Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Batman Timelines pre Earth P

A question was posed by Panda (Brian, who runs the Pendant Website and writes promotional blurbs for each show). He asked the Pendant Message Board about how Batman storylines like Hush and No Mans Land fit into Earth P continuity. In the Ace of Detectives show, the DC story lines of Hush, No Mans Land, Death in the Family, Killing Joke, and (indirectly) A Lonely Place of Dying have all been mentioned. In the Catwoman show, the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies arc has been mentioned, and in Superman and Wonder Woman, the Superman/Batman: Supergirl arc has been referenced.

Now, I guess because, you know, I keep the Book of Destiny, the question was also aimed at me to clarify. I typed something up, but it wound up being two pages long. I didnt think people would appreciate seeing 2 pages in their Daily Digest on the Pendant list, so I am posting the full essay here.

The easiest way to look at timelines and what happened when is to look at when the Robins have held their positions What do I mean by this? Well... We know Tim started training as Robin when he was 12. We know Tim saw the Grayson Family die when he was 3. Dick's parents died (and he started being Robin) when he was 13 in Post-Crisis Continuity. Dick's parents died during Batman Year 3, so Batman had been operating for 3 years when Dick started as Robin. Now, according to Nightwing, Year One, Dick was around 19 when he became Nightwing (In college, living on his own). That means it was around that time Jason became Robin, a position he held for only a few years. We know he was around 15 or 16 when he died, which was a year before Tim started.

Am I confusing you yet? This stuff makes perfect sense to me! Then again, my little Robin obsessed brain thought this crap through ages ago. I even have a timeline in spreadsheet form.... I am sad.

Ok so let's look at this another way. I personally see Batman as having been 40 when Hush took place. Tim was 16 then (I know this from Teen Titans and Robin comics at that same time). If we do all the math from that giant word/logic problem (well, as logical as Comic Book Time can be) then we get this:

Bruce started as Batman when he was 25. Three years later, he took in a 13 year old Dick Grayson as his sidekick. Dick was Robin until he was 19, when he left to become Nightwing. That same year, Bruce took in a 13 year old Jason Todd. Jason is Robin until he is killed by Joker in the Death in the Family arc at age 15. Later that same year, Barbara is paralyzed in the Killing Joke storyline.

Almost a year passes before Tim (aged 12) tracks down Dick and tells him to go become Robin again and explains that he knows who Batman is in the Lonely Place of Dying arc. A month or two after that happens, while secretly training to be Robin, Tim's mother is killed by TallyMan and his father put into a coma (that in Earth P, he'll never recover from). Tim becomes Robin officially at age 13, just in time for the Contagion arc (Ebola-type virus ravages Gotham) then the Cataclysm arc (Virus followed swiftly by 8.ohshit earthquake). On Dec 31 of that year, Gotham enters into the No Man's Land, which lasts a full year. During that NML year, Tim meets Cassie Sandsmark, who's only been Wonder Girl for a few months.

NML ends when Tim is 14, Dick is 24, Bruce is 39. After NML, the only arc I can tell happens that is relevant to Earth P is the Superman/Batman Public Enemies arc and the Superman/Batman Supergirl arc, which happened back to back the year after NML. I cant tell if the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive arc happens or not, or the Imperiex war.

Tim is 16 when Hush happens (Again, I know that from the Teen Titans stories that happened at the same time) so that makes Bruce 40, Dick 26. Personally, I feel that Hush was something of a Mid-Life Crisis for Bruce, so it makes sense for him to be 40. Earth P happens after Hush, but before anything else really happens. The Robin Unmasked story isn’t in Earth P continuity, neither is the War Drums/War Crimes arc, or Identity Crisis. I think of it as the first issue of Ace of Detectives happens a month or three after the end of Hush.

It's been a *Very nebulous comic timey don’t quote me on this at all you hear me* year and a half since the start of AOD. Tim just turned 18, which makes Bruce 42 and Dick 28. Jason, if he had lived, would be 22, so I think of Jason in Earth P as being 22, since he's from a world where he never died and was pulled across into our world. Of course, he could be a little older or younger, depending on if time progressed the same in that other Earth.

Now... All of this is just my opinion. It's based on reading lots of comics, but it's the closest I can get to anything that makes sense. DC likes to screw it up every few years by proclaiming Tim is still 15, or Bruce is 39. For a long time, both Batman and Superman were perpetually 30, but then Robins would grow up and move away and they adjusted it to perpetually 39, but even DC has said that they've bumped Bruce up into his 40s now (with the One Year Later stories).

As for what year all this happened? No way to tell. The time line slides. Basically, whatever story you are reading that is current is happening in the now, and all time before that is adjusted. This creates problems, though, when you have issues like this: When reading the NML arc when it came out, the year was 1998/9 and Lex Luthor fed money into the rebuild in hopes of winning the 2000 election. Now it's 2010, NML only happened 5 years ago and there was no election in 06. Also, when Death in the Family was written in '88-89, it was at a time when the US was throwing much money into arming the middle east to keep out the Soviet Russians (this is how the Taliban got big, and this is mentioned in the comic itself). However, when you adjust the timeline, that would have all happened in 2004.

So, without further ado, here is a sort of version of the spreadsheet chart I made AGES ago. For an RPG, actually. Not Earth P. See, I dont only do Earth P! Ages are very important to me!!

By year, I mean what year in Batman's career it is. "=" means Starts As, "R" means Robin, "NW" means Nightwing, "DOTF" means Death in the Family, "KJ" means Killing Joke, "LPOD" means Lonley Place of Dying, "NML" means No Man's Land, "D" means Dead.

_3______27_____13_____7_____3____Dick= R
_8______32_____18____12_____8____Tim figures Bat&R ID
_9______33_____19____13_____9____Dick=NW, Jason=R
_11_____35_____21____15_____11____DOTF, KJ
_12_____36_____22____D_____12____LPOD, Tim=R
_13_____37_____23____D_____13____Contag, Catycl, =NML
_15_____39_____25____D_____15____Supes/Bat (Kara=SG)
_17_____41_____27____D_____17____Earth P split
_18_____42_____28____22____18____Current Plots

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mmmm this might not work

You know, I started doing the recaps in this really cool prose format.. but... looking at them now... The recaps for SupermanTLSOK issues 1 and 2 were nearly a page each, and they are some of the shortest Superman episodes ever... At this pace, the recap for Imperium 9 or Batman 27 would be five pages long. That's a bit silly. Not to mention the fact that I've still got to do 100 plus more of these.... Let's try something else...

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton Issue 2 – Ally

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton
Issue 2 – Ally

Later, the same day Metallo broke out from Stryker’s Island, the prison had a break in. Mercy Graves killed a guard, easily crushing his gun with a mysterious display of super strength. She then went to Metallo’s cell and made a deal with the robot. She would break him out if he would listen to a proposition from her employer. He, naturally, agreed.

Meanwhile, Lois and Clark’s date night was interrupted by an overheard news report of Metallo’s second break out of the day. Lois assured Clark that she would be waiting for him when he returned.

Superman arrived at the scene of the break out and was greeted with cold annoyance by the SCU’s leader, Lieutenant Lupe Leocadio. Lupe apologized for her abrupt response, saying she was only frazzled because of having to handle two break outs in a single day. She explained that the video footage only showed the camera panning away from Metallo’s cell before going dead, and that several guards were wounded, and one killed in a precise and professional way. “That’s not Metallo…” Superman pondered, “Metallo might kill if he had to, but he wouldn’t stop to break a neck… Especially ‘professionally’. I personally doubt he even knows what that word means.

“Someone else was here.. someone who broke him out.” Superman went about the area, scanning with x-ray vision for more clues. He didn’t have to look long.

In a hidden facility, Mercy presented Metallo to Luthor. The Billionare had a proposition for Metallo: Luthor had come into possession of Superman’s Kryptonian Battlesuit, which he would be willing to give to Metallo to use as his body in exchange for a favor. Metallo was interested, “Alright, Lexy-baby… I’m all ears.”

Clark called Lois to say he was still out looking for Metallo, with little luck. He told her that he had found one clue: the footprint of Mercy Graves hidden in debris. Before they could discuss what Mercy could possibly want with Metallo, the door to Lois and Clark’s apartment buzzed. Lois answered to reveal a surprise visit from Lana Lang, Clark’s childhood friend.

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton. Issue 1 - Enemy

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton
Issue 1 – Enemy

Our story began with a normal day at the Daily Planet. Suddenly, Perry White interrupted the flirtations of reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane with news that Metallo had broken out of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary and was rampaging through Hobbs Bay. Clark excused himself, and Perry ordered Lois to take photographer Jimmy Olsen along to help cover the story.

After nearly getting caught sneaking into a broom closet by Ron White, Clark made the change into his Superman uniform and flew to Hobbs Bay. By the time he arrived, Cat Grant with WGBS was already covering the carnage, and the Metropolis Police Department’s Special Crimes Unit was already rescuing onlookers.

Superman confronted Metallo, demanding him surrender and finish things the easy way. Metallo answered by knocking Superman across the pier and into an oil tanker. “Enough,” Superman said, pulling himself from the wreckage, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: do NOT endanger innocent people, EVER!” The Man of Steel tore into the Metallic Menace and made short work of pulling off parts of the body Metallo had absorbed to be his own, leaving only his head intact.

Metallo, as it turned out, did not have a plan of attack beyond drawing Superman into a fight, and Superman was able to turn his head over to the SCU to be returned to prison. Olsen and Lane arrived on the scene in time enough to get a statement and a few pictures (and get in a little continued flirting between Lois and Superman). “Jeez, for once I’m with Metal-Head. Why don’t those two just get a room?” Cat muttered to herself before realizing, “Oh, crap, are we on? Ahem… Emergency crews are on the scene, cleaning up after what appears on all accounts to be an act of random violence by the mechanical monster, Metallo.”

From his office, Lex Luthor listened to the news broadcast with disgust. He told his assistant, Mercy Graves, that he was tired of “two-bit meta human freaks” with no style or sense of planning. Instead, Luthor had a plan to use Metallo to finally prove to Metropolis that Superman was a fraud. “This time… I’ll break him…”

Movin' very slowly...

Yesterday I read through Superman 45 one last time to approve some changes Jeffrey was making to jive with events in Supergirl and Muzak.

In Radio format, we have a really unique situation in that if two shows release on the same day, we have the official stance that you listen to Superman first and Supergirl second. In the instance of what I worked on with Supes 45 and SG 17, some characters were appearing in both shows, but the events of the two episodes were exactly linear. It was 10 am at the same time in both shows, and 10 pm at the same time in both shows. But if something great happens to a character at 10 am, then something terrible happens at 10, it makes sense... but if something great happens to a character at 10 am in Supergirl, you're hearing it after you've heard the terrible thing that happened at 10 pm in Superman.

Were this a comic, I could just put a little editors note saying "This takes place before blahdidyblah in Superman 45" but since it's radio, I cant exactly do that. That's why I'm here, to read these things and say "Wait, This will be confusing to listeners, we need to set up something in Superman that says 'there was a conversation between these people that you havent heard yet because it happens in another episode' so that way, when you listen to Supergirl you can go "Ohh so that's what that character was referencing".

It's little things that nerds notice. That's why I'm here. For the nerds.

Then, this morning, I read through Supergirl 18 for Blinkie, which only had one little thing that needed tweeking to jive with the Superman show, but was otherwise good. I am really, REALLY enjoying Dragonblink's scripts. Like, I can't describe it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I swear, I will post up the summaries for Superman: LSOK Season 1 soon! In the meantime, I've been working on new stuff. Back on the 17th I got Superman 45 from Jeffrey, read through it and it was WONDERFUL. It took me a while to get through because I had to go back and read scripts from seasons 2 and 3. That's right, folks, CONTINUITY! WAHOO! There were no errors, though. Yay!

I got the script for Supergirl 17 from Blinky last night, read it before bed, then read it again this morning. It might have a problem, but I honestly have no idea how to fix it. The script itself is very, very good. Dragonblink brings teh funneh, folks. I've sent out a reply to Dragonblink and Jeffrey, and I'm sure the three of us will work on it more today.

Man... two flipping issues into the new season and already I am working out continuity issues! AWESOME!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In your satin tights, fighting for your rights

Yesterday Fiona, the lovely director of Wonder Woman emailed me with a continuity question in regards to some things that happen in Vindicatum. Since directors really only get the scripts of the show they are directing, they dont see the whole story. In this case, two characters were talking about a third, and if you'd seen the previous issue you know very well who they are talking about, but if you havent, the third's name is never said, so it could be confusing. Fiona had guessed right as to who was the topic of conversation, so now with my verification, she can go on to write the trailer lines to send to Seth to record.

Also on the topic of Wonder Woman, I got the script for WW32 today. That is the second issue of the 3rd season. Read it through a few times and just sent my commentary off to Susan. It took me a while to do because I actualy had to consult the Book of Destiny on one point. That's right folks. The script references continuity from season 1 and the begining of season 2! Gasp!

And in other news, I've begun writing the summaries for Superman: LSOK Season 1. I had forgotten how fun season 1 was, what with the Bizzaros and Lois in the Kryptonian Battle Suit. Heeee! Hopefuly they will go up soon! Stay tuned!