This week, longtime Teen Titans and JLA villain Slade Wilson–known more commonly by his nom de guerre, Deathstroke–gets the Flashpoint treatment courtesy of writer Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Joe Bennet and John Dell in Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager. The one-eyed super assassin, who once single-handedly took down the Justice League in Identity Crisis is now taking down ships on the high seas as a pirate in Curse. Why’s he a pirate? Who does he hate with no Titans around? Where are the deadly Wilson offspring?
Find out answers to at least a couple of these questions in this interview with Jimmy Palmiotti and feast your eyes on this exclusive preview.
MTV Geek: So, I’m asking this of all the creators about their particular project, but for you, why Deathstroke? What made the character interesting for you?
Jimmy Palmiotti: Two factors play into this one: first, Geoff Johns and Eddie Berganza thought I might be a good fit for this character and project. So they approached me with the idea, had me read the Flashpoint books and asked for my take on the character and the world around him. The character of Deathstroke has always been my kind of character, a dark, driven killer—and when they said it would be a pirate book, my imagination went wild. What you see in these three issues is unlike anything that has been done with the character before and at the same time, it’s very loyal to him as well. It was a real blast to be included in this.
Geek: Along the same lines, why was he chosen as a viewpoint character for this event?
JP: His character and situation presented in the miniseries is very important in giving the scope of the events in the main Flashpoint book and at the same time, I think they all thought he would be an interesting fit into the spin off titles. This is a character that views the world around him a little bit more realistic than some of the very super powered beings. He is grounded in a reality that is closer to the everyman in the story. He can bleed and he can die.
Geek: Could you tell us a little about how the character has been affected by Flashpoint?
JP: Where to begin? Flashpoint has changed the entire world, and because of the events happening, Deathstroke’s life has changed and opportunities arise that he has taken full advantage of. It goes without saying that sometimes bad things happen to good people, but honestly, a lot of madness is happening all over the world and Deathstroke comfortably fits right in. More than any other character, this new situation presented to him is something he is having a bit of fun with. Fun in a sadistic pirate kind of way.
Geek: From the cover, it looks pretty clear that he’ll be getting his hands dirty. I’d think a world embroiled in a war between Atlanteans and Amazons would be great for the world’s deadliest merc.
JP: Oh, it is… but he has lost something personal to him in the madness and tries his best to get it back. Like a true mercenary, Deathstroke has tried to stay out of it, but this is such a big event, he has no choice but to get mixed up in it all and some with some old rivalry as well. There are other pirates out there trying to claim the 7 seas for themselves and the competitive nature of Deathstroke just won’t sit still for it.
Geek: Ravager’s name shows up in the title, but are you interested in telling any stories with either Rose or Deathstroke’s other kid, Jericho?
JP: The Ravager is the name of his ship and Rose is a key element in the story, so yes, there is that, and his insane super powered crew by his side. I didn’t want to touch on Jericho. There is only so much material you can have in 3 issues. Given another 6 issues, I would have. For now, three issues are the charm. I think we really gave the readers their money’s worth in these books.
Geek: Who are some other characters to look out for in the series?
JP: There are some established super villains alongside Deathstroke, as well as a couple of new ones that Geoff and I came up with that play a key part in the story. I would love to get into it, but I think it’s more fun for the reader to discover them as they show up. We don’t want to ruin the fun here. Let’s just say some of their powers are clay like… have sonar abilities and can be shocking.
Geek: What else are you up to now?
JP: Working with Justin Gray on two new projects at DC that we actually cannot say a word about. Both will be announced soon I guess… but let’s just say we are keeping busy. Outside of DC we have a graphic novel coming from Image comics called Trailblazer that is basically a time travel, science fiction based western. Out this month.
Geek: Care to tease some of your favorite moments from upcoming issues?
JP: Sure… A sword fight with a established hero in the DCU… some major carnage in a metahuman holding facility… Pirates doing what they do best, killing and celebration… A major scene in Flashpoint from another angle… And last, the introduction of some new characters, male and female. I feel I should warn some people that this is one of the most brutal comics I have ever written… really. Pirates are not the sweetest group of people.
Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager will be on shelves on June 8.
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