Coming off one of my favorite comic runs by the previous Team Deathstroke, Christopher Priest, Jason Paz, and Carlo Pagulayan had a tall order with Deathstroke: Rebirth. Thankfully, the Terminator looks to be in capable hands. Rebirth establishes Deathstroke as a hardass and as usual, his family life is shown to be less than ideal. The more things change, right? The story uses flashbacks to establish a bit of Slade's relationship with his children, while present day, Deathstroke is on a mission to assassinate a classic villain. This villain is also under protection from the locals… who have hired Slade. Yeah, no honor among thieves. This changes though, when the assassination target gives Slade information about an old friend.
The writing is very dry. Slade doesn’t mince words, but there is a dry wit about his character that is worthy of a few chuckles. This book isn’t really going for that though. This feels like a very personal piece for Slade, as opposed to last time. World building was the big set up with Bonny, Tyler, and Daniels. This feels more about building up Slade as a person and as Deathstroke the Terminator.
This is only a prologue so there are some questions left, but there are key members of Slade's supporting cast shown so that’s always promising. These include Grant Wilson and Billy Wintergreen, who was absent from the previous run, and will hopefully stick around.
As far as the art goes, I’ll admit, I was on the fence. I remember seeing concept art for what Slade and Rose would look like and I wasn’t too keen on them. Paglayan and Paz really made those designs work. Likewise, their take on Slade in action was very well done. Poetry in motion would not be untrue to say of Slade, and the art
At the end of the day, this book is off to a solid start. The art and the story look like they’ll be very engaging going forward and if you’re looking to learn more about the man behind the mask, this looks like the book for you.
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Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 Writer: Christopher Priest Artist: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital