With no other name on the cover of “Deathstroke” #9, this is all on Rob Liefeld. DC has deemed it necessary to provide a “soft reboot” to a trio of their New 52 books by handing them off to Liefeld and in this case, the Image co-founder is handling the writing and art chores.
From the first page, the art is terribly inconsistent. In six panels that include an image of “The Boss,” said character’s facial structure and head shape changes no less than three times. The artistic inconsistencies continue throughout the book, manifested in the bands around the fingers of Deathstroke’s gloves that appear and disappear. What’s more, those same gloves apparently change color as they shift from blue to orange during a scene where Deathstroke is holding a gun to another character’s head. I could continue on, but at this point, it is best to be concise: the art in this comic isn’t very good. As a matter of fact, it’s almost very bad.
The story also has hiccups of contradiction as Deathstroke sums up one of his foes with “He’s not even trying.” But follows that line with “It’s taking everything he’s got to hold me in check.” Really? Which one is it? It could be that the first quote is following an assumption that his foe is not telepathic, but the line is poorly couched within an assessment of his foe’s telekinetic prowess. As it turns out, that foe is part of a team that is slated to work with Deathstroke. Granted, I haven’t been religiously tied to this title or the character since the first issue of this series, but I seem to recall the last team Deathstroke worked with doesn’t exactly qualify as slouches, yet he snuffed out every single one of them. This team is, putting it kindly, unimpressive by any measure.
To have Deathstroke accept terms that are not in his favor in any way, shape, or form is completely counterintuitive to the character and his heretofore established modus operandi. The titular character already has more wealth than he knows what to do with and is lamenting the end of his journey when this issue opens, but he accepts the job before fully understanding what it is that he’s accepting. Liefeld doesn’t sell the case enough for me to accept that Deathstroke’s just going to throw in with a group he has little knowledge of and even less respect for. It doesn’t just make Deathstroke look ill-prepared; it makes the character look stupid and desperate.
Although this comic is littered with unnecessary mistakes, I can honestly say it isn’t the worst book I’ve ever reviewed. It’s damn close. There’s simply nothing redeeming about this comic. All Deathstroke is able to terminate in this issue is my interest in ever picking this book up again.