Deathstroke seems to have come to a tipping point. After so many losses, perhaps it’s time for a change? Maybe he should begin acting like a superhero instead of a supervillain. So Slade Wilson starts working for an age-old secret organization, T.R.U.S.T., whose mission is to take down some of the most infamous villains. In return for working for them, he’s supplied with resources and an all-new team, including Batman’s gadgets and Black Canary. But beyond going on some wacky adventures, like taking on a new H.I.V.E. which controls its subjugates with mind-control honey, there’s a mystery brewing that Slade is smack dab in the middle of. Deathstroke Inc. #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Howard Porter, colors by Hi-Fi, and letters by Steve Wands.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve gotten a Deathstroke-centric comic, and while Deathstroke Inc. #1 also sees Black Canary front and center, it’s nevertheless apparent that Slade will be the main focal point. As such, issue one is dotted with small snippets of Slade’s past. While it’s an excellent, concise addition to flesh out Deathstroke for people unfamiliar with the character’s history, I hope this inclusion doesn’t lead to Slade’s past being reworked… again. Of course, with the few references about events in other comics, there’s hope it won’t, but it’ll be a frustrating day if later issues don’t follow suit.
Deathstroke Inc. #1 gets straight to the mission, with Deathstroke and Black Canary infiltrating a town controlled by the new H.I.V.E. queen. While there may not be as much action as other Deathstroke comics—Williamson spends plenty of time letting you know what exactly brought all these at-odds characters together—it’s nevertheless the ruthless action that Deathstroke is known for. And Williamson gets Slade down to a t, with terse dialogue sprinkled with just enough dry humor and wit to almost make you forget that he’s one of DC’s biggest S.O.B.s.
While we do see a few snippets about how Slade became the well-known assassin he is, and all the many superheroes he’s fought and crossed, it would have also been helpful to see scenes from his personal life. After all, a panel does mention his family, and this first mission against H.I.V.E. is probably very personal. But there is plenty of time for that in future issues as well. So, while prior knowledge about Deathstroke and his family troubles would probably be helpful to shine a light on Slade’s motivations here, it’s not necessarily needed to enjoy this issue solely for its clever dialogue and fun art.
Porter’s art features some great panels, specifically those that bring the weird front and center. There are a few panels with some odd perspectives or proportions that personally made me pause. Nevertheless, the art is a great companion to Williamson’s story. I’m expecting some entertaining art from Porter with the following few issues. Accompanying the fun art, Hi-Fi adds a bright, eclectic palette that hits all the right notes.
Wands has his hands full with this one. There’s a lot of dialogue, but it never overshadows the art or hinders the pacing. The speech bubbles are easy to follow, and I especially enjoyed the sharp, jagged bubbles of the H.I.V.E. queen, which add just an extra flare of character.
Overall, Deathstroke Inc. #1 is a good first issue. It introduces our new team well and provides some fun action, weird imagery, and witty dialogue that I hope continue to be seen in the next few issues. But whether or not this series sinks or swims will definitely be determined by future issues.
Deathstroke Inc. #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Deathstroke Inc. #1
Deathstroke Inc. #1 is a good first issue. It introduces our new team well and provides some fun action, weird imagery, and witty dialogue that I hope continue to be seen in the next few issues. But whether or not this series sinks or swims will definitely be determined by future issues.