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DCU Spotlight: Review: Deathstroke #4


Deathstroke #4We begin this issue at Kamen Maximum Security Prison where Slade Wilson is held under heavy guard.  The warden of the prison named Templeton, taunts Slade about being too old and finding it funny that the great Deathstroke met his end by being caught by an off-duty police officer.  Slade smiles and breaks out of his chains before killing the heavily armed guards with his bare hands.  He chases down Warden Templeton to an empty cell and Templeton tries to talk his way out of his current situation by informing Slade he has no place to go and nothing but a large explosion will set Slade free from Kamen.  Slade shoves a grenade down Templeton's throat telling him he agrees before fleeing the cell before its explosion.

 

Later, somewhere over the Midwest, Christoph is debriefing Slade on what just took place.  Slade reminds Christoph to make sure he meant to get arrested as part of an infiltration.  Slade notices Christoph is distracted and asks him what is on his mind.  Christoph mentions their larger work load tiring him out and it is catching up to his body and that Slade does not have that issue.  Slade looks at his hand that is shaking. Slade suits up and tells Christoph to take a break for a while as he has been working him too hard.  Christoph makes sure Slade is okay and Slade says he's never been better, before jumping out of the plane.

 

Later in Detroit, Slade is alone throwing knives at a dart board, drinking liquor, his hand still shaking.  He throws the bottle at the dart board before Peabody enters the room.  He brings in the mysterious briefcase Slade handed to him to check out telling him he has information on its contents.   Peabody tells Slade it is all legit and that he ran a series of tests on the item and the blood on it which is recent.  The contents inside are Ravagers mask with Slade's eldest son Grant's blood on it.  Slade points out Grant has been dead for years, Peabody says he knows and points out due to his tests he is sure Grant is alive or someone has been holding his blood on ice for years.  Peabody believes this was a message meant to be a ransom.  He points out to Slade they never found Grant's body when he died and all the evidence pointed to him being alive.  Slade asks if Peabody had any leads, Peabody points out that during the tests someone attempted to breach his computer firewall, when he attempted to trace it the signal bounced all over the place until it was traced back to a military base in Colorado.  He then asks Slade if he has ever heard of the Blackhawks.  Slade says no and Peabody explains that they are a new unit whose intentions remain a mystery.  Peabody was able to track down a few of the Blackhawks members one of which turns out to be someone Slade knows, a man named Laszlo now going by the name of Attila.  Slade decides to go after him. Slade and Peabody have a little back and forth until Peabody asks what he can do to help and Slade asks if he can build something that flies.

 

Four days later over the Canadian Rockies a plane is flying around, Attila is the pilot communicating with his base when Deathstroke flies in on what looks like a Mech warriors battle robot, only man-size, and destroys the plane as Attila escapes only for Deathstroke to catch him as he ejected from the plane.  They crash to the ground and Attila starts to fight Deathstroke before Deathstroke pulls a gun on him.  Deathstroke asks how long he has been working with the Blackhawks.  Attila blows him off warning Deathstroke his new team is on the way and are hard to kill and if Deathstroke kills him, Peabody will garner a lot of attention.  Deathstroke asks what Peabody has to do with it and Attila informs him that the metal the Ravager mask is made of the Nth Metal is designed to set off alarms when tested.  He reveals that the Blackhawks control illicit technology and Peabody as an arms dealer is at the top of their list.  Deathstroke asks if the Blackhawks know of Attilas past in which he states he has changed with aged.

 

We cut to Christoph in his office typing away when he approached by a mystery man from behind.  The mystery man tells Christoph he is here to send a message through Christoph before stabbing Christoph through his eye with a massive knife killing him before slamming the knife through a table saying Slade's time is almost up.

 

This was another solid story from Kyle Higgins with great art from Joe Bennett.  I'm glad the majority of this issue focused on the story as opposed to flat out action.  The reveal of the briefcase contents was really good and a nice twist for long term fans of Deathstroke and the idea that his eldest son Grant the original Ravager who died fighting the Teen Titans, his death leading to Deathstroke's long term feud with the Titans, being alive is an interesting one and I'm definitely interested to see where it goes from here.  The action we got again was very well done and blood filled as we have come to expect from this title.  Really enjoying this title a lot.  This book read very quickly and was another solid effort.

 

Deathstroke #4:

 

4 out of 5 Batarangs

 

Reviewed by David Cook

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