Deathstroke #32 Review: Battle of the Daddies

Deathstroke #32
8.5 / 10 Reviewer
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Writer: Christopher Priest, Artists: Carlo Pagulayan and Roberto Viacara, Inker: Jason Paz, Color Artist: Jeromy Cox, Letters: Willie Schubert, Cover by: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Brad Anderson, Variant Cover by: Francesco Mattina, Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz, Editor: Alex Antone, Group Editor: Brian Cunningham, Deathstroke created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Publisher: DC Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Deathstroke and Batman are locked in combat while the former attempts to chase down and kill a metahuman. We jump back to the day before and see what led to this confrontation. Slade and Talia al Ghul have met up and plan to return Damian to his "rightful" father while Bruce plans with Adeline to stop Slade Wilson. Meanwhile, Alfred and Wintergreen conspire to bring back the peace.

Deathstroke #32 cover by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Brad Anderson
Deathstroke #32 cover by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Brad Anderson

Deathstroke #32 is largely another battle issue between Slade and the Batman. The two men fight and attempt to one-up one another as they fly across a city in pursuit of the targeted metahuman.

The flashback portion is interesting but less so. It's mostly Slade mansplaining Batman to Talia al Ghul and Adeline explaining to Bruce why she feels responsible for everything Deathstroke does. That latter portion, plus the scheming between Alfred and Wintergreen, are the better parts of this part of the comic.

The climactic battle between Slade and Bruce is better by miles. Christopher Priest has a knack for writing dialogue for familiar characters like Batman and Slade that fits while being unlike anything I've heard from the characters in the past. Plus, the vicious nature of the fight and the constant attempts to one-up another make it a completely enthralling duel.

Deathstroke #32 art by Carlo Pagulayan, Roberto Viacara, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox
Deathstroke #32 art by Carlo Pagulayan, Roberto Viacara, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox

Carlo Pagulayan and Roberto Viacara handle the art on this issue once again, and the comic is gorgeous for it. The battle looks dynamic, the characters are expressive, and the detailing is impeccable. Jason Paz's inking is tight and deliberate. Jeromy Cox delivers a bright and eye-catching color palette so that the visual tone is as exciting as the narrative content.

Deathstroke #32 is another action-packed and absorbing installment of the mercenary's battle against the Dark Knight. While the flashback sequence is far less exciting, it doesn't feel like a waste of time at any point. Plus, the battle itself is grabbing enough to make up for any lulls. The artwork is awesome to boot, and the comic earns yet another recommendation. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.