Deathstroke Inc. #13
When his first contract goes absolutely awry, Slade Wilson finds himself miraculously healed after getting an arrow through the chest and dropping onto a car from a ten foot fall. With his gear missing and the doctor who gave him his powers being hidden away, can Slade Wilson use this second chance to finally get his revenge?
Slade Wilson is many things and at the top of that list is resilient.
Readers of Deathstroke comics are very used to Wilson coming back from every manner of injury, from stabbings, shootings, blunt force trauma, and, in the case of DCeased, even coming back from being zombified. The man doesn’t stop when his money or reputation is on the line, and we see the formation of that mentality in this issue.
Ed Brisson is bringing Deathstroke low, showing readers just how far the future world’s deadliest assassin had to fall in order to begin building his name. He slows down this issue considerably to focus on Slade processing how strong his healing factor is and how his death might have affected his friends and family. Wintergreen finds himself unable to talk to Adeline Kane, Slade’s wife, after he believes that he died, and Adeline herself has to struggle with the idea that Slade has changed after another pregnancy announcement to him is met with an “okay.”
Slade doesn’t realize that he’s only continuing to push them away. Brisson establishes the laser focus that defines Deathstroke as a character as he’s only concerned with completing his mission, not caring about his unborn child, continuing to lie to his wife, and dragging Wintergreen back into the action HOURS after he just watched his friend practically die on the street. This issue is all about emotion, yet Slade Wilson himself shows few except for sheer determination and will.
Dexter Soy shows the absolute range of his art abilities in this issue by starting it off with a high-energy car chase before slowing the issue way down to focus more on the emotional aspects of Slade’s life and the people around him. The initial pages of the book feel very cinematic with a variety of wide angles and insert shots of Slade as he sprints to hijack a car and then chases down the police officers transporting his gear. Soy utilizes speed lines in both instances to show just how FAST Slade himself is and the breakneck speed that he’s willing to drive a car in order to complete his mission. His linework is tight and precise, giving detail to all of these actions and background elements, and this is especially apparent when Deathstroke crashes into and sends the police car flying over the highway barrier, sending debris and smoke everywhere.
When the book takes a moment to breathe, Soy allows for character expressions to shine through and tell a story of their own. Wintergreen is shown to be haunted by the thought of having to tell Adeline that Slade had been “killed,” sitting in the dark and drinking after his own perceived failure and leaving a young Grant Wilson without a father. Adeline is shown to be mournful and saddened after Wintergreen doesn’t answer any of her calls and later angry when Slade does answer and shows little to no emotion when she says that she is pregnant. Soy uses close-ups in these shots to further emphasize these emotions and uses a lot of heavy inks to give the book an even darker feel.
Veronica Gandini is a godsend with this issue as her colors perfectly complement the tones of the book. With it taking place at night, the skies and most of the backgrounds are given a cold light blue hue to reflect Slade’s newfound nature as a mercenary. This is accentuated by the few flecks of yellow lights that help to give the city setting some detail and vibrancy; in the scenes that we get with Adeline and Grant, Gandini colors with warm browns to reflect a sense of home and love that Slade is missing out on. There’s also an especially fantastic scene when Slade enters Wintergreen’s room wearing his promethium armor; the bright orange and dark blue make Slade look like a whole new man as he appears from the shadows, managing to not look ridiculous despite being very vibrant and loud.
Steve Wands’ lettering is absolutely fantastic in this book as well. His word balloon placement is great, allowing readers to have a good focus on the characters and parts of the background. He also does an amazing job of placing emphasis on words so that readers can pick out the most vital information in character dialogue. And as always, I have to comment on the excellent use of sound effects from the SKREEE as Slade swerves his car through traffic to the HRRRRK that Wintergreen makes as he vomits up the bottle of whiskey before the mission continues.
Ed Brisson, Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Steve Wands are killing it with this series so far, killing being the operative word. With stellar storytelling, art and lettering, this series does a great job of expanding on what made Slade Wilson the dark hearted bastard that we know and love to hate. As it unfolds, I can’t wait to see what comes next for the character and this team.
Deathstroke Inc. #13 – Back from the Dead
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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