"The Amazo Virus, Chapter Two: Patient Zero": Just as the CDC keeps live samples of ostensibly eradicated diseases like small-pox in secure locations, Lex Luthor had thought his lab was secure, and kept the Amazo Virus there. He did not anticipate that
- There are things you don't know. Things the League doesn't know. This is far worse than anyone could believe. People are afraid. And they should be.
Synopsis for "The Amazo Virus, Chapter Two: Patient Zero"
Just as the CDC keeps live samples of ostensibly eradicated diseases like small-pox in secure locations, Lex Luthor had thought his lab was secure, and kept the Amazo Virus there. He did not anticipate that it would be released and threaten the lives of thousands, requiring the entire country to be quarantined.
In Metropolis, Batman and Superman have cornered patient zero in the epidemic - a pathologist called Armen Ikarus. A sample of his blood will be needed if there's any chance of developing a vaccine. due to the virus' side-effects giving victims metahuman abilities, there is no telling what Dr. Ikarus could be capable of. When he blasts them with Superman's own heat-vision, Batman worries that Ikarus may be able to do anything through mimicry - just like the Amazo Android, but organic. Ikarus is evolving. As Ikarus escapes them, Superman warns that he can see the virus in the air, mutating and thriving. It can survive and spread indefinitely outside of the human body.
Elsewhere, Lena Luthor wonders why anyone would attack Lex in his secret lab. He responds coldly that he has done bad things in the past. What matters to him, though, is that his sister remain safe and uninfected. Neutron, the assassin, was exposed to the virus, and like all other metahumans, the virus has negated his abilities - and without his abilities to redirect radiation, his body is now suffering from residual radiation poisoning and cancer metastasis. The rest of the League is sick as well. Lena wonders why Lex would create something like that. He responds that metahuman criminals kill dozens and hundreds of people every year, and virtually no prison is capable of holding them for long. He swore he would find a way to neutralize such people, and began searching for a means of blocking metahuman abilities, and the Amazo Virus was designed to temporarily suppress them. Lena reminds that as his sister, she knows when he's lying. Choosing not to answer, he kisses her forehead, and comments that the important thing is that he can create a cure.
Batman and Superman follow Ikarus' trail back to LexCorp, and Clark worries that he's still cognizant - and they will have to rely on Lex to help save the man and stop the virus. Clark wonders if Bruce thinks Lex would dare to release the virus on purpose, and Bruce responds that he doubts Lex would endanger Lena like that. Superman is skeptical, but they are soon attacked by Ikarus. Fortunately, Wonder Woman intervenes, wrapping her Lasso of Truth around him. She demands to know how he got sick - but he claims he is not sick.
Meanwhile, Captain Cold notes that Lex seems genuinely concerned for the well-being of the League, and Lex reminds that it would not be good for him to be seen as the one who designed the virus that killed the Justice League. Cold wonders why, then, Lex created it, if not to kill the League. Angrily Lex warns him that he is not paid to mock him or ask questions. He warns, though, that the situation is far worse than anyone knows. Suddenly, an explosion sends both men flying, as a man calling himself Bullet explains that he has come to claim the price that's been placed on Lex's head.
Realizing that they won't be able to safely get Ikarus back to Luthor's lab, Superman and Wonder Woman hold him down while Batman takes a sample himself. Unfortunately, Ikarus hits him with a blast of heat vision that causes him to drop the sample and destroy it. What's worse is that his protective mask has cracked. Batman has been exposed to the virus - and as a human, that means he will be getting abilities with likely fatal results.
Appearing in "The Amazo Virus, Chapter Two: Patient Zero"
- Armen Ikarus (First full appearance)
- This issue is reprinted in Justice League: Injustice League.