Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Comic Review: Deathstroke #9

Deathstroke #9
Rated T+
1 Slime
Copyright DC Comics 2012

Deathstroke the Terminator: Real name is Slade Wilson.  Most likely the best mercenary in the world who can teleport things to him and has incredible foresight.

Peabody: Deathstroke’s… butler I think.  I dunno.  Not sure if that really is his name or Deathstroke just calls him that for laughs.

Maxim: The owner of a company who wants aliens for some reason.  Ten bucks says he betrays our main character down the line somewhere.

Zealot: The security chief for Maxim’s company, who must have had a bunch of bad botox injections since her face seems frozen in place.

Omega Youths: A bunch of humanoid aliens that work for Maxim for unexplained reasons.

Lobo:  An intergalactic bounty hunter who plans on destroying Maxim and the world for keeping him prisoner for decades.

+ People can change pants in less than 20 seconds on the fly.
+ The key success to any mercenary is the ability to be able to magically conjure up whatever you need for the situation.
+ People hire mercenaries to obtain minerals, animals, or vegetables.
+ There is no such thing as a dress code when working at a company that deals with aliens.
+ Inside the human being is blood and nothing else.

Page 1 – My god, that man has no face!!
Page 3 – The picture teleported to him in one panel and then teleported out in the next panel.
Page 4 – Man, he can change pants quickly.
Page 5 – Hey, those staffs teleported in.
Page 6 – The red dot on his belt disappeared twice in the bottom panels.
Page 7 – How does one move in an outfit that tight?
Page 8 – I can’t tell, what’s going on in the fourth panel?
Page 9 – Now shoulder pouches teleported onto him.
Page 10 – Take a good long look at that third panel.
Page 11 – Where he just walk from?
Page 12 – Since there are no motion lines, that helicopter is merely floating to the destination.
Page 14 – She must known this facility quite well since she walked down those stairs with her eyes closed the entire time.
Page 15 – Maxim: Yes now look at this random monitor that appeared behind us.
Page 16-17 – Despite being restrained for many years, he still looks in pretty good shape.
Page 18 – Well the tech department certainly needs to build better weapons.

Deathstroke: Whoever is behind this assault is going to pay dearly for the affront.  This is sacred ground.  My wife is buried here.  Fitting, then, that I’ll bury them all besides her.

Deathstroke: Then there’s the fly in the ointment… high-level telekinetic assault in progress.


In September 2011, DC Comics rebooted all of their titles back to number one and started over with brand new continuity, besides Batman and Green Lantern since if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  This was an attempt to gain brand new readers and obviously make a lot of cash.  Due to this reboot, there were a number of great new titles, like Animal Man and All-Star Western, but there were also bad ones, like Batman: The Dark Knight and Hawk and Dove.

Then in May, DC shook things up a bit with their line up with new titles, crossovers gone mad, and writers & artists being shuffled around to new titles.  One such title affected by all of this was called Deathstroke, about a mercenary of the same name going around and being a badass from what I heard.  Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Simon Bisley had come up with a comic that was decent depending on whom is asked and were both ended being replaced by Rob Liefeld.  The man is known for being one of the founders of Image Comics, the company publishing The Walking Dead and Spawn, and being one of the more controversial figures in the comic world due to his poor artwork and bad writing.

My only experience with Deathstroke is when he was on the Teen Titans animated show and went by Slade.  He was a great villain in the show, but I’m not sure how much of that was true to the comics he was in.  So looking at this comic, I’ll have to judge as is.  Let’s take a look and see if everyone was right to worry about this creative change.

We open to a shadowy and very smoky office as a bunch of faceless executives plan to rid themselves of Deathstroke so that he won’t interfere in their plans anymore.  They plan on hiring someone named Mr. Deadborn to do the deed.  As I look upon this first page, I start to wonder things to myself.  Why is that man with the cigar head constantly changing shape?  How his one cigar smoking up the whole room when no one else is.  Why would anyone be called Deadborn?  So much to ask, but clearly not enough time.

We then cut to a cemetery where we see the title character monologuing to himself as he stares at the unmarked grave of his wife.  As he mopes about, his wind-sense starts tingling and he manages to catch a cat guy alien as it tries to attack him. He tosses him away and fights off the backup with ease.  Though I must admit was nice of the bad guys to let him change into his costume before engaging him.

After a bit of fighting, Deathstroke gets caught by a telepathic alien and is suspended in the air.  The Calvary arrives to run him up, but it turns out he had bought this cemetery a while back and had outfitted it with explosives in a bunch of the graves just in case anyone shows to desecrate the place.  As such, he uses it to blow up the guys and break free from the telepath.  Now the place is desecrated with blood, guts, and a smoking crater.  Brilliant!

Deathstroke is then approached by the leader of the attackers, Maxim.  He explains he was merely testing him to see if he was as great as everyone says and then offers him a job to hunt down an alien for him.  It’s considered to be one of the most dangerous of all aliens and this intrigues him enough to take up the job.  He goes to Maxim’s company and meets up with Zealot, the Chief of Security for the place. 

Deathstroke then asks about how they allowed the alien to escape.  Now this part confuses me and I had to go back to check, but until this point, Maxim hired him to track down an alien.  He never said or even mentioned that alien escaped from anywhere.  So along with Deathstroke’s ability to teleport materials to him, he is also a mind reader?  Well I’m certainly learning a lot about him today!

Maxim pairs him up with Zealot and the Omega Youths, the aliens that he had attack Deathstroke earlier, for this missions due to the level of danger.  He doesn’t want them to come along due to their lack of experience, but agrees to it and plans on ditching them along the way.  Maxim shows him video footage of the target from the prison where it was kept before escaping.  Our comic then ends with the reveal that the alien is Lobo, an intergalactic bounty hunter and the “main man”, and he states on camera that he is coming for Maxim and will destroy the planet when he is done with him.

So that is the first issue of Liefeld’s run on Deathstroke, so how was it?  It was… meh.  Starting for the top, the artwork is terrible.  Inconsistent art on the characters (look at the first page with the man smoking the cigar and you’ll see), bad musculature, bland backgrounds, poorly drawn faces, and so much more.  The dialogue is either boring or silly.  There’s also very questionable logic used and plot points that seem rather off.  I also got to point out the poor characterization sine for our side cast since we are introduced to them this issue and we really don’t know anything about them outside of a few basic facts.  One last thing I noticed that stuck out to me.  No one opens their mouth when speaking at all in any of the panels except for one.  Struck me as odd.

I will admit this issue was good as an introduction into the new arc.  We meet our new cast of characters, set up the conflict for what will be happening, and introduced our villain Lobo has a formidable foe for Deathstroke.  Otherwise, a pretty bad issue, however, it was so bad that I found it kind of enjoyable.  I think it’s perfect riff material and there’s usually some fun in that.

 Overall, a bad and kind of amusingly first issue into Rob Liefeld’s Deathstroke run.  Not really worth buying, but I still think it’s worth looking at just for s**ts and giggles.  Feel free to argue with me about that.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, it's comforting to know that despite a creative team change, Deathstroke remains awful. And he can teleport stuff now? That graveyard scene sounds hilarious!