Deathstroke the Terminator (real name Slade Wilson) was first created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 as a villain for their New Teen Titans comic, but the multi-talented assassin has really stormed to the forefront of the DC stage over the last few years. Writer Christopher Priest’s ongoing award-nominated Deathstroke comic has remained one of the major highlights of DC’s publishing output ever since it debuted as part of the DC Rebirth publishing initiative.
Then there’s the recent cinematic stardom of Deadpool, which serves as a reminder that the Merc with a Mouth was originally a spoof on Deathstroke, from the outfit to the name. But rather than being left in the cold by his more popular imitator, Deathstroke has even garnered his own blockbuster prospects. Joe Manganiello’s appearance in the post-credits scene of Justice League suggested he could play a major role in the future of DC’s film franchise — perhaps as the central villain of Matt Reeves’ planned solo Batman movie, or as the solo star of an action film from The Raid director Gareth Evans.
That film may still be years away, but fans will still get to see Deathstroke and Batman face off in a new six-part “Deathstroke vs. Batman” story that begins in this month’s Deathstroke #30, written by Priest and illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan. The story features a dispute over the parentage of Batman’s son Damian Wayne, who currently serves as Robin. Damian is supposed to be the son of Batman and his old flame Talia al Ghul, but when a new paternity test claims Slade is the boy’s real father, Batman is determined to get answers.
EW caught up with Priest to talk about the coming battle and the enduring similarities between the two combatants. Check out that interview below, along with an exclusive preview of Deathstroke #30, which you can order here.