First of all, this is our biggest story yet since Deathstroke took over the team. Some of the action in the TITANS ANNUAL (part one of “The Methuselah Imperative”) is pretty intense. Readers are going to love when they see what artist Cliff Richards has accomplished. The only way to describe it is “epic.” It’s exactly why we all love it when big superhero teams like the JLA meet up with a group of nasty villains like our current roster of Titans. You just know carnage will ensue.
But “The Methuselah Imperative” isn’t just one massive slugfest. What I love most about this storyline is that the emotional stakes for the characters—both heroes and villains—is just as big and epic as the action surrounding it. This is especially true for Ray Palmer, who finally catches up with Deathstroke to arrest him for the murder of Ryan Choi. Now Ray’s been on this quest for a long time, so he’s chomping at the bit to bring Slade down. Needless to say some major baggage is going to get jettisoned the hard way.
Also, Ray’s not the only character whose emotional journey comes to a peak during this storyline. There’s also Roy (Arsenal). Ever since the death of Lian, he’s been on a downward spiral. His friend Dick (Batman) is determined to pull him back into the light. Roy has resisted this up until now, but that’s going to change when the two former teammates go head-to-head in one brutal, grisly battle. This leads Roy asks some tough questions about what it means to be a hero and whether or not he can ever become one again. I won’t tell you what his answer is, but I will say that it changes the future of the Titans irrevocably.
Parts two and three of “The Methuselah Imperative” (TITANS #37 & #38) continues the story of Deathstroke’s master plan coming to final fruition. As you can see from the cover of TITANS #37, Jericho’s back and I couldn’t be happier. Not only is this something Deathstroke has been engineering since Day One, it’s also something I pitched to DC way back when we were creating this new direction for the Titans. I’ve always loved the character of Jericho and wanted to see another “classic” member of the Titans back on the team, but not necessarily one of the characters you might expect. At the same time, I didn’t want him to just show up. I wanted his return to be special. So in addition to his return to the Titans fold, we’ll also learn where he’s been, what he’s been up to, and how rejoining the Titans again just might end up saving his soul.
In addition to all this, there are also some big surprises for Marvel Family fans in “The Methuselah Imperative.” Osiris, whose primary obsession now is to bring back Black Adam, will see his relationship with Isis change. This is because they’ve returned to Kahndaq and now must somehow find a way to rule their kingdom together. And yes, it’s going to be a very rocky journey. Oh, and you might have also noticed Marvel Family villain Dr. Sivana on the cover of TITANS #37. How he’s mixed up in all of this, including Jericho’s return, is pretty wild. Let’s just say we’ll once again see Sivana putting the “mad” in “mad scientist” to full effect, and leave it at that.
As for Deathstroke and where he ends up at the end of “The Methuselah Imperative,” he’ll have gone through hell and back by that point. Therefore, he’s going to be ready for changes in his life. Massive changes, I might add. Stay tuned.