Comic Book: The Judas Contract
The Judas Contract
is the most famous story arc of the Teen Titans
, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
Once upon a time, Changeling met Terra, a teenager with a lovely face and the social skills of Wolverine. Of course, he immediately fell in love with her. She was a villain robbing banks, but Changeling was sure that he could redeem her. The Titans discovered that she was being forced to commit crimes by a terrorist group, which claimed that they had her parents hostage; her parents had actually died. Changeling noticed some lies that things that did not make sense, but she was accepted as a Titan anyway. She was wary to the Titans concealing their secret identities, but they eventually trusted her and told about them.
One week later, Deathstroke began to capture all the Titans, setting traps at their homes. Dick Grayson, who had resigned the Robin persona, was the last one, and managed to escape from him. He visited all the other's homes and the tower, and confirmed that he was the last one. He was then surprised by Adeline, the ex wife of Deathstroke, who told her about Terra's betrayal and other details about Slade's activities. Her son Jericho joined Dick Grayson, who has become Nightwing, and rescued the Titans at a foreign country where Deathstroke took them for the H.I.V.E. Jericho possessed the body of his father and attacked Terra with it, which made her believe that Deathstroke had turned against her. Mad at everyone, Terra broke all the hell loose, and killed herself with all the rocks raising around.
The Judas Contract contains examples of:
- Adaptational Heroism: When this was (very loosely) adapted in the Teen Titans animated series, Terra was a considerably more conflicted character, who became a Reverse Mole unlike the original story.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Deathstroke. He had a contract to capture the Teen Titans and deliver them to the H.I.V.E., and he accomplished it. Now, what happens with the Titans after that (even if it means a case of Bond Villain Stupidity and the escape of the Titans), it's none of his business. If H.I.V.E. wants the Titans again, they will have to pay again. No refunds.
- Big "NO!": In the trial of Slade Wilson, when his relation to the crimes could not be proved (see Secret Identity). Gar did not take it lightly.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: The Wilson family. Before this, we only had Deathstroke, his quiet assistant, and that son that died on their first appearence.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Well done, H.I.V.E., the Titans have been captured, and they are held at that machine. It is time to kill them... what? Wait a whole day for the chief to appear? Well, let's wait then, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Eyedscreen: Raven felt that Terra was evil, but she was still unsure, because her powers were not working correctly at the time. And one day, during a training, Terra briefly revealed her true colors and tried to kill Gar. She said then that it was because his pranks reminded him of the time with the terrorists. She begged them to believe her, as Raven stared at her with a deep and deep vision, ending in an eyedscreen... but no: Raven did not realize Terra's intentions before she carried out the plan.
- Fatal Family Photo: If Slade didn't spend so much time watching at his family photos when Terra was around, she wouldn't have recognized that blond guy that came with Nightwing. He may have had a chance to convince H.I.V.E. to let him take that guy, and leave, before they killed the Titans or the Titans escaped and turned everything into a big mess.
- Foreshadowing: Raven's empathic abilities being on the fritz both blinded her to Terra's intentions and foreshadowed that she was starting to slip, as seen in Terror of Trigon
- For the Evulz: The ultimate reason why Terra did all the things she did. Future writers be dammed, Terra shows absolutely no redeeming qualities in this arc. Every time she did something good, it was a calculated masquerade.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: When the Titans are not watching her, or when she has dropped the masquerade, Terra is always smoking. Because she's so evil...
- How We Got Here: The first attack of Deathstroke seen was to Dick Grayson. He escaped from him, and discovered the fate of all the others while visiting the places where they were captured.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Finding out that Terra was The Mole was a big surprise in its day. Nowadays, after a pair of decades with her betrayal as a recurring past plot element for the Titans (including new Terras), and an animated series where Terra also joined the Titans to betray them, nobody should be surprised to read that.
- Leave Her To Me: Terra wanted to kill Raven herself, not let Deathstroke take her, because Raven could sense Terra's evil.
- Military Maverick: Wintergreen, in the flashback. A major that hated Slade sent him to a suicide mission, but Wintergreen defied the orders to stay back and rescued him.
- The Mole: Terra, of course. Deathstroke feared that she may become a Reverse Mole after staying with the Titans, but no, her hatred for them (and for everything else, for that matter) was too high.
- Changeling was dead sure that it had to be a trick, that Terra had to be a Reverse Mole (or mind controlled, or whatever), even as she insulted him and openly denied that. He even kept attacking Slade after all this, blaming him for the death of Terra.
- Not So Different: Gar and Slade had such a moment some time after this story. Gar defies Slade to a fight to the death, and he accepts. Both of them want to put an end to the whole thing. On one side, Gar is at Terra's grave, thinking that he must do this for her, to avenge her, so she can rest in peace. And, on the other side, Slade is at Grant Wilson's grave, thinking that he must do it for him, to end the whole thing started by his unfinished contract, so that he can rest in peace.
- Origin Story: For Deathstroke, Jericho, Adeline and Wintergreen.
- Retired Badass: Adeline, after having two sons. But she still knows how to dispose of a terrorist gang.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: When Wintergreen was captured by the Vietcong, Slade asked the military to take him again: he was sure that he would be able to rescue Wintergreen, even if he had to make the mission alone. He was rejected. So he created the "Deathstroke" persona, headed to the Vietcong, and rescued Wintergreen all by himself.
- See also the Military Maverick entry for Wintergreen, who was in the military at the time of his own incident.
- Secret Identity: Exploited by Slade Wilson when he was taken to a Court Drama. He openly admits that he was Deathstroke once, but that the Titans have always fight against a second and unrelated Deathstroke, who had taken up his name and costume. Blatant Lies, but can the Titans prove otherwise? Can they prove that they had fought specifically Slade Wilson, and not some other man using the Deathstroke persona? No, they can't.
- Selective Obliviousness: Changeling will always believe that Terra was a Reverse Mole or that she was being controlled by Slade, despite all the evidence of the contrary, including Terra's own explicit remarks.
- Cyborg, on the other hand, is not so naive. When they were all captured and Deathstroke announced that Terra aided him, he believed it immediately: now all fell into place.
- She's dead, Jim: After she covered herself with rocks, Cyborg, Gar and Wonder Girl began to remove the rocks. With her powers, Terra may still be alive! And then, the end: Gar has found the corpse of Terra.
- Super Window Jump: Deathstroke made one on Robin's house, to make the eveal that he knows his secret identity much more dramatic.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Exaggerated. Deathstroke watches the Titans though the camera in Terra's lens, and in turn, he's being watched by Adeline.