It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Deathstroke is coming to Gotham! Last issue ended with the reveal that he’s on his way and this issue follows his journey there, but is it good?
Deathstroke #4 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“The Professional” part four! After an attempt on The Ravager’s life, Slade Wilson and his daughter head to Gotham City in an attempt to track down Rose’s would-be assassin.
Why does this book matter?
Gritty, realistic, and introspective — these are some of the words to describe what this series has been since the Rebirth issue. We’ve peered into the life of Deathstroke back when he was young and now he’s attempting to be fatherly to his daughter and kick some butt while doing it.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Parents are so boring.
This is a fun, but short issue, as it focuses on Slade and his daughter travelling for much of the duration before arriving in Gotham. It’s in these slow but calculated scenes that we learn a bit about Slade’s fatherly tactics (and also his inability to understand your kids don’t want to see your butt) with his daughter as well as see they can’t stay away from violence long even when travelling incognito. Once the story does arrive in Gotham there’s an interesting prose style used with blocks of text beside panels. It gives the sequence a calculated and honest feel as we hear Slade’s thoughts. They do well to convey Deathstroke’s opinion of Batman, but also his understanding of how effective Batman is to the point where he ponders how good of an assassin Batman could be.
This all leads to a solid sequence between Batman and Deathstroke that’s not a fight scene, but still cool. That’s due to artist Joe Bennett’s measured layouts (including an impressive close up full page spread that’s intended to spook you I’m sure). In a simple sort of way Bennett shows how slick Deathstroke is and how even Batman can be surprised.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Like I said above, this issue feels very short and is probably the quickest read of the series yet. Though there is action and a bit of character work, the Gotham scenes feel measured and reserved as if Priest is saving the best for the following issues. If you bought this due to the cover – and the promise that Batman was going to be a major player – you will be sorely disappointed. That said, this issue does set things up well enough.
They have a complicated relationship.
Is It Good?
Deathstroke continues to prosper thanks to issue #4’s measured pace and storytelling. This issue sets things up well, captures a moment between father and daughter, and even tells the story in a new way for comics. It’s slow though and the cover certainly is misleading!