The Lazarus Contract – A Titans story, teen and otherwise

The Lazarus Contract was a 4-part story involving the Titans, the Teen Titans, and Deathstroke.  Story and scripts by Dan Abnett, Benjamin Percy, and Christopher Priest.  Art by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Phil Hester, Khoi Pham, Wade Von Grawbadger, Roberto, Viacava, Carlo Pagulayan, Paul Pelletier, and Andrew Hennessy.

The story starts with a flashback as the Titans are taking on Ravager, Deathstroke’s son Grant.  During the battle, Ravager dies of an apparent heart attack.  Deathstroke carries him off vowing revenge.  There’s a jump to three days ago, where Deathstroke was in the hospital after a cornea transplant, because apparently he had been completely blind, or something.  (Notes say Deathstroke 12-18, I don’t read Deathstroke.)  He tells Wintergreen to get the jet ready to go to New York.

The Titans are fighting a group that looks like H.I.V.E., but isn’t.  They tell Nightwing that that Lazarus says the deal is off, but no one has any idea what that means.  During this, Wally disappears.  Jump to now, the Titans are searching for Wally,  Nightwing continues to deny that he knows any thing about Lazarus or a contract.  Omen is certain that he’s lying to her.  Meanwhile, Wally is stuck on a treadmill, being interrogated by a mystery voice that ends up being Deathstroke.  He tries to learn about Wally’s life in the time stream and in a different life.  Deathstroke says he has a deal for him.  He wants Wally to travel back in time to save his son.  If Wally does this, Deathstroke promises that he will give up being Deathstroke.  Wally declines this, because of time travel stuff, and Deathstroke shows he has a contingency plan.  He shows that he has the New52 Wally West from the Teen Titans.  (For simplicity, he shall be called Wally (TT).) 

Yesterday, Wally (TT) was running around, moping about finding out his dad was the Reverse Flash.  Was being the key word there, because he’s dead, or something. He comes across Deathstroke, out of costume, on a street.  Not knowing who he was, he helps him fix his car, and gets kidnapped for his trouble.  Because that’s what happens when you help people.  You get abducted by super-villains.  Deathstroke ends up enticing Wally (TT) into helping him, by convincing him that changing the past will be a good thing.  Robin notices that Wally is nowhere to be found, even though he put tracking devices on all of the Teen Titans.

Knowing that the Titans are missing their speedster as well, the Teen Titans visit the Titans.  They have a brief standoff, because of course they do.  Eventually, Nightwing comes clean that a long time ago, he had made a deal with Deathstroke to save all of them, but he doesn’t yet explain.  Nightwing does come up with some crazy idea involving time and clocks, in order to find the Wallys.  It makes zero sense, but of course it works.  They find Wally, but holy crap, Deathstroke now has access to the Speed Force.

Wally is chasing after Deathstroke, who tells him about the deal he made with Nightwing.  After the death of Grant, Deathstroke took on the contract to kill the (Teen) Titans, but he offered Nightwing a deal.  If Nightwing were to train his daughter, Rose, and instill his morals onto her, then Deathstroke would make the contract a Lazarus Contract.  It would be dead, but could be brought back if Nightwing doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain.  Wally runs away from Deathstroke, and recruits his son, Jericho, to help them.  Deathstroke runs back in time, and is reunited with Grant.

Deathstroke makes multiple attempts to save his son, but each time, Grant does not listen to him.  The heroes devise plan to use Wally and Jericho to follow Deathstroke’s path through the time stream.  Nightwing instructs everyone to avoid making contact with their past selves.  So, of course, they immediately run into the younger versions of themselves.  Damian gets the great idea and kills young Wally.  The thought here being that Wally just needs to be dead a few minutes to disrupt his history.  And it works.  The current day heroes are transported back, and Wally (TT) gets his powers back.

Well, it mostly worked.  Deathstroke still found some way to tap into the speed force.  He runs at the speed of light, entering the speed force.  Wally(TT) decides to attempt to rescue him, being that it’s nearly impossible to exit the speed force once you’re in it.  Unfortunately, Wally (TT) doesn’t really know how to escape himself, so Wally has to run in after him.  Nightwing, against Damian’s protests, suggest they all form a link with Wally, using Raven and Jericho.  This will help Wally find his own way out of the speed force.  The problem starts when Raven, who is emphatic, starts detecting the fear that Wally had.  This starts to weaken the tether to the real world.  Damian, who did not join in on the link, has to console Raven.  At first, it’s a very humorous pat on the head and a “there, there.”  Then Damian is able to get the job done.

Everyone returns from the speed force.  Deathstroke is upset that they keep getting in his way.  He says that every one of them should die today, but he walks off and says he quits being Deathstroke.  Damian fires Wally (TT) from the Teen Titans, because it was his fault that Deathstroke got his speed powers.  Wally now has a pacemaker, because of when Damian stopped his heart in the past.

This was a nice, little crossover.  The story was interesting.  There was a reason each of the titles was involved.  And, it progressed the story for all titles.  There isn’t much more you can ask from a crossover.  I am getting Titans in trades and don’t read Deathstroke, but I feel like I was given enough information about what had been going on that I was never confused about what they were doing.  If you read one of the titles and didn’t get the others, I would encourage you to do so.

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