So far, “The Lazarus Contract” has been all about speed, so we’re going to jump right into it this week—okay? Make sure that you’ve read TEEN TITANS #8 before you go any further or you might risk damaging the timeline for yourself, and we certainly don’t want that.
Last week, we got to see how Slade managed to snatch the Flash right out from under the Titans’ noses in the middle of a battle with H.I.V.E. This week, we got to see how Kid Flash ended up in the same predicament. Poor young Wally’s abduction may have been less battle torn than his adult counterpart, but what it lacked in explosions and bad guys, it made up for in sheer creepiness.
I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but Slade playing “friendly neighborhood mechanic?” No, thank you. Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Luckily, the disappearance of both Wally Wests didn’t remain a mystery to their teams for too long, thanks to the combined detective skills of both Robin and Nightwing. Of course, those detective skills were only able to be put to use after the Titans and Teen Titans nearly came to full on blows with one another over the whole matter, which probably would have been pretty counterproductive. So it’s likely for the best the cooler heads of the groups stepped in, huh?
Let’s try to focus up and work together while our speedsters are on the line, guys. C’mon.
That said, teamwork and cooperation are all well and good in theory, but when certain members of said teams aren’t being completely honest? It gets a little more challenging than it probably ought to be.
You remember that mystery we started poking at last week? The one where Nightwing found himself in a position to lie to Omen? You know, the telepath who he shouldn’t be able to lie to? It’s starting to unravel, and by the looks of things, it cuts pretty deep.
Apparently, Dick cut a deal with Slade way, way back before Dick was even Nightwing. The details are still vague, but the incriminating recordings that Damian was able to dredge up specifically make note of Dick and Slade entering into something called a Lazarus Contract, and, hey! That’s the name of this event.
Specifically, it’s said that a Lazarus Contract “can be brought back to life if either of us fails to keep our word.” The “us” in that sentence being Slade and Dick.
Now, Dick doesn’t deny the fact that he’s made a deal with the proverbial devil, but he doesn’t offer up much else by way of explanation—only that he did it to save the rest of the Titans at the time. But from what? And why?
As a brief aside: If you read through enough team books where Dick Grayson is acting as the leader, you might start to notice a pretty intense tendency for him to act independently of basically everyone else. I know it’s pretty popularly assumed that Dick is the exact opposite of his mentor, Batman, but, peel away the smile and the carefree attitude and you’ll definitely start to find out that once a Bat, always a Bat. Especially when it comes to making decisions that affect everyone, and not telling anyone.
Trust definitely does not run in the Bat family.
But, anyway, back to the issues at hand.
Unfortunately for us, there’s no time to explain what actually sparked the agreement with Deathstroke, or even when it happened. Slade’s already got two speedsters at his disposal and Dick is quick to realize that that means trouble—specifically trouble with time. Two Flashes is enough to create a Speed Force Battery, which is bad news for just about everyone. But thankfully, that much energy in one place isn’t hard to track and the Titans and Teen Titans are able to zero in on Slade’s hideout with relative ease.
...But it looks like they may already be too late. Young Wally was too ready to buy into Slade’s carefully crafted lies and half truths and has already agreed to help him change time. And Slade has, predictably, wasted absolutely no time in betraying him. Somehow, Slade’s suit has been engineered with the ability to seemingly siphon off Wally’s speed energy once he was willing to give it up willingly.
What’s worse than facing Deathstroke the Terminator? I can’t rightly tell you, but I’d venture a guess that facing Deathstroke, the Fastest Man Alive definitely ranks up there.
Join me again next week as I take a closer look into the third part of “The Lazarus Contract,” hitting shelves in DEATHSTROKE #19. In the meantime, let’s do some speculating. Why do you think Dick was willing to enter into a deal with Deathstroke all those years ago? And don’t forget that last week, someone calling themselves Lazarus attempted to tell the Titans that the “deal” was off. What was that all about?
Let’s talk it through in the comments below.