Writer: Christopher Priest / Artist: Carlo Pagulayan / DC Comics
I’m not afraid to admit wen I’m lost, yo — I’m the guy that’s like “I thought you were taking the lead, I have no idea where I am going.” The opening to this series is a bit confusing as we find Slade back on the field and coming to the aid this time of Red Lion. Also, can I point out how I’m really getting sick of seeing Slade invade warring nations and merkin’ Black folk? For real man, opening issue #1 i’m like okay, but now the bodies are piling up and I’m thinking Slade is an undercover fed ’cause Priest got him out here merkin Black men heavily. I’m good on the White savior trope and war-torn nation filled with Black folk. Come on, man. Are there no White spaces that need saving or a dictator overthrown?
[End rant] Anyhow, what I do know is that we are no closer to finding out who kidnapped Wintergreen and pulling strings from the shadows, but we do see Slade is the one that put the hit out on Rose. A hit that was supposed to be taken down by Wintergreen but he was kidnapped. This is some real chess-level psychology shit Slade is fucking around with. We see him with Richard, who took the hit, but the best part of the series doesn’t come from Slade and instead comes from us finally seeing Joseph Wilson. Rose is kicking herself for being led on by Slade and sees Joseph who isn’t taking it any easier on her, hilariously.
What’s interesting is Joseph’s demeanor toward Slade, his current relationship, and then how his past relationship comes into play. The children of Slade don’t understand him but they all show traits of his at certain points when it comes down to the gritty shit.
Carlo Pagulayan did another great job on art. I liked how dark his artwork seems when it comes to drawing these characters — he isn’t here drawing feel good characters and this shit doesn’t feel warm and welcoming — these characters come off with their walls up, which is very fitting. Also, as I’m really harping on all the Black folk being merked in this series, it’s interesting how Priest has his characters commentating on race this issue when Joseph’s fiancé gets really real with Rose.
The issue starts off a bit “What da fuck” but comes around. I’d honestly be more invested if I wasn’t seeing Slade out here doing merc work in a Black war-torn nation, but that’s my only real complaint.