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Deathstroke Reading Order (Slade Wilson)

Deathstroke Reading Order

Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Slade Wilson is Deathstroke the Terminator, the world’s greatest assassin/mercenary and an enemy of the Teen Titans, but also of Batman, the Justice League, and Green Arrow. Introduced as a supervillain, acting sometimes as an anti-hero, always the great strategist and manipulator, Slade Wilson is certainly one of the most emblematic DC’s antagonists.

At 16, young Slade Wilson enlisted in the United States Army and, at some point, was chosen to be part of an experimental super-soldier project where he gained enhanced strength, agility, and intelligence. Father of three children (Joe, Rose and Grant), Wilson’s vendetta against the Titans began when he swore revenge for the death of his oldest son Grant. A real professional who never lost time, Deathstroke has been a member of  Secret Society of Super-Villains, Suicide Squad, Titans East, H.I.V.E., Checkmate, League of Assassins, Defiance, Injustice League, Team 7, and T.R.U.S.T.

Deathstroke had also quite a decent career in other media and has been portrayed, among others, by Manu Bennett on The CW’s Arrow and by Esai Morales on the DC Universe series Titans. He also appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced by J. G. Hertzler, and in the Batman: Arkham franchise.

Today, we explore Slade Wilson’s history with a Deathstroke/Slade Wilson Reading Order, from his villain role in New Teen Titans to his own titles and much more…

Deathstroke Comics Reading Order

I. Deathstroke in New Teen Titans (1980-1992)

Deathstroke made his first appearance in The New Teen Titans #2 in December 1980 and will act as an assassin and the archenemy of the Teen Titans during his first ten years in the DC Universe.

Following is Slade’s New Teen Titans appearances during that time:

  • First appearances: New Teen Titans #2, #9 (cameo),  #10, #34, #39
  • The Judas Contract storyline: Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44, Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3
  • Trial of Deathstroke, the aftermath of Judas Contract: Tales of the Teen Titans #51-55 (#51 & #52 for the storyline)

Crisis on Infinite Earths Icon Reading OrderThis is where Crisis On Infinite Earths takes place (see reading order), but it is without consequences for Deathstroke. The character only appears in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 and #9.

  • Titans Plague storyline: New Titans #62-65
  • Prelude to Deathstroke the Terminator Series: New Titans #70 (see below)
  • Titans Hunt storyline: New Titans Vol. 1 #71-84

Deathstroke in The Judas Contract.

You can find a big part of those issues in omnibus (Titans Plague and Titans Hunt are not collected yet):

  • New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 1
    Collects New Teen Titans #1-20, Best of DC (Blue Ribbon Digest) #18, and Tales of the New Teen Titans #1-4.
  • New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 2
    Collects New Teen Titans #21-40, Tales Of The New Teen Titans #41, New Teen Titans Annual #1-2 And Batman And The Outsiders #5,
  • New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3
    Collects Tales Of The Teen Titans #42-68, The New Teen Titans (Second Series) #1-9 And Tales Of The Teen Titans Annual #3. With the Judas Contract and Trial of Deathstroke

Also collected in trade paperbacks (though Deathstroke is not present in every volume):

Deathstroke Icon 55px - Reading Orde

II. Deathstroke The Terminator (1991-1996)

Deathstroke became a popular character and received his own series in 1991. Deathstroke the Terminator was written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Steve Erwin (until issue #34), Sergio Cariello, Mike Huddleston, and more. If you haven’t read the New Teen Titans, this series is a good entry point to know more about Slade Wilson, as it retold his traumatic past and re-established his relationship with his right-hand man Wintergreen.

Deathstroke Icon - Reading Order Comic Book TreasuryAfter issue #40, the series is retitled Deathstroke the Hunted, then only Deathstroke for issues #46–60. The series was canceled after issue #60. Issues #35-60 are not collected yet.


Deathstroke appears in other DC titles during those years, including:

  • The Character plays a part in Superman: Panic in the Sky
  • This is Deathstroke vs. Nightwing in The New Titans #86
  • Green Lantern #41-42, Green Arrow #84-85
  • Showcase ‘93 #6-11

Deathstroke Icon 55px - Reading Orde

III. Deathstroke as a guest star (1997-2010)

It will take 15 years before Deathstroke headlines his own title again, following Deathstroke The Terminator‘s cancellation. It doesn’t mean that Slade Wilson disappeared from the DC Universe, but that he popped up in multiple titles, going against the Titans, Batman and Nightwing:

Identity Crisis! Deathstroke is hired as a bodyguard by Doctor Light and kicked ass in this DC event (see Identity Crisis reading order), fighting and almost defeating all the Justice League. The mercenary doesn’t appear in all the event’s issues, but it’s an important story for the character, as it established his rivalry with Green Arrow.

Infinite Crisis Logo Reading OrderInfinite Crisis! Deathstroke is a founding member of the Secret Society of Super Villains and hire Nightwing to train his daughter Rose. Naturally, this story doesn’t end well, taking place during the massive Infinite Crisis event. For more information, you can check out our complete Infinite Crisis Reading Order. Deathstroke appears in more issues taking place in this event, but what follows is, in my knowledge, the most important:

Deathstroke Icon - Reading Order Comic Book TreasuryOne Year after Infinite Crisis, Oliver Queen is now mayor of Star City, and Deathstroke is aiming for an assassination! Deathstroke is also active in Teen Titans, as he creates a group that he called “Titans East” to take down the Teen Titans. The team consists of Match, Risk, Kid Crusader, Duela Dent, Enigma, Sungirl, Inertia, and Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)

Titans East - Deathstroke Reading Order

Deathstroke Icon - Reading Order Comic Book TreasuryDeathstroke appears in a one-shot during Final Crisis (see reading order) in which Geo-Force confronts Deathstroke, and it is followed by another one-shot handling the aftermath of that fight:

Blackest Night Reading OrderBlackest Night tie-in! This is time for a family reunion for Slade Wilson and his daughter Rose during this Green Lantern event (see reading order),

Deathstroke Icon - Reading Order Comic Book TreasuryVillains for Hire! Following the Black Lanterns’ encounter, Slade begins forming a new team of Titans consisting of Jericho, Cheshire, Tattooed Man and the new villain Cinder.

Flash Barry Allen - Flashpoint Reading OrderFlashpoint! The DC Universe has been altered and Deathstroke is the captain of a pirate ship in search of his daughter in that timeline. For more information about this event, which lead us into the New 52 era, check out our reading order.

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IV. Deathstroke during The New 52 (2011-2016)

The DC Universe has been rebooted, with a new continuity in the New 52 era! In this brand new world, Deathstroke is known as a top mercenary around the world, but his origin’s story has been in part rewritten, first in Deathstroke (vol. 2) #0 and again in Teen Titans: Deathstroke #1. What matters the most here is, finally, after all these years, Slade Wilson has his own title. Deathstroke Vol. 2 was written by Kyle Higgins (#1-8), Rob Liefield (#9-14, 0) and Justin Jordan (#15-20), and past Higgins, let’s say the run doesn’t have a great reputation.

Forever Evil! The Crime Syndicate comes from Earth-3 to take over this world, and faces Lex Luthor and his Injustice League. Guess in which side is Deathstroke? (and see the reading order for more information.)

Deathstroke Icon - Reading Order Comic Book TreasuryFor a very short time, Deathstroke joins the Suicide Squad, before headlining his own title, this time a more popular action-packed series written by Tony S. Daniel.

Tony S. Daniel’s run on Deathstroke has also been collected in omnibus:


Before a new relaunch, Deathstroke made a few optional appearances in other titles:

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Deathstroke Rebirth (2016-2021)

A new DC relaunch, a new Deathstroke series. Christopher Priest takes the helm to give us a rich and complex run, sometimes a little bit confusing, but always almost daring and greatly illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan. All of this makes this run one of the best of the DC Rebirth era.

Before jumping in, you can make a detour to read Batman’s The War of Jokes and Riddles storyline, in which Deathstroke plays a supporting role. As Batman retells the event that happened during his second year, this story takes place at a time where Deathstroke was still a rising assassin.

Dark Nights Metal Icon Reading OrderIn one of the oddest DC pairings possible, Aquaman and Deathstroke work together during Dark Nights: Metal (see reading order). From this event span out Year of the Villain (reading order), in which Deathstroke #45-50 are considered ties-in.

Christopher Priest’s run on Deathstroke has also been collected in omnibus:

  • Deathstroke by Christopher Priest Omnibus
    Collects Collects Deathstroke: Rebirth #1, Deathstroke #1-50, Deathstroke Annual #1, DC Holiday Special 2017 #1, Titans #11, Teen Titans #8, 28-30, and Titans: The Lazarus Contract Special #1.

Deathstroke Icon 55px - Reading Orde

 

Infinite Frontier and Beyond (2021-)

Following the recreation of the infinite Multiverse, we enter a new era for DC titled Infinite Frontier. This is not a reboot, but a world where, it seems, almost everything is canon, with the goal to give writers more creative freedom (from DC’s point of view).

For Deathstroke, it means our mercenary is now in the hands of writer Joshua Williamson for his new title Deathstroke Inc and the Bat event, Shadow War. After suffering too many losses, Slade Wilson decides it’s time for a change. When he’s enlisted to work with an ages-old secret organization called TRUST who wants to take down the heavy-hitter villains, he’s all in!

The story continues…


Did we forget an important issue? Did we make a mistake? Let us know in the comments!

Last Updated on May 1, 2024.

5 thoughts on “Deathstroke Reading Order (Slade Wilson)”

  1. Just found out that Deathstroke was important and appeared in Superman: Critical Condition. He is in three of the four issues arc from July 2000: Superman #158, Adventures of Superman #580, Superman: The Man of Steel #102 and Action Comics #767

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