Deathstroke #42

Christopher Priest, writer
Carlo Pagulayan & Norm Rapmund, Inks
Jeromy Cox, colors
Willie Schubert, letters

In Teen Titans #28, The Terminus Agenda story arc began with Damian introducing the Teen Titans to their newest job: capturing Deathstroke. In this issue, Deathstroke’s son, Joseph, a.k.a. “Jericho,” visits him at Damian’s secret locked facility. We’re introduced to a new protagonist, Bradley Glenn, who attempts to detonate a bomb at a hospital to avenge the death of his grandmother. The heroes intercept, removing the bomb from the area, but face the consequences of interrupting Bradley’s plan. Meanwhile, Deathstroke has escaped Damian’s cell and schools him on the weaknesses he sees in Damian’s strategies and in all of his team members.

Christopher Priest adds depth to the story by providing interesting backstory on Deathstroke’s power-set and his strained relationship with his son. Deathstroke has superhuman reflexes, fast healing, and advanced intellect which helps him to escape his prison. However, the writer builds intrigue by focusing on the Deathstroke-Damian dyad by having Deathstroke school Damian on all of his mistakes. Damian is a brash and prideful kid, but he appreciates a good lesson. I’m interested in seeing how this plays out given Deathstroke’s tendency to end conflicts his way. What happens if Damian isn’t a willing student?

The art supports the well-constructed story nicely by filling in the emotional reactions of characters in their facial expressions. The explosion, which shows Kid Flash saving people, is beautifully rendered and rich with colors. Another nicely constructed panel occurs with the depiction of Slade Wilson in prison, which shows him hanging from ropes attached to the ceiling. The scene both accentuates Slade’s superhuman strength and his intense focus through the rendering of his emotions on his face and his bulging muscles.

Overall = 9/10

Final Impressions

This story is my pick of the week because of Christopher Priest’s expert storytelling. He injects pertinent backstory while also advancing the plot making this story compelling and feeling important. I highly recommend this book for fans of both Deathstroke and The Teen Titans.