“Chinatown” Part One
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Diogenes Neves
After the events of last issue (Annual #1) I have been chomping at the bit to see where Slade stands. Defiance was in shambles and many relationships ended. My biggest fear was opening this issue to find absolutely no lasting ramifications. Well, thank you Priest for continuously outdoing yourself.
The art (as always) is stellar. Inks, lettering, pencils, all of it. This cover by Ryan Sook rocks! It really amps you up for the showdown we’ve been waiting for in a very frantically stylish way. Diogenes, who has been on since the first chapter of defiance, has a knack for creating distinctive looks for all the characters he draws. He’s good in all the other aspects of his drawing, but that skill makes him great.
The story opens in a very confusing, yet intriguing way. One thing that has been very consistent with this run is this: you have to go with cold opens. Priest throws you into a random plot and doesn’t hold your hand. You have to trust him to fill in the blanks as you follow along.
It appears that Deathstroke is back to being The Terminator we all know. Classic costume included. I still miss the Ikon suit, but this shows that the character has reverted to his old ways. Complete with a hit taking place on a crowded bus. Slade isn’t the only person going through a lot. Jericho has decided he will never fly again and is still pursuing the killer of his fiance’. Rose’s alter ego we learned about a few weeks back gets somewhat explained (maybe). It’s a toss-up between a split personality brought on by the punch Jericho delivered to her a few issues back or being possessed by a Hmong spirit. Either way I look forward to the answer.
Oh, how could I forget the big showdown. Kong Kenan is not a character I am familiar with at all. Minus his introduction in this series. To see Deathstroke go toe-to-toe with him was fantastic. Not unlike his run in with the man of steel in an early issue, Kong was has been brought in to bring the terrorist “Stroke of Death” into justice. Let’s just say that his no kill rule is back to being speculated about.
Christopher Priest has made Deathsroke such a complex character. There are so many layers to this character that I’ve never seen before. This story arc is a cornucopia of plotlines spanning across the entire series thus far. Priest’s writing is all about the long game. Twilight, Defiance, Four Rooms, it all matters. Stick around folks, it’s about to get intense.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment