Written By: Christopher Priest
Pencilled By: Diogenes Neves
Inked By: Jason Paz
Colored By: Jeromy Cox
A strange assassin named Willow killed a powerful old man known as The Grocer. The various members of the new Defiance team get to know each other as Deathstroke kills a Chetlan Drug Dealer to instigate a scenario that would require his new team’s intervention. Adeline and Wintergreen have alternate plans for the Defiance team, including bringing the infamous Terra onto the team.
A little light is shone on the mysterious Grocer as a young New York CSI compares him to Pablo Escobar, saying that his death will require retribution, and tells his partner that gang members from China are doubtless on their way to New York to get revenge on the Hmong woman who killed The Grocer. The story pivots to Chetlan United Islands, where the Defiance Team composed of Jericho, Rose Wilson, Power Girl, and Kid Flash have arrived and are under attack by a group of hard light holograms that belong to the Chetlan government. The two groups duke it out as the brand new Defiance members struggle to work together as a team for the first time.
As his proteges fight the “Radiant Men,” Deathstroke makes his way to what appears to be a large castle. He fights past some more hard light guards to find the man he knew to be responsible for these Radiant Men: Dr. Light. Dropping the pretense, Slade Wilson and Arthur Light enjoy a cup of coffee while Dr. Light explain where he’s been lately, and why he’s given up the villain game. Slade mentions that he’s been sent for by The Society, the shadowy cabal of super villains in the DCU.
The kids fight and the old men talk for a while as we head back to New York to meet the arriving Chinese gangsters, one of whom mentions that both Willow and The Grocer are possibly a reincarnated princess and emperor, respectively. Back in Chetlan, things are going poorly for the young Defiance Team, who have taken down the Radiant Men and now face The Radiant Man, who is apparently better than the other holograms and deserves his own singular name. Things are looking grim until Terra makes a surprise appearance, unveiling her presence on the team and helping them finish off the fight. Team Defiance heads back to the states, leaving behind a restless Dr. Light.
Thoughts on the issue:
The Chetlan plot got a little muddled in this issue. The team went to the country because of unrest caused by the murder of the President’s drug-dealing chauffeur, but just ended up fighting a bunch of hard light robots. Then, when all the fighting was done, Deathstroke shows up and just whisks them all away, having accomplished his goal of having coffee with an old friend. That said, the execution exceeded the messy plot. Christopher Priest’s scripting abilities shone through in Deathstroke’s conversation with Dr. Light. The hap-hazard team up fight with Defiance was appropriately reminiscent of a new Teen Titans team, fumbling through a battle in an amusing fashion.
One last thing: Apparently DC is combining Dr. Light’s older continuity with Geoff Johns’ Justice League. He is a man who has died and lost his family, and is now composed of light. However, he also clearly has a history as a villain, which the Arthur Light in The New 52 hadn’t done.
Final Score: 7.5/10