Friday, August 11, 2006

Profile: Raven

Raven
First appearance: DC Comics Presents #26, 1980

Current status: returned in the third volume of Teen Titans in 2003 in a new body of her own.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: the Titans may have said they’d like to help rid her of the curse she was burdened with ever since Trigon birthed her through the rape of her mother, Arella. But for a long time, they did not make good on their promises, taking far too long to deal with her own problems. Later on, she was corrupted by Trigon into becoming evil, though after the Terror of Trigon storyline in 1984, she was freed from this tyrant’s grasp when he died. But, in 1986, she was corrupted again by Brother Blood’s gang on their convicts island, during which time Dick Grayson had been taken hostage there and brainwashed as well, and the Titans had to rescue them. Several years later, in 1993, she turned to evil again, and attacked Nightwing and Starfire at their wedding ceremony (in the end, the marriage was not to be). In 1996, towards the end of New Titans, the heroes destroyed her body, freeing her from much of the curse she was under until then, and she was free to reassess her place in the universe. Several years after that, however, Brother Blood, in the guise of a teenaged minor, resurrected her into a new body.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Well it wasn’t that the Titans’ negligence ended up leaving her vulnerable to an attack by Raven’s father, Trigon, that was the problem. She had actually been freed of a lot of the landmines that made experiencing human emotions exceedingly difficult circa 1987, after the battle against Brother Blood at the time. No, what was the problem was that they had to revert back to this in New Titans #100, and for heaven’s sake, what was the whole point of influencing Starfire to go on a journey into space just to be a distance from Raven’s evil side?

And to be honest, Raven’s own story ended with her becoming free of her flesh in 1996, and I’d have to think that she’d be much happier by not having to be returned to a life in flesh and blood again. So if you ask me, bringing Raven back in the third volume of Teen Titans (this is sans the “new” in any of these titles, of course), was as uncalled for as a lot of other stories where the character’s own personal tale and odyssey ended after a specific time.

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