Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (Comics or Animation, Who Got It Right?)

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

Comics or Animation, Who Got It Right?

by Phil Perich for the Legends of DC Blog


This week the DC animated movie Teen Titans the Judas Contract was released on Blu-Ray, and yes I know it’s been out for a weeks digitally.  Call me old fashioned, but I still like my entertainment (comics, TV shows and movies) in hard copy form.  I always worry when classic comic storylines are adapted to live action or animated movies.  Can you inject the same emotions and depth into a two hour (or less) movie that is equal to a comic storyline that maybe took months or even years to set up?  Let’s look at the difference and similarities.


Friends Until The End

One of the biggest weaknesses of this movie in my opinion is the lineup of members of the Teen Titans.  Set in the continuity of DC’s latest animated universe, a few of the members were missing or altered that were there in the original comics.  Because the current movies are based on DC Comics New 52 continuity, which was never my favorite, we didn’t get Cyborg in this movie, one of the classic all time Titans.  Donna Troy, who was central to many of the Titan tales of that time didn’t show up until the end of the movie, and as a rookie with less experience than the newest Blue Beetle or Damian Wayne Robin?  I consider this to be a big fail!


Leading Man

Another classic moment in comic book history that was overlooked in this movie, probably once again because this movie was set in the current DC animated universe is the introduction of Dick Grayson as Nightwing into the DC Universe.  As with Batman: the Killing Joke animated movie from a few months ago, I wish this movie had also been set in it’s own continuity so we could have had the coming of age story of Dick Grayson leaving Batman’s shadow and becoming his own man and hero in the form of Nightwing.  This also precluded any chance of first Dick and then the rest of the Titans meeting one of their long time allies, Deathstroke’s own son Joesph, aka Jericho.


Hot For Teacher

It seems strange that with all the strong story points that didn't make it to the movie, that one of the most controversial ones was at least hinted at in this movie.  Though never shown in the comics either (thank goodness) and hinted at was the fact that Deathstroke and underage Titans traitor Terra were involved in some form of sexual/physical relationship.  Shown once in the movie and several times in the comics in various forms of undress Terra was portrayed as at least being attracted to Deathstroke.  Was Terra trying to convince herself she was totally evil and not worthy of true love?  I also believe the emotional twist of Terra betraying the Titans who considered her a friend was lacking in the movie also, where the comics had her work with the team for many months at least before her betrayal was revealed instead of all in one movie.  


So there are the facts (in my opinion), although I usually throw my vote to the print side, since comics have more time and room to flesh out stories and characters.  What did you think?  Did this movie compare at all to the original?  What classic story should DC animated next? Or leave well enough alone?  Let’s chat!


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You can hear me and my friends discuss all things DC Comics on the Legends of DC (@LegendsOfDCPod), Before the Bat (@BeforetheBatPod) and Channel 52 podcasts (@channel52pod).  I also write another blog, the True Believers Blog, on all things Marvel.  You can find all of my podcasts and blogs and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com and all of my creative endeavors at www.philperich.wordpress.com.