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Deathstroke #1 - Back to Basics Review

4

Titles featuring villains rarely live up to their potential. The villain often gets watered down but thankfully, that is not the case here. Deathstroke is here to do his job and his job involves killing.

"Deathstroke the Terminator--the scariest badass on the planet." From the very first line in the comic, the stage is set. We've seen Deathstroke take the lead in a series recently in Titans. Will this series focus on the character that is supposed to be a badass?

The Good

Deathstroke means business. We are told through description who he is and what he is capable of. Seeing his one red glowing eye while he brandishes a gigantic sword and gun makes it clear who he is. Over the years we've seen glimpses at what Deathstroke is capable of. We've seen the potential he has. Yet he got defeated by kids time and time again. Sure those kids were sidekicks of DC's greatest heroes but as a master strategist, he should be able to deal with them more efficiently.

The good news is if you are looking for a violent Deathstroke that will kill when the job calls for it without breaking a sweat, you get that here. You almost start feeling bad for him. We don't see what's behind the mask, in terms of what his needs might be. He is a cold-hearted mercenary. He is just looking for the next job and expecting to get paid a lot.

The Bad

Deathstroke has to team up with a group of up and coming mercenaries. Even Slade questions the need to have them on the job. We can see that it provides for some conversation in the issue. That will be an interesting factor in the future, will Deathstroke operate alone or will he get along with others?

In most ways the book works as a new jumping on point. We do get details on what he's capable in terms of abilities. We see how deadly he can be. What we don't see is his motivation. New readers won't know why he is the way he is. The main mission Deathstroke goes on almost feels a little too routine until a twist appears. We'll have to see how this ties into the future of the series.

There aren't any familiar foes for Deathstroke to fight. It makes sense that this first issue should focus on him alone. It would be nice to see some familiar faces in upcoming issues.

I'm a little torn on the art. I do like it for the most part. A couple moments felt a little off. I also have to question the necessity of such a gigantic sword. It is impressive but I'm not sure if Slade needs such a big blade.

The Verdict

No worries about Deathstroke going soft. Kyle Higgins delivers a mean, cold-hearted, brutal killing machine. This isn't the Deathstroke that got defeated over and over by a bunch of kids. He goes on a mission and will do whatever it takes to complete. There is some introduction to his character for new readers. It's described how badass of a character he is but his full origin or motives remain unknown to the newer reader. It's clear that he's a killer for hire. Whether or not we'll see any semblance of a human side to Slade remains to be seen. If you're looking for plenty of hardcore action and violence, this title featuring a villain will satisfy and sick and twisted need (almost) you might have.

16 Comments
Posted by Fhiz

It was surprising read for me, didn't know what to expect, but I loved it. It was just pure, unapologetic, fun. There's that part at the end, where if my reaction was a word bubble in the book, it would be one of those " * " moments. Punch to the gut, for sure. Slade is back.

Posted by Sir_Deadpool

My isssue is on the way. Can't wait to read it :)

Posted by Sobe Cin
@Sir_Deadpool
   Love your handle by the way. 
 
 
Having read the story now, I am quite impressed with the book. And I am a amature reader when it comes to DC Comics. I am familiar with Deathstroke through the Teen Titans comic and cartoon, and have enjoyed the complexity that is Deathstroke. This book kept that impression aloft and I enjoyed it quite a lot. The villain was interesting- looked like Nosferatu, which made me more interested in the story. 
 
Deathstroke has also been one of the stronger books so far being released with the DCnU. I would continue to read it, but only from the shelf (my limited funds keep me to only six books a month now).
Posted by ImperiousRix

This is one I plan to pick up this week. Not typically a huge "anti-hero" or villain guy, at least not as the lead of a title, but Deathstroke's always been a character that I've found extremely interesting. Very much looking forward to see how I like the first issue.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Sobe Cin said:
@Sir_Deadpool:    Love your handle by the way.   Having read the story now, I am quite impressed with the book. And I am a amature reader when it comes to DC Comics. I am familiar with Deathstroke through the Teen Titans comic and cartoon, and have enjoyed the complexity that is Deathstroke. This book kept that impression aloft and I enjoyed it quite a lot. The villain was interesting- looked like Nosferatu, which made me more interested in the story.  Deathstroke has also been one of the stronger books so far being released with the DCnU. I would continue to read it, but only from the shelf (my limited funds keep me to only six books a month now).
Posted by MrMazz

I picked this and superboy up becasue I thought they were some kind of robo fusions now. On both counts I was wrong but these books are still great. Man he certainly isn't going soft at all nope. The endign was a tad umm shocking to say the least.

Posted by eternale0

good read

Posted by Bluefox170

If you have not read this... you are missing out. ALREADY a shocking twist and the level of badassness... I can't even begin. It's ridiculous and exceeds my expectations beyond belief. Pick this up, you won't regret it.

Posted by missingpriest

BADASS!!! This is the Deathstroke I like reading about!!! Not liking how his mask flips up like a visor tho... too Ironman-ish, but that's nothing really compared to the awesomeness of this book!

Posted by higher_evolutionary

remove anime sword please

Posted by hitechlolife

Awesome book. I've never really read anything Deathstroke before, so this nailed it as an intro to a new series.

I wonder if the 'twist' is a commentary on the fact he got saddled with the Titans recently.

Posted by ravisher

5/5

Posted by blackkitty

I couldn't disagree with this review more. The writing was horrible and seemed extremely contrived. This certainly didn't have the feel of a first issue and, there was nothing redeemable about this character. His actions at the end of the comic completely destroyed what little respect I migth have had for him and put this book in my definately will not buy catagory.

Posted by -Vigil-

Deathstroke "going soft"? Since he was introduced, the best part about the character was that he WAS softer than he appeared. Everything he did was for his family. He was never a true "villain", and his relationship with the Titans was causing him to become something of a hero.

Sometime in the '90s, the writers threw out everything I loved about Slade, turning him completely evil and UTTERLY DESTROYING THE CHARACTER. This new series sounds terrible, and after this review, I'm not about to pick up a copy.

Posted by Geniusmonkey

Aw totally loved this. The end twist is the coolest antithesis to that lame meet the hip, relatable new supporting cast narrative that has been cropping up in the new DC. Sticking with this

Posted by Cakeman3000

@blackkitty: Not that the review was completely inaccurate, but when I first read the ending I almost cancelled my subscription right then and there. Slade is somewhat of a villain though, but I at least thought he was a villain with some form of respect. I'm going to read the second issue to see if there was a purpose to this horrible cutoff.