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[Raven’s Original Form]
Real Name: Raven
Alias: Rachel Roth
Occupation: Adventurer
Known Relatives: Angela Roth/Arella (mother, deceased), Trigon the Terrible (father, deceased?)
Group Affiliation: Titans
Past Group Affiliations: The Children of Trigon, the Church of Blood
Hair: Black
Eyes: Originally blue, now violet
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)
Created by: George Perez and Marv Wolfman

Hell and Heaven

When Angela Roth ran away from home, she sought out the occult...and found it. Offering herself up in ritual as the bride of Satan, she allowed herself to be taken by the man who appeared. Only afterward did he reveal his true, demonic appearance. Horrified at what she had done, what had happened to her, and fearful of the demon’s child she carried, she was on the brink of suicide when she was found and taken to Azarath, a dimension to which a community of pacifists had fled from Earth to live in peace. There she took the name Arella.

And so Raven, daughter of human and demon, was raised by Azar and her followers, taught pacifism, taught to control her demon heritage. She learned to heal by absorbing others’ pain, and she learned to project her soul out of her body for short periods of time. And she learned to suppress her emotions, for any strong feelings could awaken the evil within her.

Return to Earth

[Raven unhooded] Knowing Trigon would soon invade Earth, Raven broke with Azarath’s teachings to seek allies to turn him back. Rejected by the Justice League, she sought out heroes her own age, several of whom had recently worked together as the Teen Titans. Raven knew Kid Flash would be essential to the team she needed, but he had retired from heroics, determined to focus on his studies. Using her abilities as an empath, she convinced him that he loved her (though she could never safely return that love) so that he would join the new team. When Wally learned how he had been manipulated, he was horrified, but continued to have feelings for her. Their relationship has been strained ever since.

The Titans fought Trigon twice, once in his home dimension, trapping him there (The New Teen Titans v.1 #5–6, 1981), and once on Earth. That second time, he was able to release the evil in Raven, and she stood as his second as he began remaking the Earth in his twisted, hellish image. As the Titans battled on against impossible odds, the soul of Azar guided Arella and Lilith through preparing the unconscious Raven for her destiny. Raven’s soul, cleansed of her father’s evil, became a conduit through which the souls of all of Azarath came to corrupt Trigon with purity and “destroy the Destroyer of Worlds” (The New Teen Titans v.2 #1–5, 1984–1985).

Raven vanished in that battle, only to reappear weeks later, amnesiac. Found by the Church of Blood, she was recruited to help him stage Brother Blood’s “resurrection” (having faked his death in an earlier battle with the Titans). In the midst of Blood’s worldwide telecast she freed herself of his influence, using her powers to release the thousands of onlookers who were under his thrall as well. Rejoining the Titans, she reveled in the emotions she was finally able to experience.

Darkness Unleashed

[Evil Raven] The Titans fell apart when the Wildebeest society (guided by the now-corrupted souls of Azarath) began hunting them down. Raven was killed, and the evil in her soul took possession of a new body. Though her former Titans contacts, she began implanting what she believed were the souls of her slain brothers and sisters—fellow children of Trigon whose mothers had committed suicide rather than give birth to children of evil—into people such as Changeling and Frances Kane. [Spirit Raven] She accidentally implanted Raven’s true soul into Starfire, and was forced to seek her in outer space. There it was revealed that the seeds of Trigon’s children were actually pieces of his own essence, planted for his own resurrection. The Titans arrived, with Starfire carrying Raven’s soul, and Trigon was destroyed forever (again), leaving Raven as a disembodied, but again pure, spirit.

The Church of Blood—now revealed to be Trigon worshippers—captured her once again, binding Raven’s soul to a new body created from their own sacrificed blood. Raven has had to adjust to being a teenager again, and worse, Blood’s influence has reawakened her dark side. Once again, Raven must fight to keep her own darkness under control.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • Tales of the New Teen Titans #2: Raven (July 1982), Marv Wolfman & George Perez
  • “The Terror of Trigon” - The New Teen Titans (second series) #5 (February 1985), Marv Wolfman & George Perez
  • “Where Nightmares End” - The New Teen Titans (second series) #130 (February 1996), Marv Wolfman

Art

  • Classic: Tales of the New Teen Titans #2 (July 1982) - George Perez
  • Unhooded: The New Teen Titans (first series) #39 (February 1984) - George Perez
  • Evil: The New Titans #129 (January 1996) - William Rosado and Will Blyberg
  • Spirit: The Titans #9 (November 1999) - Ale Garza and Cabin Boy

Origin Tales

  • Tales of the New Teen Titans #2: Raven (July 1982), Marv Wolfman & George Perez
  • Teen Titans (third series) #8 (April 2004): “Family Lost,” Geoff Johns

Profiles

  • The Official Teen Titans Index #1 (August 1985)
  • Who’s Who in the DC Universe #19 (September 1986)
  • Who’s Who (loose-leaf edition) #8 (April 1991)
  • Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2003 (December 2003)
  • The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)

Series Regular In...

  • The New Teen Titans / Tales of the Teen Titans/ The New Titans (1980–1990)
  • Teen Titans (third series) (2004–2006)
  • DC Special: Raven (5-issue mini-series, 2008)
  • The Titans (second series) (2008—)

Significant Legacy-Era Flash Appearances

  • Legends of the DC Universe #18: (July 1999): “Conflicting Emotions,” Marv Wolfman

Significant One-Year-Later Flash Appearances

  • Countdown #43 (July 4, 2007): “The Funeral,” Paul Dini with Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (cameo)

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