erik's Deathstroke #9 - Breaking Out! review

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I have had the pleasure of reading the first two Higgins issues on Deathstroke before picking this up so I could compare the two takes on Deathstroke. I have never been a major Deathstroke fan but I never had a problem with the character either. I mostly was ignorant to his appearances in Pre-New 52. I have been told that Higgins was ruining Deathstroke. After reading Liefeld's first issue on the new Deathstroke series, I just do not see how that is possible.

Everyone is aware of how terrible of an artist that Liefeld is so I do not feel the need to go into it too much here but I will say that it is not Liefeld's worst work ever. However, I absolutely do not credit Liefeld with any kind of growth at all from his work over the years. In fact, Liefeld seems to firmly and intentionally be against any kind of growth or effort as an artist or a writer. I honestly do not understand how he keeps getting work, Liefeld is just lazy.

I will give Liefeld $100 if he can actually make his body look like whatever this is.

Unbelievable and laughable proportions aside, Liefeld just does not seem to be able to deal with continuity as an artist from one panel to the next. I wonder if when the inkers got the penciled pages handed to them, they let out an audible sigh of disappointment before going to work trying to figure this stuff out.

Then Maxim's glasses seem to phase in and out of reality...

In fact, the only consistency seems to be with Zealot's facial expressions.

Then there was the writing. I swear I was reading a comic from the 90s and that is a very bad thing. Deathstroke seemed way too impressed with himself and made death threats to everything that moved in the issue, for no other reason than it makes him "badass" to do so. I do not remember reading so much big talk bravado nonsense in a recent comic. If we cut away the emtpy filler badass talk, we would not even have half the issue. Someone told me that this version of Deathstroke had depth and I seriously am wondering where the hell that is supposed to be. Is it at the beginning where he is narrating about how tortured and seemingly suicidal he is? At how killing endless troves of people and making incalculable millions have not filled the gap in his soul? Yet somehow this new contract is supposed to fill that gap? The plot seems rather contrary to his inner monologue. And I love that by smelling an opponent and using his mega-hyper battle brain, he can determine that his opponent is a "level 7 telekinetic alien" and can tell what moves you make before you make them. What?! Are we talking about Deathstroke or Midnighter here?

Then there is Lobo. I never cared for Lobo because he was absolutely a ridiculous joke character that was created to be over the top. But here it seemed like Deathstroke and Lobo traded places in how they are depicted. Lobo is the gruff and serious one and Deathstroke is the campy, dick measuring, self promoting badass.

I tried to glaze over a lot of my grievances because it is Liefeld and what else can be expected of him? But really there is nothing to praise in this issue. The art is bad, the plot is childish, the dialogue is antiquated and the scene transitions just do not tell an interesting story. It just is a bad issue from a comic reader standpoint. I would be extremely surprised if a reader willingly puts money down on this issue AFTER reading it first.

I give this issue a flimsy 0.9/5. Not the worst issue ever but it is not something I would ever care to read again.

Posted by ReVamp

I disagree with some of the things. It was definitely a bad issue, but it wasn't THAT bad. As long as I don't remember Zealot was in it. Her interpretation in this issue deserves 0.1/5 in itself. But forgetting that, meh. I don't think that the "computer" in his brain was a bad thing, he's supposed to be different in the New 52, I just think it weird how different he is from Higgins' Slade.

Posted by Erik


I appreciate the comment! :D

I admitted that it was not the worst ever but this was in my opinion a thoroughly terrible issue with no redeeming qualities.

Posted by ReVamp

@Erik: ...It has Slade in it? I don't know why I'm defending Liefeld here, I'm just trying not to be a bandwagoner and at least give some logic to my hate, lol.

Posted by Erik


Well I do really appreciate that you read through all my thoughts on the matter. Spread the word!

Posted by k4tzm4n

A .9/5? Yeesh. I'd love to hear you and have a chat about the issue.

I'll gladly join in when I check out the issue in a few days.

Staff Online
Posted by Erik


I will break him!

Posted by Mercy_

Haha, amazing review :D

Posted by Bloodwolfassassin

I have a theory that is supported by some fact. Liefeld had always dreamed of being the writer and artist for Deathstroke, but DC execs thought that would be a very bad idea (I can't imagine why). So, Leifeld, being a petty and bitter man, created Deadpool as a parody of Deathstroke. While Deadpool, thanks to Fabian Nicieza, eventually evolved into a better character... sort of, at the time, DC wasn't too happy about one of their most popular characters being made into a joke, so, in retaliation, DC created Lobo to essentially be a parody of Wolverine but, like Deadpool, eventually evolved into an annoying, yet still endearing character. Years later, after Rob's great *cough* success *cough* Rob has finally been given his dream assignment, and first order of business is to have his favorite character take out the character who was created in retaliation to his own bitterness. What will result will be a literary mess that will make Rise of Arsenal look like Hamlet by comparison, cluttered with indecipherable artwork filled with impossible body proportions and positions, unneeded shoulder pads, and a crap load of pouches

Posted by Erik


That actually makes a lot of sense lol.

Posted by SoA

you would think Deathstroke teaming up with Zealot to go after Lobo would be great , but Liefeld made this so boring and everything else thats already been said lol. guess ill drop DS till leifeld is gone.

Posted by Erik


Thanks for the comment. I was not into Deathstroke before but I honestly cannot see anyone getting into him at this point. I certainly do not see me getting into it so long as Liefeld is having his drunken party on that title.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I am INSULTED by this review. I've read PLENTY of 90's comics that weren't 1/10th as awful as this was, 90's comics are so much better than this. This was even among the worst of the Liefeld comics I've ever read.

So actually, nice job. I didn't actually notice all the inconsistancies, I was trying NOT to pay to much attention to the crappy art. Wow, that's just adding salt to the injuries. Did this issue just not go through an editor or something? Or was the editor high?

Other reviews for Deathstroke #9 - Breaking Out!

    Stiff, Bland, and Boring 0

    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 ...

    8 out of 10 found this review helpful.

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