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CSBG Archive

Almost Hidden – The Trial of the Terminator

Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I’d say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.

I want you folks to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I’d like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.

Reader Charles S. wrote in to suggest I spotlight one of the more notably uncollected Teen Titans storylines, the Trial of the Terminator!

With the popularity of The Judas Contract, it surprises me that DC has never collected this follow-up to that tale. Heck, they have only collected an issue or two of New Teen Titans AFTER Judas Contract, which is equally odd. In any event, 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). Those early Deathstroke issues were good stuff. I should probably feature that in Almost Hidden, as well (maybe in the future).


Dunno if people have noticed yet that this entry is down here, but yeah, this was a good story. I’d forgotten about most if it except for Gar’s face-off with Slade. I’d especially forgotten that Vigilante was the judge–or that he even became a judge.

I remember this storyline for the mistake: Cyborg mentions the torture that occurred in the ocean HIVE base, and the lawyer notes that the base wasn’t in the US jurisdiction. Except that those events took place in HIVE’s Rocky Mountain base in Colorado, if I’m not mistaken.

I’m guessing the lack of Perez art keeps this from being collected.

I’d forgotten all about this story. I remember liking it and also being pretty impressed with the Rich Buckler/Mike Decarlo art. Speaking of non-Perez Titan artwork, did hey ever collect the JL Garcialopez run?

I just happened to read this recently. Very well done. I especially liked the ending with Gar and the Terminator. Talk abotu character development!

LOVED the ending of this. Marv Wolfman has commented TotTT #55 is one of the works he is most proud of. While the trial can kind of be glossed over, I have always thought that the final face off should have been included with the TBP of Judas Contract.

Love your columns! I wish they would collect Atlantis Chronicles

The trial of the Terminator will be included in the Third Teen Titans Omnibus :-)
One more reason to buy it ;-)

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