The New 52 has provided some memorable moments such as classic banter between fan favorite superheroes, origin stories, and a fair amount of quality action. But how many books featured “the scariest badass on the planet”? The answer is just one: Deathstroke #1. Kyle Higgins (Batman: Gates of Gotham) brings enough action to leave readers on the edge of their seats, but not enough to truly understand Slade Wilson.
There’s always been controversy over the similarities of Wade Wilson (Deadpool) and Slade Wilson (Deathstroke), but after reading Deathstroke #1, it is clear that Deathstroke is no laughing matter. Higgins sets up his story by placing the reader in the middle of a mission, where Mr. Wilson is clearly outnumbered. The end result, Russians 0 – Deathstroke 1. Throughout the entire issue, we get to watch “a major damn badass” kill almost everything in his path. If Higgins thought that writing a comic filled with blood and violence would help his book stand out in New 52, he was most certainly right. Between the nonstop action and enticing ending scene, Higgins gives readers enough to hold on to.
My only complaint is the lack of character development. I understand Deathstroke likes to kill (death is in his name after all), but what is Mr. Wilson like outside of that fact? Does he enjoy tossing the good old pigskin around on Sundays or does he throw grenades seven days a week? It would be nice to learn about the man behind the guns.
Unfortunately, Deathstroke #1 did not kill in the art department. Joe Bennett and Art Thibert put together a largely average outing. While flipping through the pages, you’ll notice that the best artwork is featured on two page spread in the beginning. We also see Deathstroke’s physique change quite often. He goes from lean in some panels to stocky in others. While this is a fairly common inconsistency in comics, it does not help the overall aesthetic.
In the end, Deathstroke #1 is a lesson in badassery. While the story development is there, it is safe to say that Deathstroke is going to be an action driven series similar to so many summer blockbuster movies. So if you enjoy reading about guns, explosions, and badasses pick up issue #2.
WRITING: 3 / ART: 3 / OVERALL: 3