Twilight: Deathstroke #14 (Review)
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Norm Rapmund
Color: Jeromy Cox
It's kind of weird to me that I have been keeping tabs on Deathstroke as much as I have been between the closing year of the New 52, and this opening year of Rebirth. It's just happenstance. This title is not one of my recurring monthly pulls. It's good that I pick it up pretty frequently, because otherwise I would not have a clue as to what in the world is going on here. I read it fairly regularly and I still have a hard time keeping up with the whole soap opera.
Deathstroke is a bit like DC's version of The Blacklist in a super-hero world. There's a ton of intrigue, deception, misdirection, and general shenanigans. There are time-jumps here from time-to-time; flashbacks that can further muddle your field of view. This run of Deathstroke focuses in on his relationship with his children, and I am not going to pretend that I understand the greater story that is unfolding in the overall plot. Suffice it to say that Slade rescued his daughter from an assassination attempt in the last arc, and is still keeping tabs on her, while sleeping with his son's fiance..in order to protect him, I think?
It takes a long time to wind the story around to the bullets headlining the cover. So long that I thought it was not going to actually happen. And he's really not that beaten and certainly not broken. A bit overly dramatic. Still, it's a Sienkiwicz cover and that is saying something. In the opening pages of the book we get the scene of Slade apparently having relations with his son's fiance while she is on the phone with him. Crude, and perfectly befitting Deathstroke'scharacter. Wilson is only a shade off from Lucious Lyon and Priest scripts this aspect of his character quite well. From there, Deathstroke gets involved in a gunfight out in the open, going after a mark given to him by an Army General, and I believe it is the new Power Girl that intervenes. It's cool, because I like this new character and enjoyed seeing her pop up unexpectedly in this title, which veers sharply away from being too far in the DC maintstream most of the time. But I also disliked that there was a script assumption that everyone would know who this pretty obscure character was. And why she was chosen to appear in this issue seems fragmented from the book's normal approach. Still, the reveal at the end brings this issue back around to the just-shy-of-greatness consistency that I applaud it for. Nice closer.
There is not a lot remarkable about the art, although I will give Bennett kudos for keeping the fight choreography clean. That's a particularly difficult task in a book that almost solely focuses on melee combat, and in this issue there are transparencies showing character maneuvers in between stopping points which further increases the complexity of the panel layouts. There's also a bit of weirdness as the proportions of the new Power Girl when we first see her makes her look like she is 10, but then later, at normal size, she look more like an older teenager.