Before I settled on this story of Terra betraying the Teen Titans, I really struggled figuring out what DC Comic to review this time around. My first choice was the infamous Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #106. My wife wanted me to review something from the Golden Age, perhaps even the very first DC Comic. Golden Age comics from before the explosion of super-heroes are a mish-mosh of genres and stories. Then I wanted to do an issue of Adventure Comics featuring work by Alex Toth. Unfortunately, that also featured three other stories that I didn't care for. Finally, I decided on New Teen Titans #34. This was truly the beginning of The Judas Contract. A case could be made that it began from the moment Terra first appeared, this was where the readers were let in that the Terminator had a spy inside the Teen Titans. At this moment, whatever other story was happening, readers were waiting for the moment when Terra would betray the Titans or turn on the Terminator. I also need to note that I'm referring to him as the Terminator in this review. At this time, Slade Wilson almost solely went by the Terminator. He wouldn't be referred to solely as Deathstroke until well after the Judas Contract was done. By then, it was obvious that the James Cameron franchise was stronger than the reputation of this character in the comics.
TRIGGER WARNING: This comic features content that may be distressing to people sensitive to the subject of sexual assault. It's amazing what a difference time makes with comic book stories. As a Legion fan, I picked up L.E.G.I.O.N. for it's links to the 30th century. It had to fight against the perception of being the ancestors of some key Legionnaires conveniently teaming up a thousand years before their descendants would find themselves on the same team. In that first year, efforts were made to fight this, with the inclusion of characters unrelated to the Legion. Among those characters was Stealth. Stealth was a mystery. Her powers were an ability to cancel out sound around her and baffle any attempts to detect her. She was hard to analyze with technology, which eventually came from the nature of her race's reproduction, which was very genetically regressive. She was physically formidable, but on a team with a giant rock creature and the Shadow Champion of Lallor, she was easy to dismiss. However, this issue came about which put her into a new light.
The death of Iris Allen, the Flash’s wife, also known as Iris West, is a watershed moment in comics. While it may be an early case of “Women In Refrigerators,” the death of his wife affected the flash for the next six years. It drove him to kill an enemy, which started his very last
Jack Kirby was called the King for a reason. After leaving Marvel, he went to DC and in the space of four years, he drew an average of over two dozen pages of comics a day. He created two legendary mythologies, the New Gods and the Great Disaster. The Great Disaster consisted of Kamandi, and
When I decided on this comic for review, I realized shortly thereafter that is was from the same year, and only a month away from the previous Reviews of Old Comics article. So what makes 1984 so ripe for memorable comics to review? Yes, I know that technically, this and the previous comics were actually from late 1983, but in the zeitgeist, if the cover is dated 1984, we tend to view it as being from 1984. This was the year that brought us the first Secret Wars and DC's Super Powers, which were some of the first big crossover comics with toy lines. Alan Moore's first issues of Saga of the Swamp Thing are from this year, a definite turning point in comic books for more mature readers. This year also saw the debut of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which vitalized an independent comics market with hope that a small book could become vastly popular with fans. It also saw DC Comics launch its prestige format Baxter line, available only through comic shops, which probably marked the beginning of comic book shops becoming a destination for fans of comics, eventually supplanting the newsstand as the preferred outlet for new comic books. 1984 was a benchmark year, as it saw significant change in the comic book market and industry.
This week I’m actually presenting a review especially for the holiday season. There was a time, in 1992, when I was really engrossed in the DC Heroes Role-Playing Game. I even subscribed to Mayfair Games’ newsletter that about this time (as I recall, it could have been a later year) that among the new character
Went through the comics I remember reading as a kid and thought of this old issue of Justice League of America that impressed me. The image of super-heroes with wacky starfish attached to their faces has stuck with me to this day, making Starro one of my favorite JLA villains. It's probably this issue's striking cover that caught my eye as a kid, .
Wow. It's been a while, hasn't it? Let's skip the apologies and continue like nothing happened to keep me from reviewing old comics and sharing a love of the Legion of Super-Heroes. I even love the Legion when they shared their title with Superboy. I'm taking a break from reviewing every single issue put out in order and instead jumping to one that I remember getting at a discount store in a Whitman 3-Pack.
Batman Adventures #12 is the first appearance in comics of Harley Quinn. She actually debuted on the Batman Adventures animated series. The episode was "Joker's Favor", first airing on September 11, 1992. It was about a year later she showed up in a comic book, and that issue now sells for hundreds of dollars. She didn't actually enter the DC Universe for another seven years, but we're not talking about that comic, because this all about holy grails, and that holy grail is the first time Harley Quinn showed up in print.
Let's talk about where New Teen Titans turned a corner. Here is where the subplot of Terra infiltrating the Titans started building to the head that was the Judas Contract, which became the first major tragedy for the New Teen Titans. It changed them and set the stage for new characters and a shift away from the "Teen" Titans.
I was thinking about really great super-hero toy lines and thought instantly of the Super Powers toy line. Being the comic book guy here at Needless Essentials, I opted to look at the mini-series that came out at the same time. These aren't the little mini-comics that were included with some of the action figures. In deciding which issue to cover, I wanted to go with the first one that was drawn by Jack Kirby.
In light of recent developments that take this story out of DC Continuity, I'm going to depart from my normal practice and actually review an old comic that is still in print. You can go down your local comic shop and probably find a copy at cover price.