Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Deathstroke #30 Review

Father's Day

Writer: Christopher Priest
Art by: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Release Date: April 4, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

I have been looking forward to this story since it was announced and while I am a big dummy and thought it was going to be a separate mini-series, I am glad it's happening in the Deathstroke book itself.  I say that because I am a huge fan of Priest's series and any way to get new readers to jump on is a-okay with me!  That being said, I worry that he won't make it easy on those new readers because this run has been one of the densest in Rebirth, but if you put the work in, it pays off big time.  So, how is the beginning to Deathstroke vs. Batman?  Let's finds out...

The issue opens with a couple scenes that setup Wintergreen and Alfred's history and similar lots in life and it's full of Premier League chatter that I'm sure will leave some confused but is nice flavour (spelled that way on purpose!) as we move into the story.

We then get a quick scene with Alfred and Batman investigating a crime scene that suddenly becomes very personal for the Dark Knight before heading off to a high-speed chase full of lasers, explosions, and nothing more about what Batman found earlier with Gordon.  What is that you ask?  Well, just documents that prove that Damian isn't Bruce's son!!!  Heavy shit there.

Batman heads off to figure out if any of this is real and we finally get our first glimpse of Deathstroke and it's only a matter of moments before we get our two main characters fighting.  It's all good, but the best part comes at the end when they calm down a bit and Batman shows Slade the DNA tests he found earlier...that say Deathstroke is Damian's father!!!  Oh Snap!!!  It ends with Batman shutting down Deathstroke...except Deathstroke isn't listening.  In fact, Slade is throwing shade and threats and we end the issue with both parties agreeing to disagree.

Yea, that was a beginning I was not expecting.  It does not lead in from last issues cliffhanger and took a crazy left turn with Damian.  I'm not sure how new readers will take it as it does have some callbacks to the series, but nothing major.  However, this is Priest again playing the long game and not getting Slade until midway through the issue makes me continue to believe he takes pleasure in rooting out those who don't have the patience to stick with him.  

While I don't think this was a great first issue in general, I go out of it knowing that Priest reaps what he sows and you can never really judge his stories until they are finished.  It doesn't make it easy on a guy reviewing one issue, but it made me a huge fan of this series so I am not discouraged and am looking forward to the next issue.

I am glad that Carlo Pagulayan is here for the ride and not some new hotshot only put on for the big Batman story.  The usual art team makes the usual great art and I was so glad for that.

Bits and Pieces:

Leave it to Priest to give readers new and old a crazy beginning to his Deathstroke vs. Batman story that holds no hands and sets up the rest of the story in a messed up way.  Priest fans will know the drill by now, but new readers have to just relax, go with the flow and wait until he is ready to show you the big picture.  Don't worry, Carlo Pagulayan and his art team make it easy on the eyes.


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