Stealing Flash’s Powers Changed Deathstroke Forever

When Deathstroke steals the Flash's Speed Force, it alters his perspective on life, thus changing him forever. There are few characters within the DC Universe that have gone toe-to-toe with Deathstroke and have lived to talk about it. Deathstroke has fought one-on-one against Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash, for example. However, with each fight, he came way too close to defeating the heroes permanently. Now, Deathstroke is on a mission of good, using his ninja skills for something closer to justice than his usual murder. The beginning of that journey was after Deathstroke stole the Flash’s powers—an event that had a profound effect on the villain.

In The Lazarus Contract written by Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett with art by Paul Pelletier, Deathstroke becomes the reckoning of the Teen Titans after siphoning the Speed Force from Teen Titans member Wally West. Slade Wilson uses his Ikon Suit (a gravity sheath) to steal the power away from the Flash and uses it throughout The Lazarus Contract initially as a villain. However, after experiencing such great power, Deathstroke becomes a changed person. 

Related: Thor vs. Deathstroke: Could DC's Master Assassin Actually Kill a God?

After experiencing the Speed Force during The Lazarus Contract, Slade stops fighting against the Teen Titans and instead turns to speak honestly with them about his experience. Slade tells the team that within the Speed Force, he saw that he deserved to die due to his past actions. Slade then states, “Deathstroke is finished,” drops his mask and leaves the Teen Titans alone. Rather than letting Deathstroke’s revelation slide under the rug and rewrite him in his normal circumstances, DC Comics decided to follow through with his character development. In Slade’s current comic series, he is now using his powers to take down the bad guys.

In Deathstroke Inc. by Joshua Willaimson and Howard Porter, Slade Wilson has created an organization for the sole purpose of taking down his old colleagues who still wish harm on others for their own gain. Partnering with a number of heroic characters like Black Canary and the reformed Harley Quinn, Deathstroke takes the fight to the villains instead of joining them in their vile missions of death and destruction. 

The change in character for Slade Wilson, as seen in his new series, could have been hard to swallow given his previous villainous track record. However, because of his experience with the Speed Force, it is reasonable that Slade would turn over a new leaf having seen and felt something so much bigger than himself. Something that ironically began with an act of villainy, stealing Flash’s powers changed Deathstroke for the better, a change that will seemingly last within the current continuity of DC Comics.

Next: Flash's Darkest Villain Finally Has a Shot at Redemption

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Spencer Connolly (271 Articles Published)

Spencer Connolly is a reader, writer, and lover of all things comics. He started his writing career as an intern for a comic article site. With a background in local news photography, he applied what he learned during his internship to become a news producer. Now, after a few years of professional writing under his belt, he is a member of the Screen Rant team, writing features and news articles for the site.

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