Deathstroke has become quite popular over the last several years. In fact, he's generated so many fans that he recently beat the likes of Mystique, Bane, Boba Fett, and six other mercenaries to become our latest Character of the Month. His numerous comic appearances and cameos in earlier shows (e.g. Teen Titans, Smallville) generated a good amount of interest in the character, but it feels like the he's been receiving an especially big push over the last few years. From video games to TV shows, Slade Wilson's face has been all over the place. Even if a person has never picked up a comic before, odds are they now know who Deathstroke is if they watch Arrow or played Batman: Arkham Origins. It's very possible this large group of people have been turned into fans of the character, as well. I mean, it's tough not to find the guy appealing. He's portrayed as ridiculously badass and has a very cool costume, after all.
Slade's appearing in so many popular projects, so you'd think an effort would be made to capitalize on this and attempt to bring in new readers. But the odd thing is he's not getting a whole lot of attention in the medium where it all started for him: comic books. Sure, he's part of the roster in the upcoming volume of SUICIDE SQUAD -- something which definitely has our interest -- and he played a small role in FOREVER EVIL, but many of us were majorly disappointed when his solo series was cancelled. Well, we believe Deathstroke has what it takes to hold his own comic and we think he should get another shot.
Many love the mercenary because he's a formidable badass with an incredibly cool costume, but there's so much more to the character than just being really good at killing people and looking awesome during all of the chaos. Deathstroke has a, well, let's just call it an "interesting" set of morals and this opens the door to a whole variety of stories. We've seen Slade do some absolutely despicable things, but we've also witnessed him do the right thing and, of course, fall somewhere in the middle countless other times.
His mentality is often a case-by-case basis. One moment we could see him as a caring father and a man refusing to kill a specific hero that's getting in his way (you're lucky he thinks you're alright, Nightwing), and the next he could be doing something so heartless that'll it'll shock you. Both Kyle Higgins and Justin Jordan displayed these attributes during their time with the character and hit us with emotional twists that were simply jaw-dropping. It's also worth noting that some of Wilson's relatives are floating around in The New 52's universe. Let's just say the relationship he has with these individuals possesses a lot of potential for conflict and drama.
In Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's article called "Deathstroke the Terminator, One of the Most Ruthless Villains in the DC Universe," the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine says Deathstroke is "a great character and is a worthy opponent for even the best heroes in the DC Universe." It's a statement I'm sure many of us would strongly agree with. We know the mercenary holds the potential for emotional twists and turns and character-driven story arcs, but his "career" means he can bump into just about anyone and everyone in the DC Universe.
Slade Wilson may not be able to destroy a mountain with his fists, but his gifted intellect, commendable physicals, wealthy supply of weaponry, and impressive level of skill means he has what it takes to pose a threat to such a wide array of characters (remember IDENTITY CRISIS #3?). Now, that's not to say he has what it takes to beat all who dare to challenge him or stand in his way, but he's one of the world's most dangerous mercenaries for a reason, folks. This gives writers the chance to have Slade encounter a massive amount of characters. Obviously, his title shouldn't rely on cameos, but if it's done well, who can resist a good tale of Deathstroke and Batman being at odds or Slade doing his best to avoid immensely powerful heroes as he tries to go for his latest kill? There are so many rivalries just waiting to happen and I'm sure we all have a handful of characters we'd love to see the Terminator battle.
As stated above, the lethal dude has enhanced intellect. This means the kinds of challenges we could see him face are basically unlimited. We all love to watch him slice and dice and duke it out with famous heroes and villains, but it's great seeing his tactical side being placed front and center. This is something Jordan focused on when Deathstroke was tasked with killing a seemingly unkillable man. What can Slade do when his target can survive having his head blown apart? We all know he's formidable and can give so many individuals are run for their money with just his skill as a combatant, but it's important to show that he also has one of the sharpest minds around, too.
Deathstroke has the opportunity to appeal to a fair variety of readers. If you want to enjoy crazy action, you know a book revolving around DC's most talented mercenary is going to deliver plenty of it. If you want emotion, there's so many gripping stories the right creative team would be able to produce. He's not simply just another hired gun. And if you just want pure fun and entertainment, his profession means he has the potential to bump into all of your favorite heroes and villains in the DC universe. Green Arrow? Batman? Wonder Woman? The sky's the limit. There's so much more to this character than just "he looks cool and he's really good at fighting." He's getting a chance to shine in TV shows and video games, so why not in comic books? He really deserves the opportunity to grow in The New 52 timeline and we hope he eventually gets another shot at having his own ongoing series.
Do you think Deathstroke deserves his own series, Viners? Let us know below!
Want to continue celebrating our latest Character of the Month? He's currently battling Boba Fett (). Also, two video games he's appeared in -- Injustice: Gods Among Us and Batman: Arkham Origins -- are featured in the latest edition of Favorite Comic Book Video Games () and our latest Question of the Week is all about his costumes (). We'll post his best covers this Friday, too!