The Real Batman Chronology Project

The Real Batman Chronology Project The Real Batman Chronology Project is a narratological study of reader-writer engagement with multi-authored serialized comic book storytelling (using detailed Batman timelines as primary case studies).
(2)

www.therealbatmanchronologyproject.com The Real Batman Chronology Project, which started in 2009, tracks the narrative continuity of DC Comics via the lens of Batman, plotting each of his appearances into detailed timelines. To the average comic book reader or especially non-readers, simple questions arise: Doesn’t one just read the comics in the order they are published? Why does there need to be a project dedicated to ordering comics? And if it really is so difficult to figure out a reading order, surely there must be a lot of projects similar to the Real Batman Chronology Project online, right?” Ultimately, these questions all combine to form the bigger question of “Why is my site necessary?” I’ll try to answer as best as I can. First of all, my site is necessary due to the sheer complexity of how the superhero genre delivers its stories. Superhero universes exist in comics as a vast collection of interconnected serialized fictions. Every Wednesday, dozens of titles come out continuing the story from the previous week’s batch of titles. And all of these titles–week to week, month to month, and so on—tell an ongoing über-story in which the events and characters of said titles all exist in the same shared world, directly influencing each other. (To show how many ongoing titles are released, we can look at a selection of publications from a random Wednesday in 2015: Dark Horse put out 10 comics, DC put out 25, IDW put out 10, Image put out 15, Marvel put out 20, and various indie companies combined to put out 30.) DC and Marvel don’t tell you in what order to read them or how to organize them. Now, to be clear, the Big Two do publish trade paperbacks and their issues are all numbered and can be read in some sort of an order. But when it comes to stitching every title together to make the über-story that tells the whole tale, that is not a task that either company really gets bogged down in. How can all these titles possibly function cohesively? All together, the comics form a puzzle and it’s how the pieces fit together that really interests me.

Mission: Beyond the already layered complexity of writing and reading sequential art, the very nature of superhero comics is unique compared to other forms of media. When you read (or create) serialized superhero comic book narratives, you are engaging in a perceptive (or creative) process that is quite unlike any other. My site, using Batman as a primary case study, serves to analyze and catalogue this phenomenon. The unique narrative complexity of superhero comics consists primarily of a few key things. First, superhero universes exist in comics as a vast collections of interconnected serialized fiction—authored by hundreds of different people, including writers, pencilers, colorists, inkers, letterers, editors, publishers, and more—over the span of decades. Beyond this (and because of this), much of the superhero genre is open to reader interpretation—and authorial interpretation of previous authorship. Every Wednesday, dozens of titles come out continuing the story from the previous week’s batch of titles. And all of these titles–week to week, month to month, and so on—tell an ongoing über-story in which the events and characters of said titles all exist in the same shared world, directly influencing each other. That’s a lot of material, and DC and Marvel don’t tell you in what order to read them or how to organize them. If we look solely at DC, for example, we are talking about literally hundreds of creators working together to create a “shared universe”—essentially one single unified story. How can all these titles (and creators) possibly exist and function cohesively? How can there be a coherent story, both visually and narratively? Holistically, the comics form a puzzle and it’s how the pieces fit together that really interests me. Sticking with Batman appearances allows for the easiest opportunity to determine passage of time, character age, where events occur, where things need to be rearranged, how things come together, or how things fail to come together for the entire DC Universe. This project is about proving certain theses true: one, continuity equals congruity (meaning that, contrary to what a lot of folks think, continuity isn’t supposed to over-complicate or make texts feel exclusive—it actually helps us understand narrative more easily); two, serialized multi-authored narratives utilize truly unique forms of storytelling; and, three, a cohesive superhero universe is the result of a collaborative interpretive process undertaken by both creators and readers alike.

Operating as usual

06/27/2020

Hi all!

I'm putting this message on here because some of my contributors contact me through here fairly regularly. I am divesting myself of Facebook (not deleting my account, but simply won't be using the platform anymore). So, if you message me on here, I won't get it! E-mail me instead ([email protected]).

Why am I leaving Facebook? As the great Bruce Sterling says, “The Internet brought many laudable things, but prosperity, stability, accountability and honest politics were not four of them.” Facebook is a racist, conspiracy-touting platform that undermines democracy while turning its users into profitable livestock via network surveillance, collective intelligence, data mining, and problematic ad revenue. I want no part of it, and see no use for it, especially if the company is blatantly unwilling to reform itself.

Nikhil Sonnad, in a Quartz article, says it best: "Absent human considerations, Facebook will continue to bring thoughtless, banal harm to the world. The 2.5 billion people who use it, as part of their real lives, won’t put up with that forever."

And I won't put up with it for a second longer.

That being said, I love you all, and I love getting your messages and comments, so please continue to email me! Hope you understand. And I hope to hear from you soon! (Divesting myself of Google and getting off Gmail is my next goal, but let's not get ahead of ourselves LOL).

Love,
CC

RIP Denny, the best there ever was
06/13/2020
RIP Denny O’Neil | disCONTINUITY

RIP Denny, the best there ever was

For my money, and many will agree, Denny O'Neil was the best Batman writer of all time. He was certainly one of my personal favorites. O'Neil, unlike so many of his peers (and unlike so many current writers), understood what it means to be a superhero.

i want my batman to clean up polluted lakes with children 24/7 (from brave and the bold 188)
01/23/2020

i want my batman to clean up polluted lakes with children 24/7 (from brave and the bold 188)

good bat content
11/15/2019
Book Club / Every Story Shows How Impossible That Is

good bat content

Batman: The Long Halloween Written by Jeph Loeb Art by Tim Sale … JOEL Barbican Comic Forum 00000000 / Kraken Brain Teeth I don’t believe in Bruce Wayne and I don’t believe in Bat…

Jude DeLuca's hot take on Heroes in Crisis. And I agree with just about all of it. In my humble opinion, Tom King is a b...
08/12/2019
Paved with Good Intentions: How HEROES IN CRISIS Betrays Trauma Victims

Jude DeLuca's hot take on Heroes in Crisis. And I agree with just about all of it. In my humble opinion, Tom King is a bad writer... and if I quit reading comics in the near future (or stop doing my chronology project) a lot of me stopping will have directly to do with Tom King. I've read nearly every single Bat-comic since 1940. And I think Tom King is the worst stuff I've ever read.

I have a right to be angry. Through middle and high school, comics were pretty much the only thing I had to keep me going without having a total breakdown. I mean, of course I had other interests a…

07/12/2019

malware attack, hacked, CDN problems, unrecognizable SSL cert, mystery 502 error... and all at the same time. site will be down for at least 48 more hours (and that's with any luck).

content part tres
06/19/2019
Dick Grayson as Batman: A Retrospective (Part 3)

content part tres

  Welcome to the third and final part of “Dick Grayson as Batman: A Retrospective (Part 3).” We left off in our last piece with Dick long into his tenure as Batman. With Bruce Wayn…

content part deux
05/08/2019
Dick Grayson as Batman: A Retrospective (Part 2)

content part deux

  Welcome to Part 2 of “Dick Grayson as Batman: A Retrospective”—a detailed look at Dick Grayson’s time spent wearing the cape and cowl of the Batman. In Part 1 we looked at …

content alert
05/06/2019
Dick Grayson as Batman: A Retrospective (Part 1)

content alert

Ever since the Golden Age, Batman has occasionally had friends fill-in for him underneath the cape and cowl—usually Alfred or Superman as part of a ruse to fool either a villain or a snooping assoc…

Great recent interview with one of my personal favorite comic book writers of all time—and, in my opinion, truly one of ...
04/21/2019
One of Batman’s most singular writers explains why women are so drawn to Gotham City

Great recent interview with one of my personal favorite comic book writers of all time—and, in my opinion, truly one of the best comic book writers ever: Devin Grayson. Excellent content here. Lots of food for thought about an industry that's always two steps ahead of the curve yet paradoxically always has both feet in the grave.

Devin Grayson is the only woman to have been the lead writer on a core Batman title ... ever

Content that isn't just pictures (for once).
03/19/2019
The Prismatic Age: Batman as a Reflection of Outdated Ideas | disCONTINUITY

Content that isn't just pictures (for once).

I was recently reading a post entitled Comic Characters I Enjoy More in Spin-off Media by the great Anthony Dean, who runs the wonderful blog, Diverse Tech Geek. In his piece, Dean speaks about some of the reasons that he isn't that into the current Batman featured in mainstream comics.

Judo Chop! Part Nine (out of Ten)
03/19/2019
Judo Chop! Part Nine | disCONTINUITY

Judo Chop! Part Nine (out of Ten)

I know I said I was giving up on these, but theres just too damn much good stuff to ignore. Also, it makes sense to have Judo Chop! be a ten part series.

This Ronald Wimberly comic was linked in the previous thing I posted, and it's a few years old now, but damn it's gooooo...
02/28/2019
Lighten Up

This Ronald Wimberly comic was linked in the previous thing I posted, and it's a few years old now, but damn it's gooooooood. Everyone should read. Also, Wimberly is one of the best comic book makers alive today.

A cartoonist reflects on the subtle racism of shifting skin tones in a Marvel comic

I know I said I was swearing off FB, but this is the best piece of comic book writing I've read in quite some time. Very...
02/28/2019
Transmyscira: Time Dies Screaming in SUPREME BLUE ROSE

I know I said I was swearing off FB, but this is the best piece of comic book writing I've read in quite some time. Very very damn good. (By Véronique Emma Houxbois).

"The magic, the pure delirious power of comics as a medium is that they taught us everything we need to know to understand them as a function of reading them."

We discover possible pasts at the same time as we feel the opening up of possible futures. – Peter Wollen, Raiding The Icebox: Reflections on Twentieth Century Culture   We look at the p…

One more list to close-out 2018. My New Year's Resolution is to do no more lists in 2019.
01/23/2019
Books (Non-Comics) I Read in 2018 | disCONTINUITY

One more list to close-out 2018. My New Year's Resolution is to do no more lists in 2019.

2018 was a big year of lists for this blog site. Besides the cross-listed in-depth character histories that I wrote for the amazing TBU.net, most of disCONTINUITY was myopically-focused on judo and karate references in 60s and 70s comic books.

My favorite comics of 2018 PART ONE (#36 to #19)
01/10/2019
The Best Comics of 2018: 18 Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order) | disCONTINUITY

My favorite comics of 2018 PART ONE (#36 to #19)

Beneath the Dead Oak Tree by Emily Carroll Brat by Michael DeForge The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling: A Hardcore, High-Flying, No-Holds-Barred History of the One True Sport by Aubrey Sitterson & Chris Moreno Cruel and Unusual: Story of Lethal Injection by Liliana Segu...

New Judo Chop! with some truly mind-blowing ads from the 1970s.
11/21/2018
Judo Chop! Part Eight | disCONTINUITY

New Judo Chop! with some truly mind-blowing ads from the 1970s.

The judo chops keep on coming. Although, a decidedly noticeable drop-off in comic book references while ADVERTISEMENTS are on the rise as we head into the late 1970s. (There are some really amazing ads in this bunch.

my latest comics history, written for TBU, about KGBeast!
11/14/2018
Ten Nights (and Thirty Years) of the Beast (Part 1)

my latest comics history, written for TBU, about KGBeast!

  In March of 1988, who could have guessed the Cold War had pretty much run out of steam and was soon to end in only a couple years’ time? Certainly not creators Jim Starlin and Jim Apar…

99 problems but struggling for years to gain control of America to make its people my slaves while exhausting all my eld...
11/04/2018

99 problems but struggling for years to gain control of America to make its people my slaves while exhausting all my eldritch knowledge in the attempt without success ain't one.

GREAT scene from B&B #118 by Bob Haney/Jim Aparo (1975) wherein which Joker has his henchman hold a gun to a puppy's hea...
10/27/2018

GREAT scene from B&B #118 by Bob Haney/Jim Aparo (1975) wherein which Joker has his henchman hold a gun to a puppy's head, forcing Batman and Wildcat to box each other while wearing spiked-gloves that are infected with a deadly virus. Doesn't get much better than this!

Apparently, FB won't let me post a link with pics today. Typical.
10/19/2018
Judo Chop! Part Six | disCONTINUITY

Apparently, FB won't let me post a link with pics today. Typical.

Action Comics #430 Action Comics #431 The Brave and The Bold #107 The Brave and The Bold #107 Batman #255 Batman #259 Batman #260 Batman #260 Detective Comics #443 Detective Comics #443 Detective Comics #443 Wonder Woman #213...

Nice touch in Detective Comics 431 where Batman, out of his familiar skyscraper environment while on a case in Florida, ...
09/28/2018
andy narwhal on Twitter

Nice touch in Detective Comics 431 where Batman, out of his familiar skyscraper environment while on a case in Florida, perches atop a high dive to ponder the clues (by Dennis O'Neil, Irv Novick, & Murphy Anderson, 1973).

“Delightful moment in Detective Comics 431 where Batman, out of his familiar skyscraper environment while on a case in Florida, perches atop a high dive to ponder the clues (by Dennis O'Neil, Irv Novick, & Murphy Anderson, 1973).”

Address

506 Willoughby Ave
Brooklyn, NY
11206

MTA - G Line

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Real Batman Chronology Project posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to The Real Batman Chronology Project:

Nearby media companies


Comments

Hey there Collin, I had a question for you. In terms of continuity, do you consider PSA comics and advertisements as canon in some cases? I remember there were a bunch of 1990s PSA ads that included Tim Drake talking to kids and dissuading them from buying drugs. While it falls into hero-like behaviour, it also is not necessarily fitting in with ongoing storylines. (Included is a new ad one DC just posted, which is sort of cute.)
Am I the only one who was expecting Bane to show up in the last page of this week's Deathstroke...? Now THAT would have made things feel connected.
Hello, citizens! First of all, thanks to Collin and to anyone who contributed to this amazing and interesting project! I have a question - I really like Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. I understand that comics of her as batgirl were published in the Silver Age, and in the Modern Age there's only Batman: Batgirl and Batgirl: Year One, retroactively describing her past as Batgirl in the Modern Age. Did I understand correctly? Or are there more comics featuring Batgirl-Babs? If the are, where do they fit between Year One and The Killing Joke? Of course, I'm refering to both comics written before The Killing Joke or after, as long as it's Modern Age.
Happy New Year! Here are 34 comics that I liked in 2017.