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Deathstroke #12 Review

Story by Christopher Priest

Breakdowns by Larry Hama

Pencils by Joe Bennett

Inks by Mark Morales

Colours by

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

You might assume that, this issue being the start of a new story arc, that you could jump on board here with little confusion. Well, there you would be sorely wrong. Jumping on now would be like jumping on Game of Thrones half way through the latest season without watching any prior episodes. Plainly put – confusing.

In this issue, Priest sets us up by showing us Slade’s imminent future where he is going blind. Priest then cuts to a prison breakout, which, at the end of the issue, results in a confrontation between Deathstroke and Raptor (Nightwing’s ex-mentor) and, even though Raptor has Deathstrokes near invulnerable suit, I would bet on Deathstroke coming out on top- I mean he had the upper hand on Superman. Priest also keeps us updated on Deathstroke’s children, Rose and Joseph, which is a wise decision as it has been three issues since we have even seen either of them. The more gentle reminders that Priest gives us help the reader remember what has happened with them and where they are at the moment.

Priest’s storytelling works beautifully for trades, but you certainly get your money’s worth in singles trying to figure out everything that is going on within the comic. The thing that Priest excels at is constantly showing that Deathstroke is a villain –  he does not water down Slade or make us have true sympathy for him, instead doing this through his children. Priest has set up an interesting arc where it seems like age will come for Slade and the fight in the next issue should be great.

The art by Bennett, Morales and Cox is effective and meets the standards of the previous issues. The fact that one of my favourite panels of this issue is just an overhead shot of an aircraft carrier ship in port speaks to the level of detail and style these guys can put into something even if it is normally mundane.

Verdict:

Give it a shot. Look, if you are reading Deathstroke I would really recommend picking up this issue, but this is not an issue for new readers as you will need to have caught up to get everything out of this issue. Once again, however, Priest brings a level of detail and character to what could have very easily been just an action heavy story.

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