‘The Lazarus Contract‘ has finally concluded, leaving us more with questions than answers. This story is the first major arc for the younger DC heroes since Rebirth started and will probably be the most important one for quite some time. What happened in this issue will define relationships between many characters going forward, and may lead to the demise of at least one key figure.
The issue starts off explaining how Grant ended up working with HIVE. When he ran away from home, he ended up with a group of young adult scientist who convinced him to join their organization. At this point in his life, Grant was very vulnerable and looking for a stable family life. This set in motion his eventual experimentation with super human abilities which lead to his untimely demise. And last issue, we learned that resulted in what we now know as The Lazarus Contract between Robin (Dick Grayson) and Deathstroke. The events that concluded with ‘The Judas Contract’ never took place. So in the world of Rebirth, there is no long standing rivalry between Deathstroke and the young heroes.
Very early in this chapter of the story we learn how futile Deathstroke’s quest is. We’re shown what we think was a continuation of the final page from Part 2, turns out it’s his third attempt at trying to save Grant. In the present, Damian continues to alienate members of both teams. At this point, the sons of Batman aren’t looking so good in front of their friends. This could leads to some conflict after this story ends, and conflict is often good. Adult Wally regroups with the team with Jericho in tow. They plan to go back in time to track down Deathstroke, unfortunately they just end up running into their younger selves.
It’s at this point where things get very tricky. Damian gets the idea that if he stops the heart of the younger original Wally West, that it will sever Deathstroke’s ties to the Speed Force. It doesn’t make sense but at this point you kind of just go with it. And as it turns out, Damian was right and it did cut Deathstroke’s connection to the Speed Force but not immediately. Both New 52 and adult Wally West jump into the Speed Force to save Deathstroke from himself. Deathstroke emerges defeated but very changed from his experience. And for now, the most infamous killer in DC has called it quits. The drama doesn’t end there. Damian who is the newest member of the Teen Titans takes it upon himself to kick out Kid Flash. The adult Wally West is the real tragedy of this story. Because of Damian’s actions early in this chapter, his younger self needed a pacemaker; which he now has. He’s told that if he continues to use his powers that he’ll eventually die.
Even though this Teen Titans Annual, Christopher Priest has taken charge in deciding the fate of the young heroes and aging assassin. He’s credited for both story and script. The issue is in the standard Priest format including jumps between different periods of time, voice usage, and lettering from Willie Schubert who works on the Deathstroke comic. What happens to Deathstroke by the end of the story is probably the least important thing to come out of this. Both Dick and Damian have probably hurt their relationships with their respective teams for at least the short term. Hopefully the writers are able to take advantage of this. And now we know why the younger Wally West teams up with Deathstroke. We do have to question the editorial decision of bringing back the original Wally West only to possibly lose him again so soon. But it’s this kind of turmoil that leads to good stories, and DC does have the right crew to get the best out of it. Overall, ‘The Lazarus Contract’ was a fun ride and l look forward to seeing more from this group of writers.
If you missed it, check out my recaps of the previous issues in The Lazarus Contract series on FanBros.com!