Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 review – new era for DC’s main mercenary

DC’s best antiheroes gets the streamlined treatment with Deathstroke: Rebirth #1.

Rebirth has been all about cutting away the excess that didn’t work with beloved DC characters. Few benefit as much from that company wide change than Deathstroke.

Deathstroke Rebirth issue 1 review cover

Writer Christopher Priest quickly establishes a tone instantly familiar to Deathstroke fans. You won’t need to know what Slade’s been up to since the New 52 or why he was wearing that hideous bulky armor. This is Deathstroke the Terminator living up to his name.

Slade Wilson has been paid top dollar to take out a surprising old school DC character. While prepping for the showdown, Slade’s reflecting on his earlier life with his sons, Grant and Joey.


Priest doesn’t make Slade Father of the Year, which helps serve as a reminder Slade was cold and matter-of-fact long before becoming Deathstroke. When he gets some surprising news, Slade’s loyalties are tested forcing him to make a potentially disastrous decision.

Priest shows a solid handle on Slade. He’s no conflicted hero or reluctant villain. He does what he does for the payday. Priest sets up some nice showcase moments for Slade to show he’s the best there is at what he does.

Carlo Pagulayan’s pencils are very impressive. Pagulayan’s clean, detailed style is very reminiscent of former Justice League artist Jason Fabok. Having an artist who seems destined for bigger things throughout the DC Universe is a big coup for Deathstroke.  

Colorist Jeremy Cox puts together a bright presentation. It’s not necessarily what you’d expect from Deathstroke, but it works in completing Pagulayan’s vivid style. With this art team, Deathstroke Rebirth is one of the better looking titles of the Rebirth generation.

Priest on Deathstroke sounded like a winning combination. Deathstroke: Rebirth meets those high expectations with a strong debut.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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Image Credit: DC Comics