"Once we move past issue 12 or so, then we're doing a big crossover with the 'Titans' book," Priest confirmed in a recent interview with Capeless Crusader. "And we're doing a JJ Abrams-ing of 'The Judas Contract.' The original storyline that launched Deathstroke and is like the definitive Teen Titans storyline from Marv (Wolfman) and George Perez."
With Rebirth firmly underway, now was the time to re-tell the tale, according to Priest. "In order for the 'Deathstroke' book to function, I need to tell the definitive, at least post-Rebirth, version of Deathstroke's origin. Which involves, at the time, the Teen Titans..."
The story arc that revealed Deathstroke the Terminator's origins originally ran in 1984's "Tales of the Teen Titans" issues #42-44 and ended in "Tales of the Teen Titans" Annual #3.
Priest further explained why it was important to re-tell the classic tale, saying, "...We're kind of building a firewall around that story to say, 'Yes, this absolutely happened.' We are not dismissing that or ret-conning that, but as JJ Abrams did with 'Star Trek,' we are now telling our own alternate version of it because of the speed force, and was Wally there or was Wally not there, and where was Starfire, and was Terra really underage when Deathstroke slept with her? And all that other stuff."
The story arc won't begin until issue 12 of "Deathstroke," though, to give "Titans" writer Dan Abnett time to work out "all the details" beforehand. Until then, Priest is "just rebuilding Deathstroke's cast and establishing Deathstroke, so that's 1-11. Issue 12 will begin the second arc where it's retelling that classic story and basically retelling the Titans origin over in 'Titans,' and retelling the Deathstroke origin over in 'Deathstroke.' Dan and I are kind of collaborating on it."
It's going to be a big year for "The Judas Contract" story arc. Along with Priest's retelling, DC Entertainment announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego that "The Judas Contract" was also being adapted into an animated movie.
"Deathstroke" #12 hits stands early next year.