Deathstroke #1 Comic Book Review/Recap (Rebirth)

Deathstroke #1 – The Professional

Deathstroke #1 Comic Book Recap

Deathstroke’s hacker delivers a package to a congressman, who they just bribed into helping Matthew.  When he checks the contents… the man jumps off his balcony.

A rejuvenated Clock King has taken the despot Matthew Bland prisoner.  He remarks that the tyrant’s plan nearly succeeded.  Hiring Deathstroke to kill the Clock King by secretly financing a group of the villain’s so called victims, then having the mercenary first do Matthew favours to help keep the American military out of the area.  After this, Deathstroke would have killed the Clock King, and, finally, Matthew was planning on killing Deathstroke, as well, to close out any loose ends.  Only, Slade double-crossed Matthew first.  Wilson had the congressman killed just as quickly as he helped facilitate his bribe.  And now, Matthew can only pray that the man he planned to kill will save him in time.

Deathstroke #1 – The Professional

Meanwhile, Slade is surprised to see Wintergreen, who was thought dead.  Wilson’s old contact explains that a double was impersonating him when he died.  Together, the two men escape the caverns.   They meet up with the men that helped smuggle Wilson into the rebel camp, and head off to Matthew’s palace.  Wilson is forced to keep an experimental Deathstroke suit on, and he leaves his old on a decoy body.  With luck, people will assume Slade Wilson is dead.

Later, while the Clock King continues taunting Matthew, Wintergreen appears.  He explains to the Clock King that he and Deathstroke cannot allow Matthew to die, as that would destabilize the country.  The Clock King does not care what they want, and attacks Wintergreen.

[Related: Click Here To Find Deathstroke Comic Books Online]

In the past, Wintergreen and Deathstroke came to visit Wilson’s family.  The boys were old enough by now to be annoyed at their parent’s fighting, but more interested in playing video games than doing anything about it.  Meanwhile, Adeline and Slade are getting physical… in more ways than one.  When things get quiet, Grant says he’s had enough, and is leaving.  After what must have been some overly aggressive sex, Adeline says she wants a divorce, which does not surprise Slade.  Wintergreen interrupts and says it’s time to go.  When told Grant has run away, Adeline dismisses it, saying he does that every other week.  She wants to come along with Slade and Wintergreen, but they refuse, saying the mission is classified.  Adeline replies that’s what makes it fun.

In the present, Deathstroke leaps into the fray to save his old partner.  After unleashing an explosion, the Clock King is knocked down and returned to his older age.  Matthew is not pleased over Deathstroke, but well, betrayal seems to run amok between these two.  Slade makes one final demand – the families of his escorts are not to be touched… or the Deathstroke will return.

This leaves Matthew in a great deal of trouble.  With his political ally in the US dead, the American military will put an end to the despot’s slaughter.  Wintergreen comments that Wilson must have known all of this was going to play out this way from the start, and saw right through Matthew’s plan.  His contact is actually impressed that Wilson did all this work to stop a genocide and save thousands of lives.  Wintergreen is still a little upset though.  He kept sending out their distress code word – Kenilworth, yet it took Wilson years to find him.  Slade honestly didn’t know.  Wintergreen does eventually calm down, and they begin talking about golf, instead.  Deathstroke is still eight over par.

Later, Matthew finds the decoy body of Deathstroke, wearing his old uniform.  It seems that all this was an elaborate ploy to get Deathstroke to wear a prototype suit built by a person named Dr. Ikon.  Matthew thinks that whoever arranged this must really have something against Wilson, for them to go to such extravagant lengths to accomplish this.  As for Matthew, his only concern is about how all this will benefit him…

Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 – Kenilworth

Deathstroke #1 Comic Book Review

So this was a cool comic, once again.  It follows up nicely to the Rebirth issue and yet maintains everything great about the comic.  The art remains on par with the previous issue, the story remains interesting, and the events in this issue unfold quite uniquely.  I like how the flashbacks are being used to give Deathstroke’s family some character.  Grant clearly has more involvement in this story, but I hope Slade’s ex-wife Adeline has more to come in the future, because she also showed some intriguing colours in this issue.  Even Matthew, who could have been a disposable villain, has some depth to him and shouldn’t be counted out of this story just yet.

And as for Slade’s character, it’s once again great.  I like morally grey characters in fiction, and as I was saying last issue, Slade Wilson is great when written this way.  So yes he’s an abusive, violent murderer, but he did save thousands of lives this issue.  Make no mistake, he’s still a bad guy.  But he’s not evil.  He just has a very… skewed sense of morality.  Which is why I like him, especially when he’s being written like this.  He’s not anti-hero, he’s not misunderstood, he’s just… a guy.  A mercenary.  Sometimes it might put him on the path where he can do something write.  Other times, I just don’t think he cares about morality enough to worry about it.  To him, it’s all part of the job and his code on honour.  That really works, in my eyes.

There’s one other element about this series that is noteworthy – writer Christopher Priest’s presence here.  See, after I did my review of Deathstroke Rebirth #1, I stumbling onto an interview with Priest about this comic.  Turns out, Priest has been repeatedly offered titles to return to the world of superhero comics, but up until now, he’s always refused.  Apparently both Marvel and DC kept offering Priest comics featuring black characters, and this irked him.  As a black writer, Priest didn’t want to be pigeon holed into writing only for black characters.  So when DC finally offered him the Deathstroke series, he happily accepted.  This, in my eyes, is a positive sign on the part of DC.  It’s exactly the sort of thing they should be going for – where the racial identity of the writer is incidental.

[Related: Click Here To Find Deathstroke Comic Books Online]

They should focus on giving writers and artists characters they would be best suited for, regardless of race, and it seems that’s what they did here.  So kudos to DC on this one.  It’s a great signal that they are doing Rebirth right, something they’ve shown consistently with this reboot.  Both behind the scenes and on the page, Rebirth has shown it not only really is a step in the right direction for the company, but has kind of made their comics great again.  Not that they were terrible before, but now, they feel polished, planned, and in the word of this story arc, professional.

So far, Deathstroke is a promising comic that has me looking forward to what’s coming next.  I liked and would recommend this comic.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login