The New Titans (1988) - #83
"The Jericho Gambit Part Two: A Thousand Souls!"
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Cover Date: February 1992
Cover Price: US $ 1.75
Issue Tagline: "Death Be Not Proud"
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue
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Letters Column: Titans Tower
The Titans, Arella and Deathstroke arrive on Azarath which is now a barren wasteland but for a single structure. Inside, Jericho has the other Titans hooked up to a Transference machine. He released Nightwing and the original Wildebeest from their cell and the Wildebeest attacks him. Jericho destroys him with a blast of energy that turns him into a pile of smoldering dust.
The Titans meanwhile, break inside the dome facility and encounter a squad of Wildebeest agents. They fight through them until they come to the central chamber. They find that Jericho has now hooked Nightwing up to the machine. Deathstroke and Phantasm discover a laboratory containing some bizarre experiments. One of the Wildebeests blasts Phantasm in the back, and Deathstroke spins around and returns fire with his energy lance. Troia and Red Star begin to pull Nightwing down from the machine, but soon discover that it is all a ruse. Jericho is hiding inside of Nightwing and leaps out ot attack the Titans. Deathstroke enters the room, but Jericho takes him down with the power of his Soul Self.
Defeating the rest of the Titans, Jericho hooks them all up to the machine. He then reveals that true nature of his identity and his actions over the past several months. Jericho has been taken over by the departed and poisoned souls of the people of Azarath. Following the second battle with Trigon, the Souls of Azarath merged with that of Trigon and became tainted by the demon's evil. As energy without form, they required a physical body to survive. They realized that Jericho's mutant body made a perfect conduit for them , so they resided inside his psyche where they laid dormant for many years. After regaining their strength, the Souls of Azarath realized that they required strong new bodies to house their forms. To this end, they took control of the Wildebeest Society and continued to use Jericho as the architect behind their "Titans Hunt" to claim fresh, powerful bodies.
The Souls of Azarath have remained inside of Jericho's body for too long however. They have taxed his physical form to its limits and it is quickly falling apart. Jericho's expository revelation provided Deathstroke enough time to break free. He begins fighting his way through the Wildebeest agents on his way to reach his son. Jericho activates the transference machine and begins migrating the Souls of Azarath into the bodies of the captured Titans. Deathstroke finally makes his way to him and realizes that there is only one way to save his son's soul. Brandishing his sword, Deathstroke stabs Jericho through the back, killing him.
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