“The Lazarus Contract”, is a four issue/three-series crossover between Teen Titans,, and Deathstroke, with the completion of the story wrapped up in a special issue of Teen Titans. The story left the two teams of characters altered or damaged, and not entirely surprisingly: it was, after all, a Deathstroke story.
First, a little backstory on the twisted relationship of Titans and Deathstroke. Deathstroke has always plagued the Titans since the death of the first Ravager, Grant Wilson, Deathstroke’s son. Grant had grown up idolizing Deathstroke even though he never realized that Deathstroke was his father. He began to get caught up with H.I.V.E., which stands for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Eliminations, a mysterious organization, specializing in high-level contract assassinations and acts of terrorism. Grant blamed the Titans for the loss of his girlfriend and decided to get revenge by allowing H.I.V.E scientists to give him powers like Deathstroke. He took the name Ravager. Unfortunately, the powers were unstable and slowly killing him. Deathstroke tried warning him, but Ravager would not listen. He died in his father’s arms and Deathstroke swore revenge on the Teen Titans.
Enough on that….let’s continue. What’s worse than Deathstroke? Deathstroke plus the Speedforce, plus a twisted mission to save his son Grant from death, which equals an interesting story and Trouble for the Titan teams.
The story begins with Deathstroke stealing New 52 Wally’s speed, with a misguided plan to travel back in time and stop Grant’s death.
After acquiring Kid Flash’s speed, Deathstroke takes off on his mission only to be pursued by the Titans Wally West. Unfortunately, Deathstroke verbally slaps Wally down.
I don’t really care for the way Wally has been treated since 2011 new 52 and this is no exception. More on that later. Deathstroke is a pretty nasty customer so it is understandable for Wally to back down. Deathstroke plus super speed, equals fastest, deadliest assassin and Wally plus super speed, equals one awesome super hero, who still has had his ass handed to him by Deathstroke without super speed. Turning tail and running were probably a smarter idea.
It was nice to see Jericho (Deathstroke’s other son) interacting with the Titans again. Hopefully, he can be an addition to the main team again one day.
During a flashback that happens after Grant’s death, Deathstroke approaches Dick Grayson and makes a deal to protect Slade’s (Deathstroke) daughter, Rose. Robin/Nightwing trains her, so he can keep her from following Grant’s path, hence The Lazarus contract. Amazingly Nightwing lies about the deal with Deathstroke to Lilith( a telepath) and the rest of the team. Lilith lets it slide for now but knows something is up.
The back and forth between Nightwing and Robin reminds us of their Batman and Robin days and also showcases how Robin(Damian Wayne) is a little selfish brat. Damian’s treatment of his teammates is horrible. Kid Flash and Jackson Hyde take the brunt of it, but no one is spared.
Of course, the Titan teams stop Deathstroke, but the cost is high. Damian is responsible for ruining the speedsters of both teams. New 52 Wally is kicked off the team and Wally West is killed in the past by Damian and resuscitated immediately, which removes the speed force from Deathstroke. Unfortunately, it damages Wally West’s heart and he now has a pacemaker. He is also told he can’t use his powers anymore or it will kill him. WTF???? Why does DC feel the need to beat on this character constantly. Why can’t Damian die and stay dead? Maybe cease to exist? Hopefully when Dr. Manhattan is confronted, DC can go back to the good old days?
Deathstroke tries to reconcile with his remaining children and gives up being an assassin. It will interesting to see where he goes next with the development of his own Titan team which includes his remaining children, Kid Flash, New 52 Power Girl and a new version of Terra.
Follow the Lazarus Contract in Titans 11, Teen Titans 8, Deathstroke 19 and Teen Titans Special: Lazarus Contract Finale.