Deathstroke #26 Review: The Killers Who Won't Kill

Deathstroke is missing, and Defiance is split on how to best resolve this situation. Adelina and Terra are both ambivalent and want to move onto other missions. Jericho, Kid Flash, and Rose are more concerned about the fate of their de facto leader.

The person holding Slade Wilson: David Isherwood. He holds many grudges against Deathstroke, from the falling out with his son, the fact that Slade has one of his eyes, and other grievances that can only come from having association with Deathstroke. However, Isherwood is a man of God and cannot bring himself to kill Slade. As such, he is just holding him for now, but he has destroyed Slade's powerful Ikon suit. This leaves Slade far from helpless, but Isherwood is immensely powerful now.

Deathstroke #26 cover by Ryan Sook
Deathstroke #26 cover by Ryan Sook

As you can see from that lengthy plot summary, Christopher Priest really is a master of working a lot of plot into the relatively small space of a 20-page comic book. It's quite admirable, and he manages to do so without annihilating the pacing or making the exposition trite and overwhelming.

We get to see more of how Terra will function on the team, which is to say very apathetically. She was chosen by Adeline, and that is where her allegiance lies. She isn't in it for Slade or her teammates.

The dynamic between Isherwood, or Dr. Ikon, and Deathstroke is engaging and tense. Isherwood has plenty of reason to hate Slade from the very depths of his soul, but Slade still seems to be trying to do better. Plus, he is our complex and beloved protagonist. As such, it's hard to not be on his side.

While most of the pacing is steady, it does dip in some spots. This mainly occurs while Defiance is putting together the pieces of what happened to Slade. We already know what happened, and watching the team slowly figure it out isn't the most exciting thing.

Also, and this isn't really a compliment or criticism, but good lord the number of editorial asterisks referencing to previous issues of the series. I haven't seen this many stars since the last time I read an 80's Marvel book. So, you know, like yesterday.

Deathstroke #26 art by Diogenes Neves, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox
Deathstroke #26 art by Diogenes Neves, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox

Diogenes Neves's artwork continues to be excellent, as this is yet another striking issue of Deathstroke. The figures are striking, the action looks solid, and, Isherwood has a really cool visual design. Jeromy Cox's colorwork is spot-on too, and the overall visual design holds together well.

Deathstroke #26 is another stellar issue in Priest and Neves's series. Despite some slow parts, in manages to hold my attention and keep me firmly engaged in the goings-on of the plot. The conflict between Isherwood and Slade should be an interesting drama, and I'm left excited for the next issue. I definitely recommend this one. Check it out.

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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.
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