Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Deathstroke #9 Review

A Slow Death(stroke)

Written by: Christopher Priest
Art by: Cary Nord, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 28, 2016

I think I have given Christopher Priest and his Deathstroke book more than a fair shake.  Even while I was confused with what was going on, I remained impressed by the character work and was intrigued by the criss cross double cross that they were embroiled in.  Nobody is good in this book and the minute you trust them is your last minute alive.  Exciting stuff indeed, but I also put a lot of trust in Priest to show me the way a bit and tie some story threads together and that's where I feel betrayed.  Maybe I'm just a big dummy, but this series is becoming too much work for me to enjoy and after the last arc, the risk/reward shifted into a bad area.  That being said, I'm still here and will give each issue it's due.  Does the start of this "Four Rooms" arc get me onboard the Slade Wilson Trolley?  Let's find out...

Okay, so we are starting a new arc?  Usually that means we have some solid info under our belts from the finale of the last story, but that's not the case here.  It's obvious that Priest is playing the slow burn game and that continues in this issue.

The issue opens with a Doctor Villain (pronounced Will-Hane), waiting to see Jericho.  He's been waiting a long time and will have to wait a bit more because Mr. Wilson is off playing superhero.  Priest continues to show that Jericho may have a heart afterall, but is a bit over the top with his type of justice.  After reminding the reader that he can take over people, he heads off to his meeting...with Doctor Villain!  Dum Dum Duuuuuum!

The meeting itself is pretty much nothing, but it does lead right to seeing Deathstroke in chains.  He's in a Supermax prison in Colorado.  After what we've already read previous, the location felt a bit odd, but Deathstroke has probably scene the inside of a Supermax prison more times than even he could count.

Before going further with that, we head off to Northern Vietnam to see Rose beat the shit out of a motorcycle gang (in a field) and either finding her Yoda or a dead end.  I would love to tell you which, but again, Priest sends us off with just the very beginnings of a setup.

Back with Deathstroke, we get a story of his early days in Srebrencia where he is rescued and forms an alliance with Wintergreen to bring down war criminal, Dragas.  Okay, at least I'm getting my footing here and we do get a pretty cool look at how the operation went down.  I don't think I will ever tire of Deathstroke on horseback.  The issue ends with Deathstroke in a bit of hot water and me wondering how long I am going to feel like a dummy while reading this book.

I want to like this book.  I really do.  However, it seems like Christopher Priest is writing it to scare off any but the most devoted Deathstroke fans.  I am not knowledgeable in everything Deathstroke so maybe I'm missing some shoutouts and easter eggs, but as it is, this book is just not fun to read.  On top of that, nothing really happens in this issue.  It's not just setup, but the very beginnings of setup.  This book is going at a snails pace and that's a shame for a book with one of the coolest action heroes (villains) in the DCU.

Cary Nord does a good job on art and I think the gritty style here really suits the story and the character.  It has an old school feel that I like and can get behind.

Bits and Pieces:

Christopher Priest continues his slow burn story and it's starting to get old.  I would love to recommend this series, but it's confusing and not fun to read at all.  I get that hardcore Deathstroke fans are enjoying this, but it's not a book that will convince new readers what the hype is all about.



  1. Gonna have to disagree with your biggest points about this book being only for hardcore Deathstroke fans. I had actually never read the character in anything before but I liked Priest's work on Black Panther and saw the early issues of this get good reviews so I gave it a shot. And I love it. Totally new character to me and I love it.

    1. Cool...I don't like it at all and find the story tedious and stretched out.

    2. Cool...I don't like it at all and find the story tedious and stretched out.

  2. I do like the new series but think the Tarantinoesque time skips are getting old. Also, I do feel that Priest has betrayed the character somewhat in his only redeeming feature is supposed to be his integrity ("My word is my bond!", and never reneging on a contract). Priest instead has changed Rose's backstory to her being concieved while Slade was still married to Adeline and has Slade specifically mention reneging on a contract, even if only once.

    On the other hand, I do like Ja Zaki, the Red Lion and the action sequences are definitely up to par.