September 18, 2022 8 min read
Deathstroke is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez and first appeared in The New Teen Titans #2(1980).
Originally the archenemy of the Teen Titans, writers have developed him over the years as an adversary of other heroes in the DC Universe. Parallels have been established between him and Batman, and he has a deep-seated grudge against Green Arrow.
Deathstroke the Terminator first appeared in 1980, in the second issue of the book New Teen Titans. He was originally introduced as "the Terminator", a mercenary who was completing the terms of a contract undertaken by his son Ravager.
Due to his popularity, Deathstroke received his own series, Deathstroke the Terminator, in 1991. It was retitled Deathstroke the Hunted for issues #0 and #41-45; and then simply Deathstroke for issues #46-60. The series was cancelled with issue #60. In total, Deathstroke ran for 65 issues (#1-60, plus 4 annuals and a special #0 issue).
Following his injury in DC Universe: Last Will and Testament, Deathstroke appears in one of the four Faces of Evil one-shots, written by David Hine. Hine has explained that the series is part of the set-up for future stories: "All of the characters in this ‘Faces of Evil’ series were selected for their potential as major players in the coming year."
Even though the character of Deathstroke the Terminator predates James Cameron's film The Terminator by four years, the Slade Wilson character is now simply called Deathstroke, even by characters who had called him Terminator for decades. The full title has not completely fallen out of use, having been referenced as recently as Justice League Elite.
Slade Wilson, known by his codename, Deathstroke, is the world's deadlist assassin. He considers the role of Deathstroke a job, not a reflection of who he is. Most of the rumours about him are true, and he doesn't mind, because he loves his job. As far as he is concerned, Slade Wilson is a good man - an adventurer.
Five years before taking the name "Deathstroke", Slade operated with Team 7, a team created to secure The Majestic Project- a plan to control future metahuman threats.
During one mission, Slade was severely injured and had to go under an operation that enhanced his physical abilities, making him a super soldier.
After the termination of Team 7, Slade began to operate under the Deathstroke identity as a mercenary for hire. He took his son, Grant on on of his missions, considering him not only his son, but also a business partner, and the only person he could trust. During the mission, their refuge was infiltrated and they were attacked. Grant was shot, and as Slade looked back at his son, a bullet penetrated his right eye, blinding it.
After Victor Sage gained control over Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad, Slade was recruited as a new member, in exchange for money.
At one point, Slade was hired to kill Richard Swift, a.k.a. the "Shade". Slade sliced off Richard's hands, slit open his chest, and finally, decapitated him, although it turned out that Shade had sensed Deathstroke's presence long before he made his move, and had created his own shadow construct dupe, which Deathstroke had then dismembered.
Slade tried to kill Batman when he was affected by a drug that eliminates fear of death. Deathstroke yanked Batman out through the windshield and throws him from the Batplane down toward the ground below. Speeding toward the trees of Harmon Island, Batman launched a grapple to grab onto a nearby branch, and broke his fall. He apparently was not hired to do this, but decided of his own volition.
Slade encountered Batman once more during the Gods of War storyline, when he went to Gotham, looking for his son. He engaged in a fight with the Dark Knight, that ultimately ended in a stalemate.
At some point Slade learned of a bounty placed on Red Hood and the Outlaws. He described the assignment as something he would be more than willing to do for free. Although Slade was seen throwing knives at the photos of Red Hood, Starfire, and Arsenal, it seems he never attempted to collect the bounty.
Slade went to Russia to fulfill a contract against a man named "Possum", which turned out to be a set-up. Slade becomes badly injured from Possums backup. Bleeding heavily, Slade tries to remember the name of the man he's to see; an older man called I-Ching. He finds his way to the place, and collapses. Slade wakes, healed by the man, and senses something has changed in him. He soon realizes that, somehow, I-Ching has made him young again. Slade begins searching around, and finds the hologram of a masked swordsman. A voice from behind him explains that this man is just a hologram of Deathstroke's next target, Odysseus. The man introduces himself as Red Fury.
Slade later finds out that Odysseus is his resurrected father, and scientists had used Slade's son, Jericho, to do this.
After being led by Harley Quinn to the likely location of his children Rose and Jericho. They have been taken to Gotham International Airport, where their grandfather Odysseus and the League of Assassins deliberate on whether they should kill Rose. Jericho becomes agitated, warning them away from his sister. To force Odysseus' hand, he begins attacking his own body from the inside, knowing that if he dies, Odysseus' plan is ruined. Under pressure, Odysseus puts his own mask on Jericho and absorbs the remains of his psychic power before he can die.
Deathstroke and Harley soon intervene and rescue his children. Banishing the fact that he is fighting his father from his mind, Slade attacks him as an enemy. When Odysseus knocks off Slade's helmet, he doesn't recognize him as his son, thanks to the de-aging he underwent. Therefore he assumes that this must be an impostor. Slade assures him that he is the real deal, skewering his father on a protruding piece of scrap metal, killing him.
Slade is eventually approached by the Olympian craftsman god, Hephaestus, for a job unlike any other job he has ever done; to assassinate a god. Slade accepts the offer and is armed with a magical sword, called the Godkiller. Armed by Hephaestus, Slade sets out to kill a god, the titan, Lapetus.
Deathstroke encountered Damian Wayne, a.k.a Robin, when he was sent after Maya Ducard. Damian intervened when Slade attacked Maya, and the two engaged in a fight. Robin led Slade into a tomb, where he was caught off guard by the traps, allowing Damian to get distance. After Deathstroke managed to escape, Damian then payed him off.
Because of his ability to instill great fear in others, at some point Slade was chosen as a suitable candidate to wield a Yellow Lantern Ring, and was temporarily recruited into the Sinestro Corps.
Sometime in the past Slade had an encounter with Oliver Queen, a.k.a the Green Arrow. This was revealed when Oliver was thinking of people who would want him dead, and thought of Slade as one of them.
Slade encountered Oliver once more when he was hired to find Doctor Miracle, a man who's blood could heal anything. Slade ran into Oliver when he arrived in Africa to retrieve Doctor Miracle, where Oliver was attempting to do the same. The two engaged in a fight that Slade ultimately won. He then impaled Oliver with his sword, seemingly killing him, although Oliver survived due to Slade being unaware that the blade had some of Doctor Miracle's blood on it.
With his daughter, Rose, on the urge of death, Slade is made an offer by Ra's al Ghul. Ra's tells Slade that if he swears his allegiance to the League of Assassins, he will heal his daughter. Slade reluctantly agrees to the terms, only to find out Ra's had tricked him, forcing Rose, along with Slade's son Jericho, to also swear their allegiance to the League.
Deathstroke possesses various enhanced abilities granted by the experimental serum, which are stated to be well beyond those of an average human. According to several character bios, his physical attributes border on superhuman. These include having the strength of ten men, and possessing heightened speed, stamina, endurance and reflexes. His enhancements made it possible for him to press about 1 ton. He has the capacity to use up to 90 percent of his brain at any one time, making him a tactical genius, adept at turning his opponents' own abilities against them; this can also be attributed to his years in the military and combat with various heroes. Deathstroke also possesses a healing factor in his blood that enables him to recover from physical injury much faster than a normal person; however, it does have limitations, as it could not heal his missing eye and cannot regenerate entire limbs. This enables him to recover from what would otherwise be fatal injuries, though recovering from such injuries renders him insane and animalistic for a short period. Deathstroke is also a formidable martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant. He proved himself to be one of the best fighters in the United States Army and, through his martial arts training, he would later be highly skilled in Boxing, Karate, Jujitsu and Ninjutsu. In addition, he has demonstrated multilingualism, being able to speak various languages such as Russian, Japanese, and Korean.
Green Arrow (vol. 4) #66 claims that an assassin known as Natas taught Deathstroke "almost everything he knows" (a retcon of his origin in The New Teen Titans: Judas Contract, where his future wife, Adeline Kane, trained him while he was in the military). Deathstroke is also skilled in the use of various weapons, including swords and firearms, which are among his current weapons of choice. His signature weapon is a power staff that fires lethal and non-lethal energy blasts from both ends. In some more realism-focused versions of Deathstroke, his staff fires bullets and miniature cannonball-like pellets instead of energy blasts. His staff can bend and stretch to include both of his martial art forms. He is also seen with a wide array of swords, including giant broadswords and katana swords. Typically in combat, he will only use his staff as a last resort, after his other weapons are rendered useless. His body armor is composed of a mesh-woven, kevlar, chainlink mail, capable of stopping small arms fire. Most of the metal he wears and uses is Promethium, the volatile variety which he's immune to thanks to his physical prowess. However, in the New 52, he wears a full suit composed of Nth metal. This armor allows him to absorb blows from some of the mightiest DC beings, as evidenced by it being able to absorb numerous blows from Lobo, although it could not withstand the power of Mazahs.
Deathstroke has allies including Adeline Kane, Alex Peabody, Angelica, Bombshells, Cheshire, Cinder, Grant Wilson and Ravager.
Deathstroke being a supervillain has a number of enemies who are superheroes including Green Arrow, The Teen Titans, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Justice League and many more.
Deathstroke appeared between seasons 1-2 of Arrow. The character was portrayed by Jefferey C. Robinson(Bill Wintergree) and Manu Bennett(Slade Wilson). He was the main antagonist of the series for a while. Manu Bennett's portrayal of Deathstroke was appreciated by fans and critics world-wide.
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|Deathstroke the Terminator #6-9 “City of Assassins”||Marv Wolfman||Steve Erwin, Will Blyberg, Tom McCraw|
|Identity Crisis #3 “Serial Killer”||Brad Meltzer||Rags Morales, Micheal Bair, Alex Sinclair|
|New Titans #71-84 “Titans Hunt”||Marv Wolfman||Tom Grummett, Al Vey, Adrienne Roy|
|Tales of the Teen Titans #53-55 “The Trial of the Terminator”||Marv Wolfman||Rick Buckler, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo, Adrienne Roy|
|Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44, Annual #1 “The Judas Contract”||Marv Wolfman, George Perez||George Perez, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo, Adrienne Roy|