The Lazarus Contract is nearing its conclusion, and with part three in hand it seems a fit time to start asking the question "is the series living up to its name?"
Spoilers incoming for Deathstroke #19 (part 3 of "The Lazarus Contract") so you've been warned.
The central mystery thus far has been the mysterious deal that Deathstroke made with Robin (now Nightwing these days), and Deathstroke #19 finally reveals it to mixed results. There isn't anything wrong with the reasoning behind the deal he makes with Robin on its own. After what happened to Grant, it makes sense that he wouldn't want the same path for Rose. Despite his hatred of the Titans, he knows what they represent, and how that would be beneficial for his daughter.
Still, it just doesn't have the weight behind it that it should, as you don't get the sense that Deathstroke truly cares about righting his wrongs. This is especially evident when he passes up a chance to visit his son fresh out of rehab, someone he can directly affect that is still alive. It goes to show that he hasn't learned anything at all, and even if he succeeds things are still going to be a frayed as they are now because he doesn't get why they went wrong in the first place. This should be a story about maturity and
The more interesting part of this equation occurs when Jericho gets involved, coming after a particularly great sequence between The Flash and Deathstroke. It's a clash that makes Jericho's words even more poignant, and hopefully, part 4 has more of it. Elsewhere is some delightful banter between Nightwing and Damian, both as leaders and as former partners. Again, both are sort of side plots to the main narrative but are inherently more interesting.
Art wise the book has some highlights, but like the story itself is a bit all over the place. Sequences like the one between Flash and Deathstroke are quite good while the Titans scenes are rather rough. There's no cohesion here, as it feels like a different book every time a new chapter begins.
While it moves the story forward the most out of all three issues, this is probably the weakest issue overall. So far this series just hasn't lived up to its pedigree, and with only one issue left it might not even get close.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Deathstroke #19 is written by Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett. Art is provided by Jason Paz and Carlo Pagulayan. The official description is listed below and you can find a preview of the issue in the gallery.
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part three! Will Slade succeed in reuniting with his son even at the risk of cataclysmic disaster? Or will the Titans and the Teen Titans be fast enough to stop him from changing the world as we know it? Find out what happens when the World’s Deadliest Assassin becomes the Fastest Man Alive!
Deathstroke #19 is in stores today.