So I had been enjoying the previous incarnation of Deathstroke from his first ongoing in the New 52, when it was cancelled (along with a bunch more titles from the first wave) and I was left with a void, in the shape of Deathstroke, in me. So I was excited to see that with the most recent wave of new books from DC, that there would be a new Deathstroke ongoing. When I found out that Tony Daniel was writing and drawing the book himself, though, I was a bit worried- because I have seen some pretty famously major trainwrecks that came from creators being in complete control of a title and taking the book wildly off the rails in a hurry.
This book did not do that, in my humble opinion. I think that the first arc worked pretty well, and the second arc that this issue is in the midst of is solid. I was glad to see that Tyler Kirkham was soon to join the book and takeover on art, because I love his art style (it seems like it would transition well from Tony to Tyler, to me anyway) and then it should help keep the reigns tight on this book- so that it will actually continue to sell well enough to keep it off the chopping block. I thought that the Godkiller arc slowed the story down a bit- the last arc was running at quite a breakneck speed basically the whole time, but it was a welcome change in pace. I like that it is incorporating other areas of the DC Universe, because Deathstroke always seemed to play best when he had some other DC characters to play off of (i.e.- his time as big bad of the Titans).
The artwork on this issue (and the series as a whole) is stellar. I think Tony Daniel could teach a lot of people about the idea of incorporating the exaggerated and hyper-masculine style of the 90’s (a la Rob Liefeld) but with a ton of detail and a flair for more cinematic layouts. As I said before, I was unsure what the story would be like, because of my negative experiences with writer/artists in the past- but this book has actually felt like a fairly cohesive story. I hope that the annual that comes out next can continue to build the story, but with the added page count, maybe we get more big, dynamic splash pages. I love the way Deathstroke looks when he is flying through the air, wielding multiple oversized and bloodspattered weapons- all while surrounded by explosions, and a bevvy of villains, who are all in different states of dismemberment.
This story seems like it should be a decent transition point for the new artist, and to allow Tony Daniel to grow the story and possibly give Deathstroke a bigger sandbox to play in. I know that DC had emphasized a focus on storytelling over continuity, so I hope that means that there will be more, more imposing opposition, for Deathstroke to come up against (like how he faught Batman, and had to fess up to his Suicide Squad backstabbing in the first arc).
This book has been fun, and I have really enjoyed reading it, especially for the beautiful and detailed art, which is something that I hope this title wont ever, ever lose.
Check this book out if youre a fan of masked anti-heroes and big swords and bloody throwdown fights like ALL the time…