Review: DEATHSTROKE #46
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]
Artist: Fernando Pasarin
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Letters: Willie Schubert
Reviewed by: Tony Farina
Deathstroke #46: Deathstroke is dead. His son, Jericho, after getting a fancy new tech up grade from Lex Luthor, can fly, and is pretty much all powerful. The only issue is, he can’t seem to find his sister Rose. He decided to…um…”enlist” the help of Emiko Queen. He has this notion that her mother, Shado, can somehow lead him to Rose. Confused? Don’t worry, so is Emiko.
Here is the deal. Rose thinks Shado was in on Deathstroke’s death. She wasn’t, but that doesn’t matter when vengeance is on the menu. Rose sort of blames herself as well. It is a whole thing. Jericho gains some pretty wicked mind control and then…
If one were just jumping into Deathstroke at issue 46, one would be 100 percent be able to keep up with what is going on. Priest has done some excellent back storytelling without it being so invasive. Most villains can’t have their own comic, even during The Year of the Villain, but Deathstroke has such a crazy, sorted past that he is able to carry on where others can not. Priest taps into that craziness and puts in on full display. The human drama of Slade’s life comes out here as well as we deal with fathers and children and spouses and betrayal. That story in and of itself would be compelling without there being a need for amazing action scenes and mind control, but luckily we get those things as well.
Fernado Blanco is firing on all cylinders in this book. He has to thread all those emotional needles that come with drawing a Deathstroke comic while making sure there are some amazing fights that look as choreographed as well as martial arts movie. He pulls that off with hard work, excellent art and some help from Jeromy Cox on colors. There are five pages of rooftop jumps and and battles between Shado and Rose that will distract you from the story, but you know, in a good way.
Deathstroke is dead, but he is still in this book quite a bit. There is some well placed non-linear story telling to keep him alive, but that is also a bit confusing.
I understand that this team has a longer story to tell during the Year of the Villain while keeping true to Deathstoke’s own story arc. As the year progresses, that will smooth itself out, but right now, it gets in the way just a bit. This is the problem with world crossing stories, the creative team is forced to shoehorn them in sometimes.
I grew up reading Teen Titans, so I am always keen on keeping up with Deathstroke. Dead or alive, a story about Slade Wilson is a story worth reading.