Review: Deathstroke #1

by Steven Brown
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Written by: Priest

Penciled by: Carlo Pagulayan


Slade Wilson is betrayed!!! When someone from his past betrays Slade Wilson during a mission–Slade will stop at nothing to avenge this betrayal!!! As Deathstroke races to find the Clock King and his traitor who wants him dead, new revelations continue to rise about Wilson’s past. Who is Deathstroke really? Soldier turned assassin? Or maybe assassin turned hero?

The Positives

“Among Thieves” immediately picks up where Deathstroke Rebirth ended, with Slade Wilson rescuing his longtime friend Wintergreen from captivity. Priest’s storytelling here is remarkable as we keep the same “Kill Bill” type setup from the previous Rebirth issue and I love it. Priest shows us a Deathstroke who’s far more than just a mercenary for hire. In a few panels we see the soldier, hero, and family man that Slade Wilson is–or was. I love when we get inside the mind of a villain–when we get to see what drives them, when we get to see how their past affects their present. Priest does an outstanding job of taking us there. Deathstroke to the world at large is basically a gun for hire–but in this book he’s portrayed as a man with a code, a man with a conscience, but yet he doesn’t hesitate to kill. There’s one particular scene where from the previous book where Slade literally makes these men pay him so he can protect their families from harm. I found myself laughing at the premise of it however in this book Deathstroke kept his word. His first priority once getting to the Clock King was the safety of the family–very heroic to me–although it came with a fee!!! Pagulayan continues to amaze me with outstanding artwork!!! Every detail and emotion is done brilliantly and the action paces throughout the entire book with hardly any moment to breathe. With each page I read, I immediately wanted to see what came after, and I was actually disappointed the book was over!!! I have to admit that even with the titles I really like, something like that is rare so that says something about how great a read this was.


The Negatives

The only complaint I have this issue is with the Clock King himself. I wish there was more of a backstory as to why he needed protection in the first place and Priest doesn’t give us that in this issue. Not to spoil too much of it for you, but the Clock King’s appearance does seem minor in the overall scheme of things so maybe Priest didn’t think it was important. However I do believe that a character that we haven’t seen yet might be really the one pulling the strings behind all of this and I believe either Priest will introduce him in the next book or we’ll see some hints of a future appearance.


The Verdict

“Among Thieves” is a great read and makes you want the next issue immediately. Priest does a great job of giving Deathstroke an actual conscience in this book instead of the regular mercenary for hire that you’re use to seeing in other appearances by Deathstroke. As I said in my previous review, this is my first time even reading a Deathstroke title–and Priest has made me regret absolutely nothing about it!!! I love when we see the dark side of DC Universe and that’s exactly what we have here in this title. Deathstroke’s world isn’t all superpowers and abilities. Priest gives us the guts of the DC Universe in these issues by showing us how the villains deal with things on their own terms and I love it!!! If you’re a fan of Deathstroke definitely check this issue out, and if you’re not– I promise that you will be by the last panel of the book!!!


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