William Randolph Wintergreen

DamagedThe last episode of ArrowThe Odyssey, has been quite amazing, especially for the many revelations about Oliver Queen‘s life on the island. We also acknowledged the fact that the one we believed to be Deathstroke wasn’t him at all: it was his partner, Billy Wintergreen, who betrayed him for joining Ed Fyers and his group of mercenaries. So, we can add to our list one new character from the comics, Wintergreen himself. This one marks Wintergreen’s first live action appearance, no suprise, since he’s quite an unknown character for whoever doesn’t read Teen Titans. In the comics, he’s much older than the tv series version, and he doesn’t wear Deathstroke’s mask. Let’s take a closer look at him.

First of all, his full name is William Randolph Wintergreen. He was the son of an Oxford professor, and he grew up in the University, staying with his father. He wasn’t exactly a sportsman, and often avoided sports sneaking inside the University’s library, always opened for him because of his father. Spending his childhood in a library allowed him to develop quite an instict for research, and he became extremely reliable in collecting informations. That’s why, when he got older and entered the British Army, he was immediately hired by the MI-5, becoming one of their best agents. While in the army, Wintergreen met a young and promising soldier, Slade Wilson, who was showing an unborn talent in the art of war. The two became friends, and spent a lot of time together training or simply chatting. When their superior, General Sampson, jealous of Wilson’s success, sent him into a suicide mission, Wintergreen rebelled for the first time to an officer and, disobeying a direct order, he went to the rescue, and managed to save his friend’s life. Sampson never forgot the insubordination, but decided to wait for his vengeance. Meanwhile, Slade had met Adeline Kane and had fallen in love with her; Wintergreen was Slade’s best man when the two wed. Wintergreen’s superiors transferred him wintergreencomics1closer to his friends Wilson and Adeline, but this meant he would have come back under Sampson’s command. The general finally found a way to get revenge on the one who disobeyed him years before, and sent William on a suicide mission in Hanoi, a one he was sure nobody could have saved him from. Wintergreen was captured and tortured for months, until he was saved by a masked figure, who could move at incredible speed and with unparalleled ferocity: when the man took off his mask, William recognised his old friend Slade, who returned the favor saving his life, using his newfound powers. Wintergreen, feeling he owed his life to Slade, promised to keep the secret about his abilities, and, when Wilson was discharged for insubordination (he disobeyed Sampson’s order to save William), Wintergreen followed him.

When Slade created the Deathstroke persona, Wintergreen stayed at his side as comrade in arms, and started cataloguing the mercenary’s adventures in a journal. When Adeline, after the incident with the Jackal that endangered her son Joseph‘s life, divorced from Slade, Wintergreen, wanting to repay his debt, took her place, and remained with Wilson. He hoped he could act as a moral wintergreencomics2conscicence for his friend, thus preventing him from becoming a cold-hearted and ruthless assassin. When Deathstroke, eager to avenge his son Grant‘s death, declared war to the superhero group Teen Titans, Wintergreen suggested him not to proceed with his plan, which involved using a teenage superhuman, Tara “Terra” Markov, as an infiltrator in the squad. Deathstroke didn’t listen to him, and his plan brought Tara to her death, and him to a court, where he escaped prison for a mere trial quibble. William then convinced Slade to take a hunting vacation in Africa, and when they came back, the mercenary had a much stronger ethical code.  During a battle with the third Ravager, Deathstroke found out he had a daughter, Rose; believing he wouldn’t be a good father for her, he asked Wintergreen to take care of the girl, and he accepted, becoming a father figure for her. He really cared of Rose, and was ready to adopt her: he raised her to be a strong and rightful woman, and she grew to become the new Ravager, this time a superhero, and even joined the Teen Titans for a while. When an explosion erased Deathstroke’s memory, Wintergreen was sent away by the mercenary, who didn’t know who he was anymore; a second explosion restored Wilson’s memory, but he still kept William at a distance. Realizing that his friend now remebered about him, and still wanted him away, Wintergreen decided to respect his will, and to leave him alone. The two reunited when Joseph Wilson’s spirit took control of his father’s body: Slade asked Wintergreen for help, but during the “exorcism”, Joseph took full control, and killed Wintergreen, mounting his head on a trophy wall. Wintergreen’s last words were “I suppose it was only a matter of time”. Wintergreen would have returned many years later, as a Black Lantern, seeking vengeance against his former best friend.

William Wintergreen is a loyal and good man, a hard soldier who possesses a strong moral code which he always follows. He truly cares for his best friend, Slade Wilson, and follows him in whatever adventure he choses, trying to mantain him human the best he can. As an Army Major, Wintergreen is a good trained combatant, with good skills in martial arts and in marksmanship. His most formidable weapon is, anyway, his sharp mind, trained with hours of study, which makes him a brilliant strategist and an unparalleled tactician. Wintergreen deeply observes his friend’s evolution through the years, and in his journals he writes both the chronicles of his adventures and his personal observation on Deathstroke’s psyche: he is sure that the journals of the world’s best mercenary (and friend) will be worth something, in the future.

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2 Comments

  1. […] took him in and cared for his wounds; during Slade’s permanence at the brothel, his butler, William Wintergreen, met 14-years-old Rose, and noticed some similarities between her and his friend and master, but […]

  2. […] still fought under the Army, but one day a personal friend of his, William Wintergreen (a SAS member who saved his life in the early days of the war) was sent on a suicide mission and, […]


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