As the line on the cover suggests, Deathstroke #21 marks a bold new era for Slade Wilson and the Deathstroke series, that is if the change that has been made to this series ends up sticking for more than a few issues. Deathstroke is no longer a lone wolf – now, Slade Wilson is the member of a team called Defiance. And while I initially struggled with the thought of having a changed Deathstroke lead a motley crew of young heroes into battle, now that I reflect on the change, I welcome it.
The addition of Defiance to the DC roster, for me, comes as a well-timed change of both pace and direction for the Deathstroke series. For readers looking for a jumping on point, this is it. From here on out, however, this may not be your Dad’s Deathstroke…and that’s alright.
Without giving away too many details, there is a moment, after the typical round ‘em up the introduction where Deathstroke tells Cyborg and the Justice League to stand down from a tackling a threat and he advises that his new group will handle the situation. I like the idea of Defiance working alongside the Justice League, but I find it hard to believe that without any sort of introduction the Justice League will allow this sort of behavior from a new group.
Dabbling in the Speed Force has left Slade a changed man, and while only time will tell whether or not this new era of Deathstroke will be bold, the decision to change direction showcases confidence.
Thanks to artist Diogenes Neves, this book has a fresh, well-polished look.
As long as Defiance stays a part of the Deathstroke series, I think that it’ll go far. On its own though…well, I need to see more of the group in action before I can comment on that. Regardless, Deathstroke #21 is a promising start.