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Deathstroke #25 Review

Story by Christopher Priest

Pencils by Carlo Pagulayan

Inks by Norm Rapund, Trevor Scott and Jason Paz

Colours by Jeremy Cox

Letters by Willie Schubert

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

When your sixteen in the UK, you take a bunch of exams called GCSE’s on basically every subject, we took some mock exams and on my now degree subject, History I got the highest grade, and so, of course, I felt that revision was not as necessary, and shock horror I thus did not do so well in the real deal. This is suspect is a tale familiar to many because consistency is hard, and complacency is common. Priest though thankfully has been consistently hitting this series out of the park.

This issue serves both as a perfect jumping on point, as well as a just a great story. As this issue recounts Slade’s backstory/origin and interweaves key moments and characters from the previous twenty-four issues; as one such person has placed a complaint against Deathstroke to the Society. The Society if you did not know or guess, is a shadowy conglomerate of supervillains and the main thread of the issue is them trying to determine whether Deathstroke is still evil for as Vandal Savage points out there seems to be an ‘epidemic of’ supervillains ‘turning to heroism’ such as Lex Luthor and Killer Frost, which is problematic at the very least. This results in the Riddler being Deathstroke’s defence and Priest knows how to write a brilliantly ridiculous yet serious Riddler, who of course says plenty of riddles. There will be aspects that you will not understand if you have not been following this series, but if you have (and I highly recommend you do as in my opinion, this is one of DC’s best book’s) this issue serves as a beautiful culmination of Priest’s run so far, with a deep discussion on how if at all Slade has grown and if he is truly evil.

Pagulayan’s style of art which is realistic with fine smooth lines, fits the world of Deathstroke and supervillains Priest details, amazingly well. As it grounds the story and the characters, so that no matter how crazy the situation, the scene has weight. He draws action with a fluid motion, that enables you to see how every movement effects the combat and is a joy to read, but so are the moments of conversation. The slight downside is that his backgrounds are often sparse and lacking detail.

Verdict:

Buy. Deathstroke is complex and sometimes needs multiple reads to comprehend, but this issue is a testament to how brilliant Priest has made Slade, that a backstory issue does not feel repetitive but an interesting read delving into the inner workings of Deathstroke.

 

 

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