Deathstroke #34 Review: Slade Takes The Fight To Batman

Deathstroke Batman 34

In this penultimate chapter of Deathstroke’s Batman-centric arc, Slade finally decides to move on the offensive and end this war once and for all. It’s the moment readers have been waiting for since the story began. After five issues of build-up, living up to the expectations this arc as has is no easy feat. Luckily, Christopher Priest manages a wholly satisfying read matched only by the art of Jason Paz and Carlo Pagulayan.

Some time has passed since last issue. This has been a bit of a theme with this arc. The story never picks up right where the last leaves off. While a bit unorthodox, this passage of time creates a sense of magnitude. It gives the reader the idea that this war between Deathstroke and Batman has been raging for a while. Damian, though included in this issue, sits on the sidelines once more as his two potential fathers battle it out. Seeing as how this directly affects Damian in such a personal way, it’s a tad disappointing that he doesn’t seem to have much of a say in his own fate.

Still, it’s hard to care about that once Batman and Deathstroke start fighting in the Batcave. Slade’s hilarious commentary on Batman’s weird desire for branding everything with his symbol was a standout in the pages of fun dialogue dealt out during the fight. While exchanging blows physically, they also take shots at each other’s ideologies and warped senses of moral superiority. It may not be subtle, but Priest perfectly draws parallels between Batman and  Deathstroke’s methods.

Meanwhile, chaos is unfolding in Wayne Manor due to a strategic attack by Slade. A few issues back, Priest made a point of having Deathstroke reveal that while he knows Bruce Wayne is probably Batman, he prefers not to acknowledge it. This was a strong piece of characterization for Slade that is unfortunately thrown out the window for this issue. Even though he knows that the Batcave is located under Wayne Manor, Slade still hasn’t pieced together Batman’s true identity. Though this could easily be explained away as denial, it’s disappointing to see the lack of commitment to that idea.

The finale of this issue is exciting though a bit of a tease. It makes you wish they would have just finished the arc right then and there. The story kind of feels a little overwrought at this point. With all the subplots left dangling, it’s hard to imagine everything tied up in one more satisfying issue. However, this story has constantly exceeded expectations and in some cases even subverted them. At the very least, Priest has earned his readers’ trust. So, fans will surely be in the bag for one more chapter in this epic war.

The 10 Most Powerful Members Of The Teen Titans, Ranked

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Teen Titans DC ComicsThe Teen Titans have transformed over the years as new members join and old members leave the team. No matter who’s on the team, their mission stays the same: help as many people as possible. These heroes are all extremely capable fighters, but they all still have a lot to learn. Not only is getting out there and fighting giving them more experience, but learning alongside other heroes from different backgrounds helps the Titans learn lessons and consider things from angles they may not have considered before.

Now that the Teen Titans are getting their own TV show, various members of the team are being talked about and considered for the silver screen. While some characters may be more suited to television than others, there’s no denying the fact that some Teen Titans are just more powerful than their teammates.

Hit Next to find learn more about the 10 most powerful members of the Teen Titans!

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Louis Otero

Louis Otero

Louis is a New York-based journalist. You can hear more about his love for genre flicks and superheroes on his weekly podcast Random Movie Roulette.