Terror Titans 2: A Family Affair (Deathstroke #21 Comic Review)

Deathstroke #21
Written by: Christopher Priest
Art by: Diogenes Neves, Jason Paz, Jeromy Cox, and Willie Schubert
 

 

Previously:
Deathstroke used the speed force that he stole from New Wally West to travel through time and save his son, which ultimately failed and left Slade as a changed man. For now.

 

What Happened:
After a wedding gone awry and a failed plot to break the timeline, we are introduced to the new story arc, “Defiance,” by checking in with all of the major players in Slade Wilson’s life. The issue has a cryptic opening, in which we meet a new mysterious character who attacks an old man in Chinatown. She appears to be from the same tribe that Rose Wilson has been spending recent with, but we’ll have to wait for any answers beyond that. We are quickly whisked away to see Adeline, Slade’s ex-wife, as she tries to make it very clear to her ex-husband that Project Defiance is hers to command, and she will not be usurped by him.
With the expository set up out of the way, it’s time to check in with the team. Wally West and Tanya Spears have their first proper scene together, which is a nice little meet-cute that serves to bring readers up to speed on where the two have been. Slade’s children, Rose and Jericho, are discussing Jericho’s ongoing investigation into who killed his fiance as well as their skepticism over their father’s recent transformation. Throughout the issue Slade had been looking for a crisis to test his team with, and finds one in a destabilized government in the Chetland Islands. The issue wraps up with Deathstroke telling the Justice League to stand down and debuting Defiance, while some conspirators back home let us know that not everyone on the team has the same motive…

 

Thoughts on the issue:
For a story arc with so many moving parts, this issue did a pretty good job moving them all forward without feeling like the issue was lacking content. The intro was a little confusing, but that’s also to be expected with new characters in Part 1. Is it me or does she look a LOT like The Goblin Queen?
New costumes notwithstanding, this is anything but a black and white superhero team origin. This is a family political drama with a lot of players all playing at their own game, and boy is it fun to watch. I love seeing more of Adeline, she always seemed so badass in The Judas Contract, it’s nice to see that character develop more. The Wally and Tanya bit was cute, if not a little forced, and the last-page cliffhanger made me confident that Christopher Priest and Diogenes Neves are going in the right direction with these characters.
It’s also really unclear to me to what degree The Judas Contract happened, but the answer is probably “don’t ask.”

 

Final Score:
7.5/10
The new story arc is off to a good start
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