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|“||Next time, my plan will succeed, and the Titans will pay.||„|
|“||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.|
Slade Joseph Wilson, known simply by his first name Slade, is the overall main antagonist of the 2003 animated action series Teen Titans. He is a ruthless criminal mastermind bent on taking over Jump City and destroying the Teen Titans. He is the series/Earth-Teen Titans' version of Deathstroke the Terminator.
He serves as the main antagonist of Seasons 1 and 2, a posthumous antagonist in Season 3, the secondary antagonist of Season 4 and the final antagonist of Season 5.
He was voiced by Ron Perlman, who also played the character in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Xibalba in The Book of Life, the High Mage in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, the Lich in Adventure Time, Kago in Disney's Tarzan II, Warhok in Kim Possible, the Stabbington Brothers in Tangled, Fire Lord Sozin in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Clayface in Batman: The Animated Series.
Slade is an adult male of an unknown age. He wears a partly armored, full-body black outfit with a monochromatic color scheme, and steel-toed boots. Attached to the suit are a number of plated silver compartments along with a utility belt in which he keeps any number of items such as communication devices, weapons, and detonators. However, his most notable feature is his mask, which is an orange copper on the side with his eye and black on the other. In the episode "The End Part II", the glimpse of Slade's skull shows that he has only one eye, and the empty right socket has a scar, indicating a wound deep enough to cut the bone. His eyes are dark gray, often appearing black from a distance. He is tall and extremely well-built, with broad shoulders and muscular limbs.
A brief glimpse of Slade's silhouetted head without the mask, shown in "The Apprentice Part II", shows he has short, spiky hair either gray, dirty blonde or brown. He is Caucasian, as various times his clothes have been ripped (usually by Beast Boy) to reveal the skin underneath. In the episode "The End Part III", however, his outfit is ripped to reveal only bare-bones (A good theory is that when he burned in the lava it also melted his skin off completely leaving only his bones left). He has a notably smooth and velvet deep voice, which can easily be quite frightening, and a calm and casual demeanor. He rarely raises his voice during the entire series.
Slade is an extremely calm, composed, and imperturbable 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 to lose and are fiercely dedicated and borderline obsessive in accomplishing their goals. Slade is a cruel, ruthless, calculating, and violent man and master manipulator. He prefers operating from the shadows but is quite capable of holding his own in any kind of battle, and is exceedingly dangerous. He is very hard to startle or faze, and his emotions are nearly impossible to read. He maintains an unexcitable demeanor throughout most situations, and only loses his temper very rarely.
Despite his animosity with Robin and status as the Teen Titans' main arch-nemesis, it is worth noting that Slade never truly treats Robin like an enemy. Slade has saved Robin's life more than twice throughout the series for unknown reasons, even when Robin's death would have been beneficial to him. His attitude towards the Titans resembles in many ways a toxic and twisted father figure; while he might not be looking out for them the way a father would, his actions against them push them to mature and do their best, and grow as individuals and as a team.
From various battles with Teen Titans, Slade gave few hints of his motive:
- In "Birthmark", Slade quotes that it is, "always the quiet ones".
- In "Apprentice Part II", he quotes, "Betrayal. Destruction. Revenge."
These all may reference his son Joseph (which is later known as 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 betrayed his family, which led to the minor destruction of his home (but major destruction to him and his son). It's possible that before the incident, Slade used to be a good individual, but after the incident, he sought vengeance against the world.
Ever since the incident, Slade was further turned into the dark side, effectively making him depraved from any regret over his actions nor chance of redemption; despite that fact, he reluctantly joined forces with Titans during the battle against Trigon. When Robin tells him that everything that he has ever done has only made people suffer, he said "it's what I do best", showing that he was highly sadistic, longing for suffering and terror to occur on many people, whether for his foes and allies alike. At the first two seasons, other things that made him despicable were for reasons which are not entirely clear, he is shown tirelessly working on recruiting new apprentices, setting his sights on both Robin, Terra, and others like Thunder and Lightning 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 I". On top of that, after each candidate failed to be his apprentice, he would recruit others and treat them in both active and aggressive manners if necessary. It means, when he had a new apprentice, he would treat them worse than the former (as seen in case of Terra where she turned out treated in a more harsh and aggressive manner than Robin previously had).
Occasionally, he will lose his temper; an example is when Trigon betrayed him and had his minions seize him, which lead to him to demand the demons to obey him with outrage. He also got angry when Robin attempted to betray him after making him his apprentice, remarking how Robin only cared about his "worthless. Little. FRIENDS!" a fact that really seemed to infuriate him.
Despite all his cruelty and irredeemably nature, however, it seems that in spite of being evil, Slade even knows that there are things that should be left forgotten and that life must move on. This is shown when Slade tells Beast Boy that he is truly hurting Terra after he meets her again upon being revived through unknown means but she refuses to have anything with him, seemingly trying to help the Teen Titan. However, it should be noted that this Slade was actually a robot duplicate, so perhaps it doesn't reflect the nature of the true Slade, aside that his "help" could be taken as a taunt as well.
For reasons not clearly stated, Slade had a personal interest in destroying the Teen Titans. Throughout season one, Slade sent minions and agents to fight the Titans. He was also interested in their powers, abilities and weaknesses by how he would continuously watch videos of the Titans in action. In season one, Slade wanted Robin to be his apprentice, but promised to spare the other Titans if Robin never made any contact with them and followed all of his orders. However, when the Titans tried to save Robin, he nearly killed them with the nano-bot technology in their bodies. In season two, Slade was completely interested in annihilating the Teen Titans with his new apprentice, Terra. However, when she failed to do so, Slade took his rage out on Terra. In season four, Slade did not show any interest in destroying the Teen Titans, but was concerned with carrying out Trigon's plans.
Slade considered Robin his rival as the leader of the Teen Titans. Slade was impressed by Robin's abilities, powers, and personality, and wanted him to be his apprentice. Slade admits that he tried to get Robin's attention by leaving clues and messages for him to investigate. From time to time, Slade would tell Robin that they were similar to which Robin would angrily deny. When Slade got Robin to be his apprentice, he liked his progress and thought that if he kept him as an apprentice long enough, he would become stronger. When Slade's plans for Robin as his apprentice failed, Slade brought his attention to Terra. Despite his changes, Slade still kept an eye on Robin. After his revival in season four, Slade took interest in Raven, but when his relationship with Trigon deteriorated, he looked to Robin for his assistance in helping him regain his flesh.
Robin hated Slade and saw him as a major enemy. Robin would take it upon himself to go after Slade, which would often lead him to do dubious things such as actling like his alter-ego, Red X, or lash out at his teammates. As an apprentice to Slade, Robin hated being coerced into being his pawn and would take his opportunities to oppose and fight Slade whenever he can. In season four, Robin wanted to know about Slade's revival and powers, which the latter often withheld from telling. After their brief partnership, Robin told Slade that their momentary allegiance meant nothing and that if they met again, Robin would try to stop him.
In the episode "Haunted", Robin was obsessed with Slade and when an agent laced in dust made Robin perceive Slade, Robin tried to fight him as much as possible. Unbeknownst to Robin, the more he tried to fight Slade, the more violent and hostile Slade acted towards him. Much like how Slade was, the perception of Slade in Robin's mind often taunted Robin and mocked him.
|“||I have to say, Raven, when I found out the truth, I was very impressed. All this time, I had no idea the power lurking inside you, the glorious destiny that awaits. It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?||„|
|~ Slade to Raven.|
In earlier seasons, Slade wanted Raven along with the rest of the Titans to be destroyed and used measures at his disposal to try and kill her. However, in season four, Slade was revived by Trigon and given powers that rival those of Raven. Slade took a unique interest in Raven since he found out from Raven's father, Trigon, that she was the portal for the demon's arrival on Earth. In the episode "Birthmark", Slade took pleasure in trying to tell Raven about her destiny, despite knowing how much she wanted to run away from it due to her fears. In this episode, his persistent attempts at trying to tell Raven Trigon's message resulted in psychologically breaking Raven, which Slade enjoyed. Throughout the season, Slade would try to prey on Raven's weaknesses and fears, by telling her about her destiny of allowing Trigon to appear on Earth to destroy it. He would even take this further by trying to make Raven feel bad for not telling her friends about her destiny and bringing them into her personal problems. Slade cared little about the psychological abuse he put her through and only saw her as a means to finally reclaiming his flesh for completing Trigon's deal.
Raven was afraid of Slade and tried to escape from him. Raven did not want to listen to Slade and tried to ignore him as much as she can. In "Prophecy", Raven confronted Slade and fought him, admitting that she was no longer afraid of him. When Slade told her about the completion of the plan in "The End", Raven called him a fool for making a deal with Trigon. However, as a child who was stripped of her powers and memories by Trigon, she did express concern for Slade when Trigon attacked him. Overall, Raven, like the other Titans, detest Slade.
Slade wanted to destroy Beast Boy along with the other Titans for his personal reasons. In Season two, Slade and Beast Boy's relationship becomes personal when Beast Boy found out that Terra (the girl Beast Boy adored) was working for Slade. When Beast Boy wanted to know why she betrayed the Titans, Slade told him that he could not help her have control over her destructive powers. This resulted in a heated fight between the two. In "Things Change", Slade's android and Beast Boy fought in the same mirror room after Slade told him coldly that Terra did not want to remember Beast Boy and the Titans. Like the rest of the Titans, Beast Boy hated Slade for the amount of suffering he caused and despite Slade's attempts at telling Beast Boy the possibility that she doesn't want to remember the Titans, it resulted in a fight.
After Robin's apprenticeship failed, Slade took interest in recruiting Terra instead. Spending time watching her, Slade saw an opportunity in helping her control her destructive powers. At first, she resisted his offer, but when Beast Boy told the Titans about her lack of control, she left the team. When she returned to the Titans, she was conflicted about betraying them but went through with it anyways. Unlike Robin, Terra was more obedient to Slade. After fighting and defeating the Titans, Slade was impressed by her and said that they both can rule over the city together. However, when Terra disobeyed Slade's command in fighting off the Titans, he viciously beat her. After the beatings and the abuse, Terra tried to leave, but because the suit Slade gave her was hooked up to her nervous system, Slade instead used her, knowing that she did not have too much self-control.
Slade knew that Terra's lack of control and self-control was a weakness he could prey on. He took advantage of this weakness to try and find a more obedient apprentice. However, when Terra realized Slade did not care about her, she eventually regained control of herself and saved the Titans from him at the cost of her life.
After Slade's death, Trigon allowed him to work for him under the condition that Trigon's deal of making Raven submit to him and become the portal is fulfilled. If this deal is fulfilled, Slade would reclaim his flesh and blood and live again. Throughout season four, Slade acted as Trigon's messenger and would often tell Raven about her destiny. Slade upheld his part of the deal, but when Trigon convinced Raven to submit into becoming the portal, he no longer acknowledges Slade's efforts, telling him that he will not have his life back. Frustrated at Trigon's betrayal, Slade opted to join the Titans in an alliance and decides to get vengeance against Trigon by fighting him.
Cinderblock is probably Slade's loyal minion. Slade sent Cinderblock to free Plasmus. He later sent him, Plasmus, and Overload to weaken the Teen Titans and to merge them together to form Ternion.
Slade freed him from prison to destroy the Teen Titans after Cyborg left them. He later recruited him with Overload and Cinderblock to weaken the Titans and then merge them together to form Ternion.
Slade sent Terra to free Overload along with Plasmus and Cinderblock to weaken the Teen Titans. He then merged them together to form Ternion.
Slade's creation of Plasmus, Overload, and Cinderblock. He used it to fight the Teen Titans when Terra could not fight them any longer.
Gizmo, Mammoth, and Jinx
Slade recruited Gizmo, Mammoth, and Jinx to destroy the Teen Titans. However, in the end, he turned on them after they failed him.
Thunder and Lightning
Slade (disguised as an old man with fire powers) used Thunder and Lightning to cause mayhem in Jump City. He encouraged their chaotic behavior and used them to create a fire creature that can destroy the city. Much like other people Slade has interacted with, he used them (especially to catch Robin's attention).
Powers and Abilities
Slade has no superhuman powers, but is still extremely dangerous. He is a ruthless martial artist of the highest caliber and knows a wide range of martial art forms; combined with his heightened speed, strength, reflexes and agility, he is even able to put all five Titans united in combat to shame. He seems to possess some knowledge of ceremonial magic (as seen in the episode Forces of Nature) which could possibly imply that he was working with/for Trigon all along, or he merely has extensive knowledge of the occult. He appears to have access to extremely advanced technology and various secret hideouts, nearly unlimited resources, and a vast army of robot minions. However, his most dangerous attribute is his genius-level intelligence; rather than get his own hands dirty, Slade is adept at laying traps, utilizing high level technology, orchestrating numerous schemes and attacks, and even manipulating others to do his bidding. He is a master of manipulation and psychology, allowing him to get his foes to do almost anything he wants through threats, bribes, or simple fear. Like Robin and his mentor Batman, Slade also uses many gadgets during his fights, including explosives. He was said to have a healing factor.
Following his demise and resurrection as Trigon's herald, he commands a wide range of psychokinetic abilities used to rival those of Raven, particularly his pyromancing (i.e., fire-controlling powers). When serving as Trigon's agent, he is empowered with vast pyrokinetic abilities, superhuman strength and durability, flight, regeneration, phasing, electricity generation, teleportation, and other supernatural powers making him far stronger than the Teen Titans (except for Raven). Moreover, as he was only a skeleton without a body at the time, he was able to sustain heavy damage and was near immortal.
Slade plays a main role as one of the biggest villains in the animated series. His first appearance is "Divide And Conquer" and/or "Final Exam" where he first appears as a silhouetted figure hidden in shadow. In "Divide And Conquer", Slade sends Cinderblock to free Plasmus from jail, as well as other criminals. After Cinderblock and Plasmus were defeated and sent back to jail, Slade then hired Gizmo, Jinx, and Mammoth to defeat the Teen Titans, who were then defeated.
In "Forces of Nature", Slade disguised himself as an old man and convinced Thunder and Lightning to work for him until the two brothers realized that their "fun" was harmful and wrong (thanks to Beast Boy teaching them a lesson). Robin fought the disguised Slade while the other Titans took out the flame monster. After Robin kicked Slade's face, his real face was revealed. Slade then vanished into thin air.
In the episode "Masks", Robin searches obsessively for Slade's identity, going so far as to create a new villain persona known as "Red X" to propose a partnership with Slade. Slade, however, was aware that Robin was Red X all along and the two do battle, with Slade escaping yet again.
In the episodes "Apprentice" Part 1 and 2, he tricks and forces Robin into being his apprentice. When Robin refuses to work for him, Slade threatens to destroy Robin's friends with nanobots of his own design hidden within their bodies. Robin defeated Slade by placing the same nanobots into his system, telling Slade that if he killed his friends he would also lose his current apprentice, Robin. Rather than wipe out the Titans in one blow and have nothing left standing in his way, Slade chose to shut down the nanobots and in doing so allowed Robin to attack him and break half his mask off. Slade brought his entire lair down and escaped once again.
Slade returns in Season 2, where he discovered a girl named Terra, blessed and cursed with tremendous power. Despite the Titans' initial warnings to Terra about Slade's evil, Slade helped Terra learn to control her powers and convinced her to be his apprentice. In the end, after helping Slade conquer Jump City and 'destroy' the Titans, Slade's abuse allowed her conscience to win out, and Terra betrayed Slade, sending him to his doom in a pit of lava.
Sometime after the final battle with Slade, Robin (still obsessed with Slade) inhaled a hallucinogen drug (in dust form) released from Slade's cracked mask. After Robin was knocked out by Cinderblock, he notices Slade approaching, but every time Robin attacked him, Slade didn't have a scratch on him (because actually he was a figment of Robin’s imagination), and Robin couldn't even touch him. Robin's friends couldn't see Slade, because only Robin could; Slade was a hallucination. Robin gets beaten up by Slade, receiving a lot of bruises. Robin’s friends try to explain to Robin that Slade is not there, but Robin (who was still angry) threatened to take down his friends if he got in his way, but Starfire knocks him out. Back at the tower, Slade continues to haunt Robin's mind, and Robin continued to fight a losing battle. Just as all hope is lost, the flickering lights made Slade disappear. Robin believed in his friends that Slade is not real, and switched on the lights, and the Slade hallucination vanished completely.
In the fourth season of the Teen Titans animated series, Slade surprisingly returned, having managed to survive from the pit of lava. Slade had gained new, demonic pyrokinetic powers, flight, invincibility, and the S-shaped Mark of Scath on his head. It is revealed that after Terra killed him, he was resurrected by Trigon, Raven's demonic father.
After Raven sacrificed herself to release Trigon, Robin had no choice but to join Slade to look for Raven. The two traveled into Trigon's underworld, where it was revealed that Slade was existing only as a reanimated corpse. After Terra killed him, he was revived, thanks to Trigon, but Trigon reneged on their deal and refused to return Slade's life. After parting ways with Robin, Slade then came face to face with a demonic guard and stole his weapon after destroying him and regaining his life and strength. Slade then aided the Titans in their final battle against Trigon, only for the demon to blast Slade away. He was never seen again after this, though Robin vowed that if he ever showed up again, they would be ready.
Although he does not make an appearance in the final battle between the Brotherhood of Evil and the Teen Titans (possibility refuse the offer of being member of the Brotherhood of Evil), Slade does appear again in the last episode of the series, taunting Beast Boy about how the seemingly revived Terra no longer wants anything to do with him. But after an intense battle, this Slade is revealed to be a robot duplicate, though its existence suggests that the real Slade is still alive and active.
Video Game Appearance
- Slade's voice actor, Ron Perlman later voiced a different incarnation of Deathstroke in the 2013 animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
- Due to censorship reasons, Slade was not permitted to be referred to by his comic book name Deathstroke. Also, instead of being a mercenary and a killer, he is a terrorist and a criminal mastermind. However, in the French version of Teen Titans, his comic book name Deathstroke is still used.
- For the later release of Young Justice however, Slade was referred to by his original name Deathstroke, only because the Young Justice cartoon was ranked for older audiences (TV-PG), compared to the Teen Titans cartoon (TV-Y7).
- Slade is the only villain from the original comics to not use his original villain name.
- In "Forces of Nature", Slade is disguised as an elderly mystic who bears resemblance to Slade's maskless comic book appearance. Somehow, Slade was able to disguise his muscular frame to look like a small old man.
- 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.
- During his solo fight with the doorkeeper in "The End" Part 2 (with a small glimpse in part 3) you see his scarred skull. However, he regained his flesh after the fight was finished and his face was never revealed.
- His height is 6`4.
- Slade was also planned to appear in the 2013 Teen Titans Go! spin-off where Ron Perlman will possibly reprise his role. Due to his dark, serious nature in the original series however, the creator had trouble in working out how Slade's portrayal would looked like in the series' silly format in spite of able to successfuly integrating Trigon's character in the show to make him more comedic while retaining his threatening nature.
- In Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, Slade eventually made his debut where, like Trigon, his character was written to be more comedic while retaining his threatening side. In contrast of his 2003 version however, this Slade never directly (and repeatedly) engaged the Titans and only wanted to mind his own evil plans until the Titans insisted him to become his archenemy, much to his dismay.
- Slade's face was revealed in an issue of Teen Titans Go! comic, and his face was like Deathstroke where he was unmasked.
- Despite being based off of Deathstroke, he has more in common with Ra's Al Ghul. He is a terrorist mastermind instead of a mercenary, he tries to recruit a member of the Bat Family (only Robin instead of Batman) to be his successor, and he used supernatural means to cheat death (his deal with Trigon in comparison to Ra's Al Ghul's Lazarus Pits).
- Slade is the second main antagonist of a Cartoon Network show that is not defeated at the original end of it. The first was Aku of Samurai Jack (although Aku would later be killed during the show's final season years later).
- He was often believed by fans to be Bruce Wayne.
- In Season 3 episode "Haunted", There are many hints that Slade was just a hallucination beyond his disappearances whenever light appeared.
- During in the fight with Robin in rain, Slade wasn't showing any signed of being rained on.
- When he jumps tree to tree, the branches do not move.
- Whenever he landed on his feet, they didn't make a sound.
- His ultimate whereabouts are unknown, and the reason for his absence in Season 5 is not given (being one of the few villains to not join the Brotherhood of Evil). It could be that he gave up his evil ways after witnessing how easily Raven destroyed Trigon, whom Slade could never defeat, Though this is very unlikely. It is also possible that when Raven undid all Trigon had done (such as destroying the city and turning everyone to stone), this may have included Slade's resurrection (similar to the Source of All Evil in Charmed), though Raven would be unaware of this given asking Robin if Slade got away. According to Glen Murakami the inital plan for Slade in Season 5 when it originally had 20 episodes was he would have returned to usurp the Brain as the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil around the midway point of the season. This was scrapped when the order was reduced to 13 episodes.