If you’re anything like me, “The Lazarus Contract” represents a moment you’ve been waiting for since basically the very start of Rebirth. After all, Rebirth is all about looking at the legacy of the DC Universe and it’s hard to get closer to the heart of the Teen Titans legacy than by looking into “The Lazarus Contract’s” spiritual predecessor, “The Judas Contract”—which is one of the most iconic Titans stories of all time (and also a newly released animated movie).
When I wrote my recent review of TITANS VOL. 1, I disclosed at the beginning of that piece that I have a deep abiding love for the Teen Titans that has existed since I was a young child. The first comic I bought on my own was NEW TEEN TITANS #39 which features the classic Teen Titans team and still has Terra on the team masquerading as an ally to the rest of her peers.
Every superhero or super team in the DCU has a story or two that define who or what they are at their core—their very own DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, if you will—and for the Teen Titans, that story is THE JUDAS CONTRACT.
It was just about a year ago that BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY was announced as a part of Rebirth and DC fans were introduced to its sibling writing team of Julie and Shawna Benson. Since then, we’ve seen the newly reunited Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress take on—and eventually team up with—a slightly shady new Oracle, outsmart a crime lord who happened to be Helena’s mother and go toe-to-toe, figuratively speaking, with the sinister Snake Gang. And that was just in the very first story arc!
Full disclosure before I get started: I love the Teen Titans and all of their extensions beyond reason. The first comic book I ever bought on my own with my own money (okay, it was a quarter from my father), was THE NEW TEEN TITANS #39.