3 storylines we’d like to see in the Joe Manganiello solo Deathstroke film

By ·November 8, 2017 9:00 am

Joe Manganiello is officially starring in his own live action Deathstroke movie for the DCEU and speculation over which story and supporting characters being used in the bloodthirsty mercenaries first solo film is running wild.

Deathstroke is a master assassin and murderer-for-hire who operates in the DC Universe. His super strength, agility, and heightened brain power make him a massive threat to even the most seasoned heroes, and a popular anti-hero among fans. He’s not exactly a new face though.

Deathstroke has been featured in numerous DC media properties including The CW’s Arrow where he’s portrayed masterfully by Manu Bennett, in Cartoon Network’s animated Teen Titans, and now in his very own DCEU film starring Joe Manganiello.

But what makes a good Deathstroke story? Well, first Deathstroke is not always about raw power. He is a legendary strategist, even at times rivalling Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins, and he often prefers using complex strategies to ensure he gets his prize. He’s also a family man, having multiple children, who have become heroes and villains alike and in many situations it is his children who end up getting between him and a contract.

3] City of Assassins

Deathstroke battling Batman.

City of Assassins was a storyline that was featured in Deathstroke’s first ongoing series, Deathstroke the Terminator in issues #6-9, and marked the first time Deathstroke would cross paths with Batman.

In Assassins, Deathstroke is offered and turns down a contract to kill a former mob hitman named Jeremy Barker, who is instead captured by the GCPD. After his capture, Barker agrees to testify against the mob – if he’s offered immunity and witness protection.

The GCPD and FBI ultimately agree and put Barker in a safe house, where a hitman is able to find Barker and attempt to assassinate him. Deathstroke swoops in at the last second, stopping the assassination attempt and kidnapping Barker for himself. The GCPD and commissioner Gordon, having lost a key witness, then turn the only person they know who can help them in a tight situation – Batman.

The story from there revolves around a massive fight between Deathstroke and Batman, after Batman intervenes on Deathstroke’s search for answers from the mob, in which Batman is actually defeated by Deathstroke in combat. Deathstroke, however, is not able to get answers from the mob or from Barker and reluctantly teams up with Batman in a great conclusion to one of Deathstroke’s best outings.

2] Today… The Terminator

Deathstroke vowing revenge against the Teen Titans.

Today… The Terminator is Deathstroke’s first appearance and the start of his brutal feud with the Teen Titans featured in New Teen Titans #2. Even though the story exists in the Teen Titans book, Deathstroke manages to become a fan favorite in a short amount of time, and completely takes over the book and most every subsequent book he’s featured in.

The story starts as Deathstroke is offered a contract by the villainous group H.I.V.E., which he then turns down after his demand for the contract to be paid up front is denied. H.I.V.E. then turns to his son Grant, who H.I.V.E. subjects to experiments to increase his brainpower, strength, and reflexes – the very same heightened abilities his father possesses.

Grant, now using the code name Ravager and complete with his newly gifted powers, goes after the Teen Titans but suffers a heart attack and dies when his powers cause him to age at an accelerated rate. Deathstroke blames the Teen Titans for his death and takes up the contract in his stead, unwittingly fulfilling the plan H.I.V.E. had all along.

Deathstroke’s family tragedies are a huge part of his motivations going forward and serve to differentiate himself from some of the more bland bad guys in comics, without dulling his ferocity and relentlessness in getting his job done.

1] The Judas Contract

Deathstroke confronting the Teen Titans in The Judas Contract.

First printed in Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44, The Judas Contract is the culmination of the storyline that ran in Today… The Terminator and centres around Deathstroke’s efforts to kill the Teen Titans and conclude his contract with H.I.V.E. In order to bring an end to the Titans, he recruits Terra Markov, who is introduced earlier in the series, to become a full-fledged member of the Teen Titans in order to learn their secret identities.

After Deathstroke’s attack on the UN, Terra and the Changeling arrive to stop the attack but Terra, eager to prove herself, knocks The Changeling unconscious in an effort to defeat Deathstroke herself. Deathstroke flees, and the team entrusts membership to Terra because of her efforts at the UN. Terra then gradually wins favor with the team, even going so far as to learn their secret identities, which she turns over to Deathstroke so he is able to capture them.

Deathstroke succeeds in capturing the entire team except Nightwing, and is approached by Adeline Kane, Deathstroke’s wife, who explains that Terra is a traitor working with Deathstroke to destroy the team. She also introduces Nightwing with her and Deathstroke’s son Joey, who is revealed as the hero Jericho and furthering Deathstroke’s complicated family history.

Nightwing and Jericho head to the H.I.V.E. base where they arrive to find the rest of the Teen Titans team strapped to machines sapping their energies. Deathstroke, who is surprised to find his son siding with the Teen Titans, offers a truce with H.I.V.E. but is refused, resulting in Jericho possessing his father’s body, freeing the Teen Titans and instead fighting H.I.V.E., in an effort to avenge his son.

Let us know what you’d like to see in the Deathstroke solo movie in the comments section below.

Image credits: DC comics

Written by Alex Wedderien


Alex is a writer and father of two in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. His previous work includes copy writing, technical writing, and brand copy. One day he also plans to write his own comic book.

His interests include comic books, sci fi and fantasy novels, and retro video games.

His specialty subjects include DC, Marvel, and Image comics.

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