‘Deathstroke Inc.’ #6 is something of a departure in tone and storytelling as Slade Wilson becomes leader of the Secret Society of Super Villains after killing the all-new, and now dead, Libra last issue. After a strong start has this series lost its way so soon, I wonder?
Deathstroke Inc. #6 really begins to give meaning to this intriguing series from writer Joshua Williamson and guest artist Paolo Pantalena. Having taken the lead of the villainous Secret Scotty in a shocking cliffhanger last issue, Slade Wilson wastes no time in ordering the assorted criminal class to take out Black Canary. Gone is the wise-cracking terminator of the last few issues to be replaced by an egotistical, and unrepentant leader embracing what he believes is his destiny. Having already tried to be a hero, Slade is only too happy to become the leader of the world’s greatest villains. Even though it does seem to be rather a stretch to believe the likes of Lex Luthor or Ra’s Al Ghul would bow to Wilson. But, that’s the scenario Williamson sets up in this issue. And in doing so, it creates a certain tone and direction to this series that seems a departure of what has come before. And what I have enjoyed about this series thus far.
While this isn’t the greatest issue of the run, it’s not bad either. More a necessary reset for whatever plans Williamson has for this book going forward. But, for me it’s feels like a very different premise. Black Canary versus Deathstroke with the Justice League backing her up against a menagerie of super villains is nothing new, although the introduction of certain characters on the last three pages does promise something a little different from the usual good versus bad showdown.
Pantalena’s art continues to be a more than adequate replacement for Howard Porter, even if most of the characters in this issue done’t seem to register any other emotion other than sneering anger most of the times. But, his layouts are solid with enough dynamic poses to sustain a certain energy across the comic book. Not the best of issues, but enough intrigue by the end of the book to keep me intrigued for a little while longer, even with a distinct change of direction to what I thought this book was all about. Will this be the end of the enjoyable genre-bending stories and subtle humour of the first five issue in favour of more formulaic storytelling? I do hope not, otherwise I can’t see this series lasting much longer.
Deathstroke Inc. #6 is out now from DC Comics