Deathstroke #42 // Review
Deathstroke #42, written by Christopher Priest, with pencils by Carlo Pagulayan, inks by Jason Paz and Norm Rapmund, and colors by Jeromy Cox, is part two of The Terminus Agenda, in which Slade crosses paths with Damian Wayne aka Robin, and his team of Teen Titans. Previously, Robin started secretly using the Titans to track down criminals and lock them up in his own private prison. The only problem being, most of his team, thought they were turning their captured enemies over to the police. After ambushing Deathstroke, and bringing him in, Kid Flash finally found out what Robin had been up to, leading to a huge question mark cliffhanger, which left the readers wondering how he would react.
The significant problems this story has lie within the inconsistencies between parts one and two. There will always be some irregularities in these kinds of crossovers, especially when there are two separate writers and art teams, but Priest didn’t even bother to follow up on Adam Glass’ cliffhanger from Teen Titans, beyond a slight mention of Kid Flash knowing about the secret prison in the middle of the issue. There are also significant differences between the way Slade is being held captive, with one book having him in chains, and the other having him tied up, sans his Ikon suit, and suspended from the ceiling. If only the writers had been more willing to communicate and collaborate on this story, it could have been so much more enjoyable.
This book does manage to have some fun, though, despite its flaws. Most notably, the nonchalant attitude Wilson has, despite being locked up in a secret prison, is delightful, and spot-on characterization for a master strategist who is rarely impressed by anyone, or anything. The interaction between Deathstroke and Robin is also incredibly entertaining, with Slade picking apart Damian and his team mid-mission, acting like an all-knowing heckler throughout the scene. If Priest announced he was doing a Deathstroke and Robin book tomorrow, there is no doubt it would be one of the best comics on the stands, because he has a flawless command of each of those characters.
Not one bad thing can be said about this issue’s art team. Pagulayan’s pencils are firing on all cylinders, as he provides excellent action throughout the book, especially on the Titans vs. Blackrock scenes. The same can be said for Paz and Rapmund’s inks, and Cox’s colors. This team should never leave this book, and if they do, the next group should be extremely nervous about trying to fill their shoes.
Overall, the transition between parts one and two of the Terminus Agenda could have gone much smoother, but Priest still manages to provide a story worth reading. If you’re a fan of the recent interactions between Deathstroke and Robin, or you’ve just been dying to see this iteration of the Teen Titans go up against Slade, this book is worth picking up. Hopefully, Glass and Priest will find a way to better collaborate moving forward, but even if they don’t, the story is still entertaining enough.