BLU-RAY REVIEW: TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT
After a much-needed vacation to Walt Disney World, The Dork Knight is back and has a lot of catching up to do. First up is the latest animated feature from DC, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Warning, spoilers ahead…
Before my comic book love of Batman, there was my love of the Teen Titans by the creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez. When I was a teenager myself, it was easy to be drawn into the Titans and the stories that Wolfman wrote along with the incredible art my Perez, made it a must have each month. Now comes one of their signature stories, The Judas Contract. If you’re hoping for a retelling of that story, you might be disappointed. Admittedly, I started out being disappointed. But after a while, I looked at this as an “alternate universe” version of the same story set to the current continuity of the DC Animated Universe. Once the realization of this adaptation not being an exact duplicate, the true essence of the story remains the same. The twists, the tragedy of betrayal still hurts like it did when I first read it.
After a quick intro on how Starfire joined the Titans and seeing a young Dick Grayson as Robin, the scene shifts to the present where Dick is now Nightwing and has returned to the Titans to take down H.I.V.E. and Brother Blood. Already part of the team is Terra (Christina Ricci) who has the power to manipulate the Earth and all its matters. Terra will be the centerpiece of the conflict between the Titans and Brother Blood. Unknown to the team, master assassin Deathstroke (voiced by the late Miguel Ferrer) is out for revenge and he has a secret agent on the inside… Terra.
What is refreshing is that as much as I love Batman, there is wealth of potential with DC’s other characters even the ones with ties to the Dark Knight. DC should embrace their gallery of heroes. They have proven in the past that while live action films is not their strongpoint, as of yet anyway, they do know how to put out worthy animated films and that’s a huge plus.
While I do wish that Warner Brothers would deliver on true adaptations of their classics (i.e. The Killing Joke), I was okay with this interpretation of The Judas Contract. This probably should be rated higher but the deviation from the source material in which this was based on that defined my childhood and my love for comics, makes me a harsher critic. That aside, this could easily be one of DC’s best-animated features. The biggest gripe I will continue to have with the DCAU in general is that more and more we see mature subject matters in place of something more kid friendly. There doesn’t seem to be a balance. I think the days of such releases are long gone and that’s a shame.
Next up is Batman/Harley Quinn by Bruce Timm due out this summer.
Directed by: Sam Liu
PG13 84 Mins
Sean Maher as Nightwing
Kari Wahlgren as Starfire
Christina Ricci as Terra
Miguel Ferrer as Deathstroke
Stuart Allen as Damien Wayne/Robin
Jake T. Austin as Blue Beetle
Brandon Soo Hoo as Beast Boy
Gregg Henry as Brother Blood
TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT – ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
May the Dork be with you,
The Dork Knight