Contagion had been a perfect crossover series within the Batman universe. It tied together all the books and heroes into a single, complex tale. It’s scope varied from the world of Babylon Towers, to the chaos in Gotham, to the situation in the far north. Robin’s bout with the Clench was scary and disturbing.
Legacy probably looked good on paper. The Clench is made more deadly than it appeared, the scope of the story is now global, and Ra’s Al Ghul puts a face and goal onto the spread of the disease. In reality, it was bloated, over-long, and extremely unfulfilling.
Detective 700 (Aug. 96), by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna, opens as Batman discovers that Ra’s Al Ghul, with Talia in tow, as well as a new Ubu, is the mastermind behind the Clench.
I do really love the idea, and visual, of the ancient Wheel of Plagues, which Al Ghul has used to derive his deadly diseases. He leaves Batman and Robin deep in the pit, to be killed. Of course they are not, and spend much of this double-sized issue escaping.
So let’s just cut to the chase. Nightwing has tracked down Ra’s, and battled him, unsuccessfully. Ra’s is about to deliver the killing stroke when Batman and Robin burst in. Ra’s and Talia flee, and Batman knows he has to travel the world to stop all their plague releases.
Ubu is revealed to be Bane, who has been promised by Ra’s to Talia, as long as he helps bring about the massive plague release. Talia is less than thrilled about this, but no one cares about her views.
The story ends on Catwoman, trapped in a cell down with the Wheel of Plagues, being flooded out.
The story continues in the next issue of Catwoman.