I’ve always envisioned William Wintergreen and Alfred Pennyworth as friends/part of an exclusive vigilante butler club, but I never imagined it to actually happen. As always Priest writes a superb issue of Deathstroke, while returning artist Carlo Pagulayan, just like he did in the early days of the title, does a great job on art.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
‘Deathstroke vs. Batman’ part one! Beginning this month, a six-issue series-within-a-series featuring the ultimate showdown between DC’s fiercest rivals! When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father–Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son–can he? And who sent the package–and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic
Tell me about it!
As usual Priest really diverts what the plot is with the solicits and summaries to make the readers expect something that isn’t actually happening. The summary makes it sound like the whole premise of the arc is Batman finding out Deathstroke is Damian’s father and that they’ll be fighting over it, when in fact this issue says that it’s just a tactic by an outside force, which is Wintergreen and Alfred in my prediction, to force Batman and Deathstroke to go to odds with each other.
Why do I think it’s Wintergreen and Alfred’s fault? Well when Wintergreen mentions to Alfred earlier on that he thinks he created a monster with Slade and starts to ramble on a bit, Alfred mentions that both Bruce and Slade seem to be ready to push themselves to the limit — Bruce especially skirting the edge of what he can handle. They also mention that they owe it to the planet to save both Bruce and Slade from themselves in order to prevent what would likely be a very bad outcome for everybody else if either or both end up going too far and causing very large problems. What easier way is there to sort it by pitting them against each other to both distract the two while also giving them somewhere to focus their attention? And the easiest way to do that is through something that connects them both, Damian. Considering Slade trained Damian when he was young and was close to Talia, the potential of Slade being the father isn’t too far fetched.
Is It Good?
Subverting expectations, Deathstroke #30 is a well written issue supported by great art.