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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 144

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at a three-part story that made both the Greatest Marv Wolfman Stories Ever Told AND the Greatest Beast Boy/Changeling Stories Ever Told, the “Trial of the Terminator!”


The story began in Tales of the Teen Titans #53 and continued into #54 and 55, with Rich Buckler drawing the first two issues and Ron Randall drawing the third.

Deathstroke the Terminator is on trial following the events of the Judas Contract (although not necessarily FOR the events of the Judas Contract, mind you).

Things don’t seem to be going smoothly…

Things get worse in #54…

Particularly when ANOTHER Deathstroke the Terminator shows up while Slade Wilson is in custody…

Eventually, Slade is set free, but we learn (as hinted above) that Changeling manipulated the whole situation (including using his father’s mental projection helmet to project an image of Deathstroke during the trial so that Slade would be released).

He is doing so because HE wants to kill Deathstroke, for what he did to Terra…

Well, things don’t go according to Gar’s plan, either…

I won’t spoil the rest of it, but do note that it has some of the strongest character work Marv Wolfman did during his entire run on Teen Titans. Very, very strong stuff – and you could argue that it was the beginning of the sort-of-redemption of the Terminator that went on during the 1990s, when Deathstroke got his own title (written by Wolfman).


Interesting. I’m reminded of The Spartacus Gambit that Daredevil used to get Spiderman off during Election Day.

This (at the risk of revealing SPOILERS) has Gar taking Slade to a Diner and talking to him for a bit, rght? I remember that one wonderful moment where Changeling no longer is feeling murderous intentions towards Slade then asks if Slade slept with Terra, and Slade lies and says “No”. Great work by Wolfman that feels genuinely REAL.

Hmm, interesting. I’m positive that the Brazilian translation (by Editora Abril) had Slade asking back whether that mattered as opposed to giving a straight answer. Gar replies that he guesses not.

Actually, Slade didn’t lie to Gar about whether he slept with Terra. He just didn’t give a straight answer and then changed the subject, making it very clear what the truth was even if he couldn’t bring himself to say it to Gar. And several years later, Gar even made comments to the effect that he’d found out Terra and Slade had been sleeping with each other, so its not like Gar never learned the truth.

Luis Dantas: Yeah, it sounds like the translator got it correct.

If I recall, the one problem is that the defense tries to claim that the crimes didn’t take place in the US, when they did indeed take place in the Colorado Rockies (I think that’s where the HIVE based that Nightwing and Jericho broke into was located).

Otherwise, though, I loved this story.

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