congress passes the Keene Act, delineating the parameters of official authority over superhuman activities. SSquad v1 #1 <5.87>. The details of the law are unknown, as is its relationship to the JSAers’ return… but we may at least surmise that it lifts the unofficial proscription on concealed identities dating back to 1951.
  Kid Eternity (see 1942) is trapped in Hell for the next 30 years. Kid Eternity v2 mini-series #1-3 <6-8.91>, v3 #1 <5.93> et seq., Who’s Who in the DC Universe v2 <8.90-2.92>.
  1962  
  Spy Smasher and C.C. Batson battle Baron Blitzkrieg (see 1942), now working as a Communist agent. PoS #24 <3.97>; exact date uncertain.
  Dinah and Larry Lance retire to Gotham's suburbs, where he opens a security consultancy. SO v2 #50. Date approximate, but it follows their ten-year private detective career and the return of her JSA colleagues.
  Dr. Thomas Wayne returns to the Caribbean (see 1952) for hurricane relief on the island of Santa Prisca. Batman: Gotham Knights #34 <12.02>, stating this occurred whilst Martha was pregnant. A criminal haven, Santa Prisca is the birthplace of Bane [see 2002/Yr14].
  1963  
  [Feb 19] Bruce Wayne is born to Thomas and Martha Wayne. Innumerable sources, but no direct retelling. 26 years before his debut as Batman; see 1989/Yr1. The February birthday is a matter of long-standing tradition (1976 DC Cal., Batman Family #11 <5-6.77>, etc.) that has been neither confirmed nor superseded post-Crisis.
  Max Mercury and Johnny Quick battle the power-hungry speedster Savitar, who taps into the Speed Force, bouncing himself and Max forward in time. Flash v2 #109 <1.96>, Flash SF #1; date from the latter.
  On a case in Alabama, J’onn J’onzz participates in a civil rights march under the identity of “Bill Smith.” JL Quarterly #11 <Sum.93>
  [Nov] Following the Kennedy assassination, Argent goes underground. Andre of the Blackhawks dies as a result of discovering the assassination conspiracy; Blackhawk spends the next five years tracking down the responsible parties to avenge him. SO v2 #14, SSquad Annual #1 <1988>; Blackhawk Special #1 <92>.
  1964  
  Sandra (Phantom Lady) Knight and Arn Munrowork side-by-side for Argent, and soon rekindle an old romance (see 1943) . They marry in Monaco and conceive a child… but Sandra disappears, kidnapped by Baron Blitzkrieg, who steals her infant before she escapes. Damage #6, 8, 11 <9.94, 12.94, 3.95>, Manhunter v3 #23 <8.06>. Exact dates uncertain. Sandra remains undercover for over 30 years, while Arn believes her dead; her appearance in JLA:Year One #12 <12.98> is thus apocryphal. The fate of the baby remains unchronicled.
  Will (Amazing-Man) Everett (see 1942) solves the murder of his nephew and two other civil rights workers in Mississippi. In the years that follow, he refocuses his own energies on the movement for racial justice, becoming a noted leader. JSA v4 #12 <3.08>. Date approximate; it’s stated only as “the early ’60s,” but although no names are used it seems clearly to be a reference to the Chaney/Schwerner/Goodman murders of this year’s "Freedom Summer.”
  [Dec] Kal-El’s rocket (see 1938) lands on Earth, near Smallville, Kansas, where he is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent. (J’onn J’onzz, having detected the rocket, is a secret witness to the infant’s adoption.) ZHTL* [“33 Years Ago”]; Man of Steel mini-series #1 <6.86>, among countless other retellings; re: JJ, MM v2 #20 <7.00>. The month is derived from Superman: Man of Steel Annual #4 <95> [see 1989/Yr1], in which Clark, during his first full year in costume, looks for information about his rocket in “newspaper records from December, twenty-five years ago.” (Note that when first published, John Byrne’s “Sputnik” reference in Pa Kent’s dialogue was anachronistic for Clark’s age! Timeline “sliding” has rendered it no longer problematic.)
  A record-breaking five-month blizzard promptly descends on the Midwest (secretly caused by a Manhunter plot), allowing the Kents to pass the infant off as their own. They name him Clark. Adv. Supes #436 <1.88>. “Ma Kent’s Scrapbook” in Action #655 <7.90> established the following Feb. 28th as Clark Kent’s “official” post-Crisis birthday (as earlier established in the 1976 DC Calendar and elsewhere). However, the personal history of Kenny (Conduit) Braverman—born on the night the rocket landed, as related in S:MOS #0 <10.94>, etc.—unfortunately supersedes the traditional February birthday, replacing it with the actual landing date in post-ZH canon.
  1965  
  Dr. Fate, Hourman and Green Lantern battle Solomon Grundy. Soon after, Fate and Hourman confront Psycho-Pirate II (Roger Hayden), and Rex reveals his secret identity to his fiancée, actress Wendi Harris. 1st story IInc. v1 #39 <6.87>, Starman v2 #49 <1.99>, both recapping Grundy’s history (orig. ShC #55 <3-4.65>); 2nd story IInc. #v1 27 <6.86> (orig. ShC #56 <5-6.65>), essential to the life history of Rick (Hourman II) Tyler, Rex and Wendi’s son. Note that as with many other ’60s-era JSA-related events, DC has retroactively set these in real time… and that the second Pirate’s debut therefore apparently falls well before other Silver Age villains.
  The Spectre is freed from years of mystic entrapment (see 1953), and battles his nemesis Azmodus. Spectre v3 #2-3 <12.92-1.93>, #26 <2.95>; (orig. ShC #60-61 <1-2 & 3-4.66>).
  Reporters Perry White and Franklin Stern solve the Aryan Brotherhood murders in the American South. S:MOS #47 <8.95>. Exact year is not certain, but it is early in Perry’s career and period-specific. No relation to the prison gang of the same name seems to be intended.
  1966  
  Shhh! This is a very, very quiet year…  
  1967  
  Young Oliver Queen’s parents are killed by lions on an African safari. Ollie is saved by his nascent archery skills, along with the assistance of Congo Bill. Green Arrow SF #1 <12.02>. Date very approximate; Ollie appears to be about 10 in the flashback (see 1979 re: his age), but this could be moved a year or two in either direction. Note that Congo Bill [see 1958] does not use his gorilla powers in this adventure. Ollie is subsequently raised by an uncle, who takes over the family business.
  [Autumn] At age four, Bruce Wayne first encounters the frightening bat-filled caves under his family estate. Legends of the Dark Knight #1 <11.89> and Batman #0 <10.94>, among other sources. Season from the story “The Man Who Falls,” in the Secret Origins TPB <89>.
  1968  
  Mockingbird (aka August Durant) forms the original Secret Six. Action Comics Weekly #601-641 <1988>; (Secret Six #1 <4-5.68>).
  [Apr 4] Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis. Amazing-Man hunts down and apprehends the gunman, James Earl Ray. JSA v4 #12. Date from historical record.
  [May] Court-martialed Air Force Captain Nathaniel Adam disappears in a classified nuclear experiment (“Project Atom”) using salvaged alien technology, and becomes lost in the Quantum Field. (See 1999/Yr11, 2003/Yr15.) ZHTL*; Captain Atom #1 <3.87> [month from story reference to “six or seven weeks” since the Apr 4 King assassination]. “25 Years Ago” in ZHTL, which advanced it to 1969 even at ZH’s publication, another arbitrary and unnecessary change—but “30 YA” in DCHSF #1 [now set c. 2004/Yr16]. In either case, however, letting this slide along into the 1970s would badly distort many themes of the Captain Atom series; and as the time jump makes the slide unnecessary, it’s best left here.
  [Summer] John Constantine (age 15), alienated from his family in Liverpool, lives as a runaway in London, and encounters Roderick Burgess (see 1916). (Sandman Presents) Love Street #1-3 <7-9.99>, Hellblazer SF #1 <8.00>. The authorities return Constantine to his family shortly thereafter. Note that Constantine’s age is fixed, and this story remains set in real time (as do many other events from Vertigo-related DCU series, to the greatest extent possible).
  1969  
  Princess Diana is brought to life on Themyscira. ZHTL* [“25 Years Ago”]—a totally moot reference now that we know, in “New Earth” history, that Diana debuted as Wonder Woman no later than 1990/Yr2, in time for the origin of the JLA. This placement correctly makes her 21 at her debut, just as was indicated in unedited previews of Wonder Woman v2 #1 <2.87> (vs. 22, as per WW v2 #103 <11.95>). Further details of her revised origin still remain to be revealed, however.
  Convicted killer Clifford Zmeck is subjected to an experiment duplicating Nathaniel Adam’s (see 1968). He will later (c. 2000/Yr12) be known as Major Force. CAtom Annual #1 <3.88>
  “Sarge” Steel serves with distinction in the U.S. Special Forces. DCHSF #1 [“30 YA,” but it really ought to stay in the ’60s]; (orig. 1st app. Sarge Steel #1 <12.64>).
  [Jun 16] Air Force Lt. Colonel Travis Morgan is shot down by Soviet planes over the Arctic Circle, and discovers the lost world of Skartaris. SO v2 #16 <7.87>; (orig. First Issue Special #8 <11.75>, Warlord #6 <4-5.77>). The Warlord series always acknowledged its roots in real time, but on the other hand made clear that time flows differently in Skartaris. (On an interesting side note, this date is my birthday!)
  [Jul 20] Apollo 11 lands on the Moon. Historical record; included for context. Even in the DCU, this is recognized as the first non-metahuman voyage off Earth.
  John Constantine once again runs away to London, narrowly escaping molestation by a priest he hitchhikes with. He begins to study the occult in earnest. Hellblazer Special #1 <93>, Hellblazer SF #1.
  [Aug 15-17] Rā’s al Ghūl meets and woos Talia’s mother-to-be, Melisande, at the Woodstock Music Festival in upstate New York. Batman: Birth of the Demon GN <92>. Unlikely as this sounds, it’s presented to Batman as fact by Talia herself. Note, however, that in the same discussion Talia apparently dissembles about the circumstances of her mother’s death [see 1998/Yr10 for discussion]; Melisande actually dies at the hands of Qayin [see 1945], sometime c. the mid-’70s, based on Talia’s status as a “young girl.”
  Organized crime boss Carmine Falcone moves from Italy to Gotham City to take charge of family operations there. Catwoman: When In Rome #6 <8.05>. Date approximate; this occurs shortly after Falcone and his wife had an infant daughter who was disavowed and handed over for adoption. The timeframe also matches the birth of Selina (Catwoman) Kyle… but there remains no hard evidence to either prove or disprove that Falcone was Selina’s biological father.
  Dinah Drake Lance emerges briefly from retirement as Black Canary to hunt down a serial killer in Gotham. Birds of Prey #66 <6.04>. Placement of this story is problematic. It seems to imply an inspiration for daughter Dinah Laurel Lance’s middle name shortly before Dinah Sr.’s pregnancy… but on the other hand it depicts both James Gordon and Larry Lance as members of the GCPD, when in fact the former does not move to Gotham until 1989/Yr1 (and is really too young to appear here at all), while the latter hasn’t been on the force since c. 1952. It also mentions Carmine Falcone, who may not even be in Gotham yet at this point. If it’s canonical at all, the story might just as plausibly fall in 1989/Yr1, with Larry and Dinah actually discussing a never-realized second pregnancy.
History Notes and References
1970   ↑ top
  The Unknown Soldier serves undercover in Cambodia and Vietnam. Unknown Soldier v2 #1 <Win.88>, v3 #2.
  Franco Bertinelli, son of Gotham’s top crime boss, falls in love with Maria Panessa, daughter of a rival family. Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1. Date inexact; could be later, but it follows a feud of “ten years” since the previous reference [see 1960]. The young lovers soon marry and have children [see 1989/Yr1].
  In the absence of major superhuman activity, a new breed of young East Coast baby-boomers tries to fill the gap, and begins “fighting crime” in lighthearted imitation of the heroes and villains of the previous generation. The foremost among several teams is the Gotham-based Justice Experience, founded by the Acro-Bat. They remain active for several years (see 1972, ’77, ’79). Another little-known hero group of the period is Boston’s Echoes of Justice, led by the mysterious White Magician. Chase #6 <7.98>. The Acro-Bat was the father of series protagonist Cameron Chase (and as such the team’s history, originally set in the 1960s, must slide forward along with her age). His teammates included the Bronze Wraith [see below], Major Flashback, the Manx, Mister Action, and Songbird. Little else is known about these characters; the date is not absolutely certain, but it is constrained by later events [see 1972, 1977]. Re: Echoes of Justice: WW v2 #66 <9.92>. [It’s also conceivable that the Freedom Brigade (including Princess Power, mother of Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five) was of this generation of heroes—if that group is in continuity at all. See Angel & the Ape v2 #1-4 <3-6.91>; (orig. ShC #62 <5-6.66>).]
  J’onn J’onzz secretly fights alongside the Justice Experience as the apparently-human Bronze Wraith. MM v2 #17 <4.00>, #20 <7.00>.
  Metropolis journalist Alvin Pierce (father of Jefferson Pierce; see 1994/Yr6) is murdered at the behest of corrupt local developers. Date approximate; Black Lightning: Year One #6 <5.09> establishes that this happened when Jeff Pierce was nine years old.
  [Autumn] Clark Kent begins kindergarten at Eisenhower Elementary in Smallville, where he meets lifelong friends Lana Lang and Pete Ross. Action #655. He is five years old.
  Thomas Wayne attends a costume party where his medical skills are called upon by gangster Lew Moxon. Batman #591-95 <7-11.01>, revising (’Tec #235 <9.56>). Exact date uncertain; it is “months” before Bruce’s parents’ deaths. In the pre-Crisis account Thomas wore a primitive “Bat-Man” costume that inspired young Bruce; and Moxon subsequently hired Joe Chill to kills the Waynes in revenge, leading to his own death after Batman learned of it years later. In the current account none of this is true; Thomas wore a Zorro-style costume, and Moxon was apparently unconnected to the Wayne murders. However, recently Batman #678 <8.08> and related issues [“Batman R.I.P.”] have prominently featured the original “Bat-Man” outfit; it’s not clear whether it’s been retconned back into this tale, or whether Thomas simply wore it to a different costume party.
  1971  
  [Winter] On a visit to Metropolis, Bruce Wayne and his friend Tommy Elliot are entranced by a glimpse of Green Lantern battling the Icicle. Batman #611 <3.03>; date unspecified but a logical fit; season depicted in the flashback. Bruce recalls his parents were killed “soon after” this. Note also that LexCorp Tower is under construction in the background; this may now be apocryphal [see 1982].
  [Spring] Starman and Black Canary (again active in costume) team up against the Mist, then Sportsmaster and the Huntress, and have a brief love affair which they mutually decide to end. Just after this, Ted (Starman) Knight learns his wife is pregnant; their first son, David, is born in due course. Starman Annual #2 <97>; (reflecting B&B v1 #61-62 <8-9 & 10-11.65). Unlike the Grundy case published (and kept) earlier in 1965, this outing of JSAers must “slide forward” to accommodate the age of Ted’s offspring. David would be born late in ’71, which splits the difference between the timeline in Starman SF #1 (establishing him as four years older than his brother Jack—“34 YA” vs. “30 YA” c. 2003/Yr15), and the reference in Starman v2 #3 <1.95> (stating he was only 29 at his death in 2002/Yr14, while Jack was 27). This story also confirms that Dinah Jr. has already been born at this point, in contrast to Wes Dodds’ recollection in Starman v2 #19 <5.96> that she was born later.
  Clark Kent surprises his adopted parents by lifting an ox. Adv. Supes #468 <7.90>; at age six. His strength increases gradually as he grows to adulthood.
  [Summer] Bruce Wayne and Tommy Elliot attend summer camp together—until Tommy’s overprotective mother drags him home. ’Tec #846-47<9-10.08>. This occurs a few months after Tommy’s father was killed and his mother crippled (in an accident he arranged), and less than “two months” before Bruce’s own parents are killed. Tommy is ten at the time, thus roughly two years older than Bruce. The reference to Tommy’s therapy with Dr. Jonathan Crane may be apocryphal, given the difficulty in reconciling it with the Scarecrow’s established history and age [see Section VIII]; Crane is actually younger than Elliot. The cameo from young detective “Sam Emerson Bradley” may well be valid, however.
  [Autumn] Bruce Wayne’s parents are killed. He is comforted afterward by Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a friend of the Waynes, who helps Alfred with his upbringing in the years to come. ZHTL* [“25 Years Ago”]; numerous other accounts (orig. ’Tec #33 <11.39>). Past accounts of his age at this pivotal moment have differed, but Batman #0 establishes canonically that Bruce was eight years old at the time. Season from Death & The Maidens #1 <10.03>, confirmed in Nightwing #153 <4.09>, although earlier accounts again suggest other dates (e.g., Jun 26: Batman Special #1 <84>, Batman #408 <6.87>; Jun 8: 1976 DC Cal.; Nov 25: ’Tec #265 <3.59>, Superboy #182 <2.72>, ’Tec #500 <3.81>). The shooting is said to have occurred at 10:47 p.m. (source??). There are widely varying accounts of earlier events on this day, before the Waynes went to see “Mark of Zorro”; it is probably impossible to reliably determine a single “true” version. Re: Leslie: Batman #0, Shadow of the Bat #0 <10.94>, No Man’s Land SF #0 <12.99>, Gotham Knights #7 <9.00>; (1st app. ’Tec #457 <3.76>).
  Lois Lane visits the Daily Planet on a kindergarten field trip, and is inspired by reporter Perry White. World of Metropolis mini-series #1-2 <8-9.88>, Superman SF #2 <5.99> (the SF timeline compresses her adult career, but is reliable about her early life). Lois is five here.
  1972  
  [Feb 19] On Bruce Wayne’s first birthday after his parents’ deaths, Zatara the Magician (see 1938) performs at the party, and Bruce meets his young daughter Zatanna. ’Tec #833 <8.07>. Bruce would be turning nine in this flashback scene, and Zatanna as depicted can be no younger than four or five, which imposes a constraint on her later age [see 1992/Yr4]. Zatara is revealed to have been an old friend of the Waynes.
  Captain Comet (see 1951) leaves Earth behind to explore the far reaches of space. ZHTL [“30 Years Ago”].
  [Summer] J’onn J’onzz revisits Kansas (see 1964) as black farmhand “Josh Johnstone,” hiring on with the Kents to keep tabs on young Clark. MM v2 #20, stated to be “eight years” after his first visit. Note that he has already been active with the Justice Experience prior to this point.
  The Ingersoll Amendment to the Keene Act (see 1961) is passed into law, giving the government “more leeway over problems caused by… super-powered beings.” SSquad v1 #1. The Legends mini-series <11.86-4.87> [see 1999/Yr11] appears to be the only known occasion on which this law was put into practice.
  [Oct-Nov] Botany student Alec Holland meets and falls in love with Linda Olsen Ridge at Louisiana State University. Swamp Thing v4 #15-19 <7-10.05>. Explicitly set around the 1972 presidential election. However, the remark in #19 placing their deaths “less than a year” after this is wrong; STSF #1 <11.00> places ten years between the two events, and so does this Chronology. [See 1982]. After all, since ST v2 #147 <10.94> places Holland’s birth in 1951, 1973 would be implausibly early for him to be conducting advanced government research.
  1973  
  [Summer] Clark Kent discovers he is invulnerable when he’s trampled by a bull and survives unharmed. MoS #1; at age eight. His other powers develop concurrently but gradually. While we know that in “New Earth” history Clark was aware of his full powers and origins by his high school years [e.g., per Action Annual #10 <2007>], there is as yet no reason to doubt post-Crisis accounts of his early childhood.
  1974  
  Ted (Wildcat) Grant retires from boxing as the undefeated world heavyweight champion. DCHSF #1 [“30 YA”]. However, Ted Grant’s boxing career must have been somewhat sporadic, for obvious reasons—and especially based on remarks Ted himself makes in All-Star Comics 80-Pg Giant #1 <9.99>, where he says (accurately for the real world) that Rocky Marciano was “the only undefeated heavyweight champ”; Marciano held the title from 1952 through ’56 in the real world, and never lost a professional fight. (Presumably the fact that Ted ultimately retired without being defeated doesn’t necessarily mean he’d never been defeated previously in his career.) He also recalls seeing “Sonny Liston in ’62,” when Liston took the title from Floyd Patterson, implying Ted wasn’t boxing then himself. Ted first became champion in 1941, presumably the DCU’s successor (and rough equivalent) to Joe Louis. (Louis was champion ’37-’49 in our world, but defended his title successfully 18 times through 1941 alone, and it takes nothing away from him to suppose he then lost to Ted.) We may further speculate that Ted retired c. 1953 after his loss to Mo Colley [SS: Guardian #4 <11.05>] (whose tragic death then cleared the way for Marciano); returned to boxing in ’56 to reclaim the title after Marciano retired, left again (possibly lost to Patterson?) c. ’60, and returned to win it again in ’67 after Muhammad Ali had his title stripped for draft resistance. (Ted would’ve been 48 years old then, but George Foreman won title fights as late as age 47 in 1995, and Foreman didn’t have reduced aging.) He then retired for good in ’74, allowing Foreman and Ali to fight it out for the title. (In the previous version of this chronology I’d placed Ted’s retirement in 1969; with timeline sliding his career now forecloses Joe Frazier’s as well—no great loss.)
  The Spectre enters a period of renewed focus on human crimes, meting out justice more harshly than ever before… and resulting in Jim Corrigan being killed again (see 1939), then “resurrected” again in turn. (Adventure Comics v1 #431-440 <1-2.74–7-8.75>.) Corrigan’s relationship to the Spectre was complicated during this period; he believed himself to be alive, yet also thought the Spectre was nothing more than his own ghost.
  1975  
  The Icicle and the Mist kill the Golden Age hero the Invisible Hood (see 1941). Starman v2 #2 <12.94>. Exact date uncertain.
  [Apr 29] Olaf of the Blackhawks goes MIA in Saigon, South Vietnam, as the war there staggers to an end. Blackhawk Special #1. So far as we know, only Blackhawk, Chuck, and Weng Chan out of the original squadron, plus Grover and Paco (and both Lady Blackhawks), remain alive after this point [but see 1990/Yr2]. All save Zinda Blake are presumed dead as of 2008/Yr20, per BoP #75.
  [Sep] In Switzerland, the Peacemaker (Christopher Smith) first appears. Peacemaker mini-series #1-4 <1-4.88>
  [Sep 21] Rex (Hourman) Tyler visits Kent (Dr. Fate) Nelson for help with a mid-life crisis—actually the result of sporadic nabbings to the year 85,273. Hourman #24 <3.01>. The story gives a precise date and year (1969); note that Rick Tyler is shown as an infant, however, unfortunately requiring that year to slide forward a bit to keep him with his peer group [see 1990/Yr2].
  1976  
  Mikaal Tomas of Talok III, the blue alien Starman, is left stranded on Earth when he rebels against his race’s invasion force. Starman v2 #28 <3.97>, #50 <2.99>, Starman SF #1 [“22 Years Ago” when published in 1998]; (1st app. First Issue Special #12 <3.76>).
  1977  
  Bruce Wayne departs America to study overseas. He has already learned acting skills from Alfred; on his own he earns a high school diploma by age 17, and then seeks more specialized tutoring. SO TPB, Shadow of the Bat #0 <10.94> [both confirming his age here as 14]. References through the next several years represent my best effort to sensibly organize the diverse range of training Bruce is said to have acquired, very little of which has been told in sequence; the SO TPB provides the best overall framework. See 1980 next.
  In London, a young John Constantine starts a short-lived punk band called Mucous Membrane. Hellblazer #11 <11.88>, Hellblazer SF #1.
  Clark Kent, age 12, accidentally breaks another boy’s arm while playing football. JSA v4 #5 <6.07>. The boy is Pete Ross, according to Action Annual #10.
  Inventor Larry Trapp’s girlfriend dies fleeing a battle between the Justice Experience (see 1970) and “the House of Pain.” He sets out to avenge her. As “Doctor Trap,” he methodically kills first Acro-Bat, then the rest of the Justice Experience and many other young heroes, over the next two years (see 1979). Chase #6; date from the story. (Also note that Cameron Chase is five at this time, and that the JE was active before her birth.) Trapp begins by mentalling disabling the JE’s strongest member, the Bronze Wraith—secretly J’onn J’onzz—leaving him amnesiac and homeless [MM v2 #20; the story mis-names the villain “Trapps”].
  1978  
  The Unknown Soldier finishes a tour of duty in the Shah’s Iran, then resigns from Army Intelligence to become a freelance mercenary. Unknown Soldier v2 #2 <Hol.88>
  Punk mage John Constantine is hired by an enigmatic young American calling himself “Stanley” (aka “S.W. Manor”) to retrieve the legendary fortune-telling clock of Rasputin, and scams him out of a substantial sum. Hellblazer #162-163 <7-8.01> [in flashback]. The American is tall, dark, smart, athletic, a non-drinker, an orphan, and very rich… in other words, he’s seemingly Bruce Wayne, in a cleverly ambiguous guest role. What’s more, this story’s real-time setting fortuitously could actually fit Bruce’s backstory. However, later events [Hellblazer #169-174 <2-8.02>; see 2002/Yr14] reveal that Manor is definitely not Bruce. Whether Bruce ever encountered/investigated this dark parallel of himself is something to ponder, but unlikely ever to see print.
  John Constantine experiences the harrowing “Newcastle incident,” when a disastrously botched summoning of the demon Nergal leaves a young girl trapped in Hell. Unnerved, Constantine voluntarily commits himself to the Ravenscar mental hospital. Hellblazer #11 [in flashback]. Date firmly set in real time. John spends more than two years in Ravenscar (with intermittent releases).
  Selina Kyle, age eight, runs away from the home of her widowed and alcoholic father. She is soon caught and remanded to juvenlie authorities. Catwoman v2 #0 <10.94>. Selina was accompanied by her older sister Maggie, although this story does not depict her.
  1979  
  After a grisly two-year killing spree, “Doctor Trap” (see 1977) is finally apprehended by a group of JSAers—but the lighthearted “second age of heroes” has been forcefully ended. Chase #6. Starman, Green Lantern, Dr. Mid-Nite, and the Flash emerged from semi-retirement to track him down, according to the depiction in this issue. (Also note Cameron Chase’s remark that “super-heroes didn’t make a comeback for another ten years.”) They are assisted by “the Bronze Wraith,” his memory restored [MM v2 #20].
  The Fiddler, the Thinker, and the Shade trap Keystone City and its residents in hypnotic stasis, invisible to and forgotten by the outside world. (See 1991/Yr3.) SO v2 #50, Flash SF #1. The date is not completely certain… yet the “1956” from the otherwise quite useful Flash SF timeline—while emotionally resonant—defies plausibility (three decades under the villains’ control?), and contradicts both other known appearances of Jay Garrick [see 1970 and above], as well as the fact that Dinah Lance Jr. (born c. 1970) had known Jay personally, as she recalled to Barry Allen in JLA:Y1 #3 <3.98> (written, like Flash SF, by Mark Waid!). Keystone’s captivity can therefore fall no earlier than this.
  On his 18th birthday, Hal Jordan enlists in the U.S. Air Force. GL v4 #29 <5.08>. Date approximate; see 1983 for the details behind the calculation. This is as young as Hal’s Air Force career plausibly allows him to be. Presumably he actually enrolls in AFROTC, since a four-year college degree is prerequisite to his later status as an officer and a test pilot.
  Rose Canton (aka the Thorn; see 1947), suppressing her villainous alter ego, adopts the identity of “Alyx Florin.” She falls in love with Alan (GL) Scott and they marry, but on their wedding night her dark side re-emerges. Alan thinks her dead in a fire she started, and is unaware that she fled, pregnant with twins. IInc. v1 #33 <12.86> (referencing orig. IInc. v1 #5-6 <8-9.84> & Annual #1 <85>); the twins, adopted separately, will be Jennie-Lynn Hayden (Jade) and Todd Rice (Obsidian). Alan Scott re-encounters Molly Mayne [see 1949] a few years after this, and marries her in 1999/Yr11. Date determined based on the twins’ ages.
  Oliver Queen, a graduate student at Star City University, begins participating in various civil rights demonstrations. Green Arrow: The Wonder Year #2 <3.93>. Date inexact, but this is the earliest it can plausibly fall, given his age as established [turning 43 in 2000/Yr12].
  Clark’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent reveals to Clark the extent of what he and Martha know about their son’s origins, and Clark learns the full extent of his powers, including flight.

ZHTL* [“15 Years Ago”]; also MoS mini-series #1, among other sources. Moved back cf. ZH to accommodate Superman’s earlier debut date; see 1988/Yr0. Moreover, this was originally set in Clark’s senior year, and led directly into his departure from Smallville. That latter aspect was revised years ago [see 1983], however, and it's now clear [per Action Annual #10] that in “New Earth” history he developed his full powers and even learned of his Kryptonian heritage far sooner than in post-Crisis canon. He apparently no longer played football in current canon, per Action #858 <12.07> (ruling out the championship game originally chronicled), but to date no alternative version of the story itself has been published.

  Lar Gand of Daxam lands on earth and meets Clark Kent, who dubs the amnesiac visitor “Mon-El.” When Lar is exposed to lead poisoning, however, Clark is forced to project him into the Phantom Zone. Action Annual #10. Date uncertain; Clark’s age is not stated. He can fly and knows of his Kryptonian heritage, but appears to be slightly younger (and lonelier) than in the episodes chronicled below. How this origin of Mon-El affects the version of him seen in modern times [e.g., 2001-’02/Yrs 13-14], and in alternate versions of the Legion [see 30th Century] remains to be fully explained.
  [Late Autumn] High-school freshman Clark Kent meets the brilliant but iconoclastic Lex Luthor, a fellow student newly arrived in Smallville. Superman/Batman SF <11.03>, Birthright #7-8 <4-5.04>, Countdown #34 <9.07>. Canonicity is provisional only; many details cannot be taken at face value, and others remain unknown. The “New Earth” version of Lex’s history as summarized in Countdown does not entirely match the details of Birthright, nor any previous story ever told. Birthright states that Lex is three years older than Clark, and already an orphan; Countdown agrees that he is a teen, but his parents are still alive, and rich rather than impoverished as in all previous post-Crisis accounts. Season derived from the Birthright sequence; snow is seen, but football season is not yet over.
History Notes and References
1980   ↑ top
  Bruce Wayne spends several months studying under the martial arts master Chu Chin Li in China. ’Tec #599 <4.89>
  Lex Luthor is injured in the explosion of his prototype subspace viewer, and leaves Smallville behind in anger and frustration. Birthright #8. Canonicity is provisional only; many details cannot be taken at face value. Countdown #34 states only that Lex “leave[s] in haste under a cloud of rumor and suspicion,” although it does make clear that he left with a full head of hair.
  Fifteen-year-old Clark Kent is kidnapped into the future by minions of Apokolips (see 3001 in Hypertimeline L2), but returns with no memory of the events. Legion v5 #26-30 <1-4.04>. Date approximate, based on his age. The story suggests he knows of his Kryptonian background, canonical now but not when this was published. However, in “New Earth” history we know he associated primarily with a different version of the Legion, below.
  Clark Kent is visited by Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad from the late 30th Century, who recruit him into the Legion of Super-Heroes (see 2993 in Hypertimeline L4). JSA v4 #5-6 <6-7.07>, Action #858. Date approximate; Clark’s age is not specified, but his flight powers are shown to be fully developed. At this writing many details of this latest version of the Legion remain to be disclosed.
  [Summer] Bruce Wayne, back in the States, has a brief apprenticeship under detective Harvey Harris, an old acquaintance of Chu Chin Li. Detective Annual #2 <89>
  Bruce Wayne assists Chicago private investigator Dan Mallory on a kidnapping case. Bat man Chronicles #6 <Aut.96>. Likeliest placement, but uncertain. Later than Harvey Harris, as mentioned in the story, but Bruce is still young and rash.
  Bruce Wayne leaves the country again to pursue further education and training, and earns a pilot’s license by age 181. He spends the next few years in Europe, studying at various prestigious universities, though he never earns a degree2. Meanwhile, he seeks private tutoring from the Continent’s greatest experts in such subjects as gymnastics (Peter Allison), toxicology (Aurelius Boch), chemistry (Kingsley), and electronics3. It is likely also during this period that he trains in combat under David Cain—whom he leaves on discovering that Cain wants him to become a killer4—and in ventriloquism and escape artistry under Zatara the Magician5. 1LODK #5 <3.90>; 2SO TPB, SotB #0; 3Batman #434-435 <6-7.89> [the “X years ago” references therein are spurious, but the overall sequence seems valid]; 4’Tec #734 <7.99>, Batman #605 <5.02>; 5’Tec #827 <3.07> and #833 <8.07> respectively. (And in this last category one might (speculatively) add the original Mr. Miracle, Thaddeus Brown, as well.) The training with Zatara is described in #827 as “twenty years ago,” but thirty would be more accurate; it might at least fit more logically c. 1987 when Bruce is stateside again, except that it is constrained by Zatara’s disappearance on Zatanna’s 18th birthday [see 1985]. For more of Bruce’s training, see 1983 next.
John Henry Irons’ parents die. Steel Annual #2 <95>. He is 12; see 1986 re: dating his age.
  Weng Chan and his fellow surviving Blackhawks (see 1975) start the “Blackhawk Express” air service. Blackhawk Annual #1 <89>
  1981  
  Slade Wilson first operates as the mercenary Deathstroke, the Terminator, on an unsanctioned mission to rescue his friend Wintergreen. ZHTL* [“6 Years Ago,” wildly inaccurate]. This occurs the week after his son Joseph is born (per New Teen Titans v1 #44 <7.84>), and Joe was 18 at his introduction (NTT #42 <5.84>) in 1999/Yr 11. Deathstroke 1st app. (NTT #2 <12.80>) [see 1998/Yr10], but his career always clearly predated that, as confirmed by WWho v2, among other sources. Also see 1986.
  In Afghanistan, the Unknown Soldier works in the employ of the CIA, training anti-Soviet rebels. Unknown Soldier v2 #3 <1.89>
  [Autumn] J’onn J’onzz returns to Kansas, posing for a year as “Mrs. Klingman,” Clark Kent’s high school civics teacher. MM v2 #20. Date approximate. It’s not clear which high-school year this is; the story states that Clark “knew about most of his powers” by this time, but that clarifies even less than it did pre-IC.
  Lois Lane snags a job at the Daily Planet from editor Perry White (recently returned from Southeast Asia) when she unearths hard-to-get information on rising business mogul Lex Luthor. World of Metropolis mini-series #1-3 <8-10.88>, Superman SF #2. Lois is just 15 here. WoM #3 establishes that she’s had the job for five years when Clark Kent first comes to Metropolis [see 1986]. (Note also that Perry’s son Jerry White is born approx. nine months after this, and is at least 16 when he debuts shortly after the Crisis [1999/Yr11]; by the ZH timeline, he could be no older than 12 at that point!) Some details may now be different from the original telling; in particular, Lex is younger and is almost surely not Jerry White’s biological father.
  1982 (Or “Year Zero,” if you will.)
  John Constantine leaves Ravenscar for the last time. Hellblazer #129 <9.98>. Date is suspect; may be 1980.
  Scientist Alec Holland dies in flame in the Louisiana bayou, and is transformed into the Swamp Thing. ZHTL* [“15 Years Ago”]; STSF #1 <11.00> [“20 Years Ago”]; (Swamp Thing v1 #1 <10-11.72>). I’ve opted to date this relative to STSF rather than to ZH (although note that Swampy’s own title once placed this event in 1973 [ST v2 #160 <11.95>]). Note that while the Vertigo Secret Files timelines adhere closely to real time (an admirable effort, and in keeping with the series they reflect), they also incorporate mainstream DCU events that other SF issues date very differently, and hence cannot be accepted uncritically. I’ve done my level best throughout to reconcile Vertigo-related real time with the compressed time of its DCU roots, sliding selected events forward only as absolutely necessary. [See, e.g., 1994/Yr6, ’95/Yr7, 2000/Yr12, 2001/Yr13.] This 1982 date is actually not unreasonable, since Holland and his fiancée Linda [see 1972], Prof. Jason (Floronic Man) Woodrue, Pamela (Poison Ivy) Isley [see 1989/Yr1], and Phil Sylvian—not to mention Dr. Jenet Klyburn, Carolyn Woosan (Lady Shiva’s sister), and even Dan (Blue Devil) Cassidy (although he would seem to have been too young)—had all been contemporaries of one another at U Met [Black Orchid mini-series #1 <Hol.88>, STSF #1]. (This would once have made them contemporaries of Clark Kent as well, but timeline sliding now precludes that.)
  The suborbital LexWing jet invented by Lex Luthor rockets the young entrepreneur to prominence, and he founds LexCorp. Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography <89>, Superman Villains SF #1 <6.98> [“34 Years Ago”]. Lex is about 21 at this time, as best as can be determined. Obviously his personal history has changed since the accounts cited [see 1979], and he is now more a peer of Clark Kent than of Perry White, requiring this to move up in the timeline… but no story has yet provided a reason to doubt that this invention is still what made his business reputation. Per Countdown #34, his parents have died in a “tragic accident” by this point (presumably arranged by Lex, as in previous continuity), and his company’s growth saves Metropolis from “recession and ruin.”
  1983  
  The Sea Devils are active as adventurers (as well as Cave Carson (see 1957) and Sarge Steel (see 1969)). ZHTL* [“15 Years Ago”]. Moved back to 20 years pre-ZH so as still to precede Superman’s debut by five years [see 1985 for further details]. Sea Devils origin/1st app: (ShC #27 <7-8.60>). There is no particular rationale for ZH’s dating here.
  Jim (Guardian) Harper (see 1942) is murdered, but his memories and genetic material are preserved—and eventually restored in a cloned body (see 1993/Yr5, 2000/Yr12). Superman Annual #2 <88>, Guardians of Metropolis #1 <11.94>, Legends of the DCU #14 <3.99>. The date is approximate (“almost twenty years ago” as of the GoM story, now set in 2002/Yr14).
  [Spring] Clark Kent graduates from high school, tells Lana Lang about his powers, and leaves Smallville to travel the world. ZHTL*; MoS mini #1, SFAS #1, etc., again adjusted from 15 to 20 years pre-ZH to accommodate his earlier debut; see 1988/Yr0. In early post-Crisis canon [MoS #1 and #6] Clark left town before graduating, but that was soon changed; he was shown to be there for the holidays, attending a New Year’s party, in Adv. Supes #474 <1.91>, and later shown to graduate in the spring: Superman For All Seasons #1 <8.98>. This delay also allows his departure to fall five years before his costumed debut, just as indicated in his WWho v2 entry and reaffirmed in ZH (whereas MoS originally set the gap at seven years).
  Hal Jordan graduates from college with a B.S. in Aviation Engineering, and is commissioned as an officer in the Air Force. GL v3 #104 <9.98> [implicit]; (GL v2 #144 <9.81>). This is the latest plausible date that allows for later events [see 1988]. Per USAF regs, commissioning and pilot training require a college degree, and admission to test pilot training (itself a year-long program) generally requires the rank of Captain, which itself calls for at least four years’ service. Although not made explicit in current canon, presumably the Air Force helped put Hal through school. Note also that Larry Trainor [see 1988] met Hal during his own USAF days, per JLA: Year One #5-6 <5-6.98>.
  Clark Kent stops briefly in Metropolis, then spends some time in Paris and crosses paths with Lana in Venice—before meeting Daily Planet reporter Ed Wilson, who helps him seek a purpose in life. Action #800 <4.03>. Clark is familiar with Ed’s reference to a game “last season” in Smallville, placing this during his first few months away.
  Bruce Wayne settles in Washington, D.C., and enters FBI training—but quits after just six weeks, fed up with the paperwork and regulations. He immediately heads back to the Far East (see below). SO TPB, SotB #0 (stated to be age 20; somehow he sidesteps the federal age limit of 23—and the required college degree, asa the story itself notes). This is probably the point at which Bruce appears briefly in Gotham to see Harvey Dent as he’s finishing law school, as seen in Two-Face: Year One #1-2 <9-10.08>. This would be Harvey’s chronologically earliest appearance, although it’s implied he and Bruce are old friends. The mention of Harvey’s scholarship being funded by the “Wayne Foundation” is questionable at this early date, however [see 1990/Yr2]… only one of many continuity glitches that cast the story’s status in doubt.
  Bruce Wayne begins a year in the Paektu-San mountains of North Korea, studying under Kirigi, trainer for the League of Assassins. Batman #431 <3.89>, SO TPB. See 1984 next. Bruce later reflects on “two years with ninja shadow masters” [Batman #673 <3.08>]; see 1986 for the balance of this span.
  J’onn J’onzz battles “far from Earth… against those who would devour her.” MM v2 #20; details remain unchronicled. Set soon after Clark’s departure.
  Selina Kyle escapes from a corrupt juvenile hall and takes to life on the streets. Catwoman v2 #0, Catwoman SF #1 <11.02>. She is 13 years old at this time, and now separated from her sister, who was adopted.
  Anton Arcane (see 1917, 1945) attempts to take possession of Swamp Thing’s body. Swamp Thing and federal agent Matt Cable first meet Arcane’s niece, Abigail, and his undead brother, the Patchwork Man. Swamp Thing SF #1 <11.00> (“19 years ago,” or one year after his debut); (orig. Swamp Thing v1 #2-3 <12-1 & 2-3.73>). Date approximate.
  While in college, and still working for the Planet, Lois Lane has her first novel published, to critical acclaim. Superman SF #2 [“13 YA”]; placed here based on her implied age at the time, just 17.
  1984  
  Bored millionaire Oliver Queen is thrown overboard from his yacht in the South Pacific. Finding himself alone on a desert island with killer Nicholas Kotero (see 1994/Yr6), Queen manages to escape to another island. He remains stranded there for months, and teaches himself archery to survive. When he discovers a heroin ring operating from the island’s interior, he puts his life on the line to take down drug queen China White and free her slave laborers, then summons rescuers. ZHTL* [“11 Years Ago”]; SO v2 #38 <3.89>, GA:TWY #1-4 <2-5.93>, GA Annual #7 <95> [re: Kotero], Green Arrow: Year One <9-11.07> [re: heroin ring]; (orig. Adventure v1 #256 <1.59>). The same problem presents itself as with several other characters [see 1983, 1985]: there is no clear rationale for ZH’s date here. It does seem clear that Ollie’s island tenure predates Superman’s debut, however, even if his own costumed debut as Green Arrow does not. Beyond that, this chronological placement derives largely from Connor Hawke’s age; see 1985. As to story details, GA:Y1 provides the most authoritative “New Earth” account of Ollie’s origin (and in the process reconciles lingering questions about how he obtained Howard Hill’s bow), but does not mesh seamlessly with previous versions; still, it’s not impossible to reconcile it with some elements from the GA Annual, as this entry indicates.
  [Spring] Bruce Wayne returns to Europe. He spends some months in France locating, then tracking a terrorist with, Interpol agent Henri Ducard1. It is in Paris, probably around this time, that he first meets (and saves the life of) businessman Lucius Fox2. 1’Tec #600 <5.89>, SO TPB; 2LODK Halloween Special #3 <95>.
  The Unknown Soldier works covertly in Nicaragua to subvert the Sandinista government’s reform efforts. Unknown Soldier v3 #3 <6.97>
  Jefferson Pierce wins three Olympic gold medals, including the decathlon. SO #26 <5.88>, Black Lightning: Year One #1 <3.09>, among other sources; (orig. Black Lightning v1 #1 <4.77>). The Y1 story helps narrow down the specific Olympiad; see 1994/Yr6 for details.
  In London, Bruce Wayne is distracted for several weeks when he finds his own internal anger reflected in the passion of a punk rocker. He leaves in shame, however, when the punk’s rage boils over into the murder of his own girlfriend. Batman: Fortunate Son GN <99>. The incident is clearly (although loosely) based on Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, and in the previous version of this Chronology Bruce’s time in Europe fortuitously corresponded to the real events mirrored here (which actually took place in New York in 1978), but with timeline sliding that’s no longer so.
  Bruce Wayne begins a roundabout journey back toward the Far East, along the way spending “six months among the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood in North Africa”1; learning esoteric arts in India (from Shastri, a snake handler)2, Thailand, and the Philippines; and studying Taoism under the Chinese monk Shao-La3. 1Batman #673; 2Batman #435; 3LODK #52-53 <10.93>. The remaining sequence becomes more ambiguous at this point (as it’s elided in the SO TPB), but there’s a lot still left to pack in. See 1986 next.
  Dinah Drake Lance (see 1962, 1969) is active again in costume as Black Canary, while her husband Larry has returned to being a private detective. BoP #100 <1.07>. In the scene depicted, BC has just captured the Sportsmaster. Dinah Jr. is 14, and jealous of her mother’s costumed activities.
  Occult detective Mark Merlin (see 1959) is transformed into the supernatural Prince Ra-Man. History of the DC Universe <1986>; (orig. House of Secrets v1 #73 <8.65>). Date approximate; in ’Tec #779 <4.03> Batman says that Merlin was active as a detective “from the ’50s through the early ’80s.”
  1985  
  Connor Hawke is born to Sandra “Moonday” Hawke. His estranged father Oliver Queen provides financial support, but eschews direct involvement in his life. Green Arrow/Black Canary #5 <4.08>. Date approximate. Probably January, given placement of the cited story which features his birthday. This occurs shortly after Ollie’s returning from his life-changing stay on the island, above. In the past that had generally been assumed to postdate Connor’s birth and lead directly into Ollie’s costumed debut as Green Arrow… but this story precludes that assumption. It’s always been clear (even in this story) that Connor Hawke was an adult (about 18-19) when he met Ollie and then assumed the GA role, in the months immediately after Zero Hour [see 2003/Yr15]. That would be flatly impossible if his birth fell just before Ollie’s own debut in 1989/Yr1 (even in this chronology, let alone DC’s shorter “official” one). This gap between Ollie’s return and his heroic debut is therefore awkward but unavoidable. The only alternative would be to place GA’s debut several years before Superman’s, which would be even more problematic.
  [March 13] Zatara the Magician is cursed by the evil Allura, and goes into hiding to protect his daughter Zatanna. SO v2 #27 <6.88> (recapping events chronicled in JLofA v1 #51 <2.67> and DC Blue Ribbon Digest #5 <11-12.80>, which provides the birthday). Zatanna has just turned 18; this placement is approximate, based on her age relative to Bruce Wayne [see 1972].
  The Golden Age villain Rag Doll sets up shop in Opal City as a charismatic cult leader. (See 1990/Yr2.) Starman SF #1 [“Shade’s Journal”]
  Dr. Will Magnus creates the Metal Men1;
Rex Mason becomes Metamorpho2;
[Aug 10] Boston Brand becomes Deadman3;
The Challengers remain active (see 1958).
ZHTL* [“13 Years Ago”]. As with the “Forgotten Heroes” above [Sea Devils et al.; see 1983], these events have been adjusted to maintain (insofar as possible) the ZHTL’s sequence relative to Superman’s debut. (This set of characters presents a minor dilemma, however, so this placement is definitely a judgment call: one might equally well leave them as dated relative to ZH itself [i.e., c. 1989/Yr1] with no major continuity problems, or even move them up alongside their contemporaries from when originally published [placing them c. 1991-92/Yr3-4].) Origins/1st apps: 1(ShC #37 <3-4.62>); 2Metamorpho:Y1 #1-6 <12.07-2.08>, (B&B v1 #57 <12-1.65>); 3SO v2 #15 <6.87>, (Strange Advs. v1 #205 <10.67>), date from 1976 DC Cal.).
  The runaway Selina Kyle briefly works at a circus. Catwoman v1 #10 <5.94>. Details unknown.
  Sarge Steel (see 1969) is appointed to the U.S. government’s Meta-Human Affairs Committee. DCHSF #1; notwithstanding that timeline’s “15 YA” label, it lists this as contemporary with Deadman, and five years prior to the JLA’s debut: hence, here. This is apparently the first time the U.S. government takes an official bureaucratic interest in the superhuman community, prior enabling legislation notwithstanding [see 1961, 1972].
  Teenage Dinah Laurel Lance is trained in fighting technique by Ted (Wildcat) Grant, against the wishes of her mother (the original Black Canary), and manifests her “canary cry” sonic power. Dinah ventures out in her mother’s costume to take on a corrupt politician. SO v2 #50, Black Canary v2 #1-2 <1-2.93>, BoP #100. Date approximate; Dinah is 15 years old. This awkward costumed outing [from BC v2 #1] is likely her only one before 1989/Yr1. The young Yolanda Montez (the future Wildcat II, of Infinity, Inc.) also trains under Ted around this time, per the SO story.
  [Dec] The Unknown Soldier begins running guns through Honduras to supply the Nicaraguan contras. Unknown Soldier v2 #4 <3.89>
  1986  
  Bruce Wayne studies for several months under the ninja Tsunetomo in Japan. ’Tec #599; date is not at all certain. See 1987 next.
  Vandal Savage secretly murders the wife of Al Pratt, steals their genetically-tailored newborn, and arranges for the infant’s carefully supervised upbringing (see 1991/Yr3). Damage #12 <4.95>. The infant Grant Emerson carries genetic material from 11 JSA members (plus Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle), covertly obtained by Savage. Date based on Grant’s age at his costumed debut [see 2002/Yr14].
  Lt. “Rick Flag, Jr.” is recruited for the newly-formed (and ill-fated) covert force called Mission X by his commanding officer, Gen. Wade Eiling. SO v2#14, SSqd: Raise the Flag #2-5 <12.07-3.08>. Date approximate. Pre-IC, Rick was the son of the original Rick Flag of the Suicide Squad [see 1942, ’51, ’61] (and Eiling was not involved), but that is no longer so on “New Earth,” and as a result his personal history has slid forward rather more than most other events. However, this Squad’s activities must still precede the beginning of the Modern Age of Heroes.
  [Spring] Franco and Maria Bertinelli (see 1970), and all their relatives, are slain in the “Palm Sunday Massacre,” leaving alive only their eight-year-old daughter, Helena. The Galantes replace the Bertinellis atop Gotham’s “Five Families,” and the Panessas join the alliance. Helena is sent to live in Sicily for her own protection. Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1, #3 <6, 8.00>, Huntress:Y1 #1 <7.08>. Exact date uncertain; this is the latest possible placement (keeping Helena as young as possible) that avoids contradicting other known information about Huntress’s debut [see 1999/Yr11] (and it falls somewhere between two inconsistent references, “roughly 15 years ago” as described in the first source when published, c. 2004/Yr16, and “20 years or so ago” per Batman: Family #4 <1.03> in 2006/Yr18.) This represents the Huntress’s canonical origin since ZH (whereas post-Crisis, her family (including parents Guido and Carmela) was slain when she was college age [see Huntress #1-19 <4.89-8.90>]). In the wake of these events, we must surmise that the resulting power shakeup allowed other families to wrest control of Gotham’s underworld for a time: e.g., the Falcones and the Maronis, as well as lesser figures like Boss Zucco [per Batman: Long Halloween #3 <2.97>, among many other sources; see 1989-’90/Yr1-2].
  J’onn J’onzz meets Green Lantern Abin Sur (see 1873, 1882, 1942) when he pursues a killer to Earth. MM v2 #21 <8.00>. Date inexact, but set “during the time [J’onn] had lost track of the Kryptonian.”
  Joe Wilson (age five; see 1999/Yr11) is muted when his throat is slit by the terrorist “Jackal” before his father, Deathstroke (see 1981) is able to rescue him. WWho v2 (recapping flashback from NTT #44).
  [Jun] In Honduras, the Unknown Soldier is double-crossed and imprisoned by his CIA contact. Unknown Soldier v2 #4
  The young ocean wanderer Arthur Curry Jr. (actually prince Orin of Atlantis, reared in exile by Porm the dolphin and taught human ways by the lighthouse keeper Arthur Curry) meets and loves an Eskimo woman named Kako, but is chased away by her family. Aquaman SF #1 <12.98>—synthesizing Legend of Aquaman <89>, Atlantis Chronicles #7 <9.90>, Aquaman: Time & Tide #1-3 <12.93-2.94>, Aquaman #0 <10.94>, and Aquaman Annual #1 <95>. He is about 17 at this point. Date is approximate.
  Clark Kent returns to the U.S. and enrolls at the University of Metropolis. WoM #3 <10.88>. Lois Lane (see 1981) is a major crime reporter for the Planet by the time of this story, though still only 20. According to Action #850 <7.07>, Clark’s travels have included India, Bahdnesia, Australia, and the Philippines—and will also include Africa and Bhutran, as detailed in other entries below.
  Celia Kazantkakis (see 1952) takes her revenge for the murder of her lover Enzo Rosetti, then begins a life of sinister Machiavellian machinations. B:Family #8 <2.03>, roughly “six months” [B:Family #7 <2.03>] after the Bertinelli massacre (above), and “five years” after Enzo’s murder (which, described as “23 years ago” as of late 2006/Yr18, could fit approximately c. 1982, splitting the difference). She next makes a wealthy marriage, at age 53 (which fits), and begins building a reputation in business.
  At the University of Michigan, Guy Gardner and John Henry Irons (later to be known respectively as Warrior and Steel; see 2002/Yr14) play together on a championship football team. Guy Gardner #13-14 <10-11.93>, Sh96 #1 <1.96>, Team Superman SF #1 <5.98> (“12 YA”). Conjecture: Gardner (majoring in education and psychology) is a senior; Irons (majoring in physics and engineering) is a freshman. This placement allows Gardner to graduate, be drafted by the NFL, get injured, and become a social worker in time to meet Hal Jordan in GL: Emerald Dawn II #1-6 <6-11.91> [see 1989/Yr1], while still allowing Irons’ college years to bracket Superman’s debut as indicated in the SF timeline. [Steel Annual #2 <9.95> says he graduated before Superman’s debut, but this keeps him slightly younger.]
  1987  
  Bruce Wayne returns to the U.S., seeking additional tutors in a wide range of disciplines. He studies with experts in fields as diverse as car racing (Mark Jenner), explosives (Frederick Stone), archery (Raphael DiGiorda), bodybuilding (LaSalle), and more1… not to mention acquiring boxing training from Ted Grant2. 1Batman #433-435 [as before, the year references are implausibly “recent,” but the sequence is reliable]; 2JLA v1 #31 <6.99>, All-Star 80-Pg Giant #1 <9.99>. See 1988 next.
  Buddy Baker becomes Animal Man, gifted with morphogenetic powers under mysterious circumstances with various less-than-consistent explanations. ZHTL [“15 Years Ago”]; SO v2 #39 <4.89>, Animal Man #10-12 <4-6.89>; (orig. Strange Advs. v1 #180 <10.65>). As ZH itself openly placed his debut before Superman’s, I could hardly refuse to do so… but (as with the Doom Patrol) I’ve elected to employ the actual date relative to ZH, rather than adjusting it relative to Superman, because it seems to correspond less awkwardly with the roughly real-time history presented in Buddy’s own title [see 2000/Yr12]—e.g., accommodating the age of his son Cliff. Buddy is only about 19 at this time.
  B’wana Beast debuts, also possessed of animal powers. Animal Man #1 <9.88>; (1st app. ShC #66 <1-2.67>). Date ambiguous; speculatively synchronized with Animal Man.
  Niles Caulder creates the Doom Patrol, bringing together the stigmatized “freaks” Cliff (Robotman) Steele, Larry (Negative Man) Trainor, and Rita (Elasti-Girl) Farr. ZHTL [“15 Years Ago”]; SO Annual #1 <87>; (1st app. My Greatest Adventure #80 <6.63>). If the DP were kept to the same chronology relative to Superman that the ZH Timeline indicates, as with other early heroes above [see 1982], problems would arise: ZH has the DP created five years before Superman’s debut, and dying just a year after that debut—two years before it has the Teen Titans form, thereby totally obliterating Gar Logan’s personal history! There is no logical reason for this drastic distortion, and it is best disregarded. I’ve elected to stick to the actual dates relative to ZH itself (making the DP active 15 to 9 years earlier); it fits better, while still leaving the DP extant at this early point (vs. what original publication might suggest), as required by their presence in JLA:Y1 #5-6 <5-6.98> [see 1990/Yr2]. Note: despite John Byrne’s 2004 “reboot,” the Doom Patrol’s original history was confirmed as canonical as of Teen Titans v3 #32 <3.06>: during the events of the Infinite Crisis, the variant DP is discovered to be a time anomaly, and the team’s history “revert[s] back to normal,” along with everyone’s memories thereof. (Rita and Caulder do remain alive afterward, however.)
  [Apr-Jun] Freed from his imprisonment in Central America, the Unknown Soldier rejoins Army Intelligence. He travels to Libya, where he impersonates Muamar Qaddafi to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack on New York City. Unknown Soldier v2 #5-7 <4-7.89>
  [Jun 11] John Constantine (see 1982) encounters yuppie demons from Hell in London on the night of Margaret Thatcher’s reelection as Prime Minister. Hellblazer #3 <3.88>. Note that in adjusted continuity, with John’s life in real time juxtaposed with a sliding timeline, this story (tied to a concrete date) now precedes his encounters with Swamp Thing or any other metahumans.
  Martial artist Sandra Woosan hunts down David Cain, the murderer of her sister Carolyn—but loses in battle with him, and in exchange for her life agrees to bear his child. After the baby's birth she devotes herself to perfecting her combat skills and becomes known as Lady Shiva. Batgirl #73 <2.06>. The baby is Cassandra (Batgirl II) Cain; date based on her age at her first appearance [see 2004/Yr16]. (Lady Shiva 1st app. in Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter #5 <12.75>, with a somewhat different origin.)
  Selina Kyle, now a thief and prostitute, meets and befriends a younger runaway girl, Holly Robinson. Catwoman SF. Holly is 13 here, four years younger than Selina.
  Arthur Curry Jr. (see 1986) happens across Paradise Island in his wanderings, where he meets a young (but mature!) Princess Diana, and offends the god Triton. Aquaman Annual #1; Legend of Aquaman; Aquaman SF. When published this presented problems regarding Diana’s relative youth, but given her revised “New Earth” history she is now about 18 here.
  [Sep 20] Clark Kent first meets mermaid Lori Lemaris; they have a brief and ill-fated romance. Superman v2 #12 <12.87>; this takes place at the beginning of his second (and final) year in college. (Date: 1976 DC Cal.—and it fits!)
  [Nov-Dec] In South Korea, the Unknown Soldier fails to save a former lover (and his own possible daughter) from a CIA plot run amok. Unknown Soldier v2 #9-10 <9-10.89>
  1988  
  [Winter] Bruce Wayne travels to Alaska and works with detective Willie Doggett. Doggett dies on the case; Bruce’s life is saved by an Eskimo Shaman. LODK #1-5 <11.89-3.90>, SO TPB. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, this is explicitly described as “two years” prior to his first winter as the Batman. Some further specialized training in the U.S. [see 1987] likely takes place in the months subsequent to this.
  College student Ted Kord (see 1990/Yr2) studies under archaeology professor Dan Garrett (see 1939). SO v2 #2 <5.86>. Exact date is uncertain, but we know that Ted finished high school c. 1986, as he attends his 15-year high school reunion in 2001/Yr13 [JL Quarterly #7 <Sum.92>]. This corresponds well with his college-student status in JLA: Year One [see 1990/Yr2]. It would appear that Dan Garrett’s powers extended his natural lifespan.
  Air Force test pilot Hal Jordan (see 1983) loses an experimental jet while preventing its theft. GL v3 #104. The story’s references to “ten years ago” are clearly inaccurate, but (as vs. references to his costumed debut) they do indicate that Hal joined Ferris fairly shortly before acquiring his Green Lantern identity [see 1989/Yr1]. As originally told, this was the cause of Hal’s USAF discharge; its canonicity therefore is cast in doubt by the events chronicled immediately below.
  Hal Jordan pushes an F-16 jet to destruction under testing, then, distraught over his mother’s failing health, punches his commanding officer. He is drummed out of the service, and takes a job as a mechanic for Arden Air, where he meets Tom Kalmaku. GL v4 #29-30 <5.-608>. Note the implicit conflict with events immediately above.
  Rescuing his niece Gemma from a kidnapping, John Constantine becomes caught up in the conflict between the ultra-religious “Resurrection Crusade” and the demon Nergal’s “Damnation Army.” Soon injured in the “crossfire,” his life is saved by an infusion of Nergal’s blood… the taint of which prevents his lover Zed from being used by the Crusaders to conceive a new Messiah. Soon after, evening the scales for Newcastle [see 1978], John chases Nergal himself to his destruction at the borders of Heaven. Hellblazer #4 <4.88>, 6-12 <6-12.88>. Note that the conception of Tefé Holland [see 2000/Yr12], originally a crossover with issue #10 in this story arc, must unavoidably be completely severed from it. The internal chronology was always a bit garbled regardless, as #9 is supposed to fall on John’s 35th birthday (i.e., May 10), whilst #10 falls on the winter solstice (Dec 21), and only one of these dates can be reliable. Moreover, if the main story remains set in 1988 [as referenced by Nergal in Hellblazer #209 <8.05>], it can no longer follow the deaths of John’s “Newcastle crew” as seen in the Swamp Thing tales referenced herein [see 1994/Yr6]. Gemma is ten years old at this point, as the story indicates.
  Clark Kent graduates from U Met, and spends part of the summer in Paris. Adv. Supes #0 <10.94>. Clark has finished his coursework, rather impressively, in only two years [WoM #3].
  [Jul 4] Police scientist Barry Allen has his first date with reporter Iris West. Life Story of the Flash GN <97>. Set the year before he acquires his powers. He proposes to her in October.
  Arthur Curry discovers the underwater city of Poseidonis—where he is imprisoned by the repressive government, until he escapes, triggering a revolt. Aquaman Annual #1; Legend of Aquaman; Aquaman SF.
  Clark Kent meets young Terri Chung, hereditary Rhana Bhutra of Bhutran, and spends several weeks in her nation, helping her people resist the Chinese. Superman v2 #118 <12.96> [allusion]; Superman: The Odyssey <7.99>. Date is uncertain, but the reference to “ten years” past (although spurious), the starting point in Paris, and Clark’s increasing openness with his powers, all suggest that this was shortly before his costumed debut. Clark also briefly passes Bruce Wayne in Bhutran during this adventure; Bruce’s presence there is unexplained, but he is described as “a former student” of Terri’s father.
  Clark Kent visits Ghana, West Africa, where he is unable to save the life of a local reform leader, but rediscovers a sense of purpose. Birthright #1-2 <9-10.03>. Canonicity is provisional only; this could be an aberrant hypertimeline, and at the very least many details cannot be taken at face value. Clark’s references to earning his degree through “visiting student credits” and to being “25… next month” are wrong; the use of e-mail is an anachronism; and the presense of the Kryptonian history tablet is questionable.
  [Sep 14] Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, is freed from captivity (see 1916). His captor, Alexander Burgess, is cursed with eternal waking… and Morpheus sets off to recover the totems of his rightful power. Sandman #1 <1.89>; also #62 <8.94>, which gives a clear real-time reference. Obviously Morpheus has been free in the DCU for far “longer” than we previously realized. This cannot be avoided, especially given the calendar-sensitive nature of his meetings with Hob Gadling [e.g., see 1589]. Fortunately, most of his early stories still work over an extended period, with fairly minor revisions in characters and/or dating.

↑ top 

This page last updated 06/24/2009.

Clocks