Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Deathstroke #31 Review

Son of a Gun

Written by: Priest
Art by: Carlo Pagulayan, Roberto Viacara, Larry Hama, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox and Willie Shubert
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 2, 2018

“DEATHSTROKE VS. BATMAN” part two! The war between Deathstroke and Batman escalates when the Dark Knight foils one of Deathstroke’s assassination attempts! Meanwhile, a mysterious package brings Commissioner Gordon to Bruce Wayne’s doorstep, and Adeline Kane—Slade Wilson’s ex—sets her sights on Batman!

The second issue of Deathstroke versus Batman opens by continuing the theme of fathers with Jericho giving the reader (and someone else?) a Slade Wilson history lesson.  We then get Slade and Wintergreen in a plane over Saudi Arabia...that gets hit with a missile.  Now that's an exiting open, huh?!?

As the plane goes down, Slade dons the Ikon suit, fires up the Wintergreen A.I. and after some catchup for non-Deathstroke devotees, is off running.  Well, actually he is lying at Batman's feet, but we head off to get a psych profile of Bruce Wayne from Dick Grayson.  I can't say I like Priest's spin here and after his run on Justice League, I'm pretty sure he hates Batman.

It's then off to see a meeting between Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon about a recently stolen Waynetech prototype chip and again, the scene is a bit forced.  I know that Gordon is smart enough, but he knows way too much about this chip and the scene feels off to me.  Back in Saudi Arabia, we see the how and why to the Batman waiting for Deathstroke in the desert.  Yea, it made me laugh.  After leaving the would-be Batman (nude), Slade goes off to look for his sword.

Back in Gotham, we get a shit talking Bruce getting some information from the guy who stole the chip and he's got some muscle.  I don't know if I like this crazy Bruce or hate him, but it's interesting and has better detective work than any other Batman book out today.

After seeing Deathstroke ready to fight a small army, it's back to Gotham where Adeline and Batman have a meet and greet that gets a bit bogged down with technical jargon (even if it sets up a joke) that again, seems to have become bigger for Priest during his Justice League run.

The issue ends by showing that Wintergreen and Alfred are trying to pull the strings behind the scenes and Deathstroke get a cliffhanger kiss that gets us back on track with the "Who's the Daddy" storyline set up in the first issue.

I am still not all in with this storyline.  I have been reading Priest's run on Deathstroke since Rebirth started and am aware that he will probably flip this story all around a bunch of times and make me love it, but right now I don't.  My dislike of his Batman carries over from the Justice League and right now, the story is scattered.  Like the last issue, I really enjoyed the last bunch of pages, but getting there was more of a chore than I ever would have guessed.  Still, I will keep an open mind and wait for the twist that grabs me...I just hope it comes soon.

This book always has great art and while the number of people on the art team makes it a bit more inconsistent than usual, it still looks really good.

Bits and Pieces:

I love Priest's Deathstroke and crave a good in-continuity Batman story, but so far, I am not fully sold on Deathstroke vs Batman.  The story feels scattered so far and Priest's Batman/Bruce Wayne rubs me the wrong way.  Still, we get some good detective work, action-packed art and a crazy cliffhanger that makes me look forward to next issue.  Maybe I expect more from Priest but so far, he is letting me down a bit.



  1. The story hear is solid but no one in there right mind thinks any of this paternity problem shit is real. This is obviously some ploy by Talia to fuck with batman.

  2. I really do hope Slade is the father but not of Damian, of another child with Talia. Could be a true nemesis with Damian.

    1. That's what me and eric were talking about today!

  3. Bruce explaining why Bruce went after the phone thief has more thought packed in one panel than just about everything Batman related that King has done.

    Remember how Bruce Wayne hosted a dinner party to decide who to give money to in the Jokes and Riddles? But then the next issue Batman is working for Riddler with no explanation?