What Is a Man, But a Legacy Waiting to Die?
The Good: Deathstroke's opening monologue is SUPERB. It digs deep to his core and describes exactly what he is and why we should root for him. It ALSO sets the tone of the issue, and sets things up to come around full circle with what could otherwise be a forgettable foe. The idea of what makes a 'Warrior' and the importance of a 'Legacy' are heavily emphasized, and it makes this issue feel deeper than the first two.
The mystery of the briefcase is handled very well here. It's not quite dangled as aggrivatingly tantalizingly as it could be, instead we're treated to the subtlest of hints as to the possibility of what type of thing could be in there. Subtle enough to keep me interested without giving up the goods.
Overall there's some subtlety woven into the portrayal of Deathstroke that can make him almost sympathetic to those sharp enough to catch it. He's a warrior, through and through, but in today's world, the only nation that will house him is the almighty dollar. Money. He's a mercenary, but a noble one. Kind of. And he's stuck in his ways. He's an over the top badass because that's all he knows. This is a man desperately fighting to avoid becoming an outdated relic. I'm actually starting to slowly understand this cold hard shell of a man, and that's what gets people to stick with series'.
The idea of Legacy seemed like it fell completely flat after some pretty heavy buildup on the cover and solicit. However, Legacy completely avoids becoming another 'Road Rage' with the final page. Suddenly he's a complete aversion to what he appeared to be, and the most amazoing foil for Deathstroke. The true 'identity' of Legacy is what brings the narrative full circle. When the last page of an issue completely 'makes' the entire thing, that's some pretty good pacing if done right. And it does it RIGHT. Nearly all weak points of the issue were filled in with the ending revelation, and it made me rethink the entire issue over the course of the few seconds as it hit me. THAT is good writing.
The Bad: I'm not feeling enough direction here. Deathstroke says he has a plan, but it seems to ammount more to 'Go WAY over the top in every job to show people I'm awesome.' This worked well as the theme to the second issue, but it's already in danger of going too far. Deathstroke is a planner. A tactician. A Strategest. He's not JUST a warrior, he's a warrior general. He's all about tactics and the strength to back them up. I'm not seeing very much of Deathstroke the Tactician at all, just Deathstroke the Badass. Granted that's still a core part of him, but the character's going to lose me fast if his answer to everything continues to be 'Smash my way straight through all obstacles without a thought because I'm awesone.'
In Conclusion: 4/5
Everything is still badass. That's the basic theme of Deathstroke as a whole. This issue is DEFINITELY less shallow than the previous one, but I need to see more tactics soon if the series wants me to keep giving it high scores. It has to earn them, and smashing through all obstacles isn't always the way to do that, especially if you're a combat genius.