"Circle of Life": Nathaniel Wilson was not good at being a criminal. He and his son Slade would travel from city to city all the time, not because he wanted to travel, but because he was so bad at his job that he had to le
- That's really what it comes down to, "Dad." After all these years... why I'll never stop. Just like my son is determined to show me. I'm better than you, Father. And I always will be.
Appearing in "Circle of Life"
- Deathstroke (Flashback and main story)
- Rossi (Flashback only)
- Kill Switch
Synopsis for "Circle of Life"
Nathaniel Wilson was not good at being a criminal. He and his son Slade would travel from city to city all the time, not because he wanted to travel, but because he was so bad at his job that he had to leave town a lot. Meanwhile, he was indebted to mob bosses in every place they'd been. He was a pushover when it came to anything but his son. To Slade, Nathaniel Wilson was a cruel and uncaring man.
Eventually, Nathaniel Wilson's debts had grown so great that he owed a man named Rossi ten thousand dollars. One day, he drove Slade out to see the Grand Canyon, but as they parked there, Rossi drove up behind them, and Nathaniel ordered his son to get out of the car. When Rossi demanded his money, it became clear that Nathaniel had come to an arrangement with him: instead of the ten thousand dollars, he would give up his own son. Rossi's men grabbed Slade and took him away, and Nathaniel's debt was considered settled.
After recovering, Slade takes a job to kill a thug who calls himself 'Kill Switch', despite the fact that his client is sure that the job is beneath him. Later, Deathstroke tracks Kill Switch down, and is amused by the thug's ineptitude. He corners Kill Switch, and the desperate thug reveals that he is holding the detonator for a bomb. Deathstroke dates him to throw the switch, but Kill Switch is bluffing. With a certain amount of glee, Deathstroke reaches over and presses the detonator for him, and the whole apartment explodes with them inside.
Naturally, Deathstroke is unharmed, but a young boy scrambles into the debris looking for his father. Kill Switch - the boy's father - is dead, and Deathstroke tosses the boy a knife, daring him to come after him for revenge when he's older. The boy asks whether his father deserved it, and Slade responds that most of his victims do.
That night, Slade arrives in Metropolis to meet Alex, who is surprised to know that Deathstroke took another job so soon after what happened. Slade responds that for all their differences, he and his son Grant are the same: the work is all they have. Except, in Slade's case, he does it because it makes him happy.
Later, Slade returns to Gary, Indiana, where his own father is on life support in his home. Nathaniel can't speak, but he is clearly annoyed to see his son. Slade comments that after years of working, he had finally considered quitting recently. Ultimately, though, the reason why he will never stop is the same thing that Grant is determined to show him: he is better than his father, and always will be. Laughing, Slade turns and leaves his ailing father behind.
- This book was first published on April 11, 2012.
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