Raven
Raven (DC Comics character - circa 1982).png
Raven, as she appeared on the cover of Tales of the New Teen Titans #2 (July 1982) Art by George Pérez
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)
Created byMarv Wolfman and George Pérez
In-story information
Alter egoRachel Roth
SpeciesCambion (Demon–human hybrid)
Place of originAzarath (Earth)
Team affiliationsTeen Titans
Sentinels of Magic
Night Force
Justice League
Abilities
See list
    • Empathy and Psionic powers (including emotional manipulation, empathic healing, emotion negation, empathic precognition, psychic link, and force emotion)
    • Darkness & darkforce manipulation / Umbrakinesis
    • Energy manipulation
    • Mastery of magic
    • Telekinesis
    • Telepathy
    • Teleportation
    • Flight
    • Superhuman physical attributes
    • Matter manipulation
    • Chaos & superpower manipulation
    • Elemental & organic manipulation
    • Molecular manipulation
    • Biological & bond manipulation
    • Chronokinesis

Raven is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in a special insert in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980), and was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez.[1] A Cambion, daughter of a demon father (Trigon) and human mother (Arella), Raven is a powerful empath who can sense emotions and control her "soul-self", which can fight physically, as well as act as Raven's eyes and ears away from her physical body; more recently, she's been shown as being adept with various types of magic and sorcery. She is a prominent member of the superhero team Teen Titans. The character also goes by the alias Rachel Roth as a false civilian name.

Raven has appeared in numerous cartoon television shows and films, including as one of the Teen Titans in Cartoon Network's eponymous series, voiced by Tara Strong, and in the 2014–2020 DC Animated Movie Universe, voiced by Taissa Farmiga. Rachel Roth makes her live adaptation debut in the DC Universe and HBO Max series Titans, played by Teagan Croft.

Development

In an interview, Perez described his design approach for the character. "taking the cue that raven was very mysterious à la Phantom Stranger, I took that as a starting point, and using the shadow face where half her face is always in shadow despite the lighting, was a shtick I obviously got from Phantom Stranger, who also had the same deal. He had a long billowing cape, as did she, and in her case since her name was Raven, I decided to create a silhouette for her that would look like a bird. The hood was designed so that in the profile it would end up looking like a birds head, so that when her soul self came out, since that was done in full black, it looked like a gigantic black Raven. Her name and the Phantom Stranger were key to how I designed her."[2]

Perez was asked if the characters face was based on any real life person, Perez stated the following, "Originally Raven was Persis Khambatta, the actress who played in the first Star Trek film, and later became a young lady named Fran Macgregor, who was a dancer, and I used some of her features, particularly for her figure, for Raven."

Character biography

First life of Raven

Raven initially approached the Justice League for help, but they refused her on the advice of Zatanna, who sensed her demonic parentage.[3][4] In desperation, she reformed the Teen Titans as the New Teen Titans to fight her father. The team consisted of Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy (then known as Changeling).[5] Raven and her new friends later came to think of one another as family.

Trigon soon took Raven to his home dimension. The Titans defeated Trigon and sealed him in an interdimensional prison with the help of Arella, who stayed at the interdimensional door as Trigon's Guardian.[6] However, Raven continued to fight her father's influence, and her face started changing. For a period of time, Raven lost control several times in stressful situations, but managed to regain control before Trigon could assert himself.

Eventually, Trigon escaped his prison and destroyed Azarath, came to Earth, and took control of Raven. The Titans were manipulated to unfriend Raven, thereby allowing the souls of Azarath contained inside the ring of Azar to possess her and use her as a channel to kill Trigon. After this battle, Raven rose from the ashes, cleansed of Trigon's evil, and vanished.[7]

Raven

After Raven's disappearance, Arella went around the world in search of Raven. She tracked Raven down, but both of them were kidnapped by Brother Blood. The minions of Brother Blood used Raven to control Nightwing (formerly Robin) as part of Blood's plans. The Titans rescued them both and prevented Brother Blood from returning to power.[8]

As a result of the defeat of Trigon, Raven was free to experience emotions for the first time in her life. Raven found she was able to not only sense, but control others' emotions.[9] She learned to handle this power only after unintentionally making The Flash believe that he loved her when she thought that she was in love with him. Raven also fostered a relationship with technopath Eric Forrester, who was using the life force of women he seduced to regain some of his lost humanity. Forrester knew that Raven's soul-self could help him to permanently retain his humanity. This attempt was cut short by the intervention of Joseph Wilson (Jericho), who helped Raven overcome her love for Forrester by destroying Forrester and saving Raven.[10]

Evil Raven makes her appearance in the "Terror of Trigon" storyline, which began The New Teen Titans (vol. 2). Art by George Pérez.
Evil Raven makes her appearance in the "Terror of Trigon" storyline, which began The New Teen Titans (vol. 2). Art by George Pérez.

Raven was later kidnapped by the Wildebeest Society during the "Titans Hunt" storyline.[11] The Wildbeest, led by the Trigon-possessed souls of Azarath, were going to use several Titans to bring about the return of Trigon. During a massive battle, Raven was possessed by the evil souls and once again became the evil doppelgänger of her father. Arella, along with Danny Chase, used the power of Azar's soul to cleanse Raven. In the aftermath, Raven's body was destroyed, and Arella and Danny sacrificed themselves and joined the cleansed souls of Azarath to become Phantasm.[12]

Evil Raven

Raven appeared possessed by her evil conscience and attempted to implant Trigon's seed into new bodies. She interrupted Nightwing and Starfire's wedding and implanted a seed of Trigon into Starfire. Instead of corrupting her, she actually implanted the soul of the good Raven. This caused Starfire to leave Earth in order to escape from the evil Raven. The Titans were able to defeat Raven only because of the help they received from Phantasm.[13]

Raven later returned, still evil, in order to destroy the good version of herself implanted in Starfire. With the help of the Titans, evil Raven was reduced to ashes, and the good part of Raven was given a new, golden spirit body, which was completely free of her father's demonic influence. In New Tamaran, Starfire and the golden spirit form of Raven revealed that implanting Raven's soul in Starfire was actually her plan to get rid of her demonic soul.[14]

Spirit

In her bodiless spirit form, Raven returned to Earth to help extract Cyborg's soul and consciousness from the Technis planet's computer mind.[15] Later, she was instrumental in defeating Imperiex by aiding Wonder Woman and Tempest in re-powering Darkseid.[16] As a spirit, Raven wandered the Earth, looking for her place in the world.

Rebirth

While the spirit of Raven was looking for her place in the world, Brother Blood came to claim her. Her spirit was instilled into the body of a teenage girl by the Church of Blood. The Teen Titans (reformed again), discovered that the Church of Blood were worshipers of Raven's father, Trigon. They also found a prophecy which told of the marriage between Brother Blood and Raven that would result in Armageddon. The new team interrupted the wedding, and Raven forced the cult to escape. She then joined the new Teen Titans and enrolled at a high school as Rachel Roth, using her mother's original surname.[17]

After her rebirth and much confusion about her new place reborn in the world, Raven's teammate Garfield Logan (Beast Boy), began developing romantic feelings for her, and the two became romantically attached.

52

In 52, after the death of Superboy, the Titans began to fall apart. Robin joins Batman, and Wonder Girl left the team. Beast Boy struggled to maintain the team and was flippant towards Raven and their relationship, and the new members who joined were only interested in seeking fame and honor rather than actually looking to fulfill justice. When Beast Boy decided to help Steel on a mission, most of the members left, leaving only Raven and Zatara. Later, Beast Boy, Raven, Offspring and Aquagirl aid Steel in launching an attack on LexCorp. Raven also participated in World War III. Eventually, Robin, Wonder Girl, and a few new members join the Titans, making the team whole again. Beast Boy and Raven were among the only members that remained in the team during this period.

"One Year Later"

Main article: One Year Later

Raven's new look in "One Year Later".
Raven's new look in "One Year Later".

Raven quits the team after she and Beast Boy end their relationship.[18] Letting the others think she is leaving because of Garfield, Raven actually leaves because she has uncovered a secret of one of the other Titans.

Raven takes advantage of this power with a book of unclear significance.[19] Raven has a diskette containing Jericho's soul. She performs a cleansing ritual over his soul and transfers it into a new body[20] before returning to the team as a full member.[21]

Without warning, the Titans are captured by the villainous Titans East and transported to the original Titan Island in New York City, where Raven is placed in the "care" of Enigma and Duela Dent, who took to torturing her psychologically. Raven manages her escape. After beating the Titans East, she and Garfield talk about their feelings, but he refuses to dwell on the matter, leaving their relationship uncertain.[22]

Following the death of Bart Allen, Raven, along with the other adult Titans, decides to leave the team. Raven decides to pursue her chance at attending high school, having never had the opportunity before.

Raven stars in a five-issue miniseries written by Marv Wolfman, with art by Damion Scott. It takes place during the missing year, following Raven's attempts at living as a normal teenage girl and attending high school. Unfortunately, she gets inadvertently drawn into a mystical fight involving the Medusa Mask and has to battle for the lives of her classmates. In the Wizard #177 magazine, Wolfman briefly described the series, saying, "She needs to be on her own and in charge of herself for the first time in her life. This is more than just a 'tale of Raven'; it sets up her new life".

Titans

Raven discovers that Trigon had more than one child, her half-siblings, and that a trio of children devoted to her father are behind the attacks. She is affected along with many of the other Titans by these three beings. Raven's three half-brothers use her and Beast Boy as keys to open a portal to Trigon's realm. Raven uses her own power to influence greed in others to make her half-brothers steal what little power Trigon had left. The portal is closed and Trigon's sons, believing they have gained great power, leave.

Raven's half-brothers later return and provoke her demonic side, causing her to leave the Titans and join them. However, the team was able to track them down and convince Raven to join the side of good once more. She later provided a number of other artefacts, all capable of killing her, to the Titans as terms for her staying with the team.[23]

Wyld

Battered and dazed, Raven arrived at Titans Tower, where she was rescued by the newest roster of Teen Titans. While she was recovering, Beast Boy stated that he was still in love with her and would remain so, despite whatever difficulties were involved.[24]

Raven decided to stay with the Teen Titans, now acting as a mentor to the younger members. When the Teen Titans attempted to return home, Raven was kidnapped and taken to another dimension by Wyld.[25] Wyld reveals that Raven was the one who created him. When Raven was traveling dimensions looking for her father, her soul self caused all of the animals she visited to merge into one being: the Wyld. The Titans enter the Wyld World to rescue Raven. Wyld is eventually destroyed by Static.

In the final issue of this incarnation of the Titans, Superboy-Prime and his Legion of Doom attack Titan's Tower. Raven stops Kid Flash just before he can kill Inertia. Then she reveals her soul-self to Headcase, terrifying and in so defeating him. After the Legion of Doom is defeated and Superboy-Prime is bound to the Source Wall, Beast Boy and Raven have a talk about her difficulty in reading Solstice's emotions after Beast Boy had accused Raven of leaving her behind and he refused to believe her when she stated it wasn't on purpose. They also talked of their encounter with Headcase. Eventually, Raven starts to open up about her true feelings. Beast Boy makes it clear he doesn't want to escape from any part of her. Touched, Raven decides that she needs to embrace the positive feelings inside her rather than just her negative ones. Beast Boy assures her this is part of being human, and points out, "I think you've worried enough about the bad...so why don't we focus on the good for a change?" With that, the two reconcile and share a heartfelt kiss. [26]

The New 52

Raven in the New 52. Art by Kenneth Rocafort.
Raven in the New 52. Art by Kenneth Rocafort.

After the events of the 2011 "Flashpoint" series, the history of the DC Universe was altered, resulting in The New 52. Raven makes her New 52 debut in the first issue of the Phantom Stranger. There she is shown as a girl in a black and white striped sweater becoming distraught at a funeral over the level of overwhelming emotion that is emanating from the people there. The Phantom Stranger takes Raven to Stonehenge, the portal between Earth and the realm of Trigon. Being told by a "higher power" what must be done, the reluctant Stranger unwillingly hands her over to Trigon.

Teen Titans

Raven makes her first Teen Titans appearance in Teen Titans vol. 4 #16. Raven, sporting a new costume, is introduced by Trigon as his "Black Bird of Terror" to his minions. It is strongly suggested that Raven has been controlling Robin's emotions. During Trigon's invasion on Earth, she approaches a near dead Beast Boy who had been assaulted by Deathstroke earlier in the remains of the Ravagers facility.[27] After being touched by Raven, Beast Boy awakens and when he asks if Harvest has sent her, she apologizes stating that she brought him into the fray much sooner than she expected, and says, "Hush. We are birds of a feather now... You are mine to control", as Raven mind-controls him and teleports them to New York where Trigon and the Teen Titans are in battle.[28]

Raven's origins revisited

Trigon reveals more of Raven's origins. He has had a son from each of the other worlds he's conquered, but Raven is his only daughter. Trigon let Raven's mother, Arella, live because he considered that Raven needed to be raised by humans so she could recreate the seven under-realms in her own image. Arella fled with her daughter to Azarath where the monks taught her how to control her dark side and avoid Trigon's influence on her. Years later, she escaped from Azarath in order to protect her mentors and planet from Trigon and fled to the Earth where Phantom Stranger captured her for Trigon.[29]

Raven spent time in the under-realms where time flows faster or was compressed. Trigon thought he only needed to liberate her and not control her to make Raven have her own image. Apparently impressed, Trigon handed her the Throne of the Under-realms to rule the place as Queen.[29]

Return of Trigon

Back in New York, Trigon's three sons, Belial, Ruskoff, and Suge, assault the Teen Titans to take Raven back. Raven, Beast Boy, and the Titans defeat them, but Trigon himself appears again and takes control of the Titans save for Red Robin, Raven and Beast Boy. The manipulated Titans attack, and while Raven and Beast Boy distract them and Trigon, Tim cuts through Trigon's eyes with his inertrite wings. Trigon, pulling out the wings from his eyes, compliments Tim before suddenly disappearing. Soon after, a woman and a group of suited men come through a portal, informing that they will take Psimon into custody and make the incident appear as if it had never happened. When questioned about the police officers Psimon has killed, the woman reveals it has been a hallucination by Trigon, so therefore it has never happened.

Raven and Beast Boy are re-accepted into the Teen Titans. Raven brings controversy to the team by revealing the flirtatious relationships Tim had when under Trigon's control. Raven goes into her room, leaving the awkward situation behind. There, she summons her father, saying, "Father, I am one of them. Your plan worked perfectly", leaving questions on what side she is really playing for.

Meanwhile, Tim calls Raven aside, telling that if something happens to him, the team will look up to her to lead them.

Forever Evil

After the events of "Trinity War", the Earth's greatest heroes are gone and the Crime Syndicate of America has taken over the world. The Teen Titans challenge the Crime Syndicate, but are easily overpowered by Johnny Quick and Atomica and then flung into the time stream. While the Titans are constantly flung through time, Raven is sent a few thousand years back in time. There, she is challenged by Etrigan the Demon, who recognizes her as Trigon's daughter and tries to kill her. Raven is saved by Wonder Girl, who suggests that the way to stop Raven's powers, since she was born and raised in a world between worlds, is to manipulate the energy within the time stream. Raven succeeds in anchoring the Titans with her soul-self, teleporting them through time.

The Titans arrive 20 years into the future, where the son of Superman, Jon Lane Kent, has massacred most of Earth's superheroes, leaving only a few, including Beast Boy (Garfield Logan), now calling himself Beast Man, and Rose Wilson. Superboy Kon-El and Jon battle, and Kon triumphs. But Kon is sent elsewhere by an unknown power, and a severely injured Jon is swapped unknowingly as Superboy by Logan and Wilson. The Titans depart again, now to an alien planet in the 30th century, where Kid Flash is actually a rebel leader and war criminal, Bar Torr. While the Titans stay to witness the Trial of Kid Flash, Raven deduces Superboy is actually Jon, and helps send him back to the present time so that he can find a cure for his deteriorating body condition.

Leaving Kid Flash and Solstice in the future, the Titans return to their original time and are united with Bunker, Beast Boy, and Skitter. Raven finds out that their journey has severed Trigon's control over her. Followed by an attack by the villain Grimm, the Titans plan a final attack on Harvest's new colony. Raven is reluctant to join because of her past actions, but Bunker tells her that everybody deserves a second chance, and Raven changes her mind. In the colony, they are surprised to find that everyone is returned to normal, and even the victims of the Culling have been restored to life. Raven plays a crucial role by finding out Harvest's scheme to extract all the metagenes to create a massive DNA strand for his usage. This is destroyed by Raven's soul-self and Harvest is finally defeated.

Rebirth

Some time after leaving the Teen Titans, Raven set out to learn more about her human relatives in San Francisco. Raven attempted to conceal her powers before having a misadventure and then later abducted by Damian Wayne who recruited her to be part of the new Teen Titans team he was establishing to take down his grandfather Ra's al Ghul. It is then revealed that the Demon's Fist, a team initially led by Damian before he decided to follow Batman, were hunting each of the assembled Titans that Damian had abducted for their initiation into the League of Assassins. Raven turns out to be the target of the assassin by the name of Plague, whose hands can rot, decay and take the life out of anything she touches.

Powers and abilities

As a Cambion, Raven has an array of abilities; she is firstly an empath, able to sense and alter the emotions of others. She can induce calm, suppress negativity, and even make someone fall in love with her. By absorbing the pain of the wounded into herself, she can induce rapid healing for the affected person. Raven can astral project a solid black energy form that takes the shape of a bird, called her soul-self. Her soul-self can travel long distances, become intangible, and is able to telepathically communicate. It can act as a shield as it can absorb a limited amount of energy and solid matter, regurgitating them before reintegrating with Raven. Using her soul-self, she can convert her physical body into her soul-self and carry or teleport herself and others over a limited distance. Her soul-self can mentally subdue at least one person by enveloping them inside of itself. Raven's soul-self could initially stay outside her body for exactly five minutes; failure to reintegrate in time would cause mental torment for her, though she eventually overcame this limitation.[30] In her third body, Raven acquired the ability to fly. Raven is shown to be able to fly unaided in space.

As the half-demon daughter of the inter-dimensional demon Trigon, Raven is very powerful and displayed a vast amount of abilities. She has displayed the ability to control, manipulate and or generate pure shadows and darkness. Raven can manipulate energy, time, and emotions. This latter ability manifests in different variations, from causing supremely destructive pain, inducing tension, fear-based illusions, and stealing emotions from others. In a number of instances, Raven has deep knowledge of magic and has also displayed sorcerous abilities, such as inducing unconsciousness on Tim Drake with a touch, releasing balls of fire "within the folds of her cloak" (as in The New Teen Titans Annual #4 (1988)), or hurling electric blasts strong enough to take down all her brothers and all of the adult Titans. She was seen to completely annihilate the demon army of Rankor numbering more than three thousand individuals and which contained powerful individual demons that had taken the Titans down in ambushes previously.

Like her brothers, Raven can induce and amplify one of the seven deadly sins (in her case, pride) or all seven of them, in any living being, however doing so will cause her to suffer spells of nausea and vomiting for several days afterward as side effects.

Raven also has limited precognition, which allows her to predict future events that are about to happen, although this happens involuntarily and infrequently. She has also been shown to be an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, despite the fact that she rarely uses these abilities.

Collected editions

Raven

Title Material collected Pages Publication Date ISBN
All Raven Collects issues #1–6 2017 978-1401268985

Raven: Daughter of Darkness

Title Material collected Pages Publication Date ISBN
1 Raven: Daughter of Darkness Vol 1 Collects issues #1–6 2018 978-1-4012-8473-2
2 Raven: Daughter of Darkness Vol 2 Collects issues #7-12 2019 978-1-4012-8963-8

Other versions

In other media

Television

Live action

Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth/Raven in Titans
Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth/Raven in Titans

Animation

Many of Raven's appearances are voiced by Tara Strong.

Film

Miscellaneous

Video games

See also

References

  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  2. ^ Cadigan, Glen (2005). Titans companion. Raleigh, N.C.: TwoMorrows Pub. p. 109. ISBN 1893905500.
  3. ^ The New Teen Titans #4
  4. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 244. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  5. ^ The New Teen Titans #1
  6. ^ The New Teen Titans #6
  7. ^ The New Teen Titans vol. 2 #1–5
  8. ^ The New Teen Titans vol. 2 #31
  9. ^ The New Teen Titans vol. 2 #32
  10. ^ The New Titans vol. 2 #67
  11. ^ The New Titans vol. 2 #71
  12. ^ The New Titans vol. 2 #84
  13. ^ The New Titans #121
  14. ^ The New Titans #130
  15. ^ JLA vs Titans #1–3
  16. ^ Wonder Woman vol. 2 #173
  17. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #11
  18. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #37
  19. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #38
  20. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #40
  21. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #41
  22. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #47
  23. ^ Titans vol. 2 #6
  24. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #76
  25. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #82
  26. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #100
  27. ^ The Ravagers #12
  28. ^ Teen Titans vol. 4 #19
  29. ^ a b Teen Titans (2011), Issue 23A
  30. ^ The New Teen Titans #8|June 1981
  31. ^ Superman/Batman #60–61
  32. ^ Booster Gold Vol. 2 #23~24
  33. ^ DC Bombshells #17
  34. ^ "'Titans': Teagan Croft Cast As Raven In Live-Action Series For DC Digital Service". Deadline. August 3, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-08-03. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  35. ^ Martin, Michileen (January 15, 2020). "Every Crisis on Infinite Earths cameo ranked". Looper. Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2019-01-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ Telsch, Rafe (February 6, 2007). "Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo". CinemaBlend.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-19. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  38. ^ Sands, Rich (January 18, 2016). "Roll Call: Meet the Cast of Justice League vs. Teen Titans". TVInsider.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-19. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  39. ^ Kit, Borys (January 19, 2017). "Christina Ricci, Miguel Ferrer Join Voice Cast of 'Teen Titans' Animated Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  40. ^ "Raven revealed for Injustice: Gods Among Us, battles Catwoman in new clip". Event Hubs. March 14, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  41. ^ Krupa, Daniel (November 27, 2014). "PAID AND FREE DLC FOR LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM REVEALED". IGN.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-09. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  42. ^ "Raven Coming to LEGO Dimensions". YouTube. July 7, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-07-09. Retrieved 2016-08-27.