Deathstroke, as seen in Villains United #1 (2005).
Art by J. G. Jones.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (December 1980)
Created by Marv Wolfman
George Pérez
In-story information
Alter ego Slade Wilson
Team affiliations United States Army
Injustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
Titans East
  • Enhanced physical and mental attributes
  • Regenerative healing factor
  • Expert martial artist
  • Skilled armed/unarmed combatant
  • Master tactician and strategist
  • Access to hi-tech equipment
  • Skillful manipulation
Deathstroke the Terminator
Cover for Deathstroke #1 (August 1991). Art by Mike Zeck.
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing
Publication date (vol. 1)
August 1991 – Jun 1996
(vol. 2)
September 2011 – Present
Number of issues (vol. 1): 60 + 4 Annuals
(vol. 2): 3
(as of September, 2011)
Creative team
Writer(s) Marv Wolfman
Penciller(s) Steve Erwin
Inker(s) Will Blyberg
Collected editions
Deathstroke the Terminator: Full Cycle ISBN 978-0930289829

Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson), originally simply the Terminator, and known by the Teen Titans as Slade, is a fictional character, a supervillain and sometimes antihero in the DC Comics Universe. He is a mercenary and assassin who first appeared in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (1980).[1] Wizard Magazine rated him the 84th greatest villain of all time and the 72nd greatest comic book character of all time.[2] Also, in 2009, Deathstroke was ranked as IGN's 32nd greatest comic book villain of all time.[3]


Publication history

Deathstroke the Terminator first appeared in 1980, in the second issue of the book New Teen Titans. He was originally introduced as "the Terminator", a mercenary who was completing the terms of a contract undertaken by his son, Ravager, but he quickly became one of the main antagonists for the Titans. Deathstroke quickly became a fan favorite character[citation needed] and later in the series often allied with the Titans against mutual threats.

Due to his popularity, Deathstroke received his own series, Deathstroke the Terminator, in 1991. It was retitled Deathstroke the Hunted for issues #0 and #41-45; and then simply Deathstroke for issues #46-60. The series was cancelled with issue #60. In total, Deathstroke ran for 65 issues (#1-60, plus 4 annuals and a special #0 issue).

Following his injury in DC Universe: Last Will and Testament, Deathstroke appears in one of the four Faces of Evil one-shots, written by David Hine. Hine has explained that the series is part of the set-up for future stories: "All of the characters in this ‘Faces of Evil’ series were selected for their potential as major players in the coming year."[4]

Even though the character of Deathstroke the Terminator predates James Cameron's film The Terminator by four years, the Slade Wilson character is now simply called Deathstroke, even by characters who had called him Terminator for years. The full title has not completely fallen out of use, having been referenced as recently as Justice League Elite.

Fictional character biography


Imbued with enhanced physical powers by secret army experiments attempting to create metahuman supersoldiers for the U.S. military, Deathstroke became a mercenary soon after the experiment when he defied orders and rescued his friend Wintergreen, who had been sent on a suicide mission by a commanding officer with a grudge.[1] However, he kept this career secret from his family, even though his wife was an expert military combat instructor—indeed, she had been responsible for a significant portion of his early training—until a criminal named the Jackal took his younger son, Joseph, hostage to force Slade to divulge the name of a client who had hired him as an assassin. Slade refused to do so, claiming that it was against his personal honor code, and attacked and killed the kidnappers at the rendezvous. Unfortunately, Joseph's throat was slashed by one of the criminals before Slade could prevent it, destroying his vocal cords and rendering him mute.

After taking Joseph to the hospital, Slade's wife, Adeline, enraged at his endangerment of her son, tried to kill Slade by shooting him, but only managed to destroy his right eye. Afterward, his confidence in his physical abilities was such that he made no secret of his impaired vision, marked by his mask which has a black, featureless half covering his lost eye. Without his mask, Slade wears an eye-patch.

The Teen Titans

Cover to New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2. The first appearance of Deathstroke (in the shadows). Art by George Pérez.

Slade has a long history as an enemy of the Teen Titans, beginning when his other son, Grant, became an early Titans foe called the Ravager, who was physically enhanced to fulfill a contract to kill or capture the Teen Titans. However, those enhancements proved fatal and Slade agreed to complete the contract. His first mission involved stealing the fictional element Promethium from S.T.A.R. Labs and selling it as the ultimate weapon. He then kidnapped the Titans and placed them in the path of a Promethium bomb to test his device for the buyers, effectively killing two birds with one stone. The Titans escaped and pursued Deathstroke, but he severely wounded Garfield Logan, then known as Changeling, in his escape. This would be the start to a lasting animosity between the two.

Deathstroke next appeared in New York, holding officials hostage in order to lure the Titans into confronting him. Terra, a new ally of the Titans, and Changeling were the only ones available to answer the call. Terra knocked Logan out in an effort to prove herself worthy of being a Titan and fought Deathstroke single-handedly. Slade escaped as the other Titans arrived, but by then Terra had proven herself and the team offered her membership. Later that night, it was revealed that both Terra and Deathstroke conspired to fake the fight in a plot to infiltrate the team. It was also revealed that both shared an intimate relationship, despite Terra being fifteen years old.[1] The artist, George Pérez, noted that this constituted "statutory rape."[5]

Judas Contract

The Titans eventually entrust Terra with all of their secret identities. Once Slade has this information, he uses it to systematically take down each of the Titans, exploiting them at their weakest moments. Donna Troy is gassed at her photo studio, Garfield Logan is poisoned with tainted envelopes while responding to fan mail, Victor Stone is electrocuted by a chair in his own apartment, Koriand'r is ambushed with a device that affects her powers, and Raven is taken down by Terra herself. Dick Grayson, who had recently retired his Robin costume, was last to be attacked and he was confronted by Deathstroke himself. He narrowly avoided being captured and soon discovered that his teammates had already been taken. Grayson arrived at Titans Tower to discover Slade's ex-wife, Adeline, and her son, Joseph Wilson. She told Grayson that Terra was a traitor, how each of his teammates were captured, and related the origin of Deathstroke.

Grayson assumes the identity of Nightwing in order to confront Deathstroke and the H.I.V.E., joined by Joseph, going by the name of Jericho. During the confrontation, Deathstroke recognizes Jericho as his son which causes him to hesitate. Jericho freed the Titans by possessing his father's body. Terra turns on Deathstroke as she thinks that he has betrayed her as well. After her suicide, Slade is taken into custody.

Slade was put on trial for his crimes, but the trial was deliberately sabotaged by Garfield Logan so that he could kill Slade himself, believing he was responsible for Terra's betrayal of the Titans. Slade agreed to the confrontation, but showed up out of costume. Logan found himself unable to kill a defenseless Slade, so instead they talked. Feeling some empathy for his grief, Slade explained his past with Terra, and Logan realized Slade was not to blame for the choices Terra had made. The two men parted on peaceful terms afterward with Slade returning to Africa with Wintergreen.

Titans Plague

Months later, Slade encountered the Titans again while they were investigating mysterious attacks and disappearances. Troia, a later code-name for Donna Troy, is attacked by a group of strange beastmen and barely survives the encounter. Meanwhile, while attending a fundraiser with his father, Gar Logan recognizes Slade trying to maintain a low profile. When he finally catches up with Slade, he finds him about to kill the host of the fundraiser, Walter Lanier. He stops Deathstroke, but is surprised when Lanier turns into a bat-like creature and flies away. Slade reveals to the Titans that he was responsible for smuggling the drug the bestiamorphs were using to transform others, but did not realize what it was until it was too late. After Jericho and Raven were stricken by the plague, he aided them in destroying the beastmen and finding a cure for the contagion.

Titans Hunt

Shortly after this, he came to the Titans' assistance again during the Titans Hunt storyline. The members of the Titans, as well as many inactive members, all disappeared in a manner very similar to how they were abducted during the Judas Contract. Logan's stepfather, Steve Dayton (Mento), an on-and-off member of the Doom Patrol, hires Deathstroke to find the missing Titans. He eventually discovers with Nightwing that the abductions were the work of the Wildebeest Society, and that their leader was none other than Titan member Jericho, Deathstroke's son.

It was revealed that Jericho had been possessed by the corrupted souls of Azarath, who were using him to capture the Titans and use them as physical hosts in order to survive. During the transfer process, Jericho's true self resurfaced briefly, begging his father to kill him. To spare his son any more pain and save the remaining Titans, Slade was forced to drive a sword through Jericho's heart, seemingly killing him. This act still haunts him to this day.

Afterward, Slade continued his life as a mercenary, but also acted as an occasional hero, aiding the Titans or acting on his own to help others, most notably during the Total Chaos storyline when the Team Titans arrived in the 20th Century to assassinate Donna Troy before she could give birth to her son, who in their timeline had grown up into the tyrannical despot, Lord Chaos. Slade also met Pat Trayce, a tough former cop who would become the new costumed Vigilante. Pat Trayce and Slade quickly became lovers, and began a tumultuous on-again/off-again relationship.

Family business

Deathstroke with his daughter, Rose Wilson.

After Slade thwarted an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, he was subsequently framed for the murder of a U.S. Senator. The man responsible had taken on the identity of the Ravager and was hunting down Slade's friends and loved ones. Eventually, with the help of the Titans and Sarge Steel, Slade was able to prove his innocence and the true culprit was revealed to be Steve Dayton, under the alias of the Crime Lord, who had again succumbed to mental instability caused by his Mento helmet.

Meanwhile, Slade's relationship with his estranged wife, Adeline, took a tragic turn as Slade underwent a process to gain the ability of physical regeneration, allowing him to survive any wound so long as his brain is intact (this power is limited, as Slade cannot regenerate his lost eye because that injury happened before he gained his healing factor). After gaining this power, Slade was forced to give his wife a blood transfusion to save her life, resulting in her gaining a similar healing factor which manifested itself as a form of immortality. This alteration of her DNA drove Adeline insane, shaming Deathstroke into going into a semi-retirement state.

In Titans (vol. 1) #12, Deathstroke teamed up with the Titans to face his wife Adeline, who in her insane state had revived the H.I.V.E. and sought to rid the world of all superhumans, blaming them for Jericho's death. During the battle, interrupted by Vandal Savage and a band of villains that he had organized from recent Titans battles, Adeline's throat was slit. In a brief return of sanity, she begged Slade to kill her, requesting him to reunite her with "my... our children... " because her version of the healing factor would not heal the wound, but only allow her to live in spite of it. Deathstroke refused, but Koriand'r shocked her teammates and Deathstroke by using her starbolt blast to disintegrate her completely, per Adeline's wishes. This was a turning point, as Deathstroke renounced all ties with the Titans as a result of Starfire's act.

It was then revealed that Jericho managed to transfer his consciousness into Deathstroke in the instant before his death. Taking control of his father, Jericho forced Deathstroke to murder his longtime butler, mentor, and companion Wintergreen. He then launched a series of attacks against the current Teen Titans, most notably shattering Impulse's knee with a shotgun blast, before leaving his father's body. Deathstroke has since manipulated his one remaining child, Rose Wilson, into the mercenary business as the new Ravager, in order to find and kill Jericho, using a specially designed serum to heighten her hostility and push her over the edge. Unfortunately, the process also resulted in her being driven at least partially insane, to the extent that she cut out her own left eye in an attempt to prove to her father that she was just like him.

Nightwing and Birds of Prey

Deathstroke appeared in Nightwing #23 as a mercenary against Black Canary and Conner Hawke as part of the "Brotherhood of the Fist" tie-in to the No Man's Land story arc.[6]

Deathstroke also appeared in Birds of Prey #22-24, where he was sent to Gorilla City by Blockbuster to get an ape-heart. Blockbuster is accompanied by Lady Vic, Grimm, and Black Canary, who is posing as Oracle.

Identity Crisis

In the Identity Crisis miniseries, Deathstroke was enlisted as a bodyguard for Doctor Light, who was being pursued by the Justice League of America as a suspect in the murder of Sue Dibny. In the ensuing battle, Deathstroke nearly beat the team of Elongated Man, the Flash (Wally West), Zatanna, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Atom, and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner). He systematically took out every member except for Rayner, whom he had the potential to disable through trying to usurp his ring's energies using his own formidable willpower. Fortunately, before the outcome of this conflict with Rayner ended, Green Arrow stuck an arrow in Deathstroke's right eye socket, enraging him. Slade went ballistic, which derailed his pre-planned strategy and began to beat Green Arrow, but was stopped when the majority of the team tackled Deathstroke to the ground. Dr. Light used his powers to allow the two to escape. Near the end of Identity Crisis, Deathstroke confronts Green Arrow on a rooftop. Arrow sees his reflection in the windows of a nearby building, but when he turns to confront Slade, Deathstroke is gone. Instead, Green Arrow finds Slade's cowl and a note stuck to the wall by the very arrow he stabbed in Slade's eye socket. The note reads, "This is yours - We're not done."

Infinite Crisis

Deathstroke was a founding member of Lex Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains in the Infinite Crisis storyline. He was seen in Infinite Crisis #1, hiding in a warehouse south of Metropolis waiting to ambush the Freedom Fighters with several other members. The battle didn't last long, and by the end, Deathstroke had killed the Phantom Lady. Slade is also the one who landed the final stroke on Uncle Sam by shooting him in the back (and leading to his apparent death).[1]

He was the employer of an undercover Dick Grayson, whom he hired to train his daughter Rose. However, after the two had a confrontation with Superman, Deathstroke discovered that Nightwing had been teaching Rose the values of heroism. He could not kill Grayson in front of his daughter, because doing so would undo all of Slade's teachings. Nightwing offered a deal: he would stay away from Rose if Slade would keep the metahuman villains out of Blüdhaven. The deal held for 34 hours until Infinite Crisis #4, when Slade, under the orders of Alexander Luthor, Jr., the real leader of the Society, went with several villains (including old Titans and Doom Patrol foes and Brotherhood of Evil members Monsieur Mallah and Brain) to drop Chemo, another fellow villain who appeared to be a nearly brainless monster made of pure energy and radioactive chemicals, on Blüdhaven, killing over one-hundred thousand people. Slade gave the explanation to the Brotherhood that Nightwing should be made to believe that he can never go home again.

Grayson took the first of his revenge by bursting in on Deathstroke and Rose's training session, revealing to the latter that the Kryptonite that Deathstroke had implanted in place of her missing eye was radioactive and deadly to humans as well as to Kryptonians (though slower in its effects on humans, as revealed by Lex Luthor's old possession of a Kryptonite ring that forced him to transfer his brain to a cloned body). Angered, Slade went after Nightwing with a grenade, only to have Rose try to stop him. Amid the smoke of the resulting explosion, Rose fled, telling her father that she hated him. Dick disappeared as well, but not before leaving a note for Slade warning him that he would be back to make him pay for Blüdhaven.

At the climactic Battle of Metropolis at the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, Slade was confronted by Batman, Robin (Tim Drake), and Nightwing. During the struggle, he was questioned regarding his motives for aiding the Secret Society. His claims of monetary motivation were deemed unsatisfactory; Batman accused him of having forsaken his code of honor, and Nightwing said it was because his family had abandoned him. An enraged Slade said that was because of Nightwing, and that it was always because of him, before Batman told him to take responsibility for his actions and he was rendered unconscious.

One Year Later

Cover to Teen Titans #43: Titans East Part 1. Art by Tony Daniel.

Slade appears in the Green Arrow series after the one year jump in DC Comics' storylines. Apparently in hiding, he nearly murders a crony of several Star City businessmen who want to hire him for a murder. Before finishing his violent refusal, he asks the name of the target. When informed that it was to be the mayor of Star City, Oliver Queen (whom Deathstroke knows is secretly Green Arrow), he spares the lackey and decides to take the job.

However, things do not quite go according to plan, with Green Arrow using the resources of both his identities, trapping him within a ring of armed National Guardsmen. The fight ends with Deathstroke's arrest and subsequent conviction and incarceration; however, this is revealed as a ploy to gain access to another jailed foe of Green Arrow who has information on the hero's activities in the lost year, which include Green Arrow studying under an assassin who once trained Deathstroke himself.

Deathstroke is also active behind the scenes in Teen Titans, currently in the process of organizing a counter-team of teen superhumans that will be known as Titans East. The current Titans team included Ravager, who now wanted nothing to do with her father. Deathstroke seemingly intended to "reclaim" Ravager and a recently resurrected Jericho from the Titans or, if that failed, to crush them along with the rest of the team. For these reasons, he specially selected each member of Titans East, believing that, overall, each member would successfully counteract every member of the current Teen Titans line-up.

As indicated over the course of the subsequent issues, Deathstroke was manipulating every member of his new team in one way or another. He had blackmailed former Titan Risk while at the same time offering him an outlet for his rage; was drugging Cassandra Cain (Batgirl) with the same serum he had used on Rose; and supplied Inertia with a formula which granted superhuman speed to compensate for the loss of the Speed Force following the initial battle with Superboy-Prime. His team, however, slowly fell apart over the course of the attack, as Robin managed to free Batgirl of his mind control serum and Raven convinced Duela Dent to switch sides. Slade and his remaining Titans subsequently faced off against both the current Titans and a group of old Titans led by Nightwing. Although he was defeated, he still managed to escape with the aid of Inertia. In the end, however, it was revealed to the readers that Slade's real mission was to provide his children with something he could never offer them: a real family, in the form of the Teen Titans. By attacking the Titans, he insured that Rose and Jericho would become more trusted by their associates, and thus grow closer to the team.

Recently, Deathstroke took credit for somehow twisting (through unknown means) the powers of Brion Markov (Geo-Force), the half-brother of the original Terra, into the same powers as his traitorous sister. Using this leverage, Deathstroke offered to reverse the process only if Geo-Force became his own personal spy within the Justice League. Unfortunately for Deathstroke, Geo-Force alerted Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman of Deathstroke's scheme, which culminated in Geo-Force alerting the League that Deathstroke (whose rivalry with Green Arrow has reached vendetta-level proportions) planned on using an army of supervillains to crash Green Arrow and Black Canary's wedding. Weeks later, Geo-Force was tortured by Gorilla Grodd after the League was kidnapped by the Injustice League, and ultimately transferred to Batman's newest incarnation of the Outsiders afterward, robbing Deathstroke of his potential pawn.

Deathstroke can be seen as a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.

Deathstroke is gravely injured with his own sword by Geo-Force in DC Universe: Last Will and Testament. Following his injury, he is recuperating at Belle Reve while doctors labor to save him. Deathstroke dreams of his family members and all of the people that he has let down. When he awakens, he vows that he will never again be haunted by the past.

Ravager comes to visit him, but in fact, wants to finish her father off. She tries to strangle him with a plastic wire, but Deathstroke is recuperated enough that he can fend off her attack. He escapes from the facility and steals a helicopter. Later, Deathstroke finds a young street urchin that he decides to take under his wing.[7]

Blackest Night

In the Teen Titans (vol. 3) tie-in to the Blackest Night crossover event, Deathstroke is living in the deceased Wintergreen's house and reading his journal, when he is attacked by Rose again. During the fight, the two are attacked by their deceased relatives Grant, Wade, and Adeline, who, along with Wintergreen, have all been reanimated as Black Lanterns. Deathstroke and Rose are forced to work together and fight for their lives against the Black Lanterns.[8]

The two hopelessly fight the regenerating Black Lanterns until Jericho, cured from his earlier insanity, arrives and turns the tide of the fight. During the course of the battle, Deathstroke confesses to his children that part of the reason why he menaced the Teen Titans for so many years was that he felt that by forcing his children to hate him, they would have a chance of escaping the sorrow and pain a life with him would entail. Just as Slade is overwhelmed and about to be killed, Jericho somehow uses his abilities to sever the connection between the Black Lanterns and their power rings, permanently sending them back to the grave. After realizing that her mother was not reborn as a member of the Black Lantern Corps, Rose comes to the conclusion that she must somehow still be alive, and leaves after threatening to kill Slade if he tries to stop her. Jericho chooses to stay with his father, reasoning that only Slade would have the courage to kill him if he were to ever return to madness.[9]

Batman and Robin

Recently, Deathstroke has been seen working with Talia al Ghul, controlling the body and physical actions of the current Robin, Damian Wayne, in order to kill Dick Grayson, who has taken up the mantle of Batman. Deathstroke is able to control Damian's actions thanks to a neural-implant inserted into Damian's spine by his mother while it was being surgically replaced. Grayson defeats Deathstroke by taking advantage of the two-way connection between him and Damian by using a taser on Damian, the resulting electric shock overwhelming Deathstroke's enhanced senses. He then tracks Slade down and attacks him in his hospital bed for controlling Damian and for the Chemo attack, informing Slade that what happened then is just a 'trailer' for what he will do later.[10]

Titans: Villains for Hire

Following the encounter with the Black Lanterns, Deathstroke recruits a team of supervillains consisting of Tattooed Man, Cheshire, Osiris, and the new character Cinder following the launch of Brightest Day. The team ambushes Ryan Choi in his home, and then battles him. This ends with Deathstroke driving his sword through Ryan's chest, killing him. He then gives the deceased hero's body to Dwarfstar.[11]

Following the assassination of the Atom, Deathstroke and the Titans are hired to kill Lex Luthor during his stay in Midway City. The attack is revealed to be a ruse crafted by Slade and Luthor in order to draw out a traitor on Luthor's security staff who is revealed to be a shape-shifting assassin named Facade.[12] After the Titans capture Facade and turn him over to the scientists at LexCorp, Luthor rewards Slade by examining technology that he had earlier ordered Tattooed Man and Cheshire to steal. Slade claims that this will bring him one step closer to his true goal: the ability to somehow cheat death itself. He also succeeds in recruiting Arsenal, a former member of the Teen Titans and Justice League, into the team.[13] Shortly after inducting Arsenal into the team, Slade accepts a mission to rescue a child from a drug lord named Elijah. After discovering that Elijah is using the bodies of kidnapped children to create an addictive drug called Bliss, the Titans promptly kill the gangster and shut down his operation. As the Titans are preparing to return to the Labyrinth, Cheshire notices that Slade has tied up DJ Molecule, a powerful metahuman who was working for Elijah as a bodyguard. When asked what he is doing with the young man, Slade cryptically responds by saying that he only accepted the mission in order capture Molecule for some unknown purpose.[14]

Afterward, Slade and his team arrive at South Pacific Island to kill cult leader Drago over the arena production of blind warriors; however, his team, Arsenal, and Cheshire betray him, revealing that they had been working with Drago. While Slade is held captive, Drago arrives and reveals to him that he is actually Slade's old friend, Corporal Daniel Rogers, who abandoned him during the civil war in Afghanistan. Drago then gouges out Slade’s left eye making him blind.[15] Slade is then imprisoned along with Arsenal and begins to tell him about his past with Drago.[16] Later, Drago takes a trip down memory lane with Slade, explaining how he lost his sight, and basically re-telling his origin and how it involved Jeremiah, right before he throws Slade beneath the complex to fend for his life against a crazed subhuman.[17] During the fights, Slade's left eye was restored due to his metahuman healing factor, and the Titans arrive to rescue him. Slade and the Titans break into Drago's mansion in attacks. Shade drugs him that he cannot focus his telepathy mind. When Drago was defeated, Slade allows him to live and the Titans then leave from his island. While returning to the labyrinth, Slade and the Titans are approached by the Atom and the Justice League attempt to arrest them for the murder of Ryan Choi.[18]

During the battle of Slade's Titans against the Justice League in Khandaq, the battle was stopped by Isis, who forces them to choose between leaving or continuing the fight and starting World War III. The Justice League chose to retreat and Slade retrieves from Supergirl's Kryptonian blood. Upon returning to the labyrinth, with his workers, Doctor Sivana and Doctor Impossible, Slade reveals to the Titans that their efforts support creation of a diabolical invention call the "Methuselah Device" for his dying son, Jericho.[19]

The machine successfully heals Jericho, and Slade offers its abilities to all the Titans, offering to restore their deceased loved ones as payment for their services. All agree but Cinder, who does not want her brothers to live forever, as she claims to be doing. She attacks Cheshire and Osiris, and is then joineded by Tattooed Man and Arsenal. As the Titans come to blows, Deathstroke attempts to take Jericho and leave, but Jericho, disgusted at what his father did to achieve his restoration, takes over his body, intending to destroy first the Methuselah Device, then himself and Deathstroke.[20] While the Titans fight over the Methuselah Device, its power source, a metahuman named DJ Molecule, is released. DJ Molecule blasts Slade, knocking Jericho out of his body. Arsenal then attacks him for stealing the Titans legacy. Slade escaped and the Methuselah Device is destroyed by Cinder. Afterwards, Slade berates and becomes Deathstroke once more.[21]

Powers and abilities

Deathstroke possesses various enhanced abilities stated to be almost superhuman according to DC Bio's and Comic bio's. These include the strength of ten men and heightened speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes. He has the capacity to use up to 90% of his brain at any one time, making him a tactical genius, adept at turning opponents' own abilities against them; this can also be attributed to his years in the military and combat with various heroes. Deathstroke also possesses a healing factor in his blood that enables him to heal from physical injury much faster than a normal person; however, it does have limitations, as he could not heal his missing eye and cannot regenerate entire limbs. This enables him to recover from what would otherwise be fatal injuries, though recovering from such injuries renders him insane and animalistic for a short period. Deathstroke is also a highly formidable opponent in physical combat to the point where he can and has defeated Batman in solo combat. Batman has only managed to at best subdue Deathstroke briefly with the aid of others or by taking him off guard in the midst of a large battle.

Green Arrow (vol. 4) #66 claims that an assassin known as Natas taught Deathstroke "almost everything he knows" (a retcon of his origin in The New Teen Titans: Judas Contract, where his future wife, Adeline Kane, trained him while he was in the military). Deathstroke is also skilled in the use of many weapons including guns, rifles, and swords, which are usually among his current weapons of choice. His signature weapon is a power staff that fires lethal and non-lethal energy blasts from both ends. The staff can also be used to strike using energy at each end. His body armor is composed of a mesh-woven, kevlar, chainlink mail, capable of stopping small arms fire. Most of the metal he wears and uses is Promethium.

Deathstroke also has enhanced-reflexes, which is how he was able to blast apart Impulse's knee cap with a shotgun and impale the Flash while both were running at super-speed.

Other versions

Uncanny X-Men/Teen Titans

In the intercompany crossover The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans, Deathstroke meets his equal in the form of Wolverine; the two fight to a near standstill. At the same time, however, he proved skilled enough to defeat Colossus in a one-on-one fight despite the latter's superior physical strength. Colossus, however, isn't known for his fighting prowess on the level of Wolverine and Deathstroke.

Deathstroke/Deadpool Comparison

The Marvel Comics character Deadpool is similar to Deathstroke. Deadpool commonly uses the name "Wade Wilson," similar to "Slade Wilson." In Superman/Batman Annual #1, written by former Deadpool author Joe Kelly, Deathstroke from the antimatter universe appears and has similar characteristics to Deadpool (such as Deadpool's "merc with a mouth" wisecracks, and a black spot on his mask over his eye somewhat resembling Deadpool's). While this character did not seem to be as skilled at fighting as Deathstroke, his healing factor seemed far more effective, with Slade becoming annoyed at how hard he was to kill. This character tries to introduce his name multiple times but is always interrupted. The most he was able to get out was "Dea-". It could be implied that Deadpool is the Marvel counterpart of Deathstroke, who was created eleven years earlier. Marvel seemingly acknowledged this in the Cable/Deadpool series, where Deadpool sometimes answers a letters column. Deadpool claimed that he did not want to be in a Marvel/DC crossover, because people might mistake him for a certain DC character.

Amalgam Comics

In Amalgam Comics, Deathstroke is combined with Marvel's Daredevil to become "Dare the Terminator," real name Slade Murdock. Unlike Wilson and Murdock, Dare is a woman. Though Dare is legally blind, she wears an eye-patch because of her mangled right eye. She also has horns surgically attached to her forehead. She uses a sword in combat.

Tangent Comics

In Tangent Comics, Deathstroke is an armored supervillain and a member of the Fatal Five. This version exists on Earth-97 of the Old Multiverse and Earth-9 of the New Multiverse.


In the Superman/Batman storyline "Mash-Up," elements of Slade are combined with parts of Doomsday, creating the villain "Doomstroke."[22]


In the Flashpoint reality, Deathstroke is a pirate, searching with his crew formed by Sonar, who he broke out of a floating prison, Icicle, Fisherman, Clayface, Machiste, and the Eel for any sunken loot to steal in the flooded remains of Paris, and also for his daughter Rose, who has been kidnapped by persons unknown.[23] Deathstroke and his crew were however soon attacked by Aquaman and his brother the Ocean Master.[24] Aquaman stabs Deathstroke in the chest with his trident telling Ocean Master "no survivors".[23] After the attack, Deathstroke was saved from death by Sonar, who demanded to be made second-in-command in return. While continuing their journey, the pirates were ambushed by the fleet of Warlord and forced to surrender, but are then saved by Jenny Blitz who destroyed one of Warlord's ships.[25] Afterwards, Blitz agrees to join Deathstroke in searching for his daughter and developed a relationship in-between. Soon Deathstroke and Blitz were alerted that his crew were planning a mutiny. Deathstroke and Blitz fought and killed the treacherous crew, but Sonar manage to contact another pirate fleet under the leadership of the Caretaker before Deathstroke shot him. Later, Deathstroke and Jenny approaches the Caretaker's fleet and discovers Rose is being held captive. Deathstroke formulates a plan by offering to exchange Caretaker with a stasis-like Jenny for Rose's freedom. However, the Caretaker double-crosses on their deal and have his crew to attack him. But Deathstroke unleashes Jenny from her stasis upon Caretaker's fleet. During the battle, Deathstroke ignited a grenade at a weapon stockpile which destroyed Caretaker's ship and it's crew with it. Deathstroke and Blitz were rescued by Rose. Reunited with his daughter, Deathstroke sails towards an unknown destination.[26]

In other media


  • In the fourth and final season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, an assassin by the name of Deathstroke appeared in "Bob and Carol and Lois and Clark," played by Antonio Sabàto, Jr. The only commonality is the fact that he is an international assassin known as Deathstroke. In Lois and Clark, Deathstroke is a former scientist. An accident in the lab exposed him to magnetic particles, permanently altering his body and granting him magnetic powers. His assistant, who afterward becomes his wife, helps by creating a special suit to contain his powers and keep metal from being drawn to him while out in public. The suit even has a symbol of its own resembling the force lines of a magnetic field, forming a stylized figure eight. After this, he becomes an assassin, murdering his targets with his powers, first by drawing the target to him, then by magnetizing the iron in their blood cells, causing a figure-eight mark on the chest as the person dies of a heart attack. He and his wife rationalize their actions as being the result of the accident, leaving them with no other way to make a living and rendering him a "freak". The couple take the name Bob and Carol when they arrive in Metropolis. They become friends with Clark Kent and Lois Lane as they discover that Lois is going to be interviewing an eccentric reclusive billionaire. The couple plan to assassinate the billionaire before he goes public, taking his identity and thus his fortune. The plan is foiled when Superman interferes, destroying Deathstroke's containment suit, which causes him to be magnetically drawn to a steel pillar until the police arrive. Very much like Superman, this Deathstroke kept a secret identity by wearing a pair of glasses.
Slade as he appears in the Teen Titans animated series.
  • Deathstroke appears as the main antagonist in the two first seasons of the Teen Titans animated series voiced by Ron Perlman. The name "Deathstroke" did not make it through the censors due to hesitance to use the word "death" in a children's animated series, thus the character is referred to by his first name from the comics, Slade. As a nod to his comic counterpart, his mask only has one eye-hole, though his "true" face is never shown and his mask was only taken off half-way during his first battle with the Titans; but was silhouetted by a shadow (he was shown to have brightly colored slicked back hair), and then he was seen with his face as a skull with a scar running through his right eye socket when he accompanied Robin against a battle with Raven's father. In the episode "Forces of Nature," however, he wears a disguise that closely resembles his face from the comics. He is also changed from a mercenary and assassin to an enigmatic criminal mastermind (though in one episode he states that he enjoys working for someone else), dispatching slews of supervillains and android ninjas to kill the Teen Titans instead of directly coming after them himself. Most of Slade's plans are strictly scientific in nature, though he did summon a fire elemental in one episode. Slade is shown to be ambitious, calculating, and incredibly sadistic; however, his underestimating of the bonds that exist between all the Titans and his fury over not being able to sever those bonds have often led to his undoing. His main goal is apparently to kill the Titans and conquer the city, and quite possibly the world. In the first two seasons he seeks out an apprentice, starting with Robin in the first season, who he coerces into working for him by threatening to kill the other Titans with nanobots, and then Terra, whose desire for control and acceptance he preys on. Slade is killed at the end of the second season by Terra, who drops him into a lava-filled pit, and is, as a result, mostly absent in the third season, with Brother Blood acting as the main villain. In the Season 3 episode "Haunted," Slade appears as a figment of Robin's imagination, due to a chemical reagent released from his mask when Robin touched it, causing Robin to see hallucinations of Slade which attacked him. His mind made the injuries inflicted upon him real. Robin eventually figures out what is happening and overcomes the hallucination. However, it is revealed that this gas had been triggered from the outside by an unknown party. Slade returns in the fourth season as an undead servant of Raven's demonic father, Trigon. He is empowered with vast pyrokinetic abilities, superhuman strength and durability, flight, regeneration, phasing, electricity generation, teleportation, and other supernatural powers making him far stronger than the Teen Titans (except for Raven). Slade entered into the deal in exchange for being brought back to life, but was predictably betrayed. Intent on getting his due, he helps Robin find Raven, locating the source of power which restores his mortal form along the way. He aids the Teen Titans in defeating Trigon afterward. He escapes capture after the world is saved as both he and Robin noted the partnership changed nothing. After the fight with Trigon, Slade himself makes no more appearances throughout the show, however a robot duplicate of him does appear in the last episode of the series "Things Change," when Beast Boy is searching for answers on why a girl who appears to be a newly revived Terra seems to have lost all memory of her past or superpowers. Slade confronts Beast Boy denying anything to do with Terra's sudden return and stating that if Terra does not remember her past, it is because she does not want to remember and that he should leave her in peace. Infuriated by his speech, Beast Boy attacks Slade, only to find out that it is just another robot duplicate. In the Teen Titans: Know Your Foes interview on the Season 2 DVD, Slade is said to have enhanced strength and an enhanced healing factor. He is well-trained in most forms of combat, both unarmed and with weapons, to the point that he appears to be Robin's better, besting him many times during their fights but never delivering a finishing blow. It eventually took all five of the Teen Titans to defeat him, though they did so soundly. He also fought Beast Boy once in person, and though the fight was inconclusive, he could have killed Beast Boy at least twice during it. He is a bona-fide genius, with great knowledge in robotics, as well as military, political, and subversive strategy. However, he was easy to anger, which Robin eventually took advantage of. He seems to possess some knowledge of ceremonial magic (as seen in the episode Forces of Nature). He appears to have access to extremely advanced technology and various secret hideouts, nearly unlimited resources, and a vast army of robot minions. However, Slade's most notable quality is that he is a master of manipulation and psychology, allowing him to get his foes to do almost anything he wants through shrewd manipulation.
  • Michael Hogan portrays Slade Wilson in the tenth and final season of Smallville. In the show, United States Army Lieutenant General Slade Wilson is behind the Vigilante Registration Act, anti-superhero legislation that he has propagated while under the influence of Darkseid. In order to find out what Slade has planned, Oliver Queen volunteers to register. Lois Lane meanwhile confronts Slade, and discovers that Slade is a suspected war-criminal, known for torture and illegal methods of torture and interrogation. She however is too late to warn Oliver, and he along with A.C. are captured by Slade in a holding facility which is equipped with holding cells that can adapt to the heroes' abilities. Clark Kent and Mera free Oliver and A.C., but Slade sets off the base's self-destruction. He survives the explosion but at the cost of his right eye. Having uncovered a significant amount of information about the Justice League, Wilson attacks Lois Lane and tries to force her to lead him to Clark Kent and the group's secret headquarters. She is rescued by Hawkman, who dies saving her life. After surviving an explosion which would have killed a normal human, Wilson tells Clark that he is "beyond Death's stroke, now." Clark uses a Kryptonian crystal to send him to the Phantom Zone later saying that he would release him to stand trial after the VRA is repealed. However, General Zod takes Slade and sends him back to Earth, unconscious and with no memory of his time away, through the Phantom Zone portal activated by Clark's blood- which Zod possessed due to Clark saving him with a blood transfusion on Earth- in an attempt to lure Clark into the Zone for revenge.


  • Bruce Davison plays Slade Wilson in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. In this movie, Slade is a parallel universe version of Deathstroke and the President of the United States in the world controlled by the Crime Syndicate of America, and he still retains his white hair and eye-patch (except on his left eye, as opposed to his right). Unlike his counterpart, he never pursued the path as an assassin but rather tries to work for the betterment of the American people through his political career. He was, however, a former soldier, keeping in line with his mercenary counterpart's backstory, but considered as a respectable war hero. He is also shown needing a cane for support, implying that he has health problems and never took the serum that would have given him his superhuman abilities. His daughter Rose (played by Freddi Rogers) publicly speaks out against the Crime Syndicate and was nearly assassinated by the Archer (evil Green Arrow), but was saved by the Martian Manhunter. It was heavily implied that in his past, Slade's wife was assassinated by Ultraman. He is initially reluctant to wage war against the Syndicate due to his concerns for his daughter and the country's safety. However, after Ultraman's last threat and Rose's attempted murder, Wilson decides to strike back at the Syndicate with the Justice League's aid, along with that of his world's Lex Luthor, and personally leads the United States Marine Corps into the battle. After the Syndicate leaders' defeat, Slade orders the National Guard to work with law enforcement agencies to arrest the remaining members of the CSA.
  • Deathstroke was going to appear in the straight-to-DVD film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract *an adaptation of the Terra storyline of the same name from the comics (unrelated to the more youth-oriented, anime-like Teen Titans animated series). However, the film was put on hiatus.

Video games

  • On August 20, 2008, Ed Boon announced Deathstroke as one of the DC villains who would appear in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe,[27] played by Chris Matthews and voiced by Patrick Seitz. He is a counterpart of Baraka. In the story, Deathstroke appears in Gotham where he beheads a thug who paid him the money he owed Deathstroke late. Then Deathstroke is attacked and defeated by Flash. When in Gotham City, he attacks Sub-Zero (who is trying to hunt down Scorpion) seeing this new assassin as an enemy. Sub-Zero wins the battle, but does not bother finishing off Deathstroke fearing the essence of the Netherrealm that leads to Scorpion would become too weak to follow if he wasted any more time. Later, Deathstroke teams up with Lex Luthor and the Joker. He helps the Joker try to take on Sonya Blade and Kano. The Joker fights Sonya while Deathstroke battles Kano. In the middle of his fight, Deathstroke is pushed aside by the Joker and the Clown Prince of Crime defeats Kano, then turns on Deathstroke when the Combat Rage takes over Joker. Deathstroke's game ending has him realizing that other-worldy assassins are seen as unwelcome competition. As a caution, he creates an army of assassins in his image, becoming the leader of the "Deathstrike Clan" (the DC Universe's version of the Lin Kuei).


  • Although Slade wasn't seen in Teen Titans Go!, his daughter Rose made an appearance. A painting of Slade, without his mask, is briefly seen in the comic book.

Collected editions

Part of the eponymous series has been collected into a trade paperback:

  • Deathstroke the Terminator: Full Cycle (collects Deathstroke the Terminator #1-5 and New Titans #70, ISBN 978-0930289829)


  1. ^ a b c d Beatty, Scott (2008). "Deathstroke the Terminator". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 97. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  2. ^ Wizard #177
  3. ^ "Deathstroke is number 32". IGN. 
  4. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (November 12, 2008). "David Hine on Deathstroke's Return". Comic Book Resources. 
  5. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric; George Pérez. Modern Masters Volume 2: George Pérez. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 128. ISBN 978-1893905252. 
  6. ^ Nightwing #23
  7. ^ Faces of Evil: Deathstroke
  8. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #77 (November 2009)
  9. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #78 (December 2009)
  10. ^ Batman and Robin #9 (February 2010)
  11. ^ Titans: Villains for Hire Special #1 (May 2010)
  12. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #24-25
  13. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #26
  14. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #27
  15. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #33 (March 2011)
  16. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #34 (April 2011)
  17. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #35 (May 2011)
  18. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #36 (June 2011)
  19. ^ Titans Annual 2011 (July 2011)
  20. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #37 (July 2011)
  21. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #38 (August 2011)
  22. ^ Superman/Batman #60
  23. ^ a b Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager#1 (June 2011)
  24. ^ Flashpoint #2 (June 2011)
  25. ^ Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #2 (July 2011)
  26. ^ Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #3 (August 2011)
  27. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 20, 2008). "Wonder Woman, Raiden Two of Four New Kombatants". Kotaku. 

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