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Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Deluxe Edition

Score: 88%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/2
Running Time: 84 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Action/Adventure
Audio: DTS-HD MA: English 5.1, Dolby
           Digital: French 5.1 & Spanish
           (Both Castilian 2.0 & Latin 5.1)

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Features:

  • Deluxe Edition Exclusive:
    • Blue Beetle Figure
  • Titanic Minds: Reuniting Wolfman and Perez
  • Villain Rising: Deathstroke
  • A Sneak Peek at DC Universe's Next Animated Movie, Batman and Harley Quinn
  • Other Sneak Peeks:
    • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
    • Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox
  • Teen Titans Episodes:
    • "Terra"
    • "Titan Rising"

In Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Deluxe Edition, Dick Grayson, as Nightwing, joins back up with the Teen Titans so that they can finally take down Brother Blood and his cult H.I.V.E. Unfortunately, despite the solid teamwork displayed by the young group of heroes, including that of the relatively new member, Terra, it seems Blood is always one step ahead of them.

Now, if you are already familiar with Teen Titans history, you can probably see where this plot is going. After all, it is named after the classic story arch that not only introduced the earth-moving Titan, Terra (Christina Ricci, Sleepy Hollow, Monster, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles), but it also debuted Deathstroke (the late Miguel Ferrer, RoboCop, NCIS: Los Angeles, Crossing Jordan) to the world.

While the original Judas Contract story is what revealed Deathstroke back in 1980, in the DC Animated Movie Universe, we've already seen his iconic orange and black mask as one of the members of the League of Assassins, and someone the new Robin, Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan, Transformers: Robots in Disguise), has already had dealings with. It seems that the two are destined to clash again as Deathstroke has hired himself out to Brother Blood (Gregg Henry, Payback, Slither, Hung) to help keep his cult free of Nightwing (Sean Maher, Serenity, Much Ado About Nothing) and the Teen Titans' interference.

Led by Starfire (Kari Wahlgren, Rick and Morty, The Skylanders game series), Robin, Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin, Wizards of Waverly Place, Rio, Go, Diego! Go!), Raven (Taissa Farmiga, The Final Girls, American Horror Story), Beast Boy (Brandon Soo Hoo, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Tropic Thunder, Ender's Game) and Terra will not only focus on the mission against Blood, but also train and deal with several personal problems to make them better and stronger heroes.

Among these issues are the fact that Blue Beetle misses his family and considering the Sacred Scarab's apparent distrust of Jamie Reyes' father, he will need to gain a lot of control before he can see them again. Meanwhile, Raven constantly meditates to keep her powers in check, and while Beast Boy's insecurities might make him try to be the life of the party, there are some problems stirring under the surface that he will have to deal with someday. Add in Damian's unorthodox upbringing and Terra's own personal demons and it seems the only real happiness in the group is between Starfire and Nightwing who are looking to take their relationship to the next step.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract seems to do a solid job of balancing the characters' personal problems with the group dynamic and missions they are tackling. While the movie isn't non-stop action, the character development pieces are critical to the overall story and even if you know how the plot played out in the comics or the Teen Titans cartoon series, there are enough differences in this particular interpretation to keep you guessing right to the end.

Like several other DC Animated Movie Universe releases, the Deluxe Edition of Teen Titans: The Judas Contract comes with a figure, and this time it's Blue Beetle. As for the on-disc extras, there is a lengthy featurette featuring the creative duo Marv Wolfman and George Perez who made Teen Titans the popular comic it is today. In this featurette, the pair talk about their time on the comic, other projects they've worked on, and hopeful future dealings they might have with each other. For any fan of the comic or this particular creative team, this is enough of a special feature to justify picking up the discs.

That isn't all Teen Titans: The Judas Contract has in the way of extras though. There is also a featurette on the publication history and rising popularity of Deathstroke and a sneak peek at the next animated movie, Batman and Harley Quinn. This one looks like it is sure to excite long-time fans of DC animation as it not only takes many of the visual queues from Batman: The Animated Series, but Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester reprise their roles as Batman and Nightwing, plus The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch will take on the role of Harley, an actress that has the perfect voice for the task.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract also contains two episodes from the Teen Titans cartoon series, and while it couldn't include all of the Terra-centric episodes that made up Season Two, it does have "Terra" and "Titan Rising," the first being the one that introduces the character and the other is the one where she officially joins the team.

This release also contains sneak peeks for two older DC animated movies, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox, though they have both been out for several years now.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Deluxe Edition is a fun and compelling animated movie. What is great is that, even though it isn't the first Teen Titan story in the DC Animated Movie Universe, it doesn't feel like you need a lot of the backstory developed in the past movies to jump in and enjoy. Sure you will get some extra insight, especially with Nightwing and Robin, but overall, if you are looking for a place to dig into the building universe, but you don't want to trek through the previous films, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Deluxe Edition is a good place to get your feet wet and see if you like what the filmmakers are creating.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray. The opinions I share are my own.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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