I've been curious to see if the whole Final Crisis project has a consistent chronology, so I've been piecing it together. Here's a stab at a timeline, with thanks to Chris Miller (whose Unauthorized Chronology of the DC Universe is mightily entertaining, and very useful for figuring out how Countdown et al. fit into continuity) and David Uzumeri, both of whose helpful suggestions I have totally ignored. (Last updated 12/27/08)
40,000 years ago:
In what will one day be New York City, Anthro meets Metron, who gives him fire. Vandal Savage attacks Anthro's tribe; Anthro fights back. (FC #1)
Slightly less than 40,000 years ago:
In the NYC of the distant past, Anthro draws the Metron diagram and has a vision of Kamandi. (FC #1)
Sometime before Day 1, I'm guessing:
Superman catches the "rip cord back to the 31st century" (Lo3W #1). (He seems to be in a pretty good mood when he's called in, so I assume it happens on a day before everything goes to hell.)
Turpin finds Orion in the garbage in Metropolis. John Stewart is called in to investigate. The Question meets with Turpin and gives him a Dark Side Club flyer. The Guardians seal off Earth. Dr. Light and Mirror Master retrieve Metron's chair during the "protest march against vigilante brutality." (FC #1)
(There could be a time-gap of a day or more in here, but it doesn't seem like either John Stewart or Dan Turpin would delay their investigations if they didn't have something else really pressing going on.)
In Gotham City, the end of the BATMAN R.I.P. storyline happens on the night between Day 1 and Day 2, per BATMAN #683. Batman heads back to the cave and talks to Alfred; he's just gotten a call from the Justice League, probably about Orion.
In Central City, Dr. Light and Effigy carry J'onn to Libra. (REQUIEM) Libra stabs the Martian Manhunter. (FC #1) Then he fights for a while longer (REQUIEM) before his heart explodes (per FC #2). Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hal Jordan and Gypsy get psychic vibes from J'onn as he's dying. This seems to be a nighttime scene, so maybe it happens after the Justice League's meeting, but I figure it might actually be very early morning. (REQUIEM)
Turpin goes to New York City, where the Tattooed Man takes him to the Dark Side club and he meets Boss Dark Side and the sharp-toothed little kids. The Justice League meets in Washington, DC; the Alpha Lanterns arrive. In the Monitors' realm, Nix Uotan is exiled, and Zillo Valla and Weeja Dell talk. (FC #1)
RAGE OF THE RED LANTERNS happens here--between FC #1 and 2, per its opening caption, and Hal's narration indicates that it happens the day after the Code 1011 goes out.
In New York City, Nightwing discovers J'onn's body at the Rose Center. His body is brought to Washington, DC, where Hal and Ollie discuss the situation. Batman, Superman, Hal, Gypsy and Black Canary--who's in Happy Harbor for some reason--write down J'onn's memories. (REQUIEM) (Batman's dressed as Bruce Wayne, which would make the Black Glove's announcement in BATMAN #681 that "the next time you wear [the cape and cowl] will be your last" not literally accurate, but whatever--otherwise he'd have been in the costume for two days straight immediately after R.I.P. Let the guy have a night's sleep in his pajamas.)
In Central City--I'm guessing that's where he is, from the fact that he seems to get local news from the same town as Iris Allen in FC #3--Nix Uotan wakes up in a human body to find the death of the Martian Manhunter being reported on the morning news. (FC #1)
(Again, it's possible that there could be a break of a day or more here, but not likely.)
In Tokyo, Megayakuza challenges Sonny Sumo and gets what's coming to him, while Super Young Team gawk. Shilo Norman, cued by Motherboxxx, comes to Tokyo to talk to Sonny. In Central City, Nix goes to his job at Big Belly Burger and draws pictures of otherworldly super-folks. In Metropolis, the possessed Turpin beats up the Mad Hatter and buys a ticket to Blüdhaven. (FC #2)
In Washington, the Green Lanterns arrive to transport everyone to Mars, and Superman flies J'onn's pyramid there from the Gobi Desert. You'd think if the Alpha Lanterns had quarantined the planet, the very last people they'd want leaving for a little while would be super muk muks, but oh well. (REQUIEM)
On Mars, Superman gives J'onn's funeral oration (FC #2), which is simulcast in Metropolis (REVELATIONS #1). Then everyone stands around for a while. After the GLs fly most people home, the transcribers say their final goodbyes. (REQUIEM)
In Central City, Libra and crew (still including Mirror Master and Weather Wizard) meet again. In Washington, the Justice League talks to Kraken; Batman suspects a bullet was involved. In Metropolis, that night, John Stewart and Opto investigate Orion's murder, and John finds the god-bullet and gets attacked. (FC #2)
That night, in an unknown location, Dr. Light has a little party, and gets melted by the Spectre. Somewhere, Sister Clarice flatlines. In Hollywood, the Spectre melts Effigy. (REVELATIONS #1)
We now encounter a weird little glitch, if we're going to count JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #27 as canonical to FC: the Shadow Cabinet is in the Hall of Justice and the JLA satellite stealing Dr. Light's mortal remains ("an old candle"), and they're met by a crew including John Stewart (and Superman), and Batman is Bruce. #30 appears to be the first post-FC issue; I have no idea where the story in #27 could have time to happen.
Somewhere in here, the League has to locate and rescue the injured John Stewart, who is holding the god-bullet (FC #2). Batman collects the bullet and sticks it in his utility belt (BATMAN #683).
In Coast City, very early in the morning, the Alpha Lanterns arrest Hal. In Washington, Superman and Batman confer, Batman fights Kraken, and Kraken throws him into a Boom Tube. In Blüdhaven, Turpin finds Rev. Good, who leads him to Command D, where he sees Kamandi and the restrained Batman. In Metropolis, Clark Kent turns in some copy, and Clayface-as-Jimmy blows up the Daily Planet. (FC #2)
The events of ROGUES' REVENGE #1 have to happen here--Luthor at least gives the Rogues the impression that he's "eating out of Libra's hand" (although he doesn't seem to have ever really gotten with Libra's program), Libra is still in the Central City club, and Barry's not back yet. The final scenes of the issue happen around 3 AM; the tingling the twins feel probably has to do with Barry's return. (ROGUES' REVENGE #1)
That night, Wally and Jay investigate Libra's HQ in Central City and find Barry. (FC #2)
Also that night, in New York, S.H.A.D.E. hits the Dark Side Club, where they find Montoya and Boss Dark Side's corpse. Überfraulein falls out of the sky; S.H.A.D.E. tells Montoya to come with them. (FC #3)
In Central City, Nix gets fired, and Jay brings Iris and Wally's family up to date. (FC #3).
The Rogues find Gambi; the "new Rogues" tell them to "report back to the club." Zoom is training Inertia. The old Rogues dispense with the new; Iris is crying with happiness after getting the update from Jay. (ROGUES' REVENGE #2)
In Portsmouth, England, Montoya fights the Bible Crew and jumps onto a boat. (Perhaps S.H.A.D.E. gave her a lift there, off-panel.) The Spectre goes to the Central City Community Center to meet up with Libra, who's conferring with the Hangmen; the Spectre kills the Hangmen and vanishes. (REVELATIONS #1) Morrison has suggested that Libra relocates because the Flashes compromised the Central City hideout, but I suspect the smoking midair corpses of the Hangmen were a much more significant compromise...
At the Hall of Evil in Florida, Libra puts the Justifier helmet on Mike, and Luthor notes that Superman "hasn't answered a single emergency call for 18 hours." (Perhaps Libra figured that the HQ wasn't the best place to be with all those dead Hangmen there.) Libra says that the Big One is coming "in less than 24 hours." (FC #3) Libra, still at the Hall of Doom (see the establishing shot at the top of the page), confers with Grodd; his monitor board has lots of shots of what's happened to a bunch of characters and... anticipates what's going to happen to Wonder Woman. (ROGUES' REVENGE #2)
In Central City, the Rogues head to the Observatory, then fight with the Zooms; Libra shows up with the kid. A big fight transpires, and the Rogues drop off Kid Zoom's body in Keystone City, then return to the basement of the Flash Museum. (ROGUES' REVENGE #3)
Back off the coast of England, the Cultists find the Spear of Destiny and fight Montoya. Cris goes to his son's grave--although, actually, the grave he goes to is Jake's. Which is strange, because Jake Allen isn't dead; Malcolm is the son Cris-as-the-Spectre killed in CRISIS AFTERMATH: THE SPECTRE #3. I guess we can chalk that up to Darkseid's fall too. Anyway, the Spectre proceeds to teleport himself to where Montoya is to judge her. (REVELATIONS #1) They fight, then the Spectre teleports them away... (REVELATIONS #2) ...and the first big internal continuity hiccup of the project happens here. See Day 6 for details.
In Metropolis, Superman is by Lois's side, and Jimmy notes that "Superman hasn't been seen since yesterday." Zillo Valla walks in and gives Clark "one ultimate chance." (FC #3) She freezes time, which apparently gets unfrozen sometime after that, and she and Superman head off for nutty parallel-Earth adventures. (SUPERMAN BEYOND #1) In Washington, Alan Scott and Wonder Woman suggest it's time to invoke Article X. (FC #3)
Oracle, Aquaman, Freddie Freeman, Supergirl, Green Arrow and Black Canary get their draft notices delivered on paper (Ollie and Dinah seem to be getting theirs in the morning). Alan Scott assembles the forces. We can assume everybody gets where they're going by some kind of fancy JLA teleportation-type device. (FC #3)
In Tokyo, Shilo's about to leave Japan when he and Sonny are attacked, and rescued by Super Young Team in the Wonder Wagon. Wonder Woman investigates Blüdhaven and gets attacked by Mary Marvel, who gives her a disease. At 5:30 PM EST (per FC #4), also in Blüdhaven, Mokkari sends the ultimate spam message out. In Washington, Oracle tries to pull the plug on the Internet (FC #3), and actually succeeds, per FC #4.
Here's that first continuity hiccup: we have to assume that the Spectre teleported Montoya mid-word from Day 5 to Day 6, as well as from the boat to Gotham City. The scenes with the Spectre and the Question together in REVELATIONS #1 and 2 clearly happen continuously, and occupy five or ten minutes at the very most; in the meantime, Wrack gets the Spear of Destiny back to shore, then gets the word out, summons the forces, heads to wherever Vandal Savage is located (which sure doesn't look like it's anywhere near the coast of England), stabs him and turns him into Cain. [Perhaps this is one of the "time distortions" mentioned in FC #5.]
So. Having jumped a day into the future, Cris and Renee observe Batwoman, and then the Radiant shows up. Cris cries over the son he didn't kill, rather than the one he did. Cris, Montoya and the Radiant talk theology. The Gotham Central Anti-Life Crew attacks. The Radiant teleports Montoya away, and she's attacked by Anti-Life Batwoman. (REVELATIONS #2)
The Spectre and the Radiant fight Anti-Life legions; Montoya fights Batwoman. Vandal Savage/Cain leads his crew along the tree-lined coastline, and... lickety-split, they're in the U.S., gazing upon the strung-up bodies in Westbrook (or whatever that suburb of Gotham is called). Maybe he's got some kind of magical teleportation powers. In Gotham City, Montoya, the Radiant and the Spectre take refuge in a cathedral, while hordes of Darkseidians attack outside (and Catwoman is hanging out outside too). Cain shows up and stabs the Spectre. (REVELATIONS #3)
[Weirdly, Montoya asserts that "what's happened in Gotham, it's happened everywhere... I was at the Checkmate castle. I've seen it." It's hard to imagine when that might have happened; she was in S.H.A.D.E.'s custody late on Day 4 and early on Day 5, and turns up at the castle on Day 20, below, but there's no space in the story between the Ultimate E-Mail and this sequence for her to get there and back, or indeed to find out what's going on anywhere other than her immediate surroundings.]
Cain has split the Spectre from Cris. Montoya fights Cain; then the Huntress shows up. The Radiant protects the church, and explains the Spear of Destiny to Montoya. Then she confronts Cain, who makes the Spectre recite the Anti-Life Equation and declares victory. (REVELATIONS #4)
Meanwhile, in Antarctica, Ice shows up and attacks the Checkmate outpost; Mr. Terrific and Taleb hunker down in the bunker, and Sasha Bordeaux shuts down. (RESIST)
At S.T.A.R. Labs in California, Snapper Carr destroys the bioweapons, then returns to Antarctica. (RESIST)
Snapper goes to the Watchtower to confront Firehawk and sees the Cheetah. (RESIST)
Days 17, 20, 25, 27, 29:
Snapper keeps up the resistance (RESIST).
Snapper gets busy with the Cheetah, then gets attacked by Justifier-Grodd and teleports himself and the Cheetah back to Camp Oswald. (RESIST)
Mr. Terrific does something hand-wave-y involving the Code Zoo and Sasha. A zillion OMACs attack the bunker, and Mr. Terrific, the Cheetah, Taleb and Snapper head off with some OMACs. (RESIST)
Day 36 or so:
In Washington, DC, Black Lightning, en route to rescue somebody from the Hall of Justice and deliver some papers, runs into the Tattooed Man (who's been protecting his family for "two weeks"), and they have a brief adventure together that ends badly. (SUBMIT) (It would actually have to be longer than two weeks to fit the timeline of RESIST--Mr. Terrific has to get back to the Checkmate castle in Switzerland by this day. Call it a time distortion if you like. But where are the OMACs? Who knows?)
Shortly thereafter, the Ray rescues the Tattooed Man and drags him into the Hall of Justice, which is under attack. Black Canary, the Flash family, the Ray and the Tattooed Man teleport to the JLA satellite, and Green Arrow gets captured.
In Blüdhaven, the Checkmate attack force has been slaughtered, Turpin is fighting off Darkseid's influence, and Kalibak is chowing down on Opto309.
In Switzerland, the Checkmate castle is under attack, and Amanda Waller is about to show Montoya something; then the Wonder Wagon arrives. At the Fortress of Solitude, adorable tykes and a printing press are around. Superbia is falling. Gorilla City is under attack. (FC #4)
In Central City, the Flashes encounter the new Female Furies, then go off and rescue Iris. (FC #3-4)
Turpin/Darkseid gives the thumbs down. (FC #4)
In Blüdhaven, Batman is having his memories strip-mined by the Lump, Simyan and Mokkari. He fights it off. S & M's experiment fails spectacularly, and they shoot the Lump, then run away as it trashes the lab. (BATMAN #682-3)
Hal Jordan is tried on Oa; Guy and Kyle show up and fight Kraken. There are mentions of time distortions on Earth, which would suggest that time is passing much more slowly off Earth, so this could be shortly after day 4 relative to Hal's experience.
At the Checkmate castle, Waller and Khalid show Montoya the Biomacs.
In Blüdhaven, the Female Furies (who've gotten back there somehow...) are suiting up. Simyan, Mokkari and Godfrey are petitioning Turpin/Darkseid, who sends the Furies out to "end it all."
At the Castle, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Alan Scott, etc., are fighting Justifiers. Mr. Terrific arrives where the Wonder Wagon has crashed, and Sonny Sumo shows off Motherboxxx. The Castle's "shields will fail in 15 minutes."
In Blüdhaven, Kalibak and the Tiger-Men ride out, and the cavalry arrives at the bridge.
Wherever Nix Uotan is, he's thrown into a holding cell with the mysterious hooded guy and the Metron-avatar who solves the Rubik's Cube; he remembers Weeja Dell.
Somewhere, Libra is about to hang the Calculator, and has words with Luthor.
In Blüdhaven, John's ring isn't working right. Turpin/Darkseid kills his minions. Supergirl and Mary Marvel start fighting.
The Green Lanterns, approaching Earth, "freefall into the singularity."
In Washington, DC, the Justifiers have found the President's bunker.
Darkseid arrives, and so does Nix. (FC #5)
1000 years from now:
Prime roasts the faux Kents and busts up the Superman Museum, and the Legion of Super-Heroes does their Legiony thing. (Lo3W #1 and 2)
The End of Time:
The Time Trapper complains about bugs. (Lo3W #1)
I'll be updating this as future issues come out, but comments and suggestions are very welcome.