Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: Rebirth Deathstroke #2

By:  Jerry Montgomery
September 18, 2016

Rebirth: Deathstroke #2
“The Professional Part 2: Band of Brothers”

Writer: Priest
Pencils: Carlo Pagulayan

Deathstroke has been around for a long time. Soldier, hunter, mercenary, assassin. Long time nemesis of the Teen Titans. He’s the original.  It’s even been widely speculated that a certain wise-cracking mutant assassin in black and red was based on him.(Though the creator maintains his inspiration was Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man…just with guns and swords and stuff!) His life has been filled with personal tragedy and heartache, which may or may not have shaped who Deathstroke has become. He has been both villain and hero, having fought on the side of good alongside the Teen Titans. Rebirth has given us a chance to start at ground zero with this complex character.

Issue 2 is told through a series of smaller vignettes, each with their own title and subject, but all interlocked to tell the whole story. The first, entitled, “Home Alone”, “Ishmael”, and “Our Gang”, deal with the past. “Two Guns” and “Rax” bring the story to the present. The story then flip flops in this way from past and present. It’s a tale with the classic plot line that sometimes our pasts come back to haunt us and it holds true for Slade Wilson.  What begins as a covert extraction operation in Cambodia, becomes much more as the consequences of each man involved stretches across the span of eight years to be felt.  It is a story about teammates, friendship and betrayal. Ultimately, Slade must face an old friend,  much more powerful than he can imagine and discovers that his list of past and present “jobs” has been hacked and unbeknownst to him, next on the list, is someone near and dear to him.

The Verdict: I really like this title and the writing method used to tell the story. It has the potential to be an epic tale in the new lore of Deathstroke, integrating his dark past with his undoubtedly, equally dark present. I like the Pencils of Carlo Pagulayan which seems to fit well with the intriguing mystery that much of the comic has. With the recent announcement that Deathstroke is to be the villain in the next Batman film, I expect Rebirth:Deathstroke will begin to generate a lot of interest amongst new and old fans alike.

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