Saturday, September 24, 2011

DCnU - Deathsroke #1 from the DC's New 52

Deathstroke is written by Kyle Higgs and has art by Joe Bennett and Art Thiebert. Simon Bisely did the cover.

Deathstroke is DC's number one mercenary. He is a hard case among hard cases. Enhanced reflexes, speed, strength, higher brain functions. Master of many weapons, and master strategist.

This comic starts off telling us all of this, as an overlay that has him on a mission to Moscow where he casually takes out a man who has at least 8 heavily-armed guards. This little jaunt also features the appearance of the mysterious Lady in Red as well - right on the first page.

It turns out, the narration about what a bad ass Deathstroke is is actually coming from his agent, who is trying to convince him to take a job. Deathstroke agrees, but will be working with some young up-and-comers who are either called the "Alpha Dawgs" or "HarmArmory" or something like that. And no, I'm not being dismissive. These guys haven't decided what to call themselves yet for sure.

Deathstroke fights some soldiers infused with Clayface DNA on a plane. The scene is reminiscent of the fight in Hawk and Dove, but more kinetic. And it leads to a Pulp Fiction moment. Deathstroke is faced with a briefcase.
And again, later after Deathstroke is back from the mission, the briefcase figures prominently again.

Unlike many of the series from the New 52, this one doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but there is the mystery of the briefcase, and also a clear story of Deathstroke taking back his reputation, after people think he has gone soft.

There is a great twist in the book with Deathstroke's relationship with the Alpha Dawgs/HarmArmory I don't want to spoil it, but there is a page in the book that gave me a strong reaction.

This is one of the gorier books from the New 52, definitely not child-friendly. But for a more mature reader, it was a good ride, well told both through writing and visually.

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