Deathstroke the Terminator #15 (1992)

Deathstroke the Terminator #15 (October, 1992)
“Total Chaos, Part 4: Escape from New York!”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Penciller – Art Nichols
Inker – Will Blyberg
Colorist – Tom McCraw
Letterer – John Costanza
Assistant Editor – Frank Pittarese
Editor – Jon Peterson
Cover Price: $1.75

My fingers are still twitching from yesterday’s NINE-HUNDREDTH daily discussion.  A little “behind the curtain” on that one… it took about five hours to write!  I don’t consider myself an unusually slow (or fast) writer… but, that sucker nearly did me in!

Talking about just one story today… well, it almost feels like cheating!

Before we get totally chaotic, I wanna thank everyone who reached out yesterday.  Sometimes I get caught up in my own head… and feel like nobody’s reading.  I cannot thank you enough for proving that not to be the case!

Now, let’s meet us some sweet, sweet Lili…

We pick up at Dayton’s… and it’s quite a scene.  Deathstroke gets a bit woozy, and passes out.  Meanwhile, in the background… it looks as though our main man Terry Long has used this opportunity to “goose” Starfire.  Changeling helps carry Deathstroke to the bedroom so he can lay down.  They are followed by Wintergreen and Terra.  Gar makes it quite clear that Terra ain’t welcome.

We shift scenes to Times Square where New York Mayoral hopeful Elizabeth Alderman is being interviewed.  That helicopter that went down back in New Titans #90 is still smoldering, and she ensures the people of New York City that it is her mission to see the Titans unsanctioned.  She receives a call from a dude named Jack… who informs her that they’ve started to build on “Titans Island”… since, well, the Titans didn’t exactly own the place anyway.  What they’re building is… a pyramid?  Well, it looks like the Chaos-future might actually come to pass!

Back at Dayton’s Gar more or less bares his soul to an unconscious Slade Wilson.  Ya see, he’s harbored hard-feelings toward the man for what happened at the end of Titans Hunt (Spoiler: Deathstroke was forced to kill his son, the Titan Jericho)… but, he now realizes why it had to go down that way… and he apologizes.  Gar goes to leave the room, but is stopped… ya see, Deathstroke was awake the entire time!  He thanks Logan for his kind words, and they share a nice quiet moment together…

… which is quickly interrupted by Terra rushing in to announce that Starfire and Mirage are fighting over Nightwing again.  Deathstroke uses this opportunity to sneak out of Dayton’s place and back into the sewers.  Bet you weren’t expecting to see those Morlocks again… I know I wasn’t.  Well, I was hoping not to… but, here we are.  Deathstroke, get this, calls ahead to let them know he’s coming.  He’s got these geeks on speed-dial?

Once in the sewer, Deathstroke… collapses to the ground.  While he lay, he tells Wintergreen the story of his adventure in Cambodia.  Well, can’t have a crossover-event without some filler, can we?

The quick and dirty of it is, the Khmer Rouge was holding a “local princess” captive in the Siem Pang Wat… and Slade accepted the gig for fifteen-grand in silver.  What they find is… well, I don’t wanna say “cat house”, but, yeah… pretty much.

Slade and the boyz escort the ladies through the jungle… and everyone except Slade and Sweet Lili are gunned down by the bad guys.  Slade winds up taking a shot to the head himself, actually… but it’s just a graze.  Lili took him deep into the woods to treat his wound… and, ya know… bang.  They did this for two weeks.

Back in the present, Slade and Wintergreen are found by those Morlocks… and they carry him to, well… Sweet Lili’s Seweriffic cathouse?  Okay.  Well, I guess that was where Slade was headed to last issue… so, stands to reason that she’d have a doorway into the sewer.  Also, it’s probably useful for disposing of bodies.

Once inside, we can see that those street kids we met (also last issue) have made it there safely.  I’m now starting to wonder if Deathstroke sent ’em down with thoughts to their becoming “workers” for Sweet Lili.

As Slade is led away for “treatment” (those quotes are probably unnecessary… all signs do point to him actually getting treatment), Wintergreen is led through a back room… where he spies a young girl with naturally white hair!  Could this be?  Well, yeah… of course it is.  Welcome to the world, Rose Wilson.

After his treatment, Slade is escorted outside to a waiting car.  He is to be delivered to a helicopter… then to an airport… then, it’s off to the relative safety of Germany.  I guess anywhere you’re not considered a “fugitive” is safe.  Unfortunately for Slade, that one Morlock he bested last issue, is narcing him out!

Slade doesn’t realize he’s been tricked until it’s too late!  The helicopter escorts him directly to the top of a building where he is deposited before New York Mayoral Hopeful Elizabeth Alderman and a whole bunch of press… and cops!  Do not pass “go”, and all that jazz…

Well, into every crossover… a little filler must fall.  At least it was entertaining… ish!

This issue had an amazingly strong start… some neat inter-Titan drama, plus that excellent scene between Changeling and Slade.  The Beast Boy/Changeling-Deathstroke relationship has always been one I’ve had a weakness for.  Heck, 901 days ago, our very first “Discussion and Review” was all about their relationship!  These two are kinda responsible for this blog even being “a thing”… so, we can thank and/or blame them, I suppose!

Add the new Terra into the mix, who is paying for the sins of the girl she looks like… and, that’s just some great Titans drama.  The concept of “transference” is kinda fun to think about… because, it happens without us even realizing it.  The Titans (Gar especially) is transferring all of his feelings (and expectations) regarding the old/real Terra onto this new gal… who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Of course… this is maybe a little stronger than actual psychological transference… because… I mean, we’ve got DNA and an identical face/power-set here… but, the point is still valid.  Again, really strong open!

The Sweet Lili stuff?  Ehh.  Not bad, but not what I was looking for as “Part 4 of Total Chaos“.  I’d suggest that “whoever was writing Deathstroke didn’t wanna get sucked into a Titans crossover”… buuuuut, this entire thing is written by Wolfman.  I suppose it sets up future stories for the Deathstroke solo… while moving him into place for whatever is to follow in the Total Chaos-verse… plus, it gives a nearly complete story for folks who only read Deathstroke.  Can’t be too mad at it.

Overall… ya know, I’d say this is the most “missable” chapter of Total Chaos up to this point… but, man… that opening few pages is some of the strongest Titans writing in some time, I’d hate for anyone to miss out on it!  So… I’m gonna say it for the fourth time: Total Chaos… so far, so good!  We’re almost at the halfway point… surely that other shoe is about to drop… right?

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