Deathstroke 9 Review

#1 Edited by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

This might be the ninth issue for the Terminator, but this effort feels a whole lot like a first issue to a series. Although, this makes perfect sense seeing as Kyle Higgins has been replaced by Rob Liefeld, who is now taking up the task of both writing and illustrating the series.

The story is simple and moves along very quickly in this issue. Some wealthy individuals want Slade Wilson killed, meanwhile another organization wants to use Slade's talents to help take down an escaped extraterrestrial. You might know this cosmic powerhouse by the name of Lobo. Yeah, Deathstroke will definitely have his hands full seeing as Lobo is a violent dude sporting physicals similar to Superman. Said organization that wants his aid also has a familiar face for Wildstorm fans: Zealot.

Like I said, this feels a lot like a first issue. Just in case you never got the memo, Slade is one of the most feared mercenaries in the DC Universe for a reason, and Liefeld makes a point to let the reader know that almost right away. Slade remarks on his impressive reflexes, strength, and brilliant tactical mind as he throws down in an action sequence that begins right on the third page. We know Deathstroke is a badass, and it was clearly a goal to further solidify that fact with this issue. But let's be honest, every single issue with Slade Wilson should have a moment that makes us go "that's why he's called the Terminator!" Oh, and long time fans will be pleased to see the return of the power staff (with a new way to use it, too!).

Zealot is well known for her talents in hand-to-hand combat, so I really hope she'll provide Slade with a good fight sometime soon. Seeing him slaughter mountains of generic fodder is something almost anyone remotely talented can do in these comics and over time really isn't impressive in comparison to what the Terminator is capable of. Hopefully she'll give us all the chance to see just how skilled Slade truly is. And regarding Lobo, it'll definitely be interesting to see how Deathstroke plans to deal with him considering how Lobo has Slade terribly outclassed.

There were a few parts of the story that rubbed my the wrong way. Slade says it's taking Primus "everything he's got to hold me in check," but just one panel earlier says the alien is "not even trying." I suppose it could have been in regards to trying to read Slade's mind, but it seemed contradictory to me if it was about holding Deathstroke in place with his telekinesis. There's also a "heaven help us all" remark thrown in towards the end of the book. Perhaps it's just me, but that phrase seems incredibly dated and cheesy. He also calls the graveyard "sacred ground," yet seemed to have no problem planting explosives all over the site. Then again, he is prepared for every situation. I wouldn't be surprised if his shower had a bar of soap that turned into a firearm (wash carefully, Slade).

If you're part of the crowd that treats Liefeld as a punching bag, then odds are you're going to rant about every inconsistency possible. Personally, I prefer him a good deal over a handful of artists, though I'm not going to go ahead and list names. That said, the art certainly isn't perfect, so those who love to hate him should a field day ripping apart panels. I found many of the artistic inconsistencies to be incredibly minor. I can't say I care all that much if a red orb on Slade's armor isn't around in a panel or if there's slight proportional changes here and there. Oddly enough, the biggest gripe I have with the art is how the individuals run. The group that attacks Slade in the graveyard charges at him with their bodies bent forward close to a 90 degree angle. Doesn't seem all that comfortable if you ask me.

If Rob excels at one thing when it comes to art, it's making Slade look damn good and quite intimidating. Plus, you can't help but enjoy the absurdly violent way Lobo dispatches the security. I think "talk to the hand" has a whole new meaning with that second panel. Oh God, did I really just say that? I'm so sorry.

It's clear Liefeld's take on Deathstroke is going to be violent, fast paced and fun. I'm sure many will complain that it's too simplistic or makes them feel like they've taken a time machine to the '90s, but when you're reading a handful of titles every week, sometimes it's a nice change of pace to have a dose of popcorn entertainment thrown in there. If you're part of the crowd that dislikes Rob or have little to no interest in Deathstroke to begin with, this issue certainly won't be winning you over. Not a standout issue, but certainly not terrible either.

3/5

source: my blog

Staff
#2 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

/runs away before everyone yells at me

Staff
#3 Posted by Andromeda (658 posts) - - Show Bio

I forgot you were a Liefeld Supporter

#4 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Andromeda_: Just because I don't mind some of his work doesn't really make me a supporter, IMHO. I just try to keep an open mind with everyone. After all, I gave Loeb more than a few issues with Hulk after reading the likes of Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum.

Staff
#5 Posted by Andromeda (658 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I was teasing ;) I am an unabashed Liefeld hater lol

<--DH

#6 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Andromeda_: Christ, how many accounts do you have?!

Staff
#7 Posted by Andromeda (658 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Mid-forties. I have a problem <_<

#8 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Andromeda_: LOL! Did you read this issue? And more importantly, did you try to do so with an open mind? ;)

Staff
#9 Posted by Andromeda (658 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I flipped through it in the shop because I promised myself a while back that I wasn't going to waste money buying Liefeld's work. And I am unashamed to admit that I couldn't make it past the first three or four pages. Art is paramount to me and his pains me.

#10 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Andromeda_ said:

@k4tzm4n: I flipped through it in the shop because I promised myself a while back that I wasn't going to waste money buying Liefeld's work. And I am unashamed to admit that I couldn't make it past the first three or four pages. Art is paramount to me and his pains me.

I lol'd.

Staff
#11 Posted by Morpheus_ (29873 posts) - - Show Bio
I honestly did not mind the issue. I initially expected much worse, and the complaints I have about artwork are mostly about minor issues, to the extent that is possible.
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#12 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Morpheus_: Final score, sir?

Staff
#13 Posted by Morpheus_ (29873 posts) - - Show Bio
@k4tzm4n: Between 2.5 and 2.5+ out of five. It doesn't hold up nearly as well in a reread.
Moderator
#14 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Please start posting these as blogs. Pwease.

#15 Posted by Twentyfive (2818 posts) - - Show Bio

I apologize if I may sound a certain way here, but does Liefeld know how to draw feet? He probably does here and there, but I feel as if he has a phobia of drawing feet.

#16 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@k4tzm4n: Please start posting these as blogs. Pwease.

Mind if I ask why? And, your thoughts on the issue?

Staff
#17 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@ReVamp said:

@k4tzm4n: Please start posting these as blogs. Pwease.

Mind if I ask why? And, your thoughts on the issue?

Yes, you may.

j/k. Because if you post these as a blog you can still attach them to the forum (like you're doing now, so you don't really lose anything) but on the other-hand it allows people who follow you to see the blogs in their "followed blogs" section. Basically it would mean I could actually read all of your blogs as opposed to reading the occasional one when it gets bumped to the top of the latest threads page. The only downside I see is that you'd be spammed with notification, which you can turn off, but I can see how it would be annoying.

#18 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

And I didn't like the issue but it wasn't that bad. I'd rate it 2.5 out of 5, and round down to 2 if I was obligated to give it the closest star.

#19 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@ReVamp said:

@k4tzm4n: Please start posting these as blogs. Pwease.

Mind if I ask why? And, your thoughts on the issue?

Yes, you may.

j/k. Because if you post these as a blog you can still attach them to the forum (like you're doing now, so you don't really lose anything) but on the other-hand it allows people who follow you to see the blogs in their "followed blogs" section. Basically it would mean I could actually read all of your blogs as opposed to reading the occasional one when it gets bumped to the top of the latest threads page. The only downside I see is that you'd be spammed with notification, which you can turn off, but I can see how it would be annoying.

Makes sense.

@ReVamp said:

And I didn't like the issue but it wasn't that bad. I'd rate it 2.5 out of 5, and round down to 2 if I was obligated to give it the closest star.

@Morpheus_ said:

@k4tzm4n: Between 2.5 and 2.5+ out of five. It doesn't hold up nearly as well in a reread.

Fair enough.

Staff
#20 Posted by TDK_1997 (14456 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually liked the issue and if I reviewed it,I would give it a 3,5/5.I didn't mind the artwork that much and expected much worse from the stroy but I didn't have problems with it.

#21 Posted by ILIKELOBO (31 posts) - - Show Bio

So I was just curious, but you didnt mention Lobo much other than to say that the way he dispatched the guards was pretty cool (which it was). Lobo was the main reason I picked up this book so I was just curious if you were a fan of the character and what you thought of Leifeld's introduction of him back in to the DC universe? Im going to reserve my own opinion for now...

#22 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@TDK_1997 said:

I actually liked the issue and if I reviewed it,I would give it a 3,5/5.I didn't mind the artwork that much and expected much worse from the stroy but I didn't have problems with it.

I think that's the highest score it would have received so far, lol. CBR gave it a 0/5.

Staff
#23 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@ILIKELOBO said:

So I was just curious, but you didnt mention Lobo much other than to say that the way he dispatched the guards was pretty cool (which it was). Lobo was the main reason I picked up this book so I was just curious if you were a fan of the character and what you thought of Leifeld's introduction of him back in to the DC universe? Im going to reserve my own opinion for now...

I barely have any experience with the character, so I have no idea if the (very few) lines he had were in character or how his portrayal was in comparison to Pre-new 52. One thing is for sure, though... he's quite a powerhouse haha.

Staff
#24 Posted by TDK_1997 (14456 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n:At CBR are the biggest critics.The book was entertaining and that is the best part.

#25 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@TDK_1997: Yup, and gave it a 2. I think that's perfectly fair.

Staff
#26 Posted by ILIKELOBO (31 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n:

Haha he is a powerhouse indeed. And usually a really fun character. Ive been a little concerned because Rob said in a podcast that he wanted to make Lobo a more serious character which really goes against his MO. I think Deathstroke is serious enough for the both of them. I was just curious because I felt that Lobo's dialogue was a little forced. Like he used his catchphrases because he was supposed to. But we will have to see where things go.

Thanks for the solid review btw. I wasnt a huge fan of this book for a couple of reasons (Lobo and the young Omegas both kind of put me off since Im a big fan of their earlier incarnations) but I still think its getting too much flak from Leifeld haters so it was nice to read a more unbiased review. I would give it a 2 myself. Maybe a 2.5. But my complaints are the ones above and no slam against Leifelds artwork or anything. I liked the first few pages a lot since I have never read a Deathstroke book before and the introduction to the character was well done. Succinct and to the point. And I like Lobo putting his fist through a security guards face so Rob gets a point for that one.

@k4tzm4n said:

@TDK_1997 said:

I actually liked the issue and if I reviewed it,I would give it a 3,5/5.I didn't mind the artwork that much and expected much worse from the stroy but I didn't have problems with it.

I think that's the highest score it would have received so far, lol. CBR gave it a 0/5.

Wow, I dont know if Ive ever seen a book get a 0 before haha.

#27 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@ILIKELOBO: Thanks, man. I appreciate the kind words.

Heh, the very reasons you didn't like it (Lobo's personality, the Omegas) are the same points I was completely obvious on. I have no solid reading history with any of them, so I couldn't share my thoughts on how I thought they were handled. I wasn't sure if Rob was forcing those lines in or if Lobo legitimately used them that frequently. Thanks again for reading the review and sharing your honest thoughts.

Yeah, here's the CBR review. I can understand people not liking it, but what I can't understand are remarks saying it's down there with some of the worst issues ever.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=4737

Staff
#28 Posted by Erik (31580 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n:

I demand a reread!

#29 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Erik: I would, but I don't know how.

Staff
#30 Posted by Erik (31580 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n:

Linking to CBR? Just about the only place that gave the issue a worse score than me? I like it. That is a great opposing opinion.

#31 Posted by k4tzm4n (36379 posts) - - Show Bio

@Erik: I'm fair like that.

Staff
#32 Posted by AskaniSon295 (427 posts) - - Show Bio

You Know how easy it would be to turn this issue into an Image Extreme Studios Comic where Bloodstrike hunts Bloodwulf.

#33 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2219 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a Liefeld hater, but I came at this with an open mind. I mean, it's not like I BLINDLY hate him, there's certainly a REASON why I hate him.

Oddly enough I was expecting something more interesting than his usual crap from this, I mean Deathstroke vs. Lobo seemed exactly the kind of insane over-the-top nonsense he'd be good at, but I think he wrote both characters just atrociously. Lobo wasn't even recognizable as himself in dialogue. His art wasn't as god awful as usual actually. Still really bad yes, but just about tolerable for once. It was more his writing that lost me this time.

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