Written by: Priest
Art by: Diogenes Nieves, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Deathstroke has been one of my favorite books since Rebirth started and while I was all for this Defiance Squad story arc when it began, I'm starting to think it is dragging on a bot too long. It's not that it's been bad, it's just been a bit more padded at points than I expected. With only a couple of issues left, does Priest pick up the pace this issue? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a continued origin story of Terra and it goes from the early days to when she became entangled with Deathstroke. I'm not sure if things got better for her, but they certainly were interesting as we see her help leading up to the Lazarus Contract up to the present day. It really shows how much of an asshole Slade is and possibly gives some foreshadowing of some future troubles.
After a brief bit with Terra and Rose on a train (I love these two together, by the way!), we head off to see Slade being preached to by Isherwood's priest. It's all good, philosophical fun, but the laughs are at the expense of Slade as he talks to Wintergreen who is an A.I...who only Slade can see.
Priest continues to jump around as we continue the Willow story while also dealing with Keenan Kong. The Willow/Forgotten/Claire story has been such a slow burn that it's nice to finally get some real meat to it this issue, but the Keenan Kong part felt tacked on...so far. Priest has a knack for not showing his cards for a couple of issues and I'm sure it will have good payoff sometime soon. Right now, however, it felt like padding.
The issue continues with some father/son time as Jericho visits Slade and while he breaks his old man from his current restraints, it's at a pretty hefty cost...for Jericho. The issue then ends with an extended fight scene with Terra causing some major damage before Willow shows up to join in. It seems that there is a case of mistaken identity and of course, Deathstroke is right in the middle of it.
This felt like one of those final issues of setup before the real shit hits the fan. Priest is setting up a bunch of pieces, dropping some hints and turning thing topsy-turvy like he usually does. I trust him 100% with whatever he does in this book so I am sure it will all kick ass as we finish up this story, however, this issue was probably my least favorite of the arc so far. Still, I'll take a down issue of Deathstroke over most book's good issues.
Bits and Pieces:
With a couple issues and an Annual left in this storyline, Priest puts some more pieces on the playing board and gets things set up for a big finale. The art is great here, but the issue kind of stalls doing the legwork needed to go forward. Not a bad issue, just not as great as what I've come to expect and figure we will get from here on out.