This issue essentially picks up right where the last issue left us. This issue progressed the story of the Clock King further. We find him holding a prisoner; the prisoner is one of the men that hired Deathstroke to kill the Clock King. There are a lot of threats and talk between the Clock King and the prisoner in regards to how he shouldn’t have tried to hire someone to kill him. Throw in a half-naked fight flashback between Deathstroke and his ex-wife along with some pretty stellar action scenes and you’ve got yourself a solid comic. The flashback was interesting because it wasn’t Deathstroke’s flashback, it was one of his longtime friend’s flashbacks because he walked in on them as they were finishing their crazy fight, sex party. This flashback did give us a sense of who exactly Deathstroke's wife was. She was the one that trained him to become an assassin; she was, in fact, kicking his butt pretty good in the fight scenes. His ex-wife is clearly jealous that he gets to go out and fight while she is stuck at home doing laundry and other chores.
Confronting the Clock King is no easy task because he is on a delay essentially, so any image you see of him is a hologram because it is in the past. Given Deathstroke's abilities and top notch fighting skills, he can stop the Clock King in this issue, but it is hard to say if this is the last we will see of the Clock King. I think there are many more opportunities to use him even if just for flashback purposes to give us more ideas as to how Slade became the world's most deadly assassin.
Overall, Priest does an excellent job; his writing is good quality, fast paced, detailed enough without becoming overwhelming to the reader. The story progression from the first one-shot issue was pretty solid. Details that were a little cloudy were cleared up a bit more, such as the Clock King's plan and his real power. This isn’t by any means the best writing ever, but I enjoyed it, and Priest gives you just the right amount of story to satisfy the reader by the end of the issue. There was excellent usage of the pages, giving flashbacks leading into more background for certain characters, possibly even hinting at a new assassin joining the game, Slade's ex-wife.
As the same from the last issue, the art has been excellent. Fantastic character details and the environments are clean, and you can clearly tell where the character is. The movement of characters is captured very well, especially in the half-naked fight scene. Overall this was a good read, might be worth the three dollar price tag, but honestly could probably go down to two dollars. If you are a fan of Slade Wilson as Deathstroke, then definitely pick this issue up. I think the creative team behind this series is doing Slade justice and giving the readers a well-paced, action-packed comic series that can compete with being some of the better writing out of the other DC Rebirth titles.
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Deathstroke #1 Writer: Priest Artist: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox Publisher: DC Entertainment Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital