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Friday, September 16, 2016

Deathstroke Key Issues Part 5

Finally, we are at the last part to this Deathstroke key issues series, and I'm already burnt out on Deathstroke. If you're into key Modern Comics and a Deathstroke fan, this part might interest you.

If you're not, this part will definitely be something you'll want to skip. Valuable keys? More like some valuable variants in Part 5. Most, even though keys, aren't all that currently.

Might change. Might not. Who knows? Alright, let's this sucker over with, but if you missed Part 4, the link will bring you back. If you just stumbled upon this site, you can start with Part 1 if you so desire.

1st full appearance of the Society?

If we're talking about a villainous organization that Deathstroke was an original member of then this version of the Secret Society of Supervillains simply known as the Society or Secret Society is one of the first. Deathstroke, along with Talia al Ghul, the Calculator, Black Adam, and Doctor Psycho were part of the inner circle, but it was led by Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 posing as Lex Luthor.

There are lead up appearances of this version of the Society, and many of them are cameos and in shadow. Manhunter #6 volume 3 had a few members except the Calculator in shadow. Calculator is visible in that issue.

JSA #70 had most members in shadow except for Black Adam. The rest only appeared in shadow, and the early beginnings of the group are only shown in one panel in each of those comics. JSA #70 is the issue where Black Adam is recruited into the inner circle.

You cannot make out Talia al Ghul at all, but she is finally confirmed and revealed to be part of this plan in Breach #3. Alexander Luthor is also revealed in the Breach comic series to be putting something together that would eventually lead up to Infinite Crisis.

The comics mentioned in Manhunter, JSA, and Breach all hint at the Society but are never named nor solidified as such. Manhunter #6 volume 3 is the earliest cameo appearance followed by JSA #70.

Catman is the only one seen refusing membership in this issue when Doctor Psycho and Talia al Ghul try to recruit him. It's funny how offended they are when Catman refuses, calling him basically a third-rate villain.  The exact words were "bile-stained amateur".

With all the news about Deathstroke as Batman's villain in the upcoming stand alone flick, now the question is the person pulling Deathstroke's strings in the flick. After all, he is a contract killer and mercenary.

Somebody had to hire him to take on or out Batman. One of the rumors floating around is that it could be Talia al Ghul who hires Deathstroke to face off with Bats in the new movie.

The pair have worked together in the comics as shown in the Society, and Talia al Ghul is a well-known Batman foe. There is the question of whether Nolan's Batman movies are considered canon for the DCEU, and while some say definitely not including Nolan himself with Man of Steel, it does not mean that the studio or a near future movie can't change this by connecting them.

I think Breach #3 and Villains United #1 cements a team up between the two. You can make out Deathstroke barley in Manhunter #6 and JSA #70, but Talia is completely in shadows to where you can't identify her in both of those issues.

Manhunter #6 preceded JSA #70 and JSA #70 preceded Breach #3. You can make out Deathstroke in Breach #3, and Talia al Ghul is clearly identifiable and even named.

However, it's quite unclear if Breach #3 is even connected to the Society, or, at least, it isn't blatant and might be questionable until it's definitely confirmed in this issue. The regular cover to Villains United has an estimated print run of 96,718, so it's not a low print comic by any stretch of the imagination.

There is the Dynamic Forces signed edition limited to 2,000 copies. Signature is J.G. Jones, who is the cover artist. There are also 2nd and 3rd printings of this issue as well, but not sure how much of a lower print they are.

July, 2005 is the cover date for Villains United #1.

1st appearance of Natas

Not sure if this character has many appearances or not, but Natas was introduced as a trainer of assassins that Green Arrow sought-out and learned from. He also trained Deathstroke in the ways of the assassin.

Natas shows up plenty in this issue, and it's revealed that he was Deathstroke's teacher. He doesn't show up much afterward, but the character is coonected to Deathstroke at least in the comics and in this continuity.

Natas begins to teach Green Arrow the ways in the next issue, but the cover date for Green Arrow #66 volume 2 is November, 2006.

1st appearance of Titans East II
1st appearance of Sungirl

Following the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, the Society that Deathstroke was a part of pretty much dissolved. Deathstroke did have other nefarious plans though.

Deathstroke actually assembled and put together the 2nd incarnation of the Titans East. This short-lived version had Cassandra Cain Batgirl, Harlequin, Enigma, Inertia, Match, Kid Crusader, Risk and Sungirl as part of the team.

Deathstroke is back to his old ways of blaming the Titans for taking his kids away from him. I'm assuming that during this time, Rose Wilson has long learned of what his father had done to her and disowned him.

So, our clueless and dense villain is pissed and again an enemy of the Titans. Joseph Wilson is alive again by this issue but seems to be a hero with the Titans again.

As for Cassandra Cain joining a team of supervillains, she's been poisoned of course. By this time, Rose has cut her eye out and adopted a costume that looks more like Deathstroke's get-up.

Sungirl has her first appearance in this issue as well and her name is Deborah Morgna. Because of hte last name, it's assumed she has a connection with Dirk Morgna, also known as Sunboy from the Legion of Superheroes.

She is a villain that can harness the power of the Sun, and later joined Superboy Prime's Legion of Doom. Although wikipedia notes her debut being in issue #42, I did not see the character in that issue.

Regular cover for this issue has an estimated print run of around 60,287. Teen Titans #43 volume 3 has the cover date of March, 2007.

1st New 52 Deathstroke appearance
1st appearance of Cristoph

We are going to fast-forward here as I and most likely you are tired of this Deathstroke key issues list. So here we have the 1st issue to Deathstroke's volume 2 series, which lasted shorter than his 1st series.

Sources say this is the 1st appearance of Deathstroke in the New 52. His origin pretty much remains the same for the most part.

Rose Wilson, Grant Wilson and Joe Wilson are his children and Adeline Kane was his wife. However, in the New 52, I think it is Joseph who killed Adeline Kane. Grant is still alive and does show up in the series as does Adeline and Jericho.

There are slight embellishments to his origin though in the New 52. We'll get to that later, though.

In this series, Deathstroke has a brief "agent" or manager and that is Cristoph. Although he dies quite early in the series, it's implied that the two have worked together for years.

Christoph does find and handle contract negotiations for Slade in this continuity. Variants of this comic? Far as I know, there's just the 2nd printing of this issue.

Regular cover has an estimated print run of around 42,325 for issue #1. Deathstroke #1 volume 2 has the cover date of November, 2011.

1st appearance of Road Rage 
2nd appearance Christoph

And we have another minor villain for Deathstroke. Yay!

So far I've only been able to find a single appearance of this character. Then again, I do think he dies in this issue after facing off with Deathstroke.

Go figure. Minor villain, but who knows? Doesn't mean that Road Rage can't or won't pop up in a TV or movie somewhere.

Well, that's if they decide to roll out a Deathstroke movie somewhere down the line, but it's pretty hard speculating in my humble opinion.

Deathstroke #2 volume 2 has the cover date of December, 2011. Estimated print run is around 40,182.

1st appearance of Alex Peabody

In this series, Alex Peabody is quite important even though he only has a few appearances in the 2011 series. Peabody takes the place of a Squirrel-like character from the 1st series, and is Slade's weapons inventor.

This continuity establishes that Grant and Alex were teen friends who Slade trained. While Grant was adept and skilled in war and combat, Alex was not.

However, Alex did have a skill and that was creating weapons. He is the son of Wintergreen in the New 52. Wintergreen is already dead in this continuity, but like his New-Earth counter-part, he was a long-time friend of Slade Wilson.

It's not clear how or when this version of Wintergreen died, and he is African American. Deathstroke #3 volume 2 has an estimated print run of around 30,379, and the cover date of January, 2012.

1st appearance of Nathaniel Wilson

This issue holds the 1st appearance of Slade Wilson's father, Nathaniel Wilson. He is in the main story and in flashbacks as well.

Apparently, just like Grant Wilson, Slade has a major beef towards his pops and one of the driving forces for Slade was proving that he was better than his old man. This issue furthers the origin of Slade Wilson and his father as well.

Nathan is depicted as a failed, petty,  and useless criminal who treated his son poorly. He owed money, and one day, he sold a young Slade to those he owed money to for $10,000. It's not really explained what happened to him beyond that.

Nathaniel is an old dying man by this issue. In the 3rd series, Slade's father was retconned into a Charles Wilson also known as Odysseus. They are completely different version as Charles Wilson is a former CIA agent.

No explanation was given about that change. Low print run comic and the estimate is 16,951 for the regular cover of this issue. Don't think there are variants for this comic, but not entirely sure. Deathstroke #8 volume 2 has the cover date of June, 2012.

Origin of New 52 Deathstroke

Honestly, there isn't much difference between Deathstroke's origin in the New 52 and his earlier origin in Tales of the Teen Titans #44. This origin story basically recaps the same thing but with minor twists.

For instance, it's revealed in this issue that Slade joined the military under aged, but he was still the best. Captain Adeline Kane also trained him just like in his New-Earth origin, the two fell in love, had Grant and Joseph, and Slade turned into a contract killer with a thirst for blood that she didn't approve of.

Like before, his activities put his life in danger, but the difference is in this origin is that Alex Peabody is at the Wilson house when it was attacked. Slade thought his wife and children died, but behold, Adeline and Jericho make their physical appearance in this issue.

Actually, I believe the story is told by Adeline Kane, and she does show up in flashbacks and in photos prior to this issue. Grant Wilson showed up physically in issue #6 and fought his father in issue #7.

Like the New-Earth versions, Adeline, Jericho, and Grant are all out for Deathstroke, so nothing really important with the New 52 versions. Jericho also shows up in this comic in a present day appearance, and Slade's origin has him connected to Team 7 in this continuity.

Dinah Lance or Black Canary was part of Team 7 and connected to Slade Wilson's origin. Rob Liefeld, the creator of Deadpool, does the artwork for this issue. He started in issue #9.

Print run estimates for this issue is around 20,796, and Deathstroke #0 volume 2 has the cover date of November, 2012.

1st appearance of Possum
1st appearance of Angelica 
1st issue to new series

Angelica is Slade's contact/informant in Russia and a new love interest in this series. She appears to have died in this issue but she comes back in the series.

Not a very important supporting character over-all, and so far has very few appearances. Who knows if they'll use her in the Rebirth stuff.

1st appearance of Possum is in this issue and is yet a pretty minor villain. Surprise, surprise! Possum is a vicious foe in this series and has a healing factor that is equivalent to Slade.

I see potential with him as he is creepy and Deathstroke needs a good nemesis that's his own. Seems like Deathstroke has gone back to being an anti-hero with this series and volume 2.

Variants? Yep, there's a 1:25 retail incentive variant for this comic that seems to be somewhat sought-out. 

Regular cover of this comic has an estimated 54,059 print run. So, this variant might be 2,000 copies or in the lower 2k range like 2,100 or 2,200. Not entirely sure but it's around there.

Anyway, if you're into variant or more rare comics, the 1:25 covers for this issue are starting to get noticed and the 1st slabbed copy to cross over the $100 mark will be a CBCS 9.8 via bidding auction. Then again, there is hype about Deathstroke being a Batman villain in a movie going on.

Deathstroke #1 volume 3 has the cover date of December, 2014.

1st appearance of Red Fury
1st cameo of Odyssues

Odyssues shows up in one double page spread and one panel in this comic, but it is a hologram of the character. The hologram is named as the character, though, and as mentioned before, Odyssues is the father of Slade.

Red Fury makes her 1st appearance in this issue and shows up on 7 panels on 2 pages. She would not to be a long-lasting supporting character for Deathstroke in this series.

No surprise but there is a 1:25 variant for this issue as well, and most likely it's more rare than the 1st. Regular cover has the estimate print run of around 36,356, so I'm guessing this variant is around 1,500 copies or so.

So far, this variant hasn't taken off in a big bad way yet either, and it's still quite under the $100 range at the time of this writing.

Deathstroke #2 volume 3 has the cover date of January, 2015.

1st brief appearance of Odyssues

Alrighty, so this new version of Slade's father shows up in a flashback in this issue. He's on 6 panels and on 2 pages.

If that's good enough for a "1st full" for ya, then it's good enough. Dunno what they consider 1st appearances for Modern Comics or how many panels and pages or whether the character has to be named or what.

Not sure what the Rebirth stuff is going to do with Slade's pops or if they're gonna keep this version or go back to the original Nathaniel concept. Who knows? 

We'll have to see as I don't think the character has yet shown up in the Rebirth comics. There's a 1:25 variant for this issue as well, and the regular cover had an estimated print run of about 34,010.

Looks like the comic shop orders for this comic series keeps dropping per issue. Anyway, the 1:25 cover should have an estimate print run of around 1,300 or 1,400. Maybe even 1,500. There's definitely not a whole lot.

Deathstroke #3 volume 3 has the cover date of February, 2015.

1st full Odyssues appearance
Harley Quinn guest stars

Is this the 1st Deathstroke and Harley Quinn team up outside of the Suicide Squad? Well, in the New Suicide Squad, Deathstroke joins the team for a minute, and by the 2nd issue, he sold out to the Russians.

Slade's pops as Odyssues definitely shows up in the present day of this comic's story and a lot more in the comic than previous appearances.

Red Fury is revealed to be a female and we discover that Angelica is alive from the encounter she had with Possum in issue #1. Apparently, she has healing factor too.

This issue has Harley Quinn in it, and while it looks like a team-up on the cover, it's really a set-up. Batman encounters Deathstroke at the end, and the two battle it out in issue #5. Harley Quinn does show up as a guest-star in this series quite often...well, often concerning another 20 issue series.
Then again, she is the reigning Queen of DC right now, so no surprise that she's being seen almost everywhere by this time. There is a 1:25 variant.

Regular cover has an estimate print run of 33,011, so estimated print run for the variant could be around 1,300 to 1,500. The regular cover actually looks better than the variant.

Deathstroke #4 volume 2 has the cover date of March, 2015.

I'm gonna stop the featured section with issue #4 of the 3rd Deathstroke series. I've read a crap ton of comics in the past few days, and this has been a frustrating series with so many minor and short-lived supporting characters and villains.

I was hoping that there would be some sort of worthy nemesis that would pop up for Deathstroke like a Sabretooth for Wolverine, but he doesn't really seem to have one except for his family members and other superheroes occassionally.

As far as I can tell, the solid supporting characters for Deathstroke are still Jericho, Grant Wilson, Rose Wilson, Adeline Kane, and Wintergreen. They often seem to be villains for the character as well. Wintergreen is White again in the Rebirth comics.

Deathstroke #9 volume 2 is the comic I think Rob Liefeld starts his short run on the series. Back in the day, it was talked about quite a bit but issue #10 and the 1:10 variant seems to be picking up some steam.

Issue #10 had an estimate print run of around 19,722, so the variant cover could be around 2,000.

However, most of the subject tended to lean more towards the irony of the creator of Deadpool doing Deathstroke comics. It's been well-known among comic fans about the similarities between Deadpool and Deathstroke.

Some think Deadpool is a Deathstroke rip-off, and it's been yabbered about for years. Even the co-creator named Deadpool "Wade Wilson" as an inside joke.

Are the two characters different? Sure, they are. Are they similar as well. Sure, they are.

I know someone is going to mention the Superman/Batman Annual #1 where Deathstroke supposedly meets Deadpool, but Deathstroke meets Deathstroke from an alternate universe. Sure, the verbiage of this alternate Deathstroke is like Deadpool, but it's not technically Deadpool.

Can't believe that issue was being made such a big deal of at that time because of the Deathstroke/Deadpool argument. Sometimes you gotta laugh at the craze.

New Suicide Squad #1 Ivan Reiss variant cover is a comic that's steaming up a bit as well. Deathstroke is on the regular cover and on this one, and it is a 1:25 deal. It should have around a 2,000 print run. 

9.8 copies have crossed over the $200 for CGC slabs this year. High grade raw copies of the variant have sold via bidding auction recently in the $60 to $80 range. They have been on the move upward since 2014. Deathstroke is not a member of the Squad for very long, and actually becomes a villain for the team.
From the 2014 series, the variant or issue getting the most attention is, of course, issue #5 where Batman and Deadpool battle each other for obvious reasons. The variant is also a 1:25 deal, and the regular cover rose slightly when it came to North American comic shops - 32,863. 

Once again, that variant is probably around a 1,300 to 1,500 estimate. It's been selling around the $100 mark already for raw copies.

Rebirth is a lead up to restart yet another Deathstroke comic series. Grant and Joseph show up in the comic, but I believe they only show up in flashback. Wintergreen shows up in flashback and the main story as well and looks like he's alive in this rebirth.

So, there's issues #1 and #2 for the 4th or 2016 Deathstroke series. Yes, there are variants but no idea how limited or rare they are. Artwork is great, and it seems to be leaning more towards the original mythos.

Adeline shows up in issue #1 in flashback. They're depicted as having trouble in their marriage as usual. 

Lilian Worth is seen in issue #2, and Rose also pops up as well. She is seen as the Ravager at the end of issue #2, and there is a contract out on her.

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