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NEW TEEN TITANS #33 (Jul 1983) DC Comics

cover:  George Perez 
NEW TEEN TITANS #33
Date: Jul 1983
Cover Price:  $0.60
Publisher: dccomics.com

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    Credits
    "Who Killed Trident?" (23 pages) 
    writer:  Marv Wolfman
    art:  George Perez
    Romeo Tanghal
    colors:  N/A
    letters:  N/A
    editor:  N/A
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     August 2, 2003 | Essential Tale: Judas Contract
    From Titans Tower

    Teen Titans Essential Tale: "The Judas Contract"
    from Wizard #0, 2003
    transcribed by Bill Walko

    If anything, "The Judas Contract" shreds superteam ideals by asking, "Who do you trust?"

    Co-plotting creators Wolfman and Perez craft an all-new art of deception with their iconic version of the Teen Titans.

    In fact, a true appreciation of this tale (which DC recently collected into a TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS trade paperback) comes from knowing that it comprises only a patch among a larger, more sinister tapestry.

    Approximately a year before "Judas Contract" begins, a snarky young girl named Terra joins the Teen Titans under peculiar - and as a result, sympathetic - circumstances. At first, the earth-manipulating teen fights them, claiming she's a pawn of terrorists who have kidnapped her parents. The Titans resolve the issue, but not before learning the kidnappers had killed Terra's parents long ago without her knowledge. All alone in the world, Terra seeks refuge with the Titans.

    Over the course of the next year, Terra's sarcastic 'tude wins her teammates over. They let her in on all of their secrets - their real identities, their personal lives, their day job - severything. The lead-in to "Judas" serves up the ultimate whammy: Terra serves under the employ of the Titans' No. 1 nemesis, Deathstroke the Terminator... and has been from the start. And now the pair - hired by the nefarious organization known as the HIVE - know exactly how, where and when to strike at the start of "Judas."

    And pounce they do, systematically taking out each Titan, one by one, for eventual execution at the hands of the HIVE. With one exception: the ex-Robin, Dick Grayson, who outmanuevers the far superior Deathstroke to escape and plan his team-mates' liberation in a then-new guise of Nightwing.

    The ensuing battle for the Titans' freedom comes at a high cost, and Terra's duplicity cuts too deep, as one Titan perishes by story's end. Perhaps the deepest wound went to Changeling (now called Beast Boy) - before "Judas," he believed that he and Terra had a blossoming romance; instead her deception devastated him with a broken heart.

    "The Judas Contract" proves that innocence can be lost at any time, and things aren't always what they seem. The teenage life still walks its road of hard knocks...but for the Teen Titans, "Judas" left them a world more dangerous than ever.

    ALSO CHECK OUT: If it's got the names "Wolfman and Perez" on the cover, then it's gotta be good. And the following three examples kick ass. Pick up the first four issues of New Teen Titans (vol. I) and see how these Titans ain't a Junior JLA. New Teen Titans (vol. I) #20 serves as a touching one-shot story where Wally West (then going by Kid Flash) writes his parents describing what it means to be a Titan. Finally, the "Who Killed Trident?" storyarc in Titans (vol. I) #33 presents a unique murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.