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The Lazarus Contract: Unraveled

The Lazarus Contract: Unraveled

By Meg Downey Thursday, June 1st, 2017

An old enemy and a classic storyline return in “The Lazarus Contract,” a four-part crossover taking place this month in TITANS, TEEN TITANS and DEATHSTROKE. In this series of columns, writer Meg Downey breaks down each new chapter, uncovering things you may have missed.

Alright guys, after four weeks of mayhem and betrayal, “The Lazarus Contract” is coming to a close. Though we may have avoided a complete and total cosmic crisis, the course of not one, not two, but three ongoing books has just been altered, for better or for worse.

You can probably guess that we’ve got a lot to talk about this week, so brace yourself for some MAJOR Lazarus Contract spoilers and some wild speculation. In other words, read TEEN TITANS ANNUAL: THE LAZARUS CONTRACT #1 before you continue any further!

Ready? Here we go.

The timeline is intact...kind of. Despite Slade’s meddling, the Titans and Teen Titans were able to use a combination of Jericho, Raven, and Flash’s powers to intervene in Slade’s time traveling scheme...except they didn’t get through without causing some damage of their own.

Damage that’s going to be a big, big problem for the adult Wally West—but we’ll get to that in a second.

First, can we appreciate how tragic Grant Wilson actually is for just a second? They say never meet your heroes, but I doubt whoever came up with that cliché was thinking about learning your hero is actually your semi-estranged father. Talk about a kick in the teeth.

And even worse? Grant’s history didn’t change. Slade wasn’t successful in repairing any part of his relationship with his son, and he didn’t get the chance to go back further and stop H.I.V.E from experimenting on him. I mean, that’s probably for the best, considering the consequences the whole world would have potentially experienced if he would have been successful, but still. Ouch.

Okay, now back to Wally. In the process of all the time travel and time travel intervention, Damian took it upon himself to solve the problem with a plan that only someone like Damian would ever come up with: stopping Wally’s heart in the past with a nerve strike that would effectively disrupt Slade’s connection to the Speed Force and prevent him from time traveling at all in the first place.

I know. There’s a lot of layers and timelines at play here. Don’t worry, the important take away from all of this is that Damian’s plan worked, Slade’s super speed was canceled out, and Wally didn’t die.

...But that doesn’t mean he walked away unscathed. Damian’s damage to Wally’s heart means that present day Wally—the Wally in TITANS right now—now has a pacemaker. In fact, according to the doctor, Wally’s had a pacemaker and a weakened heart ever since Damian nerve stopped his heart when Wally was a teen.

Time travel, am I right?

So...now, back in the present, Wally seemingly can’t use his super speed anymore, or he risks giving himself catastrophic heart failure.

Yikes.

Talk about salting the wound. Wally already suffered a huge blow to his confidence when his encounter with Slade back in Part 3 of “The Lazarus Contract” did not go as planned.

Of course, adult Wally isn’t the only Flash having some major issues at the moment. The entire situation with Kid Flash right now is also pretty messed up, no thanks to Damian’s stellar people skills.

...Man, what is it with Robin and causing problems for speedsters?

Young Wally is officially fired from the Teen Titans, according to Damian—and who knows what that’s going to mean for Aqualad after the two of them spent so much time bonding this issue. I can’t imagine he is going to be particularly enthused about losing the one friend he had in such a new group...especially after the team forgot about him the way they did.

Long story short? The Teen Titans have got some serious issues to work out, and soon, or they risk completely collapsing before they even get off the ground.

Meanwhile, as the heroes struggle with shifting group dynamics, Slade’s got some fallout of his own to deal with… or, to not deal with as the case may be. He’s decided that, after all of this, it would be better for him to just stop being Deathstroke, full stop. So he quits.

No, you read that right, Deathstroke the Terminator has quit.

Now, what that actually means and how Slade plans to continue, you know, living his life without being an assassin is still largely up in the air, but I can’t imagine he’s going to settle down into a nice desk job. Is it possible that maybe Wintergreen’s critique of his lack of emotional connection with his family might actually get answered by some real genuine effort?

Could it be that Slade’s going to start trying to be involved in the lives of his two remaining children?

...And if he does, would that even be a good thing?

Your guess on that one is as good as mine. We’ll just have to wait until next month to really see. In the meantime, let’s toss some ideas around in the comments below, shall we? And thanks for joining me on this journey through “The Lazarus Contract.” For a longtime Titans fan like me, it’s been a thrill!
 

Meg Downey writes about Rebirth for DCComics.com and covers DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for her on Twitter at @rustypolished.

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