“Deathstroke Vs. Batman” – Part Six “The Defiant Ones”
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz & Andy Owens
Finally the truth. The battle of DC Comics’ ultimate badasses comes to its conclusion after six pulse pounding issues. I was looking forward to this series-within-a-series so much, and now that it’s over I’m both saddened and exhilarated in equal measure.
Everything in this story lived up to the billing. Shocks, surprises, betrayal and battles as brilliant as any you’d find in top tier Hollywood blockbusters. If you love your comics action packed, then this story was tailor made for you.
The really neat trick, though, is that writer Priest has also delivered humanity, character and emotion. This is probably the most impressive part of this whole endeavour. This story wasn’t a two dimensional slug fest, there was real heart, emotion and drama in the mix too. Seeing Batman’s faith and both his and Slade’s dogged stubbornness and perseverance was intriguing, thought provoking, and thoroughly entertaining.
Deathstroke has always been portrayed as a cold, ruthless killer. Batman has always been the Dark Knight of justice. Priest has added to the believability and humanity of both these incredible characters, but without losing any of the mystique or cool factor that have made them both so awesome for decades on end.
Total Badasses… and I’m not talking about Batman or Deathstroke
Let’s talk art. I’ve always been extremely vocal about consistency; I’m a one art team per story kinda guy, so seeing artists change a few times over the last six issues would usually drive me bonkers…
The fine talents picked to illuminate this arc have done an incredible job. Yes, sometimes the art has varied in style greatly between chapters, but not in quality. Each team has drawn to their strengths and has given us a different feel to match each issue’s script. Writer and artists have worked in complete synergy to give us a different feel and tone to compliment the varying art styles in each chapter.
This time around Messrs Pagulayan, Paz & Owens have kept the quality high. Check out the pages included here, and then remember that there’s a dozen plus more where those came from!
A huge shout out to color artist Jeromy Cox and letterer Willie Schubert. Gentlemen, I salute you. The fact that this whole endeavour has retained a constant look, feel and remained cohesive – despite the mix of artists – can largely be attributed to these fine professionals.
I’m a comics reader and fan of over four decades, so I can spot a change in art teams. The way this outstanding collection of talented creators has pulled together to make this story successful, and not just another crossover/publicity stunt, has made this ageing fanboy very happy indeed.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment