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‘Tales From the Dark Multiverse #1: The Judas Contract’ (review)

Written by Kyle Higgins
and Matt Groom

Art by Tom Raney
Published by DC Comics

 

“Wow, so many dead ‘heroes’ to keep track of!”

 

Hey kids!

Want to read a comic?

Here you go. It’s based on the much-beloved, old-school run of The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and Tom Perez. Specifically, the jaw-dropping Judas Contract storyline in which new team member Terra is revealed to be a traitor, planted on the team by Deathstroke to help him take the Titans down from within. Which almost succeeds, until fatefully, and tragically, Tara Markov dies… and the Titans rally to win the day.

Here, in the Dark Multiverse however, where bad endings go to live an endless half-life beneath the ‘real’ Multiverse, there is at least one different ending.

In that ending Ms. Markov does not die. Indeed, after an unfortunate but well-intentioned pep-talk by Dick Grayson, Terra decides to take matters into her own hands, becomes a raging homicidal maniac, and kills everyone.

The end.

Seriously, WTF? Depressoverse, indeed. Who wants to read this? What possible purpose does this story even serve? (I’m afraid to ask, actually.)

The classic roster of one of the most wildly popular Titans runs of all time comes together again, finally on the page once more, and in the span of just a few of them all they do is die. Like WW1 foot-soldiers. Or reds shirts. Or worse.

Even Tom Raney’s distinctive artistry and HiFi’s tremendous colors don’t pretty up this pig. All it does is make everything more garish.

Those who have been waiting for a reunion of any sort from this team for, hell, decades now, may be tempted to believe that finally with this comic they will be treated to a good old classic Teen Titans comic story again. And they will be wrong. At least the cover doesn’t lie.

I don’t blame authors Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom. They’re just doing the gig that was given to them. They know their source material. The script is fine. It’s just that it’s very on brand, which is to say, utterly horrible.

The only other people possibly interested in what goes on in these pages will be S&M spandex horror-porn enthusiasts. Presumably. Which may go a long way to describing what seems to be bubbling up from the Dark DC bullpen these days in an effort to, again presumably, pave the way for whatever sheer madness they have in store for us in 2020, before the Justice League (and Batman) eventually (and again presumably) set everything right again.

Except our shredded psyches and broken hearts.

Don’t buy this comic. Terra returns. As the most evil and powerful possible version of herself you could imagine. That’s all.

Even better, you know what – don’t imagine it.

Use those powers for good.

Next Issue: Honestly, I’m afraid to ask.

 

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