I actually don’t feel like I got to write Deathstroke until issue #2. With both Rebirth and issue #1 there was a bunch of housekeeping chores to be done–explaining transitions, recapping history and so forth. Issue #2 introduces (or reintroduces) Wintergreen and continues our “Composite History” of Slade’s background. The legendary Larry Hama (otherwise known as my mentor) handles the storytelling (he did the layouts for the book), and artists Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz really hit this issue out of the park– just amazing stuff.

Now, the downside is– as with most things Priest, you may need to read #2 twice to fully “get” it πŸ™‚ The story is told sort of out of sequence and with a bunch of twists. But, freed from the other duties, I feel like our DS team finally clears the tower with #2 and takes flight.


  1. Thad says:

    Hama’s a fantastic fit for what you’re doing on the book. I look forward to reading it.

  2. Brandon 1991 says:

    (posted this on a old blog entry by accident) Glad I found a way to reach out to you! DS has been my favorite character since I was a kid. Ive collected all of his runs (even though many were terrible) In just the 2 issues your story sold me. I love what you are centering the story around. Im glad you want to return him back to the guy who can go toe to toe with DCs best while also being reserved about it. I know you will catch some hate and I just wanted to say you’re making this hard core fan happy. Thanks man

    • Priest Priest says:

      No, thank YOU for dropping the note, Brandon. It is you folks–the long-term DS readers–that I am actually most nervous about because our approach will be very different from what many of you are used to. We worked very hard on Rebirth and issue #1. Issue #2, however, has to stand on its own without the hype and fanfare accorded the previous issues. I’m a little anxious about #2 which, I think, ships this coming week, because it moves us even farther along in our own direction and interpretation of the character.

      We’re hopeful the book will continue to click with readers who’ve never read Deathstroke before, but I admit some anxiety over people like you who know this character well. Our goal is to innovate while still doing right by you. Stay tuned…

  3. Rawhoth says:

    Really loving how intricate and thought out this book has been so far. It really feels like a living world where there are multiple things going on at any given time. Slade kicking ass on one continent while sending things into political disarray in another. His intelligence is on full display. This is the Deathstroke people have been waiting for since the end of the Wolfman era.

    It’s really cool to see Slades family in this light as well. We’ve never quite seen this dysfunctional nuclear family home life play out in this way. It’s entertaining to watch this essential group of people be built brick by brick before things hit the fan. Don’t get me started on that comedic timing with Wintergreen. Their buddy cop thing they have going on is amazing.

    Also, people are loving this no nonsense villain Deathstroke. I’ve seen people praise this particular rebirth for breaking the cycle of villains falling into an anti-hero niche when their name is on the cover. There’s some real pioneer business going on here.

    If Rebirth and #1 were just prepping the engines for take off then us readers probably need to strap ourselves in.

  4. JD DeMotte says:

    I’m really excited for this. Not just because I’m enjoying the story (though I am), but because, Priest, you seem more excited to be working on a comics project than I can ever recall you being since I started visiting your blog. I think that comes across in the work as well.

  5. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    Brilliant start, Priest. Some really nice touches (like the …



    …purposefully upside down panel, the surprise shooter in the flashback or the bait & switch in Edinburgh). I never really thought of Joey as the sort to have a party while his parents were away, but it makes sense. πŸ™‚

    I do have three questions, though:

    First, are we supposed to read “Call Me Deathstroke” as “My name is Deathstroke” or “Deathstroke, give me a call”? Addie seems to think it’s the former, but given later events….

    Secondly, does Doctor Ikon dye his hair? It seems like an odd color change, otherwise, given he was blond in the flashbacks.

    And finally, are we supposed to recognize the person Wintergreen pays off on the last page? He has an oddly distinctive look, but nothing rings a bell.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Wasn’t I supposed to see you at KCCC…? πŸ™‚

      Let’s please watch those spoilers, especially for a book that most people haven’t seen yet. πŸ™‚ I’ll get back to you in a couple days. Thanks!

      • Mario Di Giacomo says:

        Not me. I’m in New England. πŸ™‚

        And sorry about the spoilers… I tried to be purposefully vague about anything that wasn’t in the preview pages. I’ll be more circumspect in the future.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Spoilers written in black text (thanks Dave!) :

      As we develop Joseph and Rose Wilson, you’ll see I am more or less reinterpreting these characters while also restoring much of their Pre-N52 history. That’s because I didn’t entirely understand the Rebirth mission and have been writing Deathstroke pretty much as though there’s never been a DS comic before or, more accurately, writing what I would like to see in a DS Netflix series πŸ™‚

      While regaining much but not all of their history (some of it, like the kids’ connection to Titans, is up to Dan Abnett), I am very much going my own way espec with Joseph who will be less of “the other” than has been traditionally portrayed. My take on Joseph is he’s a normal, happy, well-adjusted postgrad-age young adult not unlike Peter Parker. The only difference being Joseph cannot speak. Doesn’t–should not–make him a freak. I respectfully disagreed with the Joe As Psychopath direction and even, with all due respect, Marv’s Joe As enigmatic Flower Child.

      My Joe will be much more like Ray Terrell. Stay tuned (issue #6). Here’s a peek: Rose will be familiar and close to what we’ve seen as she makes her post-Rebirth debut next issue.

      Re: “Call Me Deathstroke” … well, that was the whole point of that πŸ™‚ Presumably The Jackal scrawled that on the wall and omitted a comma πŸ™‚ Hence Adeline’s misinterpreting the message (the chapter title, “Ishmael” was the hint, as in Moby-Dick).

      Dr. Ikon / David Isherwood has brown hair. He is based on the actor Jeff Goldblum (in creepy The Fly mode and named after my friend, inker Geoff Isherwood). This may have been a goof.

      No, you’re not supposed to recognize the Deathstroke impersonator, he’s just a vagrant Wintergreen hired for the occasion.

  6. Dave Van Domelen says:

    Testing a spoiler-tag kludge.

    • Dave Van Domelen says:

      Nope, didn’t work. Ah well. (I tried just using a font tag to change the text black, but WP doesn’t parse that.) Looks like things like spoiler tags have to be installed by the blog owner, most solutions seem to use third-party plug-ins.

      • Priest Priest says:

        You could try simple HTML (change brackets into carrots) [font color=”#000000″]Your text[/font]

        Like this!

        • Dave Van Domelen says:

          Actually, that’s what I did. It might be that it only parses RGB and not the color words? Trying it out.

          • Dave Van Domelen says:

            Okay, option three, it requires the quotes like some sort of 1990s parser. Option four, only the blog owner can get HTML tags to parse.

          • Dave Van Domelen says:

            Looking like option four. All of my above replies should have had some red and some blue text.

          • Priest Priest says:

            Okay, found this: HTML in comments is disabled for general users as a security feature. There isn’t an option with WordPress itself to change this but you could try looking for a plugin that might help.

            Looks like, for now, end users can’t post HMTL πŸ™ But you can, Dave, by logging in to post your comments and replies rather than use the interface.

  7. Todd (Scavenger) says:

    Hey! You once mocked me for labeling that your books needed to be read twice to fully get the story! NOW you use it as a descriptor!

    I was curious if there was any reason why Larry Hama came on board, other then general wanting to work together.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Well… I kept issue #2 fairly sparse, not filling in every detail and leaving it up to the reader to pay attention to the timing of sequences and who was where at what point in the story. Some readers zip through their comics, some readers take their time to take in both story and art. On New Comics Day, I know several people who take home a stack of comics and just rip through them. Can’t really do that with Deathstroke, have to pay attention. πŸ™‚

      Larry was brought on at penciller Carlo Pagulayan’s request to help speed him up. Larry does the layouts and Carlo renders them as full drawings.

  8. Robo-Washington says:

    Hopefully this is the right forum to do this. Usually I can just get in contact with a writer over Twitter, but such is not the case with you, Priest.

    First off, I want to thank you. I enjoyed the Rebirth one-shot and issue one immensely. Two was even better and I stayed up all night to buy three online, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I’m ecstatic over the fact that you’ve only actually been writing Slade in the past two issues, because even setting my love for the character aside, I thought Slade’s was one of the best Rebirth one-shots, and there was no evident drop in quality in issue one.

    I know you don’t like to disrespect previous writers, but I think Bonny, Daniel, and Liefeld did a number on Slade. Their Slade was dumb and punchy, constantly making mistakes and the like (more so Bonny and Daniel), never mind the meh story. Higgins’ was good, but it still wasn’t the exact type of Deathstroke I was looking for. With you, it feels like my favorite character has an actual writer for the first time in a long time, and he seems much more like the cold, efficient, and smart Deathstroke I love so much. Thank you very, very much.

    Then, I have two battleboard questions. You probably don’t like the idea, but I am quite fond of representing my favorite characters in fictional battles. Seems to only enhance my experience with comics. My questions are:

    1. Can the Ikon suit be cut? I assume the answer is no to standard blades, but what about, say, Black Panther’s anti-metal claws?

    2. Does Slade’s sword have any sort of special property? In issue three when he cut his way into Ricky’s building it seemed to produce some kind of blue fire. Was that just an artistic flare or is that an actual feature of his sword? As in, is his sword going to be the new adamantium claws?

    Again, thanks for making this series, and thanks in advance if you choose to respond to my questions. Have a good one.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Hey, Robo:

      Yeah, my first rule (well, among the top five anyway) is to not speak ill of other creators. Which doesn’t mean I don’t do it (“Klang!”) but that I’m not arrogant enough to suggest my version of Spud Boy is actually better or more correct than anyone else’s. Writing is enormously difficult–something a lot of fans and pros do not necessarily understand or respect. But I do, and I try to show respect to anyone dumb enough to take this job πŸ™‚

      The Ikon Suit cannot be cut because it produces something akin to the shield array on the USS Enterprise. It senses where the strike will hit and reinforces that area, turning from dark blue to bright orange upon impact with this gravitational (note NOT electromagnetic) field.

      And why am I answering this questions?! Dave Van Domelen, PhD, who has admin rights to this blog, created the superscience behind my concept. I mean, I know what the suit do, but Dave explained to me how it do it πŸ™‚

      The blade of Deathstroke’s sword is made from Type II or “Unstable” Promethium which DS stole from S.T.A.R. Labs during The Judas Contract incident. There’s plenty of info about Promethium (DC Comics version) online. Bottom line: the sword is indestructible, as you will see in issue #8 when DS attempts to carve up Superman with it.

      Thanks for the very kind words.

      • Dave Van Domelen says:

        Think of the shields this way: anything that gets too close while going too fast is sensed by the suit’s onboard systems, and suddenly it becomes VERY heavy in the “away from the suit” direction. While this isn’t always going to be enough to 100% stop things from hitting (lasers in particular are going to be a problem for Slade, both because they’re harder to bend with gravity, and because the sensors can’t really see light until it gets there), in the usual playgrounds Slade runs around in, it might as well be indestructible.

        Dr. Ikon’s version is better because it can handle all directions at once, while Slade’s can only stop a limited number of attacks at the same time…shoot at him from all directions and most of the bullets will find flesh. If you’ve seen Robotech/Macross, it’s like the point defense system the SDF-1 had in that respect, but controlled by a computer rather than by women with trackballs.

        Note, the “heavy away from me” thing doesn’t prevent momentum transfer. In principle, a strong blow will still send Slade flying, but the suit probably has something akin to recoil compensators, pushing equally hard the other way on the air all around Slade, passing the impact through and around him to a limited extent.

  9. Robo-Washington says:

    Thank you all very much. It’s always incredible to get in contact with the creative teams of my favorite comics. Seriously, you guys are essentially Beatles/Michael Jackson-level celebrities to me.

  10. Robo-Washington says:

    Thanks. It’s always incredible to get in contact with the creative teams of my favorite comics. Seriously, you guys are essentially Beatles/Michael Jackson-level celebrities to me.

  11. Robo-Washington says:

    Posted twice, my bad. Neighbor’s internet and all.

  12. Robo-Washington says:

    Also, I do have one more question. Some people are critical of your statements about Slade’s suit and sword. They say you just want to make him unbeatable and that nothing close to what you’ve said would happen in the actual comics. Do you, Priest and Domelen, have anything to say to that?

    • Priest Priest says:

      No, not really πŸ™‚

      I’ve no intention of making Deathstroke “unbeatable.” I just wanted him to stop looking like Lobo or Judge Dredd and look more like an assassin. The practical difference between promethium chainmail and a gravity sheath seems negligible to me: DS has always worn tough body armor.

      The main diff is our design relies less no bulk and rivets; less hardware. He’s an assassin, not a cyberpunk πŸ™‚

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