The old Teen Titans
mercenary gets another chance at an ongoing series. Does it work?
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
Slade Wilson is a fan favorite DC character with some remarkable moments throughout DC history. Not that that history has been reset, what does DC's best mercenary have going for him? Does this one pass the test or does it get terminated?
Grab Bag Reviewer: Jerry Steinhelper
I used to love Deathstroke
, way back when he had his own book, those Mike Zeck covers and just some really good action stories inside. I loved it when the DCU heroes looked up to him for leadership during the Panic in the Sky storyline. As much as loved him as an anti-hero, I had no regrets when Identity Crisis returned him to his badass villain roots. The rest of his story happened in the unreadable Titans
books of the last few years so I have no idea what he's been doing – until Flashpoint and the Deathstroke mini, which was a complete piece of shit.
And now, a rebooted Deathstroke
. Will he be badass bad guy, a reluctant yet honorable anti-hero, or will he follow his Flashpoint personality and be crap? Two out of three is what we get.
The story shows Slade Wilson going through the motions of planning and carrying out an assassination. He's introduced to his 'team' and together they do a nice plane-to-plane incursion, only to find out that his client gave him some incomplete intel. Doesn't matter as he still blows up the target's plane. Back on the ground he sees his team as future competition and kills them. He then tells his go-between to send a message back to world that Deathstroke still has it (and to be "a good dog").
No doubt about, Deathstroke is a badass bad guy. He's also a badass-hole. Completely unlikeable. He's the kind of villain you want to see fail because that would be the only enjoyment you could get from reading his adventures.
The writing is decent enough, but the characterization is unbearable. I like the twist of offing his own team, but that's strikes me more of a Deadshot move than Deathstroke. The arrogant/aloof/asshole killer just doesn't interest me (probably why I also find Wolverine & Punisher unreadable). Many minus points for trying to be hip and kewl (and failing) with phrases like "The Hell?" and "Deathstroke – the scariest badass on the planet."
The art could be called really good – if Deathstroke wasn't wearing some stupid metal armor thing with pouches. Just ugly.
Sadly I preordered #2.
Writing – 10/25
Art – 15/25
Accessibility – 20/25
Enjoyment – 1/25Overall – 46/100
Marvel Reviewer: Comic Doctor
We are now into the second big week of DC's 52 new #1s. Deathstroke #1 was what I dived into first for my four reviews this week because I've always liked the Deathstroke character. I even enjoyed his Flashpoint series.
I wasn't sure what to expect DC and writer Kyle Higgins to 'revamp' here, but it looks like not much was done. Slade Wilson is still the bad-ass terminator he was before, and for now it doesn't appear that any of his old DC stories need to be cleaned out.
The man who sets up Deathstroke's contracts is Christoph, and in this issue Wade is partnered up with three teenagers – April, Quinn and Hughes. Their mission seems simple; board the plane of German arms dealer Jeffrey Bode, destroy everything, and retrieve a briefcase of secrets. It all goes very smoothly - even Wade's encounter with Clayface-like soldiers - but there is a mysterious message in the briefcase for Deathstroke. This doesn't hamper the completion of the mission though. In the end, Wade executes his young team because he doesn't like having competition, and we find also find out that the client didn't think Wade could do the job alone. Maybe they think he's getting to old?
Joe Bennett is a very good artist, and inker Art Thibert has been around for a long time. Together they do a great job portraying the action, storytelling, and emotion of the story. Simply put, there is nothing wrong with the art unless you don't like the specific style (which I don't mind). The nice cover by legend Simon Bisley is just icing on the cake.
New Reader Reviewer: Kelly Symmonds
Writing- This is my first time reading a comic written by Higgins and I would rate it as an average read... WAIT! HOLD THE PHONE! WHAT THE HELL DID DEATHSTROKE JUST DO? DID HE JUST MURDER THOSE KIDS?!?! Awesome twist, I am more than pleased to see they didn't nerf Deathstroke's character. Two bonus points for the M. Night Shyamalan twist. 20/25.
Art- Another middle of the road pencil art, but I thought Wright's work on colors really gave this issue the real push it needed to stand above other mediocre issues. Bathing the last four pages in red colors really worked well with the events taking place. I don't want to spoil anything, but it took me by surprise. 18/25.
Accessibility- Deathstroke has never struck me as a very deep character to understand. The comic was not confusing. It could have stood outside the reboot and still been read just fine. My boss at work, who has never read a comic before in his life, read this and found it both enjoyable and accessible. 21/25.
Enjoyability- My boss loved it, but I was really not all that interested in what was taking place until the ending. Otherwise Deathstroke is just a "Mehh" character. Mercenary/assassins are just not my thing. Sorry, I'm not sorry. 13/25.
DC Reviewer: Brian Burchette
Deathstroke gets a bunch of kids to play with but in the end realizes that he doesn't play well with others, young or old. This is a lesson well learned, if not pretty much redundant since he already knew that. Cool moment? Slade kills a fly with a paper-clip! Totally rocked because he's a "Major damn badass." Just ask Deathstroke scribe Kyle Higgins, he'll tell you!
Corny dialogue, silly costume design supported by some decent and adequate art composes this a trainwreck in the making. It veers from campy to absurd and back again with such jarring regularity that you can almost feel its awkward rhythm. I've been a DC fan for over forty years now and remember the first time I met Deathstroke the Terminator. He was new, original, and a real threat to the heroes of the DC Universe.
Sadly he is none of that here and yet I can't help but want to read the next issue. Like a classic B-Movie that becomes so laughable you can't help but want to see just how far it can go, I'm glued to the upcoming disaster. This isn't for many people, DC fan or not, but if you actually enjoy bad comics... you might be surprised.
Final Score: 54/100
Final 52apolooza Score: 247 (Average Score: 61.75)
Written or Contributed by: Jerry Steinhelper, Comic Doctor, Kelly Symmonds and Brian Burchettehttp://188.8.131.52/index.php/reviews/comics-reviews/52apalooza/15684-52apolooza-deathstroke.html/