Deathstroke #21-22: Defiance!

The team’s first mission is a (very qualified) success, but what do you think the long game is?


  1. Jack says:

    No idea tbh, I’m interested in the Society though.

  2. Ian Miller says:

    This week’s issue was awesome and hilarious – “Hello, Rose. Still a virgin?”

    But I was curious – some of the 4channers were speculating that Slade is deliberately undercharging for his work to viciously undercut his competition. Since you’ve been so careful about the amount of money Slade normally charges, and what he does with that money, I think it would make sense for him to still be such a jerk, even as a so called hero, in this subtle way – are we crazy nerds reading it right? Is the long game “undercut security firms so that Defiance is the only option, then raising prices back to buses full of money”? 🙂

    Of course, there’s also the games Addy and Slade are playing against each other, and the strange death feud between various people in Asia that’s probably connected to Rose through her Hmong heritage…

    Loving it!

  3. Vladimir P says:

    Hi. I love so much your comic. Do you read Identity Crisis? I have hype to see your version of this villain.

    • Ian Miller says:

      Yeah, over on the various forums, a LOT of the comments (that aren’t about whether Slade and Terra have slept together) are about whether Dr. Light is the version who…featured in Identity Crisis. 🙂

  4. Nate the Great says:

    Glad I’m finding out about this blog. Deathstroke has been fantastic, a breath of fresh air in an increasingly risk-averse genre (big superhero comics). VERY curious about Terra. As far as I know she has really popped up in the universe recently, but her lines at the end of #21 are a pretty clear allusion to the Judas Contract. And she clearly has some history with at least Rose. Is there some more Teen Titans history that is going to be revealed here? Every arc has been amazing so far, so I can’t wait to see where this one goes.

    I’m also gonna use this comment to continue to gush, because Deathstroke is by far my favorite DC title since Tom King’s Omega Men. I super appreciate the family focus the title. Rose and Jericho have always been characters I wanted to see explored more. Tanya and Wally finding a home on this team is great. While you’re grabbing all of my favorite characters and throwing them into Deathstroke, any chance you can go and save Cyborg from his mundane existence as the Justice League’s IT guy?

    (I know you can’t, but a man can dream…CYBORG DESERVES BETTER!)

    I COMPLETELY disagree with all of the grief you’ve gotten for how you’ve written Damian Wayne, I thought the characterization was spot on. You’ve got interesting characters making interesting choices that lead to interesting situations. I hope you never change what you have planned for this title because of what you read from fans. I can tell you, you have at least one fan who’s dying to see your unimpeded vision for this book for as long as you continue writing. Congrats on this title, it’s the primary reason I haven’t stopped pulling single issues from my local comic shop.

    Also I’m way late, but thanks for your Black Panther series as well. And for Static. Man, just thank you for being you, Christopher Priest.

  5. The DeathSkeleton says:

    Hey Mr Priest, I was just wanting to get your thoughts on Deathstroke’s appearance in the war of jokes and riddles? I was actually kind of disappointed. He felt so different, his gear and armor were way different then they have usually been

    • Devon B says:

      His appearance in that felt like an embarrassment to both Deathstroke and Deadshot. When you have Batman beat the two of them in just a few moves on one page? Really undermines the work put into both characters who are by no means “throw away” villains…kind of like how they were treated. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this too, Priest.

      • Rawhoth says:

        Priest was rather courteous about not physically pitting Bruce against Slade in Deathstroke’s domain. Then Slade faces Bruce in Batman and gets demolished in 2 seconds. Being a Deathstroke fan can certainly be frustrating. I expect I’ll see this Batman “feat” tossed around quite a bit.

        DC needs to make a decision. Slade is either the worlds deadliest assassin or he isn’t. As one of the biggest Deathstroke fans out there it pains me to say the moniker feels like false advertising outside of his own title. In all forms of media. Slade is racking up L’s at an alarming rate.

        That’s partially what I like about this “hero/anti-hero” Slade in Defiance and also Arrow. He doesn’t HAVE to be pit against anyone he’s going to lose a popularity contest to.

        • Devon Browning says:

          I’m with you on that. Im sure you’ve seen that popular comic panel with Superman flicking Deathstroke off a cruise ship and into the middle of the ocean or space or whatever. It’s frustrating because Deathstroke has a particular fan base and it seems like DC is aware and so they’ll throw him in comics/media like that to draw sales in from that group. But in return, it’s like they’re hurting themselves because what does that say about Slade? What is going to draw people to his own run from that sort of appearance?

          You can’t take a popular high sale comic like Batman, that gets a LOT of attention, and then make Slade look like some chump in it, expecting those readers to hop over to Deathstroke Rebirth. Seriously…who WOULD care about some lousy assassin if your only exposure to Slade is from that issue, or from the Superman issue, or even from the video game Arkham Knight where Slade drives around a dumb tank the whole time. And sadly, you know as a Deathstroke fan, those are only a FEW times where they’ve done his character dirty.

          Priest absolutely has been generous to other writers in charge of Batman, Superman, even the teams of Titans to make sure all is fair and at the same time, compelling and interesting. Why a DC writer that writes for BATMAN can’t bother to pick up an issue where he can at least see that he got the uniform completely wrong, is beyond me.

          • Rawhoth says:

            Couldn’t have said it better. The character has accumulated quite a following. I feel like Deathstroke is in this purgatorial zone where he is just one solid push away from being a household name. Instead we keep taking these incremental steps backward. Whether it’s Batman one punching Deathstroke, Damian taking him on solo in SOB, or even playing up this business with Terra in animated films. (Man am I tired of Deathstroke threads turning into who can make the best pedophile jokes.)

            DC keeps chipping away at the one thing that will initially draw reader attention to this particular gray area character. Harley had her wildcard wit and sex appeal. Deadpool had his crude humor (which I personally don’t care much for). Deathstroke is supposed to be the physical incarnation of raw badassery. His ability as a master strategist on full display. The anti-Batman that has contingencies for contingencies. The one character that isn’t going to be a mere obstacle to overcome in your hero’s journey. Slade has his own history, villains, and supporting cast to deal with. He’s a protagonist, not some rogue to be shoved into the back of a gallery. The quicker we stop robbing him of that the better.

            I feel like the one thing that can truly turn the tables is a strong cinematic appearance. If Joe Manganiello comes in and absolutely kills it on the big screen then things may begin to change. We all know if there’s one thing that influences comics and extended media the most it’s having a character prove themselves in a mainstream film. Which could begin as early as this November. Fingers crossed.

    • Elijah_ says:

      In my current head-canon, Deathstroke wasn’t trying. Remember when he said he secretly admired Batman and didn’t want to kill him in issue #4? Makes sense to me.

      • Dave Van Domelen says:

        Also, in the infamous “Sard borken” issue, he wasn’t exactly prepared to assassinate Superman. Foiled by the artist’s inability to make two white guys look different from each other!

  6. The DeathSkeleton says:

    Hey Mr Priest, I was just wanting to get your thoughts on Deathstroke’s appearance in the war of jokes and riddles? I was actually kind of disappointed. He felt so different, his gear and armor were way different then they have usually been. Any explanation would be nice

    • Elijah_ says:

      I’m not Priest but I have to say, Tom King turns everyone around Batman into an inconsistent jobber. As cool as The Button was, there is no circumstance in which it was take Eobard Thawne 60 seconds to down Batman, let alone get hit in the process. I am Bane was fun, but Bane’s ultimate loss to a headbut made no sense. Heck, he even had Batman somehow physically restrain Solomon Grundy within the first three issues of his run.

      Beating Deadshot and Deathstroke at the same time is more than disappointing; in my opinion, it’s flat out disrespectful to those characters. Maybe even to Priest himself, considering how hard he’s been working to establish Slade as the threat he is. That one page fight wasn’t even good for what it was, but instead simply humiliating to the characters and the fans of the characters.

      • Devon B says:

        I didn’t scroll far enough to see this comment…but yes. Completely agreed. Humiliating is the best way to describe it!

  7. Elijah_ says:

    One thing that’s very apparent to me is that in no way is Deathstroke actually a government pawn at the moment, least of all under Adeline’s thumb. I have no idea how any of this is actually going to play out, but that’s part of the fun.

    I’m very interested in where this business with the Society goes, too. I do remember Wintergreen stating that Deadline is going to want the Infinity Rifle back, and I loved how that guy was so dead-set on being a minor dick to Slade. To quote someone off /co/, shooting Power Girl, kidnapping Wintergreen and not taking the money deal? There is some style to those decisions. Can’t wait for a comeback.

  8. BigShadow says:

    if they are Defiance who are they Defying Vandal Savage, The Light, Defiance itself?

  9. Ian Miller says:

    I hope that we get an Inhumans: Once and Future Kings thread, too – just picked up my copy, and it’s fantastic!

  10. Sam says:

    I’m not entirely sure what the long game (besides a convuluted plan by Slade to bond/train his kids) is but it’s going to be a fun ride.

    The Defiance team is shaping up to be an interesting one even they may sadly remain as an arc in Slade’s title. Issue 22 showed them working together well especially for around first mission showcasing their powers well. Joey being around strategist was also fun to see: it’s something Addie would’ve taught him, plus we also see him being clever and compassionate to the enemy as well. It also shows he has what it takes to the lead team and wasn’t just going to get the position because of his mother (who knows more about Etienne’s death that she isn’t telling him…can’t wait for the confrontation). And then there’s Slade hanging with Dr Light as it all goes down. Those two where hilarious together and it’s also a huge relief seeing Arthur not be a rapsit again.

    And then there’s Terra! I am really intrigued what’s in store for her and also curious if anything resembling Ravagers (where she would know Rose from) did happen. She seems to have lost the Judas Contract baggage but not the entire characterization and as someone who always liked the character it be nice she gets to live and explored more without any odd clone drama. DC has had an odd relationship with her too as they’ve tried multiple times to re imagine her as a redeemable hero whether heavy retcon of Tara Markov ( Last Will & Testament) or scrapping Tara for a super different, super good Geomancer called Terra (Atlee). It seemed they were going with that in the New 52 with her appearance in the short lived Ravagers title but here as mentioned she acts more like her original NTT self. What relationship she at least has with the Wilson family will be interesting to see. Here she’s Addie’s mole (so far) and knows Rose pretty darn well. This also reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend about how Jericho and Terra were each other’s yin/yang when Wolfman first created them in the 80s and since then, purely by accident most likely, one has almost always been a hero while the other was a villain in mainstream comics. Sometimes with at least one of them being dead too. Nonetheless I’m really looking forward to what version(s) her character will incorporate most of here and if she too has any ties to the Titans still.

    Also did Tanya name her puppy yet?

  11. Herbie Grimm says:

    As always, loved issue #22.
    The monthly status is hurting the storytelling, though. The art felt rushed and so little happens in the issue… It would make sense if the title was still bi-monthly, but it’s not.
    Your writing was amazing, however.
    The solicitations of future months have already spoiled Kid Flash’s destiny, so that’s a bummer. They don’t say anything about Terra, so I’m excited to where she will go.
    Still hooked.

Leave a Reply