Thursday, July 3, 2014

Deathstroke: The Hunted #45

Deathstroke the Hunted Part IV of IV The Road to Salvation ... First Goes through Hell!

Marv Wolfman Writer
Sergio Cariello Penciller
Will Blyberg Inker
John Costanza Letterer
Chris Matthys Colorist
Keri Kowalski Asst. Editor
Pat Garrahy Editor

The cover shows Deathstroke's sword being torn apart by green chains — a sure sign that Green Lantern is involved. It is a rather striking image, and a bit symbolic of Deathstroke's own capture in the issue. However, I am a little disappointed that this cover doesn't show off the big Titans crossover that happens inside.

I first encountered Deathstroke as the main villain of the Teen Titans cartoon. But for some reason, they refused to say Deathstroke on the show, only referring to him by his first name, Slade. In 1995, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke the Terminator, was a full-on anti-hero, who was mysteriously immortal. And since he was being written by Marv Wolfman, Deathstroke and the New Titans had a handful of shared story lines. We saw how Crimelord assassinated a senator in The New Titans a few issues ago, and that story mostly played out in Deathstroke, where Slade was framed for the murder and then spent five issues being hunted by just about everyone. That brings us here, where the Titans have finally become involved, tasked with bringing Deathstroke to justice.

Deathstroke first battles Impulse, acknowledging that the kid has clue what he's doing or why, but Deathstroke is prepared to cripple him if needed. (Keep that idea in the back of your mind.) Impulse, meanwhile, is making fun of Deathstroke, calling him a joker and hawk eye, saying he's practically standing still and Deathstroke still can't hit him. But Impulse is so busy trying to come up with clever one-liners that he doesn't pay enough attention to where he's going, and Deathstroke takes him out by aiming ahead of the teen speedster.

Impulse is then knocked out for the entirety of the issue. Deathstroke next battles Darkstar before being surrounded by Arsenal, Damage, Mirage and Terra. Finally, Green Lantern arrives to chain up Deathstroke, and break his sword, putting an end to the fight. It's only then that Impulse recovers enough to stand there and watch Deathstroke get captured.

There's also a subplot involving Deathstroke's daughter, Rose Wilson. She apparently has been kidnapped by some villain named Ravager. Luckily, Rose's mom, Sweet-Lily, comes to save her, which she does, but she dies in the process. So Rose's only family left is now her fugitive father, who has just been taken into captivity.

Had I been reading Deathstroke, I probably would have been more shocked and amazed by the death of Sweet-Lili. And perhaps the capture of Deathstroke, too. But I have no emotional ties to the characters, and found it fitting that the Titans would be able to overwhelm Deathstroke here. I am sad the Impulse bit didn't last longer, but I was surprised to see Deathstroke consider crippling Impulse — something that will, in fact, happen in about 10 years.

The letter column, Deathstrokes, naturally does not mention Impulse, so let's move on to the new ads.

Prepare for the coming. Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions. Starring Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O'Connor and Famke Janssen before she became Jean Grey in the X-Men movies. There was also a contest associated with this movie to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.

Whodunnit? Lobo P.I. A two-fisted five-parter! Alan Grant, Val Semekis, John Dell.

Suffering, laughing, working. Killing. Dying. The ordinary people of Gotham City. And the Batman. Gotham Nights II. Ostrander, Mitchell, Giordano.

Lightning strikes ... monthly! Beginning in January. The Power of Shazam! Ordway, Krause, Manley.

Up next is The New Titans #119: Part 1 of the 3-part "Forever Evil": Raven has gathered her Brotherhood of Evil for the final battle with the Titans, and backed by the demonic power of the Children of Trigon, the team seems certain to fall before the threat of the evil ex-Titans.

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