WRITTEN BY: Tony S. Daniel
PENCILS BY: Tony S. Daniel
INKS BY: Sandu Florea
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
In these tales from issues #1-6 of the hot new series, Slade Wilson’s entire life is turned upside down after he learns that his involvement in a top-secret mission was wiped from his memory. Now, a new, mysterious enemy known as Odysseus has targeted Deathstroke and everyone involved in the decade-old mission. But Slade’s journey into his past takes an unexpected turn, leading him to Gotham City – and into conflict with both Batman and Harley Quinn!
In the worlds of DC Comics, he is the most dangerous mercenary to ever raise a hand in violence. He has been a henchman, an instigator, a mastermind, and a pawn. He has been a foil to everyone from the Teen Titans to Batman to Green Arrow. He is the man, and few in the DCU have ever matched him in ability, until now.
Deathstroke Vol. 1: Gods of Wars, sends a rejuvenated Slade Wilson up against a threat that is more dangerous than any weapon, his family. Collecting the first six issues of the latest series to bear his name, we start out seeing a veteran Deathstroke preparing for his latest mission; minimum people, no electronic exposure. The mission takes Deathstroke to Russia where he cuts a bloody swath across the land of the Iron Curtain, only to find that he has been set up by one of the few people he thought was on his side. Glorious two-page spread battles ensue, only to find him laid low just when he can afford it the least. After he awakens, he finds himself in a completely new situation with no money, limited abilities, and no friends. Even his own body betrays him as he attempts to find out who is responsible for the new paradigm he finds himself trapped in.
Writer Tony S. Daniels (SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN) is the architect of this globe-spanning adventure which takes Deathstroke from the dirty streets of Moscow, to the mean streets of Gotham City. Along the way he uncovers a new backstory for the man known as Slade, one filled with family betrayal and more. Appearances from everyone from Batman to Lady Shiva to Harley Quinn add to the story as it builds toward an explosive conclusion which sets up Deathstroke in his new surroundings.
This is part of the issue which some readers may have with Deathstroke Vol. 1: Gods of Wars; the new surroundings. The story is good, solid, and entertaining, but there is a major aspect of it which may make longtime fans of Slade feel it was included less for the good of the story than to make the viewers of a successful television show more comfortable. I read through the book several times, and each time felt that it would have been just as strong without this particular plot line. I have not read the subsequent issues following this trade, so I do not know if this twist was just temporary or if it is permanent. Regardless, on the whole, it is an exciting adventure worth a read.
Pulling double duty, Tony S. Daniels also delivers the artwork for the series, with inks by Sandu Florea (SUPERMAN, BATMAN). They are gorgeous, acrobatic pages. There are one and two page splashes where Deathstroke battles various enemies which simply sing with a fluidity of motion which many artist would sign over their good right hand to achieve. Daniels pencils, fleshed out with spectacular inks by Florea, sing with action.
With exception of the hiccup in the set-up, the story is an exciting one which every fan of Deathstroke should read.
Deathstroke Vol. 1: Gods of Wars is a solid book with wonderful art. Thumbs up!