Deathstroke #19 Review

Deathstroke 19
comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On May 24, 2017
Last modified:May 23, 2017


While Deathstroke #19 is the weakest part of "The Lazarus Contract" so far, it does more than enough to keep us invested in the forthcoming finale.

Deathstroke #19 Review

This review contains minor spoilers.

While everyone has been raving about “The Button,” a better event has been taking place in the form of “The Lazarus Contract.” It might not be lenticular, but it’s certainly been spectacular. Jam packed with action, fun, mystery, and a selection of exciting characters, it’s everything that we’ve come to expect from Rebirth so far. In Deathstroke #19, part three of this riveting storyline takes us to the darker side of things.

Considering this title is Deathstroke, it’s only fair that this issue primarily focuses on the man without mercy Slade Wilson. While we do get to see enough of the two Titans teams in the book, we’re treated to more of Slade’s history – including the nature of the mysterious deal that he made with Dick Grayson years ago. Additionally, we discover what sort of a father he was to his children (spoiler alert: he made Al Bundy look like Mike Brady). This was something that was briefly touched upon by Priest in earlier issues, so it’s interesting to see how we’ve come full circle in the series.

The highlight, though, is seeing Slade as a speedster. While we’ve had more than enough speedy villains in DC Comics, there’s something menacing about the world’s greatest assassin possessing the power of the Speed Force. As expected, he doesn’t use his newfound powers to bring about world peace, either.

In the same style as previous issues, Priest separates the book into several ‘chapters,’ covering the vital events in the current day and the past. While it’s a slight departure from the storytelling method applied to the arc so far, it doesn’t feel out of place here. Instead, it adds a bit of spice and flavor to the narrative. It’s not like he has changed the tone or feel of the story; just the presentation of it.

Collaborating with other writers on crossover events can be a difficult task, since each scribe will have his/her own distinctive style. However, Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett have put egos and personal glory aside in favor of conveying the same tone across their respective titles. When the event doesn’t feel like it’s written by three different people, it’s the mark of a job well done. Three cheers to the writing team for getting it right.

Carlo Pagulayan and Roberto J. Viacava combine their artistic powers here to pencil a complex and diverse issue. Unfortunately, however, their illustrations seesaw in quality. When they hit the mark, it’s glorious to behold, but when they miss, it’s pretty catastrophic. Out of the three issues in “The Lazarus Contract” so far, this book has the dishonorable distinction of having the worst art.

Despite this being a speedster-influenced storyline, part three of “The Lazarus Contract” slows down the pace in favor of filling in the blanks. It’s not a bad thing, as it sets up the stakes for the finale rather well. Look, Deathstroke #19 isn’t quite as memorable as the previous installments of this crossover (and its art is unstylish and bland), but it does enough to keep us invested in the conclusion. And really, isn’t that what penultimate issues are for?

Deathstroke #19 Review

While Deathstroke #19 is the weakest part of "The Lazarus Contract" so far, it does more than enough to keep us invested in the forthcoming finale.