Batman Wiki
Batman Wiki

This is the timeline of Batman's publication history. It covers his debut in 1939 and changes/additions made to his backstory and activities until the present day.

Golden Age

In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight, when his parents are killed by a unnamed mugger on their way home from the movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.

In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison. Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin. Batman also becomes a founding member of the Justice Society of America, although he, like Superman, is an honorary member and thus only participates occasionally. Batman's relationship with the law thaws quickly, and he is made an honorary member of Gotham City's police department. During this time, butler Alfred arrives at Wayne Manor and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.






  • Winter: Batman's city of operations is named Gotham City. The Dynamic Duo also vow never to kill under any circumstance, beginning life-long rules that continue to the present day. (BATMAN #4)
  • February: Hinting at the Batcave to come, Batman and Robin make use of a secret tunnel beneath Wayne Manor to access a barn concealing their roadster, referred to as the "Batmobile".
  • March: Julie Madison calls off her engagement to Bruce Wayne because of his playboy lifestyle. Meanwhile, using the name Portia Storme, Julie dons a Robin costume as the Dynamic Duo battle Clayface. (DETECTIVE COMICS #49)
  • Spring: The Batmobile roars into action while sporting its own bat-headed battering ram. (BATMAN #5)
  • Summer: Bruce Wayne's latest fling, Linda Page first appears. (BATMAN #6)
  • Fall: The fear-mongering villain, Scarecrow is introduced. (WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #3)
  • December: The Penguin is introduced. (DETECTIVE COMICS #58)


  • February: The Bat-Signal summons Batman for the first time. (DETECTIVE COMICS #60)
  • August: District Attorney Harvey "Apollo" Kent (later "Dent") and his devilish alter-ego Two-Face make their debuts. (DETECTIVE COMICS #66)
  • August–September: A cavern beneath Wayne Manor is revealed as Batman's "secret underground hangars." (BATMAN #12)


  • April–May: Alfred is introduced as the Wayne family valet. (BATMAN #16)
  • November: Batman and Robin encounter the swashbuckling Cavalier. (DETECTIVE COMICS #81)


  • January: Batman's underground lair is called "The Bat Cave" for the first time. (DETECTIVE COMICS #83)
  • August–September: Batman and Robin journey to ancient Rome in their first time-travel adventure. (BATMAN #24)
  • October–November: In the first major Batman villain team-up, the Joker and Penguin join forces to take on Batman. (BATMAN #25)


  • December 1944-January: The Bat-Sled enables the Dynamic Duo and Alfred to enjoy some winter fun. (BATMAN #26)


  • April: The first official Bat-Boat appears as Batman and Robin's water transportation in the "Marathon of Menace". (BATMAN #34)
  • June–July: A blonde Catwoman appears in a prototype of her classic purple cat-eared costume. (BATMAN #35)


  • June–July: Aliens appear for the first time on a Batman comic book cover. (BATMAN #41)
  • Sep-Oct: The Giant Penny makes its first appearance. It will become an often seen trophy in the Bat-Cave. (World's Finest Comics #30)


  • Feb-March: Superman is acknowledged for the first time by Batman. "What can Superman do that I can't do...with Balsa Wood?!" (BATMAN #45)
  • June–July: The first detailed origin of Batman is published. In this tale, Batman tracks down Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. (BATMAN #47)
  • October: The Riddler makes his debut. (DETECTIVE COMICS #140)
  • October–November: Mad Hatter joins Batman's rogues gallery. Meanwhile, photographer Vicki Vale, who was one of Batman's most enduring love interests (1948-1962), is also introduced. (BATMAN #49)


  • May: Batman and Robin employ a "Sub-Batmarine" to capture the Tiger Shark. (DETECTIVE COMICS #147)



  • February: After the Batmobile is totaled, Batman and Robin design the Batmobile of 1950, with a much longer body. Action Comics has its first cameo when Robin reads it out of boredom. (DETECTIVE COMICS #156)
  • June–July: Deadshot first takes aim at Batman. (BATMAN #59)
  • October–November: Coinciding with the dawn of the Jet Age, Batplane II [1][2][3][4] is revealed. (BATMAN #61)


  • December 1950-January: Catwoman's origin is chronicled. (BATMAN #62)
  • February: In "The Man Behind the Red Hood", the Joker's origin is revealed. (DETECTIVE COMICS #168)
  • February–March: Killer Moth's debut ends in defeat. (BATMAN #63)


  • June: Batman and Robin battle The Firefly. (DETECTIVE COMICS #184)
  • July–August: Batman and Superman finally meet. (SUPERMAN #76)



  • March: The origin of the Batcave is revealed. (DETECTIVE COMICS #205)
  • July–August: Batman and Superman begin a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics. (WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #71)
  • September: The underwater Bat-Marine surfaces. (BATMAN #86)


Silver Age

After the introduction of DC Comics' multiverse in the 1960s, it is retroactively established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211) and fathers Helena Wayne, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with the Earth-Two Robin) Gotham's protector once Wayne retires from the position to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would on occasion make reference to stories from the Golden Age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.

Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the Silver Age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s Brave and the Bold #28.



  • June: The 100th issue of Batman is published.
  • September: The origin of the bat-uniform is revealed in a tale featuring Thomas Wayne as the "first" Batman. (DETECTIVE COMICS #235)


  • March: Batman and Superman's greatest foes Lex Luthor and the Joker team-up for the first time. (WORLD'S FINEST #88)
  • September: Professor Milo renders Batman terrified of bats and briefly forces him to adopt a new identity: "Starman". (DETECTIVE COMICS #247)
  • December: Signalman makes his first appearance. (BATMAN #112)


  • March: The Terrible Trio (The Fox, The Shark, and The Vulture) take on Batman and Robin. (DETECTIVE COMICS #253)
    • Mogo the Bat-Ape joins the Bat-Family. (BATMAN #114)
  • April: The Bat-Copter is added to Batman's vehicle fleet. (DETECTIVE COMICS #254)
  • July: Personal mini-copters called Whirly-Bats are deployed by Batman and Robin. (DETECTIVE COMICS #257)
  • November: Batman and Robin do battle with Doctor Double X. (DETECTIVE COMICS #261)


  • February: Mr. Freeze (then called "Mr. Zero") makes his debut. (BATMAN #121)
  • May: Batman first meets the inter-dimensional imp Bat-Mite. (DETECTIVE COMICS #267)




  • April: Kathy Kane's blonde niece Bette debuts as Batgirl. (BATMAN #129)
  • December: Matt Hagen becomes the second Clayface. (DETECTIVE COMICS #298)


  • February: The bizarre Polka-Dot Man debuts. (DETECTIVE COMICS #300)
  • May: On its cover, Batman becomes a Bat-Baby in a tale declared "The Story of the Year!" (BATMAN #147)


  • January: The Cat-Man takes on Batman and Robin. (DETECTIVE COMICS #311)


  • May: Batman's "new look" debuts. (DETECTIVE COMICS #327)
  • June: Alfred is temporarily "killed off". (DETECTIVE COMICS #328)
  • June–July: Robin forms the Teen Titans with fellow superhero "sidekicks" Kid Flash and Aqualad. (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #54)
  • December: The otherworldly menace The Outsider first appears. (DETECTIVE COMICS #334)


  • November: Batman and Robin encounter Mark Desmond, otherwise known as Blockbuster. (DETECTIVE COMICS #345)


  • January–February: Robin and his Teen Titans associates (now including Wonder Girl) gain their own comic book. (TEEN TITANS #1)
  • May: Cluemaster first confounds Batman. (DETECTIVE COMICS #351)
  • June: The alluring Poison Ivy makes her debut. (BATMAN #181)
  • August: Batman meets the hypnotic Asian crime lord Doctor Tzin-Tzin. (DETECTIVE COMICS #354)
  • October: Alfred returns to Wayne Manor, restored to normalcy after he is revealed to be the evil Outsider. (DETECTIVE COMICS #356)
  • December: Batman first encounters Spellbinder. (DETECTIVE COMICS #358)


  • January: Barbara Gordon dons a cape and cowl to become Batgirl. (DETECTIVE COMICS #359)
  • October–November: Batman joins forces with the Metal Men. (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #74)


  • January: The Batmobile from the Batman TV series briefly becomes the official Batmobile of the comics, but with different colors. (DETECTIVE COMICS #371)
  • March: To celebrate the 200th issue of his self-titled series, the Batman does battle with the Scarecrow in "The Man Who Radiated Fear". (BATMAN #200)


  • May: Batman celebrates his 30th anniversary in Detective Comics. (DETECTIVE COMICS #387)
  • October: Private investigator Jason Bard is introduced. (DETECTIVE COMICS #392)
  • December: In "One Bullet Too Many", Dick Grayson leaves the Batcave for Hudson University. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne and Alfred decamp to the penthouse of the Wayne Foundation building. In the process, a new Batcave is established beneath the Wayne Foundation skyscraper. (BATMAN #394)
    • Batman abandons his previous Batmobile in favor of a turbo-charged sports car. (DETECTIVE COMICS #394)

Bronze Age

In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early Golden Age) of an insane, murderous Joker, and the arrival of Ra's al Ghul. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.

In the final issue of Brave and the Bold in 1983, Batman quits the Justice League and forms a new group called the Outsiders. He serves as the team's leader until Batman and the Outsiders #32 (1986) and the comic subsequently changed its title.



  • January: Under the guidance of writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams, the campy hi-jinks of the past two decades' worth of Batman tales are retired. In its place, comes a more present-day tone and mood to the series. (DETECTIVE COMICS #395)
  • June: Zoologist Kirk Langstrom transforms into Man-Bat, to the horror of his fiancée Francine Lee. Meanwhile, Robin and Batgirl team up for the very first time. (DETECTIVE COMICS #400)
  • November: After debuting in the pages of Strange Adventures #215, the League of Assassins first appears in a Batman title. (DETECTIVE COMICS #405)


  • January: In "Marriage: Impossible", Kirk Langstrom's bride Francine Lee Langstrom becomes She-Bat. (DETECTIVE COMICS #407)
  • May: Talia makes her first appearance. (DETECTIVE COMICS #411)
  • August: After 17 years, Two-Face makes his return to Batman's rogues gallery. (BATMAN #234)


  • August: On the cover of his 400th appearance in Detective Comics, Batman holds a gun to his temple, having written a suicide note to Robin, Batgirl, and Superman. (DETECTIVE COMICS #426)


  • April: The Spook makes his debut. (DETECTIVE COMICS #426)


  • October–November: Batman joins forces with Manhunter Paul Kirk for the only time when Kirk sacrifices his life to destroy the evil cabal known as the Council. (DETECTIVE COMICS #443)


  • May: The Joker appears in his own monthly series of misadventures, which lasts only nine issues (THE JOKER #1)
  • September–October: The Batman Family, a series spotlighting the cast of Batman characters, debuts (lasting for 20 issues before its cancellation in 1978). (THE BATMAN FAMILY #1)


  • December 1975-January: Man-Bat flies solo in his own monthly series, which lasts only two issues. (MAN-BAT #1)
  • January: Lady Shiva, both a friend and foe to the Batman family in later years, is introduced. (RICHARD DRAGON: KUNG-FU FIGHTER #5)
  • February–March: Cult leader Kobra, who soon will be a frequent foe of Batman, appears in his own series. (KOBRA #1)
  • March: Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a kindly adult who befriends a young Bruce Wayne, debuts in "There Is No Hope In Crime Alley". (DETECTIVE COMICS #457)
  • September: Batman battles Black Spider for the first time. (DETECTIVE COMICS #463)


  • June: Platinum blonde bombshell Silver St. Cloud is introduced as Bruce Wayne's latest short-lived love interest. (DETECTIVE COMICS #470)


  • April–May: Rebecca "Becky" Langstrom, daughter of Kirk and Francine Langstrom, is born. (THE BATMAN FAMILY #17)


  • January: Lucius Fox is introduced as the financial wizard who guides Wayne Enterprises' day-to-day business operations in Bruce Wayne's absence. (BATMAN #307)
  • April–May: In the 40th anniversary issue of Detective Comics, gangster Maxie Zeus first appears. (DETECTIVE COMICS #483)
  • August–September: Kathy Kane is murdered by the Bronze Tiger. (DETECTIVE COMICS #485)
  • October: The pyromanic Firebug makes his debut. (BATMAN #318)



  • July: "Untold Legends of the Batman", the first Batman mini-series, premieres.
  • September: The Crime Doctor prescribes death for Batman. (DETECTIVE COMICS #494)
  • December: Batman first clashes with the powerful mob boss known only as The Squid. (DETECTIVE COMICS #497)


  • January: The Electrocutioner makes his debut. (BATMAN #331)
  • March: In the 500th issue of Detective Comics (in a tale entitled "To Kill a Legend"), Batman and Robin visit an alternate reality where they prevent the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne.


  • February: The illusory villain Mirage debuts. (DETECTIVE COMICS #511)
  • March: Dr. Death makes his return in the 45th anniversary issue of Detective Comics. (DETECTIVE COMICS #512)


  • March: Both young circus acrobat Jason Todd and reptilian villain Killer Croc make their first appearances. (BATMAN #357)
  • May: Batman celebrates his 500th appearance in Detective Comics. Meanwhile, the murders of Jason Todd's circus aerialist parents (mirroring Dick Grayon's own origins) by Killer Croc leads to Jason inheriting the role of Robin from Dick. (DETECTIVE COMICS #526)
  • August: After Batman quits the Justice League of America, he assembles his own team of superheroes called The Outsiders. (BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1)
    • Siblings Anton and Natalia Knight (alias Night-Slayer and Nocturna) make their debuts. (DETECTIVE COMICS #529)
  • December: Jason Todd makes his official debut as Robin. (BATMAN #366)


  • February: Dick Grayson quits the role of Robin. (THE NEW TEEN TITANS #39)


  • April: DC Comics' 12-issue long "Crisis on Infinite Earths" series begins. In the process, Batman's history is radically altered. As a result, Bat-Mite, Ace the Bat-Hound, and other Batman related characters are forgotten in the new mainstream continuity. Meanwhile, Jason Todd's origin story is revised.
  • August: Crime lord Roman Sionis, otherwise known as Black Mask first appears. (BATMAN #386)

Dark Age

After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the histories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline Year One from Batman #404-407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's Silver Age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of Golden Age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration. For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. While Dick Grayson's past remains much the same, the history of Jason Todd, the second Robin, is altered, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Also removed is the guardian Phillip Wayne, leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised backstory for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period. Various stories from Jeph Loeb and Matt Wagner also touch upon this era.

In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline from Batman #426-429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently Batman takes an even darker, often excessive approach to his crimefighting. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake becomes the new Robin. In 2005 writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor.

Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains to return to his role as Batman.

1994's company-wide crossover Zero Hour changes aspects of DC continuity again, including those of Batman. Noteworthy among these changes is that the general populace and the criminal element now considers Batman an urban legend rather than a known force. Similarly, the Waynes' killer is never caught or identified, effectively removing Joe Chill from the new continuity, rendering stories such as "Year Two" non-canon.

The Dark Knight

Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. While Batman contributes greatly to many of the team's successes, the Justice League is largely uninvolved as Batman and Gotham City face catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land." While Lex Luthor rebuilds Gotham at the end of the "No Man's Land" storyline, he then frames Bruce Wayne for murder in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs; Wayne is eventually acquitted.

DC's 2005 limited series Identity Crisis, reveals that JLA member Zatanna had edited Batman's memories, leading to his deep loss of trust in the rest of the superhero community. Batman later creates the Brother I satellite surveillance system to watch over the other heroes. Its eventual co-opting by Maxwell Lord is one of the main events that leads to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity. In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr. mentions that in the newly-rewritten history of the "New Earth", created in the previous issue, the murderer of Martha and Thomas Wayne - again, Joe Chill - was captured, thus undoing the retcon created after Zero Hour. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs. Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the "Face the Face" storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. At the end of the story arc, Bruce adopts Tim as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, "Batman & Son", introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Batman, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, reforms the Justice League in the new Justice League of America series, and is leading the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.

During 2008's Batman R.I.P., Bruce Wayne is apparently killed while fighting the insane Dr. Simon Hurt, after which Dick Grayson dons the role of Batman whilst Damian takes up the role of Robin.



  • October: The 400th issue of Batman is published.


  • March: On the cover of the 50th anniversary issue of Detective Comics, Batman matches his sleuthing skills with Sherlock Holmes. (DETECTIVE COMICS #572)
    • Detective Sarah Essen, future police commissioner and wife of James Gordon, first appears as "Batman: Year One" continues. (BATMAN #405)
  • June: Jason Todd makes his first post-Crisis appearance as a troubled orphan of Crime Alley. (BATMAN #408)
    • Besides introducing The Reaper, "Batman: Year Two" reaffirms Bruce Wayne's vow to never take up firearms in his war on crime. (DETECTIVE COMICS #575)
  • October: Batman encounters the malevolent Mime. (BATMAN #412)
    • In the graphic novel "Batman: Son of the Demon", Batman and Talia al Ghul's affair leads to the birth of a son. However, their relationship ends before Batman learns of his child.


  • March: KGBeast debuts. (BATMAN #417)
  • April: Ratcatcher first embarks on a life of crime. (DETECTIVE COMICS #585)
  • August: The four part series Batman: The Cult begins. This is the first appearance of Deacon Blackfire.
  • December: The "A Death in the Family" storyline begins. (BATMAN #426)
    • The graphic novel "The Killing Joke" features a new take on the Joker's beginnings. It also features the Joker shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon.
    • Barbara Gordon's final adventure as Batgirl is chronicled in her first ever solo book. (BATGIRL SPECIAL #1)


  • February: As the "A Death in the Family" storyline draws to a conclusion, readers are asked to vote to decide Jason Todd's fate. By a slim margin, readers decree that Jason should perish. So in the end, he dies at the hands of the Joker. (BATMAN #428)
    • Catwoman gains her own four-issue long mini-series (CATWOMAN #1)
  • April: The Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) debuts in her own monthly series. (THE HUNTRESS #1)
    • Ronald Desmond, brother of the late Mark Desmond, mutates into an all-new Blockbuster. (STARMAN #9)
  • September: The surviving Clayfaces unite to form The Mudpack. The Mudpack are part of Basil Karlo's scheme to unsurp their powers as The Ultimate Clayface. (DETECTIVE COMICS #604)
  • November: Billed as "The first new 'solo' Batman book since 1940", "Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight" is published.
    • Gotham sees a new masked vigilante in the form of Lonnie Machin's authority antagonizing alter ego Anarky. (DETECTIVE COMICS #608)
  • December: The five-part epic "A Lonely Place of Dying" is highlighted by Tim Drake's first official appearance, leading to his debut as the new Robin. (BATMAN #440-442, THE NEW TITANS #60-61)



  • February: Barbara Gordon takes on the role of the all-seeing information broker Oracle. (SUICIDE SQUAD #38)
  • May: The mute engineer-savant Harold Allnut makes his debut as one of the Penguin's henchmen. (BATMAN #447)
  • July: The voodoo chieftain Obeah Man is introduced in a plot that leads to the death of Tim Drake's mother. (DETECTIVE COMICS #618)
  • November: In the first of three mini-series chronicling the new Robin's adventures, Tim Drake battles British crime lord Sir Edmund Dorrance, a.k.a. King Snake. (ROBIN vol. 1 #1)
  • December: Tim Drake officially joins Batman's war on crime as the third Robin. (BATMAN #457)


  • January: Harold Allnut starts making his home in the Batcave as the resident mechanic. (BATMAN #458)
  • February: The evil Abattoir makes his first appearance. (DETECTIVE COMICS #625)
  • October: In Tim Drake's second mini-series, the new Robin does battle with the Joker. (ROBIN II: THE JOKER'S WILD! #1)


  • May: Gotham police officer Renee Montoya makes her debut as well as the electrically-challenged Galvan. (DETECTIVE COMICS #644)
  • The hulking man-child Amygdala makes his debut and the villainous Egghead makes his first comic book appearance. (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #3)
  • October: Jean-Paul Valley and his alter-ego, the avenging angel called Azrael, first appear. (BATMAN: SWORD OF AZRAEL #1)
  • December: In Tim Drake's third mini-series, he's teamed with the Huntress. (ROBIN III: CRY OF THE HUNTRESS #1)


  • January: Bane makes his debut. (BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE #1)
    • Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, a.k.a. The General makes his debut. (DETECTIVE COMICS #654)
  • February: The multi-part "Knightfall" storyline begins as Bane sets out to destroy Batman. (BATMAN #492)
  • July: As "Knightfall" continues, Bane manages to paralyze Batman after breaking the Caped Crusader's back. As a result, Bruce Wayne is forced to relinquish his role as Batman to Jean-Paul Valley (albeit, for a brief and tumultuous time). (BATMAN #497)
  • August: Catwoman gains her own series. (CATWOMAN #1)
  • September: The mentally-unbalanced Tally Man first appears. (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #19)
  • October: In order to defeat Bane, Jean-Paul Valley adopts more formidable Bat-armor. (BATMAN #500)
  • November: Tim Drake's own ongoing series is launched. (ROBIN vol. 2 #1)


  • June: The Huntress returns in her own four-issue long mini-series. (THE HUNTRESS vol. 2 #1)
  • July: In "KnightsEnd", Bruce Wayne must battle to reclaim the Batman mantle from the maddened Jean-Paul Valley. (BATMAN #509)
  • October: Batman's origins are recounted in zero numbered editions of his four flagship titles. In this revised history, Bruce Wayne never discovers the identity of his parents' murderer. (BATMAN #0, DETECTIVE COMICS #0, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #0, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #0)
  • November: As the multi-part storyline "Prodigal" begins, Dick Grayson assumes the role of Batman while Bruce Wayne is busy attending to a secret agenda. (BATMAN #512)


  • January: As "Prodigal" concludes, Bruce Wayne once again takes up the mantle as Batman. (ROBIN #13)
    • MacKenzie "Hardback" Bock joins the Gotham police force as Batman first encounters the bloodthirsty Steeljacket. (DETECTIVE COMICS #681)
  • February. In the launch of Azrael's own ongoing series, Jean-Paul Valley begins an odyssey to discover his true place in the world. (AZRAEL #1)
  • July: Quarterly anthology The Batman Chronicles makes its debut.
    • Modern-day privateer Cap'n Fear first appears. (DETECTIVE COMICS #687)
  • September: Dick Grayson makes his solo debut with a four-issue long mini-series. (NIGHTWING #1)
  • October: Firebug II sets Gotham City ablaze. (DETECTIVE COMICS #690)
  • November: Killer Moth, previously identified as a perennial loser, forsakes his soul to become the insectoid monster Charaxes. (UNDERWORLD UNLEASED #1)
  • December: Incarceration expert Lock-Up is inserted into comics canon. (ROBIN #23)


  • January: The Allergent targets Gotham's flora, making enemies of Poison Ivy and Batman in the process. (DETECTIVE COMICS #693)
  • February: The schizoid known as Schism makes his debut. (BATMAN #527)
  • March: As the epic storyline "Contagion" begins, hundreds of thousands die as the Ebola Gulf-A virus (otherwise known as "The Clench") is let loose upon Gotham. (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #48)
  • April: "Baby-Bat" Aaron Langstrom, the son of Kirk and Francine Langstrom first appears. (MAN-BAT #3)
  • May: The nefarious Narcosis, who uses gas to turn his victims into a state of bliss, first appears. (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #50)
  • August: As the multi-part "Legacy" storyline concludes, Batman races to stop Ra's al Ghul from unleashing yet another plague. (DETECTIVE COMICS #700)
  • October: Dick Grayson graduates to his own monthly series of adventures with the launch of Nightwing.
    • The Ogre and Ape make their debuts. (BATMAN #535)
  • December: Commissioner James Gordon appears in his first solo mini-series. (BATMAN: GORDON'S LAW #1)
    • The "Elseworlds" story called Kingdom Come offers a glimpse of a troubled future for Batman. (KINGDOM COME #1-4)


  • March: Bruce Wayne's latest flame, radio host Vesper Fairchild, makes her debut appearance. (BATMAN #540)
  • May: Anarky stars in hiw own four-issue long mini-series. (ANARKY vol. 1 #1)


  • January: Cassius Payne, the fifth Clayface debuts. (BATMAN #550)
    • Kidnapper Nathan Finch returns with robotic prosthetics and a hunger for revenge as Gearhead. (DETECTIVE COMICS #717)
  • April: Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake, thus beginning the "Cataclysm" storyline. (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #73)
  • July: The killer known as Brutale first appears. (NIGHTWING #22)
  • October: Bat-rogues Ferak and The Answer first appear. (BATMAN VILLAINS SECRET FILES #1)
    • Azrael's ties to the Batcave are reestablished, resulting in the title change of his series. Also, the evil Nicholas Scratch debuts. (AZRAEL: AGENT OF THE BAT #47)


  • January: Barbara Gordon (as Oracle) starts appearing in her own monthly series, joining forces with Black Canary in the process. (BIRDS OF PREY #1)
  • March: As the "No Man's Land" storyline begins, Gotham City is now made up of fiefdoms ruled by escaped Rogues. (BATMAN: NO MAN'S LAND #1)
  • As Gotham slowly disintegrates, Nightwing joins a regrouped and older incarnation of the Titans. (THE TITANS #1)
  • May: Anarky stars in his own eight issue long series. (ANARKY vol. 2 #1)
  • July: Martial arts prodigy Cassandra Cain, who would ultimately inherit the mantle of Batgirl, makes her first appearance. Also debuting is the assassin Cain. (BATMAN #567)
    • The covert agent known as Echo first appears. (LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #119)



  • January: After a year of "No Man's Land", Metropolis mogul Lex Luthor spearheads the rebuilding of Gotham City. (BATMAN #573)
  • February: In "Endgame", the penultimate chapter of the "No Man's Land" storyline, the Joker murders James Gordon's wife, Sarah Essen-Gordon. (DETECTIVE COMICS #741)
  • March: Batman: Gotham Knights is launched. The series features back-up black-and-white stories. **The stability of a rebuilt Gotham is threatened by the patriotic zealot known as The Banner. (BATMAN #575)
  • April: The new adventures of Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) begin with the publication of her own ongoing series. (BATGIRL #1)
  • Ra's al Ghul's agents, Kyle Abbot and Whisper A'Daire first appear. (DETECTIVE COMICS #743)
  • May: Batman encounters the undead spirit Samsara. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #3)
  • July: Batman battles Orca. (BATMAN #579)
  • November: In the 750th issue of Detective Comics, Batman faces off with Ra's al Ghul yet again.
  • December: The Joker's moll Harley Quinn gains her own ongoing comic book title, lasting 38 issues. (HARLEY QUINN #1)


  • March: As the multi-part storyline entitled "Officer Down" begins, Commissioner Gordon is nearly killed by a mysterious gunman. (BATMAN #587)
  • June: Batman first encounters the murderous Matota. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #17)
  • July: The optically enhanced villain known as Philo Zeiss makes his debut. (BATMAN #591)
  • August: Gotham City gains a new hero in the form of Orpheus, in the first issue of the five-part mini-series "Batman: Orpheus Rising".
    • Bruce Wayne confronts his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux over her knowledge of his secret identity of Batman. (DETECTIVE COMICS #759)
  • November: Following the publication of the hardcover graphic novel "Catwoman: Selina's Big Score", Selina Kyle adopts a new costume and lease on life.
    • Sasha Bordeaux dons a mask and costume alongside Batman to continue serving as personal protection to Bruce Wayne. (DETECTIVE COMICS #762)
  • December: After 15 years, writer/artist Frank Miller follows up his best selling "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" with three-issue long mini-series "Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again".
    • The six-issue long mini-series "Joker: Last Laugh" begins. In it, the Joker falsely believes that he's dying from a brain tumor and leads a break-out of "Jokerized" villains from the Slab.


  • March: The brutal killing of Bruce Wayne's love interest Vesper Fairchild in "Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure" serves as a prelude to the multi-part "Bruce Wayne: Murder?" storyline. (DETECTIVE COMICS #765)
  • April: In the 600th issue of Batman, the storyline entitled "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" leads off with Bruce escaping from prison. Bruce later goes underground to prove himself innocent of the murder of Vesper Fairchild.
  • May: Batman first feels the fiery touch of the crazed vigilante known as Nicodemus. (BATMAN #601)
    • Robin reaches its 100th issue.
  • June: Batman meets The Mortician, a foe who's capable of raising the dead. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #28)
  • October: The Tracker is the first of five new friends of Batman to be introduced in the five-part "Batman Family" mini-series.
  • December: As the epic "Hush" storyline begins, Batman face old enemies who are enabled and embodied by a diabolical new foe. (BATMAN #609)


  • January: The Huntress acquires a provocative new costume and updated weaponry courtesy of Hush. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Tommy Elliot first appears. (BATMAN #609)
  • February: Barbara Gordon's beginnings as Batgirl are revealed in the launch of a nine-issue long miniseries entitled "Batgirl: Year One".
    • An all-new ongoing comic book series focusing on the detectives of the Gotham City Police Department entitled "Gotham Central" makes its debut.
    • The six-issue long "Dead Reckoning" storyline introduces Paul Sloan, a.k.a. Charlatan. (DETECTIVE COMICS #777)
    • Batman meets the tortured tattoo artist known as Pix. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #36)
  • June: After manipulating Batman and his adversaries for months, Hush finally appears. (BATMAN #614)
  • July: Batman reveals his secret identity to Catwoman (BATMAN #615)
  • August: After being infected by the bats of the Batcave, Alfred succumbs to a form of the "Clench" and nearly dies. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #42)
    • Nyssa Raatko, a previously unknown daughter of Ra's al Ghul first appears in the "Death and the Maidens" feature within Detective Comics #782.
  • September: The Huntress joins Black Canary and Oracle as a new "Birds of Prey" operative. (BIRDS OF PREY #57)
  • October: The "World's Finest Team" of Batman and Superman are once again battling injustice in the debut of the monthly, ongoing "Superman/Batman" series.


  • January: As the three-part storyline "Veritas Liberat" beings to commence, Bane learns that Sir Edmund Drake, a.k.a. King Snake is his father. (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #47)
  • March: Batman meets the Japanese gangsters known as Fatman and Little Boy. (BATMAN #623)
  • June: At his father's urging, Tim Drake quits the role of Robin. (ROBIN #125)
  • July: Stephanie Brown, a.k.a. the Spoiler takes up the mantle left by Tim Drake as the first female Robin in mainline continuity. (ROBIN #126)
  • October: "Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure", a prelude to the "War Games" storyline, is published. It's a multi-part epic that pits Batman and his allies against Black Mask and the gangs of Gotham. (DETECTIVE COMICS #797)


  • January: The publication of the landmark 800th issue of Detective Comics makes Batman's flagship comic book one of the longest running titles in comic book history.
    • Stephanie Brown apparently dies after being tortured by Black Mask. (BATMAN #633)
  • February: The Nightwing title reaches its 100th issue.
    • Jason Todd returns from the grave as the second Red Hood. (BATMAN #635)
  • March: The six-part "Nightwing: Year One" storyline appears twice monthly in the pages of Nightwing. (NIGHTWING #101)
  • October: Batman banishes Leslie Thompkins from Gotham after discovering her complicacy in Brown's apparent death. (BATMAN #644)


  • February: Catwoman murders Black Mask. (CATWOMAN (Vol 3) #52)
  • July: 52 begins.
    • Batman, Nightwing and Robin leave Gotham to recover from the events of Infinite Crisis (52 #30)
  • August: Batman adopts Tim Drake. (BATMAN #652)
  • November: Batman discovers the existence of Damian Wayne, his biological son with Talia al Ghul. (BATMAN #655)



  • January: Stephanie Brown returns from the dead and redons the Spoiler identity. (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #2)
  • June: "Batman R.I.P." storyline begins until December. (BATMAN #671)


  • January: Bruce Wayne apparent death at the hands of w:c:Darkseid. (FINAL CRISIS #6)
  • May: "Battle for the Cowl" begins.
  • July: Dick Grayson succeeds Bruce Wayne as the next Batman and Damian Wayne assumes the role of Robin. (BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #3)



  • May: Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne begins publication.


Modern Age

Intending to bring new readers into DC Comics, editors decided to reboot the entire DC Multiverse in September 2011 as part of an initiative called "The New 52". After the events of the miniseries Flashpoint, many of its characters were de-aged and had their continuity changed. Ongoing comic series, including those that had started in the 1930s and 1940s, were cancelled and reissued from Issue 1, including Detective Comics and Batman. Stories were also moved to "Earth Prime". This initiative proved controversial with many established fans, particularly in regards to removing existing relationships and disregarding continuity.

Batman continued on under the direction of Scott Snyder, who took over his new series. Though his continuity remained relatively the same as prior to Flashpoint, changes were made that reset the status quo, with Dick Grayson was once again restored to Nightwing, Tim Drake had never served as Robin, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain had not been initiated into the Batman family, and Barbara Gordon was restored as Batgirl. This time saw the Dark Knight and the Batman family face of with the Court of Owls and begin to deal with more serious threats, primarily orchestrated by the Joker and Bane.

In 2016, DC began to reestablish prior continuity through a new initiate called DC Rebirth. Though elements of the New 52 continued, elements from "New Earth" returned or new changes being introduced. The most notable included Bruce Wayne and Kate Kane being established as cousins, Tim Drake's time as Robin being restored, and Basil Karlo reforming as a member of the Batman Family. Batman now was headlined by writer Tom King, with the Batman Family reforming and taking center stage in a restarted Detective Comics (Volume 1). This run also saw Batman and Catwoman becoming engaged and the death of Alfred during the City of Bane storyline. In 2019, James Tynion IV took over and oversaw The Joker War, after which Batman rejects his wealth to fight crime from Gotham's streets. The event also sees Barbara Gordon retire as Batgirl to reassume the role of Oracle.



  • September: The New 52 begins publication. All comic publications, including Batman-related, restart publication.
    • Batman (Vol. 2), Detective Comics (Vol. 2), Batman: The Dark Knight (Vol. 3), Batman and Robin (Vol. 2), Catwoman (Vol. 4), Nightwing (Vol. 3), Batgirl (Vol. 4), Batman Incorporated (Vol. 2), Batwing (Vol. 1), Birds of Prey (Vol. 3), Red Hood and the Outlaws (Vol. 1), and Suicide Squad (Vol. 3) begin publication.
    • Lincoln March debuts. (BATMAN (Vol 2) #1)






  • April: Batman (Volume 2) and other New 52 series finish publication after 52 issues.
  • May: DC Rebirth begins. Dick Grayson returns as Nightwing and Batman reforms the Bat-Family with Batwoman's help.
  • June: Batman meets vigilantes Hank and Claire Clover, calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #1)
  • August: Hank is driven insane by Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate, eventually dying by draining his powers in a battle with Batman. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #5)
  • September: "Night of the Monster Men" is published. Batman and the Batman family battle Hugo Strange and his Monster Men. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #7-8, NIGHTWING #5-6, DETECTIVE COMICS #941-942)


  • May: Batman encounters the Flashpoint version of Batman: Thomas Wayne. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #22)
  • June: Batman proposes to Catwoman. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #24)





  • February: Punchline debuts. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #89)
  • June: Batman loses his fortune as Bruce Wayne to the Joker. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #93)
  • July: Joker War begins. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #95)
  • October: 100th issue of Batman (Volume 3) published.
    • Joker War ends and Ghost-Maker introduced. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #100)
    • Batman gives up his wealth and moves into Gotham City, leaving Wayne Manor and the Batcave. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #100)
  • December: Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain redon the Batgirl identity, sharing it between them. (BATMAN (Vol 3) #104)


  • January: Future State begins publication, interrupting comic publication for two months.
  • March: Infinite Frontier begins. Arkham Asylum is forced to close down after being flooded with Joker Venom.
    • BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS, THE JOKER (Vol 2) and FUTURE STATE: GOTHAM begin publication.
  • August: Tim Drake comes out as bisexual. (BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS #6)
  • Autumn: Fear State takes place as Batman and the Bat-Family battle Simon Saint and the Scarecrow to prevent the forming of the Magistrate.
  • December: BATGIRLS begins publication.