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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Deathstroke Key Issues Part 4

Part 4 to this Deathstroke key issues series. No offense, but I'm already pretty bored and don't see an abundance of supporting characters or villains that recur often.

Actually, most are grossly obscure, minor characters with the exception of a few like Wintergreen, Adeline Kane, Pat Trayce, Joseph Wilson and Rose Wilson. Memorable villains with the exception of Ravager and Adeline are very few so far.

If you missed Part 3, the link will bring you back. Aside from that, here's the next batch of Deathstroke key comics.

1st cameo of Wade DeFarge (shadow)
 2 panel cameo of Rose Wilson
Death of Maurice

So we have another 2 panel cameo of Rose Wilson, the daughter of Slade Wilson. Rose would take up the mantle of the Ravager, and it was later found out that her father had manipulated a series of events in order for this to happen.

Anyways, Deathstroke's friend Maurice dies in this issue by the hands of the Ravager. Maurice is a pretty minor character who seems to be a hacker and informant. I think she debuted in Deathstroke #16.

Sources claim that this is the first appearance of Wade DeFarge as Ravager, and while technically true, I think he shows up at the end of the story and is in shadow. Actually, it only looks like his left shoulder and a bit of his torso.

Some sources say it is and some sources say it's in issue #41. I'm going with issue #41 as first full, and Deathstroke the Hunted #0 has the cover date of October, 1994.

Death of Squirrel
1st appearance of Wade LaFarge/DeFarge as Ravager
Deadshot & Bronze Tiger vs. Deathstroke

As mentioned above, I've read Deathstroke the Hunted #0 twice and only see Wade's version of Ravager in shadow in one panel, but he does show up plenty in this comic and is identifiable as the character. He kills Squirrel in this issue.

The character is called by his first name Wade in this issue by Francine, good friends to Squirrel and Deathstroke, just before Wade kills her too. Yes, that is Wade's mother, at least in the New-Earth continuity.

Apparently Wade is a 4th rate assassin. If you can't afford Deathstroke, you call in Deadshot. Can't afford Deadshot, Merlyn is called in. Can't afford Merlyn and then you got Wade. Those were the words of Kid Flash by the way.

So Bronze Tiger is called in to go up against Deathstroke and two battle it out first. Then Deadshot is called in and we all know he's got no problem killing for money.

Deathstroke goes up against both Bronze Tiger and Deadshot. In the end Deadshot guns down Deathstroke and Bronze Tiger is pissed because there was no reason to kill him and it went against his moral code. Of course, Slade isn't dead.

The Hunted story line is continued in issue #42 of the comic series, and Deathstroke the Hunted #41 has the cover date of November, 1994.

1st brief or full appearance of Rose Wilson?

Okay, it was hinted at in Deathstroke the Terminator #15 that Rose was Deathstroke's daughter and any fool could figure it out, but in this issue, it's actually confirmed by both Wintergreen and Wade. Rose is captured by Ravager and the hunt is on for her by Sweet Lili, Wintergreen, and Deathstroke.

I'm gonna note this the 1st brief appearance of Rose Wilson. She shows up in 7 panels on 2 pages, so that doesn't exactly match a 1st full for some other 1st appearance examples of other comic characters like Gambit and Darkseid.

However, her character finds out that she is daughter of Slade, and she's already named by this issue. Will be interesting to see how Overstreet and the grading companies tackle this one since I've seen a certain comic with a 1st full notation that has lower panel and page appearances than this one (Damien Wayne). 

But it seems that everyone is after Deathstroke. The comic even has a battle with Deathstroke and Hawkman in it, so Slade has his hands full before he can get to Rose, and the fool keeps dying and then reviving.

Doesn't really matter much since Ravager is looking to take him out as well. Find the daughter, and our anti-hero finds his half-brother!  One hell of a family reunion there, especially since Adeline Kane is one of the big bads in this story line.

Deathstroke the Hunted #43 has the cover date of January, 1995.

1st full appearance of Rose Wilson?
Death of Sweet Lili

Rose has escaped and is on the lamb, trying to run from Ravager somewhere in the woods. Sweet Lili, Guy Gardner and Wintergreen are close to finding out where Rose is.
Deathstroke is being hunted by the New Titans. In this issue, Rose fights against her uncle and wins, because it seems that she's already got some fighting skills. However, before sending him off a cliff, Sweet Lili tries to run over Wade in a jeep and ends up going over instead as he dodges her attempt.

Sweet Lili dies in this issue, and if issue #44 isn't enough of Rose Wilson to constitute a 1st full, then this issue here definitely is. Not sure how this one is going to noted in the future though or if at all. 

March, 1995 is the cover date for Deathstroke the Hunted #45.

Origin of Wade DeFarge

Well, it's time for Wade's origin story and how he fits into all this as Slade's half-brother. We know he's got a major hate-on for him, but why?

It's all revealed in this issue here, and Wade's origin story seems like another Bill Walsh character, and it's funny how both end up being Ravagers.

Seems like Wade has a crazy kind of love for Adeline Kane as well, and this story reveals that the two were together before she met Slade. It also reveals that Slade had always looked out for Wade when they were kids, but Wade was jealous of him in every possible way just like Walsh.

Since Slade was a better soldier, Wade even hated him for that as well. Francine is depicted in this issue also in flashback and even she can see the ugly jealousy Wade holds for his half-brother.

Apparently, Francine had married Deathstroke's pops shortly after his mother died, and they had a son. Reason he has a different last name is because she remarried after finding out Slade's pop was just no good.

In part of this origin story, it's told that Wade once captured Grant and Joseph and terrorized them in order for Addie to come back to him. Jeez! Crazy runs in this family. On top of that, Addie is dressed up as the Vigilante and tries to kill Deathstroke as well.

Well, we also find out that Francine is the one who takes out Wade at the end of the kidnapping of Grant and Joseph scene in flashback. She admits that her own son is a monster, and everyone thought he was dead.

Frannie shot him and he fell out of window which stood over a cliff in that flashback scene. Looks like they were wrong as Wade came back as Ravager and offed his own mother for her betrayal and killed most every one of Slade's friends and associates.

This issue also reveals that it was Wade who was behind hiring Bill Walsh as the Jackal to kidnap Joseph, first depicting in Tales of the Teen Titans #44. On top of that, it was Wade who jammed Deathstroke's power staff so it didn't work properly.

Adeline finally learns that it was Wade's fault that Joseph wound up losing his voice after getting it slit due to Wade's tampering of Slade's power staff. Oi! The drama of it all. Deathstroke Annual #4 came out in 1995 and was after the Hunted story line.

Actually, this issue takes place after Deathstroke #50, which reveals that the new Ravager is Wade and Slade's brother. The end of the comic even points to the next issue of the story as Deathstroke Annual #4.

So Deathstroke #50 has the cover date of August, 1995 and came out June 13th. Deathstroke Annual #4 came out a little bit after by June 20th.

1st cameo of Mourn
1st appearance of Shadowspire

Deathstroke's last issue to this comic series was issue #60, and even though there are two versions of Mourn, I don't think he's a villain that appears all that much in Deathstroke comics or the DC universe either. Minor villain, but those at DC and Marvel have already proven to bring minor characters to the big or small screen.

Mourn is part of Shadowspire, a criminal organization that some say made their first appearance in this issue. The organization supplied South American drug cartels with weapons, transportation, high technology and reliable intelligence.

This crime group has already shown up in Arrow, and I believe it was Season 4 of the show. The comic version of the group was led by Baron Blitzkrieg

In the show, Shadowspire was led by Baron Reiter, also known as Baron Blitzkrieg, and played by actor Jimmy Akingbola. He does not show up in this issue, though, and first appeared in World's Finest Comics #246.

Mourn is not named in this issue, he only shows up on the full last page of the story. Deathstroke #53 has the cover date of November, 1995.

1st full appearance of Mourn
Origin of Shadowspire

Named and definitely shows up in more than one page, Mourn should make his 1st full appearance in this issue. The origin of Shadowspire is also revealed in this comic, and it is revealed that the group are an ex-Nazi group who were super soldiers called Axis Amerika.

Blitzkrieg is revealed to be head of Shadowspire, and he is shown in one panel in flashback, and I think the very last panel at the end of this comic. Shadowspire would later be a foe in the Damage comics.

The 2nd Mourn would later show up in Power Company #11. Not that many appearances of either version in comics, and the only Shadowspire from the actual comics to appear live-action so far is Baron Blitzkrieg or Reiter to my knowledge. 

Deathstroke #54 has the cover date of December, 1995.

1st cameo or brief Karrion

Like Mourn, Karrion is very much a minor villain in the Deathstroke mythos and DC Universe. He doesn't show up much at all, and he is a member of Shadowspire.

I debated about even bringing this one up just like Mourn's first appearances, but who knows which obscure, minor character that most comic fans could care less about end up being on some TV show or movie.

Don't really consider this a significant key by any stretch of the imagination but this issue is nearing Deathstroke's 1st comic series from being cancelled. It most likely has a low print run, but a low print run doesn't necessarily count as a "key issue" notation.

Karrion shows up more fully in issue #56. Not sure how many appearances the character has over-all but I'm guessing it's very few. Don't even want to bother featuring that issue, so I'll just mention it. 

He has the face like the Red Skull. Deathstroke #55 has the cover date of January, 1966.

1st battle with Joker?
1st Joker in titled series

Ok, I'm pretty darn sure this is the first time Deathstroke and the Joker go at it. Well, not really. I guess it's more of a confrontation between the two.

Actually, upon researching all the appearances of Deathstroke and the Joker, I could not find any comics they were actually physically in or even showed up together in a story.

So, unless I'm missing some really unknown gem out there, this one has the best chance of being Deathstroke's 1st meeting and battle with the Joker. Actually, not really a battle between the two. Deathstroke battles Joker's goons, but the Joker actually outwits Deathstroke and puts him out with some kind of drugged darts.

Deathstroke #58 has the cover date of April, 1996 and it most likely has a low print run as well.

Death of Billy Wintergreen

Possessed by Jericho, it looks like Deathstroke kills his long-time friend and associate Wintergreen. In this issue, we see that Wintergreen's head is mounted on a wall.

Ah, confusing. Apparently, Jericho's spirit has survived and jumped inside his father, where he laid dormant for a time until hearing that Donna Troy had died in battle. While possessing his father, he even attacked the Teen Titans after killing his father's long-time friend.

Anyway, Wintergreen dies in this issue. He does not come back in the flesh for the New 52, but was part of the Black Lantern Corps in the Blackest Night story line.

Estimated print run is around 62,329 and cover date for this comic is October, 2003.

Death of Wade DeFarge 
1st appearance of Rose as Ravager (cover only)

Wade DeFarge comes back as the Ravager and goes up against the Teen Titans and Rose Wilson. Deathstroke wants her as a partner since all his associates and friends are now dead.

In the end, Rose ends up killing her uncle with Deathstroke's blade, paving her way to becoming the next Ravager. Her first cover appearance as the next Ravager is this issue. 

Some are already noting it as the origin of Rose Wilson as the Ravager, but she does not show up as the character in costume in the actual story. Cover date is 2004 for this Wizard 1/2, and it was an exclusive Mail Order deal that came with a C.O.A.

eBay | mycomicshop | Amazon

1st cameo/brief appearance of Rose as Ravager?

Okay, when it comes to an actual story, Rose Wilson as Ravager is introduced here. As mentioned before, she has a 1st cover appearance in Teen Titans Wizard 1/2, but in the last full page of this issue, we see her in costume and she asked be called "Ravager".

When it comes to CGC and Overstreet, I have no idea if this is good enough for a 1st appearance, so I chose to just call it a 1st cameo. Overstreet has yet to recognize it yet, and I've yet to seen a CGC copy so I dunno if they label it anything either.

Anyway, here's the last page so you can see for yourself:

As stated in the comic page, this story is continued in issue #9, and Rose as Ravager shows up in 7 panels on 2 pages in the 9th issue. Enough for a first full appearance? 

No idea, but Deathstroke and Ravager's mission is to kill Raven. Apparently, Jericho resides in her by this time and Deathstroke wants revenge for Wintergreen's death. Ravager and Deathstroke show up in issue #10 but only in one panel.

Teen Titans #8 volume 3 has the cover date of April, 2004 and estimated print run is around 68,171.

1st full appearance of Rose as Ravager?

When it comes to determining 1st full appearances, I get friggin' lost and examples like Darkseid and Gambit and then Damien Wayne make me even more confused. Ravager does show up a lot more in this issue as opposed to her previous appearances, but she's already has three in an actual story before this one.

Four if you count the Teen Titans Wizard 1/2 cover. She does not appear as Ravager in that story though.

So who friggin' knows? If Teen Titans #9 counts as a 1st full, then this is her 2nd appearance as the character. If Teen Titans #8 counts, then this is her 3rd.

Issue #10 is clearly just a cameo, but if you want to disregard what Overstreet or CGC might note appearances or full appearances, then issue #8 is most likely the one to snag if you're into this character. 

If you believe that covers count, then Teen Titans Wizard 1/2 should be on your radar as the 1st appearance of Rose Wilson as Ravager. Anyway,not a low print book at all, and estimated print run is around 67,780. Teen Titans #11 of the 3rd series has the cover date of July, 2004.

Classic Deathstroke & JLA battle

When most fans are asked what's a classic battle between Deathstroke and the JLA or Justice League of America, many definitely bring up this issue. I have to admit myself that it is a cool battle and Deathstroke takes on one at a time and nearly bests them.

It appears that Superman and Batman are getting drinks somewhere, because they're not in on the fight. The Flash  (Wally West), Green Lantern(Kyle Raynor), Green Arrow, Zatanna, Atom and Black Canary all go toe-to-toe with Deathstroke since Dr. Light hired him to protect him.

Hey, money talks for the mercenary, so he takes the job. 

After homeboy runs his sword through the Flash, he even hits a pressure point that makes Zatanna puke. Classic!

The classic scene in this fight is when Green Arrow stabs him in the eye with an arrow. It is the eye that Deathstroke lost, but this act would forever have the mercenary hold a deep grudge against Green Arrow.

After that act, Deathstroke goes into a raging fury, which was the plan of Green Arrow. The rest of the JLA then subdue Deathstroke, but he and Dr. Light get away when Light goes into a rage and blinds everyone.

Definitely a battle and quite better than the one depicted in Deathstroke the Terminator #13, where the merc goes up against Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman.

October, 2004 is the cover date for Identity Crisis #3, and there is a red variant cover that's a 2nd printing. It's toted as being more rare than the regular cover.

In terms of being a key, issue #60 is the last issue but there isn't much to write about that one except it's the last issue and has a low print run. How low that is I have no real idea.

When it comes to the first Deathstroke comic series, I don't really see any memorable villains that recur often. Makes sense since Deathstroke is supposed to be the most lethal assassin in DC Comics.

Adeline Kane is a notable villain and supporting character other than the Teen Titans. Wintergreen is or was a long lasting character, and the characters of Ravager are notable and fan-favorite Deathstroke villains.

Rose Wilson would be the next Ravager after Wade, and she does end up joining the Teen Titans after finding out that her father pulled strings and actually secretly hired Wade to kill her adoptive parents in order to bring her closer to him.

Slade also injected her with the kind of serum that enhanced him, and this makes her suffer from psychosis. It is also revealed that Slade's DNA had somehow given Rose limited precognitive abilities. She mentions it in Teen Titans #11 volume 3, but it's hinted at or revealed prior to then.

Rose as the Ravager and her early appearances aren't expensive buys. Even the Wizard 1/2 isn't crazy expensive, but they aren't exactly easy finds and not that many copies on eBay or elsewhere that I could find. Might find them in a bargain bin box at a local comic shop, flea market, garage sale or even comic con if you're really into hard speculating or are a youngin' and have time to wait on 'em.

Then again, all it would take is a TV or movie confirmation, and with the continued onslaught of obscure C and D-list characters getting their own shows or popping up in ones already established, it's anything goes in this speculation market. Actually, a character like Ravager did show up on Season 2 of Arrow.

The character was Isabel Rochev, and she dons a costume like Deathstroke and one that Rose Wilson later adopts. Oh, well! Still wasn't Rose Wilson, but doesn't mean the character can't pop up somewhere in the show or elsewhere.

Then again Billy Wintergreen also showed up on Arrow as well. 

Actually, I think most Deathstroke keys are pretty speculative since most are under the radar and not really that cared about and haven't been since the 1st series came out almost 20 years ago. That could change in the future as most things and The Hunted story line is a fan-favorite.

Speaking of The Hunted story, it's still part of volume one. The title changed to Deathstroke The Hunted briefly starting with #0. After issue #45 the title was just simply Deathstroke. 

If you're just a fan of low print numbers, then the last issues of Deathstroke's first series is for you for sure. I would suggest the Teen Titans Wizard 1/2 since Rose Wilson as Ravager is a pretty popular supporting character for Deathstroke and the Teen Titans. That issue is quite a bit more rare than the regular Teen Titans issues she appears in immediately after.
The Teen Titans Wizard 1/2 takes place before issue #7 of the Teen Titans 3rd volume. She shows up as simply Rose Wilson in that issue and then dons the costume and name of Ravager in issue #8.

Adeline Kane dies in Titans #12. Well, the New-Earth version dies. She will reappear in the New 52 in flashbacks (still dead), and Rose Wilson would be retconned to be Adeline's daughter instead of Sweet Lili.

Alright, there will one more part to this series and it will be the last for a while at least.


  1. The last several issues of the ongoing series have print runs around 15,000 copies. Issue 58 is the most popular and then issue 60 is the next best issue out of those. High grade raw copies of issue 58 have been selling for $25 to $60 and issue 60 usually sells for around $10 to $20.

  2. Hey girls and boys,

    anyone know why Venom 38 is handeled as a hot book? I mean, there' s kind of a female Venom first appearing here, but I' ve never heard about her like - for instance - Silk or Spidergwen. Maybe someone has a clue.


    1. That's the reason Ace. Its the 1st app of Mania (new female Venom). Just a pure spec book right now.