William Randolph Wintergreen grew up in Oxford, England. He avoided sports and squirreled himself away in the University library, which because of his father's title, was open to him. Research came easy to him, and knowing the conduits through which information flowed aided him in his work with MI-5 and the British Army. During his time with the British Army he met Slade Wilson. The two developed a close friendship.
General Sampson sent Slade Wilson on a suicide mission. Wintergreen saw through it and through the grace of God, Slade survived. Wintergreen disobeyed Sampson's orders and charged in to rescue Slade. Sampson was given a minor reprimand, but remembered Wintergreen's disobedience.
After Slade met Adeline, Wintergreen was reassigned closer to Slade, and was the best man when Slade wed Adeline. Wintergreen came under the command of General Sampson. Remembering the slight of years ago, Sampson 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, where he intended to rescue Wintergreen. Wintergreen had been brutally tortured, and Slade charged in, garbed in an outlandish uniform (similar to his later uniform as Deathstroke). Slade easily bested all the soldiers with an unrivaled ferocity. Wintergreen was shocked when Slade unmasked himself.
Slade revealed to Wintergreen that his senses and abilities had been enhanced. Slade was discharged for disobeying orders. Wintergreen felt he owed Slade his life – a debt he intended to repay.
Following this, Slade secretly became the mercenary known as Deathstroke, the Terminator. Soon, a terrorist known as the Jackal kidnapped a young Joseph Wilson to gain leverage against Slade. This forced Slade to admit to his wife that he was secretly the mercenary known as Deathstroke, the Terminator. Adeline and Slade (outfitted as Deathstroke) together confronted the Jackal. Slade refused to give the Jackal the information he requested because it would violate his professional code of ethics. Slade gambled he could react fast enough to save his son; He saved Joseph's life, but not before one of Jackal's men had begun to slit his throat. Joseph was now mute.
Adeline, furious at Slade's betrayal and the risking of her son's life, confronted Slade with a gun. Slade's quick reflexes saved his life, but he lost his right eye due to the gunshot inflicted by his wife. Adeline then divorced Slade and raised her two sons by herself.
Feeling he owed Slade a great debt, Wintergreen took Addie's place at his side. Wintergreen hoped that he could prevent Slade from becoming cold and ruthless. Wintergreen began cataloguing Slade's adventures in his journals for years. He has been Slade's right hand man, acting alternately as moral conscience, comrade in arms and nursemaid.
Enter the Titans
After Slade's son Grant (the Ravager) died, Slade aimed to fulfill the contract his son had left. Slade had to deliver the Teen Titans to the H.I.V.E. To this end, he allied himself with a 15 year old sociopath with earth powers. Tara Markov (Terra) would infiltrate the Titans and betray their secrets to Slade. Wintergreen feared this contract, and his alliance with the stable young girl, would prove Slade's undoing. With Terra's help, Slade was able to deliver the Teen Titans to the H.I.V.E. (except for Dick Grayson, who eluded capture). Dick Grayson (now Nightwing) with the help of Slade's son Joe Wilson (assuming the name Jericho) were able to infiltrate H.I.V.E. headquarters and rescue the Titans. In the ensuing battle, Terra died and Slade was captured to stand trial. Slade's case was thrown out of court because the prosecutor failed to prove that the Terminator who did the kidnapping was indeed Slade Wilson.
Slade took up hunting in Africa for a brief time, with Wintergreen back at his side. Eventually, he returned to his mercenary ways, only with a stronger code of ethics. Wintergreen continued to catalog his adventures.
Slade eventually learned that his powers also granted him immortality, and he would regenerate after "dying." When the third Ravager (Wade DeFarge) abducted Rose Wilson, Slade and Rose discovered they were father and daughter. After the death of Rose's mother, Slade feared he would not be a good father. He left Rose primarily in the care of Wintergreen, and then, the Titans. Wintergreen cared very much for Rose and was even prepared to adopt her. Rose became a member of the Titans briefly and eventually embarked off on her own.
The End of a Partnership
After that, on a routine mission with Vigilante, Slade was caught in yet another explosion, this time involving volatile chemicals. The explosion ‘killed' Slade and triggered another regeneration. After that incident, Slade's actions became somewhat erratic, and he cut ties with both Pat Trayce and Wintergreen, claiming they were no longer part of his life, since he did not remember them. So Pat Trayce continued running Vigilance, Inc. (Trayce had salvaged what was left of Adeline Kane's company, Searchers, Inc., and created her own search & rescue operation) with Wintergreen as her right hand man. Wintergreen suspected 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 respected this unspoken request from Slade, and gave him his space.
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/Deathstroke mounted the severed head of his trusted friend 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."
- Black Lantern Ring (formerly)
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 73 Appearances of William Randolph Wintergreen (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring William Randolph Wintergreen (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about William Randolph Wintergreen (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: William Randolph Wintergreen (New Earth)
- Wintergreen at dccomics.com
- Wintergreen at Wikipedia.org
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