In Review: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

I would’ve preferred that writer Ernie Altbacker had incorporated less of Terra and more of Deathstroke’s family history.

Synopsis: Led by Starfire, the Teen Titans – Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and the just-returned Nightwing – have built a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil; but their newest teammate, the mysterious and powerful Terra, may be altering that dynamic. Meanwhile, an ancient evil, Brother Blood, has awakened, and familiar foe Deathstroke is lurking in the shadows – both waiting to pounce. Ultimately, the Teen Titans will need to battle their enemies and their own doubts to unite and overcome the malicious forces around them in this twisting tale of intrigue, adventure and deception.

Review: Because I’m visually impaired, I’m extremely selective about the comics I read. Generally, I prefer screen adaptations. They cause less eye strain and fewer canon headaches. The script writers have to sift through years of retcons, actually make choices, and deliver a single narrative continuity.

That said, I do read comic plot synopses for reference when I review these films. In this case, I would’ve preferred that writer Ernie Altbacker had incorporated less of Terra and more of Deathstroke’s family history. Joey Wilson would’ve been far more interesting than Tara Markov. She came off as a by-the-numbers plot device — driven by melodramatic meta-human existential angst and teen soap daddy issues. I realize pain is relative and not everyone can get past theirs, which is one of the stated lessons of  Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. However, I prefer characters like Starfire and Raven, who have even more baggage than Terra did, and still manage to rebuild their lives.

Now that I’ve gotten the subjective stuff out of the way, I thought that Altbacker did an excellent job of combining original comic continuity with the modern continuity of the Teen Titans films. I also really enjoyed the regular voice cast. The guest actors were particularly awesome, however. Meg Foster was great as Mother Mayhem, giving me a flashback to her turn as Evil-Lyn in Masters of The Universe. Kevin Smith played himself in one of the best meta-commentary sequences I’ve seen in a while. Miguel Ferrer stood out, though, as a truer to canon Deathstroke. He was a consummate actor, and he’ll be missed.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and V.O.D.

Cast

Christina Ricci, Miguel Ferrer, Sean Maher , Taissa Farmiga, Jake T. Austin, Brandon Soo Hoo, Kari Wahlgren, Stuart Allan, Gregg Henry, Maria Canals-Barrera, Meg Foster, Crispin Freeman, Masasa Moyo, David Zayas, Jason Spisak, Kevin Smith

Director

Sam Liu

Producers

Sam Register, James Tucker, Alan Burnett

Writer

Ernie Altbacker

9.5
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
  • The Good: Story, Performances, Animation
  • The Bad: I would've preferred focus on different characters.
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Animation
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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