Deathstroke: Where Do I Start?

Deathstroke is one of the baddest men in the DC Universe, but despite how bad he is people have from time-to-time found him so bad that he’s good; well, good at being bad. Originally debuted in The New Teen Titans #2 in the first issues of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’ groundbreaking run, he became one of the primary villains for the team and for the DCU in general.¬† With an origin comparable to a dark version of Captain America, Deathstroke fell into the shady territory between hero and villain and went on to star in his own series for a number of years.

For the DC at large, he’s stood toe-to-toe with everyone from Batman to Superman and in Identity Crisis he methodically took down one-by-one an entire Justice League team. In this New 52 era of the DC he’s become even more cut-throat, killing his entire squad in the first issue of his new series alone. As a character, he’s inspired everyone from James Cameron’s The Terminator to Rob Liefeld’s Deadpool, but he’s still one of the toughest¬† mercenaries out there. We here at iFanboy have pulled together four essential stories that will tell you the story of Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, so get to it. Like Deathstroke himself, these are hard to find but worth the effort.

Teen Titans: Judas Contract: When one of the Titans’ trusted team members turns against them, Deathstroke uses that spy to break the team down one-by-one. With everyone incapacitated save a retired Dick Grayson, Grayson rejoins the hero biz under a new name — Nightwing — to save his friends. Grayson does it with help from Deathstroke’s ex-wife, who clues him in on Wilson’s motivations and path that led him to take down the Titans.

Teen Titans: Trial of the Terminator: Acting as an unofficial sequel to Teen Titans: Judas Contract, this storyline sees Slade Wilson go on public trial for the crimes he’s committed, further revealing his backstory into the public record. He’s saved from a guilty verdict by the most unlikely of allies — Changeling, who manipulated the trail to set Deathstroke free so he himself could take revenge on the assassin for his part in Terra’s betrayal. Deathstroke vs. Changeling? I don’t like those odds. Oddly, DC has never collected this story-arc and you’ll have to resort to back issue bins to get this great story.

Deathstroke, The Terminator: City of Assassins: You don’t need to know much about this one; Deathstroke goes to Gotham City. Batman notices. This second story in the Deathstroke series hasn’t yet been collected by DC, so act like Slade Wilson and hunt them down yourself.

Deathstroke: The Hunted: Although he’s an internationally renowned assassin, it turns out Deathstroke doesn’t like it when he’s framed for a murder he didn’t commit; especially when it’s a U.S. Senator. The hunter becomes the hunter as this brings down the might of the entire DC super hero contingent around his duo-toned head. I don’t think there’s enough bullets in the world to take down that many heroes.

Comments

  1. I really want to track down the entire Deathstroke series. The little of it I’ve read was very good.

    Also, it blows my mind that DC won’t keep a trade of The Judas Contract in print. Sure, the ominbuses are nice for die-hards, but surely casual fans of the Titans would like to own that story as well.

    • I recently completed my Deathstroke series. They are all cheap and easy to find except the last few issues. They took me a while.. must have been printed in lower numbers toward the end. I got into it as a Deathstroke fan thinking “this will be easy! It was from the 90’s!”.. ended up being almost true. LOL. I didn’t have to pay above single digits for any issue though (although a couple of those last few almost got there), so it wasn’t prohibitively expensive to get all 60 issues pretty quickly. The majority of the run should be a buck or less. Happy hunting!

    • ..they even cancelled the Judas Contract animated movie. Still very sad about that one.

    • @Jeff GOOD NEWS! These individual issues are available digitally!!! At $1.99 each($8bucks+tax) you don’t need to go trade hunting. Isn’t technology grand??

  2. Loved deathstroke series. And in city of assasins he kicked batmans ass come on dc put his 90s series out in trade.

  3. When Lifeld begins to deliver pages for the Deathstroke series, what are the odds that some unused/recycled/lightbox traced Deadpool art manages to find it’s way in there somehow, only recoloured and with boots drawn on..?

  4. I confess that I know next to nothing about the character or his history, but surely it can’t be insignificant to note that I seem to recall he was able to hold his own/survive unscathed from alliance/master plan involving both Darkseid AND Dark Phoenix at the same time. Dude *clearly* punches above his weight and then some.

  5. I loved that Wolfman got to write that Deathstroke series. And Steve Erwin’s pencils are noteworthy too! A great 90’s book that the art didn’t suffer from crosshatch-O.D.

    • ..not to mention those great Zeck covers! Man… I wish DC could be fooled into thinking a ton of people would buy a Deathstroke omnibus. Even owning all the issues, I’d buy it!

      (speaking of that.. the New Teen Titans omnibus vol 2 can’t get here fast enough!)