WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Batman: The Adventures Continue #3 by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Ty Templeton, Monica Kubina and Joshua Reed, on sale now.
In the first chapters of Batman: The Adventures Continue, the Dark Knight faced a foe familiar to the DC Animated Universe when he battled Lex Luthor to free Superman from the villain’s grasp. However, for this next adventure, Batman is set to face a major DC supervillain who finally makes his long-awaited DCAU debut in Batman: The Adventures Continue #3: Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke the Terminator.
In the main DC Universe, Deathstroke is a lethal mercenary, an assassin-for-hire who has clashed with Batman, the Teen Titans and other superheroes many times over.
However, Slade Wilson takes on a very different role in The Adventures Continue #3. When he’s introduced, Slade doesn’t arrive as a villain gunning for teenage superheroes, nor does he appear as an enemy of Batman. Here., Deathstroke leaps onto the page by claiming to be an ally of the Dark Knight and his Bat-Family.
At the start of Batman: The Adventures Continue #3, we find Batman, Robin and Batgirl all fighting Clayface in the middle of the street in front of a movie theater. The villain is on a rampage, and the trio of vigilantes are doing their best to contain him. However, things get a little more complicated when Clayface splits himself in half. One of him goes after Batman, while the other runs. Batgirl and Robin split off to go after him in an alley. Tim throws a freeze bomb on him, but it’s not enough to put him down.
Luckily, a helping hand arrives in the form of Deathstroke, who assists Robin and Batgirl in defeating the Clayface double. Here, Slade appears as a friend and ally, and he is encouraging of both of Batman’s sidekicks. The Dark Knight soon joins them, and he instantly recognizes Deathstroke as a mercenary, although he doesn’t know their new ally personally. Still, Slade insists that he is a friend before leaving just as rapidly as he arrived.
Later, Deathstroke returns to visit Batgirl, and he attempts to recruit her as a new member of his operation. Of course, Barbara is quick to shoot him down. However, it’s only when the end of the issue comes that we learn Slade’s full plan: it appears he wants to recruit both Tim and Barbara to his side. He was behind Clayface’s attack, and he means to take out Batman if he gets in his way. By posing as a friend, Slade is simply trying to get close to the Bat-Family in order to convince the young sidekicks to join him.
While we fans know that Deathstroke is a villain, it’s certainly an interesting twist to introduce him not as an enemy, but as someone posing as an ally. Given the character’s history, The Adventures Continue #3 throws us off, but it also casts doubt on Slade’s intentions, even before they are revealed. It’s only when we learn his goal that we now recognize him as the fan-favorite villain he really is.
In the main DC Universe, Slade was introduced as an enemy of a group of teenage superheroes. And now, Batman: The Adventures Continue flips that on its head by having Slade appear to be the one putting a team of young individuals together. The result, however, is still the same: Slade is a bad guy, and he’s on a collision course with Batman.
In Batman: The Adventures Continue, Deathstroke finally makes his DCAU debut — but Slade Wilson is in Gotham for a specific and surprising reason.