Review: Teen Titans Annual #1

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers!]

Writers: Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, Dan Abnett

Artist: Paul Pelletier

Cover: Mike McKone

 

Summary

Speedster Deathstroke is here in the Finale of the Teen Titans/Titans/Deathstroke crossover event, The Lazarus Contract, and he won’t stop until he saves his son Grant, aka The Ravager, from his ultimate fate.  Will the Titans and Teen Titans be able to put aside their differences long enough to save Flash, Kid Flash, and the rest of the world from what Deathstroke has in store?

Positives

Catching up on the previous three issues of this storyline in order to read this one was nice, as it gave me a reason to dive into some titles that I don’t normally read.  I really enjoyed the concept of a Speedster Deathstroke.  It’s something I never would have expected them to do.  The writers did a great job of humanizing Slade Wilson, making me, the reader, sympathize with why he’s doing what he’s doing.  As a father myself, I would do just about anything to save my child’s life, so I understood where he was coming from.

They did some cool things in this issue, particularly the mind meld with Jericho.  Lilith created a link between (most of) the team, then Raven created a psychic bond and astral projected into Jericho.  THEN, Jericho transferred his consciousness into The Flash, bringing everyone’s minds with him, and then The Flash was off to the Speed Force to save Deathstroke and Kid Flash.  Confused yet?  Luckily I wasn’t, and I attribute that to the superb writing and art in this part of the issue.  Even with what seemed like a very convoluted scene, I was able to easily follow what was happening, and never once got lost.

And then there’s the end.  They did a great job of separately wrapping up all three titles that were running through this arc, and all in interesting ways that hook the reader to keep going.  We saw Deathstroke retire, Kid Flash get fired from the Teen Titans, and we learned that The Flash now has a pacemaker because of the actions of Damian Wayne earlier in this issue.  What will this all mean for these titles going forward?  I don’t know, but I’m interested in finding out.

 

Negatives

The only real negative I had was that the opening scene with Grant and H.I.V.E. was somewhat hard to read.  It just didn’t seem to flow that well in the dialogue department.  But once I got past that part it was smooth sailing the rest of the way through.

Verdict

Overall, this was a great read.  It was awesome seeing a Speedster Deathstroke, and this “Lazarus Contract” storyline was actually easy to jump into as someone who hadn’t read any of the issues in these three titles previously.  So, if you’re looking for something different and interesting to read, especially if you’re a Flash or Deathstroke fan, I suggest reading these issues (Teen Titans #11, Titans #8, Deathstroke #19, and Teen Titans Annual #1).  You won’t regret it.