Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Deathstroke #21 Review

Crisscross Apple Sauce

Written by: Christopher Priest
Art by: Diogenes Neves, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 5, 2017

While the Lazarus Contract was not great, I do like what it has lead to in the Deathstroke book.  The "Stroke Squad" (patent pending) is such a cool concept in and of itself, but couple it with a Slade that has found a higher purpose and you have a solid gold opportunity for some kick ass stories.  Of course, Christopher Priest has proven that he can take such opportunities and run with them so to say I am excited for this book going forward is an understatement.  So, is it good enough to keep me gushing?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a cold opening that is pretty damn hot.  We see a girl (Willow?  White Willow?) who ends up fighting an old man who is also more than he appears to be.  What little info we get is done through the dialogue and Priest is keeping his cards hidden for the time being.  It's a pretty long scene, but it is also a kick ass one that has some great choreography.

We then get to a bit of what is known territory (there isn't a ton of that in this book...readers have to stay on their toes) with Adeline explaining to some Brass (and new readers) who and what Deathstroke is.  Why?  Because she wants him on her Project Defiance team.  I still think Stroke Squad is a better name!

We finally get to see Slade in the flesh and he is flipping channels, trying to find something worthy for his young team to cut their teeth on.  He seems to see something promising as he grabs Wintergreen, leaving Adeline as a very pissed off puppy sitter.

There are a whole lot of characters in this book and other writers of team books should take notice as Priest gives us a really good scene with Powergirl and Kid Flash before heading off to Rose and Jericho.  Every character has their own reason for joining up with Slade and each makes sense even as they contradict each others.  In fact, that's what makes it so much fun.

After seeing that Jericho still thinks his father killed Etienne (though there are a ton of suspects on Jericho's wall of shame), we catch up with Slade and find out that he may not be as spiritually reformed as we were lead to believe.  Actually, seeing him kill a piece of shit drug dealer to start a crisis that his Squad can then go and stop is 100% pure Deathstroke. He always has such a messed up way of doing what he considers right and I love him for it!

The book ends with Deathstroke and his young team jumping into action as Adeline and Wintergreen show they are not really to be trusted.  I expect that from Adeline, but say it ain't so, Wintergreen.  Then we are hit with a cliffhanger that old school Teen Titans fans should love as much as this reviewer.  Yes, it's another character in the mix, but it's a great addition and I trust Christopher Priest will make it all kick so much ass.

I'm sure you can tell that I loved this issue.  There are so many reasons why...the smart dialogue, the mature story that relies on situations and interactions over blood and gore and the great art.  It really all comes together into a complete package that makes a setup issue a must read and a big issue even bigger.  I see the sales numbers and it pains me that more people aren't reading this book.  It is so worth the $3.99 a month price and if you haven't been reading, start from the can thank me later.  If you listen to the podcast, here is a spoiler...this is easily my book of the week.

Bits and Pieces:

Christopher Priest continues his long form story that ties in everything we've seen before and still pushes everything forward in such a kick ass way.  The art and story are just great and I can't recommend this series enough.



  1. Great issue , I wish wed step away from such political international incidents , and do more super hero type missions , but it still is one of the better long running rebirth booksregardless

  2. You sold me with the first paragraph, Jim. I'm on the Stroke Squad train! Toot toot!

  3. This book is hot! Not like some corncob prose from Hitch on JL.

  4. Great review, Jim. Why do I get the impression that the Stroke Squad is going to be the best team book of Rebirth? Kinda sad, imo.

  5. Such a good book this series is starting to become my favorite Rebirth title it's the first book I read when I buy it and I'm always looking forward to it.