“Twilight,” Part 1
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Joe Bennett
Major spoilers ahead
Deathstroke returns to us this week with part two of its latest arc, “Twilight.” At the end of last issue, we saw Raptor and Slade tee up for a fight, and this issue did not disappoint on that front. Perhaps one of the most action heavy issues of the series so far, Deathstroke #13 really stepped it up a notch on all fronts. Priest proves to me yet again that he is the undisputed master of juggling protagonists as we dive deeper into the mentalities of Slade and Jericho, although Rose is notably absent. I didn’t mind, as her story hasn’t been the most interesting to me as of late, but the family focus throughout this run made her absence a weird one.
Speaking of family focus, things are set up to fall apart. At the end of this issue, we see Slade with Etienne… in bed… yep, Slade went there – a week before the wedding. One thing this series has shown us over time is that Slade is human. Despite his flaws, despite his lifestyle, he is still just as human as you or me, but one thing Priest is beginning to delve deeper into – and this is something I hope we see a lot more of – is that Slade is still a villain above all else. There was another really nice moment in this issue wherein Slade is holding hard drives filled with evidence that could convict his ex-wife, Adeline, for life, but he chooses to destroy them. It was a really nice human moment that was seemingly undone by the ending of the issue, but that’s just what I expect from a series like this.
Up until now, Jericho has been very hit and miss for me, but this issue really brought him into a whole new light – in my eyes, at least. The final moments of this issue where we see him and Ish six years prior was gorgeous and really contrasted amazingly with the next page. I’m expecting to see a redeeming arc for Joe as the series continues, but after the revelation at the end of this issue, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an all-out brawl between him and Slade before that happened. Priest isn’t afraid to get emotional and deep with his writing, whilst also calling out Slade’s original outfit as too pirate-like in the same issue. For me, this issue struck that perfect balance in tone, whilst also presenting beautifully drawn action sequences which boasted one of the coolest fights that I’ve ever read.
It seems like all I do is sing praises for Christopher Priest when I write these reviews. Every issue he and his team find a new way to excite and engage me and this series has proven to me time and time again that Priest is one of the best in the industry right now. The art from Bennett was tight and gorgeous, and the overarching story became increasingly clear. “Twilight” is shaping up to be a solid arc, and I am excited to see what comes next.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment