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Magic mirrors are not just objects found in fairy tales. An experiment conducted on a replica bronze mirror in Kyoto’s National Museum shows that the original may be an example of an actual magic mirror that has been linked to a mysterious Japanese shaman queen.
So-called ‘magic mirrors’ have a slight unevenness to their surface – something the naked eye cannot note – which creates patterns on the back as light reflects off of the front. In Japan, magic mirrors were believed to help their users to conjure up images of divine beasts or wizards. Ryu Murakami, head of the museum’s curatorial board, said “Someone apparently noticed the phenomenon and intentionally shaped mirrors in this way. I believe they have something to do with sun worship.” The mirror examined in the study belongs in the “sankakubuchi shinjukyo” (triangular-rimmed deity and beast mirror) category of mirrors.
The original mirror in Kyoto National Museum, thought to be that of Himiko. ( Green Shinto )
This magic mirror is called Himiko’s mirror because stories say it was owned by Himiko, a shaman queen who ruled the kingdom of Yamatai in the 3rd century AD. The mirror was found in the Higashinomiya tomb in Aichi, Japan and has been associated with the queen because some of the other mirrors found in the tomb have the date 239 inscribed on them – the year a Chinese emperor supposedly presented 100 bronze mirrors to the Queen’s emissary. The gift may seem strange by today’s standards, but at the time mirrors were valued presents and were used to create or cement political alliances.
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Modern mirrors used in shrines mimic the sacred bronze mirrors of old - but without the magic. ( Green Shinto )
Queen Himiko is not actually mentioned in Japanese sources - her story is only known through a Chinese historical text written in the late third century. Called ‘Records of the Three Kingdoms’ and compiled around 290 AD, this text is regarded as one of the most reliable of the Chinese dynastic histories. While the existence of Queen Himiko and her kingdom of Yamatai have mostly been accepted, the exact location of this site is still ambiguous today.
Young Himiko receiving her oracle mirror. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )
Returning to the magic mirror, Murakami studied the properties of the original Himiko mirror by creating a 3D printer to produce a replica from materials used in the originals, such as copper and tin powder. It was noted that images of wizards and mythical beasts had been engraved on the back of the object. Experimenting with the replica of the artifact proved that those images could be projected. Shoji Morishita, an associate professor of archaeology at Otemae University, said, “The finding could lead to reconsideration of the role of mirrors in ancient rituals. Sometimes, dozens of mirrors are found from the same burial mound. Theoretically, it’s not hard to imagine that they were lined up to project a number of images.”
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When sunlight reflects off the surface of the replica of a Sankakubuchi Shinjukyo mirror, patterns engraved on the back are projected on a wall at the Kyoto National Museum. ( Noboru Tomura )
Although no exact examples have been recovered from China yet, Chinese archaeologists have also shown strong interest in the Wei mirrors. Some similarities have been seen in the style of these artifacts and Chinese mirrors. A prominent Chinese scholar has even said that the likeness is strong enough to suggest Wei mirrors were actually created by Chinese artisans living in asylum in Japan – but most Japanese archaeologists disagree.
Discovery: Research at Princeton
By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research
Place a single sheet of carbon atop another at a slight angle and remarkable properties emerge, including the highly prized resistance-free flow of current known as superconductivity.
Now a team of researchers at Princeton University has looked for the origins of this unusual behavior in a material known as magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene, and detected signatures of a cascade of energy transitions that could help explain how superconductivity arises in this material. The study was published June 11 in the journal Nature.
“This study shows that the electrons in magic-angle graphene are in a highly correlated state even before the material becomes superconducting,” said Ali Yazdani, Class of 1909 Professor of Physics, the leader of the team that made the discovery. “The sudden shift of energies when we add or remove an electron in this experiment provides a direct measurement of the strength of the interaction between the electrons.”
This is significant because these energy jumps provide a window into the collective behaviors of electrons, such as superconductivity, that emerge in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene, a material composed of two layers of graphene in which the top sheet is rotated by a slight angle relative to the other.
In everyday metals, electrons can move freely through the material, but collisions among electrons and from the vibration of atoms give rise to resistance and the loss of some electrical energy as heat – which is why electronic devices get warm during use.
In superconducting materials, electrons cooperate. “The electrons are kind of dancing with each other,” said Biao Lian, a postdoctoral research associate in the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science who will become an assistant professor of physics this fall, and one of the co-first authors of the study. “They have to collaborate to go into such a remarkable state.”
By some measures, magic-angle graphene, discovered two years ago by Pablo Jarillo-Herrero and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is one of the strongest superconductors ever discovered. Superconductivity is relatively robust in this system even though it occurs when there are very few freely moving electrons.
The researchers set out to explore how the unique crystal structure of magic-angle graphene enables collective behaviors. Electrons not only have a negative charge, but also two other characteristics: angular momentum or “spin,” and possible movements in the crystal structure known as “valley” states. Combinations of spin and valley make up the various “flavors” of electrons.
The team particularly wanted to know how these flavors affect collective behaviors, so they conducted their experiments at temperatures just slightly above the point at which the electrons become strongly interacting, which the researchers likened to the parent phase of the behaviors.
“We measured the force between the electrons in the material at higher temperatures in the hopes that understanding this force will help us understand the superconductor that it becomes at lower temperatures,” said Dillon Wong, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and a co-first author.
They used a tool called a scanning tunneling microscope, in which a conductive metal tip can add or remove an electron from magic-angle graphene and detect the resulting energy state of that electron.
Researchers used scanning tunneling microscopy to detect electrons in the material known as magic-angle bilayer graphene. Image by the Yazdani lab at Princeton University.
Because strongly interacting electrons resist the addition of a new electron, it costs some energy to add the additional electron. The researchers can measure this energy and from it determine the strength of the interaction force.
“I’m literally putting an electron in and seeing how much energy it costs to shove this electron into the cooperative bath,” said Kevin Nuckolls, a graduate student in the Department of Physics, also a co-first author.
The team found that the addition of each electron caused a jump in the amount of energy needed to add another one – which would not have been the case if the electrons were able to go into the crystal and then move freely among the atoms. The resulting cascade of energy transitions resulted from an energy jump for each of the electrons’ flavors – since electrons need to assume the lowest energy state possible while also not being of the same energy and same flavor as other electrons at the same location in the crystal.
A key question in the field is how the strength of interactions between electrons compares to the energy levels that the electrons would have had in the absence of such interactions. In most common and low-temperature superconductors, this is a small correction, but in rare high-temperature superconductors, the interactions among electrons are believed to change the energy levels of the electrons dramatically. Superconductivity in the presence of such a dramatic influence of interactions among electrons is very poorly understood.
A cascade of changes in the electronic properties of magic-angle graphene are observed by high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy as a function of applied voltage, which tunes the electron filling between fully occupied (v = 4) and empty (v = -4). Image by the Yazdani lab at Princeton University. Published in Nature.
The quantitative measurements of the sudden shifts detected by the researchers confirms the picture that magic-angle graphene belongs to the class of superconductors with strong interaction among the electrons.
Graphene is a single-atom-thin layer of carbon atoms, which, due to the chemical properties of carbon, arrange themselves in a flat honeycomb lattice. The researchers obtain graphene by taking a thin block of graphite – the same pure carbon used in pencils – and removing the top layer using sticky tape.
They then stack two atom-thin layers and rotate the top layer by exactly 1.1 degrees – the magic angle. Doing this causes the material to become superconducting, or attain unusual insulating or magnetic properties.
“If you’re at 1.2 degrees, it’s bad. It’s, it’s just a bland metal. There’s nothing interesting happening. But if you’re at 1.1 degrees, you see all this interesting behavior,” Nuckolls said.
This misalignment creates an arrangement known as a moiré pattern for its resemblance to a French fabric.
To conduct the experiments, the researchers built a scanning tunneling microscope in the basement of Princeton’s physics building, Jadwin Hall. So tall that it occupies two floors, the microscope sits atop a granite slab, which floats on air springs. “We need to isolate the equipment very precisely because it is extremely sensitive to vibrations,” said Myungchul Oh, a postdoctoral research associate and co-first author.
Dillon Wong, Kevin Nuckolls, Myungchul Oh, and Biao Lian contributed equally to the work.
Additional contributions were made by Yonglong Xie, who earned his Ph.D. in 2019 and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University Sangjun Jeon, who is now an assistant professor at Chung-Ang University in Seoul Kenji Watanabe and Takashi Taniguchi of the National Institute for Material Science (NIMS) in Japan and Princeton Professor of Physics B. Andrei Bernevig.
A similar cascade of electronic phase transitions was noted in a paper published simultaneously in Nature on June 11 by a team led by Shahal Ilani at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and featuring Jarillo-Herrero and colleagues at MIT, Takashi Taniguchi and Kenji Watanabe of NIMS Japan, and researchers at the Free University of Berlin.
“The Weizmann team observed the same transitions as we did with a completely different technique,” Yazdani said. “It is nice to see that their data are compatible with both our measurements and our interpretation.”
The study, “Cascade of electronic transitions in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene,” by Dillon Wong, Kevin P. Nuckolls, Myungchul Oh, Biao Lian, Yonglong Xie, Sangjun Jeon, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, B. Andrei Bernevig, and Ali Yazdani, was published June 11 in the journal Nature. [DOI 10.1038/s41586-020-2339-0]
Surrealism Through the Mirror of Magic
Let us not mince words:
the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful,
in fact only the Marvelous is beautiful.
André Breton, 1924
The force of magic flows in two directions. One we may call “energetic magic”, and the other, “ritual magic”. Magic appears as a power that flows in and through nature, people, and things. Merely thinking of it can call it forth, or its influence may manifest unexpectedly. Magic may be manipulated, contaminated, or circumscribed by human acts and creations such as rituals, symbols, meditation, and concentrated intention. Magic bodies forth at the threshold of the sacred, at the boundary where the sacred and profane meet. As a lesser, changeable manifestation of sacred power, magic evokes mystery at the limit between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Magic as a force appears in Biblical stories as an inexplicable sacred energy that appears suddenly in the burning bush, or in the miraculous sign of water changed into wine. The notion of magic is not foreign to western cultures, but its non-rational power remains elusive and challenging.
Anthropologists refer to the energy of magic as mana, a transferable power that flows in and through people and things. A concept of Polynesian origin, mana refers to a supernatural or sacred force that inheres within natural things, and that can be directed or manifested by those able or qualified to use it. It may derive from a proto-Oceanic word that suggests “force of nature” or “ thunder, wind, or storm” and hence is allied with the elemental supernatural forces. 1 It echoes the invisible breath, wind, spirit or pneuma (Greek) of classical thought. The power of this force, like wind, like fragrance, is its invisible atmosphere, like a reverberation of sound or a veil of vapor. It leaves only traces. “Knowledge of the invisible is power to transform the visible. It is awesome, fascinating, dangerous knowledge.” 2
The imagination and magic are innately connected through a use of matter as metaphor—matter’s ability to represent something else. Magic always employs aspects of matter in its transformations. The force of mana or magic can imbue certain material objects with power. Hence the protective quality of amulets and stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, or quartz, or those natural or man-made images or objects at gateways, thresholds or over a child’s bed that grant a rubric of protective influence. Mana expresses the peculiar feeling and conviction that nature is inhabited by an indwelling spiritual power that takes different forms, and that animates all things. In the early twentieth century, western ethnographers referred to this experiential belief as animism. According to Oceanic cultures, mana forms an active transferable magic, whereas, on the other hand, taboo shows magic’s pollution, shrouding a person or thing in an evil miasma. Taboo has more power than mana, because taboo things contain power and elicit fear and the opprobrium of shunning.
In 1936, Kurt Seligmann, the surrealist artist on whose ideas this exhibition pivots, journeyed to Tahiti. In 1938 he explored the monumental totems of the Tshimshian peoples of British Columbia, Canada. His ethnographic travels allowed him to explore mana, totem, and taboo and led him to describe his experiences in a 1939 article in the surrealist review, Minotaure.
The Occult and Ritual Magic
In another direction, magic flows towards ritual and symbol. Ritual magic courses through manifold aspects of European culture that use occult knowledge to reject the dominant culture of their times. Ritual magic informs recognizable rituals and symbols, especially those that have taken a new life as “rejected knowledge.” Secret or occult rituals, foretelling or premonition, dream interpretation, and the residue of ancient pagan or pre-Christian religions remained dormant until the middle ages, when systems of rejected knowledge originating from pagan mystery religions and the human psyche were subsumed into the grand cross-referencing of classical and Christian symbols known as Renaissance humanism. Archaic religions reemerged as the occult sciences, including alchemy, the tarot, and folkloric healing arts. Greek myths, Biblical narratives, and medieval fairy tales warn of false seers who selfishly misuse magic’s power, falling victim to inevitable destruction. Most religious traditions, from traditional indigenous cosmologies to organized world religions, contain ritual processes and symbols that mark as holy the transitions of birth and death, and other changes of daily life, to enhance an appreciation of the world. Nevertheless, to view magic only as the ritual or occult limits our understanding to its outward shell.
Those unusual figures gifted with magic use the qualities of matter to transform circumstances or events. Christian saints, Biblical prophets, shamans, curanderas, cabalists and alchemists, each by receptivity to the analogies of matter, use the resonance of stone and bone water, purity, or clarity or smoke, incense, and perfume to trigger a physical and symbolic change in the individual. Some describe this as directing a life force through a bodily conduit that, like electricity, can illuminate or harm in equal measure. Although this is not a universal notion of magic, it underlies a widespread belief in unseen spiritual forces made active through magic.
Kurt Seligmann designed his bookplate with symbols that read in different ways. The alchemical mark of Saturn on the image’s forehead represents lead, the primordial matter- or “prima material”- that medieval alchemists transmuted into gold as an analogy to the purification of the soul. Saturn has a melancholic and thoughtful temperament the scythe of Saturn is drawn into the face’s arched left eyebrow, suggesting inquisitiveness and skepticism. Kurt Seligmann’s interest in double images in indigenous art may have inspired this original visual pun of the eyebrow/scythe. The scythe also indicates the sinister, literally ‘left hand’ path of magic. The symbol on the face’s chin is that of Mercury, or “quicksilver”, a mutable metal, named for the Roman god of messages, travel and exchange. Mercury takes us on the soul’s journey through dreams and secret portents.
Magic participates in the reality that it alters. It is both symbol and substance, and therefore indefinable. Simply stated, it is both a verb and a noun – simultaneously an action and a concrete transformation. As anthropologist Alfred Gell points out, “‘spirit’ and ‘essence’ reveal that …an ideal or absolute truth …concretely within reach, would have to be something like a vapor, a distillate of more mundane reality.” 3 In this direction, at the ancient Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi the oracle sat on a platform above a rift in the earth that embodied the mysterious presence of the goddess Demeter. The priestess uttered phrases in a trance state triggered by the geochemical fumes emitted from the split below. With the force of magic, the veil of fumes stirred the oracle to speak in riddles given to priests to interpret. Thus matter and meaning become interfused between Demeter, the earth, and the vapors.
Magic eventually became associated with mere sleight of hand, the “abracadabra” that evokes childish amazement and surprise. Intrigued with the special effects of magic as the heritage of the 19 th century occult revival, the surrealists joined with Freud, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Madame Blavatsky and the theosophists, and the mesmerists, psychics, and clairvoyants who populated the fringes of respectability. The surrealists’ were drawn to dreams, premonition and fortune telling. The carnival road show, with its theater of traveling musicians, seers, and human curiosities captured the surrealist imagination. André Breton in particular believed in premonitions, and in his autobiographical novel Nadja (1928) he consults apsychic or clairvoyante, Madame Sacco, who, as he says “has never been mistaken about me. The conclusion is evidently on the order of a dream of two extremely disparate images.” 4 In occult magic, the surrealists found an alternative state of mind that rejected the conventions of logic and state religion. Redemption from the arid air of modern life was there, waiting, awakened by the weird, the uncanny, and the surreal.
Clairvoyants, seers, mystics, and visionaries complemented the surrealist belief in unseen forces and spirits that could be accessed through alternative forms of knowledge that included premonition, precognition, paranormal and extra-sensory perception, and the insight of the imagination. In The Mirror of Magic, Kurt Seligmann wrote, “In every man there is a child that yearns to play, and the most attractive game is occultation, mystery.” 5
Rene Magritte took this portrait of his wife Georgette and a friend with only their eyes showing, looking at a table top of mundane objects as if uncovering the magic of ordinary things.
Surrealism recognizes the force field of magic in both ritual and energetic manifestations. The surrealists understood the currents of magic as expressions of creative energy. Surrealist artists, writers, and thinkers grasped the nature of magic as a force neither completely energetic, nor solely derived from the residual myths and symbols of archaic religions, but arising from the mind itself. In addition to the wellspring of ancient religions expressed through the occult, the surrealists drew directly from the energy of the imagination that Freud linked with the child’s instinctual energy, “a chaos, and a cauldron of seething excitations”. That was the energetic and unpredictable id or “it”, the fount of dreams, and erotic or creative energy—the libidinous imagination. Just as the Id embraced the pleasure of material substances and the contradictions of the dream state, so too did magic.
For the surrealists, the vitality of the creative imagination transcended the limits of reason that had shackled the western European mind since the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. The visionary imagination could see into reality and uncover the alchemical transformation of dreams in art andpoetry, opening hidden portals in the mind. Surrealism reignited archaic symbols, and intensified the longing of courtly love with the erotic magnetism of amour fou 6 or mad love.
Surrealism used both ritual and energetic magic to undermine the instruments of reason and religion that limited the human experience. In the Manifesto of Surrealism (1924) André Breton wrote,
“We are still living under the reign of logic. Under the pretence of civilization and progress, we have managed to banish from the mind everything that may rightly or wrongly be termed superstition, or fancy forbidden is any kind of search for truth which is not in conformance with accepted practices… A part of our mental world has been brought back to light. . Freud very rightly brought his critical faculties to bear upon the dream.”
The surrealists rejected religion, particularly Catholicism, and bourgeois European society. By 1929, in the Second Manifesto of Surrealism, André Breton called for a clean sweep: “Everything remains to be done, every means must be worth trying, in order to lay waste to the ideas of family, country, religion.” 7 At this time, the surrealists had hopes for an alliance with communism, unaware of the dictator Stalin’s rise in the Soviet Union. They strongly opposed the colonization and religious conversion of non-Western cultures that by the mid-nineteenth century had become the conquered dominions of Europe. The indigenous peoples of North and South America, Africa, India and Southeast Asia, and their colonial inhabitants, later were drawn into the colonial forces of World Wars I and II—and tragically became cannon fodder for an inherited European conflict.
Early twentieth century ethnographers and anthropologists such as Sir James Frazer, E. B. Tyler, and R. R. Marrett captured the surrealist imagination. Established by earlier adventurers, explorers, and ethnographers, the ethnographic collections of the Musée du Trocadéro in Paris, as well as those of London and Berlin, became treasured surrealist terrain, exquisite sources of alternative thinking that allowed them to understand the pure power of matter and its infinite possibilities. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880) originator of the term “surréalisme” (1917) was first among those who promoted ethnographic art. His 1909 article, “On Museums” argues for inclusion in the Louvre “certain artistic manifestations that have been ignored until now. These are works of art from certain regions, certain colonies, such as Australia, Easter Island, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Tahiti, various African lands, Madagascar, etc.…Until now we have only admitted works of art from these countries intoethnographic collections where they have been conserved only as curiosities…” 8 The ethnographic attitude was an undercurrent of surrealism, countering the prevailing rationalism and industrialism of Europe. Surrealism grasped the countervailing tendencies of psychoanalysis, with its investigation of the origins of the mind, and of occultism, magic, and ritual, and employed the principles of sympathetic magic as defined by Sir James Frazer and other mythologists. The surrealists uncovered magic as the material embodiment of imagination itself.
Surrealists used this dormant residue of magic in a new way, merging it with their broad knowledge of non-Western belief systems and images, and with thecountervailing tendencies towards magic, supernaturalism and mystical experience that were a subculture of the modern West. In the first Manifesto of Surrealism, André Breton writes of the surrealist pursuit of mystery:
“We can hope that mysteries which are not really mysteries will give way to the great Mystery. I believe in the future resolution of these two states -- outwardly so contradictory -- which are dream and reality, into a sort of absolute reality, a surreality, so to speak. ”
The mystery appeared in the trance state entered by the poet Robert Desnos, whose automatic writing eclipsed the conscious control of the mind. Of the first surrealist practices, automatic writing was intended to reveal the free associations of the subconscious mind and the dream. Words appeared in unfamiliar juxtapositions, with astonishing connections. Automatic writing was accompanied by chance and coincidence. The surrealists believed that chance was the expression of a sacred force that revealed the magical, predestined meaning of everyday life. Jean Arp threw random pieces of paper to create images, while Tristan Tzara wrote poems through chance selection of words. Chance combinations in poetry went beyond “word salad” to suggest strange metaphors that excited an obscure sense of significance and to waken the symbol making capacity of the mind. Was this mere coincidence, fortuitous serendipity, or was it the force of magic that made connections between disparate words and shapes to open this world of imagination?
This “exquisite corpse” drawing refers to the element of chance that occurs in the surrealist drawing process. An artist would begin the drawing, then fold the paper so that the next artist cannot see the earlier one. The “exquisite corpse” would often combine animal or human parts, creating a new being. This transformation and merging of human and animal is a characteristic of Inuit shamanic art.
The first domain of surrealism is the mind. The surrealists explored the mind to excavate the source of creative energy, the origins of love, and the impulse for imagination. The imagination as a filter for understanding the world as metaphor, the world as sacred, and the world as animated, was also pursued by the early anthropologists who sought the origins of culture, and to whom they looked for ideas. The creative imagination was for them, the source of all forms. From nothingness all things arise, and from formlessness that form appears. This theme of active emptiness is common to many spiritual traditions, including creation myths, Theosophy, Buddhism, and the occult sciences. Surrealism’s interest in these traditions was never its sole concern rather surrealist artists pursued the liberation of the human imagination.
Vision, of course, is concentrated in the eye, but visionaries believe in the mind’s eye—the third eye, the eye of enlightenment. To understand the surrealist pursuit of magic and the imagination, we must turn to the inner vision and psychic knowledge that forms a counterpoint to Freud’s scientific investigation of the unconscious.
This photograph demonstrates Kurt Seligmann’s insight and humor in a compressed and simple image. Holding his glasses – used to make vision more acute –he lets one lens frame his left eye, while the other encloses empty space, creating a sort of third eye. In Theosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism, and esoteric traditions, the Third Eye refers to the mind’s eye—the source of insight, interior vision and dream. Here Seligmann’s third eye—the empty lens—suggests the void as the source of all things, the imagination from which all images body forth. Seligmann’s interests in visionary experience, magic, and the occult are embodied in this delightful and whimsical image.
Through the Mirror of Magic, Kurt Seligmann, and surrealism
The Mirror of Magic (1948) was as unique as its creator. Seligmann (1900) was born in Basel, Switzerland at the turn of the century—at the height of the symbolist movement and the occult revival in Europe. An artist and scholar of Jewish origin, he absorbed elements of fantastic art and symbolism of Fuseli and Arnold Bocklin from his native country. Seligmann moved to Paris in 1929, and associated with fellow Swiss artists Giacometti, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Meret Oppenheim and Le Corbusier. He joined Jean Arp’s Abstraction/Creation movement and took up with the surrealists, although he did not formally join the movement until 1937. While pursuing his art, he became an ethnographer of Pacific Northwest indigenous art in the 1930’s. Seligmann left Paris in 1938, under the auspices of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris and with the help of Maurice Barbeau, a well-known ethnologist at the Canadian National Museum.
Seligmann actively sought to help remove other artists from World War II Europe to New York, where he lived from 1939 until the end of his life. In August of 1940 André Breton, the “magus” or “pope” of surrealism, wrote to request that he help set up a lecture tour starting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that allowed Breton to escape France with an American cultural visa. Seligmann contacted director Alfred Barr, and arranged for Breton’s invitation. Seligmann’s vision embodied that peculiar surrealist mix of indigenous and occult elements that drove the movement. In 1943 Breton expelled him from surrealism after a disagreement on the meaning of a tarot card. Despite surrealism’s regrettable internal politics, Seligmann was sanguine about this rejection. He had already established himself in New York as an extraordinary thinker and artist. He remained close to Yves Tanguy, André Masson, and Wolfgang Paalen, exchanging ironic letters about surrealism and André Breton.
Seligmann brought a new appreciation of magic to the fore in his exploration of indigenous cultures of Oceania and the Pacific Northwest. In Europe, he began a collection of rare books on magic and the occult, further expanding his library that now resides at Cornell University. He was a source to surrealists interested in the “primitive” and in non-western art, in ancestors, in the totem, in indigenous religion and occult magic. Using his cherished library as well as his ethnological research, his research culminated in The Mirror of Magic, first published in 1948 by Pantheon Books. Although it has since fallen into disuse, The Mirror of Magic was a wholly original contribution to the fields of comparative mythology and religion. It attempted a global view of magic without western bias, and offered insights from a religio-aesthetic perspective. Seligmann’s The Mirror of Magic prefigured writings by Mircea Eliade, whose Patterns in Comparative Religion was published ten years later, or Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, also published by Pantheon, 1949. These comparative mythologists sought a primal or “monomyth” behind mythology.
Seligmann’s worldview derived from a sympathetic, and not altogether abstract understanding of the Cabala as a giant system of cross-referencing between physical, and spiritual worlds. The Cabala could be applied simultaneously to Judaic, Christian, indigenous and occult symbols. Seligmann approached indigenous artists as individuals and colleagues, neither setting himself above them, nor idealizing their exotic value. He found indigenous art highly aesthetic, but unlike his surrealist colleague Wolfgang Paalen, never exploited native art for profit or used it to create a theory. Instead, he used the principle of sympathetic magic in his sculpture and painting, combining animal, human, and objects to create new beings. Seligmann created his own universe of ambiguous or concealed figures in a state of transformation in an imaginary theatrical space.
The Ethnographic Attitude
The Mirror of Magic embodies Seligmann’s passionate curiosity about magic, supernaturalism and religions. It was one of the first books in the field of religion, after Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (1890, 1900, 1906-15) to present religious phenomena as vital, global, and integral to aesthetic feeling. Seligmann predicted the later development of history of religions and cultural anthropology. One may speculate that his workas an artist and a scholar was neglected due to his different fields, and to the commonplace assumption that artists cannot be scholars and vice versa. In The Mirror of Magic, Seligmann explains his drive to write this book: “As an artist, I was concerned with the aesthetic value of magic and its influence upon man’s creative imagination. The relics of ancient peoples indicate that religio-magical beliefs have given a great impulse to artistic activities, a stimulus which outlasted paganism and produced belated flowers in the era of Christianity”. Seligmann believed that the imagination was an alternative source of knowledge that transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary—enlarging the experience of life itself.
Dissenting surrealists such as André Masson, Joan Mirò, and Robert Desnos contributed to Documents, the surrealist art magazine edited by Georges Bataille from 1929 that juxtaposed ideas in archaeology, ethnography, and fine arts, to oppose Breton’s control of the movement. The collector Georges Wildenstein financed Documents. Georges Rivière (1897), museum theorist and ethnographer during the rise of surrealism, comments on his involvement in Documents and explains the science and culture in the France of that time:
In its illustrations could be seen side by side a Zapotec urn and a scene from the Folies Bergères, or a distribution map of the porter’s yoke, and a cover from a copy of Pieds nickels. Such was the encounter of two realms: the realm of science which had long been developed by students of Africa, America and Oceania, and the aesthetic which had been discovered first by cubism and then by surrealism: realms that had as a common factor their non-classical nature. (Rivière, 1968). 9
By coincidence, Kurt Seligmann met and married Arlette Paraf in 1935 she was the granddaughter of Nathan Wildenstein, the originator of Wildenstein Gallery, Paris, London and New York. Through her he would have had access to various ethnographers, archaeologists, and the Wildenstein personal collection.
In The Mirror of Magic Kurt Seligmann explains his choice of a broad approach and his appeal to the general reader. He does not promote occultism, sects, or ideologies:
“Magic has been treated mainly in two different ways. The specialized works of scholars are confined to specific types, aspects, and eras generally they are written for the scientific reader. On the other hand, there are innumerable publications of questionable value expounding ideas rarely based on fact, but twisting the truth into a narrow system of a special brand: that of the sectarian of the occult. Only a few authors on magic have written for the general reader, a fact which will perhaps justify this publication”. 10
Seligmann was influenced by Frazer’s The Golden Bough, a book that describes the process of sympathetic magic in terms of the poetic imagination. Frazer understood the classics, and he abstracted the archaic Greek approach to matter as “the part suggests the whole” and that“things act on each other at a distance, through a secret sympathy, the impulse being transmitted from one to another by invisible power”. 11 Frazer’s study of magic greatly influenced Seligmann. As Seligmann writes: “I make no claim to original scholarship my investigation has been guided by such scholarly works as those of J. G. Frazer, A. von Harnack, G. L. Kittredge, Fr. J. Boll, L. Thorndike and others.”
Seligmann took the idea of sympathetic magic, and using “the part suggests the whole” played with magic, for example, in his object created for the surrealist exposition of 1938. His work L’Ultrameuble (Ultrafurniture), an ottoman composed of legs, is a sympathetic pun on the act of sitting, whereby the legs encourage us to mimic them by sitting. Seligmann may have intended to shock his audience because these women’s legs, wearing stockings and heels, and revealing the knees, would have affronted a conservative audience. His transgression of this taboo of female modesty had the contradictory effect of both attracting and offending a conventional viewer. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Kurt Seligmann’s father had a furniture department store in Basel young Kurt would have been exposed to the furniture stock while growing up, just as Man Ray was exposed to his father and mother’s tailoring business.Kurt Seligmann (American, born Switzerland 1900)
L’Ultrameuble (Ultrafurniture) shown at the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Paris, 1938
Image taken from La Chaussure by Jean-Paul Roux (1980)
In 1936, Kurt Seligmann and Arlette Paraf Seligmann journeyed to French Tahiti for their honeymoon not just an exotic location, Tahiti provided the elements that had previously obsessed Seligmann. Polynesian and Tahitian indigenous objects figured in the collection of the Musée de Trocadéro in Paris, frequented by the surrealists, and particularly treasured by André Breton. The Trocadéro ethnographic collection collaged anthropological art, objects and documents, providing the surrealists with insights, which they conveyed in journals such as Revue Documents. Seligmann was familiar with these resources, and, possessed of a fine visual memory, made the connection between the formal elements of Polynesian and Oceanic art with the art of the indigenous Pacific Northwest Coast peoples such as the Tsimshian, with whom he lived for four months in 1938. One of the currents of connection was the mana or animistic force that flowed through nature, which Seligmann found transformed in the animal totems of the Northwest.
For Seligmann and the surrealists, the conception of mana relied on earlier research. Magic and mana, uncanny phenomena, occult belief systems, the alchemical transformation of base metals into gold, and the serendipity of tarot cards all provided opportunities to open to a new magical state of mind of the surreal. The dominant western European culture rejected these survivals of archaic thought that in the medieval period developed into the secret or occult sciences. Occultism embraces the idea of a sacred mystery that inheres in all things. The mystery is revealed by the principle, “one in all, all in one”, that has become known as “the perennial philosophy”. As Kurt Seligmann explains in the Museum of Modern Art Bulletin, 1946, in an interview with director James Sweeney , “Though my interest in magic can hardly be brought into immediate relationship with my work as a painter, there is something about magic which fascinates me. It is not in vain that we speak of magical arts. Magic philosophy teaches that the universe is one, that every phenomenon in the world of matter and of ideas obeys the one law which co-ordinates the All. Such doctrine sounds like a program for the painter: is it not his task to shape into a perfect unity within his canvas the variety of depicted forms? The presuppositions of high magic: 'All is contained in All,' and 'All is One' are the basis of my forthcoming book, The Mirror of Magic.”
In 1938, Kurt Seligmann independently investigated the indigenous North American cultures of the Pacific Northwest in a lengthy visit to British Columbia, Canada. His ethnographic work used drawings and oral history to record the Tsimshian, an aboriginal or first nations people.
The term totem comes from an Ojibwe term that means a personal totem or animal spirit protector. Totem animals extend their distinctive features to the clan. Certain animals such as the eagle, frog or wolf or crow, raven, or bear, have magical protective powers as totems or images of kinship. Seligmann was drawn to totem poles, to the phenomenon of the totem and how it formed a protective, emblematic image for kinship, and avoided the negative presumption of native art as lower in the evolutionary scale. While he certainly participated in the bohemian romance of the noble savage—or perhaps the artist—he avoided using the presuppositions of European art history. Seligmann valued the totem poles of the Tsimshian as art, and he encouraged an exchange between the clan and the collector that he hoped would respect the totem’s intent and preserve it. His receptivity to indigenous, non-European cultures lends significance to his ethnographic research and his aesthetic feeling for those nations. Ironically, the European sovereign nations viewed both the colonial emigrants and the indigenous peoples as colonial subjects, and therefore as less refined or evolved, according to Darwinism. The surrealists uncovered these political tensions between European and non-European cultures by advocating for the imaginative and metaphorical content of non-Western art.
Shamanism, Transformation, and Hybridity
In addition to Seligmann’s interest in First Nations peoples and their art, surrealists were attracted by the creativity and inventiveness of the Canadian Inuit. They were familiar with the art of the North through the ethnographic collections of Europe, and were fascinated by research on shamanism that could be linked to magic, healing, and totem animals for the benefit of an individual or clan. To the degree that the shaman could exert the force of a totem to protect the people she or he treats, those people would be touched by the current of magic, healed of malevolent influence, or moved through transitions such as birth or death, and enveloped by the protective forces called forth by the shaman.
In traditional aboriginal cultures, such as the Inuit, when the shaman takes on the characteristics of an important animal—the seal, the polar bear, the whale—he wears the fur, feathers or teeth of that animal to absorb through these “animal parts” the presence of the entire animal. Additionally, the postures and gestures of the dance ritual take on the posture and gesture of the creature or spirit invoked. In shamanism and archaic performance, the shaman must understand and recreate the inward armature of the creature—the pulse of posture and gesture. Inuit sculptors, in capturing posture and gesture, use the thrust and potentiality of the inner movement, mining the essence of the totem animal or force.
The Inuit art available to European collections often showed animal and human figures merging in a spectrum of transformations. Animals and humans became new shamanic beings described naturally and not as fearsome. The shamanic influence is felt in the identification of human and animal figures, and in carvings of various nature spirits such as Sedna, the sea goddess. These shamanic expressions reinforced the surrealist investigation of visual puns in art from the visual to a psychological level. This psychological double reading extended into the surrealist drawings of the ‘exquisite corpse’, to free associations and unexpected juxtapositions in poetry, and to a new level of psychological double meanings in art.
Kurt Seligmann not only understood the power of shamanic identification with animal or supernatural figures, he also fully grasped the principles throughwhich the imagination was able to achieve this connection. In his etchings, La Sorcière (The Witch), 1936 andLe Prestidigitateur (The Magician), 1933, Seligmann merges human, still life, and animal parts to form new creatures of magical origin. La Sorcière is composed of male female, plant and still life elements. The backbone of the witch is composed of a spiny plant, the breast is an architectural cupola, and the head is a mask that covers a flagpole from which ribbons wave in the wind. La Sorcière is formed from extraordinary connections created by the artist’s imagination to create a new, ineffable being that can only be understood through the artist’s supernatural and interior vision.
A prestidigitator conjures by sleight of hand and rehearsed magic tricks. Here Seligmann depicts the conjurer as an artist, composed of an easel, a flute-like musical instrument, the wood of the stretcher bars and measuring implements building to a totem mask at the top. The totem mask, with a bearlike snout, wears a Napoleonic hat, and the entire figure is bifurcated by the stretcher bar that rises to the top of the easel. As if to refer to the artist’s sleight of hand, the artist’s leg is revealed dancing an unstable jig towards the bottom of the easel, and this constructed figure floats above an infinite background, where the forms of a sphere and triangle evoke the rational geometric forms of the Greeks and Egyptians. The classical past recedes not just an optical recession but a psychological one that gives way to magic.
First published in 1929, Le monde au temps des surréalistes (The World in the Age of the Surrealists), shows a radical revision of the world map, with the exotic or non-western regions made large, and the European and Western countries made small. The surrealist inversion of the cultural map was not only humorous it illustrates a point as well. Alaska, Labrador, the Arctic, Russia, Easter Island, Tibet, and China, and Mexico are more important in the spatial hierarchy of this map than all the western European nations combined. The Surrealist Map of the World illustrates that the surrealists valued the art of traditional, non-western, and aboriginal cultures. They understood that art had the power to convey a world invisible to the human senses, but made visible in form by the supreme ability of the imagination.
Ironically, this seemingly primordial world of authentic intensity and extraordinary images had its own logic of symbols. It did not bow to European notions of image making. Whereas the surrealist painters such as Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dalí, and Max Ernst imagined infinite space, using long horizon lines and empty spaces, these extraordinary and psychologically charged spaces actually existed in the unknown vistas of the Americas. The preternaturally long shoreline that overshadowed the human figure, the clarity of light in the empty desert, the dark rising pines and cedars guarding the Northwest, the crystal air of the white tundra, all revealed the dream of surrealism in an actual material presence. The infinite space of imagination and magic was present, here in the Americas, where the social conventions of Europe no longer held sway. On the southwestern desert, in the Pacific forest, the mythic ancestors stood larger than human beings and foretold the return of origins, the beginning of time and the imagination of matter from which all magic extended. Kurt Seligmann was one of the first artists to look into that dark forest and find the path of magic. Some came before him, and others followed, but he released European culture from the shackles of its imagined primeval memories, into a land with the promise of its indigenous inhabitants at the cusp of a struggle with European values.
1. Along the Paleolithic Path
We don’t know exactly when humans first settled in the Japanese archipelago, but archaeologists will only confirm evidence of Paleolithic people living in Japan from around 35,000 years ago, although there are those who think the first colonizers arrived much earlier.
The first settlers lived by hunting and gathering, used fire, and made their homes either in inland caves and rock shelters. An 8 year old child’s bones from 32,500 years ago were found in a cave. The child was nicknamed “Yamashita Dojin“.
The Minatogawa Man, however, is the most famous of the Stone Age residents and is considered to be a direct though remote ancestor of some of the modern day Japanese population. An 18,000 year old fossilized resident of Naha city in Okinawa, he was 155 centimetres tall, had large teeth, jaws with two of his teeth knocked out – the earliest example in the world of this rather common global tribal custom. He had a high, broad and pinched nose but a low and narrow forehead with a prominent browridge.
Minatogawa Man (Courtesy of Tokyo Science Museum)
It has been said that the Minatogawa Man resembled a number of men from the fossil halls of history, namely, the Liukiang man and Zhenpiyan man of South China, Lang-Cuom and Phobinhgia man of North Indochina. Others disagree and say he looked most like the Sinanthropus of China and Wajak man of Indonesia, or a cross between the Sinanthropus and West European Neantherthal (Hisao Baba, Banri Endo). But you might want to know this piece of trivia…the Minatogawa Man is thought to have landed in the dump where he was, with a heap of other bones, because he had been attacked by cannibals.
On the mainland of Japan the skeleton of the Hamakita man was found in a limestone quarry site in Hamakita city, Shizuoka prefecture in central Japan. Hamakita man’s fossils were radiocarbon dated back to 17,900 years ago. Like the Minatogawa man, the Hamakita man is also considered to be a probable ancestor of the Jomon people.
Thousands of sites have been excavated all over Japan showing up a variety of Paleolithic stone tools…y ou can see why many peope call this period the Stone Age of Japan. However, o nly a few skeletons in good condition have been rescued from the inevitable decay in Japanese soil. That’s because the soil is very acidic and does not allow for preservation of fossil matter.
The Paleolithic people made large and rough core tools by working on a fist-sized piece of rock (called the core) with a similar rock (called the hammerstone) and knocking off several large flakes and chipping away the surface of a stone. They also produced flake tools by working with a stone flake broken off from a larger piece of stone. These stone tools are like the “signature” or “footprints” left behind by the Paleolithic people, and the various tools that were produced include trapezoids, edge-ground stone axes, backed-blades, leaf-shaped bifacial point-tools, pebble tools, grinding and pounding tools, and microblades (tools with blades smaller than 1 centimeter).
Wherever Paleolithic people made their base campsites, they left behind traces of many small flakes and chips from the manufacture and maintenance of stone tools. Even at their work camps and butchering sites, and temporary sites, they would have left lots of stone flakes and chips – the telltale signs of tool sharpening. And that’s what archaeologists look out for when they go digging in search of Stone Age finds. Only a few tools made of bone have been found.
They left behind stone tools, fire-cracked rocks or fireplaces, stone materials, and other artifacts everywhere. From examining the stone materials left behind by the Paleolithic people, experts know they traded extensively stone materials and stone tools.
From a site in southwestern Hokkaido dated to near the end of the Late Palaeolithic period, scientists gathered that they buried their people and decorated their bodies.
We also know that the Paleolithic people were already skilful at crossing wide stretches of sea since obsidian was being obtained from Kozu Island south of Tokyo. They were very likely on the move a lot and did not settle down anywhere long.
Most sites were occupied for short periods of time — a few days to a few weeks or months — and then not used again for thousands of years. The Paleolithic people appear to have preferred caves over solid structures for homes, although it is thought a few of the Paleolithic people may have also started living in pit dwellings. However, in actual fact, experts believe that very few people actually lived in caves, that the Paleolithic people in Japan mostly lived in superficial portable homes made of animal skins, that have left no permanent traces for us to discover.
Did they invent pottery?
For a long time, archaeologists and historians called this period in the history of the Japanese archipelago, the pre-Ceramic era, because for the most part, pottery had not been invented yet. However, bits of pottery (called sherds) have been turning up with earlier and earlier dates, and the earliest pieces discovered are dated to 16,500 years ago, towards the end of the Paleolithic Period, though such finds have not been many. So perhaps, the Stone Age man in Japan experimented with clay and invented pottery? Why archaeologists think discovering the first potsherds in the Paleolithic era is so exciting is because it means that pottery was invented before agriculture and permanent settlements. This bucks all previous thinking that pottery was invented only when people began to farm the land and needed pots to store their food in.
What did people eat?
Scientists know that the people were mostly fishing from rivers and hunting in the forests. They also gathered fruits and nuts such as hazelnuts and berries.
The Hatsunegahara site in Shizuoka offered up 56 prehistoric pit traps that tell us how the people caught animals such as wild boars and even Naumann elephants, giant fallow deer and bison, between 27,000 and 25,000 years ago. However, the pit traps of the Otsubobata site in Tanegashima are now thought to be even older dating to 30,000 years BP.
Some food remains were identified from the Lake Nojiri site along with artifacts like a bone cleaver, bone flake tools. These suggest a killing and butchering site for Nauman’s elephants and Yabe’s elks. But experts are not certain whether people hunted and killed these animals for food or merely scavenged them. Others argue that the tools the Paleolithic people used were more suited to the hunting of smaller animals rather than larger animals.
Project Serpo and the Zeta Reticuli Exchange Program
In November 1977, Steven Spielberg released his movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” It was a financial and artistic success. It received a number of accolades, including nominations for four Golden Globes and eight Academy Awards. In 2007, the U.S. Library Of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” and chose it for preservation in the library “for all time.” Read the purported story of Project Serpo, then consider the evidence.
When Bruce was four, he fell down the family well into the caverns beneath Wayne Manor, attracting the attention of several bats. His father eventually came to his rescue. These caves would later become the Batcave. Γ]
At the age of eight, Bruce and his parents, wealthy physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, were walking home from the Monarch Theater one night, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger who demanded the pearl necklace that Martha was wearing. When Dr. Wayne refused to surrender it, both he and Martha were shot dead in the streets. Δ] The killer was a criminal known as Joe Chill. Ε] Fortunately, physician and social worker Leslie Thompkins was making a house call that night, and arrived to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor estate, with help from the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.
Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He spent his youth traveling the world, training himself to intellectual and physical perfection and learning a variety of crime-fighting skills, including chemistry, criminology, forensics, martial arts, gymnastics, disguise and escape artistry.
At age 14, Bruce Wayne began his global sojourn, attending courses at Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Berlin School of Science and other European universities, only taking subjects that suited him and his plan. Ζ] However, he never stayed long and would often drop out after one semester. Ζ] While abroad, he studied and received training in multiple martial art styles from various instructors in different countries. He learnt man-hunting from Frenchman Henri Ducard, Η] stealth and reconnaissance under the Japanese ninja Kirigi ⎖] and other certified shinobi, hunting under the African Bushman (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood, among others), hand-to hand combat under the tutelage of Ted Grant, a world-champion boxer and David Cain, one of the world's premier assassins ⎗] ⎘] traditional healing disciplines under Nepalese monks and even ventriloquism under skilled practitioners. Ζ] Bruce also trained with Chu Chin Li and Tsunemoto in martial arts. Η] He was trained in kung fu by Richard Dragon. ⎙] He was also trained in archery by Oliver Queen. ⎚] At the age of 17, Bruce was trained by detective Harvey Harris to improve his detective skills. Β] At age 20, he attempted to join the FBI, but after learning about its regulations and conduct, Wayne deducted that he would never be able to completely oppose crime while working within the legal system. The final mentor Bruce trained with was bounty hunter Willis Doggett, when Bruce and Willie were tracking a target, Willie was killed and Bruce managed to fight off the target by throwing him over a cliff, along with his parka. Luckily Bruce was rescued by a shaman and survived. ⎛] After this, Bruce returned to Gotham after twelve years of training at the age of 25.
Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City after many years of study and training with his body and mind developed to perfection. Despite having all of the skills and methods to fight crime, he still felt that there was something missing in the completion of his physical and mental arsenal. Wayne discovered the answer late one night while sitting in his manor. He recalled his fear of bats as a child after a large one crashed through one of the windows he ultimately decided to make his appearance resemble a bat's. Wayne designed himself a costume equipped with experimental technology and set out against the crime and corruption that thrived in Gotham City.
Wayne's tactics to oppose crime as a vigilante at night proved successful leading him to become an urban legend in Gotham City. He revealed himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt figures in Gotham City and promised them all that their reigns on the city would eventually end. Wayne's first ally was assistant district attorney Harvey Dent. ⎜] Most of the Gotham City Police Department was sent in force to capture him. ⎝] He gained his most powerful ally when he met police lieutenant James Gordon, one of the few honest cops on the force. The two developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when they needed to. ⎞]
Batman's first fight against the Joker
Batman's presence in Gotham City generated a new breed of criminals, no longer the simple thugs and gangsters involved in Gotham Organized Crime, but more dynamic personalities. The first person inspired by him was Catwoman, a dangerous seductress using his style and methods towards her own ends. ⎞] His next challenge was Dr. Hugo Strange, a mad scientist who had created Monster Men to do his bidding. ⎟] He met his greatest nemesis when the Joker first appeared, a brilliant serial killer dressing like a clown and murdering people uncontrollably. He had been exposed to chemicals in an accident that drove him completely insane, and he swore revenge on Gotham for creating him. This confrontation led to the creation of the Bat-Signal, a giant spotlight displayed in the sky whenever there is danger and Batman is needed. ⎠] ⎡] ⎢] There would be many more villains starting to appear within this time. The Scarecrow was an outcast who developed techniques to strike terror into the hearts of his victims for his own pleasure. ⎣] The Riddler was another deranged genius who felt a psychological compulsion to demonstrate his intellectual superiority, and constructed elaborate crimes while delivering clues daring law enforcement to catch him. ⎤] Poison Ivy attempted to destroy the city when an advanced connection to plant-life led her to wage a personal war against humanity. ⎥] The psychotic Mister Freeze used dangerous experimental technology to take revenge against society when his wife died. ⎦] Another crime boss appeared named the Penguin who acted as an eccentric criminal mastermind without any crippling mental illness other than a desire to prove himself. Many of these villains were kept in Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane.
The Long Halloween
Batman and his trusted allies James Gordon and Harvey Dent met up on the rooftop of police headquarters one night, and they swore that they would bring down the organized crime syndicates led by Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and Sal Maroni that were completely controlling their town. Although it was necessary to bend the rules in their efforts, they agreed that they would never break them, and become as bad as the evil they fought against. ⎧] Meanwhile a serial killer named Holiday began stalking prominent Mafiosos and shooting them dead. There was suspicion immediately cast on the three men in the triumvirate, and the possibility that it might be someone trying to remove their competition. ⎨] Gotham's new breed of criminals was replacing the traditional gangsters, and the underground was slowly being taken over by costumed freaks with no respect for the old ways. Batman's presence was arguably the cause of this. ⎩] Amongst the killings Falcone's son Alberto was murdered. ⎪] Bruce Wayne went on his first date with Selina Kyle around this time, who flirted with him as Catwoman by night unaware of his alter-ego. ⎫]
In his desperation, the Roman changed the game by employing super-villains in his activities. Falcone and Maroni each believed the other was responsible for Holiday, and their gang wars tore Gotham apart. ⎬] Harvey Dent became a leading suspect because of his vindictive attitude towards criminals. ⎭] Bruce Wayne was also suspected of involvement with the Roman's organization and arrested. ⎮] His father Thomas Wayne had reluctantly performed emergency surgery on a young Carmine Falcone for bullet wounds and indebted him, making him indirectly responsible for the Roman's empire. Bruce's trial proved his innocence thanks to the testimony of Alfred Pennyworth. ⎯] Dent later admitted this was a mistake, and Maroni brought himself into custody with the intention of spilling his secrets before he was killed. ⎰] At the trial, Maroni smuggled in a bottle of acid and threw it at Dent's face during the prosecution, leaving him horribly disfigured. This also drove him insane, and he killed a doctor escaping from the hospital. ⎰] They arrived at the conclusion that Harvey Dent was Holiday, and Batman attempted to find him after he escaped. While Gordon was transporting the gangster to a different cell, Holiday appeared and shot Sal Maroni in the head, finally revealing his real identity. Alberto Falcone, having faked his own death. ⎱] Batman was disguised as the guard accompanying them, and he beat Holiday down before taking him into custody. Harvey Dent reappeared calling himself Two-Face after the nature of his personal tragedy, taking a team of villains into the Roman's private office. As the two leaders battled, Batman arrived and put most of the criminals down, but he was unable to stop Two-Face from shooting Carmine Falcone twice in the head. The three men, Batman, Gordon and Dent, had a final meeting on the rooftop of police headquarters. Dent was accused of betraying the things he believed in, but he insisted that his methods were the only ones that actually got rid of the Roman and he did what he needed to. He was then arrested, and although Batman and Gordon had seen one of the best men they knew completely broken, they still maintained that Gotham City could be saved and ridden of evil. Neither of them was willing to give up. ⎲]
Justice League Origins
There are several stories of the first time Batman met Superman, the greatest of his friends and allies. In the first version, Superman came to Gotham viewing Batman as a dangerous criminal and attempted to arrest him for his vigilante tactics. They were forced to work together tracking down the dangerous psychopath Magpie and Superman realized that although his own style of crime-fighting was suitable for his environment, the Bat-Man did what he needed to do to protect his city. They both gained respect for each other, although they doubted they would ever work together again. ⎳] In another version, they both met as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent while they were forced to share a room on a cruise ship. They are made aware of each other's secret identities when both are called upon to fight threats including Deathstroke and the Crime Syndicate. ⎴]
In Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity, Clark later introduced him to Wonder Woman while chasing "The Purge" led by Ra's al Ghul. His methods however created tensions between them. He later rescued her from Bizarro and she fled to Themyscira. After finding her, he kissed her when he was overwhelmed by her beauty and the island's enchantments, leaving a memory which he kept fighting for, though he was decked by her in response. After being surprised by his gesture of retrieving her Lasso of Truth and Superman stating that despite his methods, he was a brave man who fought for justice despite no powers, she came to see him as a complicated man. She also wondered about him acting alone, finding him obsessive. After defeating Ra's al Ghul and Bizarro, she came to see him as a loyal companion, though this contradicts her own comics where she first met both him and Superman during the Legends event.
There was a great team-up between many heroes to fight the alien Appellaxian invaders, including these three along with Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. ⎵] Eventually they would decide that they could better protect the planet if they permanently joined forces. and they became the Justice League of America. ⎶]
Dick Grayson, the First Robin
Bruce Wayne was on an excursion to the circus when he witnessed another tragedy that would shape his life. The parents of a young acrobat named Dick Grayson were murdered by the gangster Tony Zucco. ⎷] He saw both great potential and something of himself in the boy that night. Although Bruce knew he could never replace Dick's father, he adopted Grayson as his legal ward to help him and provide guidance where he didn't have any when he was that age. ⎸] ⎹] He eventually revealed his secret identity as Batman. ⎺] Dick wanted justice for his parents, and he agreed to a regiment of rigorous physical and mental training so that he could become Batman's partner. ⎻] After several months Dick was finally ready to take to the streets as Robin, fighting crime alongside his mentor. ⎼] They swore an oath late one night that they would fight together against crime and corruption, never swerving from the path of righteousness. Batman had realized for the first time that he did not have to be alone in his crusade. ⎽] ⎾]
Before he could go into action regularly, Robin had to pass a final exam and he proved himself by taking down the gangster Joe Minette. ⎿] Their first adventures as a dynamic duo were a remarkable change in tone, with Robin's lightheartedness alleviating the grim seriousness. Dick's first solo mission was stopping Mad Hatter in a sex trafficking ring while Bruce was indisposed. ⏀] Everything changed when Robin was targeted by Two-Face. A double-gallows trap caused Robin to inadvertently cause the death of an innocent man, after which Two-Face beat him within an inch of his life using a baseball bat and made Batman watch. ⏁] ⏂] Batman refused to let Robin go out with him anymore after the boy recovered because he didn't want to put him in further danger. ⏃] Dick had to prove again that he really wanted this life, demonstrating his competence and resolve. ⏄]
Robin began teaming up with other young heroes and sidekicks, starting with a fight against Mr. Twister where he worked alongside Aqualad and Kid Flash. ⏅] Speedy and Wonder Girl joined them to fight an evil being named Antithesis who was mind controlling their mentors. This group decided to call themselves the Teen Titans and would go on to a long career with Robin as one of their core members. ⏆] ⏇] As the leader of the Titans, Dick decided to give up his identity as Robin. ⏈] This happened after an incident where Bruce had fired Dick as his partner after Robin was shot off a rooftop by the Joker. ⏉] While he was doing some soul-searching, he met and talked with Superman who inspired him with a story about a Kryptonian vigilante named Nightwing. ⏊] He reinvented himself using this new name and designing a new Nightwing costume, intending to honor all of the people who had shaped him into the man he had become. ⏋]
When Bruce was invited to the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara crashed the party in a female version of Batman's costume to surprise her father, who was also attending the event. At the party, before she revealed herself to Gordon, Killer Moth and his henchmen crashed the party, gunning for Bruce Wayne. James Gordon was taken out quickly so Barbara decided to step in. Bruce Wayne was previously shoved out of the way by Barbara so that she could protect him and her unconscious adoptive father, thinking that Bruce was but a helpless bystander. She defeated Killer Moth, breaking a heel in the process. She was later named Batgirl by Killer Moth, which stuck, even though she stated that she would have preferred Batwoman. Directly after the confrontation with Killer Moth, Batgirl met Batman and Robin. Batgirl's first encounter with Batman and Robin proved to be unpleasant. While she was angry with Batman's automatic dismissal of her capabilities, she was repulsed by Robin having a romantic interest in her. Soon after that, Batgirl attempted to swing from rooftops, being saved by Robin, who told her that regular rope is not good for diving from forty feet in the air. Later, Robin sent Batgirl equipment, pretending that he believed in her and Batman didn't. In reality, Robin was sending them on the orders of Batman. She was later captured by Batman and Robin to be tested, an examination she failed in Batman's eyes, not being able to save the innocents in a holographic containment chamber. Batgirl later teamed up with Black Canary, her idol, and she finally gained some respect from Batman, while Robin still harbored a crush on her. She was introduced to James Gordon as Batgirl, one of Batman's protégés.
Batgirl's career came to an end after a few years, when the Joker shot and crippled her in an attempt to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. Although Batman eventually rescued Gordon and stopped the Joker, Barbara could never walk again. ⏌] However, she didn't let this adversity stop her and Barbara eventually resumed her career as a crime-fighter using the alias of Oracle, a computer expert and information broker who assisted heroes on their never ending crusade. ⏍]
Ra's al Ghul
Struggling against the League of Assassins, Batman met the beautiful Talia al Ghul when he rescued her from Doctor Darrk. ⏎] Ra's al Ghul determined his secret identity through logical deduction and confronted him after Talia had been kidnapped again alongside Robin. Realizing that Ra's was behind this as a personal test, Batman confronted him and fought his bodyguard Ubu. Ra's explained that he was making sure he had found a worthy successor in the detective, as Talia had fallen in love with him. ⏏] Batman eventually came to the conclusion that Ra's is a dangerous criminal who must be stopped at all costs, and declared war on him. ⏐]
Batman quit the League when they refused to help him rescue Lucius Fox from Baron Bedlam in Markovia for political reasons. Determining that he needed a new team more concerned with justice than the way they were viewed by the world, he created the Outsiders as a black ops super-team to go where the League couldn't. This team involved Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Halo, Katana and Metamorpho. ⏑]
Justice League International
Legends saw a new group of heroes form to fight against G. Gordon Godfrey after Justice League Detroit was disbanded, and they decided to form a new League together. ⏒] Batman gathered Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Light, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle in the Secret Sanctuary to take leadership of them as a team. ⏓] Maxwell Lord convinced the United Nations to grant them an international charter and they become Justice League International. ⏔]
Jason Todd, Robin II
When Dick Grayson reached maturity, Bruce forced him to retire from the Robin persona. Shortly after this decision, Batman came across a young boy called Jason Todd, who had turned to crime out of necessity. ⏕] Batman tried to help him by placing him at Ma Gunn's school, which was in fact a criminal hideout. Investigating Jason's background, Batman learned that the boy was an orphan. When Batman checked upon Jason, he realized the truth about the school and stopped the criminals with help from Jason, after which Batman took him under his wing and allowed him to become his new Robin. ⏖]
With Jason as the new Robin, the new Dynamic Duo stopped various criminals like Two-Face, ⏗] ⏘] the Penguin, ⏙] Mime, ⏚] the Crime Doctor ⏛] and Deacon Blackfire. ⏜] Batman also worked together with Talia to stop the Penguin from spreading a lethal drug. ⏝]
A Death in the Family
Over time, Batman realized Jason was behaving more aggressive towards criminals and this violence wound up being the cause of the death of a criminal. ⏫] When Jason became an inconvenience while fighting crime, Batman restricted him from going out as Robin. ⏬] In the meantime, Joker had escaped from Arkham and Batman followed the trail of the madman to the Middle East, where he also found Jason. Batman learned that Jason was looking for his real mother and when their missions crossed, they worked together to foil Joker's plans. Although they couldn't capture the Joker, Jason was reunited with his mother, Sheila Haywood. Unfortunately, she was being blackmailed by the Joker and the Dynamic Duo had to separate to deal with a double threat by the madman. While Batman went on to stop a deadly cargo of Joker Venom, Robin tried to save his mother, but he was captured and beaten by the Joker. ⏭]
By the time Batman arrived at the crime scene, the warehouse where Jason and his mother were locked exploded and Batman couldn't save either of them. After dealing with the funeral arrangements for them, Bruce returned to Gotham, where he tracked down the Joker to the United Nations Building and learned the madman had become an Ambassador, which granted him diplomatic immunity. ⏮] Batman was soon confronted by Superman, who was asked to prevent Batman from starting an international incident by attacking the Joker. Despite this, Batman continued his investigation and he confirmed Joker's involvement in Jason's death. Finally, when the Joker attempted to murder the people at the UN Building, he was stopped by Batman and Superman, but on his escape attempt, he fell to his apparent demise, but his body was not found. ⏯]
Loner Vigilante and Tim Drake, Robin III
After the death of Jason, Batman mourned his loss and became a loner for quite a while stopping threats like the alien invasion, Mr. Freeze, ] the League of Assassins, ⎖] the Bonecrusher, Η] Two-Face, ] and solving other minor cases. ] ] ] ⎖] ] Batman also faced other strange incidents like the mysterious "Batman Killings", ] the mystery of Tulpa, an ancient, dark and mystic ritual with help from the Demon, Etrigan, ] ] ] the threat of the Mud Pack, which resulted in the creation of the Ultimate Clayface, ] and finally he stopped the misguided vigilante Anarky. ] ] During one of his last acts as a loner, Batman was forced to take back Arkham Asylum from the many maniacs who had taken over the institution. ]
Following the death of Jason Todd, Batman became much more violent and aggressive while coping with the tragedy without someone to balance him out. A young man named Tim Drake figured out his secret identity using detective work, and determined that he needed a Robin to keep his darkness in check, just as Two-Face reappeared with new plans to kill the Dark Knight. ] Drake begged Dick Grayson to go back to his identity as Robin again when he was needed most. ] After explaining that he had deduced their identities by following Grayson's acrobatic career to Dick and Alfred Pennyworth, Tim was taken into the Batcave where it was suggested that he become the new Robin. ] Batman and Nightwing tracked down Two-Face, and he caught them in his underground death-trap. ] Tim took the Robin costume to rescue them and succeeded, although Batman argued that he no longer needed a side-kick. Begrudgingly, as he proved himself and helped them defeat Two-Face, Bruce agreed to start training Tim Drake and take him on as his new crime-fighting partner. ]
Prelude to Knightfall
Batman (at the onset of a personal psychological mid-life crisis) was forced to deal, in rapid succession, with the returning villain Black Mask and his gang (who targeted Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox), ] ] a crazed killer called Metalhead, ] and a sharpshooter assassin hired by Vincent Morelli to murder Commissioner Gordon. ] Batman began to feel he had lost his edge, especially after his failure to capture Black Mask. He found himself unable to meditate or even focus. As Bruce Wayne, he contacted holistic therapist Shondra Kinsolving for treatment. He also assigned Tim Drake to train Jean-Paul Valley in detective work to aid them as an ally, hoping he could prevent him from becoming a villainous threat. ] Despite the advice of everyone in his life, including Dr. Kinsolving, Bruce refused to rest, and continued to pursue his self-imposed duty despite his worsening condition. Bruce's condition was worsened by The General usurping power in Gotham's underworld and assaulting a police station, ] ] ] Cypher attacking companies' CEOs ] ] and The Riddler creating chaos in Gotham. ] Meanwhile, Robin found it difficult to work with Jean-Paul, due to the man's violent subconscious training and lack of social skills, and also found himself being shut out from working alongside Batman. ]
Bane, a brilliant tactical mastermind who had trained his body to physical perfection, came to Gotham City and dedicated himself to destroying Batman and taking over his territory. This villain was more driven and powerful than anyone he had ever faced before, and wanted to prove himself by defeating and breaking Batman. At their first meeting, Bane did not introduce himself but said that his name would eventually make him beg for mercy. Batman suggested that if he was threatening him, he should get in line behind everyone else. ]
Bane began his assault by organizing a massive break-out at Arkham Asylum with the help of his henchmen Bird, Trogg and Zombie. ] Aware that he would lose in a direct assault against Batman, Bane's plan consisted of weakening Batman by forcing him to deal with the deadly villains simultaneously. Among the freed inmates, there were numerous high-profile villains, which Batman took down one by one. Batman faced against great criminals like Poison Ivy, ] the Joker and the Scarecrow, ] as well as many lesser known villains, such as the Mad Hatter, ] The Ventriloquist, Amygdala, ] Firefly, ] ] Cavalier, ] and Mr. Zsasz. ] The scenario created a rift in the relationship between Robin and Batman, as Batman irrationally sought to face the outbreak alone -- Robin later asked Batman if he was even needed as his sidekick anymore. ]
Batman became weaker and weaker as each criminal was put away. The rescue of Mayor Krol from the combination of the Joker and Scarecrow took Batman to his mental and physical limit: a dose of Scarecrow's fear gas made him relive the murder of Jason Todd, which he considered to be his greatest failure. ]
After saving the Mayor, Batman was confronted by Trogg, Zombie and Bird and he took them out with the last amount of energy left in him. ] Bane finally confronted him by breaking into Wayne Manor when Batman was at his weakest, beating him nearly to death in his weakened state and breaking his spine. ] Bane took his body downtown to Gotham Square and threw it from a rooftop to demonstrate his superiority to the populace. With Batman incapacitated, Bane assumed control of Gotham City's underworld and took over several illegal operations within it. ]
Who Rules the Night
After his defeat, Batman was rescued and his injuries were treated in the Batcave. ] When Bruce woke up, he was moved upstairs to Wayne Manor and Alfred summoned Dr. Shondra Kinsolving to tend Bruce's injuries, telling her that they happened in a car crash. As the city was in need of Batman, Bruce asked Jean-Paul to fill in for him, much to Tim's dismay. Around this time, Bruce started to develop feelings for Shondra and considered revealing his secret to her. ] Unfortunately, Shondra was kidnapped along with Jack Drake and Bruce couldn't stop the kidnappers, even though he tried. ]
Bruce investigated the evidence left behind by the kidnappers and with Oracle's help, he tracked them to the island of Santa Prisca. It was then that Bruce and Alfred started their quest to find Dr. Kinsolving and Jack Drake ] and upon arriving at Santa Prisca, Bruce acknowledged his love for Shondra. ]
Once in Santa Prisca, Bruce was joined by Bronze Tiger, Gypsy and Green Arrow all temporary members of the Justice League Task Force. ] Working together, they tried to rescue Shondra and Jack, but they failed and the hostages were moved out of the island. ]
Bruce then tracked Shondra and Jack to London, as he learned about Shondra's connection to Benedict Asp. ] Disguised as an old aristocrat, Bruce investigated Asp's residence ] and failed to rescue Shondra, as he came to the wrong conclusion that she was criminally involved with Asp. Bruce managed to rescue Jack Drake, but learned that Shondra was somehow involved in the murder of an entire village and he swore to bring her to justice. ]
When his efforts to locate Shondra proved futile, Bruce dug into her past and managed to locate Shondra's foster mother, who revealed much about her past, before she was killed similarly to the people of the village. ] Bruce and Alfred returned to Gotham, where Bruce was told by doctors to rest. Despite this, Bruce was compelled to track down Asp and Shondra, which caused Alfred's resignation due to Bruce's recklessness. Using the identity of Sir Hemingford Gray, Bruce forced Asp to come to him as the criminal kidnapped Bruce. ] Asp took Bruce to his hideout, where he was reunited with Shondra and Bruce tried to rescue her, leading to a confrontation between Asp, Bruce and Shondra. Confused and still under the effects of drugs, Kinsolving tried to heal her brother, but instead she killed him. Filled with regret, Shondra used her powers to completely heal Bruce from his broken back. Unfortunately, the experience was too much for her mind and her psyche returned to that of a child permanently. Bruce Wayne bought a big residence, where Kinsolving could spend the rest of her days under the best medical care. ]
Finally back in Gotham, Bruce learned of the disastrous effects of Jean-Paul's actions as Batman and he decided to reclaim the mantle of the Bat. However, Bruce's physical condition was deteriorated after months of inactivity and he decided to start an intensive training to confront Jean-Paul and take back the mantle of Batman. ]
In order to regain his lost skills, Bruce sought help from the only master fighter he trusted: Lady Shiva. After weeks of rigorous training, Shiva wanted Bruce to learn a deadly technique, but when he refused, set a plan in motion in which Bruce would fight the Disciples of the Armless Master, who was murdered by Shiva as she wore the Mask of Tengu. Shiva then gave the mask to Bruce in order to lure the Disciples to him. Bruce confronted the first two Disciples and although they proved to be a great challenge, Bruce managed to defeat them, regaining some of his lost skills. However, he knew that it was not enough and he continued Shiva's trials. ] Like this, Bruce defeated the rest of the Disciples and every match became much easier than the last one, ] with minor exceptions in which luck was on Bruce's side. ]
On the final confrontation, Bruce realized that Shiva wouldn't stop sending fighters his way to challenge him unless he used the deadly technique she taught him. ] In order to get rid of her, Bruce pretended to use the leopard blow and deceived her, officially ending his training. Knowing that he was finally ready, Bruce dons the Batsuit, marking the return of the real Batman. ]
Taking Nightwing and Robin along, Bruce tracked down Jean-Paul and confronted him in order to claim back his rightful position as Batman. ] Jean-Paul put up a fight and the struggle attracted the attention of the authorities.
As the building they chose to battle was slowly consumed by the flames, they attached the Batrope to a nearby helicopter, which dragged them to the Gotham Bridge. ] The fight continued over the bridge, where Bruce managed to get the upper hand and caused Jean-Paul's drop into the river. After saving the people on the chopper, Batman tried to use the Batmobile, but it exploded due to a trap prepared by Jean-Paul. ]
Bruce avoided the explosion in the last minute and after talking to Robin, he went to Wayne Manor to challenge Jean-Paul for the last time. ] Bruce tried to talk sense into Jean-Paul, but he wouldn't listen and a confrontation started. Bruce managed to avoid violence and eventually forced Jean-Paul to remove his armor and admit his defeat. Bruce showed mercy at the end and allowed Jean-Paul to leave and start a new life while he continued with his own. ] After this victory, Bruce decided to return to the role of Batman, even though it might not be absolutely permanent. ]
The Timestream was damaged by Extant and Parallax working together, causing time to deteriorate and reality to break down throughout history during the Zero Hour crisis. ] A new Batgirl appeared from an alternate timeline where she had never been crippled, and went on to get romantically involved with Bruce. ] Alfred was temporarily replaced with his Earth-Two counterpart Alfred Beagle. ] There was another timeline he saw in which his parents were never killed by Joe Chill, and he wasted the time he could've spent with them tracking the mugger down anyway. ] Batman was killed by an entropy fissure that opened right on top of him as the universe died. ] The timeline was then rebooted at the Big Bang with changes in history that caused slight differences in Batman's continuity. ]
Bruce reaffirmed his partnership with Tim, resolving the tension caused by Bruce's unwillingness to accept help during the Arkham prison break. Bruce passed the mantle of Batman to Dick Grayson so he could re-evaluate what it would take to restore his perceived aura of invincibility.
Because of previous events, considerable time passed before Commissioner Gordon restored his trust in the idea of a Batman working for good. Gordon could tell that he was not looking at the original Batman (based on Jean-Paul's costume and Dick's height, and the fact that Jean-Paul was more than ready to kill people), and he refused to place blind trust in a costume after spending so long learning to trust the man. Numerous loose ends were tied up during this time, with Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, Ratcatcher and Two-Face, along with many other, less notorious released inmates being returned to prison. During his time as Batman, Dick avenged his worst mistake from his days as Robin, when a mistake in a confrontation with Two-Face caused a man to die and nearly killed Bruce. He also came to appreciate the incredible physical and mental burden Bruce placed on himself in donning the Batsuit. During this time, a firm bond arose between Dick and Tim as they shared Wayne Manor together in Bruce and Alfred's absence.
When Bruce finally returned for good, he wore a sturdier (made of Kevlar), darker Batsuit and drove a new, state-of-the-art Batmobile. He again fought Colonel Vega, KGBeast and Dark Rider, in order to foil a plot to nuke Gotham City with a device the size and shape of a baseball. Batman made changes to his life as Bruce Wayne, his relationships with his 'family', planned to live without Alfred, and coped with the decision of making Jean-Paul his replacement.
Shortly after Batman's comeback, Azrael sent him a video tape showing the effects of a deadly and highly contagious virus named Ebola Gulf-A. ] Azrael told Batman that there would be an outbreak of the virus if he didn't stop it on time. The virus spread too fast among the citizens of Gotham and it was impossible for Batman and his allies to find a cure or develop a serum from the survivors' blood. The "clench", as the virus was known, decimated the population of Gotham and even Tim Drake was infected. The city was quarantined and the national guard was sent to control all of Gotham's access. It was later revealed that the Order of St. Dumas was responsible for creating the virus and for setting it free into the world. ] Azrael, together with Sister Lilhy, translated an old book from the Order of St. Dumas that contained the recipe to create a cure for the virus. Azrael delivered the cure to Gotham and the city was saved. The virus was under control, or at least it seemed that way.
The Ebola Gulf-A virus was not completely cured from those who were infected it mutated into something more deadly. Batman sought Azrael's help on where to search for further information on the virus in order to develop a true cure. Batman's investigations lead him to Sudan where he had to face two of his deadliest enemies. Ra's al Ghul joined forces with Bane in order to spread a new strain of the virus taken from the Wheel of Plagues. ] Batman, Nightwing and Robin traveled around the world to prevent the League of Assassins from spreading the virus in major cities like Paris, Edinburgh, Calcutta, and Gotham City. Once in Gotham, Batman and Bane faced each other in a long awaited rematch, but this time Batman defeated Bane and saved Gotham from the menace of Ra's' new virus. With Oracle's help, Batman managed to find a cure, although a great number of citizens had died from the mutated virus. Bane appeared some time later with a new threat to Gotham: a nuclear weapon. ] Batman, Nightwing and Robin successfully stopped Bane and restored Gotham's normal "peace".
New World Order
Brought together through a fight against Doctor Destiny, Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman realized that Earth needed its greatest heroes working together and reformed the Justice League of America. ] Their first challenge was to prove themselves against a new superhero team called the Hyperclan who attempted to discredit them. Although the team were nearly overpowered by the Clan, Batman was able to outmanoeuvre the clan and expose their true identity as the White Martians, and the League stopped them from taking over the planet. ]
Gotham City was completely destroyed by an earthquake that reached magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale. Batman was trapped inside of his cave at the time and was nearly killed by falling rocks. ] The only properties that were not affected by the quake were those owned by Wayne Enterprises, not including Wayne Manor for geographic reasons. ] With his car crushed, Bruce was forced to scuba through underground streams before getting to the harbor and seeing his city in flames. ] Blackgate Prison had a break-out in the chaos, and Batman was able to put a stop to the rioting although many villains escaped in the process. ] He enlisted the Penguin's influence on organized crime to incorporate local gangsters into the rescue efforts for survivors in the wreckage. ] Teaming up with the GCPD he adopted the guise of Detective Hawke so he could drag people to safety in the daylight. ΐ] A new villain named Quakemaster claimed to have generated the disaster, and held the city hostage for several million dollars, threatening to hit them again if they did not comply. ] In reality he had kidnapped seismologist Jolene Relazzo and was using her knowledge to plausibly take credit. ] Robin figured out that Quakemaster was a fraud in reality it had been the Ventriloquist, and he was swiftly defeated. After the situation was stabilized, the body count had reached over one hundred thousand people. There were mass graves dug to burn the corpses and prevent spread of disease. ]
Mr. Wayne Goes to Washington
Bruce Wayne was called upon as Gotham's top citizen to speak on their behalf in front of the United States Congress in Washington, applying for federal assistance. His main competition was the ruthless and corrupt Senator Barclay Means. Nicholas Scratch also launched a smear campaign, attempting to convince America that the city wasn't worth saving. ] Bruce's testimony was a great speech delivered from the heart about the spirit of Gotham, its importance and the strong will of its people in dealing with adversity and helping to make the nation great. ] However, the negative sentiment was too great. There was not enough money in the federal budget, and they arrived at the conclusion that the negative elements would have to be isolated. Right before the ending of the trial, Mayor Grange was gunned down by an assassin. Everyone still living within city limits was given 48 hours to leave, excluding anyone with known connections to the criminal element. After that the bridges leading inside were destroyed, and the national guard was stationed to make sure that no one else got in or got out. ] Jeremiah Arkham was forced to release all the dangerously insane patients from Arkham Asylum into the streets. ]
No Man's Land
In response, the U.S government declared Gotham a "no man's land," destroyed all bridges leading to Gotham and forbade people from entering or exiting. The city was swiftly carved up by gangs and various supervillains Batman had battled over the years. Jim Gordon and several members of the Gotham police department stayed behind to protect civilians. Oracle and Huntress also ended up on the inside. Bruce Wayne left the city to lobby the government not to cut Gotham off, but failed. Gordon and his men waited for Batman's return, but by the time he returned more than three months later, they believed he had abandoned Gotham.
Huntress attempted to keep order, fashioning a Batgirl costume. She soon discovered that criminals feared her more as Batgirl than they did Huntress and succeeded in holding territory of her own. When Batman returned, he allowed her to continue to use the costume. However, when she failed to hold off Two-Face and his army of men and lost Batman's territory, she abandoned the costume.
Batman and James Gordon's officers worked separately to reclaim Gotham, piece by piece, by beating and subduing the gang leaders and then marking the reclaimed territory with graffiti. Poison Ivy took up residence in Robinson Park and Batman allowed her to remain there as long as she cared for the local orphans and distributed food.
Gordon allied with Two-Face, but Two-Face betrayed their alliance. Two-Face also hired David Cain to kill Gordon, but Cain was thwarted by his daughter Cassandra. Cassandra later took up the mantle as the third Batgirl to help clean up No Man's Land. Later, Two-Face kidnapped Gordon and put him on trial for breaking the alliance. Police officer Renee Montoya reached out to Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona, whose defense led to Gordon's acquittal. Dent's questioning concluded that Two-Face had essentially blackmailed Gordon into the alliance, hence making any alliance between them void.
The turning point for No Man's Land came when Lex Luthor arrived with helicopters to rebuild Gotham. However, Luthor's covert plan was to take the deeds and much of the property in Gotham, since the original deeds had been destroyed, and many of the owners had died in the earthquake. Lucius Fox discovered the original documents and notified Luthor. Luthor then attempted to kill Fox, but Batman intervened and told Luthor that Gotham was not for sale, warning him to leave.
The United States government reversed the No Man's Land order and allowed Gotham to rejoin the United States. Gordon and his surviving police officers were promoted. The Joker attacked police sergeant William Pettit's compound, killing Pettit and leaving the Huntress badly injured. The Joker later kidnapped all of Gotham's babies. When Sarah Essen-Gordon discovered the babies, the Joker murdered her. Batman later convinced a grief-stricken Commissioner Gordon not to kill the Joker, who gloated at Gordon about murdering his wife. Gordon shot Joker through one of his kneecaps instead and let Batman take him away to be incarcerated.
Tower of Babel
Realizing how dangerously wrong things could go if any of his friends were mind controlled or manipulated into doing evil, Batman began to study their weaknesses and develop contingency plans to neutralize them. Talia al Ghul broke into the Batcave and stole the plans from the Batcomputer. ] Ra's al Ghul began using these special methods to incapacitate every member of the League, while distracting the detective by stealing his parents' corpses. Ra's' plan was an attempt to thin the world's population using a machine that destroyed people's ability to process language worldwide. ] Bursting into the League of Assassins' base to fight Ra's and prevent his parents from being lowered into a Lazarus Pit, Batman realized that his plans had been stolen and warned everyone else. ] Recovering from defeat, the Justice League saved their aggression towards Batman's controversial actions and fought back with help from a defecting Talia. ] After saving the world, they voted to dismiss Batman from the League on grounds of distrust. ] Superman eventually convinced him that he needed to regain the team's trust to be accepted again, and Batman returned by revealing his secret identity to the rest of his allies. ]
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
Bruce Wayne and his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux were framed for the murder of Bruce's girlfriend, radio talk show host Vesper Fairchild. ] There was a trial and they were unable to defend themselves without revealing their secret identities. ] Escaping from custody, Bruce determined that he would become Batman permanently and allow Bruce Wayne to disappear completely. ] Eventually he realized that he was wrong to think he didn't benefit from the companies of his allies, and they proved his innocence by determining that the man who framed him was David Cain. ]
Bruce Wayne realized that he was in the center of a malevolent shadow conspiracy targeting his life one night when his batline was cut in mid-air by a thrown batarang and he barely survived the descent from the rooftops. ] Tommy Elliot, his out-of-touch closest childhood friend who had grown into a skilled surgeon, repaired the damage and saved his life. ] Soon afterward, the tires on the Batmobile were shot out by a sniper during a mission that led to a dangerous crash. At the same time, Batman became romantically involved with the reformed Catwoman after saving her life from Killer Croc. They shared a passionate kiss together and gave into the feelings they had both been experiencing for years. ] Having begun to open up emotionally again, Bruce reopened ties with his old friend Tommy and began working more closely with Catwoman in the field as a partner, teaming up with her to fight Poison Ivy. ] Ivy mind-controlled Superman and the two were forced to fight against the most powerful being on the planet. Batman was able to combat Superman's brute force by using superior tactics and his Green Kryptonite Ring. Catwoman kidnapped Lois Lane and put her in mortal danger so Superman would be forced to break the hold and rescue her. After they caught Ivy by having Krypto track her down, Clark felt reassured that he had given the one weapon that could hurt him to the right person. ]
During an excursion to the opera that was interrupted by Harley Quinn staging a robbery, Tommy Elliot appeared to be shot in the heart and killed by the Joker. ] This drove Batman into a furious rage, and in his grief-stricken state he intended to beat the villain to death, thinking that he should have done many years before to prevent so much senseless tragedy. He was stopped only by Commissioner Gordon until his senses returned. ] Harvey Dent reappeared in Gotham no longer insane, having gone through surgery to fix his face, and wanting to return to his former position as district attorney. Bruce took advice from Nightwing that if he was truly going to pursue a meaningful relationship with Selina he would need to open up to her, and to her surprise he made the decision to reveal his secret identity. ]
Further investigation led him to suspect Ra's al Ghul might have answers about the unseen hand coordinating recent events, so Batman abducted his daughter Talia al Ghul and held her hostage. Besting Ra's in a sword-fight only allowed him to learn that there had been recent unauthorized access to the Lazarus Pits and the League of Assassins was desperate to kill whoever was responsible. Catwoman was almost killed by Lady Shiva while trying to stop her from rescuing Talia, meanwhile Batman acknowledged that the love he felt for Selina made it worth being emotionally vulnerable about her. ] A fight against Scarecrow led him to Gotham Cemetery where the mysterious man finally revealed himself to be Jason Todd, a grown adult and apparently back from the dead, furious that Bruce had let him die. ] After lengthy physical combat he realized he had been tricked by Clayface. Consultation with Oracle on surveillance equipment found in the Batcave revealed that he had been betrayed by his former employee, mechanical genius Harold Allnut. When he set up a meeting with Harold the man broke down in tears over his treachery, because he had been given happiness and expensive surgery that repaired his voice and freakish looks, making him finally normal. At that moment, two shots rang out and Harold was murdered. ]
The mysterious villain finally revealed himself as Hush, Bruce's friend Tommy who had faked his death using Clayface and masterminded this elaborate scheme to take revenge on the Wayne Family in a personal vendetta. Hush would have killed Batman if not for the intervention of Gordon at the behest of Dent, formerly a co-conspirator, who betrayed Hush now that he had gone sane again. Tommy Elliot fell into the harbor and escaped before they could capture him. Batman realized that there must have been another mind pulling the strings, and deduced that the Riddler had been working with Hush and manipulating the other villains the entire time. Riddler was the one who had broken into the Lazarus Pits to cure his cancer, and in the ensuing fit of madness he figured out that Batman was Bruce Wayne. However a riddle that everyone knows the answer to is worthless, so his psychosis would not allow him to tell anyone else about it. Afterwards Batman also ended his romantic affair with Catwoman, realizing that he couldn't allow anyone to get that close to him in his line of work, but hoped that someday in the future he would be able to. ]
Tim Drake was forced to give up his career as Robin when his father Jack Drake discovered his identity. ] Stephanie Brown, formerly Spoiler, sought out the position and Batman agreed to take her on as his new Robin. ] She was fired shortly afterwards for disobeying his orders during a fight with Scarab. ]
Trying to impress Batman in the hopes of changing his mind, Spoiler activated one of his contingency plans to unite the entire Gotham underworld under Matches Malone, not realizing it was one of Bruce's other identities. The meeting between the big bosses turned bad and there was a shootout, creating a massive power vacuum in the city. ] Black Mask ended up taking control of organized crime throughout the entire city. ]
City of Crime
Batman had to deal with a new wave of old and new criminals in Gotham, all alone. ] One night, the death of a young girl named Haddie McNeil made Batman feel guilty and after capturing those responsible, a fire started at Crime Alley. ] After saving the most people he could at the fire, Batman tried to relieve his guilt over Haddie's death by taking the case of a missing girl by the name of Cassie Welles. ] On his quest to find this girl, Batman realized that there were many villains involved in the crime including the Penguin, ] Mister Freeze, the Ventriloquist, ] and a new threat: an army of men made of dirt. After this discovery, Batman tracked Freeze down and rescued a kidnapped girl from the psychopathic villain. ] Shortly after, Batman investigated an attack on the Ventriloquist and later he learned of Cassie's death. In a quest to find the truth he investigated the body and discovered that it wasn't the real Cassie. The army of masked attackers struck again and they revealed themselves as The Body. Batman was saved by the Penguin, who told Batman vital information about this new enemy. ]
Batman reached Crown Point and disguised himself as Donnie Maloy, a worker at the Waterfront Construction in order to learn the truth about The Body. ] After a week of trying, Bruce managed to befriend the leader of Crown Point and head of workers. Investigating further, he discovered that something mysterious was happening at the nearest park. ] After this, Bruce witnessed a madman become the source of a contagious fear. ] After another unsuccessful attempt to enter the park, Bruce decided to act and took down the leader of Crown Point before calling Alfred and asking him to bring him the Batsuit. As Batman, Bruce was finally able to get inside the park. ] In the park Batman learned the secrets of The Body and when he left the place, he was ready for a final battle. ] Batman attacked The Body and led them to their own base of operations and there, he destroyed the place with a giant explosion, eliminating The Body as well. Batman found the killer of Cassie Welles and everything was back to normal. ]
Under the Hood
As a result of Superboy-Prime punching the walls of reality during the Infinite Crisis, ] Jason Todd was resurrected as an amnesiac and crawled out of his own grave, eventually being taken in by Talia al Ghul who restored his personality through a Lazarus Pit. Distraught to find that Batman had not cared enough to avenge his death against the Joker, he took on the identity of Red Hood and vowed revenge. ]
Batman discovers that Jason Todd is the Red Hood
Red Hood began terrorizing the Gotham underworld to enlist Black Mask's soldiers into his own organization, allowing the drug trade to continue under his control with stricter restrictions. ] Batman and Nightwing met him for the first time when he blew up a shipment of weapons on a boat they had taken down, chasing him until he released a stolen Amazo prototype to fight them. ] Together they improvised and destroyed the android by taking out his individual components, while Red Hood used the distraction to steal another shipment containing several hundred pounds of Kryptonite. ] Mister Freeze was sent to reclaim the merchandise and all four of them fought it out until the Red Hood left, saying this had been a ploy to get his lay of the land. ] Batman began investigating the possibility that he was Jason in disguise, talking to his friends with knowledge of resurrection including Green Arrow, Jason Blood and Zatanna. ] Superman helped him confirm that it realistically could have happened. Red Hood teamed up with Onyx, although he betrayed her when she tried to stop the murder of several criminals. ]
During a climactic fight between the two men, Jason revealed himself to Bruce and explained his intention to change the face of crime-fighting. To prevent hundreds of unnecessary tragedies, he would bring death to those who deserve it. Alfred asked if the old Robin costume should be removed from the Batcave, but Bruce insisted that this didn't change anything at all. ] Red Hood destroyed Black Mask's skyscraper headquarters with rockets, and Deathstroke appeared to offer his Secret Society of Super-Villains' services in killing Red Hood. ] Captain Nazi, Count Vertigo and Hyena were the hit squad sent to kill him, and Batman was deeply conflicted over whether or not he should save his former student. Bruce and Jason teamed up to defeat the three villains, but when they were done Jason murdered Captain Nazi and escaped. ]
Batman learned that Red Hood had captured the Joker and was holding him hostage, while Black Mask finally got into a massive fist-fight with the Hood over territory. ] Bruce and Jason confronted each other in Crime Alley, where they witnessed another tragedy across the river. ] Chemo was dropped as a living bomb onto Bludhaven by the Brotherhood of Evil, completely eradicating it. ] They argued about the philosophy and morality behind the rule against killing, and Jason explained that he never blamed Bruce for failing to save him he blamed him for letting the Joker live and continue to kill thousands of people. If their positions had been switched, Jason would not have hesitated to avenge him and put the madman down. Holding a final ultimatum, Jason gave Batman a gun and threatened to shoot the Joker unless he was lethally stopped. Having an emotional breakdown at this point, Batman ricocheted a batarang off the wall and hit his student in the neck non-fatally to save his enemy. Joker took this opportunity to grab the gun and shot the explosives inside the building, detonating a massive explosion. ]
Batman breaks down, pointing a gun at Alexander Luthor
Batman became paranoid about the super-hero community ever since he found out that they had Secret Society of Super-Villains including Doctor Light and Catwoman as well as his own in the past. ] He developed a sentient satellite called Brother Eye to help monitor them, using a database of every secret identity he was aware of. This system was stolen by Maxwell Lord of Checkmate, who wanted to eliminate all super-humans by connecting it to the O.M.A.C. Project. ]
During the Infinite Crisis, Batman nearly killed Alexander Luthor after the deaths of Superboy and Nightwing being almost beaten to death. He was however dissuaded from it by Diana, who stated that it wasn't worth it. ] Regardless, the incident shook Batman's resolve, and he realized that he had crossed the line. It was time to re-evaluate his identity and retrace the steps that forged him into the man he had become.
Batman, Nightwing and Robin went across the world together following the path of Bruce's original training as a family. Seeking to rid himself of the paranoia and fear that had corrupted him, he had his personal demons cut out in a desert ritual performed by the Ten-Eyed Men. This broke him down and forced him to rebuild himself from the start. ] Going through a spiritual purification ordeal called the 30 Days of Thögal in Nanda Parbat, he spent a month alone in the darkness and looked deeply into his own soul through induced hallucinations. ]
Face the Face
Batman returned to Gotham after his year of training, completely renewed and reinvigorated. Harvey Dent was trained to fight crime in his stead, and had become the city's resident vigilante protector. Commissioner Gordon turned on the Bat-Signal again and cheering broke out in the streets. Harvey Bullock began investigating a new serial killer taking out minor villains with two shots to the head, starting with KGBeast who was found dead in an alley. ] Poison Ivy was the first villain to appear again, holding new political motives that led her to attack corporate executives like Lucius Fox. Magpie was also found dead. ] Ventriloquist was the next victim, alongside his puppet Scarface. Batman decided that he needed someone working for him who could operate regularly during the daytime, and hired detective Jason Bard permanently on retainer. ] Dent was the main suspect and grew enraged when he was accused, although Batman believed it was not really him. ] Orca was the next victim found dead in the sewers, where her corpse was mutilated by a hungry Killer Croc. The only connection was that all victims were former enforcers for the Penguin, who had recently fled town. Bard discovered the assassin was a new Tally Man when he was attacked. ] Driven back to insanity by internal conflict, Harvey Dent poured acid over one side of his face and reverted to his Two-Face persona. ] Bard defeated the new Tally Man, and had him sent to Arkham Asylum. ] Batman was forced to take down Two-Face, who now blamed him for turning evil again. Great White Shark was revealed to be the mastermind behind the shootings, having taken over the underworld and started running it for himself out of Arkham. Bruce also decided to adopt the recently orphaned Tim Drake legally as his son. ]
Batman and Son
Batman meets Damian Wayne for the first time
Having virtually eliminated all super-crime in Gotham with the energy from his recent vacation, Bruce went abroad. Alfred explained that he had become so consumed by Batman he forgot how to act as Bruce Wayne, and needed to relearn. ] At a charity function in London he met Jezebel Jet, an intelligent fashion model and ruler of an impoverished African nation whom he falls in love with immediately. The League of Assassins attacked Batman using a legion of ninjas transformed into Man-Bats by a serum stolen from Kirk Langstrom. Talia al Ghul took him prisoner and revealed that they had a son together she never told him about, introducing him to Damian Wayne. ] Bruce needed to take care of the child and teach him respect while he figured out Talia's plans, as Damian proved to be spoiled and petulant. Raised by the League, he was a master martial artist and proved extremely difficult to control, beating up Tim Drake and beheading the Spook to prove he could be Robin. ] Batman agreed to let Damian fight at his side rather than leave him alone, with the understanding that he would follow their no killing rules and obey orders. Talia was in Gibraltar, and they took the Bat-Rocket to get there before she could follow through with her terrorist attack. This turned out to have been an elaborate ploy to bring them together as a family, in the hopes that Bruce would return to her so they could put an end to all crime by ruling the planet together. Batman refused, so she declared war on him and they both disappeared during an explosion. ]
Three Ghosts of Batman
Bat-Cop, a strange man dressed as Batman wielding guns, fought the Joker and shot him in the face before disappearing. ] Joker believed the real Batman had changed the rules of their game, and was taken to the hospital where he psychologically transformed. Reinventing himself in a much darker and more brutal persona, he became an uncompromisingly malevolent creature of hatred. ]
Jezebel Jet pursued a relationship with Bruce, sensing a deep connection between them. Looking into the mysterious disappearance of several prostitutes involving corrupt GCPD officers, Batman found they were trying to control and cover up a massive Bat-Bane on venom and monster men serum. Reminded of the other twisted impostor, he fought the huge foe and was pounded into the pavement. ] After a nightmare promising that a third ghost from his past would yet haunt him, he recalled the Black Casebook a diary documenting all of the strange and bizarre adventures from his early career which couldn't be logically explained, including a similar situation.
Beating the Bat-Bane in their next fight, Batman was stopped from finding further answers by the corrupt officers and left him to be taken into custody. ]
Bat-Devil made his appearance by storming into GCPD Headquarters demanding the Commissioner, when he was woken up as a sleeper agent. Shooting Batman in the chest, he sent him into cardiac arrest and a near-death Bruce began to hallucinate Bat-Mite. ] Strapped into an operating chair in Bat-Devil's sanctum, he deliriously dreamed of his encounters with Joe Chill and having tormented him into committing suicide. This began flashbacks to his prior experiences with hallucination, including the 30 Days of Thögal ] and the isolation chamber experiments conducted by Doctor Hurt. ] Ε] The three men were revealed to have been part of an experiment that tried and failed to create another Batman in case of his death it was conducted by Doctor Hurt, who was said to be the devil himself trying simply to destroy good men and make slaves of others. Batman broke free of his restraints and attacked Bat-Devil, who escaped as police arrived, and Bat-Bane was shot dead. Bruce considered the extreme hypothetical of an ultimate villain targeting his weaknesses through vast conspiracy unseen until it's too late, and wondered if this adversary was showing itself to him. ]
Club of Heroes
Many years ago Batman had been part of a club involving super-heroes inspired by his legend from around the world. ] Knight and Squire from England were legacy heroes after the original Knight's death at the hands of his nemesis. The Musketeer from France accidentally killed an enemy and was sent to prison, then wrote a book about it. Sioux Indian hero Man-of-Bats was a doctor and had a strained relationship with his side-kick and son Raven Red. Wingman from Sweden refused to admit his origins and claimed that he was crime-fighting a year before everyone else. El Gaucho of Argentina had become a greatly-respected hero in his own right. The Ranger from Australia had developed a darker and more violent persona to keep up with the changing face of crime. Legionary from Rome had gotten way past his prime and lived in his glory days. They were all called together to a reunion at the island mansion of billionaire John Mayhew, although no one greeted them. A man appeared on video screen wearing Mayhew's severed face, challenging them to solve the mystery of his murder and save their own lives. They were fighting the Black Glove, an organization that placed bets on the struggle between good and evil. Legionary was stabbed to death twenty-three times like Caesar by an assailant. ] Everyone was a suspect as the house turned into a giant death-trap, using methods common to all of their respective villains. Wingman was the next body found burned to death. ] Ranger was discovered to be Wingman in disguise, having faked his death by switching bodies. Mayhew was still alive and they were revealed to have worked together, taking revenge on Batman for ruining their chance at greatness by dismissing the team. After shooting Wingman in the head, Mayhew died when the Black Glove punished him for his failure and blew up the island as everyone else escaped in his plane. ]
Heart of Hush
Hush reappeared in Gotham to destroy his nemesis before the Black Glove could take his victory, establishing an abandoned hospital as his headquarters and filling it with loyal mental patients. Shooting Doctor Aesop unexpectedly during a fight, he promised Bruce that no other villain would be allowed to harm him. ] Batman cautioned his allies to become paranoid, and Hush set his plans in motion, teaming up with the Scarecrow. ] A young orphan named Colin Wilkes was pumped full of venom and set on a rampage to distract attention from Hush's main plot. Hush kidnapped Catwoman and surgically removed her heart, leaving her barely alive on life support. ] The two men fought at the hospital, and Hush explained that he would shut off Catwoman's heart if attacked again. Then he revealed that he had undergone plastic surgery to look exactly identical to Bruce Wayne. ] Their fight took them to the Batcave after Batman secured the heart with Doctor Mid-Nite and Mister Terrific. Hush escaped permanent defeat after an explosion crippled him, although Catwoman used her resources to hunt down his entire fortune and destroy it, leaving him bankrupt. Bruce told Selina in her hospital bed that he loved her. ]
During a dinner date where she considered breaking up with him, Jezebel Jet was captured by a terrorist named the Fiend with Nine Eyes and discovered that Bruce was Batman when he rescued her. ]
The Black Glove invited Batman and Jezebel Jet to a dance of death called the Danse Macabre, having clearly discovered his secret identity. Doctor Hurt had organized villains and madmen from across the world including the Joker, Le Bossu and the Club of Villains to finally put an end to Batman. Robin believed that Bruce was slowly starting to lose his grip on reality, although Alfred insisted that there was no stronger mind in the world. ] Hurt announced to his team that they would be creating a work of art in the complete and utter ruination of a noble human spirit Thomas and Martha Wayne were discredited through slander published in the Gotham Gazette and the Club was sent out to attack his allies. Bruce finally collapsed into a mental break-down when he heard the trigger phrase Zur-En-Arrh spoken aloud, and villains stormed the Batcave ] The attack completely destroyed his mind he was injected with weapons grade crystal meth and street heroin and then woke up as an amnesiac derelict on the streets.
A homeless man named Honor Jackson took him in and gave him a small radio he believed to be the Bat-Radia, although this was a hallucination and Jackson had died of a drug overdose the previous day. Nightwing was captured by Scorpiana and taken to Arkham Asylum where Bossu planned to lobotomize him. Pierrot Lunaire and Swagman went after Robin. Bruce stitched a new costume called the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh with Bat-Mite as a spiritual guide. ] This was a contingency plan he had prepared in case there was ever a direct attack on his mind, a stream-lined back-up personality that existed as Batman without Bruce Wayne. Taking out criminals across the city at unheard-of speed, he defeated King Kraken and interrogated Charlie Caligula. Hurt began wearing Thomas Wayne's Batman Costume and claimed that he was the real Thomas Wayne, having faked his own death years ago. Jeremiah Arkham was beaten and the Black Gloves took over his asylum. Commissioner Gordon came to investigate Wayne Manor personally and found himself caught in one of El Sombrero's death traps. ]
The Black Glove prepared Arkham Asylum while its richest members gathered to gamble on whether good or evil would triumph. Batman fought his way inside through henchmen, although he had to make the final journey alone as Bat-Mite was his last voice of reason and could not enter the door. Damian and Talia al Ghul got involved and rescued Gordon. Batman brutally fought the enraged Joker and then unmasked in front of him when he finally saved Jezebel, although she was revealed to have been part of the conspiracy all along. ] Joker killed a member of the Glove and placed his bet on good triumphing over evil. Buried alive in his cowl to be raised from the grave after incurring brain damage, Batman woke up, broke out of his coffin and rose through the dirt. The Bat-Radia was activated and it had been converted to send signals instead of receive, putting the asylum into lock-down through the Batcomputer. Nightwing woke up in time to break his restraints and punch out Bossu seconds before his lobotomy. Robin brought the Club of Heroes in to help clean up the city. Hurt tried to escape in a helicopter driven by Bat-Devil after swearing to continue destroying Batman unless he submitted, but Bruce refused and took the chopper down with his bare hands. There was a massive explosion over the water, but Batman survived and continued his fight against evil. ]
Batman had to solve the murder of a New God when Orion was killed in Metropolis by a Radion Bullet. This was part of a greater plot by Darkseid to control the Multiverse using the Anti-Life Equation during Final Crisis. ] Libra, prophet of the Religion of Crime, killed Martian Manhunter. At the funeral, Batman paid his respects by placing a Choco on his departed friend's grave. ] Investigating the killings, he was taken prisoner by another dark servant, Granny Goodness posing as Kraken of the Alpha Lantern Corps. ]
They intended to use Bruce Wayne to create a clone army of Batmen, using his body and mind as the template for perfect soldiers.
Simyan and Mokkari held him in their Evil Factory where they sedated him and slowly drained his character. Recognizing what was happening to him, Batman broke his psyche out of telepathic restraints and fought back against the system. Making his own mind into a weapon, he used all of the pain and trauma he had experienced to destroy their machines. Every single memory that Batman had driving his motivations, all of the raw emotional energy, was more stress than anything else could tolerate and the entire complex destroyed itself and nearly everything inside. ]
Batman went to the Command D bunker and challenged Darkseid, the ultimate personification of evil, as the Anti-Life destroyed reality around them. Although he had made a very solemn vow about firearms, he said that he was making a once-in-a-lifetime exception and shot Darkseid in the chest with the Radion Bullet. This was a reversal of the moment when evil struck down his parents in the streets, and this time, Batman stood with his smoking gun pointed at evil himself. The last thing he said was "gotcha." Right before dying, Darkseid blasted Batman with an Omega Sanction that seemingly killed him. Arriving moments too late, Superman recovered Batman's skeletal burnt corpse. ] Bruce Wayne was shown to have survived the Omega Sanction, and his body had been flung backward thousands of years in time. He was trapped in the Prehistoric Era, where he was present for the death of the first man Anthro, and drew cave paintings of his own insignia. ]
Battle for the Cowl
Naturally, following the events of the Final Crisis that left the Batman Family without their leader, Batman's allies were in disarray, Gotham criminals took advantage of his absence, and the question stood, "Is Batman gone?" Feeling a combination of obligation and hesitation, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake-Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth and Damian Wayne debated as to what the future of the Dark Knight should be, until an estranged Jason Todd turned up, having taken a twisted cowl (reminiscent of Jean-Paul Valley's) for himself. Todd decommissioned an arrogant Damian, making Dick, Tim and Alfred feel an even greater sense of urgency to send the Caped Crusader back on the streets. However, Dick still refused, prompting Tim to hijack an old Batsuit himself and seek out Jason and his twisted Batcave. Jason managed to defeat Tim and severely injure him, leaving only Dick and Jason as the heir to the cowl. As Alfred provided medical care for Damian and Tim was barely escaping with his life, Dick and Jason fought long and hard until Jason, vowing that he would see Dick "much sooner than you think," plummeted off of a moving train into the depths of the river below. The conclusion of this struggle found Dick accepting his role as the new Batman, with the darkest Robin yet, Damian, by his side. Tim, however, was far away from Gotham, believing that Bruce was not actually dead. He took the mantle of the Red Robin, and explored the globe for clues as to where his adoptive father was.
Superman later returned the cowl from Bruce's remains to Nightwing and Robin, to be left in a memorial similar to the one Batman made for Jason. At Alfred's insistence, no public funeral was held for Batman, and Robin, refusing to believe he was dead, prevented them from declaring Bruce Wayne dead. Wayne's body was buried in an unmarked grave next to Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Some weeks later, as Gotham City was going through a rampant crime wave following Batman's disappearance, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, the second Flash, who had returned during the Final Crisis, met each other at Wayne's grave for a private farewell to their friend. Although Hal was somber given the loss, coupled with the earlier losses of Arthur Curry and J'onn J'onzz, Barry reminded Hal that they, Superman and Green Arrow all died and returned, and if anyone could beat the Reaper, it was the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, soon after they left, the criminal Black Hand, dug Wayne's skull out of the ground while reciting the Black Lantern Oath. ] Nekron later used a Black Lantern Ring to revive the skull and build it a form to tether an emotional connection to the heroes present, and had it spit out Black Lantern Rings that attached themselves to the resurrected heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Superboy and Kid Flash, with two more failing to reach Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Almost immediately after, much to Hal Jordan's surprise, Nekron released the skull from the ring and it returned to normal. After the Blackest Night, Hal and Barry returned to Bruce's grave to talk about what had transpired. After stating that "dead is dead from here on out," Hal said that Batman is the exception because the Black Lantern Batman they fought did not recognize any of them and was not really Bruce, proving that Tim Drake was right Bruce was still alive, somewhere.
Sometime after the Blackest Night, at Jason Todd's behest, Dick (apparently unaware of Hal Jordan's post-Blackest Night conclusions) immersed Bruce's body in a Lazarus Pit. The body turned out to be one of Darkseid's Batman clones that he decided to keep as a perfect replica of Batman. However, its memories were warped and unstable and it went mad. After attacking Damian, the clone burned out and died. Dick finally accepted that Bruce was still alive somewhere.
Return of Bruce Wayne
Trapped in the past with no memory, Bruce was forced to fight his way through time back to the present day. Darkseid used the Hyper-Adapter monster to aim him like a doomsday weapon through history, picking up Omega Energy until he reached the modern era and exploded. Rip Hunter and his Time Masters, including Booster Gold, Green Lantern and Superman became a time traveling search party to stop him from ending the world. Starting in the Prehistoric Era, he was given the name Man-of-Bats and defeated Vandal Savage's Blood Tribe in combat. This inspiration drove Anthro's people to call themselves the Bat Tribe. ]
Several hundred years later he became a colonial witch-hunter, using detective work to disprove supernatural explanations for local crimes using the identity of Mordecai Wayne. His name went down in legend as a mythical dragon-slayer when he disappeared while fighting the monster. ] Bruce was mistaken for the Black Pirate when he washed up on an unfamiliar shore next to the real Jack Valor, and was taken hostage by Blackbeard. They forced him to guide them through a cave system to reveal his treasure, but he fought them off with the Pirate's cowl and was assisted by the native Bat-people. Valor was entrusted to write down a mysterious message in a box, and gave it to the Wayne family for safe-keeping over the centuries. ] As a masked avenger in the old west he protected his future family from Monsieur Savage and another ancestor named Thomas Wayne, attempting to steal the box for themselves. This was supposed to bring about the end times through a dark god named Barbatos. Succeeding in his mission, Batman was shot off a bridge by the bounty hunter Jonah Hex. ] Returning to Gotham shortly after his parents' murder, a friend of his mother named Marsha Lamarr enlisted him as a private investigator looking into the shooting. There were accusations made that Thomas Wayne staged the killing to fake his own death. Marsha betrayed Bruce to Doctor Hurt's devil-worshiping Black Glove organization who had attempted to destroy his parents' souls through their reputations, and set him on fire as a human sacrifice. Carter Nichols' prototype time machine allowed him to escape into the future, to the end of time at Vanishing Point. ]
Bruce regained his memory at the end of time, having worked out his plan to thwart Darkseid's revenge. Memory loss gave the monster nothing to go on, and the clues he planted for himself all along helped him work out how to get through everything. Merging with one of the great Archivists, he briefly gained omniscience and created a Time Sphere to travel back to his own time though he was infected by the Hyper-Adapter. After coming back to the present, he easily took out every member of Justice League that stood in his way. The only people he didn't harm were Tim and Diana, who used her Lasso of Truth to make him regain his memories and remember his plan. The infestation however overtook him and he started attacking her. The Time Masters soon arrived on the spot and he ripped the Hyper-Adapter off of himself when others failed to do it. Superman, Diana and Hal trapped it in the Time Sphere on Bruce's advice, sending it back in time. He was then induced into a clinical death to dissipate the radiation while Clark and Diana tried to revive him. Experiencing a hallucination in the Fifth World, Batman was confronted by a vision of Darkseid urging him to accept Anti-Life and Metron urging him to defeat the ultimate evil by accepting the first truth of Batman. Tim gave them his Batsuit and told them to inform him that Gotham was in trouble. Bruce then states the first truth of Batman: he was never alone. After he is revived and purged of the radiation, he suited up to go stating he won't be done until Gotham needs him. ]
Bruce Wayne goes public with Batman Inc.
However, before going out as Batman again, Bruce took over the identity of the vigilante Insider and started meeting his past friends and allies to learn how things had changed since his departure. His return called the attention of Ra's al Ghul and after a confrontation in Gotham, Bruce decided that it was time to reclaim the mantle of the Bat. ]
Doctor Hurt and Professor Pyg had taken Gotham by siege, fighting Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. After defeating the 99 Fiends together, Bruce went after Hurt and the others went after Pyg. Trapping him in his own interrogation room to listen to Alfred's death, Hurt proclaimed that he was the devil and Batman would rot in purgatory. Bursting out of the prison, he delivered a final beat-down to Hurt and went to rescue Pennyworth. The Doctor escaped outside where he was defeated by the Joker and buried alive with a giant grin on his face. Having come to a new conclusion about the direction of his fight against crime, Bruce revealed in a press conference that he had been privately financing Batman for years and went public with Batman Incorporated. ]
Batman gathered his closest associates Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne in the Batcave and gave them all new assignments as the start of an army against crime. They would make their battle ideological, fighting the idea of crime with the idea of Batman and making sure there was nowhere for evil to hide. Lucius Fox was commissioned to make a private army of Batman Robots. Bruce tried Damian out and determined that they would not work well together on missions, insisting that he continue his position with Grayson as the Batman and Robin of Gotham City. These actions drew the attentions of the Leviathan Organization. ]
Batman traveled to Japan with Catwoman to recruit the crime-fighter Mister Unknown. ] They helped Mister Unknown defeat a Leviathan agent called Lord Death Man, and Mister Unknown became the new Batman of Japan. ] In France, Bruce Wayne recruited a Muslim called Nightrunner to become the Batman of Paris. ] ] Batman visited Argentina to recruit El Gaucho. They battled Leviathan agents El Papagayo, El Sombrero and Scorpiana. ] ] This trail led them to an island prison, where Leviathan had released the aging Nazi super-criminal Doctor Dedalus. ] Bruce continued his expansion with Batwing in Africa, Black Bat in Hong Kong, Dark Ranger in Australia, Red Robin in charge of the Outsiders, and a mysterious new Wingman. ] During a visit to South Dakota, Bruce helped Man-of-Bats and Raven Red deal with the Leviathan agent Red Rippa. ] Bruce introduced Internet 3.0 to his investors, and Oracle defended it against Leviathan cyber-attacks. ] Batman and Batgirl went undercover to take down an evil finishing school. They stopped Son of Pyg, who was using the school to recruit for Leviathan. Doctor Dedalus trapped the entire team in a labyrinth to drive them insane, until Robin was forced to kill Dedalus. It was revealed that Dedalus was just a distraction, and the mastermind by Leviathan was Talia al Ghul. ]
This section of the history takes place during Flashpoint, a massive crossover event set in an alternate timeline to the mainstream DCU. History was completely changed when Professor Zoom finally found a way to erase his nemesis the Flash without harming his own legacy.
The timeline was drastically altered by The Flash during Flashpoint. ] In this new version of history, Bruce was shot dead by Joe Chill in Crime Alley and his parents survived. Thomas Wayne swore revenge and became Batman after savagely beating Chill to death in the streets. Martha Wayne went mad with grief and became the Joker after carving a smile into her own face. ] Thomas Wayne met Barry Allen and they worked together to restore the timeline. ] Batman killed Professor Zoom and they successfully restored history to the way it was meant to be. Before erasing himself, Thomas wrote a message to his son and had the Flash deliver it. Bruce was brought to tears by the letter detailing how proud his father would have been to see him grow up into the man he had become. ]
This history is continued in The New 52 at Batman (Bruce Wayne).
The DC Universe was rebooted in 2011 as part of the Flashpoint event. This was an attempt to simplify continuity, and make DC Comics more accessible to new readers. Prior to this, mainstream comics took place in New Earth continuity since the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. The continuity established following Flashpoint is Prime Earth.
This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.
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Two separate versions of Batman are taken to Convergence from Pre-Zero Hour, around the time when Jean Paul-Valley was still Batman and the Pre-Flashpoint Version. The villain Brainiac stole pre-Flashpoint Gotham City and pre-Zero Hour Metropolis and put them under the custody of Telos the Living Planet. The cities were surrounded by a dome that trapped everyone inside and caused all superhumans to lose their powers.
Pre-Zero Hour Batman and Valley team up to fight Tobias Whale. After the dome goes down and Whale is defeated, they fight the Wetworks. ] ]
During the course of a year, Pre-Flashpoint Batman and Robin struggled to maintain order. One night, Batman and Robin protected Poison Ivy's garden, a source of good for Gotham, from the Penguin's minions, but Red Hood's arrival caused friction between the dynamic duo. Batman stopped the fight in time for the dome around Gotham to disappear. Telos announced that all of the cities he captured would fight among each other for survival, forcing Batman and his allies to confront the Extremists. ]
It was only by setting their differences aside that Batman and his allies survived the confrontation and defeated their opponents. Bruce admitted to Damian that he did not know much about being a father, but he loved him and that was all that mattered. Damian understood and put the argument behind them both. Later, Batman re-met Superman, who had also become a father by that time. The World's Finest acknowledged their responsibilities as fathers and decided to stand together, whatever happened. ]
After the fall of the dome, Bruce met an alternate version of his father, who had become his world's Batman. Their interaction was short, and Bruce and Thomas left to complete their respective missions, but not without saying kind words about one another. ]
When the evil sorcerer Deimos announced his plans to conquer Telos, Batman and his friends formed an alliance with other heroes on Telos to stop him. Deimos' death initiated a singularity that threatened to destroy the Multiverse, but a repentant Brainiac and a group of heroes were able to stop it by preventing the First Crisis from happening in the first place. Such an action restored the multiverse and released all of Telos' prisoners back into their respective homes, allowing Batman and his friends to resume their lives. ]
Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis
1. Nuclear Weapons
German nuclear weapons research was competitive with American research, as German physicists made important discoveries in nuclear reactor construction, isotope separation, and heavy water production.
A variety of factors kept Nazi Germany from the breakthroughs needed for a nuclear bomb, including interference from the government, the expulsion of Jewish physicists, and other doctors being drafted and sent into combat and limited resources. But their findings later became key to Allied nuclear weapons research in the Cold War.
2. Space Planes
The German project codenamed “Silbervogel” was a theoretical design for a sub-orbital bomber aircraft that would have been able to attain 90 miles in height and bomb New York when launched from Germany. The aircraft got as far as a wind-tunnel mockup, and work done on the design continues to influence rocket and ramjet technology today.
3. Giant Super Cannons
Known by a variety of nicknames, including the V3 and the “London Gun,” the German super powered cannon was a gigantic artillery piece that could shell the British capital from tunnels dug into fields near the coast of France. When complete, the cannon was 140 meters long and could fire a 140 kilogram shell at a target over 165 kilometers away. It fired through a series of charges igniting down the barrel, increasing the speed of the shell as it went.
The cannon was immobile and impractical, and became an inviting target for Allied bombers, but did manage to fire a few shells.
4. Gigantic Mega Tanks
German tank technology was second to none in World War II. But beyond the already superior machines they were fielding, Germany was working on a variety of heavy, super heavy, and gigantic tanks. Most infamous of these were the P.1000 Ratte and P.1500 Monster tanks, which would have weighed, respectively, 1,000 and 1,500 tons.
These two massive tanks would have been more comparable to battleships with treads, armed with naval guns and crewed by dozens of men. Neither design was the least bit practical, and the tanks never got past the mockup stage. But if built, they would have been almost indestructible by any means other than heavy bombing.
5. Stealth Bombers
The Arado E.555 and Horton HO 229 jet bombers were Germany’s prime candidates to fly from Europe to New York for the purposes of dropping an atomic bomb. They used the same flying wing designs and low radar profile that the B-2 bomber would later adapt.
If the war had dragged on and Germany had the resources to complete the bomber and nuclear projects, they could have destroyed Manhattan without anyone seeing it coming.
6. Guided Missiles
Beyond using guided V1 and V2 rockets to terrorize civilians, the Germans made use of guided anti-ship glide bombs (the “Fritz X”) and guided air-dropped anti-ship missiles. They also had prototypes for man-portable guided missiles, television-guided surface to air missiles, and wire-guided air to air missiles.
None of these weapons had any appreciable impact on the war effort, and most never advanced beyond the testing stages. But they pioneered technology that would form the core of modern armies for decades to come.
7. Spherical Tanks
Virtually nothing is known about the small, one man spherical tank the Germans built, except that it somehow ended up in Manchuria and was captured by the Russians. The “Kugelpanzer” still sits in a museum in Moscow, unexamined by Western scientists.
What is it for? Were there more of them? Was it even a real vehicle, or a dummy mocked up by someone for unknown reasons? It’s likely that nobody will ever know.
8. Orbital Mirror Lasers
The German “Sun Gun” was to be a concave mirror one mile in diameter, launched into space and used to reflect and focus light from the sun onto a point on the Earth. Based on the theoretical work of German scientist Herman Oberth, it later was worked on by Nazi researchers looking for a magical weapon to turn the tide of the war.
It’s not clear if the Sun Gun was anything more than a fantasy, though a Life Magazine article from 1945 uses unnamed sources in the US Army to suggest that the crew would live in the mirror, and that the weapon could have been ready as early as the year 2000.
The Sun Gun is a good place to take this list from the theoretical to the realm of conspiracy theories. None of what follows actually was developed by the Nazis, but instead is attached to them through Internet chatter, rumor, and urban legend.
Chief among these is the “ Nazi UFO ” conspiracy. This holds that the Germans recovered crashed alien craft or discovered alien technology in Antarctica to reverse engineer flying saucers. These craft were used to ferry high-ranking Nazis to safety in the final days of the war, and then retreated to space or the Moon to prepare for the coming Fourth Reich. No evidence exists to support these theories.
10. Darkside Moonbase
Those Nazi UFOs have to go somewhere, and that’s where the supposed “Darkside Moonbase” comes in. Conspiracy theorists believe that in the closing days of the war, the Nazis evacuated their highest ranking politicians and scientists and took them to the Moon in their flying saucers. There, they established a base on the dark side, away from prying eyes and spacecraft, and are about to unleash their renewed assault on the planet.
The proof of this base is supposedly censored images from various NASA probes that show “structures” on the moon. Of course, these pictures don’t show anything like that, only blobby pixels that could be interpreted to be just about anything. But the only way we’ll know if it’s true is if the Fourth Reich shows up to pick a fight with us.
11. Anti-Gravity Technology
How does a Nazi UFO fly, anyway? Possibly through anti-gravity technology, developed by SS scientists working on an ultra secret project known only as “Die Glocke” – The Bell.
According to Polish writer Igor Witkowski , who claimed to have access to stolen transcripts of an SS officer’s interrogation, the Nazis built a massive rig to hold up a bell-shaped craft. This craft was able to launch itself off the ground using the power of “red mercury” and achieve propulsion without an engine. As the war was coming to an end, all of the scientists involved were supposedly killed and the Bell itself was taken away by the US. Witkowski’s evidence is complete conjecture, as is all of the follow-up “research” done on The Bell. But it makes for one of the most compelling Nazi “wonder weapon” stories out there.
12. Time Travel
Another feature of “Die Glocke” that has been theorized is an ability to see through time. This would be done through the use of a convex mirror on the top of a device, theorized by author Henry Stevens. Others have speculated that The Bell itself is a time machine, giving the person inside it the capability to move into the past.
Theoretically, Hitler himself could have been sent back in time using Die Glocke to found the Nazi Party, ensuring that Die Glocke would be built to send him back in time …
We move from science fiction to pure conspiracy theory here, with accusations that the Nazis are somehow linked to the creation of aspartame. This is the artificial sweetener thought by some to cause brain damage and mental slavery, though no reputable research backs this up.
However, aspartame wasn’t synthesized until 1965, when James M. Schlatter developed it by accident while working at Searle, the company that later became Pfizer.
Despite decades of scientific research declaring the addition of fluoride to water supplies to be safe and beneficial, many people still believe it’s nothing more than government mandated mind control. One of these people is Australian zealot Ian E. Stephens , who wrote a pamphlet that quoted another anti-fluoride researcher, Charles Perkins, who in turn quoted nameless “German scientists.”
These men supposedly told Perkins that the Nazis actually developed fluoride and used it in large doses in POW camps to subdue and enslave prisoners. This research was then exported to the US, where cities and towns around the country use it to keep the masses down. Needless to say, no solid evidence exists to confirm these allegations – not even the names of the German scientists who made these claims.
15. Microwave Ovens
Finally, an urban legend has existed for decades that says the Nazis were responsible for inventing the microwave oven, and that microwaving food is actually harmful to humans, killing all its nutrients and causing cancer.
No credible science supports the cancer causing accusation. As to the claim that the Nazis developed the microwave oven, it usually presents itself as a rumor that German troops invading the Soviet Union carried a primitive portable microwave called a “radiomissor” that could heat their food in the field.
The problem with this theory is that not only is there no proof, but the power of microwaves to cook food wasn’t documented until 1946. Additionally, microwave ovens run on electricity, and Russia’s electrical grid in the ’40s was too primitive to power any such machine.
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author/source presented below, and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGlobe or its staff.
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|Specials||2||August 6, 2002 ( 2002-08-06 )||September 18, 2002 ( 2002-09-18 )||Discovery Channel|
|1||8||October 28, 2005 ( 2005-10-28 )||March 24, 2006 ( 2006-03-24 )|
|2||8||August 10, 2006 ( 2006-08-10 )||September 28, 2006 ( 2006-09-28 )|
|3||10||October 5, 2006 ( 2006-10-05 )||December 14, 2006 ( 2006-12-14 )|
|4||13||August 10, 2007 ( 2007-08-10 )||November 9, 2007 ( 2007-11-09 )|
|5||10||October 12, 2012 ( 2012-10-12 )||December 16, 2012 ( 2012-12-16 )||Destination America|
|6||4||September 29, 2013 ( 2013-09-29 )||October 20, 2013 ( 2013-10-20 )|
|7||16||August 1, 2014 ( 2014-08-01 )||January 23, 2015 ( 2015-01-23 )|
|8||10||January 3, 2016 ( 2016-01-03 )||March 20, 2016 ( 2016-03-20 )|
|9||12||October 21, 2016 ( 2016-10-21 )||March 31, 2017 ( 2017-03-31 )||TLC|
|10||14||October 9, 2017 ( 2017-10-09 )||September 13, 2018 ( 2018-09-13 )|
|11||10||May 27, 2019 ( 2019-05-27 )||July 29, 2019 ( 2019-07-29 )|
Specials (2002) Edit
In 1986, Ed and Karen Parker with their four children, Bobby, Paul, Connie, and Mark move into an old Connecticut home to be near the hospital where their teenage son, Paul receives cancer treatment. Soon after learning that their residence was once a funeral home, sons Paul and Bobby start seeing ghosts. Paul begins seeing evil entities, including four dark men and a demon called the "Man in the Suit", and his mental health worsens while his physical health begins to improve. Paul begins to spend more time alone and his behavior becomes violent and unpredictable. He writes dark, sinister poetry and even physically attacks his favorite cousin, Theresa. With his behavior becoming increasingly erratic, his parents have him committed to a mental hospital. Before his departure, Paul warns his family that once he is out of the house, the evil will begin to attack everyone else. Sure enough, once Paul is gone, the evil forces inhabiting the house turn onto the rest of the family. In desperation, the Parkers contact psychic investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. An exorcism is performed which banishes the demon from the house.
In 1988, the Wyrick family moves into a new home, which was mysteriously abandoned by the previous owners. Shortly afterward, their four-year-old daughter Heidi begins spending time with an imaginary friend, a kindly old man named Mr. Gordy. Several months later, Heidi is frightened by the appearance of a man at the front door. The man, whose hand is wrapped in bandages and shirt covered in blood, introduces himself as "Con" but upon investigation, Heidi's mother is unable to find Con that she dismisses him as a figment of Heidi's imagination. However, Heidi begins to see images of "the Dark Figure", a man whose face is obscured by a hood. The family believe that there's more to the Dark Figure than just a child's active imagination, after Heidi awakens one night with claw marks on her face. Shortly after this incident, her father Andy suffers the same scratches on his side. The entire family soon grows to fear the Dark Figure, although for a long time, Heidi is the only family member who ever actually sees him.
Season 1 (2005–06) Edit
|Title||Original air date||Prod. |
|1||1||"Hell House"||October 28, 2005 ( 2005-10-28 )||103|
|The Beckwith family shifts in a 19th century house in the 89 Buckingham Road, Seymour, Connecticut. All the family members are excited except for their oldest daughter who foresees a terrible premonition. Shortly after they moved in, they had several ghostly experiences that they call Ed and Lorraine Warren. They get to know that their house is haunted by an inhuman spirit which controls multiple spirits. After several exorcisms, the family finally gets rid of the entities. After several years, however, some developers find Indian burials near the house, leading the hauntings to start again. Nevertheless, the family who is still living in the house knows how to deal with it now.|
|2||2||"The Haunting of Summerwind"||November 4, 2005 ( 2005-11-04 )||102|
|In the early 1970s, the Summerwind Mansion lies on the shores of West Bay Lake, Wisconsin. Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw, as well as their children move into the mansion but begin to experience unexplainable phenomena. Their lives are further complicated when Arnold becomes increasingly hostile and insane. The remaining family members are forced to leave the estate but return years later to search for the truth.|
|3||3||"Echoes from the Grave"||November 11, 2005 ( 2005-11-11 )||105|
|In 1965, Ron and Nancy Stallings move into a spacious, older Baltimore house with their large brood. They think nothing of all the windows having been nailed shut, or that the seller says, "I hope you're good fighters." They are simply happy to have a home at an unusually low price. They soon understand the seller's fighting comment as the lights and faucets turn themselves on and off and objects move themselves around. Nancy becomes genuinely alarmed following a dream featuring an elderly woman who cackles with delight as her family tries to escape the burning house. Only with the help of a trans-medium and Nancy's brother doing some research on the house's past, the family learns the truth of the old woman's past life as a slave owner and the previous owners before them, had one or more family members die. Learning this, the family moves out of the house and never comes back.|
|4||4||"Cursed"||November 18, 2005 ( 2005-11-18 )||104|
|Drawn to an abandoned home in Tucson, Arizona, Romie feels like she was always meant to be there. However, nightmares and reality merge, threatening her sanity and posing the fearful possibility of making contact with the other world. When a psychic goes over to investigate the house, she discovers the haunting is connected to Romie herself and causing her to confess the truth. The psychic tells her that in order to deal with it, she must face her plaguing family issues in the form of a dark spirit by seeing help with a licensed psychiatrist.|
|5||5||"Darkness Follows"||December 2, 2005 ( 2005-12-02 )||106|
|Al, Kellie and her young daughter are drawn to a renovated Montreal townhouse. Soon after moving in, supernatural events begin with unseen footsteps being heard and the sighting of a young woman. While Al is fascinated by the phenomena, Kellie is becoming increasingly terrified. Determined to explain the events, Al and two friends, Richard, a paranormal investigator, and John, a clairvoyant, use a pendulum and makeshift Ouija board to contact the spirits. They learn that the house is not only haunted by a distraught young woman, but also the man who had murdered her following a botched abortion. The men become convinced that the key to the haunting lies buried in the basement.|
|6||6||"Lake Club Horror"||December 9, 2005 ( 2005-12-09 )||101|
|Bill and Tom buy a former dance hall in Springfield, Illinois and, after much renovation, reopen it as a live rock 'n roll club. The customers in 1974 love the historic place but the staffers feel differently. Music seems to emanate from nowhere and chilling blasts of air frighten the owners and crew after hours. One bartender has direct contact with a threatening spirit that informs her that one of the owners is soon going to die. Through old photographs, she identifies him as a troubled former bartender who had committed suicide on the premises. Hence they call in a local psychic to help convince the bartender to cross over|
|7||7||"Gateway to Hell"||March 17, 2006 ( 2006-03-17 )||107|
|Country musician Bobby Mackey starts his own nightclub called Bobby Mackey's Music World in an old and abandoned slaughterhouse in Wilder, Kentucky. When Bobby's wife Janet and his employee Carl are attacked by a ghost, Carl is skeptical about the incident. He soon has second thoughts when his friend Doug Hensley brings up some information regarding two male murderers who killed a woman, who was pregnant and one of the murderers' girlfriend and her remains were buried in the basement of the building.|
|8||8||"The Diabolical"||March 24, 2006 ( 2006-03-24 )||108|
|Marie Potter, a single mother, lives with her mentally handicapped daughter, Julie, who possesses the ability to communicate with spirits. When odd occurrences begin to disturb the family, Marie's boyfriend begins using a Ouija board to contact spirits. The board inadvertently opens a connection to a demonic entity under the alias "Frank", who begins to torment the family. Despite destroying the Ouija board, the entity continues to torment them. Marie has nightmares of Frank, who is dressed in a black suit and talks with a deep, demonic voice. He says that Marie will no longer be able to protect Julie, and that she is his. He also possesses Marie's boyfriend, through which he confirms that he exists and that Julie is still no longer safe. The family contact demonologist Dave Considine, who comes to the house along with his research team and a psychic. Throughout the days, they carry out research in the house, and conclude that there is a diabolical spirit in the home, who is using Julie as a pathway to the physical world, and uses the visions and nightmares of the little boy and Frank in order to manipulate the family. The Catholic Church is contacted, and a minor exorcism is done, banishing the demonic spirit. The episode ends with the narrator noting that the family later moved out from their home and that the other evil entities still attempt to enter their lives.|
Season 2 (2006) Edit
In 1980, Debbie Glatzel and Arnie Cheyenne Johnson move into a new home in Connecticut. When Debbie's 12-year-old brother David helps them with the move, he becomes the target of a demon and begins to strike at David and cause harm to the other family members. The situation gets worse as the demon would then possess David for short periods of time. The family runs to a priest and paranormal investigators for help to save David and their home.
Season 3 (2006) Edit
|Title||Original air date||Prod. |
|17||1||"Fear House"||October 5, 2006 ( 2006-10-05 )||301|
|In Union, Missouri, single father Steven LaChance and his three kids move into a nice big house. When they become face-to-face with the supernatural, this causes them to move out. Not too long after, Steven cannot keep his mind off the property whenever he sleeps at night. In the meantime, another family has moved into the house that come across the same noises and haunting that the LaChances had to face. Steven comes to their rescue to help them before the evil that inhabits there causes any more trouble.|
|18||2||"The Attic"||October 12, 2006 ( 2006-10-12 )||302|
|In southeastern Michigan, Selena Warner relocates into a new home where she is also able to find a new job in the meantime. Not too long later, she learns that her home is haunted by a man who died there tragically many years back. Selena and her sister believe that the ghost of the man is no danger to them, but when they are convinced that there is something evil in the house as well, they learn that there is indeed a more malevolent spirit residing there besides the ghost of the man.|
|19||3||"Hidden Terror"||October 19, 2006 ( 2006-10-19 )||303|
|Mike Speranza and his girlfriend Lisa both move into a new home together in Corning, New York. The place is soon discovered to be haunted, with Lisa finding herself in constant great sorrow and depression that she is unable to get herself out of. Michael hears footsteps through the house and starts seeing the ghostly entities causing them. As the spirits in the house become more threatening, resulting in the couple's relationship going downhill. After Lisa leaves, Michael must decide whether he is going to fight to save his home or leave. Only after a paranormal research team in Corning makes contact with the spirits, they discover that Mike is in danger from a malevolent male spirit and he is finally convinced to move away. Afterwards the researchers theorized why he was the target of the attacks and not Lisa along with his female friend: as the male spirit had a fondness for female companionship, he thought Mike was a rival male who stood in his way and thus attacked him. Mike's former home was sold to another couple.|
|20||4||"The Unleashed"||October 26, 2006 ( 2006-10-26 )||304|
|In 1974, Randy Ervin moves in the house in Standish, Michigan which his father has been renovating. His father discovers some Indian burials in the basement. They are recommended to be buried again and they did. Randy's grown interest in paranormal forces him to buy a book of witchcraft. He tries it but nothing happens. Little did he know that he has unleashed some malevolent spirits. His mother and little sister moves in to live with him. Several supernatural occurrences happen, and after Randy's mother has been attacked physically, they move out only to be followed by the spirits. The spirits start tormenting Randy. He is suggested to go to a lady who calms people tormented by spirits. The lady tells Randy to say the name of Jesus, but he is not able to. The spirits attack Randy, possess him and push him on wall, intending to kill him. The lady calms the spirits down by showing a crucifix. She suggests Randy and his family to go and pray at his previous house. The family gets rid of the spirits for good.|
|21||5||"A Haunting in Ireland"||November 2, 2006 ( 2006-11-02 )||305|
|In Galway, Ireland three generations of the Fahey family share a home together that has been in the family for thirty years. When Martha Fahey gives birth to a baby girl in 1996, the family finds themselves cursed by strange noises, flying objects, exploding ornaments and mysterious orbs that are soon witnessed by neighbors, friends and family members. The Faheys fight to protect their home and are forced to call in a priest for help, but to no avail. They call in psychic Sandra Ramdhanie who performs a healing ceremony in the house. The haunting spirit turns out to be that of a baby born to a young girl who was suffocated to death by the girl's father as she was not married. Sandra's healing comes to a success and the home is cleansed of the spirit once and for all.|
|22||6||"The Forgotten"||November 9, 2006 ( 2006-11-09 )||306|
|In 2003, April James, her two sons and her fiance Matt Brody all move into a 100-year-old home in one of Salt Lake City's charming historic districts. Matt works as a contractor and takes the opportunity to renovate the house. Unaware to the family's knowledge, the house is actually haunted. It is not until Matt comes across a very mysterious part of the house while renovating that supernatural occurrences begin to erupt and the family find themselves plagued with several ghosts. They turn out to be the spirits of several children held captive by the spirit of an evil man. When April and Matt try to fight the evil spirit, things get ugly and the family are forced to leave the house. Their only hope is a gifted psychic who uncovers the house's dark secret regarding the man when he was alive.|
|23||7||"The Wheatsheaf Horror"||November 16, 2006 ( 2006-11-16 )||307|
|In northeastern England, the staff of the Wheatsheaf Pub, a century-old bar, soon learns that the place is haunted by the spirit of a little girl named Jessica who was killed by a man named Joseph. The current bartender and the Pub owners try to contact the girl on a Ouija board, but ends up conjuring the ghost of the girl's killer instead. The staff must now work together with the two psychic mediums to save themselves and the spirit of the young girl from the ghost killer's wrath. However when a recording of Joseph is caught threatening the life of Suzanne for her interference, it makes her more determined to save Jessica. When one of the regulars gets possessed by Joseph, the need to save him and themselves become more important. During the prayer fight between the owners, medium and the regular possessed by Joseph, the truth of how Jessica died comes to light.|
|24||8||"The Possessed"||November 30, 2006 ( 2006-11-30 )||308|
|Paranormal investigator Mary Vogel finds herself coming across demonic forces while investigating a case. She experiences strange nightmares whenever she sleeps at night and finds her body attacked by ghosts during the day. Mary soon goes to her mentor, John Zaffis, one of the world's leading paranormal experts, to get rid of the demon from trying to take over Mary's body. During the exorcism, Zaffis uncovers the shocking identity of the demon who was possessing Mary.|
|25||9||"The Presence"||December 7, 2006 ( 2006-12-07 )||309|
|Sarah Miller, her boyfriend and her children have moved into a haunted house. Sarah feels that something supernatural is present in the home and frightens her children at night. Her boyfriend remains skeptical of all of this, refusing to believe a ghost is haunting the house. In talking with her neighbor, she finds out that the previous tenants held black masses there. As a demonic presence tries to take control of the family, Sarah runs to a religious demonologist for help, who prepares a powerful ritual to extinguish the evil in the house for good.|
|26||10||"The Dark Side"||December 14, 2006 ( 2006-12-14 )||310|
|When Bobby Wilcott and his wife moves into a historical house, it soon becomes clear that it is haunted by spirits. The doors and windows are constantly opening by themselves and the electricity in the house is often not working right. After the couple tried to deny giving any supernatural explanation, Bobby soon discovers that the property was built on the ruins of an old family cemetery.|
Season 4 (2007) Edit
In March 2005, Libby and Seán Johnson fix up a worn down, abandoned house in Chester, Vermont. Not too long after settling in, the family begins to hear strange noises during the night. They later realize that their presence and work around the house angered the entities inhabiting it. With nothing else to do, Libby and Seán turn to Wiccans for help. The Wiccans cross the ghosts over.
In Green Lake, Wisconsin, three young adult men head out to a cemetery near the city to investigate a legend they have heard from there. When they find themselves in the presence of spirits, they flee the cemetery. Afterwards, another group of young adults head out there after overhearing the story from the three men at a gas station and find themselves undergoing the same experience, including one of them being scratched on the arms.
Season 5 (2012) Edit
Starting with this season, the series airs on Destination America. It also features a new opening introduction and narration.
|Title||Original air date||Prod. |
|40||1||"Blood Visions"||October 12, 2012 ( 2012-10-12 )||501|
|Betty Johnson and her family move into their new home in rural Michigan. As the Johnsons settle into their home, they start to experience strange supernatural occurrences. With that and a financial situation on their hands, the family relocates to another home hoping to leave their problems behind them. Unfortunately, when Betty's oldest child, Brinn, starts having visions of anything liquid appearing to be blood to him and is soon physically attacked, the family realizes the supernatural entity from their previous home has followed them. With the help of paranormal investigators and her family, Betty is able to clean their lives of the evil presence for good.|
|41||2||"Angels and Demons"||October 19, 2012 ( 2012-10-19 )||502|
|Kathie Sheats, a single mother, lives in Maryland and is raising her 15-year-old son Michael. In the fall of 2010, she moves into a new home with her boyfriend Brian whom she marries over the next few months. Hoping for her life to change for the good, a demonic presence lurks inside the house and begins to terrorize the family, especially Kathie. After Kathie's psychic friend, a priest and paranormal investigator are unable to rid the home of the evil, Kathie is forced to perform an exorcism by herself. In a battle between good and evil, a guardian angel comes down and helps Kathie defeat the demon.|
|42||3||"Nightmare in Bridgeport"||October 26, 2012 ( 2012-10-26 )||503|
|In Connecticut of 1962, Bob Baker befriends an evil entity that inhabited his parents' house. As time went on, Bob began to feel uncomfortable towards it. After finally telling it to leave him alone, he never sees it again for the rest of his childhood. Forty-years later, Bob is now a child safety specialist during the day but has a second job as a paranormal investigator at night as a result of his childhood experience. His parents still lives in the same house where he saw the entity as a child. After the death of his father, his mother starts to find herself in a strange situation with the supernatural. Colleagues and priests fail to clean the house of its evil, leaving Bob to face the demon and bring back peace into the house. They cannot get rid of the demon and the Baker's move out.|
|43||4||"House Of Horrors"||November 2, 2012 ( 2012-11-02 )||504|
|The Spencer family buys a historic home in the state of Arkansas. The parents, Mark and Rebecca, are skeptical of the supernatural world but they soon start to experience supernatural occurrences not too long after moving in. Mark does some research and learns that the house is haunted by a previous resident named LaDell Allen Bonner who committed suicide in the master bedroom in 1949 at age 54. The Spencers remain skeptical of all of this until Rebecca sees the ghost of LaDell standing before her one day. Determined to get answers, Mark calls investigators come and help them. Along the way, he uncovers a shocking truth regarding LaDell's suicide.|
|44||5||"Dark Dreams"||November 9, 2012 ( 2012-11-09 )||505|
|Chris Gibbons, a Michigan attorney, and his family move into a new home. Not too long after moving in, a ghost makes its presence known and nearly drives Chris insane after repeatedly messing with his dreams whenever he sleeps at night. With the help of paranormal investigators, priests, psychics and shamans, Chris tries to find a way to protect his family from the evil spirit.|
|45||6||"Nightmare Upstairs"||November 16, 2012 ( 2012-11-16 )||506|
|The VanLandingham family with three children move into a bigger house in the small town of Wynne, Arkansas. The home is everything the family could have imagined it to be. However, that feeling soon fades after a supernatural entity physical attacks the daughters Heather and Brianna. The family contacts their pastor and a local paranormal investigator to help them but the entity turns out to be too much for them to bear. The family leaves their dream home, unable to combat the spirit that reclaims the house for itself.|
|46||7||"Back from the Grave"||November 23, 2012 ( 2012-11-23 )||507|
|In 2008, North Carolina residents Jamie and Aaron move into a new home of their small town and are also the parents of two young children, Mason and Lacey. Jamie is a stay-at-home-mother while Aaron works late nights as a manager of a local truck company. One morning while Jamie and the kids take a walk through the neighborhood with Jamie's friend Pam, they pass through a small cemetery a few blocks from their home. While Pam decides to look around the cemetery, Mason sees the spirit of a man in a soldier uniform staring at him who had followed them back to their house later on. After Jamie finds Mason communicating with the spirit, who goes by the name of Gabel, at first she thinks it is an imaginary friend until strange occurrences begin to occur in the house. Soon, Aaron starts to notice these things too and Jamie overhears the spirit of a child laughing in her room while she is sleeping one night, revealing that Gabel was not the only spirit from the cemetery to follow the family back to the house. After more strange events take place, Jamie's friend Pam calls on a team of paranormal experts to keep the family out of harm's way.|
|47||8||"The Uninvited"||November 30, 2012 ( 2012-11-30 )||508|
|In 2007, Lynn and Jason Ryder become the new owners of an old bar called Morries in Meriden, Connecticut. They rename it "Ryders" after renovating, and while trying to run a happy business together with the help of Lynn's father, ghostly pranks and other supernatural activities occur which affect the staff and customers. Local psychic and spiritual healer Pam Faith visits the bar and tells Lynn that there is a dangerous demon haunting the bar. Pam rids the demon with prayer.|
|48||9||"The Exorcism of Cindy Sauer"||December 7, 2012 ( 2012-12-07 )||509|
|In Social Circle, Georgia, after her husband commits suicide, Cindy Sauer and her daughter Chassity are plagued by an evil entity. Chassity sees her dead father in the backyard and is tormented by a horrible nightmare. She believes the evil entity influenced her father's death. After several months, Cindy starts dating again and finds that her boyfriend is also interested in the paranormal. On the week of Halloween, the two of them investigate an abandoned house but they are soon driven away by a menacing figure. As they try to make their escape, Cindy is attacked by the demon and enters a state of possession. After paranormal investigators witness an attack on Cindy, they call in a priest, who performs an exorcism. The demon calls itself "Albin" and refuses to leave Cindy's body. After a series of prayers, the demon leaves temporarily. Cindy believes the ghost of her husband was trying to warn her about the evil entity. The demon is still trying to enter Cindy's life, who is trying to deal with the problem.|
|49||10||"Death's Door"||December 16, 2012 ( December 16, 2012 )||510|
|Victoria Dane tries to get her life back together again after accidentally having an overdose. She starts to notice unusual events going on in her home in Lafayette, Indiana that she feels it has something to do with the medication she is taking. After moving to New Mexico close to her relatives, the strange events follow her and begin to strike out at her physically. Aided by a local investigation company, Victoria comes to realize that the supernatural activity she is experiencing was conjured up from her near-death experience after overdosing. The questions remain of how she will be able to close the door to the paranormal world that has come to her attention. Paranormal investigators rid the aggressive ghost from Victoria. She will still see the other ghosts but it is better than the evil ghost that tormented her.|
Season 6 (2013) Edit
|Title||Original air date|
|50||1||"Marked by Evil" ||September 29, 2013 ( 2013-09-29 )|
|When Stephanie Winters rejects the advances of a friend, he steals a piece of her hair and threatens to put a spell on her. Soon after, Stephanie and her husband Nicholas are settling into their new home in Manassas, Virginia when they notice strange noises and objects moving on their own. The couple suspects they are living with a poltergeist and attempt to ignore the activity, hoping it will move on. What starts as a few broken dishes quickly escalates when the entity in their home violently scratches Stephanie and tries to choke her. They realize this is something much darker and turn to a paranormal investigator for help. As the brutal attacks on Stephanie grow more frequent, the investigator seeks out the help of a religious demonologist and the church to rid their lives of the demon bent on destroying Stephanie.|
|51||2||"Well to Hell" ||October 6, 2013 ( 2013-10-06 )|
|Mark Corvo returns to his childhood home, a large Colonial home in Cromwell, Connecticut To earn extra income, he decides to rent the extra rooms to tenants. Soon, tenants report unusual things happening around the house but Mark rationalizes the mysterious sounds as living in a 100-year old house. Later on, Mark notices a change in one of his favorite tenants, Ashley, and a few weeks later, Ashley has a mental breakdown and leaves the home. Mark reaches out to the Ghosts of New England Research Society for professional help. During their investigation, they discovered Ashley's dabbling in the dark arts opened a portal to the other side and drew spirits to the location. They also believe Mark is an Empath which is why he is experiencing so much activity. The team gives Mark guidance on how to deal and understand his gift. While doing repair work on his roof, Mark senses a dark presence behind him. He challenges the entity and is knocked off the roof, which nearly kills him. After recovering from his accident, Mark returns home with a renewed sense of hope. Although Mark will always have a connection with the spiritual world, he knows what will keep the activity at bay.|
|52||3||"Black Magic" ||October 13, 2013 ( 2013-10-13 )|
|During the renovation of her 150-year-old home near Zieglersville, Pennsylvania, Debbie Guy notices several strange occurrences lights turn on and off, doors open and close and objects move on their own. After seeing an apparition of a young girl, Debbie accepts the old house has a ghost and they will have to live with it. But when a teenage boy staying with Debbie dabbles into the occult, the paranormal activity in the house grows darker. A pastor attempts to bless the house however, the activity continues. Soon after, the teenage boy delves deeper into black magic, ultimately taking a life in a ritual and unleashing forces he cannot control. Family members are tormented, scratched and pushed by an evil entity and Debbie seeks the help of paranormal investigators who will face their toughest case yet.|
|53||4||"Haunted Victorian" ||October 20, 2013 ( 2013-10-20 )|
|Edwin Gonzalez and Lillian Otero believe they have found their dream home in a beautiful Victorian mansion in Gardner, MA. Soon after, however, it becomes a nightmare. After moving in, the couple begins to experience strange occurrences like mysterious footsteps, doors slamming on their own and unexplained noises. After Edwin witnesses a full-bodied apparition, he can no longer deny that their house is haunted. He reaches out to a series of paranormal investigators in the hopes that they can help. The situation becomes dire when Lillian's personality begins to shift and she becomes distant and depressed, as if being possessed by an evil spirit. She is physically attacked while sleeping and the couple tries to escape.|
Season 7 (2014–15) Edit
In the summer of 2003, twelve-year-old John Drenner Jr. finds an old abandoned shack in the woods surrounding Odenton, Maryland behind his grandmother's home. During his investigation of the shack, he came upon a book that detailed dark and satanic rituals, eventually learning the area was used by devil worshipers to perform their rituals. One night, his sister Cheryl hears him chanting in an unfamiliar language and when she stops him, his nose starts bleeding. Once the children go back home to nearby Pasadena, John becomes terrorized by a demonic entity every night who is hellbent on tormenting him, the demon refers to itself as "Legion", telling him that it won't stop until he is dead. The demon attacks continue on for the next few years. By the age of nineteen, John becomes used to the attacks not knowing whom to go to for assistance with his tormentor. He goes as far as making suicide attempts to get out of it. Eventually, the demon begins to attack his girlfriend Mary with whom he had moved in with, hinting that it will kill her. John seeks help from a religious official who performs a deliverance on the young man, ridding him of the demonic attachment however he feels, one day, that the demon may return, seeking revenge.
Season 8 (2016) Edit
An eighth season of the show premiered on January 3, 2016.  This season also features a new opening sequence.
The world's first feature-length film
The "Story of the Kelly Gang" (released in Australia in 1906) is regarded by many as being the world's first feature-length film. Running at over an hour long, the movie depicted the story of the 19th-century outlaw Ned Kelly (lived 1854-1880) and his gang.
The film was a huge success, film historians Sally Jackson and Graham Shirley wrote in an article on the National Film & Sound Archive of Australia's website. The film "opened in Melbourne on Boxing Day 1906 and went on to enthral audiences across the country," Jackson and Shirley wrote. "By late 1907, the film had screened in New Zealand and England, where it was billed as 'the longest film ever made.'"
"Reports of crime and censorship followed screenings around the country. In May 1907, the film inspired five local children in the Victorian town of Ballarat to break into a photographic studio to steal money, after which they bailed out a group of schoolchildren at gunpoint. In April, the Victorian Chief Secretary banned the film from Benalla and Wangaratta, two towns with strong Kelly connections."
Unfortunately, the film was never properly preserved, and by the 1970s, only "some publicity material and a few photographs" remained, Jackson and Shirley noted. Discoveries of bits of the film, along with restoration work, have allowed for about a quarter of the film to be revealed, but much of it remains lost.