Sunday, December 23, 2012

Deathstroke #15

Is it possible? Will this comic book finally be worth reading?

While picking up my comic books this week, I was checking the stack after Peter, the owner of Excalibur Comics in Portland, handed me the comics from my box and looked at this cover of Deathstroke. I said, "Oh, Justin Jordan is writing. That sounds like a good change." I paused for a second and then said, "At this point, any change on Deathstroke would be a good change." Peter laughed and simply said, "Right?"

No more Rob Liefeld. No more Josh Williamson. No more Hawkman:Wanted! More things I hope I don't see in this comic book: random mercenaries trying to kill Deathstroke to gain more rep. You know what you don't do if you're a mercenary trying to build a future and a name for yourself? You don't risk it all by going all in against Deathstroke the greatest mercenary that has ever lived! I also don't want to see Deathstroke concerned about "finding a challenge." What the fuck is that about, anyway? He's a mercenary! Go make money by killing things! And let's have fun while we're out there, okay? *slaps Slade's butt*

This is Koschei. He's a dick. He's also deathless.

Koscei is some immortal, fascist douchebag terrorizing the people of Sarvenia. I figured Sarvenia was like Markovia, so I asked Lord Google about it.

Me: "Sarvenia"
Lord Google: "Pshaw. You imbecilic twat. You thought that was a real country, didn't you?"
Me: "Of course I didn't!"
Lord Google: "Oh? Did you mean, 'Of course I didn't draft Drew Brees. What am I? An Idiot?'"
Me: "Go to hell."
Lord Google: "A common expression of dismissal. See also piss off, fuck off, eat shit and die."
Me: "Hey! Maybe my blog name should be Eee! Tess ate chai tea and I!"

Anyway, Koschei is just another despotic ruler of some little eastern European country with a name that sounds like it could be real. Here's where I go way out on a limb and speculate on where the plot of this comic is going: I bet someone hires Deathstroke to kill this guy!

He's the worst mercenary in the world! Slade is willing to do the job for a steak and a challenge? Fuck me. He's lost my respect already!

So this madman has been terrorizing this country for three years but nobody gave a shit until money could be made by ousting Koschei. And now Slade acts like he's been acting all along: he just wants a challenge. I guess it's my problem that I want Slade to be different because at least all of the writers are keeping him consistent. Oh well. He shouldn't have any trouble killing Koschei the Deathless since he already killed Lobo.

When was the last time Deathstork Deathstroke made any money on a job? Did he accept payment for killing Lobo or was that just another freebie for the challenge? I think the last time he was on a paying gig was when he went to kill the guy in Colorado (or some snowy retreat) but Legacy got their first. That was a long time ago!

Also, what happened to that shadowy boardroom of criminals that were getting millions of dollars together to have Deathstroke killed? That was how Liefeld began but that never went anywhere because Lobo came up and then the Zero issue which introduced Jericho which suddenly meant Jericho was behind everyone trying to kill Slade. I think that moment was probably just a set up to explain all of the people coming after Slade every issue but, like I said, Jericho sort of took over as the explanation for the random people trying to kill Deathstroke.

Deathstroke's first night in Sarvenia is really just to get information.

Sniper bullet to the head? Check! Koschei still alive? Check! Scramble for new plan? Check!

Except I couldn't be more wrong about the scrambling for a new plan. How could I forget that everyone knows how everyone else in the world will react in comic books, so planning is easy? Deathstroke knew he wouldn't kill Koschei with his rifle. He also knew Koschei would want him captured alive and brought before him. Now where have I seen this plot before? Oh yeah! When Grifter wanted to be caught by Helspont! If the story continues to be the same story, then Koschei will have known that Deathstroke wanted to be brought before him and he'll turn the tables on Deathstroke!

Koschei is too stupid to have an anti-plan. Helspont is an awesome genius and I shouldn't have put Koschei in the same category as that Daemonite super bastard. But to continue Deathstroke's plan now that he's been brought before Koschei and killed all of Koschei's guards, he goes into Phase Two of the Same Old Same Old Comic Book Plan:

Still just gathering information.

I don't have a guess as to how Deathstroke is going to kill this guy since he doesn't have a Space Motorcycle handy to rocket him into the stratosphere on and blow him to bits. But however he kills Koschei, I have a feeling that all of this reconnaissance he's doing what matter at all. Whatever he ends up doing, he probably could have done right from the start without all the risk involved in this other bullshit.

Turns out Deathstroke's entire plan hinges on the fact that Koschei will also do the cliche thing as a super villain. He spills the beans and exposes how he can be killed.

So Koschei needs to be tricked into saying his name backwards?

I suppose Deathstroke has to trick Koschei into killing himself somehow. Maybe set up an elaborate system of mirrors and boomerang bullets which will cause Koschei to shoot himself in the face and thus choose the time and place he's going to die. You know what? I don't even fucking care. Let's get to the rating.

Deathstroke #15 Rating: -1 Ranking. Maybe I just don't fucking like Deathstroke. I hate the way he's being written by everyone taking on this title which means it must be my problem at this point, right? This comic book is a huge disappointment. To paraphrase Rona Jaffe (or Tom Lazarus): "So I read the comic one last time. I saw nothing but the death of hope. And the loss of a decent comic book character."

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