Saturday, November 29, 2014

Deathstroke #2 Review

Written and Illustrated by: Tony S. Daniel
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 29, 2014

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The initial issue of Deathstroke was hit or miss with me.  I loved Tony S. Daniel's art, but was not a big fan of his story.  It's no surprise what you're going to get with a Deathstroke title, but yet it still felt generic.  There was the obligatory gunfire, sword slashing and explosions on top of the mission gone wrong, don't know who to trust stuff that is in almost every antihero book.  Of course, having such a popular character as the lead helped out a bit and Daniel did insert some humorous touches that pushed it above average, but I expected it to be better.  The most divisive part, however, was the big twist.  Slade being young again is bound to be a love it or hate it development, but right now I'm sitting on the fence.  If it helps the story, I'm all for it.  So far it just feels weird.  That weirdness continues this month and while the story still felt generic, it was better than last month and did offer up a few interesting mysteries.

Slade may be young again, but he may have just hit rock bottom.  His bank accounts are cleaned out, his safe houses are far from safe and he doesn't know who to trust.  To make matters worse, he has a benefactor he doesn't remember and an enemy he doesn't even know.  What he does know is how to shoot and hack through an entire army and that's good because he's being attacked by one.

When Tony S. Daniel gets down to the basics, this book is very enjoyable.  Slade's inner monologue is spot on and watching him rip through wave after wave of attackers is great thanks to Daniel's great art.  Because of his situation, we are learning along with Slade and I always enjoy that type of storytelling.  I just wish I liked everything we are learning.

Slade comes face-to-face (sort of) with the man who hired him for his last job.  Unfortunately, he doesn't remember anything.  The man shows him his next target, but before he can explain more, the army mentioned above attacks.  I really don't know what to make of this.  Slade himself doesn't think he'd agree to work for this guy and I'm kind of with him.  Daniel has a lot of explaining to do before I'm fully on board.

I do like who Deathstroke is going against, however.  While the organization and leader is still hidden in the shadows, there are some major fan favorites who show their faces in this issue.  I won't spoil them, but they are in a "league' of their own.  The issue ends with Slade starting a drug induced journey that ends in a family reunion.  Of course, between those two is an awesome double decapitation.  Par for the course in this book.

I've already mentioned my fandom of Tony S. Daniel's art and this issue shows why.  His clean style goes well with the quiet scenes and when things get bloody and exciting, it really takes off.  This issue looks better than the first and I hope that trend continues forever.

Bits and Pieces:

Deathstroke #2 combines some great art with a story that is getting better, but is still a bit generic for my tastes.  Tony S. Daniel is fashioning a tale of mystery book ended by blodshed and mayhem.  I like what this issue sets up, but as a whole, I'm still not sold on this book.


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