Welcome to ‘Wicked Wednesday’! A weekly blog spotlighting a villain (hey, cause Villains need some lovin’ too!) and highlighting some of their more ‘wicked’ characteristics. Since we have been seeing all these posts raising the hype about Deathstroke returning to Arrow, what better character to kick off our ‘Wicked Wednesday’?!
Deathstroke, also known as Slade Joseph Wilson, is a mercenary and assassin who made his first villainous appearance in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1). He was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.
A military man, Slade was recruited into the United States Army under a special ops team at the age of sixteen, having lied about his age (sound like a certain Marvel hero we know?) He first served in Korea, before being transferred to Camp Washington after being promoted to Major. For a while, he specialized in training new soldiers on fighting techniques, until he caught the eye of Adeline Kane, who was incredibly impressed with his skills. Extremely smitten with him, she offered to instruct him in the art of guerilla warfare. After being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Slade and Adeline married and she gave birth to their first son, Grant Wilson.
A typical hard-ass who loved to ‘live on the edge, with nothing to lose’, Slade volunteered for what was pitched as a ‘super soldier’ enhancing procedure; which would help special ops soldiers resist truth serum if they were ever captured. The experiment failed, and Slade wound up falling into a coma. He awakened sometime later, and he gained enhanced strength and speed. Already a brilliant soldier, his enhanced skills made him one of the most deadly and dangerous men on the planet. Not only did he possess the book smarts equivalent to a PhD., but he was also a brilliant strategist.
Slade attempted to renter the military, but he was turned away. Slade quickly became depressed, and with no choice left in the matter, turned to use his skill set towards hunting instead. When hunting wasn’t enough, he became a mercenary and an assassin-for-hire; but kept it a secret from his wife. Adeline then gave birth to their second son, Joseph Wilson.
Sometime later, hired mercenaries broke into Slade’s home and kidnapped Joseph. Adeline grew confused at the fact that their family was randomly a target for mercenaries, and confronted Slade about it. Slade finally told her the truth and that he was one of the worlds most deadly assassins, nicknamed- Deathstroke the Terminator.
Together the couple set off to rescue their son, where they faced off with a mercenary known as the Jackal. It turned out that the Jackal had kidnapped Joe as leverage, and wanted Slade to reveal information relating to a prior assignment. Before Slade could act, the Jackal was killed by another criminal, and Adeline and Slade took Joe to the hospital. Adeline grew enraged at the fact that Slade had kept a secret; which resulted in the endangerment of her son. She tried to kill Slade by shooting him, but only managed to destroy his right eye, which was how he gained his mask, which covered his lost eye.
From that point forward, Slade sort of went through this occasional hero…. occasional villain phase. He occasionally helped out the Teen Titans on some of their missions after his son Joe joined under the identity of Jericho.
On one of the Teen Titans missions, Jericho had been possessed by the corrupted souls of Azarath, who were using him to capture the Titans and use them as hosts. Jericho managed to reveal his true self and he, begged his father to kill him. To spare his son any more pain and save the remaining Titans, Slade was forced to drive a sword through Jericho’s heart. To this day, the act still haunts him.
Afterward, Slade continued his life as a mercenary, but also acted as an occasional hero, aiding the Titans or acting on his own to help others.
During Identity Crisis, Deathstroke was hired by Dr. Light, who wanted Slade’s help in keeping him safe from the Justice League. Deathstroke faced off the Justice League by himself, defeating almost the entire team… with the exception of the Green Lantern. As he prepared to face off against the Green Lantern, The Green Arrow stood up and struck him with an arrow in his eye socket. Slade grew enraged, and he engaged in a fight with Green Arrow once more. Before he could go any further, Dr. Light used his powers to make the two of them flee. At the end of Identity Crisis, Deathstroke hunts down Green Arrow, and spots him on a rooftop. Green Arrow finds Slade’s cowl and a note stuck to the wall by the very arrow he stabbed in Slade’s eye socket. The note reads, “This is yours – We’re not done.”
Aside from the Teen Titan Cartoon Series, Deathstroke has also made his appearance in the hit CW show, Arrow, where he is played by Manu Bennett. Deathstroke is also set to appear in both the Justice League: Part One and the solo Batman movie, where he is going to be portrayed by Joe Manganiello.
Sources: DC Comics, DC Wiki