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Post By
Omar Karindu

In Reply To
MattS80

Subj: Re: What Retcons Took Place In The Batman Universe Post-Crisis?
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:46:06 am EDT (Viewed 4 times)
Reply Subj: What Retcons Took Place In The Batman Universe Post-Crisis?
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 05:13:29 pm EDT

Previous Post

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.

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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