When there's trouble, you know who to call...and in this week's First Strike, trouble comes in the form of Deathstroke the Terminator as he faces off against the Teen Titans for the first time!
As our story opens, the criminal consortium known as H.I.V.E. is trying to hire Deathstroke the Terminator to eliminate the new Teen Titans team. However, when H.IV.E. is unwilling to meet the Terminator's demands, they have a falling out - although not before H.I.V.E. does some sort of bio-scan thingie that will allow them to replicate Deathstroke's powers. Still, Deathstroke is still keeping tabs on the heroes and gauging their powers and skills, just in case he does decide to accept after all.
Since their debut, the Teen Titans have faced many powerful enemies - Brother Blood, Trigon, the Fearsome Five, Blackfire, H.I.V.E., and even the combined might of Darkseid and Dark Phoenix. However, Deathstroke has topped their arch-enemy list since his first appearance, and still holds the title. It's not hard to see why readers love this guy so much - he's a friggin' badass. I don't just mean his combat skills, although anyone who can fight a team like the Titans without breaking a sweat is someone not to be taken lightly. There's just something about his demeanor, his utter professionalism, that allows him to steal any scene he's in. He's also smart, using brain as well as brawn against the Titans, and things only got better from here. My only gripe about him is that his origin plays into the whole "humans only use 10% of their brains" myth, but that's a minor quibble.
I'm not at all surprised Deathstroke the Terminator became such a popular character, even getting his own series on multiple occasions. He's fought alongside and against DC's heroes, and he can give any of them a solid fight, Superman and Wonder Woman included. Still, he's primarily associated with the Teen Titans, and is still considered to be their most personal enemy, especially thanks to stories such as the famed Judas Contract. An original New Teen Titans #2 will probably cost way too much to snag, but fortunately, the series is popular enough to get reprinted every once in a while in trade paperbacks. If you're a fan of the Titans in any medium, you're going to want to read this one.