SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Deathstroke #39, by Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, Fernando Pasarin, Jason Paz, Jordi Tarragona, Wade Von Grawbadger, Jeromy Cox and Deron Bennett, on sale now.
In October 2017, it was announced that a film centered on Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, was in development at Warner Bros., with Joe Manganiello on board to play the titular antihero/assassin.
Since then, many fans have started to believe the likelihood of Deathstroke getting his own solo film in the DC Extended Universe is steadily dwindling, despite Manganiello suiting up as Slade in the mid-credits scene of 2017’s Justice League. However, that hasn’t stopped the comic book source material – specifically Deathstroke #39 – from giving the man who briefly brought Slade Wilson to the big screen (and will hopefully do so again in the future) a well-deserved shout-out.
As the issue kicks off, we flash back to when Deathstroke and his band of fellow Arkham Asylum inmates were battling a horde of would-be alien invaders on the planet Pulor – an event that only Deathstroke and Devon, aka Death Masque, seem to remember.
Regardless of the circumstances, though, the issue begins to fill in some of the missing pieces from the two weeks Slade and Devon were gone, including the pair’s frenemy-esque banter.
“Stop emulating me,” Deathstroke says after learning Devon has adopted the moniker of Death Masque and started wearing a near-identical costume. “Not funny, Devon.”
“Seventy-three million tickets sold, Manganiello,” Devon replies arrogantly. “Bite me.”
So, while the prospect of a standalone Deathstroke film may be years from actually coming to fruition, it’s refreshing to see that in both the DCEU and the DC Universe proper, Joe Manganiello is the full embodiment of Slade Wilson.