"The Judas Contract" was a four-part storyline originally printed in issues #42-44 of Tales of the Teen Titans and concluded in the 1984 Tales of the Teen Titans Annual. The story was written and edited by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez with artwork by Pérez, Romeo Tanghal, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo and Adrienne Roy. Lettering was provided by Ben Oda, Bob La, John Costanza and Todd Klein. All four issues were collected in the 1988 New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract trade paperback. Amongst readers, this storyline is often times cited as the pinnacle of Wolfman and Pérez' run on the title. "The Judas Contract" is the culmination of a sub-plot that began as early as New Teen Titans #2 with the introduction of the Terminator and the H.I.V.E.
"The Judas Contract" is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it reveals the secret origin of Deathstroke the Terminator, arguably the Titans' most notorious adversary. It also brings to a close the Terminator's extended contract with the H.I.V.E. The destruction of the H.I.V.E. is revealed soon after in a follow-up story which takes place in Tales of the Teen Titans #45-47. Deathstroke's partner in crime in this epic, Terra, was introduced in the pages of New Teen Titans #26. She made regular appearances throughout the title and had just been approved for membership to the team when it was revealed that she was secretly working for the Terminator. One of the more controversial elements revealed in this story was the fact that the Terminator and Terra had been having a sexual affair. (it should be noted that while the Terminator is obviously a middle-aged man, Terra is only sixteen-years-old). "The Judas Contract" is also noted for the introduction of Deathstroke's ex-wife, Adeline, but more importantly, it introduces his second son Joey Wilson. Immediately following the events of "The Judas Contract", Joey Wilson adopts the code name Jericho and becomes a regular member of the Teen Titans. Adeline Kane remains a stable supporting character and has made frequent appearances in both New Teen Titans (Volume 2) and Teen Titans Spotlight. In addition, this storyline presents the first appearance of Dick Grayson under his new costume and code-name Nightwing. With the legacy of Robin forever behind him, he maintained the Nightwing identity until recently becoming Batman.
"The Judas Contract" begins shortly after Dick Grayson and Wally West officially retire from active service. Though no longer calling himself Robin, Dick is still intrinsically involved in Titans activity. The group's most recent protégé Terra Markov, is not a full-fledged Titan, but has certainly won the heart and mind of Changeling. None of the Titans suspect that she has been secretly spying on them on behalf of her partner the Terminator. Tara has been feeding Terminator important information regarding the Titans including their secret identities. During a training exercise, the Titans begin to learn how mentally unstable Tara truly is. After enduring numerous playful barbs from Changeling, she unleashes a massive attack that nearly cripples him. The other Titans calm her down, but it is Raven who realizes that there is something seriously dangerous about this girl.
Once Terra acquires all of the information she needs, she informs the Terminator who then systematically takes down each of the Titans. He first strikes at the apartment penthouse shared by Donna Troy and Kory Anders. He incapacitates Kory with a high-yield letter bomb, and renders Donna unconscious with a gas mixture that he adds to her darkroom chemicals. He then takes out Cyborg by electrifying a chair in his apartment. The high voltage shorts out Vic's systems long enough for Deathstroke to collect him. He then tries to take down Dick Grayson at his apartment, but is surprised when the one non-powered Titan manages to elude him. Frustrated, he goes to the Hamptons to take down that last Titan, Changeling. Changeling licks a stack of envelope seals treated with a special poison that renders him unconscious. With all but one of the Titans captured, he brings them to the Rocky Mountain headquarters of his employers, the H.I.V.E. Deathstroke is satisfied that he has completed the contract left behind by his late son Grant, but the H.I.V.E. criticize him for failing to bring them Robin.
Meanwhile, Dick Grayson, having discovered that all of his former teammates have been captured returns to Titans Tower. There he is greeted by Adeline Kane, the Terminator’s ex-wife. She introduces him to her mute son Joey. Adeline tells Dick that Terra is a traitor to the team and has been secretly working with her husband since the moment the Titans first met her. Dick is incredulous at first, but slowly believes Adeline's story after she provides him a comprehensive history on Slade Wilson and the means by which he became the Terminator. Adeline's son Joey, a mutant at birth, possesses the power to possess other people, and he is eager to help Dick rescue the Titans. Realizing that he can never truly retire from super-heroing, Dick adopts a new costume and identity and begins calling himself Nightwing. Joey is also ready to follow him into battle, and takes up the code name Jericho. Adeline gives the heroes the location of the H.I.V.E. command center.
Nightwing and Jericho go the H.I.V.E. base nestled in the Rocky Mountains. They sneak into the facility and discover that the Titans have been strapped to a giant machine which is slowly siphoning away their life energy. Nightwing and Jericho fight through a horde of H.I.V.E. shock troops but are eventually captured. The Terminator is surprised to see his son with the Titans and tries to bargain with the H.I.V.E. to let him go. The H.I.V.E. refuses however and Jericho takes this opportunity to possess his own father. Using the Terminator's body and weaponry, he frees the other Titans and begins fighting the H.I.V.E. Terra is enraged at Terminator and feels that his affection for Joey makes him weak. She loses complete control of her sanity and yearns for nothing more than the death of everyone in the room. Changeling refuses to believe that Terra has gone bad, and is certain that the Terminator has brainwashed her. Terra’s powers rage out of control until finally she causes a mountain of earth and debris to collapse down from the ceiling, killing herself in the process.
The Titans bring Terra's body back to New York for burial. The funeral service is small and only the Titans and the Outsiders are in attendance. The Titans let her Terra’s brother Geo-Force believe that she died heroically while fighting the H.I.V.E.
Issues in storyline are unknown.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Tales of the Teen Titans #42
- Tales of the Teen Titans #43
- Tales of the Teen Titans #44
- Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3
Links and References
|Teen Titans Storyline|
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