Saturday, March 10, 2012

Deathstroke #1

I know I'm going to be typing 'Deathstork' every fucking time I type Slade's name.

Deathstroke is a fun read so far. I've just read about half the comic and gotten to the point where they reveal his target. Um, looks like an old school Nosferatu type vamp to me. Anyway, he's being teamed up with a bunch of "Hey this assassination and covert op shit is fun" free-swinging kids. Not kids exactly but they may as well be. By the time you hit your mid-late thirties, all those early twenty-somethings might as well be toddlers. You can't understand their fucking language! They laugh at the stupidest shit. They don't know any pop cultural references that matter! And yet they all think they're Goddamned Einstein. Except they would only know Einstein as the old man with funny hair that you photoshop phrases over.

The people reading this on Blogspot are probably nodding in agreement. The people reading this on tumblr are probably calling me a bitter old fuck. Whatever! What I'm trying to say is that I understand this look on Deathstork Deathstroke's face as he first meets his new team.

I'm willing to bet 20 other writers in the New 52 would have actually used 'Harmory'!

Those three panels make me chuckle. I hope this comic is more of that. And don't get me wrong! I like young people as much as I like toddlers! In moderation and not in my house! This 40 year old needs his fucking nap time! Go drink your beers and your breast milk elsewhere!

Before I go back to reading the comic, here are two hits on image searches for Deathstork.

The first one is an actual Deathstork. The second one (the idea of which I love, if not the art so much) is probably because the artist types like I do.

Slade and his team have been hired to kill this vampire guy in midair. Not while he's a bat! But while he's flying a load of munitions and nuclear secrets to Iran. The team flies their jet next to the vampire's jet and Slade hops on over.

The whole premise of Deathstork Deathstroke the Terminator is that he can do everything better than everybody else (except Batman. And sometimes Nightwing). He makes the impossible look easy! And he makes the literally impossible look figuratively plausible! Or something. Hey kitty cat!? Judas?! Am I drunk?

Damn, that actually sounds like a good idea! The problem with having a business that allows me to sleep when I'm tired and wake up when I'm rested is that I have no set schedule. It's four in the morning and I'm not sure if it's a good idea to start drinking or not. When am I supposed to be falling asleep? Although a Cup and Saucer breakfast at 7 in the morning with a nice buzz going sounds good.

It's what's for dinner! Or breakfast. Or is this fucking lunch?

When Deathstroke tears into the plane, he's greeted by some monster soldiers. They aren't vampires. They're humans injected with Clayface DNA. That sounds somewhat less than sexy.

Deathstork Deathstroke mentions they're going to be hard to kill so he just throws them out of the airplane. Problem solved! I bet the normal Clayface could easily survive that. But not a soldier who was merely injected with Clayface's seed.

Deathstroke takes the briefcase which is full of secrets and the vampire guy taunts him into opening it. You know? Aren't briefcases always full of secrets? Maybe we should just start calling briefcases 'Laura Palmers'.

I was searching for a picture of June Cleaver with Ward's briefcase so I could photoshop her saying, "Don't forget your Laura Palmer, dear!" But this came up on the search. Those are two separate search results side by side. Looks like June has a wandering eye!

Deathstroke opens the briefcase and asks, "Is this a threat?" Whoever hired Deathstroke wanted him to get his hands on whatever was in the briefcase. I don't know what it was yet. Remember the whole secret part from like one paragraph ago? But Deathstroke don't care! He don't give a shit! He just blows the fuck out of the plane and jumps back to the other jet!

By the end of the comic, I still don't know what is in the briefcase. I'm guessing a bottle of Viagra because the message is clear: everyone in the assassin game doesn't think Slade Wilson can cut it anymore.

Out of the previous 40 titles I've read, Deathstroke has the best comic book ending of them all. I wasn't expecting it (and I've only had a slight bit of sake so far) mostly because the comic book was fun. And I love fun comic books. That's why Mister Terrific was ranked so much higher than it otherwise might have been if going on pure story and writing. Fun makes up for a lot. So when I got to pages 17 and 18, I was shocked and delighted by what happened. And since I can't find those pages online and I can't scan them, let me tell them to you.

Panel One: The new kids are celebrating. Deathstroke a shadow in the background watching.
Sharpshooter: "--to the Harm Armory! To gettin' paid to bring the pain!"
Glasses: "Hells yeah!"

Panel Two: Christoph, Deathstroke's "Agent" toasting the kids around the table.
Christoph: "It's a great start, guys--a really great start."
Lovetap: "So what's next?"
Christoph: "Well, there's a bunch of work we can start throwing your way--if you're interested."
Lovetap: "Oh, we're in."
Sharpshooter: "Definitely."

Panel Three: Christoph: "And what do you think of the 'up-and-coming' team, Slade?"

Panel Four: Slade: "I think there is no 'up-and-coming.' There's only competition."

Panel Five: Harm Armory looking confused.
Sharpshooter: "What?"

Panel Six: Deathstroke raising his mask.
Slade: "And I don't work with it."

Next Page: Deathstroke shoots the shit out of the Harm Armory!

Awesome. Just fucking great ending for a Deathstroke book. But what I love most is the fun! This is what I thought Grifter was going to be. I thought Grifter was definitely going to be a fun comic book about a wild gunman doing...well, I didn't know what he would be doing! But I was expecting fun! But Grifter is taking itself seriously. This book the stuff of comic book legend. It's what I remember comic books being. Gritty. Gory. Funny. Wild. And no horrible dialogue being forced down your throat just to fill a panel! Because every time Green Arrow had a speech bubble coming out of his mouth in the first three issues of that comic, it was painful! I think it was literally painful! I was using literally in a hyperbolic way there! Can you do that? Does that break the universe?

Right now, I love this comic! And I like that it ended the way it did and it wasn't forced. Like Batman The Dark Knight where the whole comic goes on telling a story just to get to some stupid ending panel with a buffed out Two-Face proclaiming he is now ONE FACE! You know what, Two-Face? I'm fucking one face as well! It's not hard to be one face!

My sincerest apologies to my buddy, Bobby, who had part of his face blown off in Iraq. I don't mean to be bragging about my one face. But you know, remember that time I squirted Taco Bell hot sauce in your eye on the way to miniature golf? I was just trying to prepare you for the future, buddy!

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