Welcome to the DC Universe… where the past isn’t what it used to be.

[Sorry it's been a few months since I've made any noteworthy updates! Between rebuilding my personal system from a major hard drive failure last winter, and a number of other significant life developments, I've been a little preoccupied. But never fear... I've been keeping track of events, and hope to have a significant site update this summer. In the meantime, you could always drop by my blog and check out my reactions to the new Robin Hood movie and the series finale of Lost...]
[Further update: this shouldn't really have come as a suprise, but it turns out that starting a PhD program is a giant black hole for free time. I do have updated content in various stages of editorial readiness, and some semi-revised sections almost ready to go live, but I cna't make any promises just now about when. To whatever loyal readers I may have, though, rest assured I have not neglected the implications of Superman: Secret Origin, DC Universe Legacies, and several other relevant recent projects.]

This site is dedicated to presenting a timeline of the DC Universe, the fictional home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and countless other memorable characters who have followed in their footsteps.

In the view of some fans (and critics) of DC Comics that may be a hopeless task—the publisher has so confounded its own characters’ history that when all is said and done, “DC has no continuity.”

I don’t think that’s true.

Yes, since the publication of Infinite Crisis in 2006, we have a “New Earth” and a new Multiverse on our hands… so if not quite all bets are off, still a lot of confusion has been re-injected into the game. And yes, I have found myself having to do something I had hoped wouldn’t be necessary, and give this site a thorough overhaul, after years spent refining its presentation of previous post-Crisis history.

Nevertheless, I think it’s both possible and worthwhile, even now, to maintain a coherent overview of DCU history and continuity. And I aim to keep this site the place to find that overview, as I maintain the criteria that have distinguished it from the start:

The Introduction explores in greater detail why I find this a project worth doing, and how I went about doing it.  Each section of the Timeline itself then has its own introductory notes, explaining any special characteristics of that period of DCU history and (for most sections) offering a condensed “highlight” history… before getting into the full year-by-year details. At the end, I’ve devoted special sections to analyzing character aging, and to pointing visitors in the direction of further reading.

Through it all, I’ve tried my best to make the site a useful and interesting resource for every visitor, even people who don’t necessarily agree with (or even care about!) all my analysis and interpretations of DCU history. For those of you drawn back to DC by recent high-profile storylines after some time away, for instance, I hope it provides a great refresher course!

You can tackle it all from the beginning, dip in where your curiosity leads you, or search directly for information about your favorite character(s).  Whole worlds of imagination are contained herein. Go on and explore!

You are visitor number since this site went live on Jan. 27, 2003.

Home | Introduction | Section I: In the Beginning | Section II: The Golden Age | Section III: The Quiet Years | Section IV: The Silver Age | Section V: The Modern Age | Section VI: The “New Earth” Era | Section VII: The Future | Section VIII: You Say It’s Your Birthday | Section IX: Appendix | My Home Page | My Blog

Contact Me to comment on the site and join the mailing list for future updates!


What’s New? (site history)

• July 14, 2009—Updates to Sgt. Rock’s history, reflecting the recent Lost Battalion mini-series, as well as other World War II details.
• July 4-10, 2009—Minor corrections and updates throughout, most notably reflecting new data on Damian Wayne’s age, and also fixing a navbar error on certain pages.
• July 3, 2009—Major update, with additions and corrections to every section! I’ve sorted out the full sequence of current events leading up to, during, and following Final Crisis—including the interactions of “Batman: R.I.P.” and all its crossovers, Superman’s “New Krypton” arc and the reconfiguration of the Super-titles, Battle for the Cowl and the whole Bat-title relaunch, the latest events in Wonder Woman, JLA, JSA, Green Lantern, Flash: Rebirth, and more! There’s a special day-by-day breakdown of Final Crisis itself. Plus new historical background gleaned from Black Lighting: Year One, Madame Xanadu, and other recent titles; a complete update of the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes (including the origins of Bart Allen and XS) taking into account events in Legion of Three Worlds and elsewhere; new insights into the ages of several characters, including Hal Jordan; and all sorts of minor tweaks and refinements. Feedback is welcome, as always!
• January 15, 2009—Updated to reflect the events of Two-Face: Year One (notwithstanding their very questionable continuity status).
• January 8, 2009—Updated to reflect the events of Green Lantern’s new “Secret Origin,” and the pre-Crisis stories confirmed by flashbacks in Batman #682-83. Also, minor proofreading corrections and entry revisions in several sections.
• December 5, 2008—Updated to reflect the events (and numerous flashback references!) of Grant Morrison’s recent issues of Batman.
• November 24, 2008—Minor proofreading edits throughout, as well as updates to the early history of Wally West and the Teen Titans.
• October 7, 2008—Minor details added to the background of Jonathan and Martha Kent.
• September 30, 2008—Thanks to reader input, I’ve taken a fresh look at Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)’s history, and added information about her age and birthdate in Section VIII.
• September 20, 2008—Minor tweaks. I have (hopefully!) corrected a CSS glitch that was causing incorrect rendering (no scroll bar) in IE 6.0 and earlier. (Update those browsers, folks!) I’ve also added direct access to the four Legion variants from the main navigation menu, added Chris Kent and Ramsey Spencer to the list of character ages in Section VIII, and made copy-editing corrections to a handful of entries.
• September 16, 2008—Minor tweaks. I’ve corrected some errant navigational links, and added new info about Shado’s son Robert, and some additional details about the “52” year gleaned from recent issues of Robin.
• September 15, 2008—Minor tweaks. I’ve updated a couple of entries (including Ray Palmer’s age), and corrected a navigational error on the “Home” button (thanks to eagle-eyed readers!).
I've also learned that there are rendering errors (at least sometimes) when viewed in Internet Explorer 6, including the major problem of a missing scroll bar for the main content area. Unfortunately, versions of IE before 7.0 are notoriously glitchy, and although I coded to work around several known anomalies, I don’t know how to handle this one. I want the site to be as usable as possible for everyone, but I can only encourage frustrated visitors to upgrade their browsers.
• September 9, 2008—I’m excited to announce a comprehensive site update! Call it “version 5.0.”
I admit I’ve waited longer than I’d planned to put any new material online: it’s been nearly two years since my last update. There are several reasons for this. Part of it is just life stuff; I’ve been preoccupied with various non-comics-related matters for the last year or so.  Part of it is that DC itself has dragged its feet about revealing many of the changes in “New Earth” continuity, so not all the information I’d like to include is actually available yet. Part of it was the realization that these changes would require a pretty significant overhaul of the site, and I admit I’ve been reluctant to put in that level of effort when there was still so much doubt as to whether DC would be rebooting continuity again next year in Final Crisis.
However, FC writer Grant Morrison has recently reassured everyone on the record that “it’s not a reboot,” so I’ll take him at his word for now.  And more than one person has e-mailed me asking if I’m still planning a site update. And I have in fact been tracking new developments in my own notes “offline,” meaning there’s certainly a fair amount of new material crying out to be included sooner rather than later.  So the time has finally come (although once I really set to it, it still took me three times as long as I’d planned)… and I hope everyone’s patience will be suitably rewarded!
Some techno-details for the techno-geeks (what, among comics fans? Perish the thought!): as part of the overhaul, I’ve taken the opportunity to update the site “under the hood” as well, bringing it (and my web skills) into the current decade.  It’s now completely standards-compliant, semantically valid XHTML, with all layout and formatting handled by external CSS, and the character encoding in consistent UTF-8.  That’s right, no more “tag soup,” and no more frames—pages should load faster now, and you can bookmark any part of the site without a problem! I’ve also improved navigation—with a more attractive menu (although it’s just a <ul> underneath), pop-up submenus provided by external JavaScript (although the regular links can still get you everywhere if you’re browsing JavaScript-free), and more internal links on the timeline. There’s a separate stylesheet that will automatically kick in to provide better hardcopy formatting whenever you print. And I’ve included some code tweaks so the site should display accurately in every major browser introduced since 2000, including the famously quirky 5.x versions of Internet Explorer… but I haven’t actually been able to test it in that one (I work on a Mac), so if anything seems out-of-whack in your browsing experience, by all means drop me a line and let me know what’s up. (Or better yet, get a better browser. ;-) )
To celebrate the update, I’ve even registered a new domain for the site—www.dcutimeline.com.  The old subdomain (dcu.smartmemes.com) will still work, too, but I think the new address is easier to remember, and I’d certainly appreciate it if you make use of it in any new links you may create.
Content-wise, every section has been updated to include not only new information from recent stories, but corrections discovered since the last update.  (Nobody’s perfect, so I’m always open to hearing about those from eagle-eyed readers!)  I’ve sorted out all the details from 52, “One Year Later” and Countdown, included the latest information about the revised backstories of Superman and Batman, and far, far more.  There’s even new color-coding to denote matters of questionable canonicity. I’ve also added a table summarizing DC’s own “official” timelines, for purposes of comparison.  More details can be found in the main Introduction and each individual Section Intro, especially Section V.  Let me know what you think!

Previous site history: (hide)
This page last updated 09/19/2010.

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