Starting in October, DC Comics is going bad with a brand new ongoing series featuring one of the biggest bad-asses in comics, Deathstroke. The unstable assassin, who once took down the Justice League single-handedly, may be better known to the public at large as the main villain in the second, blockbuster season of “Arrow.”
But his all-new solo adventures may bring him an even bigger audience, thanks to writer/artist Tony S. Daniel and co-artist Sandu Florea, who will team up for the monthly series.
And to sweeten the pot, DC is also releasing a brand new bust of Slade Wilson (the civilian name of Deathstroke), designed by Dc Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee.
To find out more, we chatted over e-mail with Daniel about his take on the character, how the comic will tie into “Arrow” and where the book is going next. Plus, scroll down for your first look at the Deathstroke bust as well as more info on when you can pick it up in stores:
MTV News: So Tony, what drew you to Deathstroke? What makes him a compelling character for you?
Tony S. Daniel: I’ve always been a big Deathstroke fan, dating back to my teenage years and he’s only gotten more bad-ass with time. He’s an incredible character, whether you’re playing him in a video game or watching him on TV or reading him in a comic book. People love Deathstroke now more than ever due to all the avenues he’s available in, myself included.
I tell people he’s sort of like a tricked out Batman, but he’ll kill you. Of course he’s not anything like Bruce Wayne, but he is a man with money and the means to pay for the gadgets and weaponry he’ll need to accomplish any goal. I’ve always been drawn to characters with a dark side and I think that makes him complex and compelling.
What I find interesting and why I wanted to write (and draw) Deathstroke, is the opportunity I have to make people give a damn about his missions and motivations. Giving readers a reason to invest emotionally in this guy’s missions and stories is what I think will make a difference for this new title and is key for me and one of my main goals.
MTV: When we left him in “Forever Evil” — DC Comics’ recent event that found villains taking over, and then saving the DC Universe — he wasn’t thrust into the heroic spotlight like Lex or Captain Cold, but he was back on the side of, well, anti-good. Do we pick him up there, or somewhere else?
Daniel: He’s still a mercenary and assassin, so there’s no way he’ll ever be welcomed into a room full of heroes. I’m writing him in a way where he is still pretty much a bad guy but because of his methods, and that whole killing his enemies thing, you know.
But the people he’s up against here are clearly evil bastards. If anyone deserves to be disemboweled, it’s this group. Deathstroke is a murderer by all definitions, for the most part, he’s going after his targets.
In my first arc he’s also the hunted, so I guess there is a little self defense in there somewhere. But make no mistake, he won’t be palling around with Superman. His only friends or lovers are others who are deeply rooted in the world of crime.
MTV: Deathstroke has always had strong ties to his family, something we haven’t really seen played up in the New 52 yet. Will you be dealing with that in the new series?
Daniel: Actually, yes and no. There are people in his past that he’d rather not remember. I have a few surprises in store in this regard and a few surprises for Deathstroke, too. The first half year of stories is very Slade-centric. So I have time to see what matures organically in that sense, but I’m not rushing to touch on that at this early stage.
MTV: I imagine one of the tough things about writing a guy like Deathstroke is that he has to be forty steps ahead of everyone else. As writer AND co-artist, how do you plan out his moves?
Daniel: Well, I get to deconstruct Deathstroke a bit before I build him back up, and there’ll be a learning curve he didn’t have before. It will take a bit before he’s forty moves ahead again.
But that’s the fun challenge of the book for me. He knows what he’s capable of, and is climbing a mountain to get back there. With so many people trying to kill him, it makes him all the more cooler and all the more bad ass.
When I write, the scenes are playing out visually for me, so it is an advantage that I enjoy and I think will come in handy in this series because it will be very explosive and action packed.
MTV: With Deathstroke playing such a big part on ‘Arrow’ last season (and potentially this year, too), are you looking to Manu Bennett’s depiction at all? Or is this forging its own path?
Daniel: Deathstroke will certainly forge his own path here. What the “Arrow” series does though, is make me want to put Green Arrow and Deathstroke together at some point. I’m sure that’s in the cards down the road, and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve also been a long time Green Arrow fan. Will they work together or be enemies, that’s the question I’ll have the answer to if and when we get to that point.
MTV: Any final thoughts? For people new to the character, why pick up the first issue?
Daniel: My final thoughts are that I really hope people like the energy and excitement I’m bringing to this new series. I can’t wait to show people the interior previews of this book as I really think this is my best work to date.
It’s a natural fit for me as both writer and artist and I think that will show through in the series. For people new to the character, this is where you’ll find one of the year’s hottest DC characters doing what he does best: entertaining you.
Before we get to the info on the bust, here’s the official solicit text for the book, which will be on sale on October 22:
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and SANDU FLOREA
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
1:25 Variant cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
On sale OCTOBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
The DCU’s deadliest assassin stars in his own ongoing series by writer/artist Tony S. Daniel! See him as never before in this explosive new series, with one surprise after another as we see Slade Wilson in the fight of his life!
And now, the bust!
The 6″ tall figure features a custom base, and is made of resin. It’s the first bust of Deathstroke in his DC Comics – New 52 costume, designed by Jim Lee, sculpted by Joe Menna and painted by Jason Wires. Price is TBD, but you’ll be able to pick this literal bad boy up in January, 2015.
What do you think of the new “Deathstroke” comic and bust? Will you be picking them up?