Donald Trump vowed to clean up the streets of Chicago, but will Deathstroke beat him to it? Also what is the Creeper doing there?
Deathstroke #11 (DC Comics)
It’s no secret that the city of Chicago has an unfortunate reputation for gun violence. It’s become a posturing political point (and I told myself no more alliteration after Justice League vs. Suicide Squad) over the past several years, with even president Trump recently saying that he would send federal agents into the city if the local authorities “couldn’t handle the situation.” In issue 11 of the most recent Deathstroke ongoing series, the one-eyed master mercenary tries his hand at solving the city’s violence problem.
In a standalone issue that may actually set the path for the series’ next arc, we follow famed news reporter Jack Ryder (not to be confused with tepidly received DC director Zach Snyder) as he researches a number of gangland murders thought to be caused by the eponymous antihero. The odd twist, for Slade at least, is that the victims are all gang members responsible for the deaths of several local children.
Over the issue we learn that a group of local mothers pooled their money in order to afford the services – as they are – of Deathstroke. Jack Ryder (not to be confused with ineffectual WWE babyface Zack Ryder) isn’t entirely convinced that this is the work of the Notorious S.L.A.D.E., seeing as the talented Mr. Wilson doesn’t have a habit of taking these kinds of contracts.
As such, the issue is more of a procedural than an outright action book. Though that may not be what you buy a book called Deathstroke for, it really works. The pacing is swift, and there are moments when it’s a little difficult at times to recognize which character is speaking at which moment, but it does manage to lend a somewhat noir-esque clip to the proceedings. The dialogue works well for a true crime story, and there is enough development for our limited cast to get you just involved enough that the final sequence will keep readers enthralled.
The artwork aso has its high points, as the action is all well rendered and the shift between stoic facial portraits during the conversational segments and the solid action of the the actual combat segments is well executed. If there’s one issue it’s that a lot of the faces are indistinct, making it sometimes difficult to differentiate between characters between scenes.
Still, minor quibbles aside, this is a solid issue – and with the final sequence revealing that there’s some sort of Deathstroke copycat vigilante out there, it looks like the next arc should be an interesting one.