January 4, 2012

Review: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

Writer Marv Wolfman and George Perez proved why Teen Titans was one of the top-tier titles of the 1980s with well-crafted stories like the Judas Contract miniseries within a series. The groundbreaking saga proved to be icing on the cake on a very popular run on the title for both. The memorable tale of betrayal stood out from most titles published at the time. Even today, no other stories come close or have continuing ties to the masterpiece that Wolfman and Perez delivered decades ago. It's one thing to kill off superheroes and resurrect them, it's another to come with creative tales like this.

Besides the X-Men, the Teen Titans were one of the more popular comics to emerge out of the 1980s. The comic focused on younger superheroes formally associated with more popular mentor such as Batman, Wonder Woman and even Aquaman. The 1980s revival of the Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, also brought intergalactic characters (Starfire) and supernatural ones (Raven) for the young group to partner with against evil and injustice. Eventually, the team would bring on a new team member, Tara Markov aka Terra. Tara would be the centerpiece for this miniseries.

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With the Judas Contract storyline, it was a radically different saga for the team. The team's greatest nemesis, Deathstroke the Terminator, has a spy in Terra, who infiltrates the ranks of the Titans. Despite the individual personal problems that Wolfman had already piled on for practically each Titan (Cyborg/Victor Stone's relationship issues, Wonder Girl/Donna Troy's upcoming wedding, etc), the betrayal of a team member certainly put more burden on the team's shoulders.  What with Brother Blood, Trigon and even the Brotherhood of Evil, the team had enough to deal without team members being traitors. Nobody was more devastated then Gar Logan, who was in love with Tara. One of the more positive aspects to develop from this saga was the debut of Dick Grayson as Nightwing and shedding his role as Robin for good.

Dick Grayson tries to figure out the mystery
The Judas Contractremains a timeless classic that will be revered for it's fresh and original storyline. Wolfman's only fault was revealing the traitor plot against the Titans early on.  Perhaps if he had kept the readers in the dark, it would have been more suspenseful and dramatic. Wolfman and Perez took the Titans to new heights and this epic miniseries within a series, was a cornerstone of their incredible run together on the title, that captivated the 1980s. It's legacy continues today with characters like Deathstroke becoming fan favorites and the success of the Teen Titans animated series.

1 comment:

  1. Am I the only one who thinks this storyline is overrated?

    I will admit that the way they are captured in the comics is much more logical than in the series. There was no way Terra should have been able to almost kill the Teen Titans one-on-one even with Deathstroke's help, as they have more experience in general. And it was completely stupid for them to go after each individual monster in an obvious trap. At leas them being attacked before they find out that Terra was a traitor makes more sense. Though, the fact that they couldn't figure out that something was wrong is completely stupid too, it's so blaintantly obvious that even I could figure this out.

    Though at least in the cartoon series they gave Terra sometwhat relatable motivations ( I say somewhat because it's still no excuse for her."

    Second of all, there are way too many plot holes to actually name as to why the storyline happens. (Ex: Why would Raven's empathic powers be faulty when her life is potentionally in danger? How can Terra be smart enough to trick the Teen Titans but stupid enough to not analyze Deathstroke's life and figure out he has a thing for his son, Jericho? How come the Teen Titans never did background checks? How can Geo-Force not know how his sister's nature was? etc.)

    Third of all, The most basic amount of common sense would have foiled their plans instantly.

    But there were good things that came out of this storyline, no doubt; The introduction of Nightwing and Jericho, the dramatic change of Beast Boy (though it wasn't needed, as he was already dealing with betrayal stuff before, same with the other Titans).

    There are other problems, however, that I probably haven't touched upon.