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Slade Wilson
"I keep my promises, kid..."

Species: Humannote 

Known Aliases: Deathstroke

Played By: Manu Bennett

Appearances: Arrow | Invasion! (2016) note 

An ASIS agent sent to Lian Yu with his partner Billy Wintergreen to save Yao Fei, he was betrayed by Billy during the mission and left to fight against Edward Fyers alone, until Oliver washed up on the island. The two began a fight against Fyers in an effort to stop his plot and leave the island, but continued to become embroiled in conflicts and conspiracies that revolved around it.

Later, his and Oliver's involvement in these conflicts with the mad scientist Anthony Ivo got him killed, leading to Oliver injecting him with a "miracle" serum developed by WWII-era Japan called the Mirakuru. As a result, Slade came back to life with superhuman abilities, but went completely insane and tried to make Oliver suffer. He continues this crusade into Season Two's present day, where he becomes the main villain for that arc.

However, after a short return as a villain in Season 3, the effect of the Mirakuru slowly completely leaves his body and he comes to regret his horrible deeds. When Oliver asks for his help against Prometheus in Season 5, Slade willingly assists him, trying to atone for his crimes. Another Season later, Oliver returns the favour, with the two finally parting as friends again.

see the DCEU: Other Supervillains page for the post-Crisis Earth-1 character who bears his name and background
see the Titans (2018): Villains page for the Earth-9 character who bears his name and background
see the Smallville: Government page for the Earth-167 character who bears his name and background

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  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: During his time on Lian Yu away from his family, Slade fell in love with another woman (Shado). And when he got back to them, things were never the same, and Slade ultimately decided to avenge the death of said woman.
  • Action Dad: Has a son named Joe. However, come the present day, he denies he's ever been married. Oliver is able to convince Slade to help him rescue his own son William by giving Slade information about Joe's current whereabouts. Once they did, Slade learns that he has another son named Grant.
  • Adaptational Heroism: This Slade Wilson is more an Anti-Hero than a villain, whereas his comics counterpart is mainly a villain who occasionally will veer into Anti-Hero territory. No longer the case as of the present-day scenes in "Three Ghosts". His Heel–Face Turn in Season Five, however, puts him back in this category.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: While Deathstroke is typically quite intelligent, he's usually muscle for hire rather than a chessmaster.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Rather than being experimented on by the government, he was stranded on Lian Yu with Oliver and ended up as one of the Mirakuru victims. The story behind how he lost his eye was also changed, instead of his wife shooting it out after he endangered their son, Oliver merely stabs it out during the climax of a fight. And he was active for a much shorter time as a mercenary before running into Oliver than the comics.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics, Deathstroke and Green Arrow's origins have nothing to do with each other. Here, Oliver's actions inadvertently create Deathstroke, and Slade's training is a big part of what got Oliver on the path to becoming Green Arrow.
  • Age Lift: He's commonly depicted as a man entering old age, emphasized with his gray hair and beard. Here, he's in his 40s (in the present day scenes at least).
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: When his Mirakuru army attacks the city, Slade uses Queen Consolidated as his headquarters to watch the carnage.
  • Annoying Arrows: Once he's been empowered by Mirakuru, arrows have little effect on him. The only long term damage they did was when Oliver used one to stab out his eye.
  • Anti-Hero: He has verged back into this territory as of Season 5, where he has a Heel Realization after the Mirakuru left his system and is willing to aid Oliver in his fight against Prometheus.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Apologizes to Moira Queen, commending her courage, before stabbing her through the heart with his blade.
  • Appropriated Appellation: A.R.G.U.S. designate him Deathstroke. It's a Meaningful Name, and he quite likes it.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Oliver, even more so than Malcolm. Their We Used to Be Friends dynamic makes him Oliver's most personal enemy, he's the only one of Oliver's primary enemies who hates Oliver more than the inverse, and his murder of Moira in Season Two is by far the greatest blow one of Oliver's adversaries has dealt him thus far. This has finally changed as of Season 5 onwards, where Slade regains his sanity, allowing Oliver and Slade to return to their original Bash Brothers dynamic.
      • The conflict between Green Arrow and Deathstroke becomes even more significant when it's revealed Deathstroke has been an anti-Arrow symbol in many generations and extends past Oliver and Slade. A green hooded archer and a yellow/orange-and-black masked swordsman identities have been used by several characters waging war (Yao Fei and Billy Wintergreen, Oliver and Slade, Connor Hawke and Grant Wilson, along with Mia Smoak and J.J.).
  • Archnemesis Dad: Inverted example. His son hates him (for understandable reasons), but in this case Slade is the hero who was trying to stop his son from going down the same dark path he went. When Slade stated that he was no longer Deathstroke, Joe disowned him and tried to kill him.
  • Arc Words: "Promise" is a word that is heavily associated with him. He promises to make Oliver pay for what he's done, he promised to avenge Shado, he promised to never leave his son (which he ended up breaking), he promised Sebastian Blood he would make him mayor of Starling City.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: He dons the armored Deathstroke suit in combat, while Oliver wears his kevlar Arrow suit that offers much less protection.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The Leader and most powerful member of the Mirakuru army.
  • The Atoner: In Season Five, Slade, after the Mirakuru is completely out of his system and after he's taken time to reflect, regrets his crimes and wants to make up for them by helping Oliver save his son.
  • Awesome Aussie: He works for ASIS.
  • Ax-Crazy: Another side-effect of the Mirakuru, warping his psyche into a very unstable and twisted one.
  • Badass Boast: "Death would be a release from this life, and his sentence is yet to be carried out. I am going to tear everything he cares about away from him. Destroy those who choose to follow him. Corrupt those he loves. Once he has lost everyone and everything he values, I will drive an arrow through his eye."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: In his civilian guise in the present day he is seen wearing a fancy suit, a far cry from his military fatigues on Lian Yu.
  • Bad Boss:
    • At the end of "Blind Spot", after Blood nearly lets Laurel expose the truth, he slaughters all three of Blood's bodyguards and threatens to kill him if he screws up again.
    • In the island flashbacks, once he has taken over the Amazo, he is shown killing crew members for not finding Oliver, Sara, and the others.
  • Bash Brothers: With Oliver on Lian Yu, before Ivo came along. They return to this dynamic during the Season Five finale and onwards.
  • Beard of Sorrow: His beard has become this in Season Five; Slade's time in prison led to him having a Heel Realization and coming to regret his cruelty towards Oliver. Upon their reunion, Slade is a far more somber man than he once was.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Slade pre-Mirakuru is a loyal, gruff, generally good guy who served as a mentor to Ollie. As Deathstroke, he is a ruthless villain with a nasty vendetta.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Slade's own hallucination of Shado is shown to be the one convincing him that Oliver killed her, meaning his subconscious is continuing to provide him a reason to kill Oliver that he has no reason to dispute.
  • Big Bad: Slade is revealed to be this for both Season Two's present day and flashback arcs. While he was initially a hero at the start of the flashback arc, after being driven insane by the Mirakuru drug running in his veins and learning of how Shado died Slade kills the Amazo's captain and chops of Ivo's hand usurping his place as Big Bad and attempts to leave the island on-board the Amazo. After his defeat at Oliver's hands on Lian Yu Slade becomes the benefactor to both Brother Blood and Isabel Rochev in an attempt to systematically destroy Oliver's life and, eventually, his city as well.
  • Big Bad Slippage: In the Season Two flashbacks, he starts off stranded with Oliver, trains him, and eventually becomes mentally unstable from a drug, eventually becoming the Big Bad of Season Two's entirety.
  • Breakout Character: Originally a supporting character in Season One flashbacks, his importance kept growing until he became the Big Bad of present day Season Two. He remains one of the most popular antagonists of the entire Arrowverse to this day (only rivaled by Eobard Thawne), and is hands down the most beloved Arrow antagonist.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even Brought Down to Normal, he's still one hell of a tough opponent, and keeps Oliver on his toes until he's finally restrained to a pillar by a couple of trick arrows.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the Season Two finale, "Unthinkable", Felicity gets close enough to inject him with the Mirakuru cure, finally evening the playing field between him and Oliver.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being Put on a Bus indefinitely, save for "The Return" in Season Three, Oliver decides to release Slade in the Season Five finale "Lian Yu" to help fight Prometheus.
  • Came Back Wrong: Granted, he didn't fully die, but he was on the verge of death when he is injected with Mirakuru. From there in, he Became Their Own Antithesis.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Legends of Tomorrow Season Two has the titular team meeting J. R. R. Tolkien, and naturally, all the man's work were given a Shout-Out, including The Hobbit. His actor plays a major antagonist in its film adaptation.
  • The Chessmaster: Slade has become quite the manipulator since the island, and is always a few steps ahead of Oliver. Then in "Deathstroke", he takes it further. By the end of the episode, Queen Consolidated has been taken over by Isabel Rochev, Oliver has lost the trust of several friends, Detective Lance has been arrested, and Slade is about to turn a busload of prisoners into an army of super-soldiers.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Manu Bennett is clearly having a blast.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Though he'd probably kill you before he admitted it.
  • Cold Ham: Every single one of his lines during his time as a villain are pretty cheesy on their own, but Slade says them so seriously and means every word of it so it circles back to being absolutely terrifying.
  • Cold Sniper: When using a firearm.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He was willing to kill Oliver purely because he thought the dumb rich boy would trip up and get him killed.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: His codename Deathstroke does appear, being assigned to him by ARGUS, but otherwise he's almost always referred to as Slade.
  • Composite Character: While most of his characterization comes from his namesake, his history with Oliver comes from the New 52 version of Tommy Merlyn, who is a former friend of Oliver that shared his traumatic experiences, suffered severe burns, and devoted his life to ending Oliver's.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Malcolm Merlyn was a corrupted individual out to destroy Starling city, who is one of the many Oliver is hunting down. Slade is from Oliver's past, who has a personal vendetta against Oliver and is out to destroy the city because of Oliver, wanting to get revenge. Also, while Malcolm was a highly trained Badass Normal, Slade is a superhuman who is out of Oliver's league. In contrast to all of the current Arrow Big Bad's, Slade is the only one to be the main antagonist of both the flashback and present day arcs for a season. Finally Slade is thus far the only Arrow Big Bad to not be connected in anyway with the League of Assassins.
  • Cool Mask: He finally puts it on in "Blind Spot", where we first see him in the new Deathstroke outfit, metallic upgrade of the mask included. In "The Promise", we see him don the original mask for the battle of the Amazo; he wears it one last time in "Unthinkable" when he's fighting Oliver aboard the sinking ship.
  • Costume Evolution: He's first seen in black and gray fatigues. In Season Two's flashbacks, he begins wearing a black-and-yellow mask just like Wintergreen's. In the present, he gains a full suit of armor and wears a metallic mask with his signature missing eyehole. When he joins forces with Oliver at the end of Season Five, he wears a mask just like his last one, but the orange has given way to red.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Oliver inadvertently had a part to play in Slade's descent to villainy, having been forced by Ivo to choose who would die between Sara and Shado. As Oliver tried to protect Sara when the gun was pointed at her, leading Ivo to shoot Shado. Slade learning of this led to his Sanity Slippage and he vowed revenge on Oliver and swore to take away everything he loved and cared for.
  • Cynical Mentor: He's not overly confident in Oliver's ability to survive... at first.
  • Deadpan Snarker: More so than Oliver. At least we know where he gets it from.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • Subverted. It initially seemed like Slade's Deathstroke persona went to his partner, Billy Wintergreen. Slade is the anti-hero to Wintergreen's villain. No longer the case after Wintergreen's death and the events of "Three Ghosts", but especially starting in "Blind Spot", when we finally see him in full Deathstroke gear and mask.
    • In addition, Deathstroke is treated as a Legacy Character with multiple characters taking up the mantle, as well as multiple groups donning the Deathstroke mask such as Slade's Mirakuru army or the Deathstroke gang in the future. In total there have been at least three Deathstrokes (Slade, Grant, John Diggle Jr), with four if you count Billy Wintergreen.
  • Dented Iron: His first bullet wound gets infected, and in Season Two, he requires a Mirakuru injection in order to survive his burn wounds.
  • Disappeared Dad: He is one.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: For what he feels is Oliver's role in Shado's death, he is determined to make Oliver suffer by gradually killing off his friends and family and destroying his entire city. See also Misplaced Retribution.
  • Doomed by Canon: While initially heroic, anyone familiar with the comics should know what happens.
  • Dual Wielding: Thus far, every weapon he can duel wield, he has. Stops doing so once he loses his right eye, in a bit of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome.
  • The Dreaded: He terrifies both heroes and villains. Oliver becomes despaired and tears himself apart at the fear of what Slade could do to those he cares about. Even Amanda Waller gets tears in her eyes upon learning he's alive.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: He wants to give Starling City a slow, painful destruction through his Mirakuru army just so he can psychologically hurt Oliver.

  • Empowered Badass Normal: He finally becomes one after being injected with Mirakuru.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In Season One, he has a big case of this towards Billy Wintergreen.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely loves his son Joe and does everything in his power to try to stop him from turning out like his father. When it doesn't work, he's suitably heartbroken, but he still doesn't give up on redeeming his son.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Upon finding out that Malcolm Merlyn brainwashed his daughter Thea into killing Sara, he sounds subtly disgusted and even sympathetic, at least for a moment before finding a way to turn even that into a Kick the Dog at Oliver.
  • Evil Counterpart: Both Oliver and Slade were captives on the island and subjected to its punishing influence, and both lost someone close during that time that haunts them for years to come. But while Oliver went on to become a heroic vigilante who dedicated himself to saving his city, Slade became a brutal mercenary who dedicated his efforts to bringing Oliver's city down. Eventually, Slade pulls a Heel–Face Turn and proves he's actually a Shadow Archetype, even telling Oliver that they weren't that different in that they were both haunted by "survivor's guilt"; Slade advises Oliver that the only way to get past the pain is to forgive himself.
  • Eviler than Thou: Compared to Brother Blood, who is actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist. After his Face–Heel Turn, he takes over the Amazo by killing its captain, then terrifies Dr. Ivo and cuts off his hand before locking him in his own prison.
  • Evil Former Friend: In the present-day scenes in Season Two, to Oliver. Granted, he doesn't see it that way.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: His scenes in the present are shot in very low-key lighting until "Time of Death," when he shows up in the Queen Mansion to confront Oliver.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Just when you thought that his low voice couldn't get any more intimidating...
  • Ex-Big Bad: While not as prominent as Malcolm Merlyn, Slade is another Big Bad who manages to survive his defeat (Oliver has him incarcerated at an ARGUS base on Lian Yu) and remain around for a good while, both as a threat and later as an ally. While he at first proves to be trouble when he returns in Season 3, by Season 5 he has regained his sanity and once again becomes Bash Brothers with Oliver.
  • Eyepatch of Power: He wears one in the present-day scenes. Underneath, his right eye is just gone, as we discover at the end of "The Promise".
  • Eye Scream: Torn between injecting him with a cure or stabbing him with an arrow, Oliver stabs Slade with the arrow after Slade promises his revenge.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Initially a gruff but well-meaning Mentor Archetype, after losing the woman he loved and the Mirakuru serum driving him insane, he becomes a Psycho for Hire assassin obsessed with destroying Oliver.
  • Fake Defector: Multiple times in the season 5 finale, though ultimately proves to be a true ally to Oliver.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While in his civilian guise, he gives off a Wicked Cultured vibe and seems fairly reasonable, even going so far as to still call Oliver "kid", but he's trying to create an army of Psycho Serum Mooks and is an international Psycho for Hire, and his whole revenge plot is driven by a hallucination of Shado lying to him about how she died. When he's in his Deathstroke outfit, he comes off as even more coldly sinister.
  • Foil:
    • Of a sort to Yao Fei. While Yao Fei is a Sink or Swim Mentor, Slade is a very harsh, less outwardly compassionate, but more straightforward and honest mentor.
    • Also one to Oliver himself. Both had the same origin of being subjected to the island, and both are haunted over failing to save a loved one. But both ended up going very different paths, Oliver trying to save a city, while Slade trying to bring it down. In the Season Two finale, Oliver reflects that Slade's turnout was not so different from his own, being so distracted that he couldn't see the real threat right in front of him.
  • Freudian Excuse: In "The Promise", when Ivo gets him to blame Oliver for her death, he hits the Despair Event Horizon in addition to making his Face–Heel Turn.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From an ASIS agent tasked with rescuing a man on an island in the North Chinese Sea to an armored, superpowered mercenary that brings Starling City to the brink of destruction.
  • Genius Bruiser: While his genius side isn't seen much in the flashbacks, it takes a certain kind of intelligence to engineer his entire plot in the present, and to constantly adapt to changing scenarios. The bruiser part is pretty much self-explanatory.
  • Generation Xerox: Much to his distress, his son Joe became a villainous mercenary-for-hire just like him, on top of being a budding crime lord. As it turns out, Joe was deliberately invoking this trope, as his way of coping with his father's abandonment of him.
  • Hallucinations: As shown in "Deathstroke", his extensive use of Mirakuru has led to a Lady Macbeth hallucination of Shado telling him to do evil acts. This continues long after he is cure of the serum.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the final episodes of Season 5, Oliver becomes so desperate to stop Prometheus that he turns to Slade for help. Luckily for him, the Mirakuru has worn off and he is ready and able to help.
  • Handicapped Badass: After he was burned by firing from the Amazo, his hands and the right side of his face were damaged. He later healed due to a Psycho Serum, but in Season Two's present day, he's lost the use of his right eye, like his comic book counterpart, due to Oliver stabbing an arrow into it. Even when depowered, he's a good fighter.
  • Heartbroken Badass: After learning that Shado was killed by Ivo, he became this.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: As with the nature of Slade, he can uniquely be depicted as a hero, Anti-Hero, or a straight-up villain. Always walking the grey area between good and evil, Slade can be at whatever morality the plot require him to.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As of the Season 5 finale, Slade has overcome the effects of the Mirakuru and his hatred for Oliver. He acts as a loyal ally to Oliver throughout the episode, and in the premiere of Season 6, he and Oliver part on good terms.
  • Heel Realization: In the Season 5 finale, the Mirakuru having long since been flushed out of his system, Slade claims to have had this. He states that all his actions under its influence feel like "a bad dream". Jury's up as to whether or not it's genuine, seeing as in the Season Two finale he claimed that the Mirakuru isn't what made him hate Oliver — but he seems sincere throughout the episode, aiding Oliver as The Lancer and even giving Oliver a much-needed talk regarding his survivor's guilt over his father's death.
  • Hero Killer: Barring actual murders, he is treated as an extremely serious threat, being the chronologically first truly superhuman villain on Arrow. Technically speaking, Slade is a villain killer, but that doesn't do much to make the heroes any less fearful.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The Island flashbacks show him as a tough, grizzled military man who openly prefers swords and uses them to great effect. Inverted when he becomes Deathstroke and continues using a sword in contrast to Oliver's bow, and then played straight again when he rejoins Oliver's side.
  • He's Back!: The Slade we knew from the Island flashbacks, prior to succumbing to Mirakuru induced insanity, makes his return in the Season Five finale. He claims what he did while under the effects of Mirakuru feels like "a bad dream" and is willing to aid Oliver in fighting Prometheus.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Telling Laurel that Oliver is the Arrow lets her encourage Oliver to keep fighting Slade until his downfall.
    • Oliver tells Slade to his face that, while he trained him to be a killer, he actually made him a hero, and thanks him for that.
  • I Gave My Word: He makes sure to fulfill promises he makes to anyone he does, albeit to the letter. This includes promises made to Oliver and members of the Blood Cult high command. He still intends to keep it, even though he's unlikely to ever escape from the ARGUS supermax prison on Lian-Yu.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: In "Deathstroke", Slade admits that after escaping the island, he tried to put it all behind him, presumably starting up his occupation as a Hired Gun. However, he still feels stuck on that island, especially since the warped hallucination of Shado lingers with him. Thus, while he wasn't compelled to destroy Oliver during Season One, he returns with a vengeance in Season Two.
  • Immune to Bullets: A side-effect of the Mirakuru, and first demonstrated in the past during his rampages against Ivo's troops. However, in the present day it seems his armor offers an additional layer of protection in this regard.
  • Implacable Man: Thanks to the Mirakuru, anything thrown at Slade will, at best, inconvenience him. His sheer willpower also allows Slade to keep fighting through the otherwise debilitating Mirakuru cure.
  • Invincible Villain: Slade plays Oliver like a puppet at every turn, successfully taking away everything he cares about, and kicking the crap out of Oliver every time they fight. He was only defeated by a slip-up of letting his guard down, causing him to be depowered so that Oliver could fight him evenly.
  • Insane Troll Logic: How his vendetta against Oliver comes off in the present day; he's still focused on Shado's death instead of the whole "Oliver nearly killed me and took my eye" thing, and even acknowledges how obsessed he is, but he made "a promise". Oliver only seems to fully grasp how far Slade's gone when Slade reveals his Shado hallucination in the present day. He also extends his targets from Oliver's family to the entirety of Starling City under similarly insane logic, constantly expanding his definition of those Oliver loves.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the Season 2 flashbacks, Slade's Facial Dialogue makes it clear that he's smitten with Shado, and is jealous of how she's chosen the younger and more attractive Oliver, yet he does nothing to get between Shado and the 'kid' he loves as a brother. Unfortunately this only fuels his later hatred against the man who would not give everything for Shado as he would.
  • Jerkass: Completely justified by the circumstances on the island, as he has to quickly toughen up Oliver, a playboy civilian without the years of military training that he (or his opponents) have. He then descends back down once the Mirakuru takes over.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kind of, after Oliver actually accomplishes something. And, even in the present when he's evil, he's still shown to have some heart, given his decision to save Isabel rather than let her die, and his admiration of Moira's bravery.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: He now carries one when he's suited up. It throws pretty well, too.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Once he shows up in the present day, Oliver's life gets considerably darker very quickly.
    • The island flashbacks take on a darker tone when Slade becomes a bad guy.
  • Lack of Empathy: Best summed up in this exchange:
    Sebastian: What the hell is going on? Onc of your juiced-up jack boots just killed my entire office staff, and snapped the district attorney's neck!
    Slade: And?
  • Legacy Character: In part to Billy Wintergreen's time as Deathstroke. He himself inspires many others to pick up the Deathstroke mantle later on.
  • Leitmotif: He has an instantly recognizable distorted guitar hum whenever he appears. This theme is shared by his successor Deathstrokes in the Bad Future, Grant Wilson and JJ Diggle.
    • As well as a secondary motif, a fast-paced whooshing noise, that seems to serve as his action theme. The two pieces often come back-to-back, with the hum announcing his presence, and the whooshing announcing him kicking some ass.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Even before being injected with Mirakuru, he is very agile despite his bulky frame.
  • Loving a Shadow: Or rather, loving an illusion of Shado who keeps telling him to commit atrocities.

  • Made of Iron: Throughout the course of the show, he's shot twice, caught in the wake of a missile, and burned alive by a second missile, but keeps on powering through. And that's before he becomes superhuman.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To Brother Blood. And to Isabel Rochev, though she says she's more working ''with'' him.
  • Mask of Sanity: As shown in his brief moments of breaking down, his Faux Affably Evil Wicked Cultured act is just that: an act. In "Seeing Red", when giving Oliver a Meaningful Echo Sadistic Choice between his mother's life or his sister's, he starts raving about how Shado told him what happened on Lian Yu with the Sadistic Choice that led to her death, even though Oliver and everyone else present knows that nobody is there. Fittingly enough, it falls altogether in the finale; see Villainous Breakdown.
  • Master Swordsman: His weapon is a sword, and he teaches Oliver close quarters combat skills with one.
  • Misplaced Retribution: He feels that Oliver is responsible for Shado's death and should suffer (along with his city) for it, despite Ivo being the one who killed her.
  • Monster Progenitor: In the present day, his blood is the source of Mirakuru for the Blood Cult. He might also fit the "strongest" part, as he's clearly stronger than Roy. Further evidence of this is seen in "Streets of Fire"; since the Mirakuru soldiers have even fewer apparent enhancements than Roy and Cyrus Gold, it seems that the more the Mirakuru is passed from user to user, especially when diluted to split among many, the less effective it is.
  • The Musketeer: Is equipped with two swords and a gun. He finally wields them simultaneously in Season Six.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Once the Mirakuru wears off, he's horrified by the things he did and apologizes to Oliver in the Season Five finale.
  • My Greatest Failure: In "Promises Kept", flashbacks to after Slade was rescued from Lian Yu reveal that he made a promise to his son to never leave him again. Unfortunately, the Mirakuru gradually overwhelmed him, and after learning Oliver was alive, Slade snapped, slaughtered an entire ASIS training facility sans Joe, and promptly broke his promise. The guilt returns when the Mirakuru finally cleared from his system, and only doubled when he learned that Joe decided to follow in his footsteps.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The 4-way crossover between all the CW superhero shows included Deathstroke in the clips, getting fans very excited. Turns out it was just a dream version of him, and Manu Bennett didn't even reprise the role.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: First, he's a highly trained special forces warrior who carries swords into modern battles, uses stealth, and wore a balaclava to hide his features, ergo, ninja. Then, when he takes the Amazo from Ivo, he commits a literal act of piracy while also establishing a preferred drink of rum and wears an eyepatch in the present day. And while he's not a zombie, he is the nightmarish hybrid of Wolverine and Captain America's powers. Hell, given he technically came back from the dead when he was given Mirakuru, he could actually count as a zombie to some extent.
  • No-Sell: Slade isn't fazed by a sucker punch to the face by Roy. Keep in mind that Roy also has the Mirakuru in him.
  • Not Brainwashed: While the Mirakuru is likely a significant factor to his Face–Heel Turn, he does not lose any of his psychopathy after finally being cured of it. It takes at least two years of reflection for Slade to see the folly in his actions.
  • Not Quite Dead: Believed to have died after being injected with Mirakuru, but soon recovered. Later, he's believed to have died on the island after Oliver stabs him in the eye. Then we see him in "Three Ghosts".
  • One-Man Army: He's a damn good fighter that he effortlessly slaughters a mercenary firm in less than 2 minutes. And that's without the Mirakuru.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His first action as a villain was to cut off Ivo's hand. The writers knew that this would make him too likeable, so his next villainous act was to torture Oliver.
  • Perma-Stubble: Even on an island with no electric razors of any kind, Slade keeps his stubble in-check. Given his skill with blades, he probably shaves with one of his many knives, maybe two at the same time.
  • Pet the Dog: He seems genuinely concerned about Thea's growing darkness in Season Three.
  • The Power of Hate: Even after getting the Mirakuru removed from him, Slade still manages to hold his own against Oliver evenly, and spouts off this as to why.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: Got promoted to series regular for Season Two. It should be noted, however, that Slade's role in Season Two was more of a Fake Guest Star, much like how Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard are billed as series regulars on Supernatural but used similarly in tone.
  • Psycho for Hire: True to his comic book incarnation, he works as an international assassin; unlike his comic book self, he uses the funds for a specific purpose, namely his grand plan of revenge against Oliver, though it seems the revenge part is a recent move, given he supposedly tried to put things behind him once he escaped the island.
  • Psycho Serum: He got dosed with Mirakuru and survived, becoming the first character chronologically to gain super strength from it.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Inverted. He was Oliver's mentor prior to his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • At the end of Season Two, he is locked away into an A.R.G.U.S. supermax prison built in Lian Yu and hasn't been seen since... until "The Return", anyway.
    • At the start of Season Six, Slade leaves for Calgary, hoping to reconnect with his son. He comes back for special arc later, only to leave again in hopes of finding Grant and Joe. Word of God is that he's off limits again, since he's set to become a major player in the DCEU's Legion of Doom.
  • Race Lift: Slade Wilson in the comics is white. Here, he's part Maori like the actor that plays him.
  • Revenge by Proxy: He plans to get back at Oliver by gradually destroying everyone and everything he loves.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Deathstroke is usually a Teen Titans or Batman villain. Though granted, he has clashed with Green Arrow over the years.
  • Sanity Strengthening: After spending three years in prison, free of the Mirakuru, Slade is mostly back to his old self, albeit more than a little broken over losing Shado and regret over his campaign against Oliver.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has a couple of notable ones on his face, including his right eye being ruined in the present day.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: At the end of Season Two, he is locked inside an A.R.G.U.S. "supermax" within Lian Yu, as it was the only place he wanted to escape from and did, but felt he never left.
  • Shadow Archetype: Slade is exactly how Oliver could have turned out, but managed to avoid. Both of them are haunted by near-identical traumatic experiences of losing a girl they loved. While Oliver resisted the urges to seek revenge and overcame them, Slade let himself be consumed by it. Oliver even compares how similar they were in being distracted by the hallucinations of their deceased beloved. Their present-day motives also become polar complete opposites, with Oliver trying to save a corrupted city, while Slade does everything he can to tear it down.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He is one in Season Two's present day, when he's not wearing the Deathstroke outfit.
  • Smug Super: He truly believes he is unbeatable thanks to the Mirakuru, and he ain't quiet about it either.
  • Start of Darkness: Losing Shado seemed to lead to this, and being injected with a Psycho Serum didn't help either.
  • Strong and Skilled: Slade was The Mentor to Oliver Queen, who would go on to become the World's Best Warrior. However in addition to his skill Slade also became an Empowered Badass Normal thanks to being injected with Mirakuru. He was an extremely difficult opponent due to both his top notch skill and his superhuman strength. He was only beaten by being Brought Down to Badass and leveling the playing field, and even then he put up quite a fight.
  • Super-Strength: The Mirakuru amped up his strength to superhuman levels. He was able to toss grown men aside like rag dolls, crushes the Butcher's skull with his hands, snaps an assault rifle, and impales a man's chest with his fist by punching him.
  • Super-Toughness: He got both post-injection.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The Mirakuru drove Slade insane, but it didn't create his hatred of Oliver. Thus, even after being cured, he's still obsessed with keeping his promise to destroy his former friend. In Season Five, however, Slade has come to forgive Oliver, which is another case of surprisingly realistic outcome occuring: detox and years in prison give you a new perspective. Slade's no different from any other criminal who comes to regret their crimes; he wants to make amends for the people he's hurt and get a fresh start.
    Slade: The Mirakuru isn't what made me hate you!

  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Slade is a very sarcastic man and is quite tall in his own right at 5'11, which is only an inch shorter than the six foot tall Oliver.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Post-Heel Realization, Slade, far from the callous villain he was in Starling City or the gruff snarker he was on Lian Yu, has become a somber, calm man, having made a degree of peace with himself and Oliver.
  • Tragic Villain: If it weren't for the Mirakuru and losing Shado, Slade might never have been a villain at all. He even admits that he tried to put what happened on Lian Yu behind him, but felt that he couldn't escape it.
  • Troll: Apparently, the Psycho Serum weaponized this previous trait. While "Time of Death" has him subtly trolling Oliver all throughout his polite conversations with Moira and later Thea, "Deathstroke" largely consists of Slade using both this and Schmuck Bait to take Oliver's company, turn Thea against him, and run Oliver ragged on a wild-goose chase.
  • Two-Faced: A rare non-villainous case after being too close to an explosion, with his head completely black on its right side due to an ointment, which makes his face look like Deathstroke's mask. It is played completely realistically, as he is shown to be in constant agony, and appears to be dying from it as of "State v. Queen". He later recovers and loses this feature, though.
  • Two First Names: His last name is actually a more traditional given name than his first.
  • Villain Decay: In Season Three he was demoted to a Villain of the Week, to the point that Manu Bennett himself voiced his disappointment.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Granted that he's not the most stable adversary, but his Mask of Sanity finally drops in "Unthinkable" after Felicity injects him with the Mirakuru cure; he engages Oliver in a brutal one-on-one battle, ranting and raving the whole time, until Oliver restrains him with a couple of trick arrows and gets Amanda Waller to call off the drone strike. Later, Oliver imprisons him on Lian Yu and rebukes his Breaking Speech by thanking him for helping to make Oliver a hero; he takes this very badly, and the last we see of him (until Season Three, that is), he's yelling that he will find a way to escape and keep his promise to destroy Oliver's life, even though there's no evident way for him to do so.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: At the end of "Time of Death", Oliver arrives at the Queen Mansion to find Moira in the middle of a meeting with... oh, take a wild guess.
  • Villain Respect: Commends Moira for having true courage before killing her. Slade deciding on killing Moira with his sword rather than a gun, can be interpreted as him giving her a 'clean death'.
  • Warrior Therapist: Having recovered from the Mirakuru-induced insanity, Slade becomes level-headed and introspective, and plays this role to Oliver in "Lian Yu."
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Billy Wintergreen. And post-Island, with Oliver, though he doesn't see it that way. In Season Five, they manage to, if not re-establish their friendship, then at least make some amends.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: His son Joe has a surprising cameo in Elseworlds, but Slade's whereabouts (who was last seen leaving to find his son) aren't commented on. Post-Crisis, this applies even more, as he doesn't even show up for Oliver's funeral even though he is confirmed to no longer be imprisoned on Lian Yu.
  • What Have I Become?: Early on, he is shocked at what the Mirakuru has turned him into.
  • Whole Costume Reference: To Jason Voorhees. True to the reference, he prefers sword to gun.
  • Wicked Cultured: He gives off this vibe in the present-day scenes of "The Promise" while talking amiably with Moira and Thea in the mansion.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Slade suffered an agonising, near-fatal injury, only being saved by a Psycho Serum that warped his mind, then lost the woman he loved and came to believe that his best friend was responsible for her death. Even escaping from Lian Yu gave Slade no peace; he lost his eye fighting Oliver, had to endure a nightmarish swim back to shore, and suffered severe hallucinations that drove him insane. After all that, it's really not surprising that Slade is willing to burn Starling City to take what he believes to be a well-deserved revenge against Oliver.
  • Would Hit a Girl: His vendetta against Oliver is to gradually take down the important women in his life. He only succeeded with one thankfully, though he initially thought he killed Sara. He also showed no signs of restrain when chasing down Caitlin Snow.
    Flashback!Slade: Sara was only the first, she was only the first! Your sister! Laurel! Your mother!
  • You Are What You Hate: Post Face–Heel Turn, he embodied many characteristics of the villains he and Oliver faced;
    • He becomes an Evil Former Friend without thinking twice, much like Bill Wintergreen. The Deathstroke mask they both have is just a bonus.
    • He starts mass producing the Mirakuru, much like Dr. Ivo's apparent original goal. Him hijacking the Amazo is just a bonus.
    • After his and Oliver's battle in the Amazo, he becomes a mercenary much like Edward Fryers.
    • He starts wearing a mask and recruiting people to join his cause, much like Oliver did when he came back to Starling (officially at least). Speaking of which, he was also returned to Lian Yu after initially "escaping" from it.