Since its launch last year with the DC reboot, Deathstroke has been following the solo life of mercenary Slade Wilson — in stories written by a few different writers.
But now, readers are starting to see that Slade's solo title doesn't have him being quite as "solo" anymore. In September, the new Team 7 comic launched with Deathstroke as a cast member, and his daughter Rose is part of the new Ravagers comic. And recently in Deathstroke, readers have been introduced to the New 52 versions of his son Joseph and wife Adeline.
In December, Team 7 writer Justin Jordan is hoping to incorporate all these DCnU elements into the Deathstroke title and revitalize interest in the character.
The writer is fairly new to DC, but has obviously won over editors enough to land two of the company's comics. Previously known for his indie comic The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Jordan begins on Deathstroke with issue #15.
Jordan said he's hoping to make Deathstroke more than just an action comic, maintaining the character's "badassery" while also presenting him with mental and moral challenges.
The writer also cryptically hinted to Newsarama that there might be a bigger story brewing at DC involving Slade Wilson — acknowledging potential links between Team 7, Deathstroke and January's Superboy Annual #1, which promises an appearance by Slade Wilson.
Newsarama talked with Jordan to find out more.
Newsarama: Justin, first can we just clear up when you're going to be starting on Deathstroke? It's had a few changes in writers lately.
Justin Jordan: I’m on starting with issue #15, which will be out in December.
Nrama: Along with writers, we've seen this comic change direction as well. Now that you're going to be writing Deathstroke, what are you hoping to bring to the comic?
Jordan: Well, I want to make it awesome. I mean, Slade Wilson is one of the premiere badasses of the DCU and, really, of comics period, so I want to get back to that as an essential core of the character.But part of that is making sure that Slade is properly challenged. Although this is and will remain an action book, if Slade can solve all of his problems by shooting them in the head, that’s going to get very old, very fast.
So the trick is making sure that we’re presenting the character with problems that challenge his mind and his moral code, such as it is. Or basically, I aim to make life as rough as possible for Slade.
Nrama: So it's going to still be an action book, but with different challenges? To clarify... can you give any specific examples of what the tone will be?
Jordan: Well, I’m interested in giving him missions that are more complex and require a lot more of him. So things like, for instance, how will Slade kill a target that literally cannot be killed? Or what does he do when completing his mission means millions of innocent people will die?
I want the book to be a fun read but at the same time, I think this stuff really only resonates when there are consequences to what they’re doing. So expect a bit more ambiguity and complexity. Or at least, expect that if I do my job right.Nrama: You've won over a lot of readers with your new Team 7 comic. Since Slade's in that comic too, how much will his solo title now tie into what you're doing in Team 7?
Jordan: Some. I mean, one of the advantage of writing the same character in two different books is that I can parallel different stages of his life and what happens in them. Ideally, I’d like for the books to be complimentary but not necessarily required; that is, you can read one or the other and still get a whole story, but if you read both you get a little more.
Nrama: In recent issues, we've met Jericho, and there are a few differences between this New 52 version and his former incarnation. Solicitations for your issues indicate you'll be utilizing this character in your story. How would you describe Jericho, and what's his role in the comic over the coming months?
Jordan: That, unfortunately, I can’t say a heck of a lot about. The Jerichos are pretty different, but the differences make sense in the context of the back-story. Beyond that, too many spoilers.
Nrama: Then can we just talk in general about his family? How much will Slade's family play into your plans for the comic?
Jordan: That’s a plotline that we’ll be developing as we go forward. Don’t expect to see that particular confrontation right away, but I hope to address what Adeline and Joseph have been doing and how their lives intersect with Slade’s, whether he likes it or not.Nrama: We've seen indications that Rose and Slade are appearing in the newly announced Superboy Annual. Does that tie into what you're doing with Deathstroke at all? And/or do those characters interact in the Deathstroke comic as well?
Jordan: Probably to everyone’s frustration, that’s a bit of a wait and see question. But yes, what happens in any book to Slade is something that will be reflected in the comic.
He said, cryptically.
Nrama: Sounds like something's building here. Since you have to be cryptic in response to the detail questions, I'll just open it up to you: Is there anything else you want to tell fans about your upcoming work on Deathstroke?
Jordan: I’m a fan of the character, and I intend to do my level best to give fans a book that’s both badass and true to the character while still having a few surprises. Also, bullets to the head. Hey, I said all problems shouldn’t be solved that way... not that none would be.FACEBOOK and TWITTER!