Friday, December 26, 2014

Deathstroke #3 Review

Written and Illustrated by: Tony S. Daniel
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014

Cutting Down the Family Tree

I'll admit it, I didn't really like the first issue of this rebooted Deathstroke.  However, I am slowly coming around with each new issue and after this month, I'm in.  Tony S. Daniel's art has been fantastic from the get go, it's the story that has grown on me.  The initial shock of the "young again" Slade Wilson is gone and my fears about a cliched memory loss/memory regained story line have mostly been unfounded.  The mystery of the how, what and why of Deathstroke's past is proving to be enjoyable...and very, very bloody.  That continues this month as we learn more about his past and get a peek at his immediate future.

Tony S. Daniel opens this month with a cold opening.  Really cold.  Slade is stumbling through a snow storm and when he collapses, I half expected talk of Dagobah and even Zima soup.  Instead we get a peek at his past.  The thing I like most about these flashbacks is the fact that they may not even be real.  This one feels real enough and is a family affair.

After the cliffhanger showing Slade's son, Jericho, I was really anticipating seeing more.  Daniel does an awesome job at showing the reader just enough.  To say Jericho is "special" is an understatement and while Deathstroke is there to save him, he shows he can hold his own.  As Slade cuts through enemies, Jericho goes "Scanners" on a bunch of scientists and this book hits the blood and guts quota early.  Then just when it looks like they are in the clear, we get another big shock.

The issue becomes a true family reunion when they run into Deathstroke's Father, Odysseus.  Deathstroke is not as shocked as I thought he'd be.  He did kill Odysseus and here his is standing before him, though he is looking worse for wear.  Deathstroke doesn't waste any time trying for a second time complete with cool one-liners.  Jericho isn't amused, though, and when Deathstroke tries to leave with him he just disappears. thin air.  Poof.

Back in the present, Slade gets to a safe house and while he tries to wrap his head around his "vision", the safe house becomes far from safe.  I love Bronze Tiger so seeing him fight Deathstroke was pretty cool.  What makes it better is that he doesn't know he's fighting Deathstroke.  Remember, he's young again.  Unfortunately for fans like me, Bronze Tiger gets his ass handed to him. Luckily, Red Fury shows up.

It's been obvious from the start that Deathstroke is being played like a fiddle and Red Fury pretty much verifies just that.  He also tells Slade a little more about his Son and Father and it's nothing too shocking (the apple didn't fall far from the tree in either case), but it does set up an action packed future for the book.  The issue ends with Slade finding out where Jericho disappeared to and the final panel is just awesome.  Deathstroke is going to have to answer to some old friends that will be very eager to see him.

I really enjoyed this issue.  Tony S. Daniel is giving the reader just enough information to keep the story going forward and I'm really having fun finding out everything along with Deathstroke.  Daniel is nicely setting up the whole Deathstroke against the World vibe, but he's going to need help soon.

The original draw for this book was Daniel's art and that hasn't changed.  It is bloody awesome.  Watching Deathstroke cut through limb after limb never gets old, but it's the great character designs and the emotions that each displays that really make it great.  I guess it's kind of cheating, but the artist and the writer obviously are  on the same page here and it shows.

Bits and Pieces:

Despite my initial reaction, I am really enjoying Deathstroke.  Tony S. Daniel's art was never in doubt, but it's the mystery of Slade's past and how he deals with it in the present that really has me interested.  This issue is a family affair that sheds some more light on the story before becoming an awesome bloodbath.  The cliffhanger shows where Deathstroke is going next and I can't wait to see the fireworks go off when he gets there.  Highly recommended.


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