- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- Slade himself is subject to this a lot. Is he a moral mercenary who just does what he's good at or a completely amoral monster? Does he care for his children or are they just pawns in the games he plays? Depends on who you ask and who's writing him.
- Slade's defeat in Titans East. Was his ultimate goal to try and get the Titans to accept Rose and Jericho so they could give them the family he couldn't? Or was he just lying to himself because he can't handle the idea that his plan fell through again?
- Author's Saving Throw: DC Rebirth retcons his infamous relationship with Terra, showing that while he was fine manipulating her by kissing her, he did not sleep with an underage girl or have any desire to sleep with her, regardless of how much she wanted it.
- Base-Breaking Character: Slade's handling by some writers has divided him into three categories. There are fans who still love him, fans who are unhappy with how he and his family have been handled since Identity Crisis, and those who wish he was dead. What has further broken this base was the infamous Titans: Villains for Hire special where he and his team of mercenaries butchered Ryan Choi.
- The Author's Saving Throw above actually made this worse for some fans who argued the retcon about Slade's relationship with Terra was a cheap cop out so DC could avoid admitting one of their most prolific villains was practically a child molester.
- Cant Un Hear It: If you've seen Teen Titans. You'll most likely be reading every line in Ron Perlman's very serious voice. Alternatively, fans of Arrow probably hear Manu Bennett's voice, which has became equally iconic for the character, albeit for the mercenary versions more than the Chessmaster ones. To a lesser extent, fans of his video game appearances may hear Mark Rolston or J.G. Hertzler from the Arkham and Injustice series that prominently featured him. The late Miguel Ferrer's performance in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract may very well reach this status as well.
- Complete Monster: His Teen Titans incarnation and his incarnation from Son of Batman & Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. See those pages or see here.
- Dork Age: The Titans: Villains For Hire era was one not just for the Titans, but Deathstroke. It was by far the most critically lambasted run of any Titans-related comic and fans hated for how horrible the characters acted (especially Slade orchestrating the gang murder of Ryan Choi) yet were still expected to be sympathetic, plus the stilted writing and horrible artwork.
- Magnificent Bastard:
- In Beware the Batman, Deathstroke, real name Slade Wilson, was once a CIA agent who was booted after his excessive cruelty in the name of protecting his country. Becoming a mercenary for hire soon after, Deathstroke pulled off flawless operations before eventually using his amassed resources to target his former mentor, and the man who got him fired from the CIA, MI-6 agent Alfred Pennyworth. Framing Batman as a villain and seemingly murdering Bruce Wayne, all while masquerading as Dane Lisslow, Deathstroke handily tricks the Dark Knight into lowering his guard in a duel by faking his motivations, and later breaks into the otherwise impenetrable Batcave, captures both Batman and Alfred, and prepares to force the latter to watch as he murders Batman before him as a final vengeance against his former mentor for ruining his life.
- In Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, despite his rather silly portrayal in this series, this is ironically the most competent and relatively successful version of him. Under the alias of film director, Jade Wilson, he played on all the superheroes sense of self-entitlement by filming movies of them which he used as a front to steal the material he needed for his Doomsday device, and even tricked them into helping him build it. Coming into conflict with the Titans, he takes advantage of their childishness by playing silly MIND MANIPULATION games on them, however when the Titans wise up and take the crystal he needs to power up his device, he tricks Robin into letting him go by playing on Robin's desire to have his own movie, and under his Jade Wilson persona he goes the Divide and Conquer route to break him up from his friends. While filming a scene where Robin pretends to open a fake vault, he tricks Robin into letting him into the real Titans vault by setting him up into being knocked by a falling stage light. Upon reacquiring the crystal, he mind controls the entire world using Robin's movie, sans the Titans and the Challengers of the Unknown. He also mind controls Robin by playing on his insecurities again despite Robin knowing what would happen if he gave in. Narrowly losing to the Titans after he all, but succeeded in his world domination scheme, Slade goes out a Graceful Loser, claiming that the Titans "I Am" Song reprise was "monumentally dope".
- Arrow: He introduced himself as The Man Behind the Man to Brother Blood, who was conducting illegal experiments to raise an army of super-soldiers to take over Starling City. He then kidnaps Oliver's sister and reveals her true parentage to her, all in order to cause confusion among the Queen family while he frees all the inmates imprisoned by the Arrow for his super soldier army. He even had Isabel Rochev usurp Oliver's company so that he could use it for his plans, all of it just to make Oliver suffer. By the time Oliver/the Arrow realised the full nature of his plans, he had already set his army upon Starling City. His biggest mistake was that he underestimated Oliver's allies since he was mainly focused on making him suffer more than anything else.
- Memetic Mutation: Jobber Aura, used whenever Slade beats superhumans that should be way above his level. Named after the ridiculous Curb-Stomp Battle he gave an entire team of veteran superheroes in Identity Crisis.
- Most specifically, Slade outdrew the Wally West version of the Flash, a character who can move faster than light and has encountered Slade on several occasions previous, making it clear Wally was holding an Idiot Ball for the fight. While the rest of the fight is also contentious, almost everyone agrees that Wally shouldn't have fallen for this move.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- While Slade has done numerous criminal and downright evil deeds, the fact that he orchestrated the deaths of Rose's foster parents just to make sure she had no choice but to start living with him followed by pumping her full of mind altering drugs and turning her into a psychopath should put him over the line.
- Old school fans can point to him seducing a child into joining and betraying the Teen Titans during The Judas Contract.
- He keeps crossing it with Cassandra Cain and Roy Harper. In Cassandra's case, he pumped her full of the same drugs he used on Rose and turned her into a sadistic villain responsible for framing Tim Drake for murder and trying to kill Supergirl, all because Nightwing broke Slade's hold on Rose. In Roy's case, he exploited Roy's mental breakdown after his daughter died and secretly made him addicted to Bliss, a drug made from human children, as a twisted method to keep Roy under his control.
- Never Live It Down:
- He's popular and all, and it's not that extreme an example... but you will find a lot of people who won't let the character live down sleeping with Terra, a teenager. Although this is usually brought up due to frustrations from the double standards of the situation, and that the other characters will gloss over it while bringing up all the other horrible things Slade's done. The writer's attempts to retcon Terra's behavior as a result of Slade drugging her made the situation look even sketchier than it already was, because if he was drugging her to control her and then slept with her, it makes him a flat out rapist. Even DC's attempt to retcon this further by saying Slade never slept with Terra made it worse, since it felt like a cheap way for the company not to admit they've been hyping up a villain who slept with a teenage girl for decades.
- Slade butchering Ryan Choi and delivering the body in a matchbox to Ryan's arch enemy Dwarfstar. The most infuriating thing about it is Slade was never punished for what he did until Convergence where he was quickly beaten and humiliated by both Atoms.
YMMV / Deathstroke