Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Judas Contract #1
When Dick Grayson’s empathy for Tara Markov sparks something new and dark within her heart, the heroes must futilely scramble against the birth of a new goddess hellbent on destroying everything that ever wronged her.
There has been a pattern so far to the Tales from the Dark Multiverse one-shots: familiar story, slight deviation, sympathetic anti-heroism, descent into evil, and–finally–dark conclusion. Far from being entirely too predictable, this pattern has kept me moderately to highly intrigued, hoping consistently to see what route the story would take to descend into tragedy.
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Judas Contract #1 does not follow this pattern. While I’m very much encouraging of this in theory, in practice…well, it leads to a confusing book. The deviation from the norm of the story isn’t tragedy or a descent into evil by a character with good motivations; rather, it is Dick showing empathy to Tara. This empathy leads her to kill Slade, but instead of leading her on a road to Hell that is paved with good intentions as the other books do, she immediately becomes megalomaniacal. Admittedly, Tara’s characteristics beforehand were not pure, so I suppose it would make sense for her to spiral quickly, but it misses out on some of the original story’s best moments.
There were moments which pulled on my heartstrings, but not so much as to actually provoke genuine emotional reaction. Where I genuinely hurt and felt tears coming on while reading Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman, this issue provoked–at most–a frown.
The writing itself is good. The art is more than serviceable. This book just lacks the emotional traction that has come from the other books of the same series. Perhaps the bar was set too high with the other stories. Perhaps this story was dark enough without adding even more twists to it. Perhaps, much like Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis, it was too ambitious in scope for a single issue, or perhaps it was a combination of all of these things. I cannot entirely pinpoint what about this issue fell flat for me.
Overall, I do believe it’s worth picking up for fans of Teen Titans, as it is a decent enough take on a classic Titans arc, but I doubt it will be one that people will be talking about for months or years to come.
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Judas Contract #1 (Higgins, Groom, Raney, Hi-Fi, Orzechowski) is an interesting take on the tale, but it lacks the same heart as the original story.
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Judas Contract #1: Nothing Heavier Than Compassion
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 6.5/106.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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