Calendar Man was, in reality, criminal
That's the rep that Alan Grant and Tim Sale traded on when they cast him in their Shadow of The Bat story arc "The Misfits," in which Calendar Man teams up with similarly low-on-the-totem pole villains Catman, Killer Moth and new character Chancer in an attempt to pull off a big score and hit the big-time that had so far been to denied to each of them as a solo act (I reviewed "The Misfits" as part of this long, story-by-story review of the collection Tales of The Batman: Tim Sale).
DC didn't seem to have any urgent plans for the character during the New 52 reboot, as he was one of a trio of characters featured in their two-page advertorial features, "Channel 52." There Calendar Man—looking like a flabby version of Sale's depiction, stuffed into a suit and tie—serves as a reporter alongside Ambush Bug.
Then during last week's Detective Comics Annual #3, writer Buccellato and the issue's three artists (none of whom are cover artist Guillem March) and three colorists introduced us to New 52 Julian Day, offering what appears to be his new origin story.
We first meet the character when he saunters into a men's room in a seedy bar, where Bruce Wayne awaits him, disguised as Matches Malone. He's huge, the top of his bald head just fitting in the doorway, and he's a good head or three taller than Batman. Batman tells Day that he's Matches Malone and locks the door. Day tells him he's going to fight him. And then we flash back to what brought the pair to this bout of bathroom fisticuffs.
The story continues the various plots that Buccellato has been filling the monthly issues with—only here they lack the presence of Francis Manapul's artwork—but we'll just focus on the Julian Day bits. We next see him in the back of an SUV stretch limo with The Squid and the Squid's little brother. The Squid tells his brother he's putting Day in charge of some big drug deal, and that Day is going to be taking his little brother under his wing, to teach him the business.
While having a drink together, Day tries to explain the importance of self-marketing in Gotham City villainy to his new student—"Branding in this town is important. Having an identity can go a long way." The kid's not buying it.
"Interesting theory," he responds. "But, with a name like 'Julian' I'd get comfortable with being a henchman."
Day responds by punching him really hard in the stomach, hard enough that the boy crumples to the floor. Then he goes off to take his fateful piss.
Batman talks to the boy, noticing bruises on him and the way he seems to be afraid of his own father.
The boy, it turns out, is Aden Day, the young son of Julian Day. And, in addition to being upset about being beat, Aden's also points out that tonight is his birthday, but his dad seems to have forgotten.
KA-KRAK"), punching him in the face ("KA-KRAK") and, finally, slamming his face into the wall ("KA-KRAK"). Despite the sound effects, I don't think we're meant to read the KRAKs as bones breaking. If we are, then holy shit, Batman just destroyed Calendar Man before he could even become Calendar Man.
All the while Batman is beating on him, the disguised Dark Knight tells him off:
You know what today is? The date! October 9th...your son's birthday...He's home alone and youre in here getting drunk...on his birthday. Buy a damn calendar.
So, um, that's a different take on the character, whose origin I'm assuming we've just witnessed.
So once Julian Day synthesizes his own thinking about branding with Batman's violent suggestion of calendars, I'm assuming he'll return as Calendar Man.
It remains to be seen if he'll wear an awesome costume like the one at the top of this post, or if he'll go with something more generic and in keeping with his look in this book (When the character recently appeared in the pages of the short-lived Legends of the Dark Knight digital-first series, he was just a bald guy wearing an Uncle Sam hat, as he was in the midst of a Fourth of July-related terrorist act; I think what folks forget about the Sale redesign is that the only reason Day wasn't wearing a costume was because he was in Arkham Asylum, and was thus not allowed to wear a mask, tights and cape, but had to stick with an asylum-issue jumpsuit).
Whatever his costume ends up looking like though, a gigantic, eight-foot-tall Calendar Man with the shoulders of an NFL linebacker (with his pads on) strikes me as a pretty odd choice. Not as odd as making him a drug-dealer who beats his son, of course, but odd nonetheless.