Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Deathstroke #25 Review

Heroes and Villains

Written by: Priest
Art by: Carlo Pagulayan, Norm Rapmund, Trevor Scott, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 1, 2017

Deathstroke has finally gotten to issue #25 and that means...Extra Sized Anniversary Issue!  Not really sure what the Anniversary really is for these issues, but at least I like this one so I'm getting more of a good thing!  The Defiance Squad story has been good so far and while some are just waiting for Deathstroke to turn heel, I just am along for the ride.  So, is this issue worthy of all those extra pages?  Let's find out...

The issue starts off with a little "meet the players" and it's all good, but if you've been reading since the beginning, you know nothing here is real.  Well, not real in the sense that it's a hallucination, but the emotions are real.  That's all pushed aside for the meat and cheese...Deathstroke being interrogated by the Society!  There all there from last issue's cliffhanger along with the Riddler, which ties up a little loose end as well.

Vandal Savage starts it all with a very good question...why has Slade given up on evil?  While Deadline wants justice for what Slade did to him earlier in the series, the good parts are the Theater of the Mind where the Society dives into Deathstroke's past and psyche all at once.  After a great little tie-in mention of Lex Luthor, Priest continues with the whole Villain vs Hero discussion and I was so glad that was why Killer Frost was included as well.

The "This is Deathstroke's Life" vibe continues as we see the greatest hits of Slade's life...Jericho getting his throat slashed, Adeline shooting out his eye, Grant dying, etc.  I know I usually scoff at stuff like this in an issue, but Priest and Pagulayan do a really good job keeping my interest.

That's when Deathstrokes breaks free and rips through the Society.  Seeing him disable and possibly kill Black Manta, Vandal Savage and the rest was so awesome...and also couldn't really be happening. wasn't.  It was all a game by the Society to see if Deathstroke was still evil, and their verdict is...he is!

The best part is what follows. The Society, not ones for labels, then argues with Riddler about not really being evil themselves and a hilarious fight erupts between them.  It's such a clever way for Priest to put an exclamation point on the philosophy of his entire Deathstroke run.

The meeting is ended with an awesome guest showing up after being gone too long and Deadline getting money (not Justice) for his problems with Deathstroke and the issue ending with the Defiance Team confused with what to do next and Slade just hanging out with an old friend. It's a pretty cool ending that already has me pumped for next issue.

I love this book and this issue is no exception.  Priest uses a clever method of flashbacks to tell his story and I have to give him props for making the Society work...even Killer Frost.  This issue may not further the Defiance story, but it expands on the lead character and was just smart fun.

Carlo Pagulayan and the whole art team does a great job with all the characters and action.  The highlight for me was the Society, especially Killer Frost.

Bits and Pieces:

Anniversary or not, this is another great issue of Deathstroke.  The whole series has been about the grey area between hero and villain, but Priest turns it into a clever game that ends with cool and humorous results.  This is still one of the best Rebirth books and everyone should be reading it!



  1. Yeah i hear you jim, deathstroke is awesome!! Very entertaining to read.