“Deathstroke R.I.P.” – Book One
Artists: Fernando Pasarin, Jason Paz & Wade von Grawbadger
Color Artist: Jeremy Cox
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Review by James Stone
Deathstroke #45 told me things are about to get very interesting. The events of issue #43, with Slade Wilson meeting his maker, appear to have stuck. In comics staying dead is not something that happens all too often. I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll ever see of Slade Wilson, but the Deathstroke legacy certainly lives on.
Since the beginning of Deathstroke’s Rebirth run his family, particularly his children Rose and Joseph, have been key figures. It will come as no shock to learn that it’s these two characters that feature heavily in this issue.
The sibling rivalry alone in Deathstroke #45 delivered such a compelling dynamic that I would have been happy with 20 pages solely focused on Rose and Joseph. Writer Priest gives us the mix of one sibling’s desire to fulfil their father’s last mission and the other’s hatred towards what the deceased represented. This shifting of tone makes you see each others perspective, never knowing whose side you really sit on.
If all this wasn’t enough then a sprinkling of Shado and Lovac entwined into the story gave us one action packed issue. Some of the panels were heavy with dialogue but this takes nothing away from the wonderful art by Fernando Pasarin, Jason Paz and Wade von Grawbadger. Most notably the action sequences jump right out of the page. They are complemented beautifully by the colors of Jeremy Cox who deserves plenty of credit. A book with a reputation for being on the darker side of comics had a much softer yet vibrant tone this issue.
I was slightly worried how Deathstroke could continue without Slade behind the mask but Priest has managed to settle my nerves in two solid issues since the character’s death. This issue gives us some conclusion to the Deathstroke legacy and also set us up nicely with plenty of potential storylines, fuelled by anger, revenge, hatred and jealousy. Then, on the final page, we’re hit with the mother of all cliffhangers. I thoroughly enjoyed Deathstroke #45, so #46 can’t come quick enough.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment