the_mighty_monarch's Deathstroke #5 - Blowback review

Third Legacy's The Charm

Deathstroke's covers have generally been a little weak, or hit and miss, but this one is the lamest of the bunch. The design is dull, the view is far too close crowding up the page, the quality of the artwork is simpler, there's no real background.... It just.... eh.

But thankfully the entire rest of the issue makes up for it by containing literally everything this series has been missing from the start. The opening flashback picks up on the shocking plot twist from the middle of the previous issue, and leads into a heartwarming fallout of the shocking finale of the previous issue, and then using the rest of the pieces of last issue, leads into the follow up to the cliffhanger-ish finale of the issue before that. All the loose threads of the series are coming together in a really well thought out manner. What I'm really saying here, is that this issue had fantastic pacing.

The interior artwork was exactly on par with what I've come to expect, but some of the more powerful scenes were enhanced by a nice subtle wash of a more limited color pallate. From flashback, to furnace funeral, to an introverted inner monologue as he walks through the city; it all adds a human element to Deathstroke without ruining the badass aspect of the character. Deathstroke doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but he doesn't lock it up as tight as most other badasses and that helps set him apart, and helps make this series worth it. Plus we get a lot more backstory on Slade's supporting cast, helping to flesh out their personalities and in turn help us to know Deathstroke better.

I was surprised at how well the flashback and story progression were balanced, neither felt too short, but there are a few lingering problems here. We know Legacy was hired by the family of one of the mercenaries killed in the first issue. However, this issue proves that Legacy is tied to those who gave him the suitcase containing Grant's helmet. Deathstroke didn't kill the girl until, as I said, the first issue of this series; while Grant has been dead for years. This connection doesn't seem to totally make sense, although I'll hold off full judgement until we actually have answers. A little less forgivable is the fact that this issue really ended up highlighting the fact that Deathstroke has only one supporting cast member. The flashback fleshed out backstory, but a lot of it is moot at this point.

Also, I utterly loathe Editor's Notes that remind us when an event alluded to happened when it happened earlier in the series. If it recalls a crossover or another series, or something from years ago, that's fine. But NONE of the New 52 should be reminding us of something from its own series yet. Not until AT LEAST issue 12 reminding us of something from #1. But putting a little sticky note to remind us that what the characters are talking about happened LAST ISSUE is just unforgivable. So utterly lame.

But, in the end, the most important thing is thus. DEATHSTROKE WAS GIVEN AN ACTUAL CHALLENGE. Up until now he's pretty much breezed through everything that came his way without breaking a sweat or throwing off his groove. The new Legacy gives Deathstroke a fight that has actual tension for the readers, and that makes up for a lot.

In Conclusion: 4.5/5

Still not 5/5 material, but this is hands down the best issue of the series. If you've been interested, but clamoring for more depth and actual threats; read this issue, because it has everything you've been waiting to see from it.

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