Sunday, February 27, 2011

Judas Contract Part 2 By Wolfman and Perez

When I was a young boy I had the good fortune to pick up The New Teen Titans #43 (I think). I believe this single issue is one of the best issues I have ever read for many reasons. We'll go with a list again today.

1. The godly artwork of George Perez, his classic figurework, bold composition, his ability to produce a good body of work and his insane attention to detail make him an artist that few dare to follow of attempt to copy (Phil Jiminez may have done a splash or two similar to Perez, and maybe Alex Ross).

2. Marv Wolfman and Perez were sharing plotting, but Wolfman was humming slightly from attunement with a higher power of some sorts during this arc. The story, the plot, the mystery and the way it unfolds is amazing.

3. The way the story is told is out of this world. The first page is a nine panel page focusing on the newly retired Dick Grayson, whom is typing away at his typewriter (Do you know what that is boys and girls?). The last panel is words carved out of stone that say Betrayal, there are no other words on the page. Compelling as hell.

4. The second page is a full page splash of Deathstroke slamming through a window, because if you're going to get things off to a start you might as well start by having one of the coolest villains I can think of smash through a window of someone whose secret identity he is not supposed to know. WICKED!

5.Dick proceeds to get the shit kicked out of him and bounces himself out of a window (using inertia from the hit he has just taken) only slowing himself down by using a leather jacket on a window railing. From here Dick is chased through a park, with some mysterious woman watching (Who is she, what does she want? A nice sub-plot). Wolfman was Dick's character down. Acrobat, detective, love of tall alien ladies with lots of hair.

6. The rest of the issue is Dick visiting each of his roommates apartments, where they live in their civilian lives, and seeing how each and every one of them has fallen to a mysterious opponent. This works on so many levels, showing Dick's skill level as a detective, highlighting how much he cares for his mates, etc.

7. Perez draws up to ten to twelve panels on half the pages of this issue. Really, really well set up page layout. The story moves along like a great noir movie.

8. The characters in the book do not wear uniforms at all. Deathstroke, Terra and Raven are the only ones to show up in costume in this issue, something I don't think you'd seen too much of in 1983.

9. This issue is full of reveals. Terra is a traitor. Deathstroke has taken all of the Teen Titans. It is awesome.

10. The way Wolfman and Perez take out all the Teen Titans is shown in Flashback sequences. Revel in the fact that Changeling is a pervert, or that Wonder Girl is a photographer, or that Starfire is truly in love with Dick and that is her downfall (that sounds totally perverted).

Seriously, if you want to see some talented comics creators firing on all cylinders pick up the Judas Contract trade (which doesn't have the covers. Shame on you DC). It is worth the price just for this issue.

Oh, and as a child, reading this comic without any idea of how things would turn out for this team next month as they were all systematically taken out, it was torture, and using the cliffhanger to its maximum potential.

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