- I am the thing that keeps you up at night. The evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. I will never rest, and neither will you.
- — Slade to Robin in "Haunted"
Slade AKA Deathstroke is the archenemy of the Teen Titans, who wants them destroyed for his own unknown reasons, and is the main antagonist of Season 1 and Season 2; He appears as a vision in Season 3, returned as a resurrected servant of the mighty demon Trigon in Season 4, his robotic likeness also makes a small appearance in the final episode of Season 5 "Things Change." He is overall the primary antagonist of the original animated series.
Slade appears in the Teen Titans animated series, where he is referred to only as Slade due to censorship issues. He is the Titans' main adversary and was the primary antagonist for the first two seasons. His main goal is to defeat the Titans, destroy the city, and quite possibly rule the world, all for unknown reasons. He has had two secret bases, which were both destroyed. He also seems to have a massive army of robotic commandos and incredible strength, enough to leave a dent in solid steel with one hit.
In many episodes in Season 1, he tries to recruit others to his side. He initially hires Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth from the H.I.V.E. Academy for his team but the Titans succeed in beating the three graduates. Slade then tries to trick Thunder and Lightning, two teenage storm elementals, into destroying Jump City, but that too failed when Beast Boy helped the brothers to see the error of their ways. He then makes a deal with the mysterious Red X, before revealing to him that he knew he was Robin and was merely using him. Later, Slade forced Robin to join him, with the threat that if he did not, Slade would use nanobots he planted in the Titans to destroy them from the inside out, therefore killing them. Robin eventually overcame Slade with his friends' help. Interestingly, when presented with an opportunity to kill all five of the Titans after Robin infected himself with the nanobots, he chose not to kill them. Two theories exist for this behavior. One, if Robin, currently his apprentice at that time, was killed, he would have been completely powerless or two, he simply would have had no archenemy.
In Season 2, Slade set his sights on recruiting a new apprentice, the superheroine Terra, who, in the animated series, is portrayed as more of a lost soul than an irredeemable psychopath. Throughout the season, Slade tormented her and exploited her fears of being unable to control her powers and of alienating her newfound friends, the Teen Titans, slowly drove her to his side. Slade coaxed Terra into subjecting herself willingly to apprenticeship, despite the Titans having warned Terra of Slade, and promised that he could teach her to control her powers. After believing that Beast Boy betrayed her trust and told the other Titans of her difficulties in controlling her powers (even though Beast Boy didn't tell her and Robin only figured it out), Terra eventually betrayed the Titans to Slade, who indeed taught her to control her powers, and took over the city with her help. During this time, Slade had crafted a new suit for Terra, one bearing his insignia, and was able to access her powers to assist her in combat, and to an extent, control her. With Slade's help, Terra mercilessly defeated the Titans, who were reluctant to fight their old friend, and were focused on trying to redeem her rather than defeat her. The Titans however returned and fought her again. But this time, they fought her mercilessly and viciously. By failing Slade's command to destroy the team, she returned to him, only to be beaten by him in anger. Slade then controlled Terra and used her to nearly kill Beast Boy, who arrived at the base to redeem Terra. Beast Boy and the Titans then convinced Terra to overcome the link her new suit had to Slade, and she sent him to his apparent doom in a lava pit while she turned to stone.
Being apparently dead, Slade was absent for most of the third season. He appeared in a flashback in the episode "X" which Robin narrates about how he created Red X. He did appear in the Season 3 episode "Haunted". But, he is a figment of Robin's imagination, due to a dust released from his mask onto Robin, which made him see, hear, and feel Slade. This almost killed Robin, but Robin saved his own life by turning on the lights (thus banishing the Slade hallucination).
At the end of the episode, Cyborg revealed that someone from outside the tower had activated the mask. The mask is then shown in the basement and one eye turns red, hinting at his later return as Trigon's ally.
Slade returned in full for Season 4, as the servant of Raven's demonic father Trigon. Slade now had fire powers and a red mark on his forehead, called the Mark of Scath. He delivered Trigon's message to Raven, that she would cause the end of the world. It is explained that Slade's defeat at Terra's hands had indeed killed him, and that Trigon had promised to give him back his flesh in exchange for his services. However, Trigon went back on the deal, and Slade decided to join forces with the Teen Titans. While Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy tried to distract Trigon, Robin and Slade went to find Raven (who had been transformed into a child version of herself) in the underworld. Upon returning to the surface with Raven, the Titans assaulted Trigon in a somewhat vain effort to defeat him. Nevertheless, they managed to hurt him, as did Slade, who recovered his flesh and stole the demonic weapon of one of Trigon's minions. Raven finally defeated her "father" and restored the world to normal, but Slade escaped the Titans shortly after, with a solemn promise from Robin that nothing has changed, and he will make that clear if he sees him again.
Slade is also one of the only villains who did not join the Brotherhood of Evil and that didn't make an appearance in the final battle. He appeared in a flashback in the episode "Hide and Seek". So, he only appears in one episode of Season 5 ("Things Change") to convince Beast Boy to leave a girl that looks and behaves like Terra alone forcefully. In anger, he seemingly kills Slade, but it was just another one of Slade's robot clones.
Jericho (Deathstroke's son from the mainstream DC comics) has appeared in two episodes, but no reference has been made to Slade's and Jericho's connection in the show. His daughter, Ravager (Rose Wilson), also appears in the "Teen Titans Go!" comics, but is not referenced or seen even once in the actual show.
Slade's most notable feature is his mask. Its left side is orange with a single black outlined eyehole, while the right is solid black with no eyehole due to his loss of his right eye. There are also four parallel holes, two on each side, where his mouth is. He wears what seems to be a black body suit that covers his entire body except his lower torso and forearms, which are gray. For his arms, he has black gauntlets, gray gloves and wears a gray utility belt. He has overlapping armor in certain spots of his body. The first is a gray neck guard that goes to his throat and to his chest, a guard on both shoulders, forearms, over his gauntlets, one for each of his thighs, knees, the top and soles of his feet and finally a gray sash wrapping horizontally around his torso.
He is Caucasian as seen in a fight with the Titans where a tiger Beast Boy rips some of his clothing off, revealing his flesh. He also seems to either have dirty blond or gray hair judging from his silhouetted head (see picture to the left), but since we only see him in shadow, it is unable to determine his true hair color.In Teen Titans Go! #49, his face was seen with white hair and a beard.
Slade is an extremely calm and composed individual, remaining an enigma to both enemies and allies alike throughout the series. As a result, not much is known of his true personality by anyone, although the comparison has been made on multiple occasions by multiple people that he and Robin share similar traits, such as an intense dislike of losing, fiercely dedicated, and borderline obsessive in accomplishing their goals.
Although many people don't know Slade's intentions to fight, it is made clear a couple times. In Birthmark, Slade quotes that it is, "always the quiet ones", and in Apprentice Part II, he quotes, "Betrayal. Destruction. Revenge." These all may reference his son Jericho, since he can't talk, and the incident leading up to him being unable to talk (and Slade losing his right eye) was because of Slade supposedly betraying his family, which led to the minor destruction of his home (but major destruction to him and his son), which led to Slade wanting to get revenge on unknown people to make it up for his son losing the ability to speak.
The epitome of an evil mastermind, Slade is clever and calculating, never coming into view unless he has the complete advantage, and flees the moment that advantage is compromised. A master manipulator, he prefers to bait others into traps rather than directly confront them himself, and uses his robotic minions to their fullest extent, as they're often seen fighting in his stead. Throughout the first two seasons, for reasons which are not entirely clear, he is shown tirelessly working on recruiting new apprentices, setting his sights on both Robin and Terra respectively. Using his intelligence and charisma, he exploits their weaknesses and fears, and is not above blackmailing them into submission, as he did with Robin in Apprentice, Part 2.
Slade is scary and intimidating due to his evil and sadistic personality. He is so stubborn and determined on what's right in front of him which becomes his downfall. His stony disposition makes him seem all the more ruthless and unemotional.
In a conversation with Robin in The End, Part 2, Slade admits to feeling no remorse for any of his crimes, saying "it's what I do best" when Robin tells him that everything that he's ever done has only made people suffer.
Occasionally he will lose his temper. An example is when Trigon betrayed him, regardless his intense loyal service to the interdimensional demon, and had his fire-minions seize him which lead to him demanding the demons to obey him with outrage.
Powers and Abilities
Superhuman physical capabilities: Slade possesses great including increased strength and endurance, such as the power to leave a huge dent in solid steel with one hit, seen in Apprentice Part II when battling Robin and aiming to punch him instead. He also has enhanced reflexes and displays a mastery in many forms of armed and unarmed combat, making him a terrifying and formidable opponent.
Enhanced regenerative capabilities: In the Teen Titans: Know Your Foes interview on the Season 3 DVD, Slade is said to also have regenerative capabilities.
Fighting skills: In addition to his great strength, Slade is also a nimble fighter, demonstrating his superior agility in combat on numerous occasions and has been shown to be able to move faster than even Robin during their brief scuffle in Apprentice Part II. By deducing one's strengths and weaknesses, Slade has been able to hold his own, if not outright overpower superpowered opponents, including all the members of the Titans at one point or another. In addition, he is a master of psychological manipulation, a master planner, and cunning strategist, and has also demonstrated skills in disguise and ritual magic.
As Trigon's second in command, Slade was granted the ability to fly, teleport, phase, and to generate demonic fire blasts (demonic pyrokinesis). As an effective non-living entity at that time, he also possessed no sense of pain and the ability to withstand even massive amounts of physical damage.
In "Forces of Nature", disguised as an old sage, he was able to summon a monster through burning scarecrows aligned similar to the Mark of Scath, implying either that he was associated with Trigon all along, hence why he was chosen as his herald after death, or that he simply has knowledge over the occult and is merely a coincidence.
In his disguise, Slade seemed to use telekinesis to retrieve his staff after Robin knocked it out of his hand, and vanished in a puff of smoke. While the former might have been a magical ability, spell, or device, the latter may just have been a smoke bomb though Slade was somehow able to disguise his muscular frame to look like a small old man.
- Slade appears in a total of twenty episodes in the series; though one of which was as a vision only, one of which where he is not seen but a robot replica is seen, and two in flashbacks only.
- Slade's original comic name "Deathstroke" did not make it through the censors due to hesitance to use the word "death" in a children's animated series; thus, the character is referred to by his first name. However, his original name is mentioned in the tie-in comic Teen Titans Go! and in some foreign language versions of the show. He is also changed from an assassin and mercenary-for-hire to an enigmatic criminal mastermind.
- Though it's debatable if children found "Slade" sinister enough for a villain name.
- He is actually the only villain from the original comic to not use his original supervillain name.
- Slade is the only main antagonist at large.
- In "Forces of Nature" Slade is disguised as an elderly mystic who bears resemblance to Slade's maskless comic book appearance.
- Only two of Slade's three children appear in the cartoon. The only child of Slade not to appear was his firstborn son Grant Wilson. In the comics, Grant was the first criminal to be called the Ravager. He was killed in his first encounter with the Teen Titans.
- Slade is the final boss character in the video game, as well as a playable unlocked character.
- In the mainstream DC comics line, Slade/Deathstroke was originally a soldier in the service of the US military that was trained and artificially modified to become the ultimate killing machine. However, Slade vowed to exact revenge on the rest of the world when his son, Joseph, became mute because a mercenary assigned to kidnap him damaged his vocal cords. In the same incident, Slade lost one of his eyes. Even though Slade became an assassin and criminal mastermind, Joseph discovered his superhuman abilities and became the Teen Titan Jericho.
- In The End - Part 2 and a glimpse of Part 3 you see his scarred skull.
- At times in the comics, Slade (Deathstroke) fought Batman and Robin (and Nightwing), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), the Teen Titans, and even the Justice League.
- Slade is the only villain to shift alignments completely (unlike Jinx who became a full-fledged hero). The first and second seasons he was indeed a villain, but in Season 4 he seemed to develop more of an antihero alignment.
- Although Robin and Slade vowed in Season 4 that if they were to encounter each other again a fight would not be reconsidered, Slade (at least as a villain) never fought with the Titans afterward even when encountering Beast Boy.
- A similar character named Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool), who appears in Marvel Comics, also has regenerative abilities. Though unlike Slade (Deathstroke), Deadpool has a twisted yet hilarious sense of humor and has a mouth that won't stop talking hence his alias "The Merc With The Mouth." Deadpool's fellow X-Force Teammate Domino has even stated: "I always forget (or just block out to spare myself the agony) what Wilson's most lethal weapon is... his mouth! He'll talk nonsense until you surrender or commit suicide." And even: "Talking to Deadpool is like...I dunno -- It's like talking to someone who's being attacked by bees." Deadpool is also known for Breaking The 4th Wall, meaning he's well aware of his existance as a comic book, movie, video game, cartoon, and even an anime character.
- In The End - Part 2, it is revealed that his face was skeletal after his "solo fight". However he regained his flesh after the fight was finished and his face was never revealed.
- Height: 6'4".
- It is unknown why the Teen Titans (specifically Robin) want to find out Slade's name, since they already call him by his name, Slade. However, it is possible that they assume Slade to be an alias. Or it IS in this universe.
- He supposedly has a connection to having an apprentice, but always picks someone who is unwilling to serve him (like Robin).
- This shows a rather dimwitted side to Slade.
- Slade using robotic clones to fool others, is very similar to Doctor Doom from Marvel Comics, who uses "Doom-bots" for the same purpose.
- His demon form is similar to Marvel's Ghost Rider.
- Slade had taunted Robin, Beast Boy and Raven with exception of Starfire and Cyborg.
- Slade's relationship with Robin is eerily similar to The Joker's relationship with Batman. With Slade being as interested and on par with Robin as The Clown Prince of Crime is with The Dark Knight.
- Divide and Conquer (first appearance)
- X (Flashback)
- Haunted (Vision)
- The End - Part 3 (final appearance; technically)
- Hide and Seek (Flashback)
- Things Change (Robot Replica)
Teen Titans Go!
- When Chibis Attack (Cameo)
- Garsaurus REX Attacks! (Cameo)
- The Book/Listen (Nightmare)
- Knockoff! (Mentioned)
- Who Wants Pie? (Cameo)
- Legacy (cameo/mentioned)
- Metamorphosis (flashback)