Writer: Christopher Priest / Art: Joe Bennet, Belardino Brabo, and Mark Morales / DC Comics
*DMX voice* “Now this is the shit I be talking about. Half writing ass writers, you think it’s a game? You think it’s a fucking gaaaaaaame? COME ON.” Off the strength, Christopher Priest put his foot in the ass of this issue right here. Last month, we saw Rose introduced into the series as a child Wilson had overseas during his time in Cambodia. This month we see how Rose is living her life in New York. There was a lot more action this issue and we see how Slade’s parenting skills are still pretty shit across the board.
Rose is somewhat in the same type of hired mercenary game as Slade. We see her stopping a hit from taking place but, thanks to her precognitive abilities, she discovers this was actually an ambush on her. Slade appears and is not making things easier for his daughter as he wants to see how far her abilities stem at the moment. Now that we are three issues deep into the story, things have come together a lot better with the series. I was a really big fan of the interaction between Slade and Rose. The aloof father and the kid that just wants the approval without saying that they want the approval. Slade was calling Rose out on a lot of her stances from her work, her relationship, to even how she handles her merc work. Slade scoffing at Rose mentioning being trained by Nightwing is the best shit in this issue, I was dying. It also begs the question of how deep Rose is in with The Titans in this rebirth universe.
Priest naming this issue “The Ravager Contract” is a throwback to the original series where Slade’s appearance and origin is in “The Judas contract” story line. We see Slade flashback to when his son Joey got his throat slit this issue and how that came about and Adeline Wilson being… less than happy about that shit, which leads to the famous scene that gave Slade his trademark “distinguishing feature.” Priest is doing very well with this issue and the turn in pacing came just in time. I am happy I stuck with it; the little details Priest throws in about Rose counting bullets and Slade’s method of knowing how to track where cash comes from was fucking flames.
Joe Bennet, Belardino Brabo, and Mark Morales did an incredible job keeping the artwork cohesive for this issue, too. The visualization really came together with Priest working and the display in Rose’s abilities of a Noire black and white when her power is in use is such a subtle, but great, touch for her character. I really loved the stark contrast to the old Slade’s appearance versus his look now, you can tell the Slade of present day has been through some rough shit man. Granted that’s how it’s supposed to be done but displaying that aged, withered, and cynical characteristics through a look isn’t an easy task.
If we talking that real, then this is a great issue for Deathstroke. We’re seeing more to Slade than just being guns, swords, and body counts. We’re seeing how real a pro in the mercenary world works, on some true zero dark thirty game type of shit people.