Who Is Deathstroke? Batman's New Big Screen Nemesis

Ben Affleck got the week off to a surprising start when he posted a live action video of Batman villain Deathstroke on social media.

Despite the footage being shot on the set of next year’s ‘Justice League’, a later report confirmed that the reveal was teasing Deathstroke as the main antagonist of the upcoming solo Batman movie.

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Affleck is on board to star of course, but will also write and direct. He’s in the writing process now, and has clearly settled on who his caped crusader will be tangling with.

It’s an unexpected but interesting choice given that most cinema-goers likely don’t have the first clue who the character is. With that in mind, we thought we’d tell you all you need to know about Deathstroke.

When did the character debut?

He was introduced in the second issue of 'The New Teen Titans’ in 1980. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and was originally introduced as “the Terminator”.

Who is he?

Born Slade Wilson, Deathstroke is an extremely skilled soldier and assassin in possession of enhanced strength, reflexes and speed, as well as a hi-tech armoury of weapons and military-grade equipment.

Able to use 90 percent of his brain capacity, Wilson is a keen strategist and brutal force to be reckoned with. He’s tangled with numerous DC Comics hereos over the years, but is most commonly associated with Batman and former Robin Dick Grayson under his Nightwing persona.

He was voted the 32nd greatest comic book villain ever by IGN in 2009, and the 24th greatest ever by Wizard magazine.

What has been his biggest role?

Deathstroke is mostly loved for his strong character designs, having not really starred in any all-time classic storylines with a focus on him. He enjoyed a role DC’s 'Identity Crisis’ storyline, and even bigger one in ‘Infinite Crisis’.

In the former he was a bodyguard standing between the Justice League of America and Doctor Light, leading to a fight with Green Arrow.

In 'Infinite Crisis’ Wilson is a founding member of a super villain secret society. At the end of the storyline he’s confronted by and fights Batman, Robin and Nightwing. He loses the fight, but holding his own against those three proves his ability.

Is he a good fit for Affleck’s Batman?

Potentially. He’ll be able to match Batman physically, and there are certainly parallels between the characters. Both their alter-egos are the result of great personal loss, and both adhere to their own moral codes - though Deathstroke is more prone to breaking his.

Deathstroke’s darker character is also a fit for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It’s easy to imagine whoever ends up playing him tangling with Affleck’s Dark Knight on a dark and rainy roof somewhere in Gotham.

We’ll learn more about the character’s role in the film as we approach its release. There’s no confirmed release window yet, but it shouldn’t be expected any time before 2019.

Picture Credits: DC Comics / Warner Bros

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