Metal Gear Slade
Written by: James Bonny
Art by: Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 27, 2016
The issue opens up with a flashback and I'm not sure if Slade was the worst father or the best. For Rose's fifth birthday, Slade takes his little girl to Skid Row for a little game of punch the crazy bum in the face. Oh, did that bring back memories! It may seem messed up, but it is Deathstroke we're talking about and he wanted to teach his daughter that the world is filled with awful people who want to do awful things to those who aren't prepared.
We see yet another example of that as we head to the present where Deathstroke is being taken down by a slew of Lexcorp guards. There is a brief Metal Gear Solid moment as Victor Ruiz watches it from his monitor (Slade!!!), but the downtime is brief as Slade recovers and takes out the guards who thought they had taken him down.
After a brief flashback showing the Lexcorp setup with Slade and Victor, it's back to the action and Slade is greeted by the voice of a omnipotent Lex Luthor. After both complimenting and insulting Deathstroke, Lex sics his Lexbots on him and it's game on. The next couple of pages are filled with some great action as Deathstroke takes care of the robot sentries, but what I loved the most is Lex is just using it all as a test for his Lexbots. It is just pure Lex. When the last robot is destroyed, Mercy Graves is introduced and it gets better.
This issue is actually like walking up the "awesome stairs"...each step you take is a little more awesome than the last. Mercy shows how awesome she is by disarming Deathstroke and then royally kicking his ass...all while wearing a skirt and heels. It gets even better when Battle Armor Lex shows up, but with a twist. I won't spoil what it is, but it's both cool and functional (it doesn't give Deathstroke a head shot). If you enjoy seeing the main character in a book continuously take an incredible beating, this is an issue for you. He gets punched, slammed and thrown for page after page and it was so great.
Victor isn't the only one viewing the action, either. We see that Rose is being made to watch it all by her mysterious captor and though I thought she was a willing captive before, I'm no longer so sure. The fight between Lex and Deathstroke ends in a bit of a stalemate, but also sends Slade through a couple of floors of Lexcorp. I don't care who you are, when you see the cliffhanger and what it promises for next issue, you will be so pumped. I know I am. I can't wait to see how Deathstroke gets out of this...but I want to see him totally in it before getting out of it!
James Bonny is definitely going by the if it ain't broke philosophy and believe me, it is nowhere near being broke. I have enjoyed watching Deathstroke kick ass every month for quite a while and now I realize that I also love seeing him get his ass kicked as well. Actually, I may like it more when it's by an awesome enemy. Bonny gives us three awesome enemies in this issue and then ends it with three even better ones. Any and every fan of balls out action needs to at least check this book out.
I really like Tyler Kirkham's action scenes in this issue. Some of the quieter moments (there are a few) look a little too static, but the action scenes pop off the page and look great. When things get heated up, Kirkham's art is a great compliment to Bonny's script.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue may not move the overall narrative forward much, but with the amount and quality of the action scenes, I hardly cared. Deathstroke infiltrating Lexcorp in search of his daughter felt like an action packed video game come to life and it was as cool as that sounds. James Bonny and Tyler Kirkham kick ass and then end it with an awesome cliffhanger that promises even more craziness next month. I can't wait.