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Blu-ray Review: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

  

by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor

TEEN TITANS! GO!

The Teen Titans are back for more adventures in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. In the sequel to Justice League vs. Teen Titans, the Titans find themselves facing off with Brother Blood and Slade Wilson (a.k.a. Deathstroke), who have come together to take the Titans down once and for all. When a traitor is discovered within their own ranks, the young heroes will be forced to push their skills and teamwork to new limits.

In regards to the comics, there is no Teen Titans story that has been held in higher regard than “The Judas Contract.” Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s classic is a tale that shows the team at both their highest and lowest points as they overcome amazing challenges. This story was originally intended to be the third in the DC Universe Original Film series back in 2008, but the project was shelved due to “lack of interest”. Thanks to the success of Justice League vs. Teen Titans, fans will finally get to experience this long-awaited adventure, and the lead-in from the previous Titans film couldn’t be a better setup.

 

The Judas Contract begins with a flashback to five years ago. The original Teen Titans (Dick Grayson’s Robin, Flash, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, and Speedy) encounter an alien attack in progress and opt to help the person in need. Little did they know, the person being pursued was Starfire, who would soon join their team and change the lives of the Titans forever. Now in present day, Grayson has returned to the team as Nightwing, and the Titans are in the process of taking down the organization known as H.I.V.E. Little do they know, Brother Blood has hired Deathstroke to capture the Titans, so that he can use a machine to steal their powers and become a being with God-Like abilities. With his friends missing and a traitor within the team revealed, Nightwing is forced to launch a last-ditch rescue mission to save his friends. 

 

Since Justice League: WAR, viewers have been treated to several of the DC Universe Films taking place within the same continuity. One of the highlights of bridging the films has been the opportunity to see some of the characters develop relationships and grow beyond single installments. The Judas Contract features the payoff for the Nightwing/Starfire relationship that has been building since Son of Batman, and couldn’t be a more satisfying experience. These two characters are fantastic together, and it is nice to see the creative team play to their respective strengths. Additionally, the dynamic between Slade and Damien Wayne was equally as impressive. The decision to tie back to Son of Batman and Slade’s outright hatred for the Grandson of Ra’s al Ghul added a new twist and motivation to The Judas Contract story. While the relationships listed above were the highlights of the film, I was disappointed that all of the development between Damien and Raven seemed to be fully missing from this installment. Their interactions were truly phenomenal in JL vs TT, and I was hoping that we would see more growth in this regard. Hopefully the creative team will pick up on this thread in future installments. 

 

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract features returning voice actors Stuart Allan (Damien Wayne/Robin), Taissa Farmiga (Raven), Brandon Soo Hoo (Beastboy), Jake T. Austin (Blue Beetle), Kari Wahlgren (Starfire), Sean Maher (Nightwing), and Miguel Ferrer (Deathstroke). The creative team also included several of the Young Justice voice-actors, including Crispin Freeman (Speedy), Masasa Moyo (Bumblebee), and Jason Spisak (Kid Flash). The film also features Christina Ricci (Speed Racer) as Terra, Gregg Henry (Jason Bourne) as Brother Blood, and Kevin Smith (Clerks) as himself. 

Special Features
  • Titanic Minds: Reunited Wolfman and Perez
  • Villain Rising: Deathstroke
  • 2 Bonus Cartoons
  • Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s next animated movie: Batman and Harley Quinn. Bruce Timm returns, and he’s reuniting with some familiar voice actors for the next animated adventure.
  • Digital HD Copy
 
Overall

Whenever a fan favorite story is adapted to animation, there is always a level of hesitation and concern that the film won’t do the original story justice. Fans will be pleased to know that Teen Titans: The Judas Contract easily lives up to expectations, and provides a perfect modernization to the story as well. The decision to wait until the characters had been re-established before doing this specific tale was extremely smart, and it should allow viewers to form deeper connections to the challenges that face the Titans. 

Rating: [5/5] ComicsOnline gives Teen Titans: The Judas Contract 5 “I can’t believe they added Jericho to the movie” scenes out of 5.
 
 
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About Matt Sernaker

(Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations) Matt interviewed MacGyver once (true story), and was invited on a submarine to the Arctic. It hasn't happened yet, but Matt hopes that some day he will get the call and he and Richard Dean Anderson will go off and have a wacky adventure.

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