Writer: Benjamin Percy / Artist: Khoi Pham / DC Comics
Deathstroke, as a concept, has been on of my favorite characters in DC’s arsenal for a while, simply based on the versatility he lends for any writers deft enough to use it. Because his peak capabilities can make him virtually unbeatable, it’s a challenge making him an adversary that can be overcome without breaking consistencies with his character. One way the “Lazarus Contract” is doing this, thus far is humanizing Slade on a deeply personal level that we don’t see too often. Now that we’ve learned that Slade wants nothing more than to bring his son back to life (at expense of everything, apparently), now we know now he needs speedsters.
That’s plural as the “other Wally West” has been abducted as well. The writing as far as the story goes works well to not only draw intrigue but to show a relatable thread between Wally and Slade’s cause. But, ya know, this is Slade. So he can ask for Wally’s help, but chances are that Slade gonna take what he needs whether Wally was up for doing it willingly or not.
Consequently, either by design or less charitably by necessity, the Teen Titans and Titans are much less interesting so far. Outside of Nightwing’s secrecy, we haven’t been given much to chew on from the two teams outside of some awkward dialogue. As Slade makes things damn interesting by the end of the issue, one hopes we get a bit more thorough exploration with the teams interacting with each other.
The pencils succeed in some places, but not always. The action and the articulation of the speedforce usually look good, but the faces tend to be pretty non-descript and lack defining characteristics that would make the heroes pop off the page.
This is a strong story entry into the “Lazarus Contract” storyline, if not lacking a bit on the more technical aspects of the issue. Still, it doesn’t detract what has the potential to be a good crossover. DC definitely needs one.
Check all of our reviews of the Lazarus Contract crossover here.