Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Deathstroke #11 Review

Shot in the Dark

Written by: Christopher Priest
Art by: Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 25, 2017

It's Deathstroke time again and that usually means one of two things for me...pulling my hair out in frustration or nodding my head yes while smiling.  That's the problem with this book, there is no middle ground for me.  Last issue was the later as I really enjoyed what Christopher Priest was cooking, especially his explanations of both Rose and Jericho's powers.  Sure, there was some crazy street thugs straight outta Minnesota, but by the time Red Lion broke Slade out of jail, I was looking forward to this issue.  Now that it's here, is my hair intact?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a cold opening that involves some cold snow, a cold kid and...Jack Ryder! Christopher Priest doesn't give you his cooler name right away, but instead shows you how awesome he is.  Awesome at figuring out a most heinous situation.

The whole opening scene seemed like a diatribe against gun violence and violence in general and while it really nailed down the point, it seemed odd in a book that is all about it's lead character upping his kill count nearly every other page.  Priest tries to show that Deathstroke is "sending a message" by not using guns, but instead he is slicing off limbs and worse.  Sending a message on behalf of all the victim's mothers who have hired him to do just that.

The voice of reason in the issue seems to be Ryder who pleads with anyone who will listen to stop this vicious cycle of violence, but that just leads him to trouble of his own.  While trying to help, he is shot and turns into the Creeper just as Deathstroke enters the scene.  It's a quick fight, but one with a Sixth Sense moment where we learn that everything isn't on the up and up.  It all ties into a bit that Ryder mentioned early and is a pretty good indictment on vigilantism.

In fact, by the end of the issue, you get the idea that Christopher Priest is using this book not only to rail on violence, revenge, guns..., but also showing the hopelessness that we all feel towards it.  There is no happy ending or speech to make everything alright, there is just people living their lives, both good and bad.

This is an odd issue to review.  If I rip into it, I will look like an asshole, but I can't fake the funk.  I didn't like this as a Deathstroke issue, I thought the Creeper was completely wasted and while I appreciate the message, it was a bit too heavy handed for my tastes.

It's a big deal having Denys Cowan and  Bill Sienkiewicz on this book and while I liked the grittiness the art brought to the story, there were times that it got a bit to muddy.  Overall, I have to say it was just okay.

Bits and Pieces:

This is one of those cases where I appreciate the message, but don't like the package it came in.  Christopher Priest rails against violence and while that may seem funny in a Deathstroke book, it almost works.  The heavy handedness and the lack of any characterization left it all a bit flat and in the end, I didn't this issue.



  1. Man I was really looking forward to an issue with the Creeper. Instead it sounds like Priest tried to preach a message of that while good can be turned into a joke just by the title of the series and the character himself. I can't pick a number of covers with Deathstroke not only flying in with a sword but shooting a gun as well. However a sober issue is good once and a while. Bringing a little of reality and grittiness have a made certain issues classics. Yet it does not sound like this quite helped it. Maybe Mr.Priest misunderstood the fact that The Creeper is kind of a joke.

    1. there is a twist that tries to turn it all around, but is kind of ruined anyway in the end