by Benjamin Percy, Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse and Carrie Strachan
“Contract” storylines are a big deal for Teen Titans fans. In 1984, The Judas Contract was released, and it is arguably the most popular Titans tale to date. Deathstroke the Terminator became their most popular adversary in a storyline that ended with new names, new teammates, and the loss of a legendary team member. Flashforward (no pun intended) to DC Rebirth. We now have The Lazarus Contract knocking on our door this week, and we have to wonder if it will be as impactful as the last time there was a contract out.
This story is split over a couple of different series, so Benjamin Percy (who writes Teen Titans) is on board to co-write with Dan Abnett. The issue starts off with a flashback to the death of Deathstroke’s son, Grant. This is necessary to remind old readers and to inform new readers why Deathstroke has major beef with the team. Now in the present day, the Titans are taking on some potential H.I.V.E. agents. While this is fine, the storytelling will make you raise an eyebrow when you see that Wally has been kidnapped by Deathstroke. For as good as Deathstroke is, Wally is extremely fast and barely ever stands still. As a reader you may have to stretch belief for this to work. The best part of the issue is the interaction between Wally and Deathstroke. Abnett and Percy write both characters well, and they allow Deathstroke to come off as somewhat noble. Their conversation is entertaining and doesn’t drag or get boring at any point; it’s genuinely interesting. The writing duo are off to a good start and the closing page makes it seem like this will be a wild little crossover.
The pencils this issue are handled by Brett Booth with inks by Norm Rapmund and colors by Andrew Dalhouse with a little help from Carrie Strachan. Booth, for the most part, does and amazing job with the pencils. His art is always very clean, helped by the inks of Norm Rapmund of course, and electric. This couldn’t have been an easy issue for him to draw due to all the lightning bolts and blurred images of Wally, but he does a very good job. If there is one gripe about the art, it’s that a character who appears on the last page as a surprise reveal looks very awkward. It’s not a terrible drawing, but the character, especially his face, looks weird. The colors by Dalhouse and Strachan are very good here too. They’re very vibrant and almost jump off the page at you.
Titans #11 kicks off the mini-crossover, and it does a fine job of keeping you interested and wondering where things will be heading next week. Percy and Abnett are professionals and know how to craft a good crossover. The art steals the show here, though. Brett Booth’s pencils mixed with the wonderful color scheme really sell this issue. If you’re hungry for an old school Teen Titans event, The Lazarus contract will be right up your alley.