Most of the attention in the DC Universe recently has been paid to "The Button", an event that continues to build upon the larger story arc of the Watchmen and their involvement with the missing time in the DC Universe. The attention makes sense, but fans shouldn't lose sight of the other event happening at the moment, which is titled The Lazarus Contract.
The event is running through Titans, Teen Titans, and Deathstroke, exploring the themes of correcting past mistakes and reflecting on your choices. It's also an obvious homage to "The Judas Contract", one of the most popular and discussed storylines in Titans and DC history. Deathstroke is again at the center of it all, but unlike last time he is the conflicted party, not Tara or the Titans.
The crux of the conflict in The Lazarus Contract involves the Wilson family, and specifically Grant Wilson. The family includes Slade, Adeline (Slade's ex-wife), Grant, Rose, and Jericho. The Wilson's have always been intertwined with the Titans in some form or fashion, with all three kids either fighting against them or joining the team at some point. In this case, the story mainly focuses on Grant, and if you haven't been keeping up with decades of lore and DC history, this should get you up to speed quickly enough to head in and enjoy the upcoming series.
In addition there will also be a quick catch-up on why Deathstroke hates The Titans so much, and what exactly the Lazarus Contract could mean. Whether you're a fan of the Titans, the Teen Titans, The Flash, or Deathstroke, there's plenty in this storyline that will interest you. Part 1 of The Laazarus Contract is already in stores, and part 2 hits stores on Wednesday, so without futther ado here's what you need to know about The Lazarus Contract.
For starters, Grant Wilson is Slade's oldest son. For the majority of his life Grant's mother did not tell him who his Father was, and when Grant found out, well, it didn't go very well. There was already a rift between them thanks to Slade's less than stellar parenting skills, and in seeking someone to admire Grant found Deathstroke, aiming to become like his favorite mercenary. Grant had no idea these two were on in the same.
An organization called The H.I.V.E. had an open contract on The Teen Titans, one that Deathstroke turned down. Grant, however, decided to accept the contract, aiming to become like Deathstroke. The deal was that he would be given powerful abilities in exchange for taking the Titans out, and at the beginning, it seemed to work. Calling himself The Ravager, he attacked The Titans, and ultimately Slade jumped in to help. Grant's body couldn't take the ongoing charge though, and his cells started to deteriorate. Grant would die in Deathstroke's arms on the battlefield.
Death will cause anyone to flip a switch so to speak, especially if you happen to be a lethal and uncaring mercenary. That's what happened after Grant died in Deathstroke's arms during their battle with the Titans, and that was the moment Deathstroke become their primary nemesis. Deathstroke decided to fulfill his son's contract against them, and he would battle them constantly over the years thanks to these events.
In the years that proceeded these events, his youngest son Jericho would later join the Titans for quite some time. His daughter Rose would initially attempt to take them down, but ultimately wound up joining the team as well. Since Rebirth kicked in though Jericho nor Rose have been a part of the team.
The Lazarus Contract is a direct homage to the Titans storyline The Judas Contract. That storyline introduced a new member of the team named Tara Markov. Markov has the ability to manipulate the earth and became a popular member of the team. This went on for awhile, and Beast Boy fell head over heels for her. Unfortunately, Tara turned out to be a double agent for Deathstroke, and they had been collecting information on the members' weakness the whole time.
They used that information to capture all the Titans, but Adeline had been keeping tabs on Deathstroke, and along with Jericho went to Dick Grayson (now Nightwing) for help. They would go and rescue the team, but during the final conflict, Tara died as her powers overwhelmed her.
Now, the Lazarus Contract will likely see someone resurrected, but will it be someone like Tara or Slade's own son Grant? Both could be used in interesting ways going forward, but Tara is the one that holds the most promise. Bringing her back into the fold of the Teen Titans (which includes Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven from the original group) would provide instant subplots, and seeing her clash with Damian would be endlessly entertaining. Still, it could always be another avenue altogether, but only time will tell.
The description of part two of the Lazarus Contract (Teen Titans #8) is located below.
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part two! The Teen Titans collide with the Titans after both groups are targeted by the World’s Deadliest Assassin—Deathstroke! But when Robin interrogates Nightwing about his history with Deathstroke, dark secrets are revealed and alliances are broken!