Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Deathstroke Inc. #1 Review


Stroke Squad

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 28, 2021

I have been anticipating this book coming out since DC Comics first announced it, but the recent one-shot in Batman: Urban Legends had me even more excited.  I am a Black Canary fan, but I am also here to see what the "everything matters" Infinite Frontier has done for Slade.  I was a fan of Priest's Deathstroke run and hope that we get a little good guy Deathstroke to go with the usual bad.  So, what is this book all about, and is it any good?  Let's find out...

If you haven't already read the Urban Legends story (in issue #6), I suggest you grab that and read it quickly before jumping into this issue.  It sets up how Dinah got on the team and lets you know (a little) about Julliette Ballantine.  It's not 100% necessary, and you can hit the ground running here, but it gives you a bit more context.

Maybe it's because of Howard Porter on art, but this book feels more like Joshua Williamson's Flash run than anything I've read from him since he left that book.  I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing because it will entirely depend on what you thought about his Flash, but for me, it's a slight downer.  

The actual story feels like a throwaway to give Dinah and Slade a chance to team up, take names and kick some ass.  They do just that against a H.I.V.E. who take their name a little too literal as the duo fight through bee/human drones to get to the Queen, dripping honey included.  There isn't anything that stands out during all this, but I like seeing that Deathstroke is having an end-of-life crisis and wants to go out as a good guy for his family's sake.

I wasn't so sure at first, but I also like Hiro Okamura, Toyman 2.0, as the team's tech guy and am looking forward to finding out what TRUST is all about.  I can't say much about Dinah yet as she doesn't get to do much here besides a couple of Canary Cries while trying to pretend she likes fighting alongside Slade.

This was a speedy read that is all about the action, and that's a good thing because the goofy villain setup wasn't going to win awards here.  I am a Howard Porter fan, so I liked the art, especially the page with Deathstroke's introduction. (See Below!)

As far as the whole package goes, though, this is a decent start if you want straight-up action and goofy villains, but I expected more from this series.  It can certainly evolve into something more critical feeling, and when and if it does, I will be right there for it, but this opener left me feeling empty and disappointed.  It was just empty calories.

Bits and Pieces:

Deathstroke Inc. opens with a bang, and those looking for crazy action and villains may have more fun with this than I did. However, I expected something more significant from this first issue, and while I was a bit disappointed overall, I will be back next month to see if it's more my cup of tea.


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