Deathstroke Rebirth ships this week


Edited to add: Deathstroke #1 (regular series) is this week (August 24 ship date).


  1. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    A good start, Priest. Past!Slade is a bit TOO unlikeable for me, but perhaps that’s the idea? And I’m a bit confused by the transition between Slade accepting the contract and the rescue of Wintergreen, who apparently had MRE’s and home movies with him when he was captured….

    But you’ve got me intrigued, and that’s enough to keep me on board for issue #1.

    PS: It’s funny, but I would have guessed Joseph would be the weak one, not Grant. Interesting.

    PPS: I can’t believe you named a character after Hosun. 😉

    • Dave Van Domelen says:

      I was a bit confused by Wintergreen’s cleanshaven face when he threw the MRE at the TV. Art goof, or meant to indicate passage of time between scenes in which he appeared?

    • Bala Menon says:

      Wolfman and Perez’s original Deathstroke was immensely unlikable. Extremely competent, I’ll grant, but definitely not one of the good guys by a very long shot. His own family (Grant, Joseph, Adeline) suffered a great deal for his ego, to say little of his manipulation of the extremely disturbed Tara Markov.
      That’s why I’ve never been fond of Deathstroke’s own comic putting a heroic spin on him (even if it was admittedly written by his creator).

      I will also point out that anyone trying to inflict Hosun upon the world has definitely established his dark-side credentials.

      PS: Grant was the older son, and the one whom Slade kept pushing. Slade had much higher expectations from Grant; Joseph escaped that.

      • Priest Priest says:

        BALA! Wow… it’s like serious old school in here 🙂 Great to hear from you!

        • Bala Menon says:

          Good to see you back, Priest. I’ve been away from most of DC/Marvel for quite some time now, but when I heard that you were returning, and doing Deathstroke as a villain, I couldn’t resist.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Not labeling the flashbacks (“Ten years before…”) was a calculated risk. I assumed it would very quickly become obvious the A story was present-day while the B-story was an obvious FB.

      Y’know, I realized making Slade unlikeable also involved some risk that the readers might be turned off by that choice. My Past Slade is inconsistent with Marv’s, who doted on his sons. As I see him, Slade is an emotional cripple and a megalomaniac; House M.D. with a machinegun. I talked myself hoarse at SDCC saying, to anyone who would listen, “Deathstroke is a VILLAIN.” I’m not sure which part of “villain” is unclear to folks. 🙂

      As I see him, Grant was a constant disappointment to Slade to the point where, ultimately, their conflict was the only means Slade had to be involved with his firstborn.

      (Minor Spoiler For Down The Line) What we will eventually see is Grant resenting his father while ironically becoming a kind of Deathstroke groupie (he has no idea they are one and the same), which leads to tragic consequences most fans familiar with the Teen Titans are already aware of.

      Deathstroke is a villain. He may never get more likeable. He does evil, skeevy things, even to his own family. Now, if I’m getting the guy wrong, please help me, but that’s how I see him. A total bastard who can’t be trusted. The mirror image of the noble Prince T’Challa.

      • Rawhoth says:

        Perhaps it’s because I combed through every interview like it was my job, or that i’m a huge Deathstroke fan (now a Prieststroke fan), or even common sense but I thought the flashbacks were pretty straight forward. The 3rd panel on the second page when Grant calls younger Slade by name should have been the indicator for most. The rest being people who have never seen Slade under the mask.

        I’ve been reading a lot of reviews and they all seem good on average. At the very least their interest is piqued enough to the point that they want to pick up the next issue to see where things are going. The only common critique I see among them is that they are afraid they won’t find something to relate to. Therefore directly affecting their ability to root for the protagonist.

        Indeed Slade is invariably a villain. The multi-dimensional human aspect you’re exploring with that is something so many fans have wanted for a long time. It’s truly a breath of fresh air from the simple killing machine we’ve had in the past few years. It’s important though that not every single dimension is coated in red paint.

        House M.D. with a machine gun is the perfect tagline. I think a lot of people can get behind the apathetic laconism that accompanies such a title. House M.D. that also comes home from the office in a “I’m with stupid” T-shirt may tend to put some people off.

        Deathstroke is a man that makes a living being this urban legend of a killer for hire. He’s the Captain America gone rogue and the Batman with an opposite set of values. He can take out a sizable chunk of the Justice League with a solid amount of preparation. These are fantastic draws and epic feats but hardly something the average Joe is going to identify with and root for.

        It all makes for a great popcorn flick but what happens when the character is no longer in your hands (hopefully not the case for a very long time). Future writers/directors are going to look to the source material and go “Well this guy is quite the jackass all the way around, he’s got it coming, lets throw him in front of A, B, or C hero to make them seem capable.” Which I know is the opposite of what you want for ol’ Colonel Slade Wilson.

        We don’t have to drift into the hero lane. We don’t even have to drift into the anti-hero lane. Have Slade drop a nuke on a city if the story calls for it. However, maybe it might just be in the best interest of the character to leave just the tiniest amount of wiggle room for a connection with his supporting cast. The way Slade saves Grant from the bear and then proceeds to scold him over how to approach the situation more tactically. Ace.

        On your Deathstroke page you mentioned having a stake in the outcome when the swords come out. You compared it to the likes of Gladiator, Braveheart, and Game of Thrones. You’re familiar with the works of George R.R. Martin. He’s quoted as saying something that I believe is important to remember.

        “Art is not a democracy.”

        If you think Deathstroke should absolutely be written one way. It’s important that you aren’t influenced too much by outside opinion. Too often have I seen once popular works of fiction write itself into a corner because it pandered to this group or that.

        Stay true to your vision. It sounds like there are some truly exciting stories planned ahead!

        • Priest Priest says:

          Hey, thanks for so well-reasoned an analysis. I can’t really respond w/o giving up big spoilers, so let’s just say Rebirth is part 1 of 2, and I’ll appreciate your revising your thoughts re: the Rebirth issue once the story has concluded.

          Also bear in mind that, like every other writer, I am finding my way with Slade. I’ve never written a character quite like this before; as you aptly point out, the antithesis of Cap and Panther–having qualities of both but corrupt at the core.

          I am hoping what readers will ultimately identify with is either (a) Slade’s *desire* to be, well, less of an a-hole even while trapped in the gravity well of his own making, and/or (b) Rose’s desire to love and be loved by her father–a real push-pull that begins with issue #3.

          But, at the end of the day, this is a bad guy. There is a price for that. You said so– he’s got it comin’.

          The question is, will readers tune in every 2 weeks to see what happens next? Will readers follow Slade on this journey? You should presume we are starting here and moving someplace, and that the character’s struggle is, in some ways, universal: we all desire community, to love and be loved.

          But this guy has spent a lifetime being a bastard. This series is about the consequences of those choices.

          • Rawhoth says:

            That’s a point I decided to omit from the original post. The minor concerns of said critics could easily be rendered invalid in a couple weeks time. The actual numbering of the series hasn’t even begun and a select few had expected Rome (or in this case the entirety of drama and relations) to have been built within a day.

            Really looking forward to part 2. I suspect we’re all in for an epic ride.

            Thanks for taking this thing on!

  2. Trev Trev says:

    A good start. I was slightly confused about the past Slade and older Slade, it wasn’t until towards the end that I realised the difference. I actually just thought the two were set in the same timeline. Still, I’m definitely on board and look forward to the next issue.

  3. JD DeMotte says:

    I really enjoyed it. A solid start and it feels more like the Slade I like more than the one issue of the New 52 that I read that seemed to me to read as “He’s so edgy, isn’t that cool?” Deathstroke should be edgy, but there’s a fine line of showing it off and glamorizing it. You fell on the correct side of the line for me.

  4. Dave Van Domelen says:

    “Wheelon?” It’s pronounced Will-HANE. 😉

    • Priest Priest says:

      He joins the series in issue #9, BTW. I announced it at SDCC and was really surprised by the large round of applause. I mean, I “announced” it as a kind of one-off crack, but there are apparently a solid number of Dr. Villain fans 🙂

  5. Rick says:

    I like it! The issue shows what kind of man is Slade so good. Better than all Deathstroke’s series from start of New52 taken one with another.
    But FB made me feel pain. xD
    I know your Slade is a villain so his actions expected. But it’s too strange for me because you told about Marv Wolfman’s cure concept. And there is his renewed world with too different character as protagonist. Maybe I just need some time to be accustomed to your vision of the character.
    I’m a bit at a loss, how old is Slade in FB? In «Everything You Need To Know About Deathstroke» wrote that he is approximately 55 years, but if FB has «10 years ago» story… Slade doesn’t looks like he’s 45. Or it is the result of the experiment?
    I’m so happy to see Wintergreen!
    I have mixed feelings about flashbacks, but except it I fell in love with each scene. Your Slade is really cool.
    (btw, Carlo’s art is awesome).
    Really want to tell you how much I’m impressed, but unfortunately my English is too bad and I can’t do it that way I want. So… I’m impressed, enjoyed and intrigued. Anyway, I’m look forward to next issues. 🙂

    • Priest Priest says:

      Slade, as I see him, is my age– 55. He looks 35 either because of (a) his healing factor, (b) the New 52 de-aging, or, (c) Tom Cruise wants to play him in the movie. You decide.

      He looks 35-ish in the flashbacks, which obviously occur before he even becomes Deathstroke. I’ll chalk that up to artistic license. Flashback Slade is intended to echo a corrupted Steve Rogers. Carlo pulls off an amazing feat, giving FB Slade noble, almost heroic eyes and an All-American jawline, while I have terrible things coming out of his mouth.

      None of the in-depth characterization in the Rebirth issue would have worked w/o Carlo. It’s all in the eyes–there is a storyline going on that has almost nothing to do with my words. The emotional pain on Grant’s face tells the story of The Ravager. Joseph’s innocence tells the story of Jericho.

      A huge part of the challenge is my realizing I am writing to an audience who, in large measure, already knows this history. So I am compositing it and telling the story in my own way. Yes, this will cause some occasional whiplash as FB Slade and his relationship with his boys is a departure from Marv. The destination is still the same; we’re just remixing the journey a little.

  6. Michael says:

    Holy hell I’ve missed those title boxes.

  7. circ says:

    Congrats on getting to tangle a bit with Bats, again. Any chance you’ll tackle Lady Shiva or Wonder Woman in this book down the line?

  8. Cthulhudrew says:

    Did Hosun write his own dialogue for this? Because you nailed it if not. 😀

    An intriguing start to the series. Looking forward to more.

  9. Eric Gimlin says:

    I’m afraid I don’t have much to add to the discussion other than to say I’m insanely happy to have an ongoing book by Priest to read. But I’m not sure I need to add much to that.

    It’s fun to see several names I remember from Rec.Arts.Comics in here, though. Or as some people called it, the Priest fan club.

  10. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    So… Kenilworth.

    I’ve been thinking, and researching, and I find myself wondering exactly what the secret of Kenilworth is, and why Slade changes his plans upon hearing it.

    After some quick Wikipedia trawling, I discovered the use of Kenilworth Castle to hold Prince Edward Longshanks (later Edward I) as hostage after the Mise of Lewes.

    Was Wintergreen being held hostage in order to keep Slade in check? Did Chronos reveal the location in exchange for a peaceful death? And just how bad IS the pesto MRE? 😉

  11. Thad says:

    I’m not a big Deathstroke fan (probably due as much to his oversaturation in recent years — he’s on Arrow! He’s on Young Justice! He’s in the Arkham games! He’s in Suicide Squad (the comic, not the movie)! He’s in the animated adaptation of Batman and Son even though he wasn’t in the comic version!) but I thought the Rebirth issue was fantastic and I’m onboard for whatever’s yet to come. I’ve never seen Carlo’s work before but it’s a great fit.

  12. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    I finally remembered what the Ikon suit reminded me of. From the very first issue of CHECKMATE, almost 30 years ago:

    There are differences, of course, but feel free to make a connection to it if you like, Priest.

  13. Dave Van Domelen says:


    Love it.

  14. Lucas Rémoussin says:

    Hi. I read the first 2 issues (Rebirth + #1), and JUST read your long essay/article on your websites (learned some stuff there), and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE what you’re doing with Deathstroke. My first reaction after DS Rebirth 1 was “Hey, Slade is an asshole ! And I kinda dig it !”. It’ so refreshing to see a bad guy being a BAD guy, and still be complex and compelling. I love my antiheroes, okay. Some of my faves are Sinestro and Black Adam. But DS is no antihero. He doesn’t have good intentions. He kills for money.
    Anyway, I loved everything I’ve read, especially the introspective aspect of it all. We get to know our protagonist, and it ain’t pretty. Carlo Pagulayan is just amazing. I’m so-so on Cox’s colors, but it isn’t bad by any means, and doesn’t distract from the story and art.
    Now on top of that, I am very anticipating (?) your take on Rose. She was great Pre-New 52, but the reboot butchered her, whoever wrote it sadly. So I’m excited to see your take, considering your nailed Slade. Qs (I understand if it’s a spoiler, you can’t talk about it) : Will her Cambodia heritage show physically ? She was always drawn a white girl before, so much so that I only learned of her half Cambodian origin a year ago lol.

    PS : Please do a Midnighter crossover down the line, with ACO on art ? They are the 2 badasses of the DC Universe right now, and that would make my day.

    Sorry for the long post, but I had many things to say (probably didn’t even cover it all).

    Keep up the greatnesss ! 🙂

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