I have been sticking with this character for a while, through the first series cancellation, into this new book, through some rocky stories in the middle of the arc and I am still on board, even though I know now that this book is going to double ship monthly, and will have a revolving door cast of art teams to try and keep up with the ridiculous pace of a new 20+ page book every two weeks. So, it only served to temper my expectations further, as we approach Rebirth (and this weekend’s announcement of the creative teams- which since Kirkham is off this issue, I am betting he is landing elsewhere once the reveal is made) that this book (and most other books from DC) wouldn’t be quite the same as what I have come to expect from them, much in the way Convergence was so vastly different (and often lower in quality) than what I was used to getting.
I enjoyed the look of this issue quite a lot, and with a new art team on-board alongside James Bonny, it doesn’t seem like the book lost too much of it’s focus. I am hopeful for the end of this series, and the character Lawman (I just LOVE saying his name “LAWMAN!” c’mon- try it with me…) and I really hope he sticks around, at least for a while, because we haven’t gotten much out of him so far.
I wonder if the tease from the end of the issue is actually just the reveal of Lawman’s identity, which could really be anyone, because I don’t really know of any Deathstroke or Deathstroke-adjacent characters who could have taken the Lawman (“LAWMAN!!!”) mantle upon themselves.
I liked the way that Deathstroke kept fighting through all his injuries, and I was glad for the clarification on Red Hood’s intentions in this story- what I didn’t like is how seemingly without logic Deathstroke approached the constant threat of “betrayal” from Victor Ruiz. It really felt out of character for him to work so closely with someone who he assumed was constantly going to double-cross him and then **SPOILERS** once they get to Copper Cliff, that’s the SERIOUSLY FIRST THING THAT HAPPENS.
I am hopeful for some intervening assistance from Red Hood in the next issue, and the last page reveal of Lawman (“LAWMAN!!!!!”) and **SPOILERS** his daughter, Rose- who he had been searching for, because he thought she was in danger- are ready to lay a serious smackdown on him. I liked the way she looked on that last page, and I am hopeful for lots of big action to come from the next issue, and that it is in fact a “showdown” as it is being touted. I wont spoil it here- but it is on the cover of next issue (and that is the second-to-last issue in the book) but I actually am pretty excited to see Deathstroke face off against THAT particular character… it looks like Tyler Kirkham is set to come back for the last two issues, but I wont hold my breath on that one.
This series has worked pretty well lately, and for me that was because of the creative team on the book having a seemingly consistent and dependable output. Now, with Rebirth fast approaching, all DC's creative teams are in flux, and it feels like its just chaos over there. This issue has a new artist. I'm not familiar with them, but I liked the art on this book. I was glad we got the explanation that Red Hood wasn't taking an assassination job for Deathstroke, just to beat him up. The tease of an "old friend" coming back for the next issue should be interesting, but if its yet again another new artist, I don't know how much I will like it.