Faces of Evil: Deathstroke #1

by Timothy Callahan, Columnist/Reviewer |

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Story by
David Hine
Art by
Georges Jeanty, Mark McKenna
Colors by
Joe Smith
Letters by
Pat Brosseau
Cover by
Ladronn
Publisher
DC Comics
Cover Price
$2.99 (USD)
Release Date
Jan 21st, 2009

Wed, January 21st, 2009 at 7:15PM (PST)


Ah, the old "idiot plot." I can take a lot of absurdity and foolishness in my comics, but when a story is based around completely idiotic behavior that makes no sense in context, you end up with "Faces of Evil: Deathstroke."

This comic exists solely to provide a transition from the wretched Brad Meltzer-penned "DCU: Last Will and Testament" comic, in which Slade nearly died, to some hazy future where Deathstroke will no longer be a mercenary, working for the highest bidder.

From now on, he'll be working for himself, killing who he wants to kill, and picking up young homeless girls to be his protégés. (That last part is actually a plot point in this comic -- it's not a snide joke, although I'm certainly not above making them about this particular comic.)

Except Deathstroke has pretty much always worked for himself and only taken jobs for the thrill of it. It's not like he needed the money, particularly.

And the way the comic transitions from the nearly-dead, stuck-in-Belle Reve-prison scenario to the free-and-creepy conclusion totally relies on the idiocy of the prison staff.

Not only do they dress Slade in his full Deathstroke costume as he's supposedly dying (because obviously a supervillain with the power to control his ability to heal would never fake his own illness, or, you know, lie to the doctors or anything), but they allow his daughter Rose in to see him, completely unsupervised.

So we get the scene where the supposedly terminal Deathstroke sits in a wheelchair, fully-clad in his chainmail super-bad-guy costume, while his daughter Rose, also clad in her chainmail super-used-to-be-a-bad-girl-but-now-she's-good costume, hang out and chat. Before almost immediately breaking into a fight -- a fight which gives Deathstroke the chance to escape. Not that he needed the fight to happen before he could escape, but he needed someone to talk to about his new mission statement, and David Hine and Georges Jeanty had to fill up the pages with something.

Nothing in this comic makes any kind of logical sense, not even using the kind of DC comic book logic that allows Batman to shoot gods with space bullets or Superman to live in the heart of the sun. (And it's way less interesting than either of those things. It's less interesting than reading the Wikipedia entries of those things.)

At least this comic doesn't end with a "hey, btw, there's a new series featuring this character coming out soon, and this was just a teaser" threat/promise, the way the Solomon Grundy comic did. But it's just a matter of time until someone gives Deathstroke something to do, and when that happens, I hope it's something with more imagination that this issue demonstrates.