(DC Comics, 2013)
Reviewed by Chris Ambrosio
WRITER: Justin Jordan
PENCILS: Edgar Salazar
INKS: Scott Hanna
COLOR ART: Juan Fernandez
Deathstroke issue #16 finishes up a 2 book arc, by the talent honed Justin Jordan, along with the handy work of Edgar Salazar. Deathstroke being one of my favorite ongoing series from the New 52 and in my overall inquiry of comics, Deathstroke for me brings on something other comics do not. Deathstroke having such a detailed origin gives this series the needed backbone, although you do not need to know any of his history to enjoy this read.
Deathstroke has seen many different writers through his time with the New 52 Justin Jordan being the most recent. I personally enjoyed Kyle Higgins work the most, with the reuniting of the Wilson family and then the destruction of his oldest son (see issue #6 of Deathstroke). Justin Jordan does deliver the goods with his work though. Slade Wilson must be a hard character to work with though, the only thing you can do with him is make him attack or be attacked work out a plan retreat then next issue he goes in for the kill. There isn’t much development in the assassin genre, one can’t grow out of being an assassin, once you’re in there is no way out except for death, and that is not an option for Slade.
Jordan does the usual with Slade though, travels for an assignment pin points his target and formulates a plan, you can’t blame the man though as I said there is not much you can do with a mercenary who is in the business of death. Hence the name Deathstroke the terminator from his works in the past he does not leave an assignment without getting it done, usually involving the death of the target or to others who stand in Slade’s way of achieving the full potential of the mission, this way he will be paid in a full amount.
Jordan taking all of this into play, Slade is hired to kill Koschei the Unkillable, this is a little more than just going in and killing the target, it’s more of “mission impossible”. The story of Koshei doesn’t involve anything special to kill the “Unkillable”, or have to know anything before this arc. Jordan instead starts off fresh and makes up a new set of rules to do the impossible, and takes it down to the dirt and nails to best Koschei, down to a mere few words he said to Deathstroke. This is what appeals to readers how we have to sit through a couple of issues to get to the solution, mind boggling and leaves you waiting for the next installment. Going back to Deathstroke who usually comes off as an evil doer, Jordan portrays him as just a hired gun, which is OK because we still get the same thrill either way. Deathstroke regardless goes in starts a mission and does not leave until it is fulfilled.
The illustrations in this book done by Salazar are good, nothing too amazing, but once again they get the job done. The characters have well developed anatomy, nothing too drastically wrong with them, like I have talked about before in the AoU review. The one thing that stood out to me was how he drew Koschei. Koschei came off to me as a not so serious character, although he was supposed to be.
Deathstroke #16 really brought together everything involving Deathstroke, for Jordan he has only worked on it for a short time but he did it well. The series is going out of print sometime soon, maybe it was because of the story telling of Jordan, but I doubt that highly. Jordan hooks us in nicely and maybe if he gets some more slots in we could keep Mr. Wilson alive and killing.
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