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Characters / Batman Deathstroke
aka: Deathstroke

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Now would be a good time to start running.

Alter ego: Slade Wilson

Species: Human

First appearance: The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (December, 1980)


Slade Wilson, better known by his professional nom de guerre of Deathstroke the Terminator (later shortened to Deathstroke after a certain movie came out), is a fictional mercenary, freelance assassin and supervillain in DC Comics who first appeared in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (December, 1980). He was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.

Originally, Deathstroke was intended to be a minor, one-shot villain but fan-reaction saw him become a regular, recurring character in not only the Teen Titans but in other series as well. He later starred, four times, in his own comic series. The first series ran from June 1991-April 1996, the second from September 2011-May 2013, the third from October 2014-July 2016, and the fourth began in August 2016.

Slade Wilson was just sixteen years old when he lied about his age and enlisted in the United States Army where he eventually reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It was also in the Army that he met his future wife, and combat trainer, Adeline Kane. Slade was eventually shipped to Vietnam, where he would end up being rescued by his future right-hand man, an SAS commando named Wintergreen. After his tour in Vietnam, Slade was selected to be a test subject for an experiment designed to create metahuman supersoldiers. This left him with enhanced physical and mental abilities as well as a healing factor. Slade deserted soon afterwards to rescue Wintergreen after a vindictive superior officer sent him on a suicide mission. Deciding to put his skills and abilities to a profitable use, Slade became a mercenary.


Slade would eventually cross paths with the Teen Titans when his son Grant, following in his father's mercenary footsteps, took a contract from the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination (H.I.V.E) to kill or capture the Teen Titans. Grant died in the attempt and Slade agreed to finish his son's job. This would be the start of a long history of conflict between Deathstroke and the Titans. Because of his skills as a mercenary, Slade would eventually wind up duking it out with several DC heroes over the next three decades.

He has also appeared in:

He's also appeared as a playable fighter in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (voiced by Patrick Seitz), Injustice: Gods Among Us (voiced by J.G. Hertzler), and Batman: Arkham Origins (voiced by Mark Rolston) as a villain and DLC character.

Not to be confused with another comic book mercenary with the last name Wilson.

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Tropes pertaining to Deathstroke:

    Slade Wilson 
  • 90% of Your Brain: Slade had this as one of his powers (though it's not stated outright in the series, only the comics). Later retconned in saying that his grey matter got re-routed and reprogrammed, allowing him to use his brain in various ways that regular humans do not.
  • Abusive Parent: Slade is not the most loving father, Even putting aside how he was heavily involved in the deaths of both of his sons, you could make a case for this solely for Slade's daughter and the emotional manipulation and abuse he puts her through.
  • Action Dad: While his fatherly instincts leave something to be desired there is no denying that Slade is a badass.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Apparently, Rob Liefeld once mis-drew Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson by letting him have both of his eyes, and when Fabian Nicieza saw it, he jokingly referred to the "new" character as Wade "Deadpool" Wilson. (Y'all know Deadpool, yes?)
    • Slade's original write-up — a veteran who took a supersoldier serum — made him a particularly cynical take on Captain America.
  • Anti-Hero: He has drifted into this category on a couple of occasions. It was most notable during the Total Chaos storyline.
  • Anti-Villain: Slade is a mercenary but he does have something of a fairly strong moral code. Of course, this has been subject to change from time to time and Depending on the Writer. Notably, the 2016 series by Christopher Priest goes to great lengths to shoot down the notion that someone like Slade could be considered anything other than a bad guy.
    Wintergreen: Much as you or I, or say, the Justice League would like to pretend otherwise..."mercenary," "anti-hero," and such...the "villain" label is the best fit, I'm afraid.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Teen Titans as a whole. Now the Titans have gone through tons of Big Bads, and let's face it, Slade isn't the biggest or baddest. But he is the most persistent and most personal enemy the team has ever faced.
    • Naturally, he shares a special rivalry with Nightwing.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He is very good, he knows it, and he lets everyone else know it too. See how his mask is half black and doesn't have an eyehole on that side? He does that to emphasize how he only has one eye, and he will still kick your ass.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: His actual name is Slade Wilson. Deathstroke the Terminator is his nom de guerre.
  • Badass Back: Deathstroke manages to skewer the Flash on his sword with a blind strike behind him, despite the fact that the Flash at that point is moving so much faster than Deathstroke that the villain must have looked like an inanimate statue to the hero.
  • Bad Boss: In one late-2010's comic, he's assigned a team of much younger subordinates. Despite them proving both competent and loyal (if a bit overeager), he's killed them all by the end of the issue.
  • Balls of Steel: Black Canary once managed to land a kick on Deathstroke right in the crotch, but this trope is used as he angrily replied that he was wearing over 50 pounds of body armor, so of course he was wearing a cup.
  • Beard of Evil: He has one underneath that mask.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Bad: Of the Judas Contract, Titans Hunt, and the first two seasons of Teen Titans. While in scale he doesn't quite match Trigon, Deathstroke is still the most frequent of the Titans' Big Bads, also serving as this in some of Dick's solo series.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Oh boy, where to start? You know, it's saying something when Slade may actually be the only sane one left in his immediate family. His wife, Addie, was ostensibly on the side of angels, but her methods weren't. They only seemed to get worse with time. Eldest son Grant was a Psycho for Hire who ended up killing himself when going up against the Teen Titans. Middle child Joseph "Jericho" Wilson was the White Sheep; a genuinely nice, artistic sort and a Titan in good standing...until he made contact with Raven's demonic side and the corrupted remnants of Azarath and went nuts as a result. Rose, the youngest, and the product of Slade's affair with a brothel keeper/mercenary, gouged her own eye out in an attempt to be just like daddy (that, before her Heel–Face Turn). So yeah.
  • Blood Knight: Some of his statements show that he really enjoys his line of work.
    (in response to Lagoon Boy requesting backup) "See, calling for help like that just pushes up the timetable. Now I can't savor the battle."
  • Boom Stick: One of his signature weapons is a power staff that fires lethal and non-lethal energy blasts from both ends.
  • Break Them by Talking: He is a master at this trope.
  • Breakout Villain: He was intended to be a minor, practically one-shot villain. He then got his role expanded to the Big Bad of a major story arc. Soon winded up getting his own comic book series and has become a fan favorite villain of the DC Universe.
    • While rarely the Big Bad outside of Titans comics, Slade is regularly The Dragon to one. This is particularly visible in the first Secret Six miniseries and Infinite Crisis, where he's the strongest of the Secret Society of Supervillains.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In the DC Rebirth volume of the series, Wintergreen says that Slade genuinely loves his children, but is too fundamentally broken as a human being to show them the affection they deserve.
  • Character Development: He started the Cycle of Revenge against the Titans when his son got killed capturing them for a contract. The arc ends with his surviving son and wife turned against him, and a bunch of teen heroes that hate his guts. Slade gets a Heel Realization about this and eventually tells a vengeful Beast Boy that avenging the dead isn't worth it because everyone loses in the end. This goes away in the 2003 reboot, where he vows to kill Jericho again for making him kill Wintergreen.
  • Characterization Marches On: Slade was far more of a dirtbag in his earliest appearances, in sharp contrast to his eventual Anti-Villain status. One of his earliest appearances had him kidnapping Cyborg's love interest in order to lure the Teen Titans into a trap, something that would seem at odds with his Never Hurt an Innocent guidelines that would be established in later issues, and recreate the Doom Patrol's way of dying — a traumatic event for Changeling — For the Evulz. This can be explained by the creative differences between George Perez, who saw Slade as a ruthless villain whose "code" was only a personal justification, and Marv Wolfman, who did not see him as villain but as an honorable victim of circumstance. Thus when Perez left the title, Deathstroke's more noble characterization took hold.
  • Colonel Badass: Slade was a Lieutenant Colonel back when he was still serving in the US Army.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Slade's the type of guy who would stab you in the back or shoot you in the head before you even knew what was happening.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Lately, he's seldom referred to as Deathstroke, much less "the Terminator". He tends to be identified as Slade or Slade Wilson these days.
  • Consummate Professional: He'll kill anyone he's paid to, and at times even is paid in advance simply to be sure he is willing to follow through on a job to uphold his professional reputation.
  • Continuity Snarl: The entire Wilson family was more inconsistent than Hawkman in the New 52. As a result, the Rebirth series just rebooted them all.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Slade, going after an employer who betrayed him, is targeted by a second assassin, Jannissary. When Slade has Jannissary at his mercy and explains his motives, Jannissary gives him the money he had paid; Slade returns it before killing the employer.
  • Cool Sword: In Injustice: Gods Among Us he has a large (but not quite BFS-level) longsword that's serrated near the hilt.
  • The Corrupter:
    • He's tried to turn Nightwing evil, along with telling Arsenal he was gonna take his daughter after he killed him and raise her to be a mercenary assassin.
    • Slade also has a tendency to do this with mind altering drugs. He's done it on Rose and was later revealed to be doing it to Cassandra Cain in order to explain her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He's often depicted as an evil version of Batman (which makes him a good foil for Robin).
  • Cultured Badass: Slade is often seen sipping champagne and enjoying the finer things in life.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: A prime example of a character managing to stay top-tier despite a name that seems hilariously over the top today.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A noteworthy aspect of his personality since the beginning.
  • Depending on the Writer: Does he care for his children or are they his pawns? Is he really evil or just in it for the money? About the only thing that doesn't change depending on who writes him is that he's a badass.
  • Dirty Old Man: Shows this aspect on occasion. It became especially apparent during The Judas Contract arc.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Back in the 1950's, when Slade volunteered for the experiments that gave him his superhuman abilities, the serum eventually plunged him into a coma. The scientists decided to destroy the serum formula. Months later, Slade woke up with superhuman powers.
  • The Dragon: He's ended up serving in this position more than once in his mercenary career.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is terrified of Slade. Mentioning that he's involved in something always leads to a collective moment of blind terror from everyone in earshot. He regularly shows exactly why he has such a reputation as well.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Slade was already one of the best soldiers in the US Army when he was selected to be a test subject in an experiment to create metahuman super-soldiers. This left him with physical abilities just above the human norm and a healing factor of indeterminate strength. Couple that with his training and combat experience and you got yourself one hell of a mercenary. He's also scheduled to gain access to the Speed Force, meaning that he'll also be as fast as the Flashes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While Slade is not likely to win any sort of father of the year award anytime soon, he does genuinely love his three kids. He also does genuinely love his butler, Billy Wintergreen.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He was shocked that Beast Boy was willing to become a murderer and besmirch his hero reputation to avenge Terra, perpetuating the Cycle of Revenge that Deathstroke started. It gets so bad that Slade tells Beast Boy, after getting him to show he can't kill an unarmed man who deserves death, that he's a hero and it's not worth avenging the dead.
    • In Infinite Crisis he sides with Alexander Luthor's team but openly questions why they're doing so much to protect rapist and sexual harasser Doctor Light.
    • In Villains United, even he was disgusted by how Cheshire had sold out her own team and rewarded her for it by shooting her in the gut.
    • He was sickened by a village massacre his unit participated in during the Vietnam War.
    • He does not seem in agreement with the Red Lion's racist beliefs, since he himself is an indiscriminate killer. However, he works with him on his "ethnic cleansing" anyway because he's getting paid well for it.
  • Evil Counterpart:
  • Evil Mentor: He does this as a hobby. He once acted as an Evil Mentor to Terra, before he realized too late that she was even more evil than him. He also tried to turn Nightwing evil in the "Renegade" storyline, but Nightwing turned that around by acting as a Good Mentor to Slade's daughter Rose which led to her Heel–Face Turn. He also founded an Evil Counterpart to the Teen Titans twice. In Outsiders, while fighting Arsenal, he once mentioned that after he killed Roy he would take Lian and raise her to be an assassin. Slade in general has a disturbing interest in corrupting the next generation of superbeings.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He's been voiced by Ron Perlman and Fred Tatasciore. And played by Manu Bennett, which made him sound very much like a Badass Baritone.
  • Expy:
    • Deathstroke bears some resemblance to the Marvel character Taskmaster, who debuted several months beforehand. Both have some similar design elements (such as the buccaneer-style boots and color scheme), their powersets are roughly similar (Deathstroke's brain enhancements compared to Taskmaster's "photographic reflexes"), and have similar roles; however given the short period of time between their respective debuts it's likely coincidence (the visual similarity may be because they both were first drawn by the same artist, George Perez). Interestingly, their character trajectories have also mirrored — Slade became nobler than the bad-to-the-bone murderer he started as, while Tasky was a True Neutral mercenary who lived a Nothing Personal motto has become more amoral and Slade-like as time goes on. But Deathstroke also inspired a rather memorable Expy. A lot of people forget that Deadpool was originally a blatant copy-cat of Deathstroke.
    • Another Marvel character who has some similarities with him is the D-list anti-hero Solo. Both met their wife while serving in the military, both gained their powers as part of a military experiment, and both use a sword in tandem with firearms.
  • Eye Scream: He lost an eye when his wife shot him for endangering their son Jericho (which led to Jericho getting his throat cut and losing his voice).
  • Eyepatch of Power: He wears one over where used to be the right eye when he's unmasked.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His mask is split between black and orange. Underneath, one eye is cybernetic.
  • Foil: He's everything Batman hates or stands against: immoral, homicidal, gun-toting, and remorseless. Also, contrast the way they treat their children: Batman is quite stern with his sidekicks, he does instill to them moral lines they should not cross and tries to prevent them from being like him but Slade, although he loves his children, is horrible to his kids and essentially has them follow in his footsteps.
  • Friendly Enemy: Deathstroke and Beast Boy developed a relationship like this in the later '80s and early '90s. Beast Boy was about to fight him to the death when Deathstroke appealed to his humanity by showing up without his mask, stating that it was the faceless mask that he wanted to kill, not the person behind it. They later talked things over in a diner. Of course, this got reversed once Deathstroke jumped back off the slippery slope into cold-blooded villainy.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: After his experiences in the military Super Soldier program, Deathstroke became a merc/assassin for hire.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a very good planner and manipulator as well as a Super Soldier.
  • Get It Over With: Once a young assassin named Janissary came after Deathstroke. The fight ended with Janissary's hanging by one hand from a bridge with Deathstroke standing over him and telling Deathstroke to end it. Deathstroke retorted that if J wanted him to kill him, J would have to hire him.
  • The Ghost: Played for laughs in Teen Titans Go!: Right at the beginning of the infamous episode "The Return Of Slade", the Titans set off to fight him, however, he is defeated off screen, in the span of three episodes and one Tv Movie where many plot threads were resolved. Slade is never mentioned again after that, and the rest of the episode is about clowns.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: He and Beast Boy meet in a coffeeshop to discuss the death of Terra. This happens AFTER Beast Boy tried to kill him (and was unable to go through with it).
  • Gun Nut: He always carries multiple firearms and he knows how to use them.
  • Guns Akimbo: He has been known to dual-wield pistols and SMGs.
  • The Gunslinger: Mainly of the Type C variety but occasionally drifting into Type A and B territory.
  • Handicapped Badass: You see how his mask only has one eyehole? That's because his wife shot out the other eye. Doesn't slow him down.
  • Harmful to Minors: He pumped his daughter full of mind control steroids and let her carry around a chunk of cancerous meteorite in her eye socket, the eye which she gouged out herself so as to make her "just like him." Slade still claims he had Rose's situation "under control." It's also implied he ordered the hit on her foster parents.
  • Hero Killer: He's killed a couple of heroes, including Phantom Lady and Ryan Choi's Atom. Then in the trailer for DC Universe Online, he almost kills Batman.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Is he a good(-ish) guy? A bad guy? Somewhere in between? The answer tends to change. For his part, Wintergreen has decided that Slade's just a violent man who has only ever been on his own side.
  • Heel Realization: After witnessing Terra die because she let her hatred consume her, and seeing Jericho use his powers to possess his own father, Slade realized what a similar situation he was in with his hatred for the Titans and stopped going after them, opting to retire. He even lets Beast Boy have a free shot to gun him down while unarmed, and has to admit he never saw himself as a bad guy. Later the man would come out of retirement as an anti-hero and frequent ally to the Titans. It didn't stick, however; the 2003 reboot undid that.
  • Hired Gun: The guy will fight for whoever pays him.
  • Human Head on the Wall: Deathstroke was possessed by his son Jericho, who murdered Slade's loyal butler Wintergreen and mounted his head on a wall.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He's a damn good shot with just about any type of firearm. To give one example, in Young Justice (2010) he's introduced by shooting a shuriken thrown by Sportsmaster with a handgun. Pretty impressive for a guy who only has one eye.
  • Invincible Villain: In the hands of clumsy writing he can be this. His most infamous showing was in Identity Crisis, in which he single-handledly beat Green Lantern, The Flash, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Zatanna, and The Atom with minimal effort. In this fight, he demonstrated faster reflexes than Wally West and enough willpower to convince a Green Lantern ring to not attack him. The encounter ends with the entire Justice League on the floor spitting up blood, and Slade quipping that this League, made up mostly of new faces (in Comic-Book Time terms, anyway) to superheroing, is so much weaker than the old one... despite the fact that many of them (Wally in particular) are far more powerful than their predecessors. You'd also think that an arrow to the eye would have done something more than force him to retreat, but he was just fine afterwards.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Something that seems to carry through his incarnations. It's always applied when he gets into a feud, however, especially if it concerns the Titans. Grant took a contract on the team from H.I.V.E., the organisation that also later gave Grant powers similar to his father. When fighting the Titans, Grant's body fails him as a result of the serum that gave him his powers. Does Slade blame H.I.V.E., the organisation that used the unstable formula on Grant? No. Does he blame himself for his awful parenting that led to Grant running away from home to be a mercenary? No. Does he accept that Grant made his own choices? No. He blames the Titans because... reasons?
  • It's Personal: He originally went after the Titans because his son got killed going after them and he views them as having taken his family away from him. Slade realizes he went too far when Adeline and Jericho help Nightwing fight him, and Jericho possesses him.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • While below it's mentioned he eventually dealt with some karma for The Judas Contract, in the long run Slade got away with raping a mentally unstable teenage girl he trafficked and groomed while said teenage girl was forever remembered as an insane sociopath. Even when Beast Boy asked about Slade's "relationship" with Terra, the fact that Slade was old enough to be Terra's father was never really commented on.
    • The second Titans volume may have ended with Slade's overall goals failing, but he still gets away with the brutal murder of Ryan Choi. This is later addressed in Convergence, when Slade gets his ass kicked by both Ray Palmer and a newly Back from the Dead Ryan.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He received no long-lasting consequences after The Judas Contract, the arc in which he was the Big Bad, with it all being brushed under the rug or pinned on Terra, and for a while was even friends with the heroes he'd attempted to have killed. On the other hand, the Titans for a while made it clear they wouldn't hold back if he ever fought them again, and Beast Boy was prepared to murder him; they make good on that threat when he seemingly shoots Impulse; even when they learn it was Jericho in Slade's body, the Titans reestablish their hostility and kill him in a Bad Future. Jericho also joins the Titans after helping fight HIVE, establishing his side.
  • Knee-capping: He once shot Impulse in the kneecap while brainwashed by Jericho. To add insult to injury, thanks to the accelerated healing abilities of the Flash Family, the doctors in the ER had to re-break it repeatedly because it kept healing automatically but incorrectly.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Things are never Lighter and Softer when Slade's around. Never.
    • ...except in Tiny Titans, where he's the school principal.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's not quite as good at this as some other DC characters. Most of his targets tend to be damaged teenagers a generation or two younger than him, hardly the most challenging targets. When his powers of persuasion aren't enough to get them to work for him, he's not above using blackmail, death threats, mind controlling drugs, and Psycho Serum to force them to join him. However, he can sometimes get the better of grown adults in his scheming, such as in his second appearance in NTT #10 where he plays the HIVE for chumps.
  • Master Swordsman: He's up there with the best of them. Even when you think you've dodged his sword strike, you'll soon find he never really missed and was actually aiming for another part of your arsenal, which is now rendered unusable.
  • May–December Romance: Shortly after his introduction it was revealed that both Slade and Terra had shared an intimate relationship, despite Terra being fifteen years old and Slade having joined the Army in the late 1950s, early 1960s. Rebirth retcons this, so that he never slept with her and only kissed her in order to manipulate her into helping him.
  • Military Supervillain: An ex-military that has attended at Korea and Vietnam wars. Here, Slade mastered every fighting form of guerrilla warfare presented to him and was soon promoted becoming a legend in the Army. Indeed, was chosen for a secret experiment in an attempt to create a meta human Super Soldier.
  • Mind Screw: Break Them by Talking, Mind Rape, manipulation, yeah, conversations with Slade tend not to be so good for people's sanity.
  • Mirror Universe: In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Slade is the President of the United States.
  • Morality Chain: Wintergreen is this for the entire Wilson family. His Undying Loyalty makes him complicit in Slade's shadier dealings, but he always tries to bring out the best in him and his children. Wintergeen's death at the hands of the Jericho-possessed Deathstroke pre-Flashpoint destroyed any chance that Slade could ever go through a true Heel–Face Turn. Rose at least managed to eventually turn good.
  • Moral Myopia: Deathstroke's beef with the Titans started because his son Grant died trying to kill them. Note that the Titans didn't actually kill Grant - he died from the Super Serum H.I.V.E. injected into him to give him the same powers as his father. For this, Slade felt he was justified in planting a mole in their team and plotting their deaths.
  • Motive Decay: He started out as a ruthless, though not wholly unscrupulous, an assassin who only came into conflict with the Titans as part of fulfilling a contract that his son died trying to complete, having blamed them for his death, and seemed to value his reputation above all. When he dropped the contract and finally made peace with his son's death, he actually became rather amiable towards his former targets. Then he became a Card-Carrying Villain and doing things like injecting his only surviving child with a Psycho Serum and implanting a chunk of radioactive kryptonite in her eye socket and nuking Bludhaven to spite Nightwing (a character he had previously had a lot of respect for).
    • Following the reboot, Deathstroke is back to being a Consummate Professional who's concerned with maintaining his reputation as he gets older. No connection to the Titans, though he still can't maintain a decent relationship with his family.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: In Teen Titans (2003), Young Justice (2010) and Arrow, Deathstroke's trademark blue and orange costume is replaced with black body armor.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: It's not unusual for Deathstroke to be carrying pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, etc... all at the same time.
  • The Musketeer: He is skilled in the use of both melee weapons and guns and regularly carries examples of both types at once.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: His suit in the New 52 runs is (Depending on the Writer) made of Nth metal (the stuff that comprises Hawkman's mace and flight harness) or Promethium (the metal that comprises Cyborg's body). The DC Rebirth run has him upgrading to a "gravity sheath" suit from Dr. Ikon, which allows him to take blows from Superman of all people.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Deathstroke the Terminator.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Another one of those things that depends on the writer. During the controversial Titans issue where he murdered Ryan Choi, Deathstroke notably spared the life of Choi's girlfriend Amanda, stating that she had nothing to do with the battle.
  • Never My Fault:
    • His entire motivation for hating the Teen Titans and trying to kill them was that he blamed them for the loss of his family. In reality, Deathstroke himself was the one who drove them away with his life as an amoral mercenary. He got a Heel Realization about this when Jericho and Adeline defied him. Averted in one storyline when he eventually realized he was a terrible father. He enacted a scheme to endear his remaining two children to the Teen Titans so they could have the family he couldn't give them.
    • This has also been averted in his 2014 series, where he acknowledges that he's been a terrible father and desperately tries to protect both of his children, ultimately ripping out his newly restored eye with his bare hands when the Olympian gods demand he provide a sacrifice in the form of one of his two living children.
  • Never Say "Die": In the animated version of Teen Titans, he was never called "Deathstroke" or "the Terminator", merely "Slade". Since without the "Wilson", "Slade" just sounds like another codename, it didn't feel too out of place. In the French dub of the show, however, he is called Deathstroke.
  • Nothing Personal: When he spears Phantom Lady through her torso, she asks him why. He responds with this:
    "Sorry, darlin'. Just business."
  • Old Soldier: He joined the Army in the fifties and fought in Vietnam. Just now, though, he is a soldier of fortune. For contrast, he was in the army before most of the Teen Titans were born.
    Deathstroke: [to Batman] You've trained yourself to fight. I've trained myself to kill.
  • Older Than They Look: He served in Vietnam, yet his healing factor has slowed his aging.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: No one will ever forget that he worked with a teenager and slept with her, as she infiltrated the Titans. Beast Boy calls him out for it in the 2003 reboot of how he likes hurting kids and blames someone else for his actions.
  • One-Man Army: When you take down the entire Justice League single-handed it is safe to say that you are this.
  • Only in It for the Money: This is a motivation he frequently has Depending on the Writer. In some stories, the easiest way for Batman and Robin to get Deathstroke to stop hunting his mark is to pay him off.
  • Pet the Dog: After he's let out of prison, Beast Boy challenges him to a Duel to the Death and is on the verge of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. Slade knows Beast Boy blames him for Terra's death and betrayal...and goes to meet him anyway. Wintergreen begs him not to because he knows it won't end well. Deathstroke ignores Wintergreen and shows up unarmed, challenging Beast Boy to strike him down. Gar ends up being unable to do it because he can't attack a defenseless man and is mad at himself for not being a killer. Slade then treats him to breakfast and talks him through his understandable anger and grief; while it's not cool that Slade scapegoated Terra, he tells Beast Boy that revenge helps no one in the long run and the kid shouldn't throw his life away for a dead girl.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: While he is an equal opportunity criminal mercenary, he holds a personal grudge against the Teen Titans (and former Teen Titans) who are all much younger than him — especially Dick Grayson. Hell, he supplies the current page image for this trope.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: He can be portrayed as someone who can hold his own against members of the Justice League of America, and be able to knock out the Flash, but also struggle against someone like Nightwing.
  • President Evil: Inverted in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where his Good Counterpart is President Wilson.
  • Pressure Point: He knows how to apply them.
  • Professional Killer: According to Bart Allen in one Teen Titans comic, Deathstroke is the best assassin in the world and if someone wants someone else dead they call him. If they can't afford Slade they call Deadshot, and if they can't afford him they call Merlyn.
  • Psycho for Hire: He's an international hitman and one of the DCU's most well-known villains.
  • Psycho Serum: The formula used in the military experiment left him a crippled wreck for months or years, with brief periods of increased strength and intelligence. Later, after the military cut him lose, Slade revealed that he'd started faking the bouts of weakness at some point to get out on his own.
  • Private Military Contractor
  • Race Lift: White in the comics and animated series. Played by mixed-race actor Manu Bennett in Arrow.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He took advantage of Terra's mental instability and groomed her for a sexual relationship, raping her on multiple occasions and getting away with it because everyone focused on her being "insane." Decades later during DC Rebirth the relationship was retconned so that Slade only kissed her to make Terra calm down after rejecting her advances, and yet now those who were aware of what he did felt Slade crossed a line.
  • Red Baron: The Terminator.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: He once assassinated a philanthropist who was reverse engineering super-villain technology for benevolent causes (i.e. using freeze guns to reverse polar ice cap melting). No reason was given as to why Deathstroke was hired to kill the philanthropist.
  • Revenge Myopia:
    • In his first story arc, Deathstroke blamed the Titans for the death of his eldest son Grant. Except a) the only reason Grant died was because he underwent the same super soldier experiment that gave Slade his powers but which proved fatal to Grant and b) Grant died trying to kill the Titans. And despite not wanting his son to follow the same path as him, Slade chooses to blame the Titans for Grant's death rather than go after H.I.V.E., the organization that performed the fatal experiment on Grant.
    • In Infinite Crisis, Slade destroyed Blüdhaven, the city Nightwing protected by dropping the super villain Chemo, a monster made of radioactive energies, into it. When confronted by Batman, Nightwing and Robin (Tim Drake) Slade goes into a rant about how Nightwing had turned his family against him when in reality Slade had either turned his back on his family or did a good enough job of making them hate him himself. Interestingly Slade did learn a lesson after this, arranging a complex gambit to get his children Jericho and Rose to fully embrace the Titans as family because he felt he couldn't be a good father to them.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Slade started out as a Teen Titans rogue, turned towards antiheroism, and then became (after Identity Crisis) a sort of generic DC Universe villain, being as much of a dick to as many superheroes as he could manage. It should be noted that he's never let go of his grudge against the Titans since he never completed his contract against them (a bit of a blow to his merc cred). He even went so far as to harass Damian Wayne, his Arch-Enemy Nightwing's protege.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: He's been involved in piracy once or twice in his career. Notably in Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Legend of the Ravager.
  • Shoulders of Doom: In the New 52 continuity, Depending on the Artist.
  • Silver Fox: He's usually portrayed as being well into middle age or older and with grey hair but he is ruggedly handsome and in excellent shape.
  • The Sociopath: His earliest characterization painted him as this before his evolution into a '90s Anti-Hero or Noble Demon Anti-Villain in later appearances. His Sociopath status is now Depending on the Writer (Christopher Priest, for example, has gone on the record saying he thinks Slade Wilson is "ultimately amoral and a sociopath" and that's what he writes him as.)
  • Stealth Expert: Slade is exceptionally skilled at sneaking up on enemies and disappearing just as quickly.
  • The Stoic: In contrast to Marvel's Deadpool wackiness, Deathstroke is often portrayed as cold and calculating and often emotionless. This allows him to be an effective assassin and mercenary.
  • The Strategist: Slade is the greatest strategist and tactician. Always calculating his opponents moves before hand; he has been compared to Batman in terms of tactical methods. Even against metahumans he has proven more than a match for them all at once with time to prepare. Roy Harper once claimed the Slade was, "The worlds greatest tactician."
  • Strong and Skilled: He has enhanced abilities and is a highly trained soldier with years of combat training and experience in numerous martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Ninjitsu, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Taekwondo, Boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu. He can go toe to toe and even defeat some of the best martial artists in the DCU, including Batman himself.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: As dangerous of a fighter and as popular as he can be, Deathstroke is still subject to this from time to time. At his best, he'll be written to defeat some of DC's top martial artists like Batman or Bronze Tiger, trip up and take out speedsters like The Flash, stalemate Superman, and out-fight scores of some of the most powerful heroes alive, including members of the Justice League and/or the Teen Titans (and if certain hallucinogenic tests are to be believed, he'd just as easily kill scores of heavy hitter supervillains including Ultra-Humanite, Zoom, Black Manta, and Vandal Savage with only minimal Ikon Suit power). Then other times, a few no-name characters will be able to get the drop on him and/or pose a serious enough threat to him that one has to seriously wonder if the guy having trouble fighting a D-Lister villain is the same Deathstroke who could make defeating Flash or Green Lantern look easy.
  • Superhero Team Uniform: "Deathstroke's Teen Titans" wear black and white suits.
  • Super Reflexes: Deathstroke possesses enhanced reflexes, flawless dexterity and coordination. His reaction speed allows him to automatically and casually dodge point blank gunfire from multiple assailants.
  • Super Strength: On the low end of the spectrum but he's still much stronger than any human. Black Canary even commented when fighting him that she'd forgotten how powerful his blows are.
  • Super Soldier: When in the army he took part in an experiment designed to create meta-human supersoldiers. He's slightly above maximum human physical ability and has a healing factor with inconsistent strength.
  • Sword and Gun: Seems to have a preference for a broadsword and a Colt .45 autoloader.
    "Do you prefer steel or lead?"
  • Team Dad: Evil version. During the Titans East storyline, he even acted more fatherly towards Inertia than he did to his own children as part of his plan to get the Titans to accept them. He gave the little psycho the serum he needed for Super Speed while warning him not to abuse it, advised him to dump his even more psychotic girlfriend, and hooked him up with the Rogues in Central City once everything went south for Titans East.
    • Word of God from Eric Wallace specifically described Slade as this for his mercenary in the most twisted sense possible.
  • The Unapologetic: One of Slade's biggest flaws is his absolute refusal to apologize for his actions. The most glaring case of this would be his manipulation of Rose, where even after she had a psychotic breakdown and gouged out her own eye, Slade continued to insist he "had it under control." As far as he's concerned, everyone else should be apologizing for not going along with his plans.
  • The Vietnam Vet: As mentioned, he fought in Vietnam alongside Wintergreen. This also applies to his Arkhamverse counterpart, who compares Batman to a troublesome Viet Cong member.
  • The Vietnam War: Slade's a Nam Vet. He also met Wintergreen there and he first met Kane when she was training American soldiers in new fighting techniques for deployment in Indochina.
  • Villain Protagonist: Four ongoings, a Flashpoint miniseries, and a Faces of Evil one-shot.
  • Walking Armory: Slade never has just one or two weapons on him.
  • Warrior Therapist: Evil version.
  • Why Won't You Die?: He actually asks this to a alternate universe version of himself, which doesn't look at all like Deadpool.
    Deathstroke: Will you please just die!
    Earth-3 Deathstroke: Why do you hate yourself so much?
  • Writing Around Trademarks: He was originally just The Terminator. Unfortunately, the movie made that problematic, so he was termed "Deathstroke the Terminator". However, these days he's best known as just his first name, Slade, with "Deathstroke the Terminator" usually just the title of the comic.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He'll also abuse them to the point that they go insane if he feels that it is necessary.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Despite having a Healing Factor his eye never seems to grow back. This may be psychological, as it happened as a result of his son being crippled and he may feel he deserves it.

The Wilson Family

    Adeline Wilson nee Kane

The wife and former senior officer of Slade Wilson's, she also later becomes the leader of H.I.V.E. She maintains a strained relationship with Slade, and is also the person who damaged his right eye.

  • Driven to Madness: She at one point received a blood transfusion from Slade, with said blood containing the same serum that heightened his reflexes and made him immortal. It made her insane.
  • It's Personal: Sums up her entire approach getting Slade imprisoned.
  • Mama Bear: She shot out Slade's right eye because his stubbornness is what led to Joseph getting his throat slashed.
  • Parental Favoritism: Adeline was closer to Joey than she was to Grant.

    Grant Wilson (Ravager)

Slade and Adeline's oldest son, Grant took after his father and became a mercenary. While he doesn't possess any of his father's enhancements, he's still a skilled mercenary. Famously died performing a contract on the Teen Titans, which led to his father taking on said contract.


  • Jerkass: From what we see of him when he's alive, he emotionally abused his girlfriend, antagonized Starfire when she came to Earth, was very gung-ho about following in his father's footsteps so that he could kill people, and blamed the Titans for his own failings to the point where he tried to kill them and died with nothing but hatred in his heart.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He's killed off pretty soon after being introduced, and most of what we learn about him is through his family.


  • Abusive Dad: His Rebirth incarnation is verbally and physically abused by Slade.
  • Posthumous Character: He's long dead, and we only see him in some flashbacks through Slade.
  • The Un-Favourite: His Rebirth incarnation comes off as easily his father's least favourite child, and is seemingly more often berated by Slade than Joe is, though Slade does come to care for him after his death.

    Joseph "Joey" Wilson (Jericho)

Slade and Adeline's youngest son, Joseph Wilson is able to control people's bodies through eye contact. He was a longtime member of the Teen Titans, although he occasionally found himself fighting against them.


  • Archnemesis Dad: He explicitly joined the team to stop Deathstroke, his estranged father.
  • Body Surf: What his power amounts to. When eye contact is made, Jericho is able to enter another's body and control their motor functions (except their speech). If the person is unconscious when Jericho enters, he can also speak through them, but retains any speech patterns the person may have (such as an impediment, lisp or accent).
  • Camp Straight: Is a sensitive artist who was almost also homosexual, but his creators decided against it in fear of fueling the sensitive artsy gay stereotype. Jericho was instead shown to be a ladies' man and had romantic ties with Raven and Kole.
  • The Casanova: Manages to attract quite the women in his time.
  • Cute Mute: He was mute due to his prideful father not wanting to divulge his employer and thinking that he could save his son before he was killed.
  • Eye Scream: At the end of "Deathtrap" in Titans vol. 2. He got better, at any rate (with a previously-unheard of ability to regrow the eyes).
  • Hand Signals: These are a necessity, due to the mute factor. Perez also insisted on utilizing them for the character in lieu of constant thought bubbles and internal monologues, allowing the readers to pay more attention to Jericho's hand signs and body language.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Has it just as bad, if not worse than Raven. He started out good but was driven insane by evil spirits from Raven's father's home dimension. After his father killed him to stop his rampage Jericho clung to existence as an evil spirit being. Years later he was revived and purified of his evil. Then he went evil again due to spending too much time in Superboy's clone Match. Now, he's well...kind of a mess to be honest. It's not clear at this time whether he's good, evil, or even functional.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: One of the things he's most known for were his muttonchops from the 80's.
  • Shown Their Work: The sign language he uses is accurate.
  • Technical Pacifist
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Raven. Their relationship hasn't been mentioned at all since the NTT era.
  • White Sheep: Was the least violent of the Wilsons. Although, his stint of evil at the start of volume 3, Deathtrap, and the New 52 avert this.


  • Adaptational Sexuality: The DC Rebirth relaunch of Deathstroke establishes that Jericho is pansexual and has a rather fluid view on sexuality in general.
  • Body Surf: A power consistent across all of his post-Flashpoint incarnations is that he still has this power.
  • Continuity Snarl: When first introduced, he's not mute but is otherwise the same kid. Then he was reintroduced again, but his real name is Jericho. By the Rebirth series, he's back to being Joseph Wilson, mute guy who possesses people, with Jericho as a former superhero identity he used.
  • Cool Big Bro: He acts as this to Rose.
  • Daddy Issues: Oh, yes. While he was seemingly treated better than Grant, he still doesn't seem to particularly like his father, and helps Superman to capture him. However, he also really cares about his father's approval.
    • His wish for that approval likely flew straight out the window after Slade repeatedly slept with his fiancee, and then seemingly killed her (he insists he didn't). He straight up tried to kill him after the fact.
  • Hand Signals: Once he's written as mute again. However, he also possesses a device that broadcasts his intended thoughts, though he does still use a translator.
  • Heroic BSoD: Suffers a relatively minor one after he beats the stuffing out of his father Slade for seemingly killing his fiancee on the day of their wedding and almost killing Rose for trying to calm him down. By the time of The Lazarus Contract he seems to be better though.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Jericho believes that he's just like Slade, and makes it his life mission to never become him. Wally doesn't believe he's anything like him, at least.
  • Parental Favouritism: Seems to have been Slade's favourite son, as he wasn't averse to the rougher lifestyle Slade preferred, while Grant was.

    Rose Wilson (Ravager)

Rose Wilson is the daughter of Slade Wilson and Lillian Worth, a Hmong woman. She has a complicated relationship with her father, but eventually takes up the Ravager name as both a villain and member of the Teen Titans.


  • Anti-Hero: Strongly Type III.
  • Ax-Crazy: Though she got better.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Superboy.
  • The Big Guy
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: When she originally became Ravager, Slade kept pumping her full of the same drugs that enhanced his speed and reflexes. At the same time the drugs made Rose unhinged and psychotic, to the point she stabbed her eye out in a desperate attempt to prove to her father they were the same. It's telling once the drugs wore off she was horrified beyond belief at what she'd done to herself and tried to leave Slade before he forcefully gave her another injection. What made Rose agree to let Slade use the serum on her the first time was after he'd orchestrated the deaths of her foster parents by anonymously hiring his brother Wade, and tricked Rose into killing Wade thinking he was working alone.
  • Daddy's Girl: When she was Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Dark Action Girl: She became this when she took on the Ravager name.
  • Depending on the Artist: Her eyes alternated between being colored blue or green, until colorists finally settled on blue. Her later appearances had her sometimes looking like a younger teenage girl and shorter, or being taller with a bit more muscle. And there's whether or not her pre-Flashpoint self looked as white as Wonder Girl, or if her Cambodian ancestry was even slightly reflected.
  • Dual Wielding / Katanas Are Just Better: She currently wields twin energy katanas that can cut through anything except flesh, and briefly merge into an energy shield.
  • Eye Scream: In pre-Flashpoint continuity, while under the influence of Psycho Serum, she cut out her own eye to earn Deathstroke's approval.
  • Eyepatch of Power
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: During Rose Wilson's time with the Teen Titans, her relationship with her team mates is strained. Rose has the most antagonistic relationship with Wonder Girl (Cassandra "Cassie" Sandsmark). Sadly, even when it appears that Rose is making peace with Wonder Girl, Cassandra revealed she still dislikes her and does not trust her. Another example is when Rose befriends another team mate like Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), only for Jaime to revealed (thankfully not to her) that he is afraid of her. The only friend she has on the team is Kid Devil / Red Devil (Eddie Bloomberg). It gets so bad she quits the team. When Rose considers coming back on the team, they vote on whether to let her back in, while letting Bombshell (Amy Sue Allen), who betrayed and tried to kill them, back on the team. Ironically, Bombshell framed Rose as the one who betrayed the Teen Titans. As Rose points out, it's telling that they let a former traitor back on the team, something even Bombshell acknowledges, pointing out that if they give her a chance, Rose deserves the same chance. After an altercation with Bombshell, staged to ensure her loyalty to the team, Rose leaves to find her own way in life.
  • Headbutting Heroes: With Wonder Girl.
  • Hired Guns:
  • Legacy Character: She is the fourth character with this name. Ravager was originally the alter-ego of another Deathstroke's son, Grant Wilson ,while working as a mercenary for H.I.V.E. assigned to kill the Teen Titans until his death. Bill Walsh, a terrorist responsible for slitting Jericho's throat as a child, later used the identity to attack Deathstroke by taking advantage of his vulnerability. Slade's half-brother Wade La Farge also used the identity to target him, although he was later killed for this.
  • Macho Masochism: While drugged with Psycho Serum, Ravager demonstrates her loyalty and worthiness to her father by gouging out her own eye.
  • Master Swordsman
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After she gouged her eye out the Psycho Serum Slade used on her was starting to wear off, and after realizing what she did to herself she was horrified, stating she'd never try to make herself like Slade. He responded by drugging her again.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Her time with the Teen Titans was very strained because Wonder Girl and Robin treated her actions under Slade's control as if she'd committed every murder of her own free will, despite knowing what Slade did to her. It got so bad Rose briefly left and allied herself with Clock King after hearing Cassandra and Tim say she was a lost cause.
  • Seers: She has limited precognition (usually a few seconds at most).
    • Combat Clairvoyance: She is sometimes able to use her precognitive abilities to 'see' her opponent's next moves, although her visions come and go.
  • Ship Tease: In the last period pre-New 52, Rose seems to have developed a flirtatious relationship with Kid Flash, who has remarked that her eye-patch is "sexy". She also begins flirting with Superboy for a brief period.
  • Villainous Lineage: Discussed and used against her. People were willing to write Rose off as a lost cause after she became Ravager simply because she was Deathstroke's daughter. Slade especially believed Rose was always destined to be a killer because of their relation. Even after it became common knowledge that Slade drove her nuts by constantly drugging her, people such as Wonder Girl continued to look down on Rose feeling she's psychotic anyway just because she has her dad's blood in her.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Injected with the same serum that enhanced her father Deathstroke, Rose has increased reflexes, stamina, and strength, but is also prone to psychotic episodes.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Rose has beautiful white hair, but is an unrepentant Professional Killer and Blood Knight.


  • Adaptational Villainy: In the New 52, she is a teenaged mercenary hired by the shadowy organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to act as a handler for Superboy after he destroyed the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. lab used to create him in self-defense.
  • Ax-Crazy: In the New 52 she starts this way and stayed it for a long time.
    • She's calmer in Rebirth, although her father's machinations do push her. She later develops a split personality and/or gets possessed by an ancient Hmong warrior-queen.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Superboy.
  • Blood Knight: In the New 52.
  • The Chosen Many: Inverted. Initially, being a Ravager just means being a member of the Ravagers, a team of Elite Mooks. When she eventually starts going by Ravager, no mention is made of any previous user of the name. By the time of Rebirth, the name is still solely used by her, though Grant does exist and is indeed a dead mercenary. Whether he ever used the name is up in the air.
  • Continuity Snarl: Along with all of the Wilson family, her New 52 history was very unstable. Initially, it was said that Adeline was her mother and she works for an organisation called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. as part of a group called the Ravagers. She makes little mention of this when she later shows up in the second Deathstroke series. The Rebirth series specifically says Lillian Worth is once again her mother, and presents an entirely different backstory for her, aside from being Slade's daughter.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's a strange case. She's a mercenary... but seemingly prefers to not kill and takes jobs to prevent contract killings. She's not averse to killing, however, and will maim at the drop of a dime.
    • Her "Willow" persona has none of her scruples, and Rose is horrified that she killed multiple people in that state—including Joey's fiance.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: She married Hosun, Slade's former tech guy. Although the motive was obstensibly (to Hosun) avoid getting murdered by Slade, and (to Rose) to piss Slade off, they got along well. Rose breaks down when he is killed.
  • Race Lift: Her mixed heritage was erased in the New 52 after DC made her Adeline Kane's daughter instead of Lilian Worth's. Following Rebirth, Lillian was her mom again and Rose's mixed ethnicity restored.
  • Seers: She has limited precognition, which is later explained as her brain going into overdrive and analysing every detail it can to give her a clear mental picture of probable events.
    • Combat Clairvoyance: It seems like her 'visions' only activate around danger, or at least what she interprets as danger.
  • Vitriolic Best Friends: With Fairchild, to the point that Fairchild left something behind for Rose to find if anything happened to her.
    • Is this with Terra too in the Rebirth comics. Despite them acting as The Rival towards each other, Rose shows that she actually does trust Terra when they're tackling missions together, is comfortable sitting next to her on a bus and talking (even if the two of them still have nothing nice to say to each other), and even refers to Terra as her "friend" when she demands an enemy let her go.


    William Wintergreen

Slade's close friend and a former SAS officer, he essentially serves as Slade's assistant.

  • Battle Butler: Was a trained SAS officer.
  • Evil Counterpart: With Slade being an essentially evil Batman (with enhancements), Wintergreen is his Alfred. While he's British, polite and caring, he's also not averse to harsher acts, and clearly has no problem with Slade's activities.
    • Even Evil Has Standards: That said, Wintergreen still sees red lines that oughtn't be crossed and is distressed when Slade appears to cross them, though he still serves him out of loyalty. A notable case of this was "The Judas Contract", where Wintergreen thought it was unwise for Slade to put personal stake and emotional attachment into his contract by doing it out of revenge on the Teen Titans for Grant's death, and for him to be exploiting and romancing a dangerously unstable underage girl in order to advance his plan.
  • Undying Loyalty: For Slade after he'd saved his life from a Vietcong prison camp in the Vietnam War.

    Matthew Bland (The Red Lion)

The dictator of an unnamed country and sort-of friend of Slade Wilson's. Oh, he's also Evil Black Panther.

Other Media:

Western Animation:

Live-Action Films:

Live-Action TV Series:

Video Games:

Alternative Title(s): Deathstroke