Deathstroke Volume 3: Suicide Run Review

Overview

OK, so Gods of War and God Killer weren’t the best but Deathstroke is still a character I want to get into more so decided to keep going as I saw the Suicide Squad or at least some of Suicide Squad appear. There have been a few cameos so far in Deathstroke which have been hit and miss. Superman and Wonder Woman seemed out of place working with such a killer. Suicide Squad on the other hand may make it a much more enjoyable pairing. Let’s find out.

Deathstroke Volume 3: Suicide Run collects Deathstroke #11-#16.

Deathstroke Volume 3: Suicide Run Review

Deathstroke #11: Assault on the Wall

Suicide Run begins with Deathstroke in a midair assault on Belle Reve, it’s a flash forward flash back (yes, really) as later we catch up with Slade on Danger Island as he is still living with the Dead Bastards after the events of Volume 1 and 2. I would say it’s instrumental to have read Gods of War and God Killer before diving in here. Even if you’re interested in it because of the Suicide Squad link you may still find yourself lost.

Deathstroke and Harley Quinn
Deathstroke and Harley Quinn

Using the Dead Bastard’s wide reaching network we see that someone has raided Deathstroke’s daughters (Rose) house. Laving behind a corpse with a message implicating Harley Quinn. So he goes into Belle Reve to find out more, if you’re not familiar with Belle Reve it’s a maximum security prison hidden away to house some of the most dangerous people on earth, differing from Arkham Asylum as Belle Reve is more for killers while Arkham is more for the insane.

Soon, Deathstroke finds Harley who knows what’s up or at least pretends that she does. Deadshot also there and has a score to settle from something that went wrong on a mission in Russia. I assume this was covered in some issue of Suicide Squad or maybe even a Deathstroke one from the New 52. Pruitt (had to Google who this was – Snakebite?) takes advantage of Deathstroke’s assault on Belle Reve and in an over-the-top and extremely gory way killes two guards but has he also killed Waller? (I doubt it)

In a final confrontation of the issue, Deathstrokes is dragged into a water to be assaulted by Black Manta.

In true Deathstroke fashion and has been the case in all 3 collected editions so far Deathstroke is full of cameos from other stories and has non stop action. I feel Daniel doesn’t seem to be interested in writing a proper story and is more concerned with keeping readers with a thirst for blood engaged. Sadly, continuously throwing in cameos from elsewhere dilutes Deathstroke’s prestige and makes him seem like a character that can’t have an arc all to his own. However, the artwork in all three volumes so far of Deathstroke have been some of the best I’ve seen in any DC series.

Deathstroke #12: Blood in the Water

Slade hasn’t got much time left for this mission, he needs answers and needs them quick.The Black Manta is unhappy about being shafted in Russia too and wants to settle the score now. During all this Deadshot and Harley Quinn watch over. If they really wanted Deathstroke dead they could have done it during the battle. It also makes me wonder how Deadshot and Harley Quinn are fully geared up. Considering the attack was only 30 minutes ago? I suppose they could have done this while the EMP was in effect but still…

Catwoman Belle Reve
Catwoman to save the day

In a very brief flashback, Daniels suggests that Slade isn’t doing this alone, we’ve not seen any radio communication or the presence of help so far so it’ll be interesting to see who it is. Can’t have been the Dead Bastards because that partnership isn’t even a secret.

You get a bit of a backstory on Snakebite, Spaulding Pruitt and it’s appreciated as I have no clue who it is. At first I thought it might have been Snakeface from Haunted Gotham but that wasnt canon and happened in ‘Elseworld’.

Government forces now approaching and quickly make their way into Belle Reve, makes things more difficult for Slade which isn’t a complete surprise. We see a silhouette of another cameo? This time from Catwoman? looks like it, continuing Deathstroke’s habit of throwing characters in for the sake of it.

Deathstroke #12 is a better issue than #11 and gives the reader a chance to breathe and soak in what’s going on. Still feels too non stop to be appreciated properly. Artwork still stunning.

Deathstroke #13: Serpent’s Strike!

Deathstroke’s been in there for 58 minutes now, 28 minutes more than his intended plan. As if the plan was ever going to happen without a hitch. Would anyone want to read that? Catwoman was the partner after all and comes in at the right time to help Deathstroke move closer to Amanda Waller’s location and the answers he’s looking for.

Snakebite, though,  is on top of the situation, working it all for himself. Snakebite, we’re told, is too deadly for the Suicide Squad, I’ll need to research which book he was introduced him and which superhero was able to take him down. After a quick Google search and finding Gamespot’s Comic Vine entry for him is appears Deathstroke #11 was his first appearance!

Rose and the Man Behind the Curtain
Rose and the Man Behind the Curtain

We find out and as I suspected; Harley Quinn doesn’t know anything about Deathstroke’s daughter, she just ran with it to serve her own needs (surprise, surprise). The whole event now looks to be a clear setup, I wonder if it was Snakebite since this has played into his hands a little too nicely or was Snakebite himself just a pawn? Deathstroke has loose morals and tries to make a deal with Snakebite for waller which leads to a short but epic fight between Deathstroke and Snakebite. Slade kicks him out and finally gets to Waller who doesn’t know a thing. Deathstroke gets some answers before he ejects himself –

The mission was a bit of a waste of time really but we do get to see Rose being held captive by the one who is behind all of this “The man behind the curtain” who reminds me an awful lot of Skullface from the Metal Gear Solid series.

Deathstroke #13 was good, a lot better than the preceding issues as Daniels finally brings some coherent plot together and not just mindless violence.

Deathstroke #14: Blood Ties

In another flashback we see Father of the Year Slade Wilson take his daughter Rose to, his words, Skid Row for her 5th Birthday to toughen her up for life before flash forwarding to Deathstroke now in Lexcorp being tasered. It’s another back and forth beginning that Daniel’s been using (abusing) now since #1.

Lex Luthor A.I.
Lex Luthor A.I.

There’s yet another flashback almost straight after showing events 48 minutes before the tasering, presumably to fill in why he’s at LexCorp. I feel Daniel should just explain it all in chronological order and then flow into the next scene, no need for flashes all the time.

As Deathstroke goes deeper there’s a fight against Lex Luthor A.I and a Mercy Graves intro. I assume if I had read any Superman I wouldn’t need this intro. Lex (A.I.) is surprised that Deathstroke is here but still can’t let him leave. Elsewhere, the “Man behind the Curtain” makes Rose watch the whole event, looks like they have Victor’s feed who is helping Slade from a distance. Deathstroke #14 ends with him landing underground in an area filled with some monstrous experiments, they’ve all got “S”s on their chest.

A bit of a filler issue with little plot development, flashbacks again and not much else. A shame after I found #13 was on to something finally.

Deathstroke #15: Freefall

Deathstroke #15 starts with a flashback… before going back to present. This was already boring and Daniel is not giving up this plot device.

Back in LexCorp and Slade is in slack alley and it looks like Mercy and Lex (A.I.) don’t really want this to happen so work together to try and turn off “Bizarros”. Deathstroke makes relatively short work on enacting the plan and the Bizarros are shut down.

Red Hood
Red Hood

Slade lets Mercy know the whole thing’s on camera so its in her interest to help him track down Rose. She allows him to keep searching which brings him to the LexCorp mail room and a mysterious box with Rose’s hair comb in it from when she was 5.

It’s now revealed that the “Man behind the curtain” turns out to be the “Lawman” who really did end up looking like Skullface from Metal Gear Solid 5. Slade thinks he’s being set up (can’t believe it took him so long) and points the finger at Victor, Victor himself think he is being set up also. Amazingly, they are interrupted by none other than the Red Hood who chips in that HE is also being setup. We almost got through an entire issue without a big name cameo!

Some tired writing continues from Daniel with every issue using the same generic plot frame. Flashbacks, big incident which is quickly dealt with and then superhero/villain cameos. Come on, Daniel. Do something different.

Deathstroke #16: Blood from a Stone

Deathstroke #16 starts with a flashback…can you believe it?! It’s to just when Rose was captured and Rose’s unbelievably attractive friend, Rachel, is dropped in it by Lawman. It was her corpse at the start of Volume 3. Deathstroke realises Belle Reve and LexCorp were a waste of time. I could have told him that.

Red Hood was hired to beat him up, and does while calling Deathstroke “Douchestroke”. Hated this, I hate

Lawman and Rose
Lawman and Rose

how Daniel makes Red Hood out to be someone who would use these sorts of childish words. I a storyline filled with swearing, blood and violence for Hood to suddenly come out with that makes him out to be a boy in an adult’s world.

Victor and the crew help to take hood out from the sky before Deathstroke saves him for more information. Slade has had enough of Victor and doesn’t believe him. Using Victor’s new intel they are off to Montana where we find Snakebite and soon after that Deathstroke finally comes face to face with Lawman and Rose in a badass costume. I hope Daniel isn’t going to make out that Rose was behind the whole thing because that just wouldn’t be consistent with the timelines and several flashbacks.

Glad this issue and book has come to an end as the frustration I was having with the nonsensical plot and constant repetition of events. The same thing happened from #11 to #16 they just happened in different places that’s all.

Summary

The same problems which plague Volume 1: Gods of War and Volume 2: God Killer are back in Volume 3: Suicide Run as Slade Wilson is sent back and forth of pointless missions with over the top action and little to no plot line. The artwork is stunning throughout but I am more interested in the story of a book than the art every time. To me, this is a disappointing book and a disappointing run by Daniel.

Summary
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Deathstroke Volume 3: Suicide Run
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