Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

DCU Continuity for Terra: Part 1.1 - The Material Girl: Terra in the 1980s

Tara has a postcoital debriefing with Slade Wilson. NTT #39 (Feb. 1984)

The 1980s

In the 1980s, the New Teen Titans plugged into the mood of the decade. The title especially reflected the feel in New York at the time: the city was a background character in the book. In this ‘greed is good’ decade of conspicuous consumption, Wall Street  glitz had a 9 1/2 Weeks and Bonfire of the Vanities dark underside. With Raven’s back story, the title picked up on the events from the receding 1970s like Jonestown, and added early 1980s’ economic stresses that turned into a financial boom, inner city crime waves, vigilantes, terrorist scares, the Iran hostage crisis, the Cold War, and presidential anti-drug campaigns. But from the start, the NTT team members also had 80s-styled dynamism and optimism – and money, accomplishment, power, celebrity, or privilege – that let them float above darker problems. Brought together by Raven, they immediately clicked through old and new interlocking friendships. It looked like they could have it all. Their mutual confidence was shaken by a succession of villains, as well as self-doubt and tragedy, but was not fractured until Terra betrayed them in 1984’s Judas Contract.

At first, Terra, the illegitimate daughter of a king, seemed to be cut from the same cloth as Gar, Dick and Kory – a dispossessed character with connections to money or royalty – who knew worlds of power, but by a trick of fate, had seen hard times and had her feet on the ground. The character who would become her mark and boyfriend, Garfield Logan (The Changeling, now codenamed Beast Boy), was (and is) the adopted son of the fifth richest man in the DCU world. Wolfman constantly referenced his immense wealth and lavish lifestyle.

Dick and the Titans visit Gar's home. NTT #2 (Dec. 1980)

Tara’s real journey reflected something a lot of people faced in this decade: she cultivated an attractive outer appearance, but gave up her ability to feel anything other than ambition, greed, bitterness, hatred and envy. Tara was seduced by power and material wealth (she became a mercenary). The Material Girl in the Material World looked great on the surface, but had a heart of stone.

With her darkened soul, Terra had more in common with Raven, except that Raven has always been depicted as having a good side, whereas Terra’s good acts and impulses (for example through heroism of Terra 2 and 3) are always dislocated from her central character. Nonetheless, Terra and Raven continually stand on opposite poles of the New Titans’ roster, and occasionally switch places as team destroyer. Terra was the original grim and gritty debutante for the then-new Modern Age of comics.

And yet, the grittiness came out of deeper emotional currents. Every main character in the Judas Contract arc – Tara, Gar, Deathstroke, and Brion – was already broken apart inside by intense grief. In Gar’s case, he was still reeling from the deaths of his parents, his step-mother, and his former team, the Doom Patrol, as well as his own recent death (at Slade’s hands!) and resurrection, followed by vengeance which led to him killing an enemy for the first time. This enemy, Madame Rouge, had a lot more to do with the Judas Contract than is initially evident. Slade was driven by grief and revenge. His son Grant, the first Ravager, dosed with the same metahuman drugs that created his father’s powers, died trying to fight the Titans at Gar’s home. Add to this Deathstroke’s masterful abilities at psychological warfare. Slade’s commission of the Judas Contract involved a repetition of Gar’s personal history, in which Deathstroke torpedoed Logan’s whole identity as a Doom Patrol legacy character. Tara, a 15 year old, was alone in the world, having been sent away from her father’s house to avoid scandal. Tara and Brion had both apparently already lost their mothers (it’s not yet clear what happened to either Tara’s mother or Queen Markov) and had just lost their father, King Viktor Markov. Brion had effectively murdered the man responsible for their father’s death (again, a deeply troubling first kill for a heroic character). Death. Grief. Rage. Blame. Revenge. Now add: Love. Sex. Power. This was only the tip of the iceberg of the collective psychological mess in which Tara’s duplicity took place and it does not even get at the damage done to the Titans as a team. From this riveting time when Terra violated the team’s trust, the mood in the Titans books has never recovered, even up to the present day. The dream was broken.


-Wolfman Interview: Looking back on the invention of Geo-Force and Terra as siblings (2003).  Links here and here.
“I came into DC with Terra the same day Mike Barr came into DC with Geo-Force. Both had earth-shifting powers. It would have been unfair for one of us to get rid of our character, so we decided to make them brother and sister.”
-Perez Design: Looking back on Geo-Force and Terra Design (2010). Links here and here.
“Here's an historic find. This was the design sketch I did for Terra and Geo-Force back when both characters were introduced. When OUTSIDERS writer Mike Barr and TITANS writer Marv Wolfman found that they each had created a character with Earth-moving powers, they decided to have them be related to each other and I was asked to design costumes for both (replacing Terra's debut outfit). Jim Aparo modified Geo-Force's costume, but this was the original. Sorry that the pencils are so light.”

George Perez posted the sketch on the George Perez Fan Page on Facebook

House of Markov and Markovia: The Names.
Where did Wolfman and Perez and/or Barr and Aparo get the name of the country and the family? There are several possibilities. Markovo Tepe  was one of seven great hills at the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv; the city was Thracian in origin and was claimed by Alexander the Great’s father; this ancient hill has been dug out and is now the site of a shopping mall. A self-declared peasant-run state, the Republic of Markovo, was briefly set up during the 1905 Russian Revolution by local villagers. Tara may have been based on an American-Russian female spy. During World War II, an American citizen named Efrosina Dvoichenko-Markov worked for the KGB branch in New York from 1943 to 1945, had contact with United States Department of State personnel, and provided information on them to the KGB. A source for Brion may have been Georgi Markov, a writer and dissident who defected from communist Bulgaria to the UK. He was assassinated in a KGB-related killing in London in 1978. His murder has been mentioned in several popular culture references from the 1980s to the present day, because Markov was famously stabbed on the street with an umbrella that had a poison cartridge in it.

There’s more to this fictional Central European petty principality than meets the eye. As the years have gone by, the original placement of Markovia between France, Belgium and Luxembourg (in the first issue of BATO) has shifted steadily east, perhaps geographically, but definitely symbolically. With constant invasions from vampires, magical forces, Germans and Russians, Markovia seems to be much more an old Central or Eastern European kingdom than it does a Western European princely tax haven like Monaco. The locals have names that sound German, Dutch, or Belgian. The royal family’s names sound Slavonic with muddled German and Anglo, not French, influences. Their royal palace is a straight rip-off of Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. In different issues, the countryside and its inhabitants resemble the Czech Republic, Bavaria, Austria, Hungary or the Balkans. Its royals have geomorphic powers, somehow tied to as-yet unexplored legends, and the Markovian people are also connected to the earth in the country’s valleys and many mountains (the Alps? The Rhodopes? the Carpathians?) that surround it. Markovia might be a fictional combination of Bavaria, Moravia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, or Transylvania.

House of Markov.
-Outsiders Vol. 1 #21/2 (July 1987): "Meanwhile, Back In Markovia" [Flashback]
-Showcase '93 #4/3 (April 1993): "The Haunting of Castle Markov"
Issue #21: Establishment of the monarchy dated at 1776 (211 years before 1987). Not specified how the monarchy was founded or if the Markovs were ruling the country prior to that as lords rather than kings. Showcase '93 #4/3: Brion shows his girlfriend, Denise Howard, around Castle Markov. He points out a medieval suit of armour, “once used in battle by the Markovian king”; this means the monarchy goes back to the middle ages. It was worn by his father on ceremonial occasions.

-BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #2 (Sept. 1983): “Markovia’s Last Stand!” [Flashback]
The country was occupied by the Nazis in World War II, who installed a Markovian regent pretender (father of the Outsiders’ foe, Baron Bedlam) and ousted King Viktor. The Markovian people are depicted as tough, uncompromising, fearless, and ferociously brutal when provoked. When Bedlam, then the Nazi regent’s son, tried to seduce a Markovian girl during the Second World War, she smashed a wine bottle in his face, permanently scarring him. He had her hanged. The Americans drove the Nazis out and reinstalled Viktor on the throne. The locals hanged the Nazi pretender in a town square. Bedlam: “And the good people of Markovia had their way with my father.” Early runs of the Batman and the Outsiders show a strong diplomatic relationship between America and Markovia.

Markovia. Different account (retcon).
-Last Will and Testament (2008) [Flashback]
Meltzer retconned the history of Markovia and the Markovs in World War II to make Brion and his father much younger. In LWaT, Brion says that his great-grandfather, not his father, fought the Nazis. And unlike Barr’s version, the Markovs successfully kept the Nazis out of Markovia. Brion’s grandfather kept the Soviets out of Markovia. Meltzer has members of the royal court speaking Romanian in JLA issues. Is he hinting that the Markovians embody that old Romanian claim that they were an outpost in the Roman Empire? Is Markovia the legendary former borderland of the Roman Empire that preserved the traditions of Rome?

-DC Universe Legacies #2 (August 2010): "Snapshot: Reaction!" [Flashback/Retcon]
The City Museum of History (in Gotham?) hosts a visiting tour of the Markovian Crown Jewels, plus other royal artifacts.  The Seven Soldiers of Victory defeat The Dummy and his supercriminal associates who plan to steal the jewels as well as an old portrait of a blonde Markov royal who strongly resembles Tara Markov.

Castle Markov. Adventures of the Outsiders #33 (May 1986)

-BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1 (August 1983): “Wars Ended... Wars Begun”
Batman and the Outsiders introduced Markovia as a “small country in Eastern Europe, its people live off its land. In their time, they have been farmers and miners ... and now for the first time in almost forty years ... refugees!” Castle Markov, the royal seat of the Markovs, sits in the hills above the capital of Markovburg. In the first BATO issue, King Viktor had been funding Dr. Jace’s radical experiments to bestow geo-powers upon members of the royal family, and she has already successfully developed the treatment in her lab nearby in the mountains.

Metahuman experiments: Dr. Jace.
-New Teen Titans Vol. 1 #37 (December 1983): "Light's Out, Everyone!" [Flashback]
-Teen Titans vol. 3 #72 (August 2009): Child's Play Part 1: Ring Around the Rosie” [Flashback]

Dr. Jace. Adventures of the Outsiders #33 (May 1986)

Dr. Helga Jace, a Nobel-prize winning Markovian scientist and servant of the country’s royal family, works with Australian mutant metahumans Shimmer and Mammoth in Markovia before they join the super-villain team, the Fearsome Five. Shimmer has matter transmuting elemental powers. Given Jace’s later treachery (Millennium Crossover 1988), it’s interesting that Mammoth and Jace turn evil after her work with them, although she chides them for this when they capture her.

Dr. Jace finds Mammoth and Shimmer. NTT #37 (Dec. 1983)

Metahuman experiments: Slade Wilson, Deathstroke the Terminator.
-Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984): "The Judas Contract, Book Three: There Shall Come a Titan"
-Last Will and Testament (2008) [Flashback]

Slade Wilson: Deathstroke the Terminator.

Adeline Wilson, Deathstroke's ex-wife and mother of Grant (Ravager) and Joseph Wilson (Jericho) recounts how Deathstroke got his powers in a flashback.  He volunteered for a military medical experiment "for resisting truth serums."  He was given an experimental adrenocortico-tropic-hormone to stimulate his adrenal gland.  His body went into shock.

The effects of the serum on Deathstroke's mind and body. ToTT #44 (July 1984)

The doctors expected the bad serum to cripple him.  Instead, it vastly enhanced his mental and physical abilities.  Adeline also claims that the serum changed Slade's personality, made him darker, more violent, and suicidal.  In Last Will and Testament, Slade later states that the scientists who worked on him went to Markovia - and took their science with them.
Tara Markov born.
-New Teen Titans Vol. 1 #28 (Feb. 1983): "Terra in the Night" [Flashback]
-Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 (1984): "The Judas Contract, Part 4: The Finale"
NTT #28: Tara says her mother died in childbirth and she was raised in America to avoid scandal in the royal court, then returned to Markovia and received her powers. Not clear if she is lying about her mother’s death. TotTT Annual #3: Brion confirms at his sister’s funeral that Tara was sent away and raised in America to avoid scandal.

Tara mentions her mother's death. NTT #28 (Feb. 1983)

Tara Markov born. Different account (retcon?).
-Outsiders/Blackest Night Crossover #24 (Jan. 2010): “Matter of Trust” [Flashback]
Tara’s mother did not die in childbirth. Black Lantern Terra, a construct into which Terra 1’s (and possibly Terra 2’s or Geo-Force's) memories have been downloaded, recounts her birth – not clear if she was born in America or Markovia.

Black Lantern Terra recounts Tara's birth from her father's perspective. Outsiders #24 (Jan. 2010)

Her dual nature is immediately referenced: “I’m a princess. Well, half a princess actually.” Her mother was American, not the Queen of Markovia. How her parents met has not been explained, other than that her father had a single affair.

Black Lantern Terra recounts Tara's birth from her mother's perspective. Outsiders #24 (Jan. 2010)

-Outsiders/Blackest Night Crossover # 25 (Feb. 2010): “Turn to Stone” [Flashback]
BL Terra refers to her mother as “disowned and disgraced”; this is her second comment (after NTT #28) regarding her mother. There is no further information on her mother or whether she is alive or dead. There are several other details about Black Lantern Terra that are not right (mother claimed to be alive when the original girl said her mother was dead; GF depicted holding Terra's corpse after her death, instead of Gar; BL Terra, supposedly a revived Terra 1, knows people only Terra 2 knew; BL Terra destroys the Titans Tower, but it later appears to be unaffected).  It’s not clear if Tara originally lied about her mother; if these are deliberate retcons; if BL Terra is revealing something about the fact that Black Lanterns are not the real people they are imitating; or if this is just the editing.

Metahuman experiments: Gar Logan.
-Teen Titans vol. 3 #13 (Sept. 2004): "Beast Boys and Girls Part One: Concrete Jungle" [Flashbacks]
-Teen Titans vol. 3 #14 (October 2004): "Beast Boys and Girls Part Two: Wild Life"
-Teen Titans vol. 3 #15 (November 2004): "Beast Boys and Girls Part Three: Changelings”
-Titans vol. 2 #8 (February 2009): “No Egress”

Metahuman experiment with Sakutia.  Teen Titans vol. 3 #14 (Oct. 2004)

Gar acquires his powers in Africa (retcon, Beast Boys and Girls).
A character is inserted into Gar’s past through a retcon. Dr. Register, former colleague of Gar’s parents, comments on radical research into creating metahumans’ powers that he conducted in Africa, without (or possibly with) Gar’s parents after Gar got his powers – and afterwards with S.T.A.R. and other American labs.
Gar in Africa (retcon, Titans #8).
Gar: “M-my parents didn’t die in a boating accident.” How they died has not been established. This retcon from Winick contradicts all Gar’s previous descriptions of his parents’ deaths. If this retcon stands, it means Gar has lied to everyone all his life about how he was orphaned after he got his powers.  Given that Register is now inserted into this past scene as well, the two retcons may open up questions about how Logan got his powers in the first place and what happened after that.

The opening page of TT vol. 3 #14 shows Register or someone else forcing a young child (apparently not Gar Logan – hair colour is wrong) to control of Sakutia-shape-shifting powers while strapped down in a lab. This appears to be the scene that causes the Sakutia outbreak in Beast Boys and Girls. If this is a retcon depicting Gar, it contradicts his Doom Patrol origin account (DP vol. 1 #99-100, 112-115) that he honed his powers after leaving care of the local tribal chief, Tawaba. Gar claimed he lived alone with animals in the jungle and imitated them. But this possible retcon fits with the rest of Gar’s DP and NTT claims that he was made to commit crimes by people he met around this time.

Doom Patrol founded. MGA #80 (June 1963)

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963): “The Doom Patrol”
Doom Patrol founded: Niles Caulder, aka The Chief, founds the team of misfits ravaged by terrible accidents who include Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl), Larry Trainor (Negative Man) and Cliff Steele (Robotman). Their ethos is unusual in the DCU. This group of “outcasts” also gained their superpowers from these personal disasters and near-death experiences. They become a team willing to grapple with situations that are unconventional, on the fringe, irrational, or even insane. They are the first to arrive at any fight and the last to stand down, because they have nothing left to lose. Unlike other heroic teams, they will fight to the death on principle, hence their name. They quickly find themselves confronting their arch-enemies, General Immortus and the Brotherhood of EvilTheir history becomes a well-known tragedy and is later used in Deathstroke's huge complex plots to destroy the Titans, and especially Gar Logan.

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #90 (September 1964): “The Enemy within the Doom Patrol”
Madame Rouge joins the DP’s arch-foes, the Brotherhood of Evil. The group’s leader, The Brain, operates on her body to give her shape-shifting powers – she can mimic anyone’s appearance and stretch her limbs. She has similar powers and a similar background to Rita, and is her nemesis: both were actresses; both are shape-shifters. Later series imply that Rita and Rouge were rivals for Caulder’s affections as well.

Gar introduces himself to the DP. DP #99 (Nov. 1965)

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #99 (November 1965): “The Beast Boy”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #100 (December 1965): “The Origin of Beast Boy Part 2”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #101 (February 1966): “I, Kranus, Robot Emperor!”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #102 (March 1966): “8 Against Eternity!”; “The King Who Could Not Die”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #104 (June 1966): “The Bride of the Doom Patrol”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #105 (August 1966): “Honeymoon of Terror!”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #106 (September 1966): “Blood Brothers”; “Mento Meets the Atom Master”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #107 (November 1966): “The War over Beast Boy”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #108 (December 1966): “Kid Disaster”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #110 (March 1967): “Trial by Terror”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #111 (May 1967): “Zarox-13, Emperor of the Cosmos”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #112 (June 1967): “Waif in the Wilderness”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #113 (August 1967): “The Diamonds of Destiny”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #114 (September 1967): “The Kid Who was King of Crooks”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #115 (November 1967): “Who Dares to Challenge the Arsenal”; “General Beast Boy of the Ape Brigade”

Cliff gives Gar the codename Beast Boy. DP #99 (Nov. 1965)

After the death of his parents, Gar Logan returns to America and joins the Doom Patrol. Gar’s evil guardian, Galtry, siphons off millions of Gar’s inheritance. Issue #104: Rita Farr and Steve Dayton (Mento, first appearance DP vol. 1 #91) marry.

Rita Farr and Steve Dayton. DP #104 (June 1966)

Their wedding is attended by all the major heroes, including the Teen Titans. At Rita’s request, Dayton begins investigating Galtry’s abuse of Gar and his estate. It’s not explained how Galtry ended up as Gar’s legal guardian.  A recent retcon on the DC website made Galtry Gar's maternal uncle; his guardianship prevents Gar from joining the first incarnation of the Teen Titans (Teen Titans vol. 1 #6 (Nov.-Dec. 1966): “The Fifth Titan”).  Dick Grayson tells him he can't join without permission.  Like Dick, Gar is an orphan.  Also like Dick, Gar will be adopted by superheroes and become subject to their legacy.

Gar petitions the Teen Titans to become their fifth member. TT #6 (Nov.-Dec. 1966)

Both The Chief and the Brotherhood have deeper ties to Gar Logan than is initially evident. Galtry is funded by the Brotherhood of Evil to help trap the DP (bringing in the new retcon, this means that members of Gar's family were funded by the Brotherhood!). The Brotherhood also supports Galtry out of several international banks it uses as a front; Mallah thereby blocks Dayton’s attempts to investigate Galtry’s crimes and free Gar from Galtry’s guardianship (DP #110). Issues #109-110: The DP fakes its own death to trap the Brotherhood. The villains, thinking they have achieved their goals, cease to support Galtry. Dayton’s lawyers finally win against Galtry, and Rita and Steve adopt the orphaned shape-shifter. Issue #109: The Chief mentions that he knew Gar’s father, Mark Logan.

As of 2010, this story and subsequent retcons leave Mark and Marie Logan connected directly or indirectly to Niles Caulder, Dr. Register, Galtry, the Brotherhood of Evil - and possibly even Deathstroke through Tawaba!  Johns's retcon in the Teen Titans/DP crossover in 2006 (see 2000s entries for this continuity) also made The Brain one of Niles Caulder's former colleagues.  This leaves a tempting opening for a retconned backstory that would show the Chief, Gar's parents, the Brain, Galtry and Register all studying together in university before their respective accidents.  That's a scene that begs for Helga Jace to join them!  Galtry is presumably still alive.  In addition, Gar has a cousin, Matt Logan, and his parents' deaths have not been explained, but they are presumed dead, since they did not take Gar in when he was orphaned.

Caulder to Gar: I knew your father. DP #109 (Feb. 1967)

Issues #112-115: Gar recounts his origins in Africa to Caulder, including how King Tawaba made him a prince in his household and took care of him after Gar’s parents died. Issue #118: Gar starts dating his first girlfriend, Jillian Jackson, who resembles Tara Markov.

Flashback: Gar with King Tawaba. DP #112 (June 1967)

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #109 (February 1967): “Mandred the Executioner”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #110 (March 1967): “Trial by Terror”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #111 (May 1967): “Zarox-13, Emperor of the Cosmos”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #112 (June 1967): “Brothers in Blood!”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #113 (August 1967): “Who Dares to Challenge the Arsenal”
Madame Rouge secretly saves the DP from being killed in a Brotherhood of Evil plot. Issue #109: Rouge expresses her fascination with the Chief, whom she regards as a great man. Issue #110: “Only treachery within the Brotherhood itself saved the DP!” The DP realizes that Madame Rouge is in love with the Caulder. Issue #111: The Brotherhood, aware of Rouge’s wavering, offers a truce to the DP to combat Zarox-13, an alien invader. Issue #112: The DP and Brotherhood negotiate a truce, with Rouge staying at DP HQ as a willing hostage to guarantee the Brotherhood’s good intentions. The Chief gives her sodium pentothal and interrogates her. She reveals she was Laura De Mille, a famous French actress known for her use of make-up to radically transform her appearance. She suffered from a good-evil split personality due to a car accident. The Brain tricked her into agreeing to an operation which would cure her and restore her original good nature. Instead, he deliberately made her evil side dominant. The DP and the Brotherhood stage a fake fight to convince Zarox they are enemies, then they cooperate to take him down (fake fights and hero-villain cooperation are important during the Judas Contract and in related stories before and after it). Mallah and Rouge leave, but Chief wonders if he can help her.

Caulder influences Rouge while she sleeps. DP #113 (Aug. 1967)

Issue #113: Chief has had Cliff plant a device in Madame Rouge’s bedroom at the Brotherhood’s HQ. He fires a ray at her while she sleeps and tries to get her to turn to her good side. Meanwhile the Brotherhood place a similar device under her pillow telling her to turn evil.

Caulder and the Brain battle inside Rouge's mind. DP #115 (Nov. 1967)

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #115 (November 1967): “The Mutant Master”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #116 (December 1967): “Two to Get Ready ... And Three to Die!”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #117 (February 1968): “The Black Vulture”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #118 (March-April 1968): “Videx Monarch of Light”

Rouge smashes her mirror and her personality. DP #115 (Nov. 1967)

A struggle ensues over Madame Rouge between Caulder and The Brain. Both team leaders brainwash and mindwipe Madame Rouge repeatedly in an attempt to have her turn good or evil. She completely snaps, physically tears in two, and begins fighting herself.

Rouge rips herself in two and fights herself. DP #115 (Nov. 1967)

The good side appears to kill the evil side. Rouge finds the DP on Caulder’s orders, helps them in battle, and returns to the DP HQ to stay with him. They fall in love.

Rouge and Caulder's romance at DP HQ. DP #116 (Dec. 1967)

Issue #117: the DP starts fighting over Rouge’s presence, and Larry and Cliff threaten to leave, but Chief insists that Rouge stay. Issue #118: Caulder and the Brain continue to trade threats over Rouge.  The Brotherhood is incensed that Rouge has betrayed them and swears vengeance, even as they remain convinced that they can turn her back to evil.  Rouge, hearing their exchanges with The Chief, starts to get the feeling that Caulder helped her so he could defeat the Brotherhood, not because he loved her.  This begins to drive her over the edge.  It's not about her, it's about Caulder's revenge on his enemies.  In the Judas Contract, Tara constantly repeated Rouge's complaints about trust.

Rouge to Caulder: It's not because you loved me?  DP #118 (March-April 1968)

Doom Patrol Legacy.
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #119 (June 1968): “In the Shadow of the Great Guru”
-Doom Patrol vol. 1 #121 (September 1968): “The Beginning of the End!”

Rouge to Caulder: You don't trust me? DP #119 (June 1968)

Issue #119: Rouge thinks rightly that the DP don’t trust her. Niles denies it. She sees she has been a pawn between the two team leaders. Seeking revenge and wanting to retake control of herself, Madame Rouge goes insane and turns on both teams.

Rouge turns on the Doom Patrol and the Brotherhood of Evil in revenge. DP #119 (June 1968)

The Chief realizes that the woman he loves, who once loved him, has betrayed him. DP #119 (June 1968)

Issue #121: Rouge attacks the Brotherhood and kills them (Brain and Mallah are later revealed in NTT #15 to have escaped), and betrays the Doom Patrol to Captain Zahl.

Rouge and Zahl. DP #121 (Sept. 1968)

Rouge bombs the Brotherhood's HQ and everyone inside. DP #121 (Sept. 1968) 

Caulder hears the Brotherhood is dead and knows he and the DP are next. DP #121 (Sept. 1968)

The DP's HQ is attacked in several assassination attempts by hit squads sent by Rouge and Zahl.  Caulder negotiates with Zahl to get the attacks to stop.  The DP leaves Midway City so civilians won't be endangered.  The city's inhabitants think the Patrol is fleeing out of cowardice, and jeer at them at the airport.  Rouge and Zahl are responsible for setting up a trade where the DP are forced to choose between saving themselves and a Maine fishing village of 14 people. Rouge does not intend the DP to die – but Zahl does, although in his old Nazi arrogance he can't believe the 'superior' Patrol would sacrifice themselves for 14 normal, miserable, average people.

Death of the DP. DP #121 (Sept. 1968)

After making speeches on the greatness of 'ordinary' people, the team members give up their lives to save the town. The four founding members of the Doom Patrol die in a nuclear explosion (the next DP series, published several years later, revealed that only Elasti-Girl died). Mento and Beast Boy, who are not present, survive.

 Dayton searches for survivors and mourns Rita. DP #121 (Sept. 1968)

Tara returns to Markovia.
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #28 (February 1983): "Terra in the Night" [Flashbacks]
Gar is about 12-13 years old when the Doom Patrol dies, and Tara is a few months younger than Gar. In continuity, shortly after the Patrol dies, Gar starts his career in Hollywood, and Tara returns to Markovia after growing up in the United States.  Tara tells the Titans (at this point, her age is almost 16) that she returned to Markovia “about two years” before she meets them (age almost 14). This timeline seems truthful given what other characters have said. It’s not clear how long she stays in Markovia. She doesn’t say that this is when she received her powers, but it must be. She also doesn’t explain to the Titans how she got her powers, except that she was not born with them – she’s not a mutant (not Kitty Pryde, hint hint). She claims that her father and the queen were kidnapped by terrorists; she and Brion immediately went searching for them; this last bit is a lie.

Flashback: Tara's travels. NTT #28 (Feb. 1983)

 Metahuman experiments: Tara Markov.
-BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1 (August 1983): “Wars Ended... Wars Begun” [Flashback]
-BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #5 (December 1983): "Psimon Says" [Flashback]
-Last Will and Testament (2008) [Flashback]
-Outsiders/Blackest Night Crossover # 24 (Jan 2010): “Matter of Trust” [Flashback]
Tara acquires her powers. Different accounts: Tara receives her powers “over a year” before her brother through a treatment engineered by Jace, age 13.  Jace said Tara was “meddling,” which may mean she used the treatment without permission. BATO #1: King Viktor funded Jace’s treatment, which was specifically developed only for Markovian royals so they could defend their state. Rocky Davis to Brion, comparing GF to Deathstroke (LWaT): “That’s how you got your powers too, right? Your father’s scientist hoping you’d protect your country.” This suggests that Tara may have acquired her powers with the approval of her father for the specific purpose of defending Markovia. Outsiders/Blackest Night #24 shows her receiving her powers and developing them under Jace’s guidance, which indicates that she did not acquire her powers covertly. But how Tara got her powers exactly is still a mystery, especially given Jace's later treachery and the doctor's possible connections with Deathstroke.  These accounts raise the question of why and how Tara leaves Markovia and engages in her unknown pre-Titans activities.

Flashback: Tara cryptically thinks of Jace knowing how she got her powers. NTT #37 (Dec. 1983)

Metahuman experiments: Gar Logan, Deathstroke, Tara and Brion Markov.

There is a recurring theme of meta-genetic experimentation and the creation of metahumans going on at labs across the DCU through stories from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Cloning and metahuman experimentation have been happening in labs at Dayton Industries (owned by Gar Logan’s adopted father, Steve Dayton) throughout Modern Age Titans continuity. Mento’s helmet is an outcome of his experiments on himself; these experiments later turn him into his dark incarnation as Crimelord (NT #0, Deathstroke #0, NT #115, Deathstroke #41-48, NT Annual #11, NT #122, Darkstars #32, Deathstroke #49-51). Like Dr. Register, Mento has tried to unlock and manipulate the secret of Gar’s powers (Deathstroke #50). Dayton also generates his supervillain team, The Hybrid, through meta-genetic experimentation (NTT Baxter series #24-25, 32-34; NT #87). Dayton’s scientists create a team of non-human synthetic life forms called the Recombatants (TotTT #48). They later clone world leaders (including Bill Clinton! (Deathstroke #50)) and have an initial hand in the science that created the Titans Pantha and Baby Wildebeest (NT #98, 103, 105, 110).

Last Will and Testament suggests that some of the scientists who experimented on Deathstroke fled to Markovia, gave Tara and Brion their powers, and that Tara was, and Brion is still being, further experimented upon. Deathstroke (LWaT): “When they got outlawed for the work on me, of course some of those scientists went running to Markovia.” This may be what the Deathstroke drugging storylines from the 2000s are about - metas are created and then drugged as part of a continued attempts to augment and control their powers. In TT vol. 3, TT recruiting drives turn up suspiciously large numbers of young metas. Metahumans who fall between the cracks are brainwashed into arena combat in the Dark Side Club (Terror Titans series 2008-2009). They may also become mercenaries. Or they are sold into slavery and experimented upon again by scientists. The lucky few become superheroes. But in TT vol. 3 #14, when Gar loses his powers, Dr. Register says: "You know what they'll do to someone like you? There're so many labs out there, desperately trying to unlock the secrets of your kind. Working day and night. Where do you think these fifth string heroes and villains disappear to? Limbo?"

Retcons combined with earlier stories, show that Deathstroke, Tara and Brion acquired their powers by way of scientists doing metahuman experiments on them; and that they, and possibly Gar Logan, may have been further experimented upon after they got their powers. If any of Deathstroke’s different remarks about the Judas Contract can be believed, these scientists may have been connected to each other in Africa, Markovia, or the United States.

Flashback: Mallah and Brain save Beast Boy's blood after a battle. Outsiders vol. 2 #40 (Nov. 2006)

Nightwing’s Outsiders (Outsiders vol. 2, 2003-2007) dealt with genetic experiments conducted by the Brotherhood of Evil where famous metas, including Gar Logan, were cloned and sold to the highest bidder. Deathstroke cooperates with the Brotherhood on this project, bringing them what appears to be a vial of Superman's blood.

Deathstroke cooperates with the Brotherhood on their hero cloning project. Outsiders vol. 2 #40 (Nov. 2006)

Blackest Night #1 (Sept. 2009): the remains of some supervillains are now kept at JLA HQ because Dick Grayson has discovered meta-genetics experimentation on dead metas and meta-body-parts smuggling rings. Hal Jordan: “This is an example of the kind of sick and twisted things we’ve had to deal with since you were lost to the speed force, Barry.” This problem may explain the later disappearance of Terra’s body from her grave.

Tara leaves Markovia.
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #37 (December 1983): "Light's Out, Everyone!" [Flashback]
Brion is reunited with Tara: “My sister, it’s been so many years since you disappeared from our homeland, Markovia.” By this point she’s been with the Titans for about 6-8 months within continuity. That means it’s been around 3 years since she left Markovia, obviously not with Brion. Brion does not know the circumstances of how or why she left. Is Deathstroke a threat to the royal family and the country? Did Tara’s father approve her acquiring her powers, and send her to kill him? Or did she run away, become a mercenary, and seek out Deathstroke because she took a contract to kill him? She tries to kill Wilson twice during the Judas Contract. Or did she run away, and Deathstroke, with his ties to scientists in Markovia, sought her out? There is no confirmed story of how or why she left Markovia or where she went after that.

Tara Meets Deathstroke. Tara meets Deathstroke in Africa?
-Tales of the Teen Titans #55 (July 1985): "Shades of Gray" [Flashback]
Deathstroke tells Changeling that Terra went to Africa. She sought out the man who raised Gar after he was orphaned, tribal chief Tawaba in Chad (contradicting the earlier fictional location of Upper Lamumba (likely named for the Congolese independence leader) mentioned in the DP and NTT series), befriended him, lived with him, and successfully completed a contract to murder him. No mention on why she would single out the man who raised Logan before she knew Changeling. Deathstroke says she saw her brothers as villains (this contradicts all her private thoughts shown to the readers during her interactions with Brion) and also had a grudge against Logan. “She had something against you personally ... probably because of Tawaba.” Deathstroke claims Tawaba was his personal friend and that he refused the contract. After the assassination, Terra then began working with Slade in Africa. Slade says her only motivation was that she was evil, totally insane and used her powers to hurt people close to her, whom she resented. Not clear if he’s lying: not confirmed from any other source as to whether there was a contract on Tawaba or why, if there was any connection between Tawaba and Tara at all, and if so, what happened between them, or even if Tawaba is still alive. No other story, anywhere, ever, has connected Tara to Africa. Obviously if Wilson lied about Tara going to Africa and killing Tawaba, then the Deathstroke-Terra picture changes.  If it's true, then Tara's tie to Tawaba is begging for a retcon connecting to Johns's retcon inserting Dr. Register into Gar's past, and Winick's 2009 retcon about Gar's parents' deaths (Titans #8).

Tara Meets Deathstroke. Tara meets Deathstroke in America?
- Last Will and Testament (2008) [Flashback]
Different account: Deathstroke tells Brion that Tara was made psychotic over time by drugs he (Slade) administered. He does not say he met Tara in Africa – he does not say where he met her. He began drugging Tara with a serum designed by scientists who were trying to develop and control metahumans or supersoldiers. He connects this drugging to the original experiments that gave Tara and Brion their powers and to the way he got his super-abilities. There was a crackdown on the scientists who did tests on Deathstroke (he doesn’t say where, but his origin story placed them in the US) and some of those scientists fled to Markovia. Deathstroke implies that Jace was one of those scientists. If Jace helped give Deathstroke his powers, then Wilson may have been involved in her work for the Markovs, and in the events that led to Tara and Brion receiving their powers in Markovia. Plus he claims his subsequent drugging of both siblings is part of related plans to control them to force them to act as operatives in a larger plan. From the time Slade met Tara, through the Judas Contract, and up to the present, Deathstroke states he has worked continuously with one, unnamed group that will take down superhero teams by creating metahumans and planting them inside those teams; their current targets are the Titans, the Outsiders and the Justice League. Not clear if he’s lying: the issue opens by stating that Deathstroke figures out his opponents and will use any kind of psychological warfare to win against them.

Tara Meets Deathstroke. Deathstroke is not reliable.
-Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 (1984): "The Judas Contract, Part 4: The Finale"
Deathstroke’s two versions of the story of how and where he met Tara and what she did before she joined the Titans have almost no overlaps. They tell us less about Tara than they seem to, and tell us more about how Slade works and the people he’s addressing. The devil is in the details. The two different stories he tells Changeling and Geo-Force both hinge on important figures in their pasts (Tawaba and Jace) crossing paths with Deathstroke in places he was known to operate. He tells Gar and the Titans that Tara was looking for him, that is, Slade (under contract?): “she found me.” Wintergreen contradicts this, telling Adeline Wilson that Slade “found that Markov girl” (ToTT Annual #3).

Wintergreen: Slade found Tara after he accepted Grant's contract. ToTT Annual #3 (1984)

In line with Wintergreen, Deathstroke implies to Brion that he, Slade, located Tara (while planning to fulfil the H.I.V.E. contract against the Titans?). Deathstroke paternalistically builds up Gar’s ego, while paternalistically breaking Brion’s ego down, spitting in Brion’s face. There’s no confirmed story: after receiving her powers, Terra might or might not have gone to Africa, and might or not have sought out Deathstroke.

Tara Meets Deathstroke. Tara meets Deathstroke in America. Different account.
-Who’s Who in the DC Universe vol. XXIII (January 1987): “Terra”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #28 (February 1983): "Terra in the Night"
Terra’s origin makes no mention of her going to Africa after receiving her powers, contrary to Deathstroke’s story to Changeling. Who’s Who in the DC Universe (vol. XXIII) states that Tara grew up in Markovia, got her powers from Jace, then left for America, and met Deathstroke in the USA: “Tara was sent to the United States to avoid a scandal, but not before Markovian scientist Helga Jace gave the young girl incredible powers over the earth itself. Tara’s life in America is unrecorded, but at some point she joined forces with the mercenary known as Deathstroke the Terminator.” Although Terra didn’t mention Deathstroke, this account of her travels matches what she told the Titans when she first met them, in NTT #28.

Doom Patrol and JLA Legacies in Titans teams.
-DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980): “Where Nightmares Begin!”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #1 (November 1980)
The Titans re-form. From the start, the team faces challenges of family secrets, generation wars, and legacies. The new characters, Cyborg, Starfire and Raven, are shaped by difficult family histories that bring about reasons for establishing the new team. Robin, Wondergirl and Kid Flash are three of the original founding five Titans and they, as well as Gar Logan, are all first generation legacy characters. The founding three members carry on the Titans as a ‘junior JLA’ and shoulder Bat, Amazon, and Flash traditions. Gar brings the Doom Patrol legacy into the group. Vic unknowingly repeats Niles Caulder’s words from when the Chief founded the DP. Vic to Raven: “Okay Lady – I buy it. A freak among freaks, right?” Gar: “Oh brother –” The influence and meaning of the DP legacy are no less powerful than the JLA legacy.  The DP legacy is deadly for the NTT and every subsequent Titans team Logan serves on. This legacy contributes to death becoming a constantly recurring theme in Gar's life - he's literally surrounded by it. Among all the NTT members, only Logan has already been a member of a team that died in battle. And only Changeling bears a legacy – a ‘family curse’ – of having been part of a team that was destroyed by a traitor, who was not only once one of their members, but also beloved by the team’s leaderDeathstroke quickly exploits this.

Deathstroke and the Doom Patrol Legacy.
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #1 (November 1980)
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #2 (December 1980): “Today ... The Terminator!”
Issue #1: Starfire falls out of the sky when she first arrives on earth. Out of all the millions of inhabitants of New York City, Grant Wilson, Deathstroke’s screwed up son, finds her unconscious body. He brings her back to his Greenwich Village apartment where he and his girlfriend are in the middle of breaking up. Kory lying on the couch with a facecloth on her forehead doesn’t help. The Gordanians, Raven and the New Titans all show up to find Kory, and the apartment gets trashed. Robin promises to compensate for the damage, and the fight moves out to the streets, up to the Gordanian ship and back again. Wilson meanwhile blames the Titans for ruining his home and his relationship. As the Titans come together in Central Park, Grant Wilson follows them with a H.I.V.E. operative and says he wants the Titans killed. Issue #2: The H.I.V.E. try to get Deathstroke to kill the Titans, but he won’t take the contract because they won’t meet his terms. The H.I.V.E.’s real interest is creating their own Terminator who will be theirs to control, but they have to observe Deathstroke in action to find out everything about him. Back in NYC, Grant is breaking up with his girlfriend at her new apartment, and Donna and Kory show up and take her side. He slinks off enraged and humiliated. He doesn’t know his father is the Terminator, but has heard Slade speak highly of the villain many times. He takes a contract with the H.I.V.E. to kill the Titans and makes a deal with them to get powers like the Terminator. He becomes the Ravager and attacks Cyborg, before collapsing. The H.I.V.E. treatment is flawed, only gives Grant powers for a short time, and he soon begins to die. Deathstroke scoops him up out of the fight with Vic.

Deathstroke: Grief and revenge. NTT #2 (Dec. 1980)

Ravager goes to Gar’s estate in East Hampton where the Titans are hanging out, and attacks them. He dies while trying to attack the Titans, and Deathstroke vows revenge. He takes up Grant’s contract to destroy the Titans.

Ravager's funeral: Deathstroke takes on his son's H.I.V.E. contract to kill the Titans. NTT #2 (Dec. 1980)

Deathstroke and the Doom Patrol Legacy.
-New Teen Titans vol. 1#10 (August 1981): “Promethium Unbound!”
Issue #10: Scene at Gar’s father’s estate: from the start of the NTT series, Gar’s adopted father, Mento, has gone missing searching for the killers of the Doom Patrol. Robotman has been salvaged from the explosion site and revived. Gar hires him to track Mento down along with the DP’s killers.

Gar explains the meaning of DP history to Vic and talks to Robotman as he dons the classic Doom Patrol uniform. NTT #10 (Aug. 1981)

As Vic and Gar become friends, Gar explains the origins of his powers and his history with the Doom Patrol. Meanwhile, Deathstroke tells Wintergreen that he has thoroughly researched all the Titans and knows pretty much everything about them, except for Raven and Starfire (this seems like a stretch, because he needs to hire Tara to find out all the Titans’ secrets). We see him lean forward in his base of operations, studying Logan’s picture on a monitor. Perhaps because his son Grant died at the Changeling’s home, perhaps because Gar has no secret identity, is already a celebrity, and the deaths of the Doom Patrol are well-known, Deathstroke targets Logan specifically for mind games.

Parallel scenes: Zahl makes Caulder an offer, exchange life for life.  DP #121 (Sept. 1968)

Parallel scenes: Deathstroke makes the Titans an offer, exchange life for life. NTT #10 (Aug. 1981)

Slade demonstrates his skill at psychological warfare. He exactly repeats DP history with the Titans. He presents the NTT with a trade of heroes for innocents (Vic’s friend Sarah Simms) that exactly resembles the fateful trade Zahl offered the Doom Patrol.

Gar gets the point Deathstroke's making. NTT #10 (Aug. 1981)

This is Deathstroke’s first attack on the Titans that involves the DP legacy – he plays Zahl here. He steals Promethium, an infinitely regenerating element developed at Mento’s tech research powerhouse, Dayton Industries.  The fact that the energy source for the bomb comes from Dayton is just the beginning of Deathstroke's assault on Gar's father figures.  Deathstroke offers a demonstration of the element in a bomb, to be set off at a secret meeting, after which the element will be sold to the highest bidder. The Titans are to be test subjects wiped out by the promethium warhead. The NTT agree to sacrifice themselves. They lie on a target and the bomb is launched toward ground zero. They escape by creating an illusion of the bomb going off, catch the warhead before it can detonate, and survive.

Changeling: Grief and revenge. NTT #10 (Aug. 1981)

Changeling, enraged that Deathstroke has replayed this horrific event from his past, pursues the villain. Deathstroke fires his blasting battlestaff at Logan and kills him. In a scenario where Deathstroke deliberately duplicated the deaths of the Doom Patrol, the only Titan who dies is the former Doom Patroller.

Gar dies at Deathstroke's hand. NTT #10 (Aug. 1981)

-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #11 (September 1981): “When Titans Clash”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #12 (October 1981): “Clash of the Titans”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #13 (November 1981): "Friends and Foes Alike!"
Issue #11: Gar Logan is dead. His heart no longer beats, but his brain is still alive. He is kept in a suspension chamber and the NTT take Gar to Paradise Island to save his life. Amazonian doctors resurrect him from the dead and heal his wounds. Issue #13: When he awakes he is insane and desperate to kill. He transforms into a brachiosaurus in the waters near Paradise Island. Raven heals his mind; Kory saves him from drowning.

Changeling resurrected! NTT #13 (Nov. 1981)

Doom Patrol Legacy. Hunt for the Killers of the Doom Patrol.
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #13 (November 1981): “Friends and Foes Alike!”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #14 (December 1981): “Revolution!”
-New Teen Titans vol. 1 #15 (January 1982): “The Brotherhood of Evil Lives Again!”

Gar: Grief and revenge. NTT #14 (Dec. 1981)

The male members of the NTT find a dismembered Robotman at a secret hideout in Africa where they also save Mento. This compound is run by Madame Rouge and Captain Zahl, the DP’s killers. After the NTT endure an initial attack from a brainwashed Mento and some encounters with Rouge and Zahl’s soldiers, the entire compound pulls up out of the earth and jet propels from Africa to Zandia, Brother Blood’s Baltic stronghold.

Gar realizes the extent of Rouge's insanity. NTT #14 (Dec. 1981)

Gar is clinging to the flying base, and the NTT follow in their jet. In Zandia, the whole team, except for Gar, is captured. He is captured by a resurrected Brotherhood of Evil, who are seeking vengeance, just as he is, against Rouge and Zahl.  Rouge meanwhile shows her dislike of Zahl and her complete isolation.  Unlike Tara, she is a picture of the traitor who survived betrayal.  The world shuns her.  There's nothing left for her to do except sink deeper into insanity and plot more evil and death.

Rouge: Nothing left for the surviving traitor but the plan. NTT #14 (Dec. 1981)

To defeat Rouge and Zahl, Gar strikes up a temporary truce with the villains, a sign that he’s entered a moral grey area.

Gar works with the Doom Patrol's arch-enemies. Cover. NTT #15 (Jan. 1982)

The Titans and Robotman excape. In the fight that ensues, Robotman hunts down Zahl, who accidentally kills himself when he tries to shoot Cliff.

Gar makes a deal with the devil to save his friends and get his revenge. NTT #15 (Jan. 1982)

Gar, just resurrected from the dead and still unbalanced by the madness that consumed him when he came back to life, insanely hunts down Madame Rouge and kills her. This scene establishes the sixteen-year-old Logan as mentally unstable enough to kill for the first time (he kills a second time during The Darkening storyline in the 1990s).

Gar's revenge. NTT #15 (Jan. 1982)

As she is dying, Madame Rouge’s tells Gar that her soul died when she betrayed Caulder, the Doom Patrol leader, whom she always loved. She is relieved to be going to Caulder’s side at last. Gar has final revenge against the DP team traitor here.

Rouge's repentance and Gar's guilt. NTT #15 (Jan. 1982)

The Brain has observed the whole scene on a security camera monitor elsewhere in the complex and compliments Logan repeatedly for killing Rouge, calling it “glorious.” Gar denies that death is glorious. The Brain may actually be saying that Logan’s act is “glorious” because Gar has, at such a young age, showed his future potential for becoming a villain.

The Brain: "Glorious." NTT #15 (Jan. 1982)

There are no witnesses except the Brain, but Gar tells the Titans what he’s done off panel. Even then, until the Beast Boy mini (2000), Gar is never held directly accountable for this act and his status as a hero is untarnished, until Madame Rouge’s daughter, Gemini, hunts him down to avenge her mother.  Indirectly, he pays a high price for his guilt when he loses the girl he loves - another team traitor - during the Judas Contract.

All this occurs before Gar even meets Tara Markov. The old DP stories and the two NTT arcs with Deathstroke and the killers of the Doom Patrol affect Changeling’s view of what transpires during the Judas Contract, because the Judas Contract repeats the Caulder-Rouge love-insanity-betrayal-death arc.  This time, Logan as heir apparent to the DP legacy and a future DP-styled leader, again is forced to walk a mile in Caulder's shoes.  Logan confronts similar situations and choices to the ones Caulder confronted.  At the same time, Deathstroke begins symbolically undermining all of Gar's father figures, except for his real father, Mark Logan.  Through these schemes, he weakens Gar's old connections to The Chief, Dayton and Tawaba. By the 1990s, he will almost approach a surrogate father role with Changeling, although his motives for doing this are obscure.  As a story, the Judas Contract is like a hall of mirrors, reflecting the past into the present; reflecting one DC legacy in another legacy; reflecting one damaged ambiguous supervillainess in another; reflecting one team leader's example in a future team leader's development; and reflecting death for death. The story's after-effects echo these patterns over and over throughout future Titans continuity.

Rouge's death and Slade's machinations temper Gar's perspective of Tara's insanity and death.  Not least in addition, Logan's experiences have been very similar to Tara's: he has lost his parents, gained great powers, died, been resurrected, worked with arch-villains, and has been consumed with insanity enough to kill.  This is the point at which Tara Markov enters Gar Logan's life.




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  1. @The top picture...

    I "love" how George Perez described the reveal of Terra's relationship with Slade:

    PEREZ: I wanted her to look almost elfin, so that when you see her for the first time wearing full-make up and dressed in a provocative outfit where you know she's just been in bed with Deathstroke that it does jab you a bit. "Whoa good god! This little girl is a slut!"

    Yes, it's such an overwhelming shock and horror that the "little girl" is "a slut"! Eh? What about the fact that Slade is a grown man and is having sex with said girl? Naaah, that's not anything noteworthy; it certainly doesn't make HIM "a slut".

    Good ol' comic book sexism....

  2. Yeah. The JC was full of double standards and cognitive dissonance. Even today there are loads of people who blindly accept the characterization and the underlying fourth wall decisions and don't question them. The main problem I have with the JC is the Fourth Wall decisions that were taken and the Fourth Wall logic. It is not so much the characters, because they are just tools in the hands of the creators. It is the fact that the JC was supposedly a story about right and wrong - but the **creators** made a bunch of decisions around the story that were really, really disturbing. Wolfman and Perez made right into wrong, and wrong into right here. And fans went along with it - also troubling.

    If they wanted to make Slade sleep with Tara, then it should have *added* to his villainy, not *taken away* from it. Yeesh.

    I believe that a decent back story with Tara meeting Slade in Africa, showing him not as her hapless victim but as a manipulative SOB would have made her downfall more poignant and believable. People who are mentally ill are not caricatures the way Wolfman portrayed Tara.

    Brad Meltzer took a simliar sexist turn with Identity Crisis, where everything was pinned on a crazy woman who had gone crazy b/c she could not have her man, sigh. IMO Meltzer is a better writer than this and did not need to resort to such a tedious sexist cliche.

    The problem is in comics, sexism among creators and fans is largely the norm. It shouldn't be the case, but it is. Look how much better a comic like Elfquest was, where the norm was non-sexism. Imagine if the Pinis had done the Judas Contract. They had a character very similar in disposition - Winnowill. Yet she was never a cardboard cutout.

  3. I don't think going to bed with Deathstroke would make anyone a slut, he's clearly a catch and a master of all crafts he puts his mind to. I mean what, just because he's got white hair, a girl's gotta be a slut to get with him? :(

    I'm not sure why sleeping with Tara should've added to his villainy, solely based on who she is. The only thing I can see villainous about it is that he was using mind control serums, making it rape. No, not the whole 'it's 15 so it's rape' BS. The serums matter, not her age.

    1. Of course, that was retconned itself. The original story had no mention of mind control serum of any kind.

  4. I will say this, Tyciol - you're the first person I've seen defend sex between the two characters.