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Deathstroke #22 Review

Deathstroke’s new team Defiance is on their first big mission. Jaws will be broken!

Christopher Priest
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It’s said at one point in this issue that Deathstroke is throwing his new team Defiance in the deep end of the pool and that’s not a wrong statement. Much of this issue is all about this team getting their butt kicked even when they think the winning is won. Sounds like a fun book.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“DEFIANCE” part two! With his new team assembled, Deathstroke takes Team Defiance on their first mission to retake control of a U.S. Embassy held hostage in a small foreign country. But while the team fights for their lives against a mysterious new villain known as the Radiant Man, Slade abandons his team to address some unfinished business with an old friend: Dr. Light!

Why does this matter?

I love the concept behind this series as it not only puts Deathstroke into a compelling team as the leader but also has him shifting away from doing bad things for good reasons and attempting to be all good. Priest has revitalized the character over the last 21 issues and this new direction is even more freshness.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Oh s--t!

Jason Paz draws this issue with all kinds of detail that’ll give it that superhero team feel to match books like Justice League. The team is up against some heavy hitter high tech forces and they show their mettle well. Each character has different powers and Paz shows them all in clear and understandable ways even when the chaos kicks into high gear. Tanya Spears, in particular, looks great when she grows and there are some excellent multiples of Flash to show off his power. It’s an interesting group of heroes and Paz shows them off well.

There are quieter moments too, which Paz captures in subtle facial expressions and well-placed blocking. Dialogue can run heavy in this series and Paz does well to break it up.

The story itself is well plotted and Priest cuts back and forth between Deathstroke’s dialogue heavy moments and the big action. There’s a plot twist too and it all culminates into the idea of giving up the costume for a quieter life. It’s an interesting take that is woven into Deathstroke’s newly acquired conscience. Basically put, Deathstroke can’t quit now as his soul needs heroic deeds to be able to retire.

Interesting power set on this team.

It can’t be perfect can it?

I had a hard time following what was going on with a third plot which ends up being a lot of exposition dropped on the reader. It doesn’t help this plot is furthering a plot we’ll see later and not in any intriguing way in this issue.

Is It Good?

Sign me up for more team Deathstroke (aka Defiance) as his leadership and the team makeup is quite fun. The action is big and captured well and Deathstroke’s unique new direction at being a hero is intriguing.

Deathstroke #22
Is it good?
Big action mixed with quieter thoughtful scenes makes this a winner of an issue.
Strong art that captures all the powers of this team well
Deathstroke contemplates going good which is intriguing
I'm a at a loss as to why I should care about a third plot that's mostly exposition

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