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Does the Deathstroke vs. Batman Comic Storyline Hint at the DCEU’s Future?

Does the Deathstroke vs. Batman Comic Storyline Hint at the DCEU’s Future?

For most of his existence, Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator, has primarily been an enemy of the Teen Titans or a fan favorite anti-hero. That’s why it was surprising when Joe Manganiello was cast as Deathstroke in Justice League with an eye towards using him as the lead villain in The Batman. In the comics, Deathstroke and Batman don’t have a lot of history together, but they’re about to get a new reason to fight.

DC has announced a six-part “Deathstroke vs. Batman” storyline that will run through the ongoing Deathstroke series beginning with issue 30. Within that tale, Batman will discover a DNA test that seemingly confirms the identity of Robin a.k.a. Damian Wayne’s real father: Deathstroke. From there, Deathstroke and Batman will clash over Damian’s future as the mystery of his birth unfolds.

Now, because this is comics, it’s not unreasonable to expect some kind of fake out. As far as we know, Talia al Ghul and Slade Wilson have never been lovers, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that Talia’s father, Ra’s al Ghul, or even Talia herself, used some of Slade’s DNA to conceive her child. The knowledge of that might spur Deathstroke to feel as if he truly has a claim on Damian. And considering how messed up Slade’s actual children are, he would probably welcome a fresh start with his previously unknown son.

Physically and mentally, Deathstroke is one of the few adversaries who can truly give Batman a run for his money. That’s probably why he was the initial choice for The Batman‘s big bad. This storyline may not have anything to do with the movies, but it has inadvertently done something that could prove to be very valuable to the DC Extended Universe. It’s given Batman and Deathstroke a personal stake in their battle that they’ve never had before. In the cinematic realm, it’s always a deeper experience when the hero and the villain have well-developed reasons to oppose each other. And it doesn’t get more personal than Batman and Deathstroke fighting over the soul of a boy whom they both claim as their son.

It should be noted that plans for The Batman are seemingly up in the air, and Ben Affleck seems to constantly waver about whether he’ll stay for a solo movie or step out of the role. It’s also unknown if The Batman director Matt Reeves plans to use Deathstroke at all. But given his placement in Justice League and the rumors of a solo film, we’re far from done with Manganiello’s Deathstroke in the DCEU.

The regular Deathstroke creative team of Christopher Priest and Carlo Pagulayan will chronicle Slade’s fight with Batman beginning in Deathstroke #30, which will be released on Wednesday, April 4.

Do you think that this Deathstroke vs. Batman story could make it to the big screen? Share your thoughts below!

Images: DC Comics

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