Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons is a 2020 direct-to-video animated superhero film directed by Sung Jin Ahn (Niko and the Sword of Light & TMNT: Don vs Raph). It was written by J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League Unlimited, Legion of Super Heroes, Constantine: City of Demons, & Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons TV Series). It’s based on the DC Comics character. It originated from the CW Seed web series which 12 episodes were planned but it was turned into this feature full length film instead. It was produced by Greg Berlanti (Stargirl, Doom Patrol, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, & Batwoman), Sarah Schechter (Black Lightning, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, & Titans), & Sam Register (Harley Quinn, Teen Titans Go!, Young Justice, Justice League Action, & Green Lantern: The Animated Series).
In flashbacks, Slade Wilson (played by: Michael Chiklis from The Shield, Fantastic Four 1/2, Gotham, & American Horror Story) is saved by an experimental drug following an accident from which he develops abilities which he decides to use to become the mercenary “Deathstroke” with the help of his friend William Wintergreen (played by: Colin Salmon from Krypton, London Has Fallen, Arrow, & Alien vs. Predator). Slade then marries general Adeline “Addie” Kane (played by: Sasha Alexander from Rizzoli & Isles, Shameless, NCIS, & Mission: Impossible III) who together have a son named Joseph. While on a mission in Cambodia as Deathstroke, he meets a woman named Lillian who he falls in love with. Unbeknownst to Slade, after he leaves completing his mission. Lillian gives birth to their daughter Rose who becomes orphaned after her mother dies in a hit & run. Ever since, Rose has lived alone until she is rescued by a mysterious man named Jackal (played by: Chris Jai Alex from Extraction, ThunderCats Roar, Supergirl, & 4Got10), leader of the secret organization known as H.I.V.E. He trains her to one day become his successor. In the present-day, Joseph is kidnapped by Jackal. Slade returns home from one of his Deathstroke missions where he finds an angered Addie after she had discovered his Deathstroke identity from which Slade kept a secret from his family. Slade promises to bring back Joseph & hunts down Jackal at his base of operations. There, Slade is confronted by Jackal’s agents Bronze Tiger (played by: Delbert Hunt from Bad Henry) & an unnamed woman. Addie leaves Slade for Joseph’s safety. Ten years later, Slade continues operating as Deathstroke. One night, he is contacted by the H.I.V.E. Queen (played by: Faye Mata from Japan Sinks: 2020, Isekai Quartet, & Sword Gai: The Animation) – H.I.V.E.’s new leader who has Joseph (played by: Griffin Puatu from Beastars, Forest of Piano, & DC Super Hero Girls) hostage for his physic abilities. This reunites him with Adeline. Slade’s hunt for the Queen leads him to Colonel Kapoor, a former agent of H.I.V.E. He gains intel from Kapoor taking him to Kaznia where he confronts Tiger, now a freelancer. Wintergreen takes Slade there whereupon arrival is attacked by Sandra Woosan / Lady Shiva (played by: Panta Mosleh from The Flash & Arrow). The Queen reveals she had trained Joseph to use his abilities as a weapon known as “Jericho”. Slade rescues Joseph who reveals he has joined H.I.V.E. as Jericho. Slade now must save his family from all the chaos he has created over the years. Will his past finally come back to haunt him????
Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons doesn’t hold back at all. It’s very brutal & it’s loaded with violence. Warner Bros has been on fire lately with their animated features. Deathstroke is one of the most under-rated DC Comics characters & villains of all time. He’s mainly just been featured in animated material plus he showed up on Arrow & Titans for television. He was teased as the next villain for the Justice League but never they still haven’t made that sequel. The script is top notch & it explores Slade Wilson ‘s backstory. I would love to see a live action version of this. This was originally supposed to be a television show but they decided to turn it into a full length feature instead. It has a nice pace & flow to it. It has all kinds of action & interesting fights to keep you entertained the entire time. Most of the voice cast were unknowns or mainly known overseas. Michael Chiklis was the best thing about Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons. He was perfect as the cold blooded assassin & it’s nice to see him take over the role in this animated feature because I doubt he would ever be cast as the live action version due to the look of Slade Wilson. It’s probably the best performance I’ve ever seen for Deathstroke when it comes to the animated & cartoon portrayals. It did have some excellent supporting turns from Sasha Alexander, Colin Salmon, & Castulo Guerra (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). This one has great visuals & a unique animation style to it which makes it stand out from other superhero or supervillain movies. It’s nice to see DC Comics doing more Rated R projects with these direct to video releases, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & special feature from Warner Bros! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks fantastic on blu ray. DC Comics is definitely superior in the superhero world when it comes to animated & cartoon productions. No one comes close to them. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this release. It has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. It has the almost 14 minute “Deathstroke: One-Man Death Machine”. It has interviews with the co-creator, writers, artists, actor Michael Chiklis, & the actor who played him on Arrow. They go over the character & his history. They chat about his look & his personality. They talk about the story here & the various characters connected to him. They bring up the different versions of him over the years. It has a few “Trailers” featuring recent animated films from Warner Bros. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s a must own for any DC Comics fan & it needs to be in your collection ASAP! It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!