Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Deathstroke #34 Review

Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

It’s part five of “Batman vs. Deathstroke,” and “The Stormy Present” finds our two marquee combatants locked in the Batcave, forced to resolve their differences—or die trying! The showdown only turns saltier when the feds seize Bruce Wayne’s assets, including Wayne Manor, after Slade drops a dime. And Deathstroke shows Batman he’s not the only detective in town, as Slade closes in on the mystery of his relationship with Robin.

The issue starts with the extended scene of Jericho's "accident" that we saw in this book already, but it's not as much a rehash and a reminder of one of Slade's biggest regrets, but also something he's fought against this entire series.  Deathstroke has been all about Slade striving for redemption...he just never goes about it the right way.  Of course, that continues here.

After seeing that Bruce is calm in the face of losing everything, we get an awesome picture of the Robins and then see some of them...Specifically, Damian and Dick.  This story takes place during Tim Drake's "death" and there are some nice shoutouts before a big moment with Bruce telling Damian that no matter what any bad guy says, he was his son.  It's a father-son moment that we sadly don't get enough of in general.

That leads to the next big moment...Slade grabbing Bruce by gunpoint and taking him down into the Batcave.  Now, Me and Eric have thought that Deathstroke certainly knew the Bruce/Batman connection, but this issue proves us wrong.  Yes, he sees A connection, but not THE connection.  This leads to a bit of lights off/lights on with Batman suddenly in the house...or cave.

While this is going down, the authorities are swooping in on Wayne Manor and we get a brief bit with Alfred and Wintergreen wondering who is to blame.  My favorite part of the issue, though, is when Jericho goes to his mother and tells her to call off the dogs because it's bound to hurt an innocent boy.  Yep, Jericho calls Damian innocent!

Most people will end up impressed with Batman and Slade beating each other up, and while the action is good, it's the dialogue that really impresses.  Batman rips into Slade and Slade certainly keeps pace.  It pretty much is a "who is the worst father" shade throwing contest that ends in a bloody tie for now.  I usually don't bring up the "Next" part of the cliffhanger, but mentioning Maury here really felt like Priest taking a swipe at the people who announced they didn't like this story arc before it even came out.

I like this issue a whole lot and while it doesn't move the overall narrative ahead a ton, the interactions throughout were great.  I could take a couple more issues of Slade and Batman yelling and fighting the whole time.  

The art is great.  This book's look is why I am a fan of Carlo Pagulayan.  It's not cartoony, but looks like...well, a comic.  I like my comics when they look like comics!

Bits and Pieces:

Deathstroke vs Batman is getting near the end and I am loving the ride even though at times, it feels like we are driving way under the speed limit.  What we don't get in overall progression and answers, we get in kick-ass action and great dialogue. That, and the great art makes this an easy series to recommend...which I am doing right now.



  1. Really liked this issue, only negative I can think of is the comic book troupe of having a deep meaningful conversation with someone while fight at 100%. But besides that this issue hits you in the feels when Bruce actually gets mad over Damians actions last issue. It's great to see a writer make Bruce have and show emotion once and a while. Art was solid, but nothing to brag about.

  2. This is deff one trade I am sure going to buy! It is quite sad that we can't get the Damian/ Bruce relationship in King's Batman.

    1. It is really good! Just a couple panels of Bruce/Damian and it was so good!

  3. Pagulayan's art was so good this issue too! Honestly this is the best batman story being published right now