Fans don’t have too much longer to wait before getting to see Manu Bennett’s take on the archvillain Deathstroke, but in the meantime, we here at Hollywood Justice have decided to take a look back at Deathstroke’s history in the comics, to whet your appetite for his forthcoming “Arrow” appearance. Who is this master assassin, and what drives him? Let’s find out.
Deathstroke, AKA Slade Wilson, made his first appearance in 1980’s “New Teen Titans” #2, wherein the assassin sought to aid his son Grant Wilson, AKA Ravager, in his vendetta against the teen superhero team. When Grant died in the ensuing battle, Slade swore vengeance of his own. Endowed with an enhanced physique and an arsenal of deadly weapons, Deathstroke proved himself in repeated confrontations to be one of the Titans’ most enduring and implacable foes.
In the classic “Judas Contract” storyline, Deathstroke enlisted the aid of the teenage mercenary known as Terra to befriend and infiltrate the Titans, ultimately learning their secret identities, thus enabling Deathstroke to capture them one by one. But once again, Wilson’s family ties proved to be his vulnerability when his ex-wife Adeline, and his youngest son Joseph, AKA Jericho, aided the Titans in breaking free and bringing Deathstroke to justice.
Deathstroke became popular enough to earn his own series in 1991, which ran for 60 issues. It was in issue #15 of that series that his daughter Rose Wilson was first introduced, a character who would go on to adopt the identity of Ravager and serve as both foe and friend to future incarnations of the Titans.
Thereafter, Deathstroke played a major role in 2004’s “Identity Crisis” miniseries, where he took on the entire Justice League single-handedly and nearly defeated them through sheer mastery of planning and tactics, before being stopped by none other than Green Arrow, who put a well-placed arrow into Slade’s eye-socket, throwing him off his game, and disrupting his plans.
When DC rebooted their universe as part of 2011’s “New 52” event, Deathstroke once again received his own title. Although known as one of DC’s top villains, this series places him more in the role of protagonist, although still a brutal and ruthless one to be sure. Now up to 16 issues and counting, readers can follow Slade on his missions in the pages of “Deathstroke” each month. But as for where his television incarnation is headed, only the team behind “Arrow” knows for sure. Deathstroke fans will just have to stay tuned to find out.
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