Top 25 Comic Battles

#17. Deathstroke vs. the Justice League of America

In “Identity Crisis” #1, Sue Dibny, the wife of the Justice Leaguer Elongated Man, is found murdered. While the entire superhero community searches for her murderer, a secret is revealed. Years earlier, the super villain Dr. Light managed to gain entry to the Justice League's headquarters when only Sue was home. He proceeded to assault Sue. When the League arrived, they were so angry that they determined to perform a mystical lobotomy on Dr. Light. Now, years later, when Sue turns up dead, they presume that Light must be the murderer.

When they go to get him, though, they discover that Light has retained the protection services of Deathstroke the Terminator.

Deathstroke the Terminator was known as the most successful mercenary in the business. While in the United States military, Slade Wilson was experimented on so that his entire brain was attuned to fighting – this makes him faster, stronger and having possibly the best tactical mind in the world.

He tangled with the Teen Titans for years, but over time, he slowly became more of a neutral figure than a bad guy. He even gained his own title that lasted five years.

In “Identity Crisis,” Meltzer wanted to bring him back as a strict villain, and achieved this feat by having Deathstroke face off against almost the entire Justice League in “Identity Crisis” #3 (the "Big Three" of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were missing).

Elongated Man was the first one Deathstroke took out, as he got the drop on him. This is when he announces that Light is under his protection.

The Flash attacks first, but Deathstroke sets off a number of explosive charges. The Flash evades them easily, but they were just designed to lead him directly into Deathstroke's sword.

Deathstroke next turns his attention on the powerful sorceress, Zatanna, by punching her in the liver before she can cast a spell (Zatanna needs to speak her spells out loud – and backwards – for them to work). Her mouth fills with vomit.

Hawkman comes in for an attack, but Deathstroke quickly detaches Hawkman from his winged harness.

He then moves on to Green Arrow, who fires an arrow that Deathstroke blocks. Deathstroke then swings his sword at Arrow, who dodges it, but then realizes Deathstroke was not aiming at him, but at his arrows – he has cut off the tails of all his arrows, effectively rendering them useless!

Deathstroke continues on to Black Canary, who is about to unleash a sonic cry, but Deathstroke cuts her off with an airtight rubber mask (he also snaps handcuffs on her arms).

He next scans the field of battle for the Atom, and using his keen eyesight, sees the microscopic hero and uses the electrons from a laser pen to disorient the Atom, forcing him to grow to regular size, just in time to collide with Hawkman, who was attempting a ground attack now that he was wingless.

Green Lantern attacks next, choosing to punch Deathstroke for some reason. After breaking his knuckles, Deathstroke then uses his powerful willpower to attempt to take control of Lantern's ring.

At this time, the fight is undone as Green Arrow, overlooked as not being a threat, uses one of his ruined arrows to stab Deathstroke in the eye. The enraged Deathstroke loses track of his strategy and begins pummeling Green Arrow, which gives the other Leaguers time to recover and then they all gang up on him and take him down.

Still, for a minute or so, Deathstroke had effectively shut down the Justice League!


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