Story By: Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, Dan Abnett
Script By: Dan Abnett
Penciled By: Brett Booth
Inked By: Norm Rapmund
Colored By: Andrew Dalhouse & Carrie Strachan (For pages 8, 14-15)
Slade Wilson, the most dangerous mercenary in the world has decided, seemingly out of nowhere based off Deathstroke #18, to finally take vengeance against the people he blames for the death of his son, the Titans. He’s totally incorrect however, and he will discover the truth of the Ravager as time goes on. This is the book I’ve been waiting for. The New 52 origin of the Teen Titans feud with Deathstroke has finally surfaced and now we can move forward from where Marv Wolfman began…in a different timeline yes but still. Keep in mind the pre-New 52 New Teen Titans run by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, along with the infamous Judas Contract, are no longer in continuity. Meaning that is was high time we got the New 52/Rebirth Equivalent, psychotic 15 year old metahuman girls excluded.
The goes as such:
Deathstroke, after being beaten to a bloody pulp by his son Jericho (see Deathstroke #18), has woken up in a hospital with a new eye implant after being left blind in his other eye, the one that hadn’t been shot through. He climbs out of bed and begins his new master plan of revenge…
Cutting over to the Titans who are attempting to track down agents of H.I.V.E. And evil organization who was responsible for releasing the Fearsome Five and creating the events of Titans 8-10. After defeating who they had believed to be H.I.V.E agents, Flash aka Wally has dispeared. We find out he’s been captured be Deathstroke, who is seeking revenge for the death of his son, Grant Wilson. However, as shown in a flashback in the begining of the book, and from the original New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman, Grant’s death wasn’t the Titans fault, but the fault of H.I.V.E. So now Wally West will be used to enact a plan of redemption. Wally refuses, but as we know, there’s more than one Wally West lying around.
The Plot and the Art:
This story is dripping with nostalgia and great writing. What I love about this, and the current storyline in Batman and Flash “The Button, is that writers aren’t making each issue contain as much stuff as possible. We have four issues over the course of the next four weeks to tell a cohesive story that will entice readers each week and not break their wallets. I love how Deathstroke switches goals in the midst of this book, from revenge to redemption. In previous series, Slade was always bent on always revenge, never understanding. Not learning from his mistakes and trying to make a change in his life. The only danger here is him is not pressing forward. He’s trying to change what’s already occurred rather than make a change now.
The art is the kind of stuff to make you wanna keep looking at it till your eyes fall out. Brett Booth expresses everything so well..until the final page with one character’s expression. You’ll see what I mean. Other than that, from the minute you turn the first page and see the flashback confrontation, the drawings are just an incredible display of Titans history and future.
Like I said in the beginning this is the book myself and many longtime Teen Titans fans have waited for. When the New 52 began, there was this stigma placed on the universe that Tim Drake aka Red Robin Teen Titans were the only team to ever to exist in this universe with that name. Titans Hunt saw to rectify that and ushered in the return of one of the greatest legacy teams to ever exist in comics. Now with Lazarus Contract, we have a golden opportunity to break new ground on a story that yes was told in a different universe, but now can be told without creepy statutory rape, and without the needed involvement of plot threads like Brother Blood or Terra in general because her existence has no bearing on this story from what can be seen. So we can have a new continuity with a new retelling of one of the most impactful stories in DC Comics history, and so far it has been being executed excellently.
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