Fictional character biography
First life of Raven
Raven is the half-human/half-demon daughter of interdimensional demon Trigon and Gotham City-born human Angela Roth (known as Arella). Raven was conceived as the result of Trigon's marriage to Arella. Raven grew up in an alternate dimension called Azarath with pacifistic inhabitants whose spiritual leader was the mystic Azar (Pagon). She was taught to "control her emotions" by Azar in order to suppress her inherited demonic powers. Initially, it was feared that if Raven were ever to feel any strong emotion, she could then become possessed by her father's evil demonic energy inside of her.
Cover of Tales of the New Teen Titans
#2 (July 1982). Art by George Pérez.
During this time, Raven rarely saw her mother and grew detached from her. Upon Azar's death, Arella began the task of raising and teaching Raven. Around this same time, she met her father face to face for the first time. Soon after her 18th birthday, Raven learned that Trigon planned to come to her dimension; she vowed to stop him.
Raven initially approached the Justice League for help, but they refused her on the advice of Zatanna, who sensed her demonic parentage. 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. 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. However, Raven continued to fight her father's influence, as he was not completely destroyed. 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, came to Earth, and took control of Raven, destroying Azarath in the process. The Titans were manipulated to kill 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, purged of Trigon's evil, and vanished.
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.
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. She learned to handle this power only after unintentionally making Nightwing 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
In her bodiless spirit form, Raven returned to Earth to help extract Cyborg's soul and consciousness from the Technis planet's computer mind. Later, she was instrumental in defeating Imperiex by aiding Wonder Woman and Tempest in re-powering Darkseid. As a spirit, Raven wandered the Earth, looking for her place in the world.
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.
After her rebirth, Raven began developing romantic feelings for her teammate, Garfield Logan (Beast Boy), and the two became romantically attached.
In 52, after the death of Superboy, the Titans begin to fall apart. Robin joins Batman, and Wonder Girl leaves the team. Beast Boy struggled to maintain the team, and new members who joined were only interested in seeking fame and honor, rather than actually looking to fulfill justice. When Beast Boy decides to help Steel on a mission, most of the members leave, 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"
Raven's new look in "One Year Later".
Raven quits the team after she and Beast Boy end their relationship. 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. Raven has a diskette containing Jericho's soul. She performs a cleansing ritual over his soul and transfers it into a new body before returning to the team as a full member.
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 gives hints that she still loves Garfield, but he refuses to dwell on the matter, leaving their relationship uncertain.
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."
Raven discovers that Trigon had more than one child, 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 artifacts, all capable of killing her, to the Titans as terms for her staying with the team.
With the Titans in a state of disarray in the wake of Justice League: Cry for Justice, Raven left the team and was promptly attacked by a demonic being calling itself "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.
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. 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, and their encounter with Headcase. Eventually, Raven starts to open up about her true feelings. While it was her inner darkness that scarred her entire life, she was even more frightened of what her love for Beast Boy might cause her to do. 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, they share a heartfelt kiss to renew their relationship and ultimately embrace their love for each other.
The New 52
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.
Raven makes her first Teen Titans appearance in Teen Titans #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. 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.
Raven's origins revisited
Trigon reveals more of Raven's origins. He has a son from each world 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.
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.
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 an 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.
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.
Kid Flash and Raven share a romantic kiss.
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. In this series of Rebirth, Raven develops a crush on Kid Flash and he likewise.