Comic Book Review: Deathstroke: Rebirth #1
Deathstroke is one of those characters you give a shot because with the right writer a story centered around a villain can be the best thing ever. Especially when given the room for that character to truly embrace their nature. Deathstroke isn’t one of those you try to pull punches with, so there is some expectation from what you might take from this. I mean can Deathstroke really be redeemed? Should he? I have my own stance on how villains should be seen, though I go into this one open-minded to what it will have in store for us.
I will say that while there isn’t much you need to know about Deathstroke before jumping into this Rebirth issue, it still is bumpy trying to ease into this story. It jumps into different scenes that leaves you a bit confused as to what is really going on. Like for this mission we start on with Deathstroke, it should have been treated as an entry point where we should know the details before anything else is really fleshed out. This includes dialogue as well which left you scratching your head just for the fact that there was a lot to take in that wasn’t just about what was going on in front of you. I don’t want to say hold our hands through this as the first issue, though it should feel like a first issue. You kind of feel as though you missed something which can distract you from other things about this story which should matter.
With that said, we do get some good character development out of this first issue. Not much in the way of reinvention, though more so in how Deathstroke can be someone who can show some redeemable qualities. A lot of what he goes through on this specific mission challenges how cold-hearted he tends to be. This is someone who just like any other assassin for hire kills for money and monetary gain means everything. So when there is something more valuable than this it is worth exploration.
While the story leaves you wanting, the artwork on the other hand is the most appealing of Deathstroke: Rebirth #1. With most Rebirth titles there isn’t much disappointment to find in the art team selections. I believe that DC has really been on a role about changing up the different styles they are allowing to be showcased through popular characters and stories. Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz and Jeromy Cox were right for this job when this looked like something out of an action movie. It had that blockbuster intensity to it that seemed fitting for a villain like Deathstroke. While things did come off choppy moving from scene to scene, it wasn’t really a problem with the artists. I would say that lies with the story and scripting. When you are looking at the artwork for what it is, they nailed it with favorable quality in the penciling, inks and colors. Felt like they were all on the same page about what needed to be done to make this look fluent on their end. And it goes without saying that this new costume for Deathstroke I would say is an upgrade from what he was wearing before. The last costume felt too messy. This one had more of a professional look to it. They went for something more practical rather than simply looking cool.
Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 I feel could have been a bit better in terms of you really getting what is going on with the plot. You come here to see a different side to Deathstroke which we are getting to, though it feels like what we get next has a whole lot of explaining to do when it comes to drawing us in with payoff.