Deathstroke the Terminator


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Deathstroke the Terminator

(pop culture)
A master tactician and the most deadly mercenary and assassin in the DC Comics universe, Deathstroke the Terminator was inadvertently created by the U.S. government, and he has become the bane of the Teen Titans and other DC characters ever since. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in The New Teen Titans #2 (1980), and wearing blue-and-black chain-mail armor with orange gloves, boots, shorts, and accents, Deathstroke's most unusual element is his face-mask—half of it is black with no eyehole, while the other half is orange with an eyehole—showing adversaries that the Terminator is blind in one eye … and still kicking their butts! The fact that he often carries a sword, a powered battle staff, explosive grenades, guns, daggers, and other specialized weaponry—and he's highly capable in various forms of combat—might be keys to his battle record. But his origins show another reason for his longevity. Slade Wilson lied about his age to enter the U.S. Army and became the youngest decorated soldier in the Korean War. Later, while at a special training camp, he met Adeline Kane, a tough instructor who would soon become his wife and the mother of his first son, Grant. Slade went to Vietnam to fight, and volunteered for an army experiment designed to help soldiers combat the effects of truth serum (though it was later revealed the serum was an attempt to create a meta-human soldier). Instead, the serum reacted with Wilson's chemistry to give him superhuman strength and reflexes. It also gave him the ability to use 90 percent of his brain capacity, making him super-intelligent. Slade returned home to father a second son, Joseph, then disobeyed orders and went back to Vietnam to rescue his POW (prisoner of war) best friend, William Randolph Wintergreen. The army discharged Slade for his actions, but the restless fighter soon became a big-game hunter and mercenary. Even as a mercenary, however, he would only take contracts that didn't conflict with his personal code of ethics. His family didn't know he was the masked mercenary known as Deathstroke the Terminator until the international terrorist known as the Jackal kidnapped Joseph. Slade was seconds too late to save his son, whose vocal chords were severed, leaving him mute. An angry Adeline lashed out at Slade, blinding him in one eye; the pair divorced soon after, and she took the children to raise. Years later, when Deathstroke turned down a H.I.V.E. (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination) contract to kill the Teen Titans, a bitter Grant Wilson took it instead. Though he possessed none of his father's altered genetics, Grant called himself the Ravager, but his H.I.V.E.- enhanced abilities weren't enough, and he died in the ensuing fight. To honor his son, Deathstroke took up the contract to bring down the Titans, and he battled them numerous times. Unbeknownst to them, the Titans were soon infiltrated by Deathstroke's agent, a young sociopathic girl code-named Terra, who helped him uncover all of their secrets and weaknesses. Even as Deathstroke attacked them on behalf of H.I.V.E., son Joseph—who had gained body-controlling powers due to the chemical agents in his father's blood—joined the Titans as Jericho and helped to stop his father. Managing to stay ahead of the law, Slade eventually aided the Titans in a case against the Wildebeest Society, and he was forced to thrust his sword into his son's chest, killing Jericho—who had been behind the Wildebeest attacks due to his possession by the Trigon-tainted souls of other-dimensional Azarathians. Despite the fact that Joseph had asked his father to kill him in a moment of lucidity, Slade now felt responsible for both his sons' deaths. Some time later, Slade learned that he had sired a daughter—Rose—with an exiled Oriental clan princess named Lillian “Sweet Lili” Worth. Rose was kept a secret from Slade until the death of her mother, at which time she was placed in the care of Wintergreen. Gifted with previously untapped powers of her own, Rose even worked alongside the Titans for a while. Then Slade kidnapped her and injected her with the same serum that had been used on him. Rose is now psychotic, and she fights by her father's side as the newest Ravager. In the pages of his own 65-issue comic-book series, Deathstroke the Terminator (1991–1996, including annuals), Slade's career as a mercenary continued, and at times, he even performed heroic deeds and teamed up with other heroes. He was the lover for a time of a former policewoman named Pat Trayce, who became a new version of the Vigilante to fight crime. Deathstroke was also the target of a governmental manhunt when he was framed for supposedly trying to kill the president of the United States, but with the help of Checkmate, he cleared his name. Meanwhile, a new Ravager—eventually revealed as Slade's halfbrother Wade DeFarge—killed many of Slade's past associates, and Adeline Kane attacked Deathstroke, now exhibiting extra-human powers due to a blood transfusion from her ex-husband. Deathstroke also learned that he not only had an extra healing factor, but that he was functionally immortal because of it. Over time, Slade has reverted to a younger age, lost his memory, regained his eye, reverted back to his “regular” genetically enhanced self, and taken on many of the major heroes of the DC Universe. Adeline became the H.I.V.E. mistress and was mortally wounded by Vandal Savage, and Deathstroke learned that the spirit of his son, Jericho, had been hiding within his body in the years since his “death.” Controlling his father's body, Jericho decapitated Wintergreen and set out to destroy a new incarnation of the Teen Titans. Back in control of his own body, and working with Rose/Ravager, Deathstroke now intends to stop Jericho and make the Titans' Raven pay for her part in Jericho's madness. In 2005, Deathstroke began a new relationship, working with Lex Luthor and other major rogues in the DC Universe as part of a new Secret Society of Super-Villains. Using just the name Slade, Deathstroke appeared as an ongoing villainous character in the Teen Titans cartoon (2003–2006). He appeared as an action figure from DC Direct in 2005.