Time for yet another new book from DC: Deathstroke.
This isn’t the first time DC Comics has tried a comic with him after the New 52 reboot and unfortunately that previous title went through some tough times. That’s all in the past, though. What we have now is a brand new creative team and a chance at a new beginning for this series.
Is it good?
Deathstroke #1 (DC Comics)
Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, is considered the world’s greatest assassin. The man has a high body count to his name and rate of success that has earned him a fierce reputation. However, his latest mission, while simple looking on the surface, may prove to be a bigger challenge than what he was expecting.
Deathstroke loves himself some inner narration.
In general, my impressions of Deathstroke #1 are that the book… is decent. It’s a not bad book, perhaps just one that’s not really my taste. For what it’s worth, however, it does its job well for a first issue. It introduces the main character fairly well, gets a storyline and villain introductions going, and sets up a sort of interesting cliffhanger. Honestly, I’m not one hundred percent sure what happens in the end, but it’s not a bad cliffhanger. Deathstroke also doesn’t have much of a supporting cast at this point (it looked like it was going to before someone got a fist to the face). I’m thinking fans of the character will find an enjoyable start to the comic.
To be honest, I’m some sort of iffy on the characterization. The comic does do a good job of portraying Deathstroke as very confident, intelligent, and capable individual as he should be during the comic. In true Deathstroke fashion, he comes up with a plan to get himself out of a tight spot and turn the tables on his foe that is very enjoyable to behold. However, some of his inner narration makes him sound more… juvenile or at least much younger than he really is. It doesn’t seem to fit the hardened and experienced killer than I have seen in previous comics. Hopefully, some of the dialogue and narration for him are tweaked a bit going forward.
There’s honestly not much to say about the rest of the characters in the book, since we don’t get to see or know much about them. Possum isn’t all that memorable outside being just as tough and strong as Deathstroke, while Angelica is more interesting and has a pretty decent design and look (though I don’t think we’ll be seeing her again anytime soon). The dialogue and narration are alright for the rest of the characters, but it does tend to be a bit too wordy in some areas, when less talk or just plain silence could be perfectly effective. The pacing is decent, the story flows fine from page to page, and the ending is alright like I said. Not a bad book and it definitely shows that Tony S. Daniel has grown as a writer since his stint on Detective Comics.
The artwork is stunning — some of the best artwork that Daniel has ever drawn. The layouts are very well put together and flow wonderfully from page to page, the action is brutal and intense, the characters look solid and wonderful, and the coloring by Tomeu Morey really helps bring out the imagery even more. However, there was one thing I should really mention about the book if you are going to be thinking about picking it up: This is a gory and brutal as hell book. The action and violence are really intense, really pushing on the Rated T+ rating that comic has, so much so that at some points it can seem almost too shocking and gratuitous. It does fit the book (I mean, it’s about Deathstroke, what were you expecting?), but be warned going in.
You’ve only begun to see the kind of violence this book brings to the table.
Is It Good?
Deathstroke #1 is a good comic, but perhaps not for everyone. It really depends on how much you really like the character, how much intense violence you can stomach and if you want a pure grade action story instead of a superhero action kind of tale. While not particularly my bag, I can definitely recommend it to people looking for any of those aspects and can attest to the decent writing and intense visuals. Give it a shot and see if this is the bloodbath for you.