‘Titans’ has found its Deathstroke the Terminator in Esai Morales. Deathstroke is expected to be the major heavy of Season Two, and it is also believed that his wife/ex-wife Adeline, son Joseph (a.k.a. Jericho) and daughter Rose will also be introduced. (Coincidentally, Morales starred on the TV series ‘Jericho’, no relation.)
Deathstroke was introduced in ‘New Teen Titans’ #2 in 1980 and has been a persistent opponent, masterminding the comic’s most famous storyline, ‘The Judas Contract’. Initially, Deathstroke, a.k.a. Slade Wilson’s son Grant, The Ravager, failed to kill the Titans under contract by the criminal organization H.I.V.E. Following Grant’s death, Slade assumed responsibility for his contract. Although he is typically a villain, during the gritty ’90s, he was depicted as a morally ambiguous anti-hero and even teamed up with the Titans on occasion. Though the character was originally named “The Terminator,” after the release of the popular Schwarzenegger sci-fi flick, the comic book character began to go by “Deathstroke the Terminator,” or just “Deathstroke.”
Morales has had a lengthy and award-winning career, making his film debut in 1982’s ‘Forty Deuce’. Just in the past few years, he has starred on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’, ‘Mars’, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’, ‘Chicago P.D.’, ‘Ozark’, and ‘From Dusk ’til Dawn: The Series’, in addition to making appearances on other TV shows and in movies.
Ron Perlman voiced Deathstroke, referred to as “Slade” on ‘Teen Titans’, while Wentworth Miller provides his voice on ‘Young Justice’. Robin Atkin Downes provided his voice on ‘Beware the Batman’.
A radically different version of Deathstroke– he had magnetic powers– appeared on ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, and was portrayed by Antonio Sabàto Jr. Later, Michael Hogan played the character on ‘Smallville’. There have been multiple versions of Deathstroke on the Arrowverse. The first was actually Bill Wintergreen, Wilson’s former partner, played by Jeffery C. Robinson. Manu Bennett later played a more faithful take. There have also been two futuristic versions, one being an adult Grant Wilson, played by Jamie Andrew Cutler, with Joe Wilson being the Deathstroke during the ‘Elseworlds’ crossover. Liam Hall portrayed him.
Warner Brothers seemed to have big plans for Deathstroke on the big screen, with Joe Manganiello making a cameo in ‘Justice League’, but after that film stumbled at the box office, it doesn’t look as though this Slade will return.
‘Titans’ was the first live-action original series released by the new DC Universe streaming service. The entire first season is available now to stream, with a digital release coming on March 21. A DVD/Blu-Ray release will arrive before Season Two, but that date is unknown at this time.
Are you excited to see Deathstroke make his debut on ‘Titans’?