Deathstroke (Slade Joseph Wilson) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. He is a mercenary and assassin who first appeared in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (1980). Wizard magazine rated him the 24th greatest villain of all time. Also, in 2009, Deathstroke was ranked as IGN’s 32nd greatest comic book villain of all time.
Originally the archenemy of the Teen Titans, writers have developed him over the years as an adversary of other heroes in the DC Universe; parallels have been established between him and Batman. The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into multiple forms of media, including several Batman related projects and the Teen Titans animated series. Slade Wilson/Deathstroke later appeared on The CW’s live-action TV series Arrow, where he is portrayed by Manu Bennett. Joe Manganiello will portray the character in the DC Extended Universe film series; first in Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder, and will reprise the role in the upcoming untitled Batman reboot, which stars Ben Affleck as the titular character.
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.
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.”
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 decades. The full title has not completely fallen out of use, having been referenced as recently as Justice League Elite.
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