Deathstroke #1

I don’t really like Deathstroke. He’s one of those villains that should be fairly easily beatable when he goes up against groups like the Titans and his threat level always seems contrived. I could understand if he was going up against unpowered heroes like Batman or Nightwing or Green Arrow, but Kid Flash, Wondergirl, Raven, Superboy and most of the other Titans shouldn’t have much of a problem with him at all.

In this new series, it looks like they’ll be focusing on the character without him necessarily fighting heroes. He is an assassin for hire and occasionally a bodyguard for other “evil” people. The first storyline is going to be about the villain-community thinking he’s gone soft because he’s been doing the bodyguard gig and he’s going to rescue his reputation.

Meh. I’ve never been a big fan of characters like the Punisher or others who just run around shooting people, hero or villain. Deathstroke has a handler in this issue, someone who gets him his jobs and handles payment and the handler thinks he’s got a great idea, a support team for Deathstroke. He does the mission with them and they do a great job, so naturally he kills them. Seems forced and gratuitous to establish he’s a loner, but again this really isn’t my kind of comic so maybe there’s a market for this.

The only thing that’ll keep me reading this, and I don’t see how they could make this character interesting for long, is what the unrevealed surprise in this issue turns out to be. After he gets on the target’s plane in mid-flight, the target seems to be the one that hired him and hands him a briefcase with “items” in it in order to “send a message”. They don’t show what the items are, tell him what the message is, though he asks “Is this a threat?” or have a chance to reveal anything else because he immediately blows up the plane. There’s a slight chance the items will lead into a plotline that is interesting to me, but I doubt it and they’d better reveal what it is quickly ’cause I’m not sticking around long.

If he’s nothing more than an assassin or bodyguard for hire, I’m not sure why anyone would be interested in “sending him a message” unless they’re competitors and the target didn’t seem to be someone who would care about that kind of thing. It also wasn’t someone who’d be targeting people he was protecting or protecting people he was targeting, it just doesn’t make sense yet and I’m not sure it ever will.

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