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The only thing that I felt Liefeld accomplished with this issue of Deathstroke was a promo for ‘The Omegas’ series. I don’t think I would mind reading that series instead of this poorly drawn depth-lacking series whose main title character is as boring as the villain.
Slade Wilson, also known as the assassin for hire and our title character Deathstroke, is ready for the fight of his life as he travels with the Omega’s to kill the escaped Czarnian prisoner Lobo, who is responsible for destroying his own home world and the lives of the Omega’s when he killed their parents. Now the Omega’s are out for revenge, and to save the world before Lobo blows it sky high.
This issue opens with a journal entry from Slade. A surprisingly helpful exposition that actually clears up a lot of the problems the last issue had, not only does Slade dictate his motives clearly for the first time (and in a way that makes sense for the character to act!). He also exposits about the members of the Omegas. This includes a general outlook on the character’s personalities and their powers. This was a great introduction, but also a great look into the big problem with this issue: it should not be part of a Deathstroke title.
After Deathstroke’s journal entry, Zealot recounts the past of the Omega’s parents, which shows their motivation for hunting Lobo. This information is presented oddly by Zealot to The Omegas, a group of people who already know it, with the exception of Deathstroke who doesn’t seem like the one to be all “buddy-buddy” with. But despite coming out of nowhere, this gives the Omega’s great motivation towards catching Lobo. Unfortunately when Deathstroke and the Omega’s finally do catch up to Lobo the direction of the series shifts towards Deathstroke. Deathstroke’s motivation is clearly just ‘the thrill of the hunt,’ while the Omega’s have a much more compelling motivation to catch Lobo. This is why the title should be The Omega’s. The focus should be on the team Liefeld has taken real steps towards developing. Deathstroke clearly takes a backseat to the Americas in this issue and that should never be the case even in a crossover issue like this. The title character always needs to be the most prominent figure and should not be overshadowed by other characters.
Liefeld unfortunately doesn’t neglect the villain, he does worse by completely destroying Lobo’s previous characterization as a hysterical, bad-mouthed alien. In this issue, Liefeld only focuses on the “bad-mouthed” bit. He is a serious character in this who cracks no one-liners. All Liefeld does to try and make it feel like this is supposed to be Lobo is having him sputter out his fake curse words every other panel. Oh, and he gives Lobo a girlfriend who he apparently sparred on his home world who has a design so similar to Lobo’s that I wonder if Lobo was just so narcissistic he wanted to be with what would be the equivalent of himself in drag.
Liefeld continues to do the poor artwork for this issue. However, this issue is apparently not all of Liefeld’s fault. Inker Adelso Corona is just as much to blame. Characters have over lined arms, torsos and faces and when Liefeld doesn’t have backgrounds with minuscule amounts of detail he has a simple, bland colored background, marred by Corona’s ink scratches. Even worse, when the main action scene begins, Liefeld uses speed lines and every background is made up of a red-orange color. This only adds to the boring anti-climactic feel of the fight between the Omegas (who are easily cast aside), Deathstroke and Lobo.
I would look more kindly on this issue if it was part of an Omegas series, but even then it still has its flaws. Seeing Deathstroke fight Lobo was not as fun as I wanted it to be. Despite setting up the Omegas well, I felt like Liefeld neglected the title character. He also only managed to slightly scratch the surface of the Omega’s origin, leaving much to be desired in this fast-paced issue which did not manage to accomplish anything story wise, just character wise. As a result, this was a boring issue that could have been given a different title and a different direction.