Stiff, Bland, and Boring
Anyone who accused Higgins of turning Deathstroke into a bland generic stereotypical 'badass' needs to read this issue. This makes Higgins look like friggin' Morrison. (I really enjoyed Higgins' run, personally.) For no explained reason, Deathstroke is back to his old costume, which isn't exactly a bad idea, but kind of a stupid one if they're looking to create more consistency in the New 52 to hang onto the new readers. But really, in Higgins' run, Deathstroke had motivation. He had a goal, he needed to be over-the-top for a reason, he demonstrated his skill with ACTIONS more than words, and we saw him in genuine struggle at times.
Liefeld's Deathstroke is none of these things. He's overly prepared in the cheesy way, suddenly revealing very convenient contingency plans. And he won't shut up for two seconds about how badass he is, and how he was going to kill you in a manner of seconds, or how he'll kill you if you don't get to the point, or how he'll kill you because he doesn't need help; and on and on and on and F***ING ON. If you want to be a badass, DO BADASS STUFF, don't constantly make threats to every single person who even offers you a greeting.
And speaking of bad dialogue... there's a lot of it. Characters spit out clunky exposition here and there to explain little things. At least it's scattered in short bursts as opposed to walls of blatant exposition. But every character seems a little too eager to explain the tiniest thing, some of which I could care less about.
And then we come to Liefeld's art. I admit, it's practically considered fashionable to rip on Liefeld, but I'm not just on the bandwagon, because Liefeld freaking deserves it. His body proportions are atrocious. His characters tend to have an extremely minimal range of facial expressions, most of which are over exaggerated. His fight scenes have very little genuine dynamism to them, and consist of twisting his bizarre body proportions into even weirder poses. Deathstroke's hands look too small.... I could go on for paragraphs about this, but I've already done that repeatedly in my Hawk and Dove reviews. Why hasn't DC learned their lesson? Why do they keep putting Liefeld on series'? Where's their golden boy Paul Dini in the New 52?
I was hoping we'd get some unintentional fun campiness that would seem self-aware (though likely not all things considered), when it was announced Deathstroke would be hunting Lobo; since Lobo is basically a walking parody of Liefeld's entire career. But Liefeld manages to screw him up too, an almost unbelievable task. This is a character who's KNOWN for being a cheesy over-the-top bragging badass, which is what Liefeld seems to excel at; but apparently he's in on the joke and doesn't like it, because he's turned Lobo into an even more homogenous blob of boring gruffness than he ever was. Lobo doesn't have the charm of being too far over the top, or the campy-badass. No, Lobo this time is completely serious, spouting 'badass' threats, but no one-liners or anything completely ridiculous.
In Conclusion: 1/5
Liefeld couldn't even bring the hopeful unintentional irony to Deathstroke vs. Lobo; watering down both of these characters into "Who can be the angriest, most full of himself, bounty hunter in the UNIVERSE!?" I was ALMOST able to suppress the urge to hate Liefeld's art, and true, it is a bit less overtly awful than in Hawk and Dove, he uses more backgrounds for one, but in the end the writing was so godawful that the floodgates opened in my head, and I couldn't take any more. It wasn't even fun to make fun of, like Hawk and Dove was; it was just a miserable bland pile of paper that I'm only going to continue reading to adamantly warn any readers away from. This is, hands down, one of the worst comics I've ever read; just as bad as John Byrne's run on Doom Patrol.