[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan (pencils), Jason Paz (inks), Jeromy Cox (colors)
Slade Wilson finds himself caught up in memories of the past while on a mission in Africa! While on a mission to take down a contracted target, Slade meets with an old friend–and new revelations emerge! Deathstroke soon finds himself on a trail that brings up old friends– and old wounds.
Deathstroke: The Professional written by Priest and penciled by Carlo Pagulayan comes off as a very “Kill Bill” style of book and it’s awesome! Here we actually get a glimpse into the past of Slade Wilson while out on a camping trip with his two sons. It is here that we see Slade’s very cold nature of raising his boys take shape. I believe that Slade believes that he is raising his boys to be strong, self reliant men that can survive anything–but he has no tact about it at all and comes off as being rather ruthless to his own children. This seems to be a necessary story about a younger Slade that plays into the comic later on and Priest tells the intro into Slade’s past quite well here. Each scene is set up with a title that gives you a glimpse of the conflict–hence why I say the “Kill Bill” style being used here. Carlo does a great job of showing us the assassin’s world through Deathstroke’s “eye” as he gives us great attention to detail in every page. Although I’m not familiar at all with Carlo’s work, I can say he’s gained a fan just by these few pages that I’ve read. His style and attention to detail is amazing and I hope he stays on the long run as a continued artist for the Deathstroke series.
My only complaint from this issue is the villain that’s given here. Technically Deathstroke himself is a villain, although he has moments of humanity–and it’s shown here as well. Deathstroke’s assigned target left me confused and I hope that Priest clears it up in a later book. I don’t want to spoil it for you but the contract Deathstroke was assigned to kill was very confusing, and really didn’t seem like a threat at all. I’ll give you a hint–he’s a long time Gotham villain–bottom tier at that. However the bigger story seems to be focused on whom Deathstroke rescues from the African camp, and it seems to be an old ally of Slade’s.
Deathstroke Rebirth is a great read! I’ve never actually read a titled Deathstroke book before and this one has me excited! I’ve always thought Slade was a great character in his own right, and this issue shows you just how badass he is! Priest and Carlo give us something that looks past Deathstroke the super villain and instead gives us a man– a man with a conflicted and broken past that comes back to haunt him. I think we can all identify with that in some point in our lives. I love when we get to see the backstories and flaws of our greatest DC villains–check out Deathstroke Rebirth!!!