Review: Deathstroke #1

DS_Cv1_dsDeathstroke’s latest contract takes him to a war-torn African country, where he finds himself caught in the middle of a disintegrating alliance between a ruthless dictator and a deadly super-villain. With an entire nation at stake, Slade Wilson must choose between fulfilling his contract and saving an old friend.

Christopher Priest continues is adventures of Slade Wilson in Deathstroke #1 in an interesting style I go back and forth about. The story is a bit choppy as the issue is broken up into chapters and bounces around in some ways. By the end of the issue, it all makes a lot more sense and comes together, but as I began the issue I found it a bit offputting.

The issue is also a continuation of Deathstroke: Rebirth. It’s really important you read that and if you haven’t you’ll want to start there. This issue doesn’t hold on its own without it, so do yourself a favor and start with Rebirth.

Priest is really focused on Wilson the man, much like he was in Rebirth. It’s a solid move to differentiate this run in many ways and add a lot more depth to a character that has been twisted and turned in many ways. It’s back to basics in some ways and focusing on more than action in many others. An interesting take overall that really lets us get a sense of who Deathstroke is and why he’s more than an anti-hero or straight up villain.

The art by Carlo Pagulayan, inks by Jason Praz, and color by Jeromy Cox is a solid combination that looks great. It isn’t the testosterone fused version that launched with the New 52, and feels more grounded in some ways. There’s still lots of action and sex, but it’s not as over the top as we’ve seen in the past.

The issue is an interesting first issue as it doesn’t stand on its own and really relies on the Rebirth issue, which is good in some ways and bad in others. What it does is set up some potentially interesting things in the future and Priest is giving us something more than a badass with big guns.

Story: Christopher Priest Art: Carlo Pagulayan Inks: Jason Paz Color: Jeromy Cox
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.6 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review