The DC Universe of Animated Original Movies recently had a new entry that is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract continues in that shared universe with characters we saw the Titans in most recently with Justice League vs. Teen Titans; this time, it’s adapting a classic storyline from the comics in a modern, updated take. The original “Judas Contract” storyline ran in the comics over thirty years ago; it was one of the great stories of the legendary era of Marv Wolfman and George Perez helming the comic book title.
Watching this feature, I found that I really like this group of characters as they are presented here. Some time has passed, and Nightwing is hanging out which is always cool. Nightwing now has his “New 52” outfit that is already outdated; that’s fine, though. What I find most interesting and appealing, though, is that unlike the New 52 comics initiative, it feels more like DC is taking the “best of” for these animated features, updating while not replacing. I admit there are some story beats that resonated more in the comics – I mean, that was the story that introduced Nightwing, which of course is not something that happens here – but for a younger fan, especially, this is very cool. (I do wonder, though, how some of the surprises will pan out for those who don’t know the comics – those who don’t know who Jericho is, or don’t know who will betray the team beforehand.)
When I say “younger fan,” I should again point out that this is not for children. There is some cursing. There is violence. There are sexual innuendos.
Eagle-eyed (eared?) fans should listen to the voices in the flashback scene as you may hear some Young Justice favorites. I guess I do see some comparisons between this and YJ, in that both did the update thing so well.
By the way, if you’re curious, here’s how the release is described:
Inspired by the 1984 DC story arc from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract finds the Teen Titans – Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and the just-returned Nightwing – working as a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil. But their newest teammate, the mysterious and powerful Terra (voiced by Christina Ricci), may be altering that dynamic. Meanwhile, an ancient evil, Brother Blood (Gregg Henry), has awakened, and familiar foe Deathstroke (the late Miguel Ferrer) 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.
The version of the set that I was sent to review was the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Combo Pack which came packaged with a Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle figurine that can go with the Nightwing, Robin, John Constantine, and other figures you may have sitting around. (Speaking of Jaime, his hair is a lot better in this movie, as time has passed.)
There are some extras, though sadly they are on the Blu-ray version of the disc, and considering my Blu-ray player is shot at the moment, I couldn’t watch and review. What is there, though, is a featurette on Deathstroke as well as a feature about Marv Wolfman and George Perez. While I haven’t seen the features, I appreciate that such attention is given to two, well, titanic creators in the field who I respect so much.
There are also some bonus classic cartoons as well as a sneak peek at Batman and Harley Quinn. On the DVD version of the feature, which I was able to watch, the disc opens with the impressive Wonder Woman trailer.
Is the set worth getting? I’d say yes. I love seeing this world continuing and if anything, it makes up a little bit for not gettin that live action Teen Titans show that I want to see already. Fans purchasing these movies means they’ll keep making them… and best of all, it means that the younger generation can get to see new takes on some of comics’ greatest tales. Not a bad deal.
You can purchase Teen Titans: The Judas Contract here, and if you’re curious to read the original comic book stories that inspired the movie, you can find the newly rereleased trade paperback on Amazon.com.