Deathstroke the Terminator #16 (1992)

Deathstroke the Terminator #16 (November, 1992)
“Total Chaos, Part 7: Terminated: The Death of Slade Wilson”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Penciller – Art Nichols
Inker – Will Blyberg
Letterer – John Costanza
Colorist – Tom McCraw
Assistant Editor – Frank Pittarese
Editor – Jon Peterson
Cover Price: $1.75

Onto Act III of Total Chaos!

We open with New York City Mayoral Hopeful, Elizabeth Alderman celebrating the capture of Deathstroke the Terminator.  If you recall, last issue/three Totally Chaotic chapters ago, Deathstroke was delivered into her waiting hands atop a roof via helicopter.  Well.. she’s pleased as punch, and is about to unmask the man to add insult to injury, when…

… it’s totally not him.  Slippery Slade somehow shimmied down to his scivvies… and set one of the chopper pilots up.  New York’s finest proceed to… ya know, open fire on the helicopter.  What is gravity anyway, right?  Best case scenario… the chopper crashes… either onto them, or into the potentially crowded streets below.  Looks like somebody’s lookin’ out for old Deathstroke, because he’s able to right the rig before long.

To remind us that this is still a chapter of Total Chaos, he flies right by Battalion, who we very briefly met last issue.  As Slade flees, he finds himself chased over the streets of New York by yet another chopper… this one, fires missiles!  Like… dude’s flying between skyscrapers, and they’re literally firing missiles at him.  That can’t be safe, right?

Slade maneuvers under a bridge (not sure exactly which one this might be), which… somehow causes the chopper on his tail to explode.  The art isn’t quite at all clear here.  They do manage to hit him with one of the missiles first, just as he’s flying over the new-look Titans Island.

The chopper (Deathstroke’s, that is) crashes right into Lord Chaos’ pyramid temple… thing.

Meanwhile, Wintergreen is dropped off at an airport by one of Sweet Lili’s girls… not realizing that he’s being watched.  Well, maybe he does know he’s being watched (if Deathstroke’s your best pal, it might be best to assume you’re always being watched).  Anyhoo… it’s not long before he gets confronted by some suit-jacket types.  He fights his way through to the tarmac… but doesn’t manage to actually board the private jet (as far as we know, anyway).

Meanwhile, the stutterin’ Squirrel contacts yet-another Slade associate, Maurice, about diversifying all them funds.  Not sure this needed an entire page… maybe they felt we needed to see the full… uh, power of Maurice.

Back on Titans Island, we learn that Deathstroke bailed out of the helicopter before it made impact with the Pyramid Temple.  He crawls out of the drink… and finds himself stood before what appears to be somebody’s personal army.

It’s not long before Slade gets the upper hand in the situation, and reminds us what year we’re in.

In case that image didn’t make it clear enough… how ’bout this one?

Then… he suffers, what appears to be, a fatal heart attack?!

We close out with the… ugh, new look Brotherhood of Evil?!  I mean, they get a blurb on the front cover… so, I knew they were coming… but… ugh, gag me.

You remember the 1990’s in comics?  Surely you do… if you were a living, breathing human… who happened to read comics during that time.  You remember how we all felt so bad for Peter David… because, it always seemed like… no matter what book he was writing, he’d keep getting drawn in to crossover events?

It would be clear that he didn’t want to be part of them… but, did whatever he could to “play ball” with the rest of the team.  I’d say that is how I feel about these Deathstroke the Terminator‘s Total Chaos chapters… but, I mean… this is all Marv Wolfman!  It feels like he doesn’t wanna “play ball” with his own damn story!

These Deathstroke chapters feel so detached from the main story… and really, kinda pull me out of it.  I don’t necessarily feel like every chapter of a “crossovent” needs to be “all in”, but… this feels so far removed.  This could have been labelled a “Total Chaos tie-in” rather than an actual numbered chapter… and I think it’d “work” better for me.

So… whattawegot?  Well, as far as Total Chaos is concerned… Battalion shows up on a single panel… and Titans Island is home to Lord Chaos’ pyramid.  Dat’s it.

Whatelsewegot?  Deathstroke somehow swapping clothes with a helicopter pilot in less than a minute.  Officers firing on Deathstroke in a helicopter… where the only place that a falling helicopter might go is… ya know, down.  Deathstroke narrowly escaping… going all bad-ass on a personal army… then succumbing to a heart attack.

Let’s talk about that daring escape.  Flanked by a missile-toting (and firing) chopper, countless New Yorkers are endangered.  Seems very poorly thought out.  Scenes like this might work in an action movie where… ya know, credits roll at the end, and it’s just “over”.  Deathstroke is a serial story… and part of a wider shared universe.  There really ought to be ramifications for stuff like this.

Then… there’s the art during this bit.  The other chopper… just explodes?  Does it hit the water?  If so, why does it break in two?  Does water do that?  Did I miss something?  Was there a page missing where Slade chucked a grenade at them or something?  What the hell happened here?!

The “new-look” Brotherhood of Evil reveal?  Prrrrrretty lame.  Seems like Marv is trying to de-comic book this team to give ’em a proper run in the comparably “less” comic booky Deathstroke title… but, this just looks horrible.  I mean… look at how all of Mammoth’s women are posed.  It’s embarrassing.  I have zero interest in following up with them.

Overall… if you ever decide to give Total Chaos a “go”… feel free to skip Chapter 7.  It adds little more than nothing to the story… and what it does add, will very likely be recapped in the coming final chapters.  No good.

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