Doc and The Batman part friends at the end of the prologue.
The main story opens with Doc coming back from his Fortress of Solitude to meet his friends at the cemetery, four of them(Johnny is away). His father, Clark Savage, Sr. has died of some mysterious ailment and been buried. The first thing Doc wants is the body disinterred so that he can make his own checks.
What he finds in the coffin, instead of his father’s body, are a number of sandbags with bloody right hand prints on them. And more surprising, they are filled with gold dust.
The plot here is an investigation of a group of super rich men, The Golden Tree, whose ostensible aim is world peace. Our three main heroes, Doc, The Batman, and The Spirit, begin investigating it from diffferent angles, eventually to come together.
Anton Collosi, the founder of The Golden Tree, has built NeoAtlantis, a floating City as part of that peace effort. It’s currently based off the country of Hidalgo. He wants to recruit Bruce Wayne into the organization. Doc wants to find his father’s body and is suspicious of Golden Tree’s claims. He’s well known for his peaceful aims for the world and they don’t seem interested in him or his money. The Spirit kind of gets pulled in by accident.
A number of other characters make appearances along the way.
John Sunlight, the only villain to ever appear more than once in a Doc novel, is part of Golden Tree. Doc’s aides, Monk and Ham, recruit Richard Henry Benson, The Avenger, to use his malleable face to impersonate the Bronze Man. The Blackhawks are here, though a later generation from the team that appeared in WWII. Their island is at threat. Rima the Jungle Girl carries a key piece of the puzzle originally stolen by Johnny from NeoAtlantis. Even The Black Canary makes a brief appearance.
It doesn’t take long for everyone to realize Golden Tree is not quite as benevolent as they appear.
Enjoyed this little excursion and would have liked more. I understand there was a Spirit series as well as a Doc comic, with back-up stories by some of the other participants. Apparently the First Wave universe didn’t do as well as hoped and was canceled.
Ah well, maybe more will be compiled. I don’t think it has been done, though I may be wrong.
Brian Azzarello wrote the seven issues collected here and Phil Noto drew the one shot BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE. Rags Morales was the artist for the six issue series. In the back of this hardcover is also collected some variant covers. Beautiful artwork all around.
Liked this one.