Another Arrowverse character will be debuting in animated form on the CW Seed platform soon: Deathstroke. The deadly assassin follows the footsteps of characters like Vixen, The Ray and even Constantine in doubling up on both live action and animation, although they all made their first CW appearances around the same time in both mediums. Deathstroke, on the other hand, is arriving six years after his first Arrow episode aired.
The network’s president Mark Pedowitz announced the new series, called Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, at Upfronts on Thursday alongside a live-action horror comedy named The Pledge. While the latter is a haunted sorority house tale from the producers of Saw, Knights & Dragons will of course focus on the DC Comics mercenary and is being produced by Blue Ribbon Content. BRC was responsible for all three of the previous DC animated series on CW's digital platform, so fans can expect the latest addition to be in a similar vein.
As Deadline reported, Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons will revisit Slade Wilson's origins in a way that Arrow never did. Ten years before the events of the new series, Slade made an error in judgment for which "his wife and son paid a terrible price." In the present, the terrorist organization H.I.V.E. and its leader The Jackal are now the ones terrorizing his family - and Deathstroke must contend with his past mistakes to prevent future tragedies.
Though Slade's backstory in Knights & Dragons is very different from the life he led when Manu Bennett portrayed him on Arrow, it sounds similar to the one DC Universe subscribers will witness on Titans later this year. Esai Morales will be playing the bounty hunter in the second season, with two of his children joining him onscreen. Though this will be the first time the fan-favorite character is animated for the CW, fans are already familiar with other versions of him thanks to Cartoon Network's Teen Titans Go! series and the associated 2018 film, Teen Titans Go! to the Movies. There was also the film adaptation of Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, for a slightly more villainous story.
Given the sheer number of Deathstroke portrayals there have been in recent years, adding another may seem unnecessary. But the various platforms which generate DC content can reach different audiences and provide different takes on beloved characters, and the Multiverse is certainly big enough for all of them. Whether or not Manu Bennett reprises the role in animated form, like Megalyn Echikunwoke and Russell Tovey have done before him, audiences can expect to meet a totally new Slade in Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons.