The story that turned the Teen Titans into a real adult superhero team in the 80’s was the Judas Contract, it was edgy, violent, and sexy. At the time writers were not pushing the boundaries of the Comics Authority Code, but Wolfman and Perez put the storyline above the code and pushed those lines with the story of a underage girl, in a romantic relationship with a contract killer, who ends up betraying the team. The Titans up to this point were just the big name sidekicks, but that all changed when those sidekicks went off on their own, and one in particular adopted a new identity. The former Robin, Dick Grayson, took on the new name Nightwing, and stayed to lead a new team of Titans.
In this DC Animated world Grayson has already took on the persona of Nightwing, so that part of the original story was left out, but the new fresh team with a traitor in the mist is still there. In the film Starfire in charge of team along with modern team members, and bring Nightwing back to help with the training. These last few films with the Titans have been impressive, not trying to play down the action or seriousness of the storylines to play to a younger crowd. If you want something for your little ones this is not the film, it is everything a PG-13 Titans film should be.
There are multiple story lines throughout the film, some drive the main plot, but there is also time to help develop the chracters on the team. One of the highlights of the film was the romance with Nightwing and Starfire, it was everything it needed to be and more. There were hints of the old Teen Titans cartoon in their relationship, but it felt much more evolved, and I hope they keep building up this duo in future films. There was also a little background on Blue Beetle and Raven, making this a very well rounded film. This new connected universe has been great about continuing storylines throughout all the films. In the past each DCAU film stood alone, making them feel isolated. The new world has the feel of a comic book, because you can see the storylines and chracters connect to the previous films, which should also help sales for WB enticing viewers to go back and watch the last few films to see the call backs to previous stories. There are also little nods to the DC Superhero Girls line as well as to the classic comic story, so make sure watch the credits for a hint at what is coming next.
The DVD/Blu-Ray pack also comes with a Blue Beetle mini stature, which is well done. The sculpting is a perfect representation of the on screen look, as well as a high gloss paint job setting him apart of the other statues in this line.
When you are done with the film there is still plenty to watch.
Sneak Peek of Batman and Harley Quinn: Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, featuring the talented creators and voice cast.
Titanic Minds: Wolfman and Perez: Featurette This revealing documentary explores a creative partnership that has lasted decades as Marv Wolfman and George Pérez come together to discuss their careers and one of the most famous runs in Teen Titan history, The Judas Contract.
Villains United Featurette —Deathstroke: When the super-soldier Deathstroke appears, the forces of good will be in the fight of their lives. This short featurette reveals the origin and unique abilities of this villain.
Trailers for a few of the past releases
The look at Deathstoke is interesting, and continues the tradition of the previous releases of the character study featurettes. The real gem of the extras is the Titanic Minds: Wolfman and Perez, the two Titans of comics sit down and go over old notes, and talk about how they came up with some of the ideas for this classic story. It feels personal and a little like peaking behind the curtain of comic writing, something every comic should watch. I don’t always watch all the DVD extras, but this time it was great to watch how these creators made choices and how far ahead of their times they were in the 80’s.
All and all this might be one of the best DCAU films to date, it is certainly my favorite so far. I can’t wait to see where they take this team next.
Thanks to WB for this review copy