Deathstroke’s Journey into Heroism
Priest's run on Deathstroke has seen Slade toy with the idea of becoming something of a superhero. His encounter with the teenage Power Girl as the blind "superhero" Twilight ultimately set him on a journey into heroism. His experience during "The Lazarus Contract" crossover, where he used the Speed Force to go back in time in an attempt to save his son Grant, may have changed him for the better.
In recent issues of the series, Slade has worked to put together a team of teenage heroes in order to do some good in the world (for a price). His time with Team Defiance has seen Deathstroke take on the role of a mentor, as Ravager, Jericho, Kid Flash, Power Girl, and Terra struggle to keep up. He's still no Superman, but he's shown a level of effort that he's trying to be better, even he's ultimately incapable of it.
Unfortunately, it appears that Slade's run as a hero may be coming to an end. January's Deathstroke Annual #1 promises the death of a team member that may push him back toward villainy. Issue #29 of the series claims it "brings the events of the entire series full circle," as he fights his way through hero and villain alike.
A Second Chance With Metal
The obvious hangup to the idea of Deathstroke becoming a hero is Priest's every indication that he is falling back on his old ways of assassination for hire. However, there is one factor that the Deathstroke series has yet to acknowledge: Dark Nights: Metal.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's event series has seen the mercenary join up with the remnants of the Justice League in order to fight off the invading Dark Multiverse. It's something of a random inclusion, leading us to think it will have some sort of long term effect on the character. If the events of Metal take place after Deathstroke #29, it's possible Slade could have a change of heart following Priest's run on the title.
Adding Deathstroke to the Justice League roster would allow Priest to continue telling the character's story, just on a grander scale. It doesn't seem like the solo title is being cancelled (at least not yet), so there could be more story to tell. Maybe the League sees that Deathstroke is capable of doing good following the events of Metal, so they decide to keep him close. Or, perhaps this is all a ruse where the Justice League doesn't know he shut down his hero operation, and he's playing them all for some unknown reason.
Whatever the reason is for Slade to join the Justice League, we're just hoping it happens. Slade Wilson has done amazing things under the guidance of Christopher Priest, and it would be a shame for his journey not to continue well into 2018 and beyond.