As one of DC Comics' most powerful magic superheroes, Raven is one of the most memorable characters in the genre, ever. Although she is primarily known as a member of the Teen Titans, her powers and internal struggle make her a hero in her own right. Child to the demon Trigon and a human woman, Raven must avoid extreme emotion to keep her demonic side at bay, yet often uses her magical abilities and empath powers to help humanity. Some of the best depictions of Raven's heroics are from the Teen Titans animated series.
Voiced wonderfully by Tara Strong, this animated version of Raven is a sarcastic, dead-panning teen hero. The sarcasm was a way for her to emotionally distance herself from her teammates and express herself without giving in to the dark influence of her father. Deep down, she wants to be close to her teammates and be a hero, but fears that Trigon will make her evil and that her teammates will shun her.
In the episode "Spellbound," Raven's fear of rejection is so great that she literally locks herself away from the team after Beastboy calls her creepy. Eventually, Beastboy apologizes after learning to understand Raven better. Similar events occur in the episode "Nevermore," when Raven loses control of her rage and Beastboy and Cyborg are transported to Raven's mind through a magic mirror. After literally seeing different sides of Raven in the form of emotion clones, Cyborg and Beastboy give Raven the strength to face and regain control over her rage.
Broken Open In Despair
Despite all her efforts, Raven's dark secrets finally come to light during the episodes "Birthmark" and "The Prophecy." Raven is destined to end the world by becoming a portal that brings her father to earth, but the other Titans vow to prevent it. Despite their valiant efforts, Raven decides to turn herself over to Trigon to keep her friends from being hurt. Knocking out the remaining Titans, she gives them a bit of her powers to protect them when Trigon finally comes to earth.
Although Raven was seemingly consumed when she became the portal, a part of her still existed in the world. With the help of Slade (aka Deathstroke), Robin finds a child version of Raven with no powers and no hope. When the Titans and Slade face Trigon in a final assault, Raven realizes that it is possible to defy her father and keep fighting, even at the end of the world.
Dressed in white and restored with her powers as her teen self, Raven declares, "You may have created me, but you are not my father. I was protected by the monks of Azarath. I was raised by my friends. They are my family, this is my home, and you are not welcome here!" With this badass speech and a mighty yell of "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!", Raven destroys Trigon for good and is free to have a new beginning.
From this moment on, Raven is more open with the other Titans and others. This is especially noticeable during the episode "Hide and Seek," when Raven babysits three superpowered kids to protect them from the Brotherhood of Evil. Raven's snarky and protective sides are on full display here, especially when Raven exclaims, "Nobody messes with my kids!" while confronting Brotherhood member Mallah.
In Teen Titans, Raven shows that it is possible to do good, heroic things even if you have a dark past. Even Robin states that Raven is "the most hopeful person he knows" because she fought her father's dark influence and strove to do good. Raven is not only a powerful sorceress and empath, but she is also a wonderful, complex embodiment of good versus evil.