For a first 'official' post, I wanted to do something that was special to me. And I tried to think of what would be perfect. The episode of MacGyver where he makes the thing with the stuff lying around the house? Nah. A discussion of poli-social themes in the works of Terry Pratchett? Nope. 200 recipes for pie? Hmm. Possible.
But instead, I decided to go with a specific issue of comic book. Share a bit of what kind of pain and delight I plan on bringing to everybody. So, let's reach into my archives and see what I pull out.
Well, then. Here we go. Deathstroke the Terminator's own series was, in my humble opinion, one of the better comic books that featured a vigilante who was hardened by war and walked a thin line between hero and villain (The Punishwho?). Sure, he killed people for money, but c'mon. Most of them deserved it. Plus, this was just after his recent stint helping to save the world in the 'Panic in the Sky' storyline, so even Superman and Batman were thinking he might not be all bad.
It's a big shift from then to now. Then, Deathstroke wouldn't kill without reason (even if the price was right). Then, Deathstroke would take the heat for an assassination, even if it turned out the real shooter was a barely-in-his-teens kid whose family ran out of options. Then, Slade Wilson was willing to give up his own daughter to keep her safe because his life isn't the type where you raise a family. He kept a (slightly twisted, granted) code of honor and he stuck with it.
Now, he's just a somewhat crazy stormtrooper for other super villains to throw at problems, nearly poisons his own daughter with kryptonite after driving her insane, and seems willing to, on a whim, wade through a mob of orphans with a chainsaw, swinging haphazardly. All the while singing songs from "Sharon, Lois, and Bram's Elephant Show."
"Skinnamarinkydinkydink. Skinnamarinkydoo. I - Love - You!"
In other words, he's eeeeeeeevil.
Anyway, back to the comic. See that cover up above? Instead of showing Deathstroke fighting Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash, they decided to showcase the character Hemp. I haven't seen a single appearance of this character since this comic.
Deathstroke manages a miraculous escape from federal agents this issue, after claiming that he and Superman (long story) set them up. After claiming to actually be Blue Beetle (who during that time period was the Corey Feldman of superheroes), he knocks out his guards and escapes through a vent.
Once loose, he gets some new equipment, and then runs afoul of Hemp and his gang. Hemp has an Asian guy named Ninjato, his sister Shuriken, a Native American named Bear, and a blond girl dressed like a schoolgirl named Kitty-Kat. This is a team that the Inferior Five wouldn't break a sweat with. It takes less than a full page of action for Deathstroke to drop Hemp and his entire team. I'm pretty sure Marv Wolfman was just filling space with that battle.
This is when the big guns arrive. Happening to be "in the neighborhood," Aquaman and Green Lantern arrive and the chase begins anew. Deathstroke hauls ass into a building, because, hey, he's being chased by one of the most insanely powerful people in the DCU. No, not Fishyking. Green Lantern. Aquaman, however, is the one who follows Deathstroke into the building while GL keeps an eye on it from outside.
Apparently, Marv Wolfman and I share the same affection for the fish-king, as Green Lantern does manage to capture Deathstroke, but then promptly gets suckered into getting too close a few panels later and Deathstroke plays dirty.
Yes, he just smacked Green Lantern in the crotch. The panel after that is him managing to flip his feet up and kick poor old Hal Jordan directly under the chin. Needless to say, Deathstroke is now free, and the only guy left to stop him is Aquaman.
That's right, Deathstroke does not want to go mano-a-seakingo with Aquaman. And apparently it's all for good reason! Observe the following pages to see what it takes to deal with the man widely regarded as the least-respected hero in the DC Universe. Keep in mind it took less than a page to take down a team of losers, and about half a page to drop a guy who could encase the planet in a force field if he so wanted, but forgot to don a cup.
Man, how embarassing must it be to show up at the Justice League meetings and hear about Superman saving the world from a meteor, Wonder Woman fighting some forgotten mythological beast, and your big achievement for the day was getting sucker-shot in the mean bean machine?
Suddenly, Aquaman's not quite such a big sissy, is he? He may not be Superman, but anybody short of that will be down for a little while when you drop an entire building on them.
Anyway, Deathstroke goes on to drop the Flash in about three panels of work, and make his getaway, which is where the Teen Titans is called in and 'TO BE CONTINUED' is plastered all over the page for us. But let's be honest, I couldn't care less about that part of the storyline.
But I feel it's obligatory to post the following:
Is it sad when the communist in red and yellow and the she-beast in the spiked collar are the best drawn heroes in that panel? Why does Beast Boy look 40 years old, and what the hell is he standing on? Why is Starfire smuggling wookies in her hair? And who told Nightwing it was a good idea to have hair that long and a tiny little bow tie over his crotch?