the_mighty_monarch's Deathstroke #6 - Achilles Heel review

The Achilles Heel of the Series

Apparently Eduardo Pansica was penciling this issue, but I barely noticed. His art style is similar enough to Bennett's that I can completely overlook my prejudice towards mid-arc artist switching.

The opening flashback was really interesting. Finally establishing the new history of Deathstroke and his dead son Grant. I'm a little wary to see how this will effect Teen Titans history, as Deathstroke now no longer has his motivating factor for his long term hatred of the Titans, but I'd rather not think too much upon that for the moment. We get to see that Slade Wilson, while a cold stoic killing machine at work; at home he is.... still a cold stoic killing machine. He raises his son like a lion, pushing him and challenging him to be better than he is, giving criticism over praise. It was a very interesting thing to see that Slade is Deathstroke down to his core. The only problem was the pacing. We went from a mission, decent smash cut to the aftermath at home; but then suddenly we flash to Grant's death. It's like two flashbacks in a row instead of one complete flashback. Slade's relationship with Grant, and Grant's death. The two should've been more connected. Although it was VERY interesting that they went with a subtle depiction of Grant's killer. I'm 90% sure its Midnighter, but of course I can't say for certain. But it demonstrates an idea that the series isn't telling you if the connection is important. It isn't shy about SHOWING that its Midnighter, so its not a mystery, but it doesn't overhype the notion that it is Midnighter, downplaying the significance of the identity. I can't decide if it means the killer being Midnighter isn't important, or if it wants us to know he has some other history with Deathstroke.

After that, pretty much the rest of the issue is the EPIC battle between Deathstroke and the latest Legacy. And damn is he a genuine challenge. Deathstroke really pushes himself to the limit for the first time in this series, and the results are awesome to behold. We get to see his mad skills in addition to his excellent strategic planning, even on the fly. But more importantly, we get to see that Deathstroke CAN be beaten. I mean, he hasn't been yet, but he was close enough that we finally get to see him as a potentially vulnerable character, and that's important for a main character.

Then this issue ends with a weird plot twist. The identity of the manipulator who sent Deathstroke the case is revealed. Of course, it ties into the flashback from he beginning, and explains how Legacy is tied into that. Unfortunately, I don't really like the reveal, even though there weren't really any other possibilities left. I mean, I guess we'll have to see how its handled, but it seems too cliche.

In Conclusion: 3.5/5

There was some awkward pacing in the flashback, and I really don't like the reveal, its far too overdone, and kind of represents one of the big problems with superhero comics in general. So despite the epic battle that gave Deathstroke a genuine challenge, I think this was my least favorite issue.

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