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Deathstroke's Best Battles

It's time to enjoy 10 of the Terminator's coolest fight scenes!

Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, is one of DC's most formidable mercenaries. Sporting enhanced physicals and a gifted mind, he's gone face-to-face with some of the most challenging characters and teams on the planet. From the absurdly powerful Superman to the swift and precise Cassandra Cain, Deathstroke has had his abilities tested against a whole slew of individuals time and time again. This week, we decided to reflect on Slade's long history of brawls and pick ten of our favorites. If your top Deathstroke melee isn't on the list, go ahead and share it below. Now, let's see why Deathstroke is feared by so many!

Deathstroke vs. Batman (DEATHSTROKE #7 1991)

SOCK! KAPOW!

Yes, the image above isn't the most flattering one around for Batman, but trust us, Marv Wolfman gives both of these characters proper credit. They're both looking for the same target in Gotham City and, obviously, they both have a different idea on how said target should be handled. This brawl gives Wolfman a chance to show off just how menacing and formidable Slade really is. The Dark Knight gets some hits in, but it's made perfectly clear that the Terminator is his physical equal and, if push comes to shove, he has what it takes to bring down Gotham's hero. Now, the subject of Batman vs. Deathstroke is obviously up for more discussion if Wayne decides to use his gear instead of just slugging it out, but Wolfman used this brawl to showcase Wayne's resilience and drive. Even against an enhanced and deadly character, Batman refuses to give up.

Deathstroke vs. Azrael (AZRAEL #45)

"Flaming blade. Nice touch. Might impress somebody. Somebody else." And with that stated, we're treated to a sword fight between two of DC's coolest characters. The two dangerous dudes go strike for strike as they agree to fight with their just blades. Wilson comments that Jean-Paul Valley's technique isn't quite up to par, but he compensates for that with his physicals. A third party unfortunately cuts the fight short, but it's a memorable ride while it lasts and Roger Robinson's art certainly helps!

Deathstroke vs. The Sukesada Clan (DEATHSTROKE #17-18 2011)

Have you ever wanted to see Slade Wilson fight a whole bunch of ninjas? Odds are the answer is yes, and if the idea never crossed your mind, we bet you're thinking it sounds pretty cool, yes? Well, writer Justin Jordan and artist Edgar Salazar have you covered! Jordan's time with the Terminator was short-lived but he sure made it memorable. First, they tested Slade's intellect against Koschei, a man who's seemingly unkillable. Then, they let Deathstroke show off his deadly abilities as he kept running into the Sukesada Clan. First he fought a bunch of ninjas in a train and then he fought a bunch of ninjas in a building. And yes, it's just as awesome as it sounds. To top it off, Slade's then tested against an enhanced combatant and the melee ends up on the side of the building. If you love seeing Deathstroke in action, you've got to read this story.

Deathstroke & Ravager vs. Teen Titans (THE NEW TEEN TITANS #2)

It all started here, Deathstroke fans! Marv Wolfman and George Perez's first issue with Deathstroke kicks off with a display of Slade's speed and skill, but the two creative minds really give him a chance to shine when he runs into the Teen Titans! He'll have a long and rocky history with his team, but this conflict is a huge moment in his life. The fight isn't too long, but Slade teaming-up with his son,Grant, to battle the group displays why this character becomes a major threat in the DC universe and ends on one heck of a strong note.

Deathstroke vs. Cassandra Cain (BATGIRL #63)

Deathstroke underestimated Cassandra Cain the first time they faced -- he assumed Batman trained her and quickly saw that wasn't the case -- but Slade isn't the kind of guy that makes the same mistake twice. What makes this encounter special is the fact Deathstroke's manipulating his talented opponent the entire time. Batgirl's internal dialogue is constantly praising Slade's movements and eventually she realizes he's toying with her. So, she then takes action and aims to change the direction of the fight. However, she's still playing right into Slade's hand and ends up exactly where he wants her to be.

Deathstroke vs. Ravager (DEATHSTROKE #3 1991)

The Ravager has returned and he has one simple objective: to make Deathstroke suffer. The costumed mercenary gives opens the battle by shooting the Terminator at point blank range over and over again. What follows is a savage and unforgettable battle as these two eventually toss aside the weapons and turn it into a punch brutal fest. Wolfman's first volume is loaded with action, but this vicious encounter is one that's sure to standout.

Deathstroke vs. Superman (SUPERMAN #62 1987)

Look, we all know Superman could squish Slade in a second if he really wanted to and this is something Slade Wilson -- an intelligent and tactical man -- clearly understands. Instead of being stubborn and attempting to best the Man of Steel, Slade realizes his best course of action is to elude the Kryptonian. This gives the mercenary the opportunity to show off his quick thinking, agility, and reflexes. Kal-El eventually gets his durable hands on Deathstroke, but Slade still manages to impress him during the chase and that's hugely commendable considering Clark's abilities.

Deathstroke vs. a bar full of mercenaries (DEATHSTROKE #2 2011)

Deathstroke's opening story in the New 52 was all about big, crazy, bloody action. Every issue presented something that dropped our jaws and displayed just how insanely lethal Slade can truly be. There's plenty of awesome fight scenes for our eyes to appreciate during this run, but witnessing Slade slaughter a bar full of mercenaries was pure excellence. He's completely surrounded by competition, yet Deathstroke effortlessly rips through all of them and looks great while doing it. This is worth a look if you ever wanted to see Slade slicing and dicing like a total boss.

Deathstroke vs. Justice League (IDENTITY CRISIS #3)

If you ever questioned Deathstroke's sheer badassery, you seriously need to read IDENTITY CRISIS #3. Sure, we can debate all day about how some of the heroes were downplayed, but still, this is a phenomenal example of why Deathstroke's considered to be one of the best. Not only does he know how to take down several heroes, but he's able to implement these tactics while facing overwhelming odds, too. It's a great experience for any Deathstroke fan, that's for sure.

Deathstroke vs. Teen Titans (TEEN TITANS #46 2003)

This is yet another great example of the one-eyed mercenary's ability to humiliate an entire crowd of opponents. Cyborg, Beast Boy, Batgirl, Nightwing... a team that consists of these characters and more isn't easy to overcome, yet Slade manages to systemically handle them and slip away. And the best part of it all? The entire fight and storyline is actually his way of assuring his kids are with the right people.

Love Deathstroke? Check out his Must Read Stories and Best Covers.

28 Comments
Edited by dagmar_merrill

The identity crisis fight is my favorite.

Posted by Omnicrono

Thanks for the article!

Wolfman giving both characters proper credit in Deathstroke #7 something I slightly disagree with, but to each his own.

Online
Posted by Maddpanda531
Edited by k4tzm4n

@dagmar_merrill Good choice! Favorite takedown in it?

@omnicrono said:

Thanks for the article!

Wolfman giving both characters proper credit in Deathstroke #7 something I slightly disagree with, but to each his own.

Thanks for reading! Well, I'm talking about giving Wayne's willpower and determination proper respect and not necessarily his effectiveness as a combatant. Even after that horrible beating, he still went after Slade and refused to call it quits. As I implied the article, I'm sure things could have played out differently if Batman focused on tactics and gear ;)

Posted by NightFang
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Posted by dagmar_merrill
Posted by Mucklefluga

That fight in Identity Crisis is one of the greatest things ever.

Posted by Outside_85

Honestly, I don't think the last two are great showings for Deathstroke, TT or the JLA, simply due to how massively skewered the fights are written into Deathstroke's favour. Especially not when he has lost to individual members of both teams on previous and later occassions.

Posted by dondave

Slade vs Green Arrow and Black Canary deserves to be here

Posted by Krypton-115

These fights are the reason Slade is one of my favorite characters in comics.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

Honestly, I don't think the last two are great showings for Deathstroke, TT or the JLA, simply due to how massively skewered the fights are written into Deathstroke's favour. Especially not when he has lost to individual members of both teams on previous and later occassions.

But they're just so fun to watch and read!

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@dondave: I was going to say the same thing.

Posted by Lvenger

Honestly, I don't think the last two are great showings for Deathstroke, TT or the JLA, simply due to how massively skewered the fights are written into Deathstroke's favour. Especially not when he has lost to individual members of both teams on previous and later occassions.

There's definitely massive PIS with that fight. For starters, Deathstroke tagging Wally was only possible because Wally was moving slower than the speed of sound. As Deathstroke's explosions went off, Wally passed them after they had exploded, not before. This means Slade tagged a Wally who was moving slower than sound. And there's no way Slade should have been able to break Kyle's hand and contest his willpower. Given that Kyle has contained solar systems, entire planets and even black holes with his ring, I fail to see how Slade's willpower matches up to that.

@dondave said:

Slade vs Green Arrow and Black Canary deserves to be here

I especially love the panel where Slade talks about how his actions and tactics are 20 steps ahead of Ollie and Dinah's moves before he proceeds to stomp both of them at once.

Edited by Omnicrono

@k4tzm4n said:

Thanks for reading! Well, I'm talking about giving Wayne's willpower and determination proper respect and not necessarily his effectiveness as a combatant. Even after that horrible beating, he still went after Slade and refused to call it quits. As I implied the article, I'm sure things could have played out differently if Batman focused on tactics and gear ;)

Agreed. :)

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Posted by Knightsofdarkness2

This is why Deathstroke is one of the greatest villains in superhero/comic book history.

Posted by Spulk
Posted by StMichalofWilson

I love the Identity Crisis battle. One of the best comic book battles in history. Personally, I would love to see more Deathstroke fights against Batman or Green Arrow or both heroes in the comics.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

"Obvious joke"? What, like a "The Wolverine" joke? A Samuel L. Jackson joke? Ninja Turtles? There's a whole score of obvious jokes I could make to ninjas on a train.

Posted by Outside_85

@lvenger said:

There's definitely massive PIS with that fight. For starters, Deathstroke tagging Wally was only possible because Wally was moving slower than the speed of sound. As Deathstroke's explosions went off, Wally passed them after they had exploded, not before. This means Slade tagged a Wally who was moving slower than sound. And there's no way Slade should have been able to break Kyle's hand and contest his willpower. Given that Kyle has contained solar systems, entire planets and even black holes with his ring, I fail to see how Slade's willpower matches up to that.

But isn't this just the usual story from DC (and Marvel I suppose), where supposedly human characters have to seem capable of handling characters and beings far, far our of their weight class, regardless of how bad it makes the other one look?

Despite how some of my earlier posts appear, I do like Deathstroke, he is a great character. The problem is that I just think DC too often misuses his potential in money-for-violence brawls that just make one side or the other look poor.

  • Deathstroke, planning, stalking, taking down a 'superior' target... Great, show us that the old mind can be used for something other than enhanced reflexes.
  • Deathstroke, kicking a door down with two cannons in his arms and facing a squad of unimpressed superhumans... balls, it's like watching someone playing an FPS with the immortality code on.
Posted by gunswordfist_
Posted by The Average Bear

My favorite fights with Deathstroke-- and most characters-- are when he's going against teams. The Identity Crisis fight is my favorite for sure, with the Teen Titans fight coming up second.

Posted by Lvenger

@lvenger said:

There's definitely massive PIS with that fight. For starters, Deathstroke tagging Wally was only possible because Wally was moving slower than the speed of sound. As Deathstroke's explosions went off, Wally passed them after they had exploded, not before. This means Slade tagged a Wally who was moving slower than sound. And there's no way Slade should have been able to break Kyle's hand and contest his willpower. Given that Kyle has contained solar systems, entire planets and even black holes with his ring, I fail to see how Slade's willpower matches up to that.

But isn't this just the usual story from DC (and Marvel I suppose), where supposedly human characters have to seem capable of handling characters and beings far, far our of their weight class, regardless of how bad it makes the other one look?

Despite how some of my earlier posts appear, I do like Deathstroke, he is a great character. The problem is that I just think DC too often misuses his potential in money-for-violence brawls that just make one side or the other look poor.

  • Deathstroke, planning, stalking, taking down a 'superior' target... Great, show us that the old mind can be used for something other than enhanced reflexes.
  • Deathstroke, kicking a door down with two cannons in his arms and facing a squad of unimpressed superhumans... balls, it's like watching someone playing an FPS with the immortality code on.

It is the usual stuff from DC and Marvel to be certain and I also see you're most definitely not a Deathstroke hater at all. I also agree Slade gets misued on opposite ends of the spectrum. Either his mind and tactics are played up immensely in a brains over brawn story or he somehow holds his own against multiple super powered foes and high tier street levellers on a regular basis. That's my biggest problem with Identity Crisis. Though there are some accurate moments, Deathstroke taking down Wally and Kyle was way too preposterous to believe. These guys are experienced professionals with more experience than the Titans, they should be able to stomp Slade into the ground. But it is a common trope for the underdog human to take on bigger odds than he can handle.

Posted by Cavemold

That fight in Identity Crisis is one of the greatest things ever.

Posted by Superguy1591

Identity Crisis is such PIS, the person who wrote it should be slapped.

Not only did he beat a Flash, he beat a GL too...I mean, come on, I can take suspension of belief, but that's too much for me. He even beat two of the most powerful characters in DC.

If trained humans are so resourceful and can take down superpowered gods like Flash and Green Lantern, why the heck do people want superpowers? Just train and you'll be a much tougher out.

Posted by The_Greatest_Username

The Identity Crisis was one of the stupid fights I've ever read. Pardon the pun, but characters like Zatanna and Green Lantern are way out of Slades league.

Posted by vandinejd_1991

How about Deathstroke vs Koschei?

Posted by Pokeysteve

I was loving this article till the Identity Crisis fight was mentioned. Kind of hurts the lists credibility a little. Great read over all though. Deathstroke is awesome!!!

Posted by darktiger

Awesome display of deathstrokes abilities