Wherever you stand on the successes and failures of the DC Extended Universe to date, it cannot be denied that the franchise contains moments of sheer excellence. Some films contain more of these moments than others, of course, but they are scattered throughout the series, nonetheless. Within these moments, few can be more exhilarating then those which receive high praise from the creators of the comic book characters themselves – and that’s what we have regarding Justice League, from Deathstroke co-creator Marv Wolfman.
The thing about Justice League is that the majority of characters – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and The Flash – have been with us for so long that their original creators have since passed away. We’ll never know what William Moulton Marston thinks about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, or whether Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster would approve of Henry Cavill’s portrayal of their Man Of Steel. But, Marv Wolfman – who created both Cyborg and Deathstroke – is here to assure us that Slade Wilson’s brief appearance in a post-credits sequence is “perfect.”
“Over a week has passed so I think I can safely post this. If you haven’t yet seen Justice League, make sure you do. And stay to the very, very end. Photo courtesy of Joe Manganiello who looks like he stepped right out of the pages of New Teen Titans. Does he look perfect or what? Cannot wait to see where he appears next.”
Deathstroke is a supervillain created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in New Teen Titans #2 in 1980. As the alter-ego of Slade Joseph Wilson, he’s served as the primary nemesis for the Teen Titans, as well as becoming involved in Batman-centred storylines. He’s a firm fan favourite – and with good reason. His origin story is filled with drama, tragedy, and adversity – including military training at a young age, submission to experimental super-soldier enhancements, combat tours during the Vietnam War, marriage to a military combat expert, and fatherhood.
Crucially, combat trauma leads him to become a mercenary, and that career choice leads to his son being taken hostage by The Jackal. As Deathstroke attempts a rescue, The Jackal slashes the young boy’s throat – a violent act that does not prove fatal, but instead leaves him mute. When his wife discovers the truth, she shoots Deathstroke and destroys his right eye. This gives rise to his iconic costume, which includes a cover for the right side of his face.
The reason for such jubilant response from Marv Wolfman is largely due to the appearance of Deathstroke during the post-credits scene of Justice League. His costume – as sported by Joe Manganiello – is brilliantly rendered and, when he removes his mask, he’s wearing an eye-patch. This tells us exactly where he is in the course of his own story, as his path intersects with that of Lex Luthor. As Marv Wolfman himself adds, it’s now for us to speculate where we might see Deathstroke next, but it’s surely the case that another appearance will be highly anticipated.