Review: ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract’ Film

Director: Sam Liu

Executive Producer: James Tucker

Screenwriter: Ernie Altbaker

To me, a sign of a good movie is that you can watch it again at least once. As a self-professed connoisseur of DC Universe Original Animated Movies, there are still titles that I will watch over and over again because they were pure enjoyment. I’ll share them with you another time.

The latest in their line is an adaptation based on a work by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez – Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, The Judas Contract centers around Tara Markov aka Terra. She gains the trust of her fellow teammates, only to turn on them, leading to their capture by Deathstroke.

Worth The Wait

The Judas Contract is long overdue. The film was scheduled for release after Superman: Doomsday over ten years ago. Surprisingly, the project was scrapped. Year after year, fans asked “When are we getting a Judas Contract movie?” It seemed after animated stints with Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! that fans would never get an adaptation of the highly acclaimed storyline (other than the series). But producer James Tucker tipped his hat at the end of the release of last year’s Justice League vs Teen Titans. A figure familiar to comic book fans comes flying toward the screen on a boulder – Terra.

Stellar execution by Sean Maher (Nightwing), Kari Wahlgren (Starfire), Stuart Allan (Robin) and the rest of the cast. There is also this new (wink-wink) actor named Christina Ricci – you may have heard of her. She gives a great performance as Terra, and makes you really care for her character. We are also treated to the late Miguel Ferrer stepping into the role of Deathstroke. He was made for the role of Slade Wilson. It is a shame we won’t be treated to his work again. Meg Foster also gives a chilling rendition of Mother Mayhem.

There are some slight changes to the original plot by Wolfman and Pérez, but it fits into the world crafted by James Tucker. Tucker and director Sam Liu don’t disappoint with this latest installment. Kudos to Ernie Altbaker for writing such a splendid screenplay. I won’t spoil some of those changes, because I want you to see them for yourself, and I’m hoping for more Teen Titans movies. I will say to pay attention at the opening, end of the film and post-credits for some special cameos.

Like a Master Class for Comic Books

Speaking of special – let’s talk about the features. Marv Wolfman and George Pérez are credited with bringing the Teen Titans to popular status. Without them, there would be no Teen Titans or Teen Titans Go! animated series – even though they are loosely based on Wolfman and Pérez’s work.

One of the features gives us these two living legends as they discuss the beginning stages of the book New Teen Titans. Wolfman and Pérez are credited for turning these figures from sidekicks to characters in their own right. They were young adults dealing with grown up adventures. Wolfman and Pérez return for a second feature about Deathstroke. We learn about the creation of Slade Wilson and his motivations.

Another feature is a Sneak Peek of this summer’s Batman and Harley Quinn. I won’t tell you about that one, but if you’re interested, you can read more about the film here.

Conclusion

My review is based on the digital release which debuted on April 4, 2017. As of this writing, I am about to watch Teen Titans: The Judas Contract again. Chances are pretty good that I will watch it a third and fourth time… maybe even a fifth.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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Kevin Gunn

Kevin is married with 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He loves all things related to DC Comics, even those movies that get a bad rep like "Batman & Robin" and "Catwoman." Kevin began writing for our sister site, DC Comics News, in 2015 as a Staff Writer. His passion for scripting stories caught the eye of the editorial staff, and earned him a position as Assistant Editor. Recently, Kevin became the Editor in Chief of Dark Knight News. He has a degree in Communication from the University of Louisville. His favorite DC hero and villain are Black Lightning (though Batman is a close second) and Black Manta respectively. Kevin tries to exemplify being a hero everyday by helping others. Something interesting about him: he was a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." Follow Kevin on Twitter - @captsigma