Sure, Deathstroke was given an experimental serum that granted him enhanced strength and reflexes, but there's one thing in particular that truly sets him apart from other super villains and that's his unique ability to access up to 90% of his brain power at once. Not only does this make Slade Wilson a tactical genius who's arguably a better strategist than Batman, but it also makes him almost impossible to beat at Scrabble.
Check out this clip of Deathstroke kicking ass and taking names in the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox:
That's pretty impressive, but when you break it down, could you ever imagine someone with just some extra brain power taking down the fastest man alive, a skilled sorceress and an intergalactic cop, all at once? It turns out that yes, such a thing is in fact possible, if the events of 2004's Identity Crisis comic are anything to go by – and that's before you even throw extra heroes like Black Canary and Hawkman into the mix!
Written by Brad Meltzer, the Identity Crisis storyline dealt with the ramifications of Sue Dibny's murder, who had once been raped by Dr Light. Naturally, the super villain immediately became a suspect in her death, which led to Dr Light hiring Deathstroke in order to protect him from the Justice League's wrath. Cue absolute carnage and a huge strain on the Justice League's health insurance plans.
Could Deathstroke's addition to the DCEU mean that we'll see a similar fight in the upcoming Justice League movie? Let's see how the battle went down first, following Deathstroke as he methodically takes down each hero. First up; the guy who wears yellow plastic wings on his head.
Deathstroke Vs The Flash (Wally West)
As you'd expect, the Flash is the first hero to leap into the fray. Deathstroke wasn't raised by no fool, so he anticipated that the fastest man alive would need to be taken down before the others even thought about blinking.
To kick off the fight, Deathstroke sets off a series of C-5 plastique charges in front of him, deliberately guiding Flash to attack from behind. Just as Wally seems to have the drop on Deathstroke, everyone's favorite mercenary proves to be an actual pain in the speedster's side, literally impaling him on a giant sword.
Deathstroke Vs Zatanna
Rather sensibly, Deathstroke decides to gun for Zatanna next, as her spell-casting abilities could turn the mercenary into a dancing frog puppet with just a few simple words.
Knowing that her incarnations must be spoken aloud to work, Deathstroke removes Zatanna from the equation by karate-chopping her liver in order to induce uncontrollable vomiting. We imagine that slicing the magician's head off might have been more effective in the long term, but the assassin had a lot going on and we have a soft spot for Zatanna, so all is forgiven.
Deathstroke Vs Hawkman
As the main long-range threat, Hawkman is next on the list of heroes that Deathstroke plans to humiliate, taking him out of the game with ease by simply cutting the harness that holds his wings in place.
You would think that Hawkman might have devised a way to protect this crucial part of his outfit by now — but then, how else could the winged hero show off that impressive ten-pack?
Deathstroke Vs Green Arrow
Deathstroke has the genius idea of taking Oliver Queen out by slicing the tails off the ends of his arrows, rendering them supposedly useless.
We all know what happens when an archer runs out of arrows. Just ask Hawkeye:
Deathstroke Vs Black Canary
Next up is Black Canary, another female hero whose power lies in her voice. Rather than go down the whole karate-chop/vomit route again — that's so 5 minutes ago — Deathstroke decides to mix things up by bagging Black Canary's head with an airtight rubber mask instead.
Powerful symbol of men suppressing the female voice or just your bog standard comic book showdown? You decide!
Deathstroke Vs The Atom (Ray Palmer)
While this has all been going on, the Atom has shrunk down to a microscopic level. Presumably it took him a while to reach Deathstroke because one metre is like the size of a football field when you become that small.
Eventually though, Ray Palmer reaches the mercenary, only to then be blasted out of the air by Deathstroke's rather nifty laser pointer, which also comes in handy for holding lectures and distracting cats.
In the meantime, Hawkman has gradually begun to find his feet after that embarrassing defeat earlier, only to then be taken out again, this time by the Atom as he's knocked out of the air and returns to normal size.
Deathstroke Vs Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
While Deathstroke's systematic take down of every Justice League member has been rather impressive up to this point, it does seem strange that one of the most powerful heroes in the group has just stood idly by while his teammates were defeated in rapid succession. Perhaps Green Lantern was biding his time to waltz in and take all the glory at the end, or maybe he'd had a late night? Your guess is as good as ours.
Either way though, Kyle Rayner did eventually step in, but he might as well not have bothered. After Green Lantern foolishly tries to best Deathstroke in a fist fight, rather than create, well, anything with his ring, Slade then proceeds to break four of Kyle's fingers, almost taking control of his ring in the process.
So How Do The Justice League Eventually Defeat Deathstroke?
While Deathstroke's distracted by his fight to gain control of Green Lantern's ring, the often-underestimated Green Arrow jumps in and stabs the mercenary in the eye with one of his broken arrows. This just goes to show that recycling is always important, regardless of the situation at hand.
In a 'blind' rage, Wilson's carefully calculated plans fly out of the window as the mercenary does everything he can to take revenge on the Emerald Archer. Seems a bit over the top though, considering that Deathstroke is already blind in that eye. Perhaps he's just pissed that the Green Arrow ruined his favorite eyepatch.
Taking the opportunity to regain some dignity, the Justice League quickly regroup, attacking Deathstroke all at once, like they should have done in the first place. Rather than take the long distance approach though, each member decides to grab a limb each to take the mercenary down once and for all. We're not sure what The Atom grabbed exactly though, so we'll leave that one to your imagination.
Superman conveniently shows up late, around the time we realize that the Justice League once wiped Dr Light's mind in the most unethical way possible. At the end of the day though, we're not here for him. We're here for Deathstroke, who managed what far more powerful villains before him have failed to do: defeat the Justice League, even temporarily.
Sure, one of the League's weaker members eventually managed to turn the tide and yes, the Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were conspicuously absent. But even if they had been there, it's extremely likely that Deathstroke would have had a plan to defeat them too — probably something involving Kryptonite, dead parent flashbacks and bondage, if I know these superheroes like I think I do.
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Let's just hope Deathstroke doesn't pop up in the upcoming Justice League film, or it could be the end of the road for our beloved heroes before they've even formed long enough to produce a sequel. Check out these easter eggs in the official trailer below to see what the Justice League could be up against.
Do you think Deathstroke could take down the DCEU Justice League single-handedly?