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After the last issue of Deathstroke, which was filled with bloodshed, bland characters, and a poor story, this issue tries to make small improvements but instead is even more boring than the last issue despite some changes that should have been beneficial. The story is boring with the mysteries only making the reader confused. It rouses no emotions from the reader, the characters are uninteresting, and the bits of violence are still not as fun as they should be.
Deathstroke continues to put himself into the line of fire to find the people behind the mysterious continents of a suitcase that threatens his life. More blood is shed as Deathstroke combats two new opponents with strikingly similar costumes who are trying to send him a deadly message. These deadly enemies are known only as Legacy.
Kyle Higgins tries to add some mystery into his story this issue, but all the mystery makes the story even more confusing. The pacing, despite all the non-stop action, is still slow. The story drags by slowly and it feel like each issue goes through the same motions: Deathstroke talks about how great he is, others laugh off his ability, then Deathstroke proves how strong he is with pages and pages of action and violence that have quickly become the boring norm of the series.
There is an attempt made in this issue to have more of a story and less action, the downfall of the last issue, but it does not fully work. The ending tries to bring a little drama into the series and does clear up a lot of the unnecessary mystery which should greatly improve the next issue, but the story remains boring and the little characterization that there is shows just how boring the characters are.
The characters still leave very little impressions on the readers. Their personalities are not distinct and their names are barely memorable. Even the star, Deathstroke, while a great character in the past and still a cool character in this series, feels like a very rigid character. This issue also suffers from the same problem as the last by making Deathstroke just as insanely strong as he was in the last issue giving the issue no real sense of suspense as he easily dispatches every enemy.
These character problems could be fixed with some old friends of Deathstroke’s coming back, like a short appearance of Rose Wilson who is currently in Superboy, or Deathstroke’s old pal Wintergreen coming back. Longtime readers of Deathstroke would be very pleased, and new readers could enjoy these two great character instead of the few forgettable characters offered to readers in this issue.
Artist Joe Bennett leaves something to be desired with his art but it has improved. There are no amazing full page panels, but the action scenes are not clumsily set-up like they were in the previous issue. The characters, as well as their expressions, are all drawn well. The villains designs are lacking, featuring the colors purple and green on their costumes. Ironically, these colors are explained in the issue and their purpose does make sense in the context of the story, but still results in non-threatening costumes for the villains.
Higgins and Bennett are clearly trying, but none of the action scenes are fun and the attempt to create a more interesting story and characters has failed. There are a lot less action scenes, which should have been a great opportunity to make the story and characters more likable, but instead the story and characters remain boring and not much moves forward during this issue. The numerous problems in this series need to be fixed but at this point it is not worth picking up this series.
The only reason I will still be picking up the next issue is not because I want to give this book another chance. It is boring and I would not bother with it again under normal circumstances. But the next issue will be featuring a crossover between Deathstroke and the Blackhawks, a team of soldiers with advanced technology, or more importantly, the stars of a series I have greatly enjoyed so far in the New 52 under the same name. If some of that title can rub off onto this one, there may just be a chance for Deathstroke after all.