For the First Time, The Full DC Comics Timeline Planned By Dan DiDio

Last month, we got a better look at the DC Comics Timeline that was announced in 2019, meant to have been in the Free Comic Book Day comic for 2020 (until a million copies were pulped) and then was done away with as publisher Dan DiDio was fired. Since then we have managed to get more photos and, aside from some missing ages for characters, we now have the full planned DC timeline, shown below. Two things are very new – specifically which actual years were meant to tally with which column. That there is some playing with years, with some DC years taking in one or more real years. With a few skip points. And we have the observed ages of various characters through the timeline, maybe there was some time travel involved, I am not asking, but it means that Batman and Superman would have been in their late fifties when this was all meant to go down.

DC Comics Timeline Planned By Dan DiDio
DC Comics Timeline Planned By Dan DiDio

Recapping The Timeline

Just to recap, once upon a time, Dan DiDio and DC Comics Editorial were going to reset the entire DC Comics timeline for good, with its history spread over five Generations, with four taking up what had been published so far. Wonder Woman would have debuted during World War II, Superman and Batman much later – but then everyone would age in real-time (ish) from that moment, and the modern-day DC Comics mainstays would be much older, in time for the new legacy characters to take over their roles, and we would have 5G – or Generation Five. The end of Death Metal would have seen this new reality play out. And at New York Comic-Con, in the background, Dan DiDio debuted a big new look at the new DC Timeline. Which Bleeding Cool did our level best to transcribe. It was also published in full in the DC Comics 2020 Free Comic Book Day Generation Zero title. However then Dan DiDio was fired as publisher, and the 5G plan and the new DC timeline was junked, leading DC Comics to pulp a million copies printed of the FCBD title, and not one copy escaped onto the open market – a first for such an event. But now for the first time, we get a full idea of what was planned – until it was binned.

DC Generation 1: Dawn of The Heroic Age – 25 Year Time Window

  • 25 Year Time Compression
  • 1938 Year 1 (G1 – Y1) Krypton explodes. Rocket crashes in Smallville. Wonder Woman debuts, Steve Trevor crashes on Themescyria. Ma Kent (25) Pa Kent (25).
  • 1939 Year 2 (G1 – Y2) Jay Garrick debuts as The Flash. Alan Scott debuts as the Green Lantern. Zatara debuts as a stage magician. Dan Garrett debuts as Blue Beetle. Blackhawk assembles Crew. Jay (25) Alan (25) Zatara (26) Garrett (27)
  • 1940 Year 3 (G1 – Y3) JSA. Wonder Woman joins JSA. Jay joins JSA. Alan joins JSA. Dinah Drake debuts as Black Canary. Dinah (21).
  • 1941 Year 4 (G1 – Y4) Sgt Rock & Easy Company enter European theater
  • 1942 Year 5 (G1 – Y5) Freedom Fighters, All-Star Squadron JSA Enters World War 2. Freedom Fighters debut. All-Star Squadron forms.
  • 1943 Year 6 (G1 – Y6) Thomas and Martha Wayne marry. Bruce Wayne born. Priscilla Rich – Cheetah debuts. Zatanna born. Newsboy Legion joins the war effort at home. Zatara (30)
  • 1944 Year 7 (G1 – Y7) Haunted Tank debuts
  • 1945 Year 8 (G1 – Y8) Wonder Woman retreats to Themysicira following the atomic bomb drop. Freedom Fighters disband.
  • 1949 Year 12 (G1 – Y12) Dinah Lance born.
  • 1950 Year 13 (G1 – Y13) Clark Kent becomes Superboy, works in secret. Creature Commandos debut, Clark (12)
  • 1951 Year 14 (G1 – Y14) Alfred hired by Wayne Family. Alfred (25)
  • 1953 Year 16 (G1 – Y16) Thomas and Martha Wayne family killed. Bruce (10) Alfred (27) Gordon (25) Dinah (4)
  • 1955 Year 18 (G1 – Y18) Senate bans superheroes. Clark stops being Superboy. Jay retires as The Flash. Alan retires as Green Lantern. JSA disbands. Dan Garrett goes underground. Task Force X assembles. Clark (16) Jay (41) Alan (41) Garrett (43)
  • 1956 Year 19 (G1 – Y19) Arthur's father dies. Black Manta's father dies. J'onn J'onnz arrives on Earth incognito. Arthur (17)
  • 1957 Year 20 (G1 – Y20) Arthur joins 'The Others' Arthur meets Vulko. Arthur (18)
  • 1958 Year 21 (G1 – Y21) Arthur meets Orm. Arthur (18) Orm (17)
  • 1961 Year 24 (G1 – Y24) Sea Devils and Challengers Of The Unknown formed

DC Generation 2: The Space Age – 15 Year Time Window

  • 2 year compression G2 Y1-Y3
  • 1965 Year 26: (G2 – Y1) Batman & Superman debut. Batman debuts. Year One. Superman debuts. Lexcorp founded. Bruce (22) Alfred (39) Gordon (37) Selina (22) Clark (25) Ma & Pa Kent (50) Luthor (25) Lois (24) Perry (39) Jimmy (15) Jay (51)) Ted Kord (16)
  • 1966 Year 27: (G2 – Y2) Rogues Gallery debuts Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, Batman Year Two. Rogue's Gallery debut: Parasite, Metallo, Toy Man. Barry Allen debuts as the Flash. Year One. Hal Jordan debuts as Green Lantern. Oliver Queen debuts as Green Arrow. Aquaman debuts. Martian Manhunter goes public. Catwoman (23) Barry (22) Iris West (21) Hal (20) Ollie (24) Arthur (22) Dinah (18)
  • 1967 Year 28:(G2 – Y3)  Dick Grayson as Robin. World's Finest (Batman and Superman meet). Wally West debuts as Kid Flash. The Rogues debut. Sinestro turns evil. Arthur meets Mera. Ray Palmer becomes the Atom. Deadman debuts. Dick (13) Bruce (24) Alfred (41) Clark (27) Bruce (24) Lois (26) Perry (42) Jimmy (17) Wally (13) Mera (23) Palmer (28)
  • 13 year compression G2 Y4-Y14
  • 1968 Year 29: (G2 – Y4) Justice League of America. Batman joins JLA, Superman joins JLA,  Wonder Woman Returns from exile to join JLA, Less Interaction With Gods, Barry joins JLA, Hal joins JLA, Black Canary (Dinah Lance) joins JLA, Aquaman joins JLA, Martian Manhunter joins JLA. The Atom joins JLA. Dinah (19)
  • 1969 Year 30: (G2 – Y5) Doom Patrol. Donna Troy rescued by Wonder Woman and spends the year on Themyscira, Barry meets Jay (Flash Of Two Worlds), Guy Gardner appointed GL back-up, Green Arrow joins JLA, Nathaniel Adam turned into Captain Atom, Vic Sage debuts as the Question. Donna (13) Barry (23) Jay (53) Guy (25) Ollie (25) Captain Atom (20) Ted Kord (18) Vic Sage (24)
  • 1970 Year 31: (G2 – Y6) Crisis of Two Worlds. Teen Titans Debut – Dick, Wally, Garth, Roy, Donna, Garth debuts as Aqualad. Dick (15) Barry (25) Jay (54) Garth (14) Garrett (56)
  • 1971 Year 32: (G2 – Y7) JSA Returns, Guy injured, relinquishes ring. Guy (26)
  • 1972 Year 33: (G2 – Y8) Supergirl arrives. Teen Titans add new members Mal, Lilith, Gnarrk, Bumblebee, Flash marries Iris, Hard Traveling Heroes, John Stewart debuts as Green Lantern, Dinah & Ollie start dating, Aquagirl debuts, Dinah and Ollie, Alec Holland becomes Swamp Thing, Kara (16) Clark (29) Lois (28) Perry (43) Jimmy (19) Lex (29) Barry (26) Hal (23) John (23) Ollie (27) Dinah (20) Captain Atom (22) Alec (25) Aquagirl (15)
  • 1975 Year 34: (G2 – Y9) Ra's al Ghul and Talia debut, Zatanna joins JLA, Talia (18) Arthur (26)
  • 1976 Year 35: (G2 – Y10) Diana loses powers, Trains With I-Ching, Aquaman crowned King Of Atlantis, Arthur (27)
  • 1977 Year 36: (G2 – Y11) Barbara Gordon debuts as Batgirl, Dick Grayson In College, Original Teen Titans Disband, Professor Zoom kills Iris, The Doctor Light Vote, John Stewart is full-time Green Lantern, Hal Quits As GL, Arthur married Mera, Firestorm debuts, Barbara (17) Dick (19) Barry (28) Iris (27) Hal (26) Captain Atom (27) John (27) Hal (27) Arthur (29) Mera (29)
  • 1982 Year 37: (G2 – Y12) Justice League: The Detroit Era/New Teen Titans. Wonder Woman's Powers Return, New Teen Titans debuts Dick, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy,  Arthur & Mera's baby is killed, Arthur & Mera break-up, Arthur abdicates throne, Firestorm joins JLA, Dick (22) Bruce (31) Clark (35) Hal (28) Wally (22) Arthur (30) Mera (30)
  • 1983 Year 38:(G2 – Y13) Outsiders Formed, Black Lighting, Geo-Force,.Katana, Halo, Metamorpho. Barry kills Professor Zoom, Orm Seizes Throne Of Atlantis, Billy Batson transformed into Shazam, Billy ceases aging, Saga of the Swamp Thing, Discovery of the Green, Billy (13)
  • 1984 Year 39: (G2 – Y14) Barbara Minerva debuts as the new Cheetah, Terra debuts, Dan Garrett dies, Ted Kord debuts as Blue Beetle, Garrett (66) Ted Kord (27)
  • 8 year compression G2  Y15 – G3 Y4
  • 1985 Year 40: (G2 – Y15) Crisis On Infinite Earths. Dick Grayson debuts as Nightwing, Jason Todd debuts as Robin, Supergirl dies, the Gods Make A Return To Wonder Woman's Life, Circe Debuts, Name Change To "The Titans", The Judas Contract, Wally Leaves The Team, Barry dies, Wally West debuts as the Flash, Guy Gardner Returns, Aquagirl dies, Shazam debuts in DCU, Dick (24) Jason Todd (13) Bruce (35) Alfred (52) Kara (25) Clark (38) Lois (37) Perry (52) Jimmy (28) Lex (38) Barry (34) Wally (24) Hakl (32) Guy (15) Billy (15)

DC Generation 3: The Age Of Crisis – 15 Year Time Window

  • 1986 Year 41: (G3 – Y1) Justice League International, Wallace West born, Guy – GL of Earth, Hal – GL Of Space, Longbow Hunters, Booster Gold debuts in our time, Shazam joins JLI, Captain Atom joins the JLI, Blue Beetle joins the JLI, John Constantine sets up shop, Ollie (37) Billy (15) Captain Atom (32) Ted Kord (30) Constantine (22)
  • 1987 Year 42: (G3 – Y2) Death In The Family, Jason Todd murdered,
  • Dinah and Ollie Break Up, Booster joins JLI, Dinah and Ollie breakup, Amanda Waller takes over Task Force X, Jason (15), Waller (30)
  • 1988 Year 43 (G3 – Y3): Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon paralyzed. Wally Meets Linda,Guy Gardner quits being JL-GL. Swamp Thing dormant, Barbara (28)
  • 1991 Year 44 (G3 – Y4): Knightfall, Tim Drake debuts as Robin, Barbara Gordon debuts as Oracle, Death of Superman, Reign of the Supermen, Booster nearly killed by Doomsday, Blue Beetle nearly killed by Doomsday, Bruce (39) Alfred (56) Azrael (25) Dick (28) Tim (13) Conner (16) Natasha (16) Steel (38) Clark (42) Lois (41) Perry (56) Jimmy (32) Lex (42) Hal (36) Ollie (40) Ted (33)
  • 6 year compression G3 Y5 – Y10 
  • 1992 Year 45:(G3 – Y5) Birds Of Prey Debut, Superman Returns, The Contest, Artemis Debuts, Team Titans Forms, Mirage, Kilowat, Nightrider, Terra, Redwing. Speed Force discovered. Bart debuts as Impulse, Coast City/Oa Destroyed, Kyle Rayner – GL, Black Canary B.O.P., Hal As Paralax, Kyle Vs Hal, Black Hawks fight in Persian Gulf, Hal (37), Kyle (25), Wally (29)
  • 1995 Year 46: (G3 – Y6) Zero Hour. Damian born, Team Titans disbands, Titans disband, Guy Debuts As Warrior, Final Night, Hal Dies, Ollie Dies, Connor Hawke as Green Arrow, Aquaman loses hand, Atom is de-aged, Hal (38) Ollie (42) Connor (18) Dick (30), Bart (12) Arthur (39)
  • 1996 Year 47: (G3 – Y7) JLI Replaced by Reformed JLA. No Man's Land, Cassandra Cain As Batgirl, Harley Quinn debuts, Clark And Lois Married, Electric Blue Superman, Cassie debuts, All-New Teen Titans Formed, Joto, Argent Risk, Prysm, Atom, Kyle joins JLA, Aquaman rejoins JLA, Aqualad (Garth) becomes Tempest, Plastic Man debuts, Bruce (40), Cassandra (13), Cassie (14), Eel (27), Palmer (44) Harley (26)
  • 1998 Year 48: (G3 – Y8) Hush, Sins Of Youth, Connor Begins Aging, All-New Teen Titans Disband, Original Titans Reform, Roy, Dick, Donna, Tempest, Wally. Young Justice Debuts Tim, Conner Kent, Cassie, Bart, Wally marries Linda, Ollie Returns As Green Arrow, Ollie & Dinah Back Together Again. Atom Re-Aged. JSA Reforms, Star Girl, Atom Smasher, Cyclone, Black Canary, Dr Midnight, Mr Terrific, Shazam, Jakeem Thunder. Bruce (40) Tim (16) Conner (16) Ollie (43) Jaime (13) Eel (29)
  • 2000 Year 49: (G3 – Y9) Identity Crisis, Stephanie debuts as Robin, Dick Leads Outsiders, Public Enemies, President Luthor, Jon Kent Born, Supergirl Reborn, Death of Donna Troy, Graduation Day, Teen Titans Re-Form, Tim, Bart, Cassie, Conner, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, Dinah & Oliver Break Up Again, John Stewart is Green Lantern of JLA, Kyle Restarts The Corps, Sub Diego, Lorena Marquez debuts as Aquagirl, Firestorm killed, Jason Rush = Firestorm, Atom MIA, Captain Atom joins President Luthor's task force, Captain Atom blows up. Dick (33)  Tim (18) John (40) Kyle (28)
  • 2002 Year 50: (G3 – Y10) Under The Red Hood, Jason Todd Returns, Batwoman Debuts, Wally & Linda Kids Are Born, Green Lantern Rebirth, Hal And John – GL On Earth, Kyle and Guy GL on Oa, Aquaman Killed And Resurrected. Ted Kord killed, Martian Manhunter goes missing, Renee Montoya dates Batwoman, Clark (48) Lois (47) Perry (62) Jimmy (38) Lex (48), Hal (42) Kyle (30) Renee (30) Eel (31) Ted (39)
  • 2003 Year 51: (G3 – Y11) Infinite Crisis 52. Conner dies. Wonder Woman Kills Max Lord, Martian Manhunter found, Booster becomes corporate shill, Captain Atom returns, Billy Batson = Wizard Shazam, Freddy Freeman = Captain Marvel, Jamie = Blue Beetle. Conner (19) Captain Atom (36) Jaime (15) Ted (39) Damian (5)
  • 5 year compression G3 Y 11 – Y15
  • 2005 Year 52 (G3 – Y12): Barbara Gordon Legs Restored, Barbara returns as Batgirl, Donna Troy Reborn, Sinestro Corps War, Ollie – Mayor Of Star City, Booster as Protector of the Timestream, Captain Atom Becomes Monarch, enters The Bleed, Vic Sage Dies, Renee Montaya – The Question, Jaime returns to Earth, Barbara (33), Dick (35), Vic (45), Renee (31)
  • 2006 Year 53 (G3 – Y13): Outsiders Disband, Titans Reform Dick, Donna, Wally, Beast Boy, Raven, Cyborg, Teen Titans: Tim, Cassie, Red Devil, Blue Beetle, Static Shock. War Of Light. Different Corps Emerge. Ollie & Dinah Marry. Ryan Choi = The Atom,  Choi (26) Dick (35)
  • 2007 Year 54 (G3 – Y14): Final Crisis. Damian debuts, Batman RIP, Tim as Red Robin, Pa Kent Dies, Martian Manhunter killed, Captain Atom Reborn
  • 2009 Year 55: (G3 – Y15) Blackest Night, Flashpoint. Cassie Leads Teen Titans, Tim Quits The Team, Barry Reborn, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Dinah & Oliver separate, Aquaman Killed & Resurrected, Arthur's hand eestored, Jackson Hyde debuts, Martian Manhunter returns, Ryan Ghoi killed, Firestorm returns, Vic Sage Returns As A Black Lantern, Swamp Thing returns to public eye, Constantine returns to public eye. Damian (12) Bruce (50) Alfred (67) Dick (39) Tim (24) Jon (7) Clark (53) Lois (52) Perry (67) Jimmy (43) Lex (53) Wally (39) Barry (49) Arthur (49) Choi (30)

DC Generation 4: The Flashpoint – 5 Year Time Window

  • 5 year compression
  • 2011 Year 56 – (G4 – Y1) Wildstorm. Damian debuts as Robin, Dick Grayson debuts as Batman, Bruce returns, Donna Troy takes over Wonder Woman mantle, War of the Green Lanterns, Hal kills Mad Guardian. Damian (13) Dick (40) Bruce (51)
  • 2012 Year 57 – (G4 – Y2) Justice League. Court Of Owls, Damian Dies, Kryptonian Armour, Diana back as Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman becomes God of War, Tim returns to lead Teen Titans, Wally and Bart disappear into time stream, Hal is Green Lantern in Justice League, Kyle debuts as the White Lantern, Aquaman joins Justice League, Arthur crowned King again, Booster aware of timeline changes, vanishes, Plastic Man hibernation, Billy Batson and Shazam joins Justice League, Vic Sage resurrected, Harley Quinn joins Suicide Squad Jon (9) Luke Fox (21) Kyle (37) Jamie (22) Ted Kord (46) Bruce (52) Damian (14) Alfred (69) Gordon (67)
  • 2015 Year 58 – (G4 – Y3) DC Rebirth. Damian returns, Jim Gordon briefly becomes Batman, Batman (Bruce) and Red Robin unite Gotham vigilantes as formal team, Oz Effect, Jor-El Returns, Kents back in Metropolis, Wonder Woman relinquishes God Of War mantle, Original Titans reform, Dick, Lilith, Wally, Garth, Roy, Donna, Teen Titans reform, Damian, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, Wally returns, Ollie + Dinah back together, Ryan Choi returns, Booster returns, Ted Kord returns, Vic assumes the Question identity again. Dick (42) Tim(27) Damian (15) Jor-El (81) Wallace (28) Jackson (17) Ted Jord (47) Kyle (38) Choi (33)
  • 2016 Year 59 – (G4 – Y4) Dark Knight Metal, New Age Of DC Heroes, Bat/Cat wedding, Rogol Zaar, Jon travels to future, Damian's New Teen Titans, Robin, Kid Flash, Crush, Red Arrow, Roundhouse, Bart Returns, The Terrifics formed, Plastic Man wakes from hibernation, Bruce (53) Selina (53)
  • 2019 Year 60 – (G4 – Y5) Year Of The Villain, Death Metal. Jon returns from future/aged. Jon (23)

Generation 5 – Reset

  • 2021 onwards

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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