Don't Disturb My Friend, He's Dead Tired
Written by: James Bonny and Tony S. Daniel
Art by: Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 25, 2015
There are certain books that try to be bigger than they really are. You know the ones, with their fancy authors trying to impress the reader with hidden meanings and social messages. This is not one of those books and that's why it's one of my favorites. Like a summer blockbuster, Deathstroke is over-the-top fun and I wouldn't want it any other way. After recently killing a god (yea, that happened), you would think Slade would get a little downtime to lick his wounds, catch up on 2 Broke Girls and not worry about slicing off appendages, but that's not the way he rolls. Someone has kidnapped his daughter, Rose, and he's going after them like Arnold in Commando. If that doesn't sound cool enough, throw in the Suicide Squad, a riot in Belle Reve and Slade's target being the one and only Amanda Waller. it certainly sounds action packed Pee Wee, but is it good? Let's find out...
James Bonny starts the issue with a really good synopsis of what happened last month, so if you just jumped on this issue, you will be right up to speed. Sometimes this sort of thing can be irritating to loyal readers, but I didn't mind it one bit. I really like Deathstroke's narration and we get to see Harley, Deadshot and...Black Manta. Yep, the fight between Slade and Manta is still going strong and at the start, it looks like Manta may actually win. It doesn't help that they are fighting underwater, which Slade reminds us is Manta's turf. If you didn't expect the Terminator to even the odds a bit by changing the arena, you haven't been paying attention and/or don't realize who's name is on the marquee.
The battle is cut short with a flashback that is very brief, but shows that Slade knows he needs some help getting Rose out of Belle Reve. I'll admit it, I had no idea who it was at this point, besides guessing it was a woman. Slade has so many connections that it really could have been anyone.
Back in Belle Reve, Manta and Slade are now going at it on dry ground as Harley and Deadshot look on. Like last issue, Harley wants to watch a bloody and long fight, but it's interrupted by Belle Reve's shock troops. After an action star one-liner ("I've got bigger fish to fry"), Deathstroke grabs Harley and runs off to find Waller.
The rest of the issue involves the two of them fighting their way to Waller's office while we see exactly what is going on with The Wall. She is being held by the new villain, Snakebite. James Bonny does a really good job of telling us Snakebite's origin story without slowing down the flow of the story and he really is a pretty crazy and disgusting villain...which means he's perfect for this book.
The issue ends with the odds really stacking up against Slade and Harley until the mysterious woman from the flashback arrives to help. While it makes sense who it is based on the conversation that Slade had with her earlier, his reaction to her arrival felt off. If he had set this up (and paid big money for it), why is he so surprised when she arrives? It would have made a lot more sense if it was Harley who was shocked.
This issue is everything I expected going in. Over-the-top violence, one-liners and fun. James Bonny even throws in a new villain as a bonus, but overall, this issue was a whole lot of setup. I can't wait to see Deathstroke fight Snakebite so showing us how awful he is was necessary, but we really didn't get any closer to Slade finding or saving Rose. Also, the guest star did throw me off a bit (maybe that's why Slade was so surprised). However, like the action movies that seem to inspire this book and this arc, I could just sit back, eat some popcorn and enjoy it for what it is.
I also could sit back and look at Tyler Kirkham's art. I love his Harley Quinn so having her as such a big part of the story is A-OK with me. Of course, the big thing of the issue is Snakebite and Kirkham does a really good job of making him nauseating, evil and pretty damn cool. He also seems to have a thing against eyeballs (why is that a theme in this book?) and Kirkham seems to have fun showing us that.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue is exactly what you'd expect from Deathstroke. James Bonny and Tyler Kirkham give the reader over-the-top popcorn action movie fun. If that's what you are looking for, you'll enjoy this issue and series. If you want more than that, go look elsewhere, but you'll be missing out on all the fun. Don't you like fun?