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William Randolph Wintergreen

Deathstroke’s Faithful Friend

Related Links: Deathstroke (Slade Wilson)
Adeline Kane • Jericho (Joseph Wilson)
•  Ravager I (Grant Wilson) • Ravager II (Bill Walsh)
Ravager III (Wade DeFarge)Ravager IV (Rose Wilson)
•  Lillian “Sweet Lili” Worth

Teen Titans File Photo:

 History


Wintergreen’s Family Journals

Long before serving as Deathstroke’s faithful valet and confidante, William Randolph Wintergreen grew up in Oxford, England. The depression that was brought about by Der Fuhrer seemed to affect everyone except the Wintergreens, who lived in relative luxury. As a child, William avoided sports and squirreled himself away in the University library, which was open to him due to his father’s title. Research came easy to him, and knowing the conduits through which information flowed later aided him in his work with MI-5 and the British Army.

At eight years old, young William learned his life of luxury was paid for in blood when he spied his father selling secrets to the Nazis. Meanwhile, his mother suffered from depression, which was brought about by her husband’s daliances with other women. These betrayals caused William to run away at age sixteen, leaving his family behind him. Lord William Overton, a family friend, used his authority to suppress the Wintergreen family scandals. Overton even became a father figure to Wintergreen, guiding him into the S.A.S. and nursing his initial ineptitude. That enabled Wintergreen to join the British Army and left the Wintergreen family name untarnished by treason.

Journal Entry: Slade Wilson

The Army allowed Wintergreen a stable life. It also introduced him to Slade Wilson, who would become his closest friend. Slade Wilson possessed a strict moral code that never wavered. And despite the fact that Wintergreen was his elder by several years, Slade became the mentor and Wintergreen, the student.

When a vendetta-fueled General Sampson sent Slade Wilson on a suicide mission, Wintergreen disobeyed Sampson’s orders and charged in to rescue his friend. Sampson was only given a minor reprimand for his rash actions, but wouldn’t soon forget Wintergreen’s disobedience under his command. Slade later met and fell in love with Adeline Kane, his instructor in a special training program at Camp Washington. Wintergreen was reassigned closer to Slade at that time, which enabled him to serve as best man when Slade finally wed Adeline.

Wintergreen relates the origin of Deathstroke in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44 [1984].


Wintergreen later came under the command of General Sampson once again, who remembered the slight of years ago, and sent Wintergreen on a suicide mission. Shortly afterward, Slade received word that Wintergreen was captured as a prisoner of war. Disobeying orders, Slade commandeered a plane and made his way to Hanoi, determined to liberate Wintergreen. Badly beaten and tortured, Wintergreen awoke to witness his rescuer – a costumed man who easily bested all the soldiers with an unrivaled ferocity. The mystery assailant unmasked himself, revealing himself to Wintergreen as Slade Wilson.

Slade divulged to Wintergreen that his senses and abilities had been enhanced by a specially designed serum developed by the government. Due to his reckless mission, Slade was discharged for disobeying orders. Wintergreen felt he owed his life to Slade – and it was a debt he intended to repay.

Following this, Slade secretly became the mercenary known as Deathstroke, the Terminator. But a botched assignment led to the near-death of his his son, Joseph. Slade saved Joseph’s life, but at a cost; His throat was slit, rendering the boy mute. Adeline was so furious with her husband that she nearly killed him herself. Due to his quick reflexes, the almost-fatal shot claimed his right eye instead. But the emotional damage was irreparable; Adeline divorced Slade and raised their two sons by herself.

Wintergreen explains his debt to Slade Wilson in
TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44 [1984].

Feeling he still owed Slade a great debt, Wintergreen took Addie’s place at his side, in an effort to prevent Slade from becoming nothing more than a cold and ruthless mercenary. Ever a scholar, Wintergreen began cataloguing Slade’s adventures in his journals. And in the following years, he served as Slade’s right hand man, acting alternately as his moral conscience, comrade in arms and nursemaid.

Journal Entry: The Judas Contract

After Slade’s son Grant died as the first Ravager, Deathstroke aimed to fulfill the contract his son had left. Determined to deliver the Teen Titans to the H.I.V.E., Slade allied himself with a fifteen year old sociopath with earth powers named Tara Markov. As Terra, Markov infiltrated the Teen Titans and betrayed their secrets, giving Deathstroke all the information he needed to take them down, one by one.

Wintergreen and Slade mourn Grant’s death in NEW TEEN TITANS #2 [1980].

Wintergreen feared Slade’s alliance with the unstable Terra would prove his undoing. Ultimately, this was proven true, as Terra’s own rage consumed her and nearly killed them all. Slade was arrested and stood trial, but the case was thrown out of court because the prosecutor failed to prove that the Terminator who did the kidnapping was indeed Slade Wilson.

Embracing his second chance, Slade took up hunting in Africa for a brief time with Wintergreen back at his side. Slade also grew to accept the fact that his son Joseph, as Jericho, was now a member of the Teen Titans himself.

Deathstroke came out of his self-imposed retirement to assist the Titans when half their members were kidnapped by Wildebeest agents. Shockingly, it was Jericho himself that had engineered the plan, now possessed by evil Azarathian souls. This forced Slade to slay his own son, an act which left him deeply troubled. Unknown to anyone, Jericho’s corrupted spirit had taken refuge deep within Deathstroke’s body.

Eventually, Deathstroke returned to his mercenary ways, only with a stronger code of ethics. He even assisted the Titans on a number of missions, as Wintergreen continued to catalog his adventures.

Journal Entry: Deathstroke Chronicles

Wintergreen aided Deathstroke on a mission to rescue his old family friend, Lord William Overton. At that time, Wintergreen was shocked to learn that Overton was being hunted by the Israelis due to his work with the Nazis. Just like his own father, Overton too was also a Nazi sympathizer. This revelation sickened Wintergreen, having deeply admired Overton in his youth. Wintergreen and Slade brought Overton in to stand trial, but he suffered a fatal heart attack before he was arrested. After this encounter, Wintergreen visited his mother, who suffered a mental breakdown years ago and was staying at Carfax Sanitarium outside of Essex.

Wintergreen meets Rose Wilson and suspects
Slade is her father in DEATHSTROKE #15 [1992].

Wintergreen soon discovered Deathstroke had fathered a daughter named Rose with his former lover, Lillian “Sweet Lili” Worth. Meanwhile, Slade Wilson’s murderous half-brother, Wade DeFarge, co-opted the Ravager identity and began to hunt Slade’s friends and loved ones. Ravager abducted Rose Worth when he discovered her connection to Slade. As DeFarge tortured Rose, he also revealed to her that Slade Wilson was her father.

Wintergreen and Lili launched a rescue attempt to extract Rose from DeFarge’s captivity. Eventually, Lili and Wintergreen reached their quarry in the snow-covered wilderness. To save her daughter, Lili attempted to run over Ravager – causing her jeep to careen off a cliff and explode. Lili was presumed dead, but her body was never recovered. Reunited with his estranged daughter, Slade feared he would not be a good father. He left Rose primarily in the care of Wintergreen, who was prepared to adopt the girl himself. But before that could happen, Slade placed Rose in the protective custody of the Titans through Sarge Steel.

ABOVE: Wintergreen vows to protect Rose Wilson in DEATHSTROKE #46 [1995].
BELOW: Wintergreen petitions to adopt Rose Wilson in DEATHSTROKE #48 [1995].
 

Deathstroke’s own regenerative powers were more heightened than ever, and yielded a strange reaction when the mercenary was engulfed in an explosion at the Capital Dome. Slade Wilson awoke, now regenerated twenty years younger with no memory of his former life. This led him to cut ties with both Pat Trayce and longtime friend, Wintergreen. With Slade gone, Pat Trayce recruited Wintergreen to work for her own search and rescue operation known as Vigilance.

Slade’s regenerative abilities later sudsided, and he reverted to his true age with all memories intact. And eventually, Wintergreen returned to his side.

Final Journal Entry

Sometime later, Deathstroke discovered the spirit of his son, Jericho, had actually survived and taken refuge deep inside his body. With the help of Wintergreen, Deathstroke attempted to exorcise his son from him, but was quickly overpowered. Jericho murdered Wintergreen and embarked on a hunt for the newly-formed Teen Titans. Jericho – in possession of Deathstroke’s body – mounted Wintergreen’s severed head as he vowed “Deathstroke hunts alone.”

Slade would forever be haunted by Wintergreen’s dying words: “I suppose it was only a matter of time.”

 Powers & Abilities


Wintergreen has received extensive military and espionage training, making him a proficient fighter and a superior marksman.

TT

Essential Reading


New Teen Titans #2 [1980]: The H.I.V.E. seeks to destroy the New Teen Titans and gives Grant Wilson powers that make him the Ravager; His father, Deathstroke the Terminator, joins in on the attack against the Titans, but the Ravager is killed due to a side effect of his powers: the Terminator takes up his son’s contract with the H.I.V.E.; First appearance of Deathstroke, Wintergreen and the Ravager.
New Teen Titans #39 [1984]: Terra and the Terminator plot the fall of the Titans. Wally West decides to quit being Kid Flash, leaves his ring and costume with the Titans, and returns to Blue Valley; Dick Grayson gives up his Robin identity, turning Titan leadership over to Wonder Girl; Terra’s contact lens camera relays Robin’s and Kid Flash’s civilian identities to the Terminator
Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44, Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 [1984]: Terra gives her collected information on the Titans to Deathstroke, who captures each of the teen heroes and delivers them to the H.I.V.E., except Dick Grayson. Joseph and Adeline Wilson confront Dick at Titans’ Tower, telling him of Terra’s association with the Terminator, who brings the Titans to the H.I.V.E.’s Rocky Mountain headquarters. Dick Grayson learns the origin of The Terminator and about the accident that made his son Joseph a mute; Dick becomes Nightwing and agrees to let Adeline and Joseph accompany him to the H.I.V.E. base after Joseph takes the identity of Jericho and “possesses” him. They help free the Titans, but not before Terra kills herself. This event is catalogued as “The Judas Contract.” First appearance of Adeline Kane Wilson and her son, Joseph in issue #41. First appearance of Nightwing and Jericho in issue #44. Origin/Histories of Deathstroke, Wintergreen, Adeline Kane and Jericho in issue #44.
Deathstroke: The Terminator #26 [1993]: Slade returns to Kenya for some rest and relaxation – but ends up confronting his own demons. Meanwhile, Wintergreen escapes from prison and reflects on his own past.
Deathstroke: The Terminator #36 [1994]: Wintergreen’s past returns to haunt him when his mentor, a British general during World War II, seeks Deathstroke’s help in stopping a blackmailer. But when they learn the general was actually a Nazi spy, Wintergreen is faced with the moral dilemma of whether to help a dear friend or see justice done. Wintergreen’s family past is revealed.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #0 [1994]: Beginning the “Hunted” storyline. Deathstroke is implicated in a presidential assassination attempt, making him a wanted man. Crimelord plots against Slade. Addie Kane begins a vengeance campaign against Pat Trayce. Rose Wilson appears, only her second appearance. Maurice, Slade’s informant, is murdered. First appearance of Ravager III.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #41 [1994]: Bronze Tiger and Deadshot hunt Deathstroke, seemingly killing him. Meanwhile, the mystery assailant murders Slade’s friend Frannie.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #42 [1994]: Slade awakens in the morgue [the first hints of his immortality] and battles Guy Gardner, Warrior. The mystery assailant attacks Wintergreen and steals his journal, learning Slade’s secrets. Slade encounters Sweet Lili and during the confusion, and discovers her daughter, Rose, has been kidnapped by the mystery assailant [now calling himself the Ravager].
Deathstroke: The Hunted #43 [1995]: The Ravager holds Rose hostage and reveals Slade is her father. Sweet Lili and Wintergreen mount a rescue attempt. Addie Kane and Crimelord plot against Slade. Slade is hunted by Hawkman.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #44 [1995]: Sweet Lili and Wintergreen try to rescue Rose Wilson as she tries to escape on her own. As Slade once again awakens from death, he is attacked by Crimelord’s agents.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #45 [1995]: The Titans hunt and capture Deathstroke; Wintergreen rescues Rose Wilson but Sweet Lili seemingly dies while trying to kill Ravager. Concludes the Hunted storyline. Death of Sweet Lili.
Deathstroke #46 [1995]: Sarge Steel offers Deathstroke a deal. Addie Kane plots with the Crimelord, who has captured Pat Trayce. Rose mourns her mother’s death and Wintergreen comforts her.
Deathstroke #47 [1995]: Deathstroke is forced to work for Sarge Steel. Addie Kane and Crimelord plot against Slade. Sarge Steel meets up with Rose Wilson and Wintergreen. The Ravager continues to stalk Slade and his friends.
Deathstroke #48 [1995]: The Crimelord threatens the government with nuclear weapons, leading Sarge Steel to send Deathstroke and the Titans to a stronghold in Dallas. Rose Wilson confronts Slade and blames him for her mother’s death;Slade is intentionally cruel to Rose because he feels distancing himself from her is in her best interest. Later, Wintergreen petitions to adopt her, but Slade has already made arrangements with Sarge Steel to place her into the Titans’ custody.
Deathstroke #59-60 [1996]: On a routine mission with Vigilante, Slade is caught in yet another explosion, this time involving volatile chemicals. The explosion ‘kills’ Slade and triggers another regeneration. After that incident, Slade’s actions become somewhat erratic, and he cuts ties with both Pat Trayce and Wintergreen, claiming they are no longer part of his life, since he did not remember them. So Pat Trayce continues running Vigilance, with Wintergreen as her right hand man. Wintergreen suspects that this second explosion restored Slade’s memory, since details of his past life crept up in idle conversation. Knowing that Slade must have his reasons for cutting ties with he and Pat, Wintergreen respects this unspoken request from Slade, and gives him his space. Series ends with issue #60.
Teen Titans #2 [2003]: Deathstroke mounts the severed head of his trusted friend, Wintergreen before hunting down the latest group of Teen Titans. Death of Wintergreen revealed.


Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published byICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


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