Joe Wilson, alter-ego Kane Wolfman, and nicknamed "Spawn of Slade" by Curtis Holt, is a mercenary, the former leader of the Jackals and a former agent of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. He is the son of Slade and Adeline Wilson, the brother of Grant Wilson, and the godson of the late Billy Wintergreen.
In 2004, Joe Wilson went camping with his father in Milford Sound, New Zealand. He found some flat ground and pitched his own tent. That night, his father cooked some fish, despite Joe claiming to not like it. Deciding he wasn't hungry, he went for a walk. The following day, the two of them threw a rugby ball around. Another camper, "Darryl", walked past with his family. Slade had Darryl take a photo of him with his son, before he and his family left. For lunch, Joe tried some fish, which he decidedly liked. He continued eating it while his father claimed to go to the bathroom, while he was really going to kill "Darryl", who he'd deduced was a secret agent named Sen Ming. Joe secretly watched as his father proceeded to kill him. Not long after, they left Milford Sound to return home, with Joe being inspired by his father's savagery.
Following in his father's footsteps
After his father went missing during the mission to Lian Yu, Joe had a brother named Grant. Six months afterwards, Joe committed his first murder and slit a man's throat.
Growing up, Joe went on to follow in his father's footsteps, joining the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. When Slade was found and taken into medical care at ASIS, Joe stayed beside him until he woke up, with Slade promising to never leave him again. One year passed and Joe trained with his father and showed him a new prototype suit. One day Slade lost control while sparring as he got flashbacks of him training Oliver and he leaves a heavy scratch on Joe's hand, causing it to bleed, much to Joe's frustration. Another year later Joe found his father slaughtered all the ASIS agents in the ASIS Training Facility. Shocked, Joe asked him what happened only forl Slade to restrain him, claiming the agents were "stopping him" from keeping his promise. Joe was then knocked down before Slade proceeds to leave with the Deathstroke armor.
Inspired by his father's violent brutality, Joe became a mercenary. A few years later he found himself in the Republic of Kasnia, taking a new name, "Kane Wolfman". Found in the wrong place at the wrong time, Joe was imprisoned. However, he was soon freed by the Jackals, becoming their leader.
Reuniting with his father
Slade, having been cured of his madness by Oliver Queen, was eager to know what was going on with his own son, but Joe did not want to see his father after he broke his promise and abandoned him. Regardless, Slade came in trashing the Jackals' headquarters and trying to find out where Joe was. Eventually surrounded by Jackals and disarmed by Joe's man Nylander, Joe entered the room to face Slade. However, he was hesitant to shoot Slade despite him and Nylander agreeing Slade could be a liability. However, after a convincing talk from his father, who begged to let Joe bring him in as a member of the Jackals, Joe put the gun down and accepted Slade's offer. When Slade called Joe by his name, however, Joe said that wasn't his name anymore. Joe said to his father that the Jackals' operation was a "reassignment of resources", which made Slade curious.
Afterwards,, Nylander brought a captive Oliver Queen in front of both Slade and Joe, and Joe tried to make Slade get his "revenge" on the Green Arrow. However, Oliver knocked Joe out after Slade cut Oliver free from the chair, revealing his deception. After this, Joe decided to kill his father instead of trying to reason with him as Slade, along with Oliver, had already interfered with his operation.
Later, as Joe had Nylander and his men go to the site where they would use explosives for their plan, the son of Deathstroke was confronted by Slade, as the latter tried to reason with him so that they could still try to make up their father-son relationship. However, Joe was hesitant and, wanting to make his father pay for all that he did, started a swordfight with him while Oliver massacred the Jackals. As soon as Joe and Slade got to a stopping point, Joe told Slade that he saw the latter murder the Chinese spy back when he was a kid and revealed that Adeline had a son named Grant, as well as that he had slit a man's throat when he was a kid. In response Slade declared he wasn't Deathstroke anymore, so Joe declared that Slade was no longer his father. As Joe tried to kill Slade, Oliver intervened and deflected Joe's sword. Joe announced Slade should have stayed dead before escaping, after which Slade left Oliver with the intention to track down Joe and Grant.
Wearing one of his father's Deathstroke suits and still using the identity of "Kane Wolfman", Joe faced an A.R.G.U.S. team led by John Diggle that tracked him to a red sky-stricken Star City in late 2018 during the start of John Deegan's Elseworlds. He threatened to kill John and his agents in their confrontation, and managed to best them in battle. Before being able to finish them off, Joe was incapacitated by Oliver Queen, using his reality-warped powers of the Flash. He was detained by A.R.G.U.S. afterwards.
After John Deegan used the Book of Destiny to warp reality a second time, Joe Wilson became part of the CCPD, together with Malcolm Merlyn and Ricardo Diaz, hunting down the "Trigger Twins": Oliver Queen and Barry Allen. They managed to apprehend by two, but had to retreat when Oliver suddenly stole Diaz's gun and opened fire on their police car.
After reality was restored, Joe was placed back into A.R.G.U.S. custody. In 2019, he was selected to be a part of the reborn Task Force X, rebranded as the "Ghost Initiative". Joe was interviewed by Diggle and Director Lyla Michaels as part of the selection process, during which he lashed out at Diggle for snarking about his daddy issues, reminding Diggle that he could've killed him easily. After being implanted with a microchip bomb, Joe was put to sleep by Curtis Holt as part of a ploy to trick fellow Ghost Initiative participant Ricardo Diaz into thinking he could escape.
- "The Mirakuru faded for a while. But when it came back, it was like a storm I could not control. And that monster is what my son is trying to emulate. But it's not Mirakuru with Joe. It's anger and resentment. And I don't know how that can be redeemed."
- —Slade Wilson[src]
Joe has always held his father, Slade Wilson in high regards, however, he was revealed to be a sadistic and twisted individual upon reuniting with his father, clearly not the same boy Slade expressed his fond memories of to Oliver Queen when they were both on Lian Yu. Joe's ruthlessness was further seen when Oliver was captured and encouraged his father to kill him, knowing about the "debt" Oliver owed him and even promised to make Oliver's son, William Clayton suffer as well. This may be due to seeing his father ruthlessly kill Sen Ming as a child and aspiring to be like him, going as far as implying that he slit the throat of his younger brother Grant Wilson. Upon learning that Slade is no longer the killer he once was, Joe became disappointed and denounced him as his father, and would have killed him had Oliver not interfered.
- Peak of human physical condition: Joe is in top physical condition thanks to the special training he went through in ASIS in order to become an effective killing machine for the sake of his country. Joe is very durable and resilient. He has quick reflexes like his father, being able to catch up with his fast strikes and slashes. He was able to quickly recover after Oliver Queen knocked him out, and his physical condition and skill allowed him to fight his father, one of the most physically powerful individuals in the multiverse, Slade Wilson on equal terms for an extended period of time (although the latter was holding back). In an alternate reality, Joe proved powerful enough to overpower and toss down John Diggle despite the latter's remarkable strength.
- Acrobatics: Joe has skills in acrobatics as he was able to jump over the panel where he fought with his father and quickly depart after being stopped by Oliver.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Joe is a very skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist as a former soldier for ASIS, a trait that he shares with his father, Slade Wilson. His close-range combat skills are very effective and his own ruthlessness and anger makes him even more powerful. Joe is proven to combine his hand-to-hand combat with swordsmanship in order to take his opponents down. His skill is great enough that he was able to fight evenly against his father, Slade in battle, who is one of most deadliest combatants in the entire Multiverse and was able to defeat who dozens of members of his group without a scratch (albeit the latter was holding himself back) although he was still defeated and needed to use his father's feelings for him to gain the upper hand. In an alternate reakity, Joe effortlessly killed many A.R.G.U.S. soldiers and managed to overpower John Diggle, a master hand-to-hand combatant/martial artist in his own right. His battling style is very similar to Slade's own, that mostly relies on eskrima and Muay Thai, with different supplements from other martial arts.
- Master swordsman: Like his father, Slade, Joe is extremely powerful swordsman, Joe was able to fight his father, who is one of the most deadliest combatants in the entire multiverse, on equal grounds and even gain the upper hand in some moments (albeit the latter was holding back) but was overwhelmed ultimately.
- Expert stick-fighter: Joe is an expert stick-fighter, able to spar with his father, Slade and impress him.
- Master marksman: Joe is excellent marksman, who is able to use different types of guns and firearms. His skill in marksmanship allowed him to quickly kill several soldiers, while they were in the truck.
- High-level intellect/Expert tactician/Leader: Joe is very intelligent and calculative tactician, just like his father, Slade Wilson. He is able to create extensive plans that could bring disaster to the entire country. He created several quick and effective strategies for combat, infitration and diversion in order to attack the water supply system of Republic of Kasnia. Joe was able to become the leader of Jackals quickly and lead them to silent and almost successful destruction of Kasnia. Joe is shown to be very perceptive person, who cannot trust somebody easily and carefully observes is target, as he still suspected his father in hiding something and wasn't surprised after his betrayal. He is also very skilled in usage of different explosive materials and bombs, being able to use them with maximum accuracy and destruction. He created a plan to take down the water supply system of the entire country using the stolen explosives. He also is skilled with grenades.
- Deathstroke suit: Joe used one of Slade Wilson's Deathstroke suits after arriving to Star City during the Elseworlds phenomenon.
- Flak jacket: Joe wears protective jacket with multiple pockets.
- Jackals suit: Joe owns a suit that is similar to a military uniform. This suit is shown to have a flak jacket, bandoleer, grenades and possibly other weapons.
- Sword: Joe has a sword, that very similar to katana, with a white hilt. He carries it on his back, just like his father, Slade.
- Sidearm: Joe carries a sidearm on his right thigh.
- Sub-machine gun: Joe carries a sub-machine gun strapped to his person.
- Grenades: Joe has grenades, that could be used for attack or escaping the battle.
- Arrow: Vengeance (non-canon)
Behind the scenes
- In the main DC comics continuity, Joseph William Wilson first appeared in "Teen Titans" #43, as the mute and openly bisexual superhero known as "Jericho". He would later become an on-again, off-again villain to the Titans, due to assorted reasons.
- In the DC comics, Slade Wilson had three children; Grant, Joseph and Rose. The Arrow version of Joe has more in common with the comics version of Grant, being the eldest son of Slade and growing up to be a ruthless mercenary like him despite hating his guts.
- Joe's alias "Kane Wolfman" has two references; Kane is a nod to Joe's mother Adeline's maiden name while Wolfman is a nod to Marv Wolfman, the DC comic book writer who created Deathstroke.