Raven was first introduced in DC Comics Presents #26 in October 1980. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, she is the daughter of the demon Trigon and the human Angela Roth. Of course, Raven is famous for her time in the Teen Titans and has become one of the quintessential members of the team.
"When your character enters into the 'real world,' outside of our little cluster of fans, or somebody is dressed up as Raven, you think about how you've done something that affected people in ways you never knew they would. It's the most wonderful feeling," Wolfman told CBR. "You don't think it's going to be there 35 years later – especially for a character like Raven, who is sort of the antithesis of most characters. She's shy. She's short. Her powers are inward. They're about emotion, not about fighting. She's very different from other characters. To see the fans embrace that character is wonderful because it allows us to try and write different stories in many different directions."
As one of the most popular characters in the DC Universe, Raven has been a key figure in some of the biggest storylines that the publisher has put out over the past few decades. Yet, we know so much about her, but there's still a lot of mystery and intrigue beneath the surface.
This is why we're here - to find out more about the mystic girl also known as Rachel Roth. With that said, let's explore the 20 Things Even DC Fans Didn't Know About Raven.
Due to the popularity and success of the 2003 animated series Teen Titans, the group featuring Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy is considered the seminal version of team. However, that doesn't mean it's the original Teen Titans. In fact, this iteration only got together in New Teen Titans, as it was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in 1980.
The first-ever Teen Titans consisted of Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad.
This lineup formed in The Brave and the Bold #52 (July 1964), and was written by Bob Haney and illustrated by Bruno Premiani, in order to take down Mister Twister. While it was a novelty to see the sidekicks form their own team, the success of Teen Titans didn't take off until Wolfman and Pérez took over.
As the two Titans with the most impressive power ranges, there's constantly a debate over who'd win in a fight between Raven and Starfire. It would certainly be a tight battle, but Marv Wolfman weighed in on who'd be the undisputed victor – and he thinks it would be over in a flash.
Chatting with Geeks WorldWide at Wondercon 2018, Wolfman affirmed that Raven would win in a heartbeat due to Starfire's blasts not having an effect or being able to harm Raven's soul self. In many ways, it's safe to assume that Raven is probably one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe – think of her as DC's answer to Jean Grey and the Dark Phoenix.
In February 1985, Donna Troy married Terry Long in Tales of Teen Titans #50. While Terry was always the older creep hanging out with teenagers – and he and Donna are no longer together in continuity – it was a major event at the time. A Titan was getting married, so naturally you'd expect all her friends to be there on her big day.
Not Raven, though. She was the one member missing from the celebrations as she brooded in her own little realm. To be honest, it wasn't a nice thing to do to a friend and another example of how Raven's emo tendencies got the better of her. Seriously, get your act together for one day and be happy for your friend, Rachel.
Oh, did you think that Trigon was a monogamous husband who stayed home on the weekends and watched the game? No way. This demon was partying it up like it was 1999 and fathering children left, right, and center. In fact, don't be surprised if we find out he has even more kids lurking around in the DC Universe soon.
As it turns out, Raven is the only one who isn't completely evil.
In one storyline, Trigon's three sons, who are seemingly fans of their horned father, attacked the Titans. Poor Raven ended up having to leave her team for a while so that she could deal with all the sibling issues. Talk about family politics.
Raven's mother is Angela Roth, aka Arella. She was allured by the demon Trigon, in his human form, and became his wife and the mother of Raven. When she found out that Trigon wasn't whom she expected him to be, she went to the Temple of Azarath and changed her name to Arella, which meant the "Messenger Angel."
Interestingly, though, Roth was born in Gotham City. Once again, it gives credence to the premise that Gotham is literally hell on Earth, as all of the bad things seem to happen to its citizens. In addition, the fact that a demon scouted a woman in Gotham to be the deliverer of his child just tells us that you wouldn't want to buy property there.
To be fair, Flashpoint messed up everything about the timeline and is another reminder why the Flash is probably the biggest villain in the history of humanity. For goodness' sake, Barry, just stay at home and watch TV or read a book rather than screw with the timeline for the millionth time.
In Flashpoint, Raven is a member of the Secret Seven, along with Zatanna and other sorcerers. In this reality, Zatanna is the one at odds with her father, while Raven seems to be a big fan of Trigon and wants to live up to the family name. We told you that everything that Barry touches turns into cosmic coal and he should be put in a metahuman prison for eternity.
For some reason, Raven doesn't do well with weddings and acts like a real jerk when they appear in her diary. Not only did she not attend Donna Troy's wedding to Creepy Terry Long, but she also had to mess up Dick Grayson and Koriand'r's big day.
In New Titans #100 (August 1993), Dick and Kory experienced a wedding day from hell.
First off, Bruce Wayne couldn't make it because of his broken back (thanks to Bane). Then, the flowers were all wrong. If you thought it couldn't get any worse, though, it did. As Dick and Kory were about to say "I do," the then-turned-evil Raven and several other villains appeared. The priest was incinerated as Dick and Kory's day turned to ash.
Look, in all honesty, who does Batman trust? He certainly keeps tabs on the Justice League and he's the sort of guy you wouldn't want around your electronics, because you know he'll install a tracker and spyware on your computer. Still, you'd think he'd appreciate what Raven has done for the Teen Titans over the years.
However, this isn't the case. Batman knows all about her, considering that Dick Grayson led the first iteration of the team. When Tim Drake (the third Robin) decided to reform the Teen Titans, the Dark Knight warned his protégé that he's playing with fire by including Raven. According to the Caped Crusader, she can't be trusted because she can hide her emotions. Pot, please meet kettle.
Despite Raven's long storied history with DC, her live-action debut only materialized in this year's Titans, where she's portrayed by Australian actress Teagan Croft. On the show, she's still known as Rachel Roth and not as Raven. Her history and powers have been tweaked, but she still remains a powerful empath.
Speaking at this year's New York Comic Con, Croft explained how she crafted her version of Raven. "So, I had all of these different sources to pull from and from that I [picked] and chose what I thought was really great about the character and what was in the script. And from that I think I created a really authentic and real [Raven] but also going in a new direction," she said.
When Teen Titans debuted in 2003, most of the characters were part of the comic book continuity at the time – except for one.
Raven had been absent from the comics for some time after she'd sacrificed her own life and existed purely as a spirit, kind of like a good poltergeist.
After the animated series took off, she became one of the show's most popular heroes and fans wanted to see her back in the comic books. DC took note of this and found a way to let her come back and reappear in the Titans team. Since then, she's become a staple part of the DC Universe and it's unlikely that she'll go away any time soon.
Smallville introduced a variety of characters over its 10 seasons. The series, though, lived on in comic book format (as the fabled Season 11) and featured a few more personalities who didn't get to make a live-action appearance. One of these was Rachel Roth.
In Smallville: Harbinger, Zatanna and John Constantine follow an abduction case as the Church of Blood abduct a teenage girl. The cult prepares to sacrifice her at Stonehenge to bring the demon Trigon to Earth. Naturally, Zatanna and Constantine foil their plans and save the girl, who reveals her name to be Rachel Roth. It might've not been a live-action performance, but the story fits in nicely with what Smallville did at the time.
Dick Grayson's Robin might be considered the leader of the Teen Titans, but it was actually Raven who brought the team together. While everyone else couldn't even organize a get-together with pizza, root beer, and good music, Raven took the bull by the horns in New Teen Titans.
She came to the teenage heroes in a dream, as way to establish and build trust between them. Sure, there was a little bit of a selfish motive, as she needed them to come together and rescue her from her father, Trigon, but she also helped them band together to save Starfire from her captors. It seems like we all owe her a debt of gratitude for forming the best version of the Titans.
When you're the daughter of a demon, you probably have a hint of bad in you. In Raven's case, we've seen her dark side come out on more than one occasion, yet she always manages to dial it back and walk the straight and narrow path. In Injustice, though, she chose a life more frightening.
As with many characters, Raven had to choose: join Superman's regime or Batman's rebels.
Ultimately, she decided to sign up to the Man of Steel's horrific dictatorship and enforce his new methods. This didn't make her too popular with the Titans, however, who decided that Big Blue's command wasn't the right way of life. Nonetheless, she made the choice that she thought was right for her – or her own self-preservation.
In New Teen Titans, Raven formed an attachment with Wally West, aka Kid Flash. Well, she actually mystically manipulated him into falling in love with her and joining the Titans, when he wasn't initially keen. While their "love story" never went anywhere and they stayed friends, it was evident that she held a torch for the speedster.
In DC's Rebirth, Raven got her wish – sort of. She formed a romance with the new Wally West (not the ginger one). As with anything in comic books, it was short-lived, but at least Raven managed to find a little bit of happiness for a brief time. Still, this relationship has nothing on Beast Boy and Raven's coupling.
Raven might be a moody teenager, but there's a good reason for it. She gains specific abilities and characteristics from each emotion that's within her. At times, we've seen these emotions manifest into physical features, such as when she wears a different colored cloak.
Each color symbolizes a different emotion: pink is happiness, purple is passion, grey is timid, orange is rudeness, yellow is knowledge, green is courage, red is anger, and so forth. In many ways, this makes her an open book, so if you keep a notepad with what each of the colors symbolizes, you'll be able to avoid a blow-up with her. Alternatively, maybe just give her pizza and that'll ensure she's always happy.
You may think that things were different in the pre-internet times and fans weren't so vocal about their feelings. Think again, because people were whiners back then as well. Comic book publishers would receive scathing letters (and even essays) about changes to the characters and storylines, so it isn't just a millennial thing.
Marv Wolfman revealed to Bleeding Cool that there was initial outrage to the New Teen Titans as well.
"Without the net to warn them, nobody knew anything so we were rumor free until the very first house ad went out revealing the cover and the new heroes. The fans responded with hate mail; how dare we get rid of characters like Gnaark, Bumblebee, and Harlequin?! These new characters weren't the Titans," Woflman said.
Marv Wolfman has created and co-created an abundance of popular comic book characters. He's been involved in birthing the likes of Slade Wilson, Nightwing, Bullseye, Nova, as well as Raven. Funny enough, Wolfman wasn't keen on the latter initially and is surprised by the success and popularity of the character.
In Comics Journal #80 (1983), Wolfman revealed: "Raven was the one character I didn't want to do originally. Len [Wein] asked for a female mystic and I've been quoted elsewhere as saying that I came up with Raven to answer the problems. But I've never felt comfortable writing a mystic character despite the fact that I've done all these mystery books. So she surprises me."
Raven has magical powers. The extent and nature of her abilities differ in the comic books and other mediums, with the only constant being that she's extremely powerful. In most iterations, she's capable of healing the wounded or curing disease. In the recent Titans TV series, we saw her heal a deer that had been shot by hunters.
In Comics Journal #80 from 1983, Marv Wolfman clarified the extent of Raven's powers. "She's the empath who can cure some illnesses, some problems. She can't [bring someone back to life], or [cure] any major disease. She failed when trying to cure the Russian Starfire's girl friend. If it's small pains or hurts at least she can cure them, but it affects her," he said.
Gar Logan is a heartbreaker – or at least he believes that he is. Nonetheless, in the Teen Titans animated series, he and Raven shared a deep bond. The two crushed on each other and many shipped the "Garachel" relationship, even in the comic books. Times change – or should we say writers – and we've seen the two go their separate ways since then in the comics.
Fortunately, on the Titans TV show, the showrunners have decided to go back in time and develop the Rachel and Gar relationship.
It's him who approached her and brought her to the house where he stayed with the Doom Patrol. When everyone in Rachel's life abandoned her, he was the one who stood by her through everything. Aw.
Many fans don't know this, but Raven's co-creator Marv Wolfman started off his career as a comedy writer. When he entered the world of comics, he also tackled a lot of horror books, such as the Tomb of Dracula, in which he introduced a certain character named Blade along with Gene Colan.
In an interview with Comicon, Wolfman revealed that he and George Pérez designed each member of the New Teen Titans differently for a specific reason. "Our characters came from different places, and represented different genres. For example, Raven let us tell horror stories, while Starfire let us tell sci-fi stories. Cyborg allows us to tell stories about street level stuff and tech," he said.
Tell us, do you know any other interesting facts about Teen Titan's Raven? Let us know in the comments!