By Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea & Tomeu Morey
The CW’s Arrow is a show that has undergone a massive leap in quality over the course of its run, going from simply a watchable series to something incredibly awesome. The massive leap in quality of that show was largely due to the introduction of the awesome Manu Bennett, who played Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, from the middle stages of season 1 onwards, as we witnessed his transformation into the villain that comics fans know and love, from the mentor figure of Oliver Queen. It was an interesting transition that felt fresh and engaging, and this reviewer was really looking forward to reading more of the characters’ adventures in a comic’s format. There was just one problem, however – Deathstroke had already had his series, written first by Kyle Higgins. That was unfortunately cancelled, but thankfully, fans of the “World’s Greatest Mercenary” didn’t have to wait long for a relaunched title, and when it came, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Tony S. Daniel is an incredibly awesome artist and his pencils have been great. Detective Comics and Superman/Wonder Woman were both made all the more awesome thanks to his work on the series, and seeing him bring Slade Wilson to life is incredibly awesome indeed, especially because this is the best that Slade has looked since the start of the New 52, and possibly even before. The visuals are great, and this is one book that you’ll certainly want to buy for the artwork alone. Sandu Florea’s inks and Tomeu Morey’s colours are also excellent additions that really help benefit this book.
However, there are unfortunately a few problems that don’t quite make Deathstroke as good as it could have been when it comes to writing, which is a real shame given Daniel’s artistic strength. For example, Daniel’s take on Deathstroke doesn’t really present him as the super smart, intelligent and effective character that he really should have been, and it’s not just Slade that doesn’t have enough depth, if you will, for the supporting cast feels bland and forgettable at this stage. But then, it’s only a first issue, so there’s plenty of time to fix those problems.
The action sequences are great. Daniel brings them to life in an amazing, visual way making this a must for Marvel readers who are currently digging either Elektra or The Punisher right now. There are several gory scenes in this book and Daniel doesn’t hold back when it comes to violence. So if you want action and good artwork, this book’s certainly going to be right up your street.
Deathstroke, despite some flaws in terms of character, is going to be an action heavy book and as long as Daniel’s artwork stays as good as it is, it’s going to be recommended from this reviewer. Like you would expect from a first issue, it’s a good jumping on point for new readers and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here as next month’s installment teases the Secret Past of Slade Wilson, giving plenty of options for Daniel to explore.