Welcome back to another edition of ASK…THE QUESTION, our regular feature where you, the members of our DC Community, can consult an expert to get answers to any question you may have about DC history and minutiae. I’m Alex Jaffe, better known to the community as HubCityQuestion. And I have the honor of being that very expert, making use of my knowledge of the DC multiverse and beyond. Below are some of the more fascinating questions we’ve received this past month, all of them asked by a fan like you. Now, let’s get some answers!

For Whom the Death Strokes

Wrightline1.42741 asks:

Taking into account all other mediums in which both have appeared (and faced off), who has Slade fought the most, the Titans or Batman?

That’s quite the tall order, but I’ll tell you up front the numbers have historically gone to the Titans…with a couple exceptions.

In Comics (Pre-Flashpoint):

Deathstroke has appeared in about a thousand different comics, so please forgive me for taking a sample size here. Notably, his first appearance was as a bereaved father swearing vengeance on the Teen Titans in 1980’s The New Teen Titans #2. He wouldn’t encounter Batman at all until eleven years later in Deathstroke the Terminator #7-9, Batman’s only appearances in the original Deathstroke run.

Prior to the New 52, Deathstroke himself would only appear in two issues of Batman, both of which were as a hired gun for Black Mask against Red Hood, and three issues of Detective Comics, for one story arc in issues #708-710. All together, that’s six, maybe eight issues of Batman vs. Deathstroke action if you count those Red Hood incidents.

In contrast, from his first appearance in 1980 until 2011’s Flashpoint, Deathstroke would oppose the Titans through over 100 issues. He was their most consistent foe during this period.

In Comics (Post-Flashpoint):

With the New 52, Batman and Deathstroke’s relationship would get considerably more antagonistic, with Batman appearing in eighteen Deathstroke issues, and Deathstroke appearing in 24 issues across Batman-specific titles. The tipping point here is likely informed by Deathstroke’s presence in the Arkham video games, rumors and plans for incorporating Deathstroke into a live action Batman film, and related online discourse regarding the perceived parallel competencies of the two figures.

Forty-two encounters is certainly nothing to dismiss. And with Deathstroke going solo in his own books for most of the time since the New 52 began, Slade Wilson had more or less relaunched himself into a character who exists independently from Batman or the Teen Titans. In fact, throughout the New 52, Deathstroke never really fights the Titans at all. He does appear as an enemy of Rose Wilson’s Titan spinoff team, the Ravagers, but I can’t count that in earnest.

Upon entering the Rebirth era, we learn why Deathstroke has been sitting out his antipathy towards the Titans since 2011 in 2017’s “Lazarus Contract” crossover between the Titans, Teen Titans and Deathstroke titles, where it’s revealed that Slade and Dick had agreed upon a ceasefire on the condition that he train his daughter Rose to be a hero. But in last year’s Dark Crisis, Deathstroke finally broke that truce by destroying Teen Titans Academy and returning to the top of the Titans’ most wanted list.

In Film:

Slade is the main villain of Teen Titans GO! to the Movies. In the LEGO franchise, Batman fights Deathstroke in LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League - Gotham City Breakout. In the DC animated movie continuity from Flashpoint Paradox to Apokolips War, he’s a Batman villain in Son of Batman and a Teen Titans villain in The Judas Contract. In live action, he hasn’t fought either. So that’s two points on either end.

In Television:

As “Slade,” Deathstroke was the Teen Titans villain in sixteen different stories, counting multiparters as single appearances (and robots/visions as appearances as well, as they reinforce the idea that Slade is an enemy to the Titans). As Slade, Deathstroke is a recurring presence throughout the second half of Beware the Batman’s single season, but earnestly opposes Bruce as Batman twice.

In live action, eight episodes of Titans feature Deathstroke as a Titans enemy. Then there’s Arrow, where he’s mainly an enemy of, well, Green Arrow. And between appearances in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Smallville and most recently, My Adventures with Superman, there’s now arguably enough evidence to claim Deathstroke as a Superman villain.

In Video Games:

Deathstroke appears as a Batman villain in three Batman: Arkham games (Arkham City Lockdown, Arkham Origins and Arkham Knight), and as a Teen Titans boss in the 2006 Teen Titans video game. That makes games the only realm of media where you could reasonably claim Deathstroke is more of a Batman villain than a Titans villain, and that’s only by virtue of there being many more Batman games than Titans games. If the Teen Titans had their own video game franchise, Deathstroke would most likely be in every entry.

In summation, there was a decade in comics from 2011-2021 where Deathstroke was more active as a Batman villain than a Titans villain, likely in preparation for film plans which never materialized. But historically, for most of the character’s existence, Deathstroke has primarily been a Titans villain. And since Dark Crisis, we appear to be back to the teenager-hassling business as usual.

The Man of Beef

Jurisdiction asks:

So, recently I read that Superman’s favorite food is beef bourguignon. However, I saw that another source said Superman’s favorite food is beef wellington. Do you know which it is?

Superman’s favorite food was consistently depicted as beef bourguignon between the ’70s and the 2000s, in reference to a classic moment in 1974’s Superman #276 where, to Lois Lane’s dismay, Clark smothers his beef bourguignon order on a restaurant date with ketchup. Two years later, in 1976’s Superman #297, Lois prepares a proper beef bourguignon, sans ketchup, for a home-cooked meal. Clark admits it to be a vast improvement, and it’s his favorite dish from then on.

References to the dish stop around the publication of Superman: Birthright, where Superman is reimagined as a vegetarian. Whatever source you encountered that cites it as beef wellington is most likely a misquotation.

Why is that issue so well remembered, you might ask, to the point that this piece of trivia continually gets brought up for the next thirty years after its introduction? Probably because of the other thing that happens in Superman #276. Aside from ruining a perfectly good meal, this is also the issue where Superman first battles Shazam—or at least, the trademark-safe simulacrum “Captain Thunder,” before DC had acquired the rights to the character outright.

Follow-Up Questions

idle453.87595 asks:

I was just reading some old Question comics and wondered has anyone else (besides Renee) ever worn the faceless mask?

There have been other faceless characters in DC history, such as the Faceless Hunters from Saturn, but let’s keep the answer focused on the actual pseudoderm mask.

First let’s address the simulacra who exist in a more metaphysical idea space. There’s Rorschach, who spiritually “inherited” his persona by way of Watchmen. There’s the Fact, a colleague of Flex Mentallo implied heavily in Doom Patrol and tie-ins to be, like Flex himself, a comic book character brought to life. Finally, there’s the Question of the “Trinity of Sin,” a Prometheus-like figure (in the Greek sense, not the JLA sense) whose true nature remains forever a mystery. We can put them aside too.

Now let’s talk about the mantle itself. In I Am Batman, Renee Montoya mentors a new hero, Hadiyah, to investigate the secrets of New York City beneath a mask as Montoya once did (and still does, after a fashion) for Gotham, and Vic Sage for Hub City before her. While she dons the faceless mask, Hadiyah refers to herself not as the Question, but as Nobody.

That’s actually all we have in concrete continuity, but we do have one possible future written. In Future State: Shazam!, we learn of two heroes who take up the Question’s name after Vic and Renee. One is referred to only as “Drake,” likely implicating Tim Drake, but we have no further information other than that he was killed by a corrupt Shazam. The second is revealed to be Deadman, who had been operating as the Question using an unidentified host body—possibly Vic Sage’s, but just as possibly any other person.

We’re going to call this one here, but you can always stop by my offices in the DC Community for any other mysteries that cross your mind. Always remember—when you reach the end of your research rope and find yourself lost in the DC Universe, you have another option. You can always ASK…THE QUESTION.

Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DC.com. Find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.