When a Stranger Calls
Deathstroke is a certified bad-ass. One of the only villain to take down the Justice League, by himself, on multiple occasions. This is why he is one of my favorite comic book characters of all time.
I have always liked Deathstroke the Terminator. When I was younger, it was probably the Terminator part of his name, but as I've matured, I've grown to really like the subtle nuances of his character. He is not a typical villain, he isn't looking to take over the world, he doesn't necessarily go after the same heroes on purpose. He is a mercenary. He does the job he was trained for, and will work for almost anyone, if the price is right and it doesn't break his code of honor. That's right, he has a code of honor. He is like Captain America and Batman (Bruce Wayne) rolled into one person, but he is willing to kill to get the job done.
Deathstrok, very methodically, takes down seven member of the Justice League. Even Hawkman and Green Lantern (Kyle Raynor) are no match for him. Until...Green Arrow causes him to to lose his temper.
"The JSA may teach you how to be a hero and the Titans may teach you how to be a family, but the League--sure. It teached you how to protect, but from the very start--the League teaches you how to fight." - Green Arrow
I love the way each section of this fight was broken down. Each specific move to counter a certain hero, until he loses his temper and them it becomes more chaotic. But, what stops the fight is Dr. Light remembering that he, too, had this fight. With his fight though, it ended with his mind being stolen from him.
I love this page in particular. My eyes move up and down, comparing similarities between the two images. I love seeing the older versions or costumes on some of the characters, meant to respresent the passing of time between the two images. The artist, Rags Morales, did a great job at making the two images similar, but not exact. The coloring difference is also fantastic. It really gives an older, flashback feel, to the art.
Then the next page is almost pure white as Dr. Light lets out his rage. It's amazing how such little actual artwork can really tell a story by itself.
So the story develops further. Green Arrow tells Flash (Wally West) how they have had to do mind wipes on villains for a long time, that most of the League doesn't understand the cleanup involved with a lot of these body switching cases, but Dr. Light was different. They weren't just going to make him forget certain details about League members and their families, they were going to change who he was.
Rounding out the issue is several pages showing human connections between villains, heroes, their families and friends. Each section, a different color, showing a frayed connection. A father having never know his son, a son afraid to tell his father the truth, a friend afraid that he might be the next target, and an ex-wife...
An apartment in shambles, things being broken, someone pleading for their life against an unknown assailant. It all seems so desperate, it makes you feel scared. Very little information is being given as to who is might be. Who is this mystery killer?
And why did he just kill the Atom's ex-wife.
Final Thoughts: I love the way that panels are setup in this book. It is very deliberate and planned. The writers want you to see certain things in a particular order. A lot of times, when reading a book, I will skip ahead and glance at the last panel before starting the first, but the creators of this book expect that. They have taken great care in placing information in such a way that you'd have to turn a page to spoil anything. Great placement.
TLDR: Deathstroke is a BAMF, Superman has super hearing dumbass and an Ex-Wife is hanging by a thread