Teen Titans Judas Contract (7)

Not every comic book is fortunate enough to have that one landmark storyline that defines it for years to come. To find create a tale that has ramifications which echo for years to come, is no small feat. Neither is an adaptation of that story from printed page to a more dynamic medium on a TV screen, as the pressure mounts to live up to the expectations of something which fans consider iconic.

Teen Titans Judas Contract (6)

DC and Warner Bros. Animation have had a mostly crackin’ good run at doing just that over the last decade. All Star Superman, The Dark Knight Returns and Justice League: The New Frontier are prime examples of the medium honouring a story. Last year’s Batman: The Killing Joke, less so. While 2016 may have resulted in that black mark on the record of the DC Animated Universe, Justice League vs Teen Titans was still a positive step in the right direction.

Teen Titans Judas Contract (5)

Exciting, relatable action with an extremely likable cast and Damien Wayne’s Robin. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract carries the momentum it earned with last year’s debut, managing to make a story with a thirty-year old plot twist feel fresher than ever before. The Judas Contract is well aware that its key plot twist kind of loses its impact (Newcomer Terra being a covert double agent for Deathstroke and Brother Blood’s cult) after having been debated for so many years, so it instead refocuses its energy on the members of the Titans.

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A move that pays off beautifully, and actually makes the eventual betrayal feel that much more poignant.

Teen Titans Judas Contract (1)

We get to see a Beast Boy who hides his alienation behind the facade of team clown, a Blue Beetle whose symbiotic attachment to a slightly homicidal piece of alien technology result in him having to distance himself away from his family and Starfire question her role as team leader and mentor. The Teen Titans at their best, are when they reflect the struggles of the youth of today, especially when they’re trying to understand not only their identity but their place in the world today.

We’re living in a particularly crazy world right now, a sentiment that The Judas Contract subtly captures with just the right amount of angst and drama. Between all of that is Terra herself, a revived Deathstroke’s ultimate weapon in his game to get revenge on the Titans.

Teen Titans Judas Contract (3)

She’s the tragedy of this film, a pawn whose role remains largely unchanged from the source material, sleazy underage sexual overtones and all. Unlike The Killing Joke however, The Judas Contract manages to handle this subplot with actual care and grace, resulting in a character portrayal that you feel pity for. The most human character on the team that she stabs in the back, she’s trapped by her own past and tortured by her inability to let go of her pain.

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Teen Titans Judas Contract (8)

Juxtaposed to all of this fortunately, is an actual effort to inject more light-hearted moments into the story. Whether they’re on a mission or training, the Titans feel like a team. They’ve settled into their roles, with each member providing some value to the overall story no matter how brief it may be. That’s pretty much the best aspect of The Judas Contract then: It feels like an extended episode of Young Justice.

Teen Titans Judas Contract (4)

A movie-length episode of that beloved series that manages to balance heavy action with lighter character-building that isn’t afraid to jump into darker themes. It’s youthful, energetic and surprisingly mature content that puts the DCAU back on the right track after it kicked off 2017 with the surprisingly enjoyable Justice League Dark. A fitting farewell to the late Migeul Ferrer who gives Deathstroke just the right amount of sleaze, danger and lethality in his final performance.

Last Updated: April 12, 2017

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
Summary
You may see the betrayal coming from a mile away in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, but you’ll still feel its effects long after the end credits have rolled.
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Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Admiral Chief

    Managed 15mins, got bored…will try again tonight

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I dug it, lank.

  • For the Emperor!

    Dude spoilers – not everyone read the source 🙁

  • Jim of the Banana

    I’ve been enjoying these animated DC movies. 😀

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