Deathstroke Rebirth

Today DC announced all the Rebirth creative teams, and the biggest splash in social media (well, it was the only one consistently trending on twitter, at least) was Deathstroke, written by Priest and with art by Carlo Pagualayan.

I’m sure Priest will have his own post to make about the matter soon enough, but since people are coming here looking for discussion on the book, here’s a place to do it!


  1. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    I, for one, can’t wait. I have fond memories of XER0 (even with the art troubles) and I even have the UNKNOWN SOLDIER mini.

  2. A. Freed says:

    I haven’t read Xer0 for ages… hadn’t occurred to me as a point of comparison.

    I have no particularly strong feelings about Deathstroke as a character, but I’m thrilled to see Priest writing comics again. Here’s hoping he’s as enthused about it as we are!

  3. Trev says:

    This is great news! I look forward to reading the books when they hit the shops.

  4. Rod Miller says:

    This is the only news from Rebirth that will make me buy a DC book again.

  5. Congratulations and good luck!

  6. Priest Priest says:

    Well, this is just a nightmare. British author Christopher Priest just released a new novel, and we’re getting scissored a bit in the Twitter crossfeed. What I can tell you about Deathstroke is I am absolutely terrified. This will be a book people will either love or hate, there really won’t be much in the middle. The good news is, being published twice per month, we won’t have to wait long to find out which it will be 🙂

  7. Kudos, Priest! Looking forward to seeing this. Hopefully DC will heavily promote this!

  8. Tavares Ford says:

    Wow. Just wow. This is the best entertainment related news I’ve gotten in years. Priest does the best competence porn ever. Slade n his hands will be a glory to behold.

  9. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    I’ll admit to some curiosity as to why Deathstroke, of all people.

    Was Priest specifically sought for the book, did he pitch it, or did someone call him up and say “Here are a list of characters available. Who do you like?”

    Because I must confess… I thought Priest had pretty much given up writing comics for the Two.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Mario: “I’ll admit to some curiosity as to why Deathstroke, of all people.”

      Yeah. Me, too.

      What can I say? No, I was not pitching. I was minding my own business, writing “1999: Red and Black” and development work with Reginald Hudlin and Denys Cowan for Milestone 2.0. I got an email, they said “Deathstroke,” I said, “Who?!?” then I asked myself the same question Mario asked. This is a likely case of casting against type, which is why I said yes. If I were editing Deathstroke, I’m not sure I would have picked me, which then made me interested in taking a swing because it’s been a very, very long time since a publisher last selected me for a project based on my actual writing as opposed to my being, y’know, a Republican. I would never have pitched for Deathstroke (although I did write Conan for a long time–shameless plug for Dark Horse which has reprinted most of my run). But it occurred to me that somebody, somewhere, at DC actually gave this some thought– gave *me* some consideration past my ethnicity– which earned my respect for DC because I felt like this was an earnest creative decision more so than, “we need a Republican to write this.”

      Creatively, it’s a unique challenge for me, I’ve never written a super-villain as the protagonist before. What do super-villains want? What do they do all day? What’s their family life like? I dug into that a little in my Deadpool run, ‘Pool being, ironically, a knockoff of Deathstroke. Deadpool has now grossly overshadowed Deathstroke nearly to the point where Deathstroke seems to be the parody of Deadpool and not the other way around.

      My challenge is to fix that. I’m not competing with Deadpool, but distinguishing Marv Wolman’s brilliant work from the echo that’s overshadowed it through a kind of creative deconstruction of the villain aesthetic. My Deathstroke is, I believe, faithful to the character and his history. What I, hopefully, bring to the table is a fresh perspective on the man and his motives; a character-driven introspective Journey Through The Mind of A Killer.

      • Mario Di Giacomo says:

        Interesting. Thanks, Priest. After our long (and mostly one-sided 😉 ) association, you’re guaranteed at least one sale. And “character-driven” comics always interest me.

  10. Ty says:

    Very excited to see this. Congrats. Can’t wait to read this.

    (Off-topic…I posted a while back about Everett K. Ross making the cut in the Cap:Civil War movie. Did you know this already?)

  11. circ says:

    Looking forward to it. Bought a DC many long years ago, so this is odd for me. From your handling of Panther, Achebe, N’jadaka, White Wolf, and many others, this prop is in good hands. Between you, the Action and WW team, I am looking forward to reading something that makes sense of the mess that this WB company has been making for way too long.

  12. Jeff Q. says:

    Now I’m wondering how Deathstroke’s neighbor’s dogs will play a role in the upcoming series. If someone is looking to write a masters thesis on you writing, that theme will take up at least ten or twelve pages! 🙂
    Seriously though, this one might drive me back to the comic store. Looking forward to it but bummed it pushes more 1999 further off. I’ve been loving prose Priest.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Jeff: much appreciated. And, yes, Deathstroke start-up is the big delay on the second “1999” novel. Slade is very demanding…

      • Oscar Jimenez says:


        How come you didn’t mention it before, when we spoke about *that* other pitch I threw at ’em, some months ago, about that *other* Titans-related character? By the way, I’m on Aquaman!

        Drop me a line sometime. Knowing you’re back at DC, even not sharing the same book, I’m feeling like it’s Christmas again. To me, biggest news in years.

        • Priest Priest says:

          Hi Oscar! DS was a relatively recent development. It was, like, “Hey, congratulations, you’re the new writer on Deathstroke. And you’re three months late.” It’s been… interesting. 🙂 Congrats on Aquaman! Always wanted to write that book, too.

  13. Cthulhudrew says:

    I just read about this on another site. Congratulations, and though I don’t read too many comics these days, I will certainly be picking this up, and am looking forward to doing so!

  14. Cthulhudrew says:

    You mention above that the opportunity came to you unsolicited from DC. I wonder if Geoff Johns had anything to do with it? As I recall, he was a big fan of your Black Panther run (and one of the few creators at the time who really seemed to utilize your classic take on the character during his all-too brief run on Avengers).

    In any event, congrats again. Glad to see that your talents and track record haven’t been completely forgotten by the guys running the big shows in comics these days.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Geoff was definitely in the mix, but there’s a lotta chiefs at DC. Nice to have a rabbi, but no one person is all-powerful up there, so even with Geoff’s support, the larger group of leadership had to agree on the new teams.

  15. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    Some character designs on CBR:

    For the record, Ravager’s final design are the ones with the blue undershirt, not the one where she looks like she goes into battle wearing a sports bra.

  16. Michael Aronson says:

    I always said Priest’s writing was ahead of its time. Looks like that time has finally come, given how much hype his name alone is generating on comics sites. Deathstroke is the only specific Rebirth title I see people talking about.

  17. Cthulhudrew says:

    Not sure when (if) you are planning on seeing Civil War, but I’m going to drop a spoiler for you…

    Your name is listed among several other Marvel creators in a “Special Thanks” credit at the end of the film. I was pleased to see it.

    • Mike Kammer says:

      Cthulhudrew, I noticed that too! Mr. Priest wrote my favorite Black Panther run, and I felt that there were several reverberations from his work on those stories in the film (such as the inclusion of Everett Ross).

      I rather enjoyed the film myself; in addition to the compelling conflict between Cap and Iron Man, I thought the brand new Spidey was the best translation of the character to the screen yet and I loved, loved LOVED Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa (I shall refrain from recounting exactly why as I’ve no wish to spoil any part of the movie, particularly on only its second day of release).

      Once Mr. Priest has a chance to see the film (if he has not already), I would be very interested to read his reaction. I’d imagine it’s one thing to go and see the movie as a fan, as I did; it must be a slightly different experience to watch the production and realize that some parts of the story were inspired by your very own work, no? Or can you still just go and enjoy (or not enjoy, as the case may be) the movie on its own merits and not be distracted by the fact that certain aspects were influenced by stories you yourself have written?

      • Nick says:

        Yeah, I’ve been checking this space twice a day to see what, if any, thoughts Priest has on the movie.

        Without giving anything away beyond that which has already been mentioned, it gave me a thrill just to hear someone introduce Everett K Ross- a character basically ignored since Priest left the book way back when- in the biggest blockbuster film of the year. Ten years ago, I’d have a bet a fortune I’d never see that happen, and I’m really glad that I would have been wrong.

        • Bob Almond says:

          That’s exactly what I told my brother…never in my life did I expect to see Everett K Ross introduced in a blockbuster Marvel film. It wasn’t Priest’ Ross and it surely wasn’t Matthew Perry/Chandler Bing but it was exciting for me none the less since I was intimately working with Priest’ EKR for three years! I cheered when I saw Priest’ and Mark Texeira’s name….had they not credited them I would have lost it;-)

  18. Bob Almond says:

    Plus, I would imagine that the general public upon viewing the film will think that Everett Ross is Thaddeus Ross’ son-LOL!

  19. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    First solicit is out in the wild:

    Art and cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN and JASON PAZ
    Variant cover by SHANE DAVIS
    “The Professional” part one! Deathstroke’s latest contract takes him to a war-torn African country, where he finds himself caught in the middle of a disintegrating alliance between a ruthless dictator and a deadly super-villain. With an entire nation at stake, Slade Wilson must choose between fulfilling his contract and saving an old friend.
    On sale AUGUST 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+


  20. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    And another solicit, courtesy of CBR:

    Cover by ACO
    Variant cover by STEPHEN PLATT
    A thousand enemies, a thousand kills—Deathstroke is the world’s greatest assassin. Stalked by an unseen foe, Slade Wilson is confronted by his own troubled past and challenged to reinvent himself before he loses everything and everyone in his life. Can Deathstroke be redeemed? Or will his addiction to violence destroy him?
    On sale AUGUST 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

  21. Trev Trev says:

    Hi Priest.

    Just a quick question: what’s the difference between Deathstroke: Rebirth and Deathstroke?

    • Dave Van Domelen says:

      Deathstroke: Rebirth is a one-shot, followed by the regular Deathstroke title. They’re doing “(Title): Rebirth” one-shots for everything.

  22. Trev Trev says:

    Oh, I see. Thanks, DVD.

  23. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    Hey Priest…

    How tied in will your DEATHSTROKE run be to all this REBIRTH business?

    Because, based on the spoilers I’m seeing, I’m really not impressed by what Geoff Johns has come up with.

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