By Dustin Cabeal
I know, I know… I said I wouldn’t be back to review this issue, that I was just going to enjoy the series and not force myself to review it every time. Then Priest went and added Power Girl. A character so underutilized in DC that until this issue I couldn’t name two books she’s been in before now. I may end up picking up Teen Titans if she’s in that, but I will be harshly comparing the characterization.
I half think that this is Priest auditioning a Power Girl solo title written by him. Listen… I don’t know how many fucking issues I must pre-order, but you tell me DC. You tell me how many and I will do that to get a Power Girl series written by Priest.
In this issue, Power Girl, as smart as she is, still doesn’t know that Deathstroke is A) Deathstroke and B) a bad guy. She continues to help him and work with Dr. Villain to help cure him. Let me put it this way… she gets him a seeing eye dog and some Daredevil glasses. It’s the most interesting Deathstroke has ever been. He’s banging his son’s fiancé; his daughter won’t talk to him, and his son has killed someone and can’t live with himself. It’s messed up family drama at its finest, and it only gets better each issue. And that’s the rub; it’s not Deathstroke’s book, it’s his family and any character that he keeps in his life. It’s their book as well, as we check in with Rose and Jericho each issue.
Priest’s characters are what keep me coming back. They’re what make me smile when I read Power Girl stating how quickly she read 900 plus pages of a book. These characters grow more and more each issue, and it’s all just waiting to blow up in Deathstroke’s face, but I can’t believe that he cares. I think he cares about his kids the way a Lion cares about their own bloodline continuing and nothing more.
The artwork has switched, but there’s a catch, Larry Hama is back on breakdowns which means that there’s not much of a change. I’ll be honest; I didn’t even notice that it looked any different. Carlo Pagulayan is a great match to Joe Bennett, or they’re being instructed to match each other. Whatever the case, I wish more comics would do this. Have a style and look to the comic rather than a rotation of artists that look nothing alike. What also helps is the fact that Jeromy Cox’s coloring gives the book a consistent look even when the artist and inker change. Cox’s coloring is a huge staple in the consistency of the series, without him it’s hard to imagine that the book’s quality remains as high.
At this point, I don’t know when or if I’ll stop reviewing Deathstroke. At times I just want to enjoy it and don’t always have something new to write about, but then other times it’s all I want to talk about, and so these reviews are an outlet for that. Deathstroke is still DC’s best title, and it’s a damn shame if you’re a comic fan and you’re not reading it.
Breakdowns: Larry Hama
Penciler: Carlo Pagulayan
Inker: Jason Paz
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Publisher: DC Comics