Who is Deathstroke? An introduction to the newest villain of the DC movie universe

Comic fans got an unexpected start to the week on Monday, whenBen Affleck tweeted rough footage showcasing longtime DC villain Deathstroke.

Soon after Affleck’s social media post, another revelation: The Wrapreported Deathstroke has been lined up as the main villain in Affleck’s solo Batman movie, due out sometime in the next few years. (The news was not confirmed by Warner Bros.) Sometimes known as “Deathstroke the Terminator,” other times by his real name Slade Wilson, Deathstroke has dotted DC comics and TV shows for decades. But who is Deathstroke, a character who will make his DC movie universe debut in the near future? Here’s his story.

Deathstroke the Terminator was created by writer Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 as a primary antagonist for their comic The New Teen Titans. Slade Wilson was a former army colonel who turned mercenary following a military experiment that turned him into a super soldier. Yes, that’s right, kind of like Captain America, but not quite so extreme; Slade mostly has enhanced senses and reflexes, the kind that allow him to remain a top-notch assassin despite missing an eye. Deathstroke is so confident about his ability to thrive with a missing eye, in fact, that his costume makes his loss blatant: He often wears a blue/orange getup with a mask that has only one eye hole. If that costume looks familiar to comic movie fans, it should; the character of Deadpool originally started out as a parody of Deathstroke (hence the similar names, both in and out of costume; Wade Wilson = Slade Wilson). The most famous storyline from that The New Teen Titans era is probably “The Judas Contract,” in which Deathstroke teamed up with a terrakinetic girl named Terra to infiltrate the Titans, to devastating effect.

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