Deathstroke #19: The Lazarus Contract Part 3
Written by: Benjamin Percy, Dan Abnett, Priest
Art by: Roberto Viacava
“The Lazarus Contract” continues this week with Deathstroke #19. After drawing the Speed Force from both Wally Wests, Deathstroke is now the “fastest killer alive” (self-titled). The Titans and Teen Titans struggle to come up with a plan to take Deathstroke down, and new light is shed on the origin of the so-called “Lazarus Contract”.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Wally West (Titans) is the first to go after Deathstroke. As they race, Slade begins to explain how the contract he had H.I.V.E. to kill the original Teen Titans was turned into a “Lazarus Contract” after Robin agreed to help his daughter, Rose. A Lazarus Contract is basically dormant until either party breaks the contract. It’s sort of hard to follow, and Slade even admits to Wally that Robin has kept his part of the deal, so I’m not sure if the contract has actually been “revived” or not. Wally soon realizes that Deathstroke’s speed matches his, and is a much more capable fighter. He comes to the conclusion he can’t best Slade in battle and flees. He finds Jericho, Deathstroke’s son, and pleads for his help to stop his father.
Back with the Titans and Teen Titans, Wally West (Teen Titans) admits it was his fault that Deathstroke was able to get his speed. As he’s about to race off to help the other Wally, his loses his speed completely and seemingly is without powers for the time being. Damian and Nightwing agree that both of their teams need to work closely together if they have any hope of winning this battle.
In between these scenes there are some flashbacks of Slade’s earlier years with his sons, Joseph (a.k.a. Jericho) and Grant (a.k.a. Ravager, a.k.a. the one he’s trying to bring back to life). This is most likely because I haven’t read any other issues of Deathstroke, but all of these flashbacks were hard to follow and seemed to take up too much of the issue. *If any of our readers are caught up with “Deathstroke”, we’d love to hear what you thought of these flashbacks, and if they make sense with the rest of this title.*
With the previous two issues in this arc giving little information about the actual Lazarus Contract, I was beginning to fear that it wouldn’t be explained at all. I was relieved and more invested in this story after this issue explained the contract, and I’m curious to see the state of the contract in next week’s conclusion.
The art was a big departure from what we’ve been used to seeing in both Titans and Teen Titans. Damian in particular looks much different than we’re used to seeing. He looks older, and his features and muscles are more defined. It was a nice departure from what I’m used to seeing, and I enjoyed Viacava’s work throughout.
Overall: Deathstroke #19 gets to the bottom of what the “Lazarus Contract” event is all about. But uneven pacing and hard-to-follow flashbacks detract from the story at hand.
– You love Deathstroke’s history
– You’re invested in the Lazarus Contract so far
– You want to see how scary Deathstroke is with the Speed Force at his disposal