This book, man.
As you may have gleaned from our appearance schedule, this site is based out of New York’s capital region. The comic shows in the area, while definitely on the rise, are fairly small in scale and limited in number and as such, don’t always draw the most impressive guests or exhibitors. Certainly, there are toys to be found at Albany Comicon and I feel like the Chase Con Expo will deliver exponentially exciting guests as time goes on, but for now things leave a lot to be desired. But I know this. I’ve been to some very big conventions, and I don’t expect to be rubbing elbows with Joe Quesada in a bar after these shows, and likewise I don’t expect DC to announce a new book in the Holiday Inn courtyard.
That being said, I never expected this…
I found this book in the garbage can outside of the Albany Comic Con. That should have been my first sign, in hindsight. This is an event dedicated to the love of comic books and someone saw fit to discard this one amid the festivities, You may be thinking it was a free giveaway, and someone took it to be polite and then ditched it immediately afterward. And that would be a reasonable assumption, lord knows I’ve done that more than once or twice myself with a flyer… but this book is cover priced at $4.95. How wretched must a comic book be that someone would pay $5 for it and then immediately through it away a celebration of the media that is graphic storytelling. Pretty. Fucking. Bad.
I know, I know… I’ve been slacking in my issue by issue coverage of the monthly Deathstroke series. But can you blame me? To ask why I’m not excited to read the latest issue of this book when it hits the stands is to say “Why the long face?” to someone standing over a freshly dug grave.
So, you know how I read and review terrible books? Like, the kinds of books you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to have to read? Well, I was given this book so that it could be featured in this series… but little did the gifter suspect that I was such a huge fan of the Police Academy series of films that I was actually almost excited to get into this thing! But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t terrible, so hopefully you can still get some kind of schadenfreude from my having to read it.
Did you see the film Walk the Line but walk away thinking that it wasn’t quite preachy enough? Well, this week your prayers will be answered by this little gem:
DC’s newest volume of Deathstroke is basically a nine-volt battery to the tongue. It’s not pleasant, and it’s more than a little unsettling. And yet for some reason, I find myself trying it again even though I know it’s terrible.
So, maybe I’m the only weirdo who intentionally runs electrical current through his face, but I know there are plenty of assholes out there who continue following this comic. As I mentioned in my review of the first issue, the buzz around the book was inexplicably positive. This time around it’s not quite so widely loved but much to my chagrin it is not universally reviled.
Just as confounding, in my eyes, is this book’s utter disregard for the continuity in which it exists. At the end of the last issue, we saw a rejuvenated Slade Wilson being all sexy after the mystical I-Ching resurrected his bullet-riddled mercenary ass. I commented in my write-up that I wasn’t sure if it was actually Deathstroke (it is) because he had black hair whereas young Slade Wilson was always shown to have blonde hair. Now, you may be saying “Kang, you dummy! This is the New 52 continuity, maybe Deathstroke is some swarthy raven-haired fellow in this version of DC’s history.”
In the early 90’s during the Image Revolution I was that comic book company’s prime target audience. Translation: I was young and dumb with some extra money to spare and easily swayed by shiny holofoil covers. All I cared about were how cool the comic books looked. Any time I didn’t understand the story, I just chalked it up to being too young. While Mr. Liefeld made quite an impression on me, it was Jim Lee’s work that I couldn’t get enough of. Loving his art on X-Men, I was thrilled to pick up his new creator owned series WildC.A.T.S.
Full disclosure, I owned a lot of WildC.A.T.S. issues from the 90’s, but was always so disappointed that after about issue #13 or so Jim Lee stopped drawing it. I would pick up issues hoping these were just fill in artists until he came back, which of course never really happened. That didn’t stop me from buying action figures (that were way too tall to coexist with X-Men ones) and even loving the WildC.A.T.S. cartoon from the same era. Recently, I decided to take up the task of re-reading the first 4 issues just to see what the hell was going on back then.