Review: Deathstroke #30 “Deathstroke Vs. Batman” Part One

“Deathstroke Vs. Batman” – Part One

Writer: Priest
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan & Jason Paz
Review by Steve J. Ray
Okay… you may all be forgiven for asking, “Hey guys! Why are you reviewing Deathstroke?” It’s a valid question, but a glance at the top of this review should answer it for you. Back in January I reported that veteran comics writer Priest would be penning a six-issue “Deathstroke Vs. Batman” arc.
Here dear reader, is the very first chapter…. and what a chapter it is!
Going in you could believe that you’ve started reading an issue of Batman by mistake. The opening 12 pages – over half the book – are almost totally Dark Knight-centric. “Foul!” you may cry, “This is a Deathstroke comic.” Yes, it is. Believe me when I tell you that when Mr. Wilson finally does make an appeareance. You will be left in no doubt as to who the star of this comic is. The beauty part of the whole scenario is though, in no way does this make Batman appear any less awesome. That’s how well written this issue is.

Deathstroke Vs. Batman

As a huge fan of Priest, this opening salvo was a delight to read, as I suspected it would be. Here is a writer with decades worth of comics experience. He knows how to grab the readers’ attention, set the scene and deliver action, depth, and character in spades. The opening eleven pages give us Alfred in a pub, a Batmobile car-chase, Batman in both detective and kick-ass vigilante modes. We get screeching tires, explosions, Dick Grayson, Jim Gordon, Ravager… need I say more?
Artists Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz and colorist Jeremy Cox are no slouches either. The art on this book is awesome. This team’s Batmobile beautifully combines Dick Sprang’s, Tim Burton’s, the Batman: TAS version and a tank. It. Is. Monstruous. It’s not just the action that impresses, either; Batman’s growl, his grimace, the close-ups of him in deep thought are all visceral, and real. In an incredible moment where Slade admonishes the Dark Knight, we can truly believe what he’s saying. The marriage of Priest’s words with the artists’ rendition is that good.
YOU fight crime because I allow it.
Robin BREATHES because I allow it.
Don’t confuse me with some LUNATIC who dresses like a PENGUIN.
Just let it GO. Ignorance is BLISS.


Sometimes a crossover is just hype and a publicity stunt. In the hands of a veteran like Priest, it’s so much more. The reason given for these two fighters coming to blows is real, and believable. In Deathstroke, we have an adversary that can truly test even The Batman’s mettle.
The threat levels are palpable, and one can only imagine that this will be an all-out war.
I’m all in.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on April 13th 2018)


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