bio by George Gustines artwork by Marcus Mebes and Melissa Wilson
Though the interdimensional demon named Trigon ruled his dimension by young adulthood, something was missing from his life: an heir. Every woman that Trigon seeded ended her life to prevent his power from spreading until an earthling named Arella entered the equation. A drifter, Arella was involved in a satanist ceremony to summon Trigon to earth. In Arella, the cult knew they had at last found Trigon a mate. Amid bright stars and whirling comets, Arella's union with the most golden of gods was consummated. Only then did Trigon reveal his true form. Finally, the universe would be his.
Depressed and homeless, Arella found herself in an abandoned alley with thoughts of suicide when a portal of light appeared. A robed figure emerged and offered his hand. Without hesitation, Arella gave hers and entered. Destination: Azareth. Azar welcomed Arella to her pacifist society and made her comfortable in the last days of her pregnancy. Azar named Arella's infant Raven, who became Azar's apprentice. Raven learned the mystic arts, teleportation and to separate her soul from her body. Upon Azar's death, Raven received Azar's golden rings.
At 13, Raven first encountered Trigon, who asked Raven to rule by his side. Put off by his evil, Raven said no. When Trigon threatened Arella, Raven unleashed her soul self, the ultimate expression of her power. Trigon retreated, but Raven knew he would return. Seeking allies, Raven turned to the Justice League of America. But the sorceress Zatanna sensed an evil within the empath and cast her away. Raven left, but not empty handed -- for she had learned of the League's proteges. Planting a vision of a new group of heroes in the mind of Robin, Raven and the boy wonder, along with Wonder Girl, Changeling, Kid Flash, Starfire and Cyborg, formed a new Teen Titans.
Trigon won the first conflicts, but under Robin's leadership, the new heroes worked together to banish the demon into a dimensional prison. Though Raven had influenced him to join, Kid Flash still felt a love for the empath. The two would go on to have a confusing friendship even as Raven's dark side grew.
Out of fear and conflicting priorities, Kid Flash resigned and was replaced by Terra, the Terminator's spy. Raven sensed evil but whose was it ? Could she have prevented Terra's tragic end? In the loneliness between dimensions, Raven wept. Even on the proudest days, the wedding of Donna Troy, all Raven could do was watch. Raven decided to it was time to bid her friends farewell, but Jericho interceded. Jericho possessed Raven and journeyed to Trigon's prison. Trigon punished the mute, crushing his bones, melting his skin, damning him to a thousand deaths until Raven tried to save him. His ploy had worked: Trigon had his daughter. The only trace of Raven left: Azar's rings.
With the help of Lilith and Kid Flash, the Titans traced Raven to Azareth, moments before it was destroyed. When the team returned to earth, Raven attacked. Each Titan faced their dark side and lost. Or so it seemed. The evil Titans cleansed themselves by slaying Raven. Enraged, Trigon prepared to destroy the universe. Azar, working through Lilith, ordered that her rings restored to Raven's body. Energized by Azar, Raven unleashed her soul self, flowing with all the power of Azareth. Trigon fell before this purifying force for good (unknown to the Titans, however, Jericho had been tainted by Trigon's energy). Raven rose from the ashes of Titans Tower, smiled at Kid Flash and disappeared.
Arella found Raven captured in a remote swamp village, but their reunion was interrupted by Brother Blood, who brainwashed Raven (and through her, Nightwing) into his service. With their founders in jeopardy, Wonder Girl rallied the Titans, past and present, to free the captured duo. In disgust that she had been used again, Raven avenged herself by laying waste to Blood's mind. Thanks to Azrael, his winged alien disciple, Blood escaped.
Things didn't get easier for Raven. She suffered heartache when Nightwing did not return her feelings of affection,she found herself in the thrall of Scourge, a villain with ties to the cosmos and the Greek gods and she almost lost her life to Eric Forester, an evil mutant cyborg who tried to feed on her emotions.
On the eve of their anniversary, the Titans were attacked by the Wildebeests, a group consisting of former H.I.V.E. members and secretly led by Jericho. Save for Nightwing, the Titans and some associates were captured. Aided by a ragtag band of allies, Nightwing located his teammates just as Jericho unveiled his master plan: to infuse the captured Titans with a corrupted soul from Azareth. In the midst of the battle, Raven and Jericho lost their lives. Finally, it seemed, the chapter in the team's struggles against Trigon was closed. Alas, it was not so.
Nightwing and Starfire's wedding had an unexpected guest: Dark Raven. Determined to complete Jericho's mission, Raven planted a Trigon seed in Starfire before she was repelled. (Unknown to Raven, however, Starfire received a portion of Raven's pure soul). To regain control, Starfire underwent a Tamaranean ritual which restored her warrior status. It also led the alien to combat a new threat from the Psions. Seeking allies, Starfire returned to Earth with Cyberion, a computerized being who had evolved from Cyborg, and returned with the Titans, along with Changeling, within whom Raven had planted a Trigon seed, but they were to late. Tamaran was destroyed.
In a cataclysmic battle, Starfire confronted Raven with the pure portion of her own soul. Dark Raven's destruction restored Changeling and gave birth to a new Raven who existed as an astral form. The Titans returned home except for Raven, who stayed with the Tamaranians to help them find a new planet and Changeling, who sought to discover how much of Victor Stone was in Cyberion. Months later, from distant outer space, Starfire witnessed the Sun Eater destroy New Tamaran. How Changeling, Cyberion and Raven survived has not yet been explained.
This article is © 1998 George Gustines
All characters are © DC Comics