By Dustin Cabeal
The Twilight storyline concludes, and this will likely be the third trade in this Deathstroke series. It will also be the one I recommend the most to people. I truly believe that you don’t even need to read the other issues to enjoy this storyline. It’s just that damn good and Priest does an amazing job of recapping the rest of the storyline through the dialogue. For instance, the Red Lion shows back up and gives Rose a new suit to tell her, “thank you” for her actions that led to him getting back his country. Even though it tells you which issues it happened in, the information is there already, and it felt natural to the story.
There is honestly a lot happening in this issue. We still have no clue who killed Joseph’s fiancé, but as we flashback we see her checking in with her handler… Amanda Waller. Can I just say that Slade talking to Waller is one of the best comic book moments of the year? Can I? It is. It so fucking is. It also teases the next story arc, which is likely to be Deathstroke versus the Suicide Squad. Yeah, and people wonder why I keep saying this is DC’s best fucking comic. Deathstroke versus the Suicide Squad. Fuck yeah.
All this aside the reason this book is so damn good is the character development as Slade looks back on his time as a father and reflects on the things that Wintergreen says at the start of the issue. Which I should mention is after Deathstroke’s Wintergreen A.I. calls Wintergreen. The flashbacks that Slade is thinking about are the times as a father in which he’s failed. Another way to put it is when he was a bad dad. It’s interesting because, through all of it, he is trying to do right by his kids, but he just sucks at it. As good as he is at everything else, he sucks at being a father and the way Priest portrays him is that it gets Slade’s goat. They’re also the people he cares about the most, which is kind of heartbreaking.
Joe Bennett continues to be great on this series. The panel layouts are smart and brilliant. There’s a very natural flow to every panel. The flashbacks were just tremendous. They are moving, and yet this is Deathstroke. He’s a bad guy as Priest and company reminded us last time, but there is so much heart to this story that pours out from the artwork. As always, Norm Rapmund’s inking completes Bennett’s line work. I know that I have said this every damn review, but I will continue to mention that inking in comics books is a trend that needs to continue. Once the only way they were made, now a scarcity in the industry. I will take Deathstroke over other titles any day because of the inking. While I’m not going to say anything new about the coloring I will mention that it continues to be great and that Jeromy Cox is doing a wonderful job. So too is Willie Schubert on lettering which I don’t talk enough about it. Particularly, the way he does Joey’s letters is great and gives it the robotic feel it’s supposed to have.
For my money, I’m hard-pressed to name a better comic being published right now. The simple fact that it’s pumping out two issues a month and maintaining this level of quality is mind blowing. It’s so good that I forget other comics that I’ve read and I weep for anything else released the same week. Deathstroke will likely be remembered as one of Priest and company’s crowning achievements and rightfully so.
Artist: Joe Bennett
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Publisher: DC Comics