Update: I'm geeking out right now after finding out who Batfleck's Deathstroke will be. According to the Wall Street Journal, Joe Manganiello will in fact be dawning the black and orange as Deathstroke in the upcoming Batman film, rumored to be titled The Batman. Yup, that's right Slade Wilson will be played by a stripping werewolf.
In all seriousness I think Joe Mag is the perfect choice — he's a fresh face when it comes to the big screen with his notable recent movies being Magic Mike and Sabotage, and Pee Wee's. He may also look familiar to some comic and Spider-Man fans — he played Flash Thompson in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3. He's most recognized from his role in HBO long-running series True Blood as Alcide the werewolf. Some of us CW watchers might remember him as Brook's love interest Owen the bartender on One Tree Hill. Joe's resume doesn't compare to the man he'll be facing off against, but I am confident he'll be a fantastic Deathstroke. At the very least, he sure looks the part.
End Of Update: Thanks to some leaked footage courtesy of Batfleck, the internet went Deathstroke crazy this week. It even inspired some fans (more specifically, the photoshop king himself, Twitter royalty BossLogic) to create some fantastic designs that I hope DC, Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns consider for The Batman.
The thirst is real and I am all in on Deathstroke. Having him go up against Batman in The Batman would be fantastic and also surprising. Personally, I figured he'd be featured in a Teen Titans movie. After all, creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez debuted Deathstroke “The Terminator” in the 1980 issue of The New Teen Titans. Again, it doesn’t really matter who he’ll face, at least we got the man who once took down The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary.
If you weren’t aware of that fact, I hope I can continue to surprise you with the rest of this article. Here are some more facts you may not have known about Deathstroke.
1. Deathstroke And The Suicide Squad Have Something In Common
Yes, for a time Deathstroke may have been part of the villainous heroes forced to save the world from time to time known as the Suicide Squad, but that’s not what I’m talking about. They share an even bigger connection.
Most Arrow fans would agree that Deathstroke has been one of the bright spots of the show. Season 3 was arguably the best season to date and it’s in large part due to Manu Bennett’s portrayal of DC’s most notorious assassin. Like the Suicide Squad, he vanished, leaving a void in our hearts and on the show. Green Arrow himself Stephen Amell agreed when he showed his appreciation for Slade Wilson. His words echoed what many fans have been saying since his disappearance, proving he was the man of the people and why will forever be the Green Arrow.
“I really honestly think that 'Arrow' has been missing something since he hasn't been around. I really do. He was a transformative villain. I would really love it if Deathstroke could keep being a part of the 'Arrow' universe."
Unfortunately (and I hope I’m wrong), I fear that Deathstroke's introduction into the DCEU may spell the end for Manu's Slade Wilson on Arrow. The same thing happened when the Suicide Squad was introduced to the DCEU. In Season 2, we saw an episode that introduced the Squad to mainstream fans...
...only to have our hearts ripped out by Warner Bros. Despite them claiming the universes were separate, it’s too coincidental that they killed off the Squad and Amanda Waller soon after the Suicide Squad movie started gaining traction. In fact, Willa Holland, who plays Speedy, had this to say:
“When DC found out they were going to be doing their own movie we had to axe all of the characters before we even got to show them.”
According to multiple sources, the Arrowverse had plans to feature Harley Quinn before they decided to "off" everyone. This epic fight scene is one reason why Deathstroke on Arrow made the show bad ass:
Here's to hoping DC doesn’t force Arrow to abandon any future storylines that may involve the return of Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson. Please DC keep Manu on Arrow, unless you guys have some special plans that may involve the Titans then you can move him.
2.DC Loves Themselves Some Slade Wilson
Outside of Manu’s Slade Wilson, Deathstroke has been passed around like a blunt at a Bernie Sanders convention. Since his creation in 1980, Deathstroke has been depicted quite a bit. The first depiction happened in the early '90s on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, where his character was forgettable (to say the least). We got a much better look at Deathstroke in 2003’s Teen Titans animated series as Slade, voiced by Ron Perlman.
Perlman did a fanatic job bringing the animated assassin to life as he continuously battled the Titans. The dialogue between Perlman and Scott Menville (who voiced Robin) had some memorable moments, like the episode in Season 4 when they teamed up.
Slade’s appearance had a lasting impression on fans right up until the show's cancellation in 2006. After locking up and on some occasions teaming up with the Titans, Slade Wilson would move on to battle Superman, well Clark Kent. Deathstroke made his appearance during the 10th season of Smallville as General Slade Wilson played by Michael Hogan.
Like the Teen Titans version, he never truly embraced the Deathstroke moniker. On Smallville, General Wilson was more of a political enemy bringing forth the Vigilante Registration Act. Hogan’s Wilson was a well-aged military Lieutenant General and not an assassin. At some point he does show some resemblance of Deathstroke, even sporting an iron eye patch after surviving an explosion. Wilson even took down a meta-human in Hawkman, displaying his superman abilities.
However, this version of Slade was a far cry from what comic fans were familiar with. The Teen Titans version of Slade was epic and what we would later on see in Manu Bennett’s smooth, vengeful Mirakuru-enhanced version made Hogan's version pale in comparison. Deathstroke would also play a key role in one of my favorite DC Animated films: Son of Batman. This version of Deathstroke stayed 100 percent true to his form. Deathstroke successfully invades the League of Assassins Headquarters, which leads to Ra’s death, setting up for a great movie and one hell of a climactic fight scene.
Deathstroke was also featured in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths as President Slade Wilson.
Deathstroke is the man and DC recognizes his value. He’s arguably one of the most recognizable villains outside of Superman and Batman’s rogues, meaning Deathstroke is a bad man.
3. He Has A Bad A$$ Family
Who knew a man that would once be referred to as The Terminator would have a family. A very very dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless. I’m sure a few of us can relate in a less bloody kinda way.
Let's Meet His Wife — Adeline Kane Wilson
Mrs. Wilson is the woman responsible for giving birth to Slade's children and responsible for taking his eye. Pretty dysfunctional crap right? I assure you her reasons were justifiable. The two met while they were serving in the military; ironically, she was Slade’s instructor. The eye thing happened after Slade’s actions led to their youngest child’s (Joseph Wilson) throat being cut — resulting in him becoming a mute — so she shot him.
Naturally, they split and Adeline proved why she was a woman’s woman. Adeline balanced work and motherhood very well. She was a single mother who raised their sons, Joseph and Grant, on her own and she was able to start her own espionage company: Searchers Inc. Like her husband, she’s skilled in hand-to-hand combat and specializes in weaponry. Oh, and she was also a member of H.I.V.E. Unlike her husband and children, she hasn’t been depicted on screen.
His First-Born — Grant Wilson / Ravager
Grant Wilson, also known as the 1st Ravager, was an angry child who grew to be an even angrier man. He enlisted in the army like his father, who he both idolized and hated. His story really becomes interesting after a destroyed apartment thanks to Starfire, a run-in with the Titans, and a girlfriend who didn’t want him, consequently leaving him with nothing.
H.I.V.E. saw an opportunity to get back at Slade and granted Grant (no pun intended) powers that far exceeded his fathers. Grant went after the Titans, but he ended up fighting his father until his death, which was brought on by the powers H.I.V.E. gave him. At least that’s the pre-New 52 storyline. Like his pops, Grant has been featured on the CW's Legends of Tomorrow in the episode "Star City 2046," played by Jamie Andrew Cutler. Check him out:
His Second-Born — Joseph Wilson / Jericho
Joseph was a lot different from his older brother and younger sister. He was in touch with his artistic side; he’d rather here the sound of music than gunshots; he’d rather paint than fight. Joseph was conceived after Deathstroke became enhanced, thus resulting in powers that wouldn’t manifest until his late teens. As mentioned earlier, Joseph is a mute who communicates with sign language. He worked with his mother for her espionage company, Searchers Inc. He realized his powers after seeing his mother in danger — by starring at his target he’s able to posses them. He would later become a member of the Titans under the name Jericho. He even tangled with his father and sister a few times. Outside of his powers Jericho is moderately skilled in combat. Like daddy Wilson, Jericho was featured on Teen Titans.
His Only Daughter — Rose Wilson /Ravager
The youngest of the Wilson children, Rose was born to a mother named Lillian Worth who Slade met while on a search and rescue mission. Rose was initially kept away from her father until she was abducted and tortured by her uncle (2nd Ravager) who revealed to her that Slade was her father. Rose’s mother would die in an attempt to rescue her, leaving Rose in the care of people Slade trusts. She joined the Titans after her father asked Sarge Steel to place in protective custody with the Titans.
In the New 52 Rose's story is more compelling to me. She is the daughter of Adeline Kane Wilson and goes from good to bad, bad to good in her up and down childhood. Rose would kill her uncle, who slaughtered her adopted family, after he was hired to do so by Slade (who wanted her close). After being gassed, kidnapped, trained, and enhanced by her father, Rose would kill her uncle. She works with Slade and even cuts her eye to prove her loyalty. Slade would abuse her and use her until Nightwing stepped in.
4. Marvel Absolutely Loves Deathstroke
Comic fans are very familiar with the story behind Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld’s hijacking of DC’s Deathstroke. If you aren’t familiar with it then I’ll break it down for you. Deathstroke was created in 1980 as a nemesis to the Titans, while Deadpool was created in the early '90s. Like DC, Rob introduced Deadpool as the villain to teenage superheroes known as the New Mutants. Even his name — Wade Wilson — was a rip-off of Slade Wilson. Unleash the Fanboy stated, “When writer Fabian Nicieza saw the design, he was quoted as saying, 'this is Deathstroke from Teen Titans.'"
There is another parallel that’s kinda funny when you think about it: Dead is the same thing as Death and you Stroke in a Pool — cracks me up. Fortunately for Marvel, they turned Wade Wilson into an amazing character that can’t be compared. While Deathstroke is a smooth, deadly superhuman, genius-level assassin, Deadpool is an iconic smart, foul-mouth, fourth-wall-breaking mercenary capable of holding down a record-breaking solo film. DC: come on, step it up — Deathstroke has an amazing compelling story to tell in his own right.
For More Deathstroke:
- DCEU: Deathstroke Footage Brings More Questions Than Answers
- 10 Facts You Might Not Know About DC's Deathstroke
- A New Deathstroke Video Proves That Ron Perlman Could Play Him In The DCEU
- With Deathstroke In The Batman, Does The DCEU Joker Have A Future?
Which of these Deathstroke facts surprised you the most?