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MattS80




I know that Post Zero Hour wiped out the Batman and Talia had sex from continuity, as well as Joe Chill. But what about Crisis? Did anything change after that?

#1. Were Harvey Dent, Batman and Gordon all friends originally, or was that a retcon? Did Harvey and Bats know each other before he became Two-Face in the early days? Come to think of it, Two-Face has a pretty low body count. What issues has he killed people in?

#2. I heard that Killer Crocs origin was changed.

#3. The Batman origin seems to have stayed the same.

So really what were the changes? Thanks.


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Scott




> #2. I heard that Killer Crocs origin was changed.

I believe it was.

> So really what were the changes? Thanks.

The Jason Todd origin changed.

Scott
"The art in comics is generally better than ever, the writing is often clever and glib, but in spite of that, far too many comics are utterly unreadable. Even hardcore fans find many comics daunting to follow! The craft of comics storytelling is all but lost. A who's who of industry big shots have privately agreed with me when we've discussed exactly this subject, but it's a tough problem to fix, given the often huge egos of the creators, general creative anarchy and lack of trained editorial people." Jim Shooter


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> I know that Post Zero Hour wiped out the Batman and Talia had sex from continuity, as well as Joe Chill. But what about Crisis? Did anything change after that?

Well, it depends. Crisis is a very grey area, especially for Batman, as not long after it happened, for example, no one remembered that there had ever been an Earth-2, so the likes of the E2 Huntress and Robin who had died after the main event in CoIE had now never existed and no one remembered them.

It seems safer to plot "Post-Crisis" Batman starting with "Year One" and the "Jason Todd Mk2 retcon", than Crisis itself.

> #1. Were Harvey Dent, Batman and Gordon all friends originally, or was that a retcon? Did Harvey and Bats know each other before he became Two-Face in the early days? Come to think of it, Two-Face has a pretty low body count. What issues has he killed people in?

He doesn't mass murder usually, though he's quite prepared to (since earlier schemes have included things like atom bombs in Washington and missiles designed to hit both coasts of the USA at the same time) but he will kill without a thought. "Face the Face" mentions something like that he killed two out three security guards and crippled the third for life because his coin landed good side up for him.

> #2. I heard that Killer Crocs origin was changed.

As Killer Croc's first appearance was as a cunning, intelligent, brutal, expensively dressed Mob boss who was pivotal to Jason Todd Mk1 becoming Robin, yes it had to change, it was essentially removed from history, along with anything to do with Jason Mk1, including Nocturna and the Night-Thief/Slayer.

> #3. The Batman origin seems to have stayed the same.

Aside from things like the Wayne fortune coming from armaments, the change of Leslie Thompkins from "kindly old lady who was the only person to comfort young Bruce the night his parents were killed" to "dedicated Suicide Slum doctor".

Year One also changed Jim Gordon a lot (no longer Barbara's father, borke up with his wife after an affair and so on...), changed Batman's debut (Bruce running around in cap and jacket was new) and other bits.


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Lorendiac




> > #3. The Batman origin seems to have stayed the same.
>
> Aside from things like the Wayne fortune coming from armaments, the change of Leslie Thompkins from "kindly old lady who was the only person to comfort young Bruce the night his parents were killed" to "dedicated Suicide Slum doctor".
>
> Year One also changed Jim Gordon a lot (no longer Barbara's father, borke up with his wife after an affair and so on...), changed Batman's debut (Bruce running around in cap and jacket was new) and other bits.

I'll list a few other changes I've noticed.

1. Hugo Strange

As near as I can tell, just about anything and everything that had ever been done with the villain Hugo Strange in Pre-COIE continuity has long since been erased from the Post-COIE continuity. A long time ago I wrote out a partial draft for a big post to explain the differences between Hugo's Pre-COIE Continuity and Post-COIE Continuity, but I never finished it up; never posted it on this board to enlighten people. Maybe I really ought to? \:\)

2. Doug Moench's first run

A long time ago I used to have (and probably still have, boxed up somewhere) an edition of the "DC Heroes" roleplaying game. I think it was from 1989 or 1990 -- I believe I bought it in 1991. The way I remember it, there was a note in it from one of the designers saying that a few years earlier he'd been hard at work, going through the full run of a writer who'd recently worked on the Batman titles for a few years, painstakingly converting new characters from that run into sets of statistics for "DC Heroes," when he suddenly got the word that the guy's full run was being erased by retcon from the Post-COIE universe, and he had to throw out a ton of notes. In context, he obviously meant the Doug Moench run of the mid-1980s, although for some reason he didn't specifically name names. (Doug Moench was the writer on both "Batman and Detective Comics" for about three and a half years, early 1983 to late 1986).

Moench's run included items Icon just mentioned -- Jason Todd as a reasonably sane lad who became the second Robin and basically had Dick Grayson's origin story all over again; Nocturna and Night-Thief as the other two sides of a love triangle involving Batman; but it also included a lot of other stuff. (Oddly enough, in the 1990s -- after Moench began his "second run" as a Batman writer -- I believe at least two villains he had created in his mid-80s run got dragged back onstage as if they had been in continuity all along, but I gather that the vast majority of Moench's "first run" is still "erased and forgotten" as far as anybody knows today!)

3. Batwoman and Bat-Girl

In the Silver Age, there was a lengthy period when Batwoman (Kathy Kane) and her niece Bat-Girl (Betty Kane) would often team up with Batman and Robin to go fight crime. I've read reprints of enough of those stories to gather that Kathy and Betty seemed to regard these events as light-hearted "double dating" with males they wanted to have as their regular boyfriends, although all indications are that no serious romantic entanglements ever developed. (For one thing, I don't think Batman and Robin ever so much as took off their masks to let the ladies know who they really were underneath.)

Then in the mid-60s those ladies both faded into comic book limbo for a long time. They were still in "continuity," but no longer active in Batman's core titles. In the 70s, Kathy got a few stories of her own, and then was killed off in 1979 when Denny O'Neil needed a fresh corpse for Batman to grieve over.

Post-COIE: There had never been any team of "Batwoman and Bat-Girl." However: Kathy Kane had been a friend of Bruce's who died as shown in 1979 (in a story collected in the TPB "Tales of the Demon"), but she'd never had a superhero career before she died. Her niece Betty Kane was retconned as "Bette Kane, aka Flamebird" who was a superhero wannabe who used to have a hopeless crush on Robin, but had never called herself "Bat-Girl."

I do not know why those changes were made.

I'm told that last year a Rebooted Post-Infinite Crisis character known as "Kathy Kane" and "Batwoman" made her "debut" in the pages of "52" (which I didn't bother reading, although I may pick it up in TPB someday). This version is a lesbian. I've seen some fans complaining that calling her a lesbian seemed to be all DC thought it could possibly need to do in order to give her interesting character development, but I don't know if that's a fair statement. Evidently all that Silver Age stuff about Batwoman as a seasoned crimefighter who used to work with Batman (and flirt with him) is still erased from continuity, however.

I don't know if this means the death of the original Kathy Kane in 1979 has been erased by retcon in order to make room for the new one, or what.

4. Catwoman

Her background fluctuated in the years following COIE. For years before the transition to Post-COIE continuity (around late 1986), she'd been mostly reformed, and sometimes dating Bruce Wayne. At first a story was written by Mike Barr to show her being brainwashed by Dr. Moon to go back to her "unrepentant bad girl roots" and forget she'd ever been in love with Batman, as I recall -- but later on (before Zero Hour) it was established that Selina and Bruce had never been an item, and after years of occasional confrontations with her, Modern Batman had never yet managed to capture her and had absolutely no idea what she looked like underneath her mask or waht her real name was! (That's changed since then -- I mean, he finally did find out her real name.)

I have previously explored the subject of the frequently-changing history of the Batman/Catwoman relationship in much greater detail in Timeline of the Various Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draft)

5. Alfred Pennyworth

In the Pre-COIE era (around 1981), Gerry Conway established in a two-part story that Alfred Pennyworth had been a British officer assigned to work with the French Resistance during the last part of World War II. He had fallen madly in love with Mademoiselle Marie, a heroic young leader of a Resistance group (and she loved him, too), and they would have married if she hadn't mysteriously vanished -- believed dead -- just as the war was ending. It turned out, however, that she survived long enough, in a less-than-lucid condition, to carry a baby to term and give birth. Then she (apparently) died for real. Maybe. (It was weird. Incidentally, Mademoiselle Marie "already existed" in DC's Pre-COIE continuity as a character who, much like Sergeant Rock, was created in stories published in the Silver Age, but was retroactively set in the WWII era. Gerry Conway only invented her love affair with young Alfred Pennyworth and the resultant child, a grown woman called "Julia Remarque" in the modern era.)

In Doug Moench's run, he brought Julia back onstage and her getting romantically interested in Batman for awhile.

But then, post-COIE, somebody at DC apparently said, "Gee, if Julia's origin story requires her to be born shortly after WWII -- around early 1946? -- then she must be at least 40 by now. The horror! The horror! We'll just have to erase her from continuity!" So they did.

In addition, the Pre-COIE continuity about Alfred had stated, clearly and repeatedly, that he never even met Bruce Wayne until after Bruce had already become Batman and Dick Grayson was already his first Robin. Post-COIE, various writers (but not all of them!) have asserted that Alfred was already a young butler at Wayne Manor in the days when Bruce's parents were still alive, and took primary responsibility for raising him after the kid was orphaned.



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Omar Karindu




Luckily, I did a list of such stuff once.

This list basically details major changes to the origins and histories of the characters; it doesn't cover new information or new stories that distintly happened after Crisis or Zero Hour; all it covers are outright retcons. For example, Joker killing Jason Todd and , not retcons per se.

Batman
Post-Crisis: Major changes to early history that incorporated Year One and later Year Two and Three; martial arts background heavily played up; friendships and confidences with other heroes erased from history in favor of a more secretive, distrusting personality; Joe Chill's return and death revamped to trim Moxon conspiracy elements and to portray his death as an uneasy ally of Batman's during Year Two; Year One reserved for non-costumed gangsters and criminals; existence of many early adversaries and cases thrown into doubt.
Post-ZH: Joe Chill's culpability rendered ambiguous by reference to parallel worlds where someone else killed the Waynes

Robin (Grayson)/Nightwing
Post-Crisis: Circumstances of his transition from Robin to Nightwing rewrtten so that Batman fires him after he is badly wounded by the Joker; bad blood between the two becomes a feature of their relationship.
Pot-ZH: Minor elements introduced into origin by Chuck Dixon.

Robin (Jason Todd)
Post-Crisis: Personality and background radically altered, transforming him from a near-exact parallel to Dick Grayson, right down to the murdered circus acrobat parents, into a thieving orphan with a shady father and an initially unknown mother; aggressive and willful sides played up heavily; initial encounter with Batman now revolves around his boosting the tires fromt he Batmobile and wanting vengeance on Two-Face for killing his thuggish father rather than wanting revenge on Croc for murdering both his parents.
Post-ZH: No real changes.

Batwoman (Kathy Kane)
Post-Crisis: Batwoman identity quietly retconned away, leaving just Kathy Kane, circus owner, as Batman's friend.
Post-ZH: Hints that either she or some other Kathy Kane really was a Batwoman at some point dropped in the Beast Boy miniseries.

Bat-Girl (Bette Kane)
Post-Crisis: Given entirely new backstroy and codename as the hero-worshipper-turned-hero Flamebird.
Post-ZH: Hints that she had an aunt named Kathy Kane who really was a Batwoman at some point dropped in the Beast Boy miniseries.

Joker
Post-Crisis: Killing Joke origin calls into question his pre-Crisis history as a lab assistant turned criminal mastermind as the Red Hood; first battle with Batman is no longer the Claridge diamond theft, but instead an effort to poison the Gotham Reservoir as mentioned in Year One;
Post-Zero Hour: First clash with Batman is as detailed in Legends fo thew Dark Knight #50; had a cousin with the last name Reipan (after Napier, the movie Joker's name); The Man Who Laughs tries to merge the Year One and Batman #1 accounts of his first crime spree.

Catwoman
Post-Crisis: History as a prostitute added in Year One, replacing her pre-Crisis origins as the daughter of a pet store owner turned to crime
Post-Zero Hour: Prostitution elements heavily downplayed or outrght eliminated; younger at time of initial encounter with Batman; has "physical memory" ability to rapidly learn new techniques trough practice -- note that much of this is once again changing

Penguin
Post-Crisis: Origin sightly altered -- he was beaten up by a bully named Sharkey in school, trained himself physically as a fighter, and was embittewred by a combination of Sharkey's vengeance and his mother's death; pre-Crisis, he was simply angered about foreclosures on the family pet store and his mother's death
Post-Zero Hour: Penguin has never been convicted of a crime

Two-Face
Post-Crisis: Entire abusive childhood, psychotic elements of his formerly "good" personality, and major alterations in accounts of his inital outing as Two-Face introduced to bring it into line with Year One; relationship with the Batman before his scarring fleshed out; also, it was now Two-Face, not Croc, who killed Jason Todd's parents
Post-Zero Hour: Facial scarring is now red-purple; if Long Halloween is in continuity, this also expands Two-Face's first "case" considerably

Poison Ivy
Post-Crisis: Origin tied into Swamp Thing and Jason Woodrue, abandoning her Pre-Crisis origin as a poisoned thief; new origin granted her toxic blood and greater plant control that she didn't have originally; defined as legally insane and personality underwent radical alterations
Post-Zero Hour: Pheremonic and plant-control powers expanded further; eco-terrorist motivations added

Scarecrow
Post-Crisis: More fully defined as insane rather than criminal; notion that poverty drove him to crime all but removed from origin
Post-ZH: Origin and childhood greatly expanded upon; psychotic view of the world as "bullies" added

Riddler
Post-Crisis: Real name revaled as Eddie Nashton, legally changed to Riddler; reformed but returned to evil after temporary possession by an apparently demonic force
Post-ZH: Origin radically altered to incorporate neglected childhood; redefined as genuinely insane whereas he was always portrayed as a relatively "stable" criminal before; real name once again Nigma from childhood on; past as a crooked carnival worker retconned away

Mr. Freeze
Post-Crisis: No major changes
Post-ZH: Origin altered in line with Batman: the Animated Series portrayal, removing the notion that he was criminal from the start and adding an abusive childhood and traumatic loss of his wife

Clayfaces
Post-Crisis: Basil Karlo's death in Detectove Comics #496 written out of continuity; Matt Hagen may have battled Batman before Karlo and before Robin, and was seen in flashbacks in Secret Origins v.2 #44 to have beena much less dangerous villain, almost a joke character.
Post-ZH: Hagen did battle Batman prior to Robin's arrival, and thus prior to Karlo's career, as confirmed in LotDK #90-1 and JLA: Year One #2.

Croc
Post-Crisis: No longer responsible for murder of Jason Todd's parents; underwent a complicated storyline in Rick Veitch's Swamp Thing that had him faking Hulk-like stupidity; redefined as insane rather than simply criminal; latrer writers turned his stupid act from a fake to a real deal
Post-ZH: Retconned as slowly and progressively mutating rather than simply being the victim of a hereditary skin disease; developed more crocodle-like powers as a result of this retcon

Mad Hatter
Post-Crisis: No major changes save a greater emphasis on his psychoses; Silver Age "impostor" version's death undone for a single issue of Mike Barr's Detective Comics that treated him as if he were the real, insane Jervis Tetch
Post-ZH: Apparently there was only on Mad Hatter in the post-ZH timeline, one who combines traits of both the mustached Jervis Tetch version and the Silver Age gimmick hat version; no one mentions the Silver Age version anymore

Hugo Strange
Post-Crisis: Radically revamped as an obsessive psychologist fixated on Batman; much of "mad scientist" background and likely past erased or severely downplayed
Post-ZH: some signs of his Pre-Crisis incarnation creeping back in

Killer Moth
Post-Crisis: Threat level reduced greatly, even in flashbacks
Post-ZH: No major changes

Calendar Man
Post-Crisis: No major changes
Post-ZH: Redefined as insane in 80-Page Giant (also Long Halloween, but that may not be continuity)

Firefly
Post-Crisis: No major changes; wound up using his light-gimmicks against the Creeper and later Batman and the Outsiders
Post-ZH: Redefined as insane; developed as a pyromaniac with a jetpack and flamethrower, where his prior incarnation was simply a lighting expert turned to crime

Bat-Mite
Post-Crisis: Probably never existed; written off as a junkie's hallucination (or not?) later on
Post-ZH: Officially revealed as a 5-d Imp; likely has very different case history with Batman (note that 5-d imps seem to remember Pre-Crisis, however)

Earth-1 Batman villains who apparently never existed or have not appeared again since Crisis: Brimstone (E-2 crossover villain, not the guy from Legends), Captain Stingaree, Dr. Double X, King of Cats (Catwoman's brother), Mirror-Man, Night-Slayer, Nocturna, the Outsider, the Wrath.

Note that of the above, Stingaree, Double X, and the King of Cats have been seen in the Infinite Crisis and post-Infinite Crisis period.

- Omar Karindu

"A Renoir. I have three, myself. I had four, but ordered one burned...It displeased me." -- Doctor Doom

"It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey


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