Story Lines/Events Prep Time

Stories and events that display some of his greatest feats of preparation

Batman #420 - Ten Nights of the Beast:

KGBeast, a Russian super-killer who wants to murder all the people responsible for the Star Wars program and is helped by an islamic terrorist, has proven himself smart and cunning enough to kill 7 of his 10 targets and is about to go after the President of the USA (see previous issues). But Bats has deduced the Beast has a mole in the FBI and takes matters into his hands, first having a Gordon dressed up as Reagan and protected by Robin distract & twarth the russian's arab ally:

Then, assisted by a disguised as the President Alfred, luring KGBeast's spy into the open and the Beast himself into a trap that will ultimately cost his defeat (see later in the issue):

Blue Beetle #18 & 25

Correctly mistrusting the Reach (race of aliens whose goal is to covertly conquering Earth while pretending to be friendly), Bats arranges for a satellite with a payload to be used against them, and for the Teen Titans to protect said satellite. The young heroes, helped by the new Blue Beetle, succeed in protecting it.

Later, the satellite turns out to be instrumental in ruining Reach's scheme, transmitting their plan of world domination all over the world thanks to Beetle cooperating with Batman and Oracle to make this happen.

Chase #8

DEO (Department of Extra-normal Operations)'s agent Cameron Chase is assigned to uncover what's the deal about Batman

After she tries unsuccesfully to hack Oracle's files in order to find information about Bats, he is warned by Oracle herself, but he answers that he already knows who is trying to expose him and that he is already working on it as he demonstrates this first by hacking into DEO's systems, then by spying on Chase talking to her superiors despite her line is protected also by a white noiser that should prevent anyone from listening in.

Later, the Dark Knight invites her to a party he'll attend in his Bruce Wayne persona and totally fools her by acting like a rich snob, leading her to think that it's Alan Scott (i.e. the first Green Lantern) who is Batman

Finally, he arranges things for her to realize she doesn't really want to unmask Batman (something he already knew), in the process proving unnecessary Nightwing's precaution of having a disguised as Bats Alan switch with the Dark Knight

Knightquest The Search

1 - While having his back broken & confined to a wheelchair as Bruce Wayne, he uses his contacts with a Mister Jones (J'onn?) at the Justice League's headquarters to assemble a team consisting of Bronze Tiger, Gipsy and Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) to save Jack Drake (Robin III's father) and Dr Shondra Kingsolving from their kidnappers. Notice how Batman shows his smarts by forseeing the assassination attempt against him and Bronze Tiger's save, arranging for a transmitter planted on one of the killers to lead his team to the killers'hideout, and figuring out the presence of Gipsy in the hotel room. (JLA Task Force #5)

2- Forsees the second assasination on him, escapes it, and reveals that he was disguising as.....himself the whole time in order to make Bronze Tiger and co, who would have suspected of someone like Bruce Wayne organizing this rescue mission, that they were just dealing with someone pretending to be Wayne, thus protecting his secret identity (JLA Task Force #6)

Just to show that Batman's ruse succeeded:

3 - Reveals that he had 4 ways prepared to leave Santa Prisca (i.e. where the action was taking place) in case of need (JLA: Task Force #6)

4 - After figuring out that the Shondra was the real target of the kidnapping (Jack was just a tagalong) & that Benedict Asp was implicated, and having flown to London, he has Hood (and english vigilante) sneak in english secret service's offices and steal Asp's files for him (Shadow of the Bat #21)

JLA Terror Incognita (JLA #56-58)

After finding out the White Martians' hideout, Batman successfully sneakes into it by using Brain-Wave's neural amplifier (taken from the JLA's trophy room before teleporting out of the Watchtower). He remains there undetected while gathering info on the WM's plans (using a martian-to-english translator in the process) until the martians learn of his presence due to J'onn unwittingly betraying it. Then, Bats fights off various attacking White Martians (who got detected due to the neural amplifier) with a flame-thrower. Despite, in the end, he gets subdued and Martian Manhunter has to save him, the Dark Knight still manages to reach his goal, i.e. to bring Atom near J'onn. Atom later is instrumental in disposing of the psi-spikes in the green martian's brain (put there by the WM) & healing J'onn enough for him to telephatically shield his mind, in freeing the JLA from the Phantom Zone, and in implementing Martian Manhunter's plan

JLA The Obsidian Age

Going off a "hunch" from Green Lantern, he activates his JLA emergency protocol plan just before the he goes missing in time along with the rest of the JLA (JLA #68)

Having replicated Mr. Terrific's highly advanced t-sphere technology he forms his own JLA to replace the previous one (JLA #69)

JLA #74-75 (end of the Obsidian Age saga)

While being 15000 years in the past fighting alongside the Justice League and being on the losing end against the League of Ancients, who are being manipulated by one of their own (aka atlantean sorceress Gaemnae, who wants to eliminate both leagues in order to insure that Atlantis rules above all and is determined to kill her own team-mates after the fight with the JLA weakens them), Batman takes out Sela & saves Wonder Woman, then shares with her & makes her accept the plan Manitou Raven (the only one of the Ancients who understood they're being manipulated) formulated and Bats deems as the only way to save themselves & have a chance to continue the fight. Said plan being to use GL Kyle's heart (who valiantly sacrifies himself after Raven spoke to him) to save the spirits of the Leaguers

Then, Bats begins to plan things out: first, he and the Leaguers convince Raven to avoid a direct battle against Gaemnae (a fight he could have lose), opting instead to cast a spell of containment (which will be broken only by his future self) on her (and themselves) and strategize.

Then, he anticipates to Raven that, in order to fix things, the present day JLA (i.e. the one that formed during the main rooster's absence as devised by the Dark Knight himself) has to travel in the past, confront Gaemnae there and eliminate her source of power, things that the JLA indeed decides to do upon consulting with present day Raven (i.e. the same one who saved the League's spirits, but after he & said spirits remained confined for 15000 years until a time-travelling from the past Raven broke the containment spell (freeing also Gaemnae in the process)).

Later, while in the present and in sort of zombie form, and knowing that Jason Blood is inside Gaemnae, exploites this to his advantage by leading J'onn to have Blood change to his alter-ego, aka Etrigan the Demon, and J'onn later complies

Then (i.e. just after the Gaemnae is tricked to ressurrect the main rooster of the League to their real bodies), therefore, Etrigan bursts out of the atlantean witch and starts kicking her butt (thus temporarly turning the fight in the JLA's favour), before threatening to turn rougue and having to be put on its place by Batman's contingence against him (see JLA #69), aka Faith, and blasting alongside her at Gaemnae some more

JLA Trial By Fire (JLA #86-89)

Martian Manhunter, upon overcoming his weakness to fire, got possessed by the spirit of, and reverted to, a Burning Martian, i.e. the way martians were before the Guardians of the Universe tampered with their genetics and made the fearful of fire (i.e. what, along suffering, enables the burning martians to breed) in order to spare the universe from the threat they could have become. J'onn, now calling himself Fernus the Burning, handled Supes and Firestorm and is now attacking his other team-mates. The JLA manages to survive this first clash, and decides that the best way to handle J'onn is to travel to the Phantom Zone and get one White martian in order to get inside knowledge about their fellow martian. Bats, however, states he has already a contingency in place in case their trip to the Phantom Zone goes bad

It turns out, Batman's contingency will be needed, since Fernus anticipated the League's tactics, travelled to the Phantom Zone himself and killed the White martians (he is literally the Burning, and the white martians were still weak to fire), and is now manhandling the JLA. Only the Dark Knight is able to escape in order to implement his back-up plan

as later noted by the Leaguers once John Stewart has saved them and told them about Fernus' history

Batman's plan?
To get the only one who, in his opinion, can stop the Burning martian: Plastic Man. Unfortunately, Plas has self-hypnotized in order to forget his super-hero life and stay with his son, and it takes the latter, once Bats explains just how badly his father is needed, to get Plastic Man back in the game

So, Plas intervenes, and does so just in time, since Fernus has arranged nukes to be launched on various cities (while distracting the Leaguers by targetting their loved ones), has handled the JLA while they were trying to dispose of the nukes, and has taken out Bats, who is saved from a fall to death by Plastic Man himself.

Then, Plas attacks Fernus & frees the JLAers, and proves that Batman was right in believing the elastic hero to be the key to beat the Burning. In fact, as forseen by the Dark Knight, Fernus can't take control of Plastic Man's mind, and Plas is superior to the martian as far as shape-shifting is concerned. Thus, PM is able to stall Fernus long enough for the Leaguers to handle the nukes (the last one (kept hidden by the Burning), hits its target despite Superman's effort, but that city gets evacuated by Flash so no life gets lost) and land an attack on the Burning

NOTE: Fernus is later defeated, with an assist from the JLA, by Martian Manhunter himself, who was able to literally burst free from Fernus mainly thanks to Atom, Major Disaster, Manitou Raven and the sacrifice of J'onn's lover Scorch

JLA Syndicate Rules (JLA #112-114)

The League has to face the Crime Syndacate of America and a mega-powerful weapon from Qward that can blow up planets and stars. So, also the reserves are called in by the Martian Manhunter. Bats "suggests" him to send 3 teams to deal with the problems instead of 2, the third being headed for the Syndacate's world (aka Earth Two) in the anti-matter universe to gather intelligence and to find something to use against the CSA to beat them or force them back. Then he switches sides with J'onn and disguises as him while a morphed like Batman MM goes with the team bound for Earth 2, in order to have a telephat beyond enemy lines without their knowledge

This tactic will later pay his fruits, since not only J'onn & co will find info that will lead to the CSA being in debt with the JLA, but will also destabilize things on the Syndacate's Earth so much that Ultraman & co will at least be too busy to do anything but take care of their planet, both things meaning the Crime Syndacate won't be a threat to the League and the positive matter universe for awhile

Against the Qwardian uber-weapon, instead, Bats finds a simple but effective way to overcome the fact that it has already battled both the JLA & the CSA having developed counters against them, and to take it by surprise long enough to disable its guns and break into it: having Supes bring spare uniforms so that the Leaguers and the CSAers (save for Bats & Owlman) can disguise as each others (still, it's to Flash and the Construct whom the League and the Syndacate owe the final victory).

Tangent Superman's Reign

After Tangent Batman helps him escape and bring him to the other Tangent heroes (the Outsiders), Bats plans the liberation of his JLA team-mates and of Tangent Atom, a goal he and the Outsiders reach, discovering in the process that the Superman travelled to the League's Earth to conquer it (Tangent: Superman's Reign #7)

Thus, the Dark Knight take steps to take the Superman out. First he leads the assembled JLAers and Outsiders to break into Superman's private computer room, in order to learn the wherabouts of Lori Lemaris (i.e. the Superman (aka Harvey Dent's wife), an information he didn't get in his previous trip to the Core. Then he confronts Lori in her home and convinces her to help taking down his former husband (Tangent: Superman's Reign #9-10)

Once back on his Earth, Bats divides the JLA, the Outsiders and an assemblage of supervillains (who first worked for the Superman but then were persuaded to switch sides) in 4 teams: 2 of them to attack Superman directly, in order to determine his strenght & weaknesses and have him waste energies. A third to confront Dent's allies and take out Tangent Ultrahumanite (Harvey's former archfoe who could threaten the planet and was reprogrammed to serve his former enemy), a goal they nearly reach (he is finished by the Man Of Steel), but at the apparent cost of Tangent Batman's life. Finally, Batman leads the fourth team in the final showdown against the Superman & co, defeating them (ironically with another Superman delivering the final blow). Thus, the defeated enemies are imprisoned and transferred elsewhere (Tangent: Superman's Reign #12).

Cosmic Odyssey

A group of heroes including Batman is summoned to New Genesis by Highfather and Darkseid, the latter revealing that 4 aspects of the Anti-life entity are loose on this universe and, if they manage to destroy 4 key solar systems of the Milky Way, the whole galaxy will collapse. This would cause the Anti life entity to enter wholly our universe, which would ultimately results in its and the universe's destruction. So, the heroes are enlisted to stop the aspects. However, Bats doesn't trust Darkseid and believes he has a secret agenda, so he phones a friend and ask him to keep an eye on the ruler of Apokolyps:

It turns out the Dark Knight was right, since Darkseid does have in mind to exploit the situation to his advantage by absorbing the Anti-life's power to become ruler of the universe, something that doesn't escape to Batman's friend

Said friend is revealed to be Doctor Fate, who is instrumental in saving reality from the Anti-life essence once Darkseid's plan backfires

Batman RIP

Predicting the ill effects a psychological attack could have on him, The Dark Knight has prepared a back-up identity in order to be able to function despite the attack, a move that proves itself useful once Simon Hurt turns off the "mainstream" Batman's identity (as shown in the "Batman: RIP" story arc) (Batman #679)

Batman #680 & 681 (conclusion of RIP)

The Black Glove (a "club" that has been planning the Dark Knight's demise for years) finds out at its expenses how much ready is Batman for everything. First, Joker's new, lethal Venom doesn't find Bats unprepared, KOing him instead of flat out killing him:

And it's revealed that an earlier attempt to kill the Caped Crusader by poisoning him was totally unsuccessful

Then, as the Joker predicts, not only the Dark Knight is able to escape from his grave (literally) with his faculties intact, but the Black Glove ends up losing control of Arkham Asylum (that they previously conquered), all the doors closing before them

Finally, Batman reveals he has (rightly) suspected of Jezebel Jet's involvement in the Black Glove for a long time, thus only pretending to love her while finding out everything about her and deprieving her of the only thing she really cared about

Batman The Return of Bruce Wayne plus related issues

Upon being shot by Darkseid's Omega Sanction, Batman is sent hurling through time, getting locked in a "spinning cage of events" (probably the one shown in Batman - Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader, check Batman #686 and Detective Comics #853 for reference) before ending in prehistory, alone and amnesiac (Batman #702)

If that wasn't enough, he is literally chased through time by an hyper-adapter, whose goal is to kill him (Batman - Return Of Bruce Wayne #6, among others)

Said hyper-adapter is also responsible for the creation of Simon Hurt (in truth an ancestor of Batman named like Bruce's own father, Thomas Wayne), one of the Dark Knight's arch-foes who was responsible for the whole Batman: R.I.P. debacle: it infected him in an attempt to reincarnate Darkseid in him (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6 and Batman and Robin #16)

Dulcis in fundo, even if he somehow managed to somehow return to the present, Bats was filled with enough Omega Energy to either kill him or to kill everyone in the 21th century, hence why the Justice League & co wanted to prevent Batman from returning to the present on his own (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #2, 5 and #6)

That should be enough to terminate Batman once and for all, right? Not quite, Darkseid understimated Bruce resourcefullness. First, in order to let his friends know that he is still alive and lost in time, so they could organize a rescue mission, he makes sure to leave clues in the past, like a painting in a cave (Batman #702, Final Crisis #7, Red Robin #4, among others)

his prints on a rocket (the same one launched in Final Crisis #7) and a recorded message (Batman #702 and Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #5)

A portrait found in Wayne Manor (Batman And Robin #10 and Red Robin #12, among others)

He also records his adventure in a book he entrusts to a dutch artist along with the portrait that will end up in Wayne Manor (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #2)

Later, taking advantage of his amnesia partially lifting for the moment, he has the Black Pirate take notes of what he remembers and has him place said notes in the box where the book and something else are in (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #3)

In the Western Era, Bats makes sure that the box is in safe hands, beating Jonah Hex once (but losing the second time) in the process, the box ending with his ancestors (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #4)

The book and the box prove very important: in fact, the book gives him clues as to who he is (thus allowing him to fight his amnesy somewhat) and saves his life after Hex shots him (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #4 & 5)

Wheras the box contains a bat-tracker and a note from Batman that, decades later, allow him to track Simon Hurt and distract him in a moment where Dick and Damian were in a really bad situation, thus rescuing them (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6 and Batman And Robin #15)

As to how he manages to come back to the 21th century without dying for good and destroying the time-stream or falling prey to the hyper-adapter: while he is about to be killed in a sacrifice for Barbatos (in truth the hyper-adapter) orchestrated by Simon Hurt, Bats frees himself and grabs the protoype of his time-machine, in order to reach Vanishing Point (a base for the Linear Men site at the end of time or wherabaouts) (Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #5 & 6)

Arrived there and after being cured by the archivists (bioform able to keep track of what happens in the time-stream), he merges with one of them as a disguise and has his memory temporarly removed (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6)

Then, he is able to steal the time-bubble Superman and co (who were seraching for him) arrived in, while leaving another one forming around them (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #2 & 6)

Upon arriving in the 21th century, he is confronted by Red Robin and the JLA, the suit allowing him to easily handle the League (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6)

When he is confronted by Wonder Woman and the lasso reveals that the archivist's suit is possessed by the hyper-adapter, Batman's final gambit comes into play: while he tells the hyper-adapter that he lured it in the 21th century and had it fight the JLA in order to weaken it and make it more easily defeatable, Superman and co arrive in their time bubble as predicted, in time to help the Dark Knight to free himself from the hyper-adapter and trap it in the time-bubble, which Bruce previously rigged to self-destruct and go back in time. Thus, the hyper-adapter, now bat-shaped, is forced to travel in the past, inspiring a young Bruce Wayne to become Batman in the process, before being slain in prehistory by the same tribe Bats will later inspire (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6 & 1)

As for Bruce, the whole ordeal he went through eventually takes his toll and his superhero friends let him die so that the Omega Energy he is filled with (that already started to warp time) leaves him, but then he is strong enough to make it back when they start reviving him (sticking it to Darkseid one final time in the process), and he gets up ready to continue the good fight (Batman - The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6)