New 52 Review – “Deathstroke #1”

DC’s top assassin is back in his own ongoing title.

General Information

Title: Deathstroke #1

Author: Kyle Higgins

Illustrator(s): Joe Bennett (pencils), Art Thibert (inks) and Jason Wright (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Deathstroke has been hired for a very difficult hit, taking a man out while he’s in midair. He’s also forced to do it with a support team. As capable as he is, there’s a surprise waiting for him at the end of the mission.

High Point

Deathstoke’s opening speech sets the tone by the end of the second panel: “To everyone that’s not Elsey Kopnek, do the smart thing and head to whatever whorehouse you spend your nights. Before I cut off your reason to go there.”

Low Point

When the characters have information that they learn during the story that they find shocking, but that information is denied to the reader, it feels like a cheap and artificial way to build reader interest.

The Scores

This is an original title in the lineup, as the main character is neither hero nor antihero, but instead is an outright villain. It’s also got a darker tone than much of the other product out there. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is well done, with shifting colour palettes and appropriate detail levels in consistently on model art. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well done. We get a complete adventure in the first issue, and get a tease of more to come. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is very well done. Deathstroke is the focus, of course, but his support team gets a surprising amount of back story for a first issue as well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. There are a number of genuine surprises here. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is smooth and the pace is fast. Deathstroke is introduced at the tail end of a current job, then he gets hired and briefed for the next job, and introduced to his support team. Then he completes the new job, and returns to base for a conclusion. Definitely a worthwhile 20 pages. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was the first of three very pleasant surprises this week. Keep an eye out for the other two. I give it 5 out of 6.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman