The Showdown Between Robin And Deathstroke In Deathstroke #43

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Robin’s prisoners have been set loose. Black Mask, Brother Blood, Atomic Skull, Swerve, Onomatopoeia, and Gizmo are free and out for blood–except for Swerve, who just wants to escape. Robin is cornered but manages to find a way out. He immediately finds Deathstroke waiting for him, who sends Damian along with the Wintergreen AI while revealing that he activated the Terminus Agenda. The rest of the Teen Titans are gradually made aware of the group of villains out to kill them in their own headquarters, but Robin himself is focused on finding Slade Wilson–alone.

Deathstroke #43 cover by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Ivan Plascencia
Deathstroke #43 cover by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Ivan Plascencia

Deathstroke #43 concludes the Terminus Agenda tale while bringing the animosity Robin feels towards Slade Wilson to a brutal head. Damian has allowed Slade to get deep into his mind, and he can’t stand it. Meanwhile, Slade seems to only want to “help” the kid–whatever that could mean coming from someone like Deathstroke.

Those expecting a big blowout battle between the Teen Titans and the villains they’ve had locked in their basement will be a bit disappointed. Atomic Skull, Black Mask, Brother Blood, and the others are more-or-less treated like afterthoughts in this conflict. Robin and Deathstroke are the main focus, with Swerve getting some attention thanks to her unique situation.

We learn what the Terminus Agenda actually is in this comic, and it further shows how brutal and cruel Damian Wayne can truly be.

The ending provides a hell of a twist that leaves me quite curious for the next issue of Deathstroke.

Deathstroke #43 art by Carlo Pagulayan, Sergio Davila, Pop Mhan, Jason Paz, Norm Rapmund, Andy Owens, Jeromy Cox, and letterer Willie Schubert
Deathstroke #43 art by Carlo Pagulayan, Sergio Davila, Pop Mhan, Jason Paz, Norm Rapmund, Andy Owens, Jeromy Cox, and letterer Willie Schubert

Carlo Pagulayan continues to be an artistic powerhouse, as do Sergio Davila and Pop Mhan who guest on this issue. They make this comic look damn fantastic while capitalizing on the action scenes that we do get spread throughout the book. Inkers Jason Paz, Norm Rapmund, Andy Owens, and Pop Mhan bring some tight and neat inkwork to the book, and Jeromy Cox brings high-contrast and impactful color palette to draw the aesthetic together.

Deathstroke #43 ends the “Terminus Agenda” with an explosive finale that doesn’t quite deliver on all the action one might expect but makes up for it with high character drama. This one definitely gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Deathstroke #43 comes to us from writers Christopher Priest and Adam Glass, artists Carlo Pagualayan, Sergio Davila, and Pop Mhan, inkers Jason Paz, Norm Rapmund, Andy Owens, and Mhan, color artist Jeromy Cox, letterer Willie Schubert, cover artist Pagulayan with Paz and Ivan Plascencia, and variant cover artist Clayton Crain.

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