Azrael’s allies saved Robin’s life in Batman: Contagion

At the 1996 comic book crossover event Batman: Contagion (written by Chuck Dixon), Gotham City was ravaged by the deadly “Apocalypse Virus” that threatened to throw the city into chaos.

This unexpected incident proved to be a daunting test for Batman and his allies, as this adversary was not something they could simply defeat on their own. This became abundantly clear when Batman’s third Robin Tim Drake nearly died from said virus, if not for the quick thinking of one of Dennis O’Neil’s Azrael allies in 1995. Azrael comedy series.

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Faced with the possibility of losing his sidekick to this virus plaguing Gotham, Batman was forced to rely on two of his allies he didn’t fully trust in an attempt to save the sickly Robin. Batman tasked Azrael and Catwoman with trying to find individuals who had survived the virus to try and create a cure for the disease. Unfortunately, their attempts to find a survivor proved unsuccessful. The only survivor, a girl known as Leanore We, was naturally immune to the virus and therefore unable to develop the antibodies needed to cure the disease.


Tim Drake’s life was hanging by a thread when Azrael returned to his base in Gotham to try to analyze the genetics of the virus. He discovered that the virus was actually a man-made disease concocted by the secret organization that created it, the Order of St. Dumas. With the help of a former member of the Order of St. Dumas Sister Lilhy and former psychiatrist Brian Bryan, Azrael was able to transcribe a cure for the disease from the notes of Abbott Gris. Now in possession of a cure, Azrael raced to Gotham City, breaking through a police blockade to try and deliver the cure to the nearest hospital to save Robin’s life.


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However, at the end of Azrael #16 (by Dennis O’Neil, Barry Kitson, James Pascoe, Demetrius Bassoukos, Digital Hellfire, and Ken Bruzenak), it was revealed that Azrael was unable to deliver the cure. in time to save Robin’s life. . Although this cliffhanger would eventually turn out to be half true as in Robin #28 (by Chuck Dixon, Mike Wieringo and Stan Woch). During this issue of Robin’s single-player series, it was revealed that Azrael’s ally Brian Bryan faxed the cure to the Batcave before Azrael arrived in the city.


Brian Bryan would later explain that due to Azrael’s psychological programming through the Order of St. Dumas, he has a very “medieval” mindset and did not consider using the phone lines or fax machines. Knowing that Azrael would not arrive in time to save Robin, Brian covered up his vigilante partner’s surveillance and contacted Barbara Gordon to help fax the cure to various hospitals and the Batcave.

Robin’s impending death in Batman: Contagion came as a shock to many comic book fans as they weren’t sure if DC Comics was going to kill off the beloved character only a decade after the last Robin Jason Todd died. Anyway, as far as the events of the comics go Tim Drake’s long career as Robin could have easily perished had it not been for the efforts of the alcoholic psychiatrist known as Brian Bryan and his accessibility to the Batcave’s fax machine.



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