Review: First things first, this comic is a DC Elseworlds tale, which means this is a one-off story, and that it isn't in continuity for any of the characters. We start off in Gotham City in Jan. 1945 with Batman and Robin chasing after the Joker. The Joker manages to give the Dynamic Duo the slip, but upon searching the Joker's car, Bats finds some traces of plutonium. Meanwhile in Europe, Captain America and Bucky are called back to the States for some sort of top secret mission. As they are flying into Gotham, Cap and Bucky spot a plane being hijacked and Cap hops out of his plane to try to stop the hijacking. Things look bleak for Cap as he is nearly thrown from the plane thanks to the high winds, as well as a gunman shooting at him from aboard the plane. Luckily, Batman arrives in the Batplane and pulls Cap to safety, and the two heroes board the plane and trounce the hijackers. It seems that the hijackers took that plane on the orders of the Joker, because Robert Oppenheimer of the “Gotham Project” was on-board... If you can't see where this story is going by this point, you should turn in your comic book fan card right now! Cap and Bats say goodbye to each other and Cap heads to the Army Intelligence building where he is told by his higher ups that the Joker had been targeting items from the Gotham Project, and that they suspected Bruce Wayne was in cahoots with Joker since he had access to some sensitive information due to the fact that he was funding many Army projects. With that, Cap(in his civilian identity of Private Steve Rogers)is sent to “protect” Bruce Wayne, while secretly trying to discover whether or not Bruce was a traitor. After two uneventful days, Steve happens to catch the tale end of a conversation between Bruce and his ward Dick Grayson(Robin)in which they mention meeting the Joker, which leads to Steve believing that Bruce was indeed working with Joker. Later that night, Bruce slips out of Wayne Manor and heads to one of his office buildings, where he is confronted by Steve. The two fight and after stalemating each other, realize who the other man actually was. Now understanding why Bruce Wayne was interested in meeting the Joker, the two heroes head to the Batcave to share notes. While this is going on, the Joker hits an army convoy and steals an atomic bomb for his mystery benefactor, the Red Skull. Cap and Robin head to Commissioner Gordon to answer the Bat-signal, where they get news of the Joker's latest crime, while Batman and Bucky stay behind awaiting the Bat-computer as it figures out where the Joker was most likely hiding. After getting a hit from the computer, Bats and Bucky head to an abandoned warehouse where they are jumped and defeated by the Red Skull and his minions. The Skull puts them in a deathtrap and leaves to go meet up with the Joker in order to get the atomic bomb. Bats and Bucky manage to break free of the deathtrap, and rendezvous with Cap and Robin. The four heroes get on-board the Batplane and after Cap deduces that the Skull was probably planning on dropping the bomb on Washington DC, the heroes fly towards the nearest airfield. At the airfield, the Joker meets the Skull and hands over the bomb, but upon realizing the Skull was a Nazi, tries to renege on the deal. Huh, who knew the Joker was secretly a patriot... The Skull's men knock out the Joker, and the Skull loads the Joker and the bomb onto the plane before taking off. The Batplane manages to catch up to the Skull's aircraft and Bats and Cap get on-board while Bucky and Robin are forced to pull away. The heroes fight through a horde of Nazis, however they realize that the Skull had managed to lock himself in the bomb bay with the bomb, and has managed to jam the bomb door open. Bats and Cap try to get the plane over the Atlantic Ocean and away from the US, while the Skull decides to just drop the bomb wherever they were, figuring that even if it wasn't a direct hit on Washington, the fallout from the bomb would still wreak great havoc. Before the Skull can drop the bomb though, he is attacked by the Joker, buying the heroes enough time to get the plane's deadly payload well out into the Atlantic. The Joker and Skull fight each other and eventually fall out of the plane, along with the bomb, which detonates harmlessly in the ocean. With that, the heroes return to the mainland and wish each other well. This issue ends with an epilogue from 20 years later where Batman(now Dick Grayson)and Robin(Bruce Wayne Jr.)find the frozen body of Captain America and bring him back to life, much like what happened in the Marvel Universe.
Thoughts: All in all, I enjoyed reading this comic. There were a few things that bugged me, such as the way Cap, and especially Bucky, seemed to be kind of inferior to Bats and Robin, and the Joker's strange patriotism, but this story wasn't that bad. Once the “Gotham Project” and Oppenheimer were brought into the story, it became pretty clear what the Joker was trying to do, and who he was working for, but the story was engaging enough for me to have been able to enjoy the comic regardless. There were a bunch of nice little touches, like Cap meeting Commissioner Gordon and Batman and Bucky facing the Red Skull that made this a fun little read for a fan of both Cap(and Bucky)and Batman(and Robin)such as myself. The end kind of gave me a bit of a chuckle, with Dick Grayson serving as Batman, with Bruce Wayne's son serving as Robin... Hmm, where have I seen that before? Anyway, while not as good as the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer x-over, this was an enjoyable trip back to the Golden Age of Batman and Captain America.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I'd really like to see a team-up between these two characters now.