Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Titans season 4.The mid-season finale of Titans season 4 brought about Rachel’s transformation into White Raven, when she regained her powers. This would suggest that Raven has undergone a major upgrade and may have gained some new abilities. However, the circumstances under which Rachel became White Raven are drastically different from the original comics and other Teen Titans adaptations.
The climax of Titans season 4, episode 6, “Brother Blood” found the Titans launching a bold raid on the Temple of Azarath, in order to rescue a captive Superboy, prevent the rise of Trigon and restore Raven’s lost powers. After Beast Boy destroyed the crystal containing Raven’s power, she underwent an amazing transformation, reappearing in a flash of light wearing a white robe and cloak. When she joined the battle against Mother Mayhem, Raven’s magic manifested as a glowing smoke rather than as shadowy tendrils. While Raven was seemingly confused by the change in her powers, fans of the comics had been awaiting this moment since the beginning of Titans.
Why Raven Gets A New Costume In Titans Season 4
It is not immediately clear why Rachel changed into White Raven after regaining her powers in Titans season 4. The key may lie in a conversation that Rachel had with the Titans’ new sorceress Jinx, earlier in Titans season 4, episode 6, “Brother Blood.” Jinx said there was no way Rachel could have lost her powers unless a part of her wanted to lose them. Rachel admitted that was true and that she’d never really had the chance to have a normal life, but that she’d discovered “being normal is a little overrated” and truly did want her powers back.
It’s possible that Rachel viewing her powers as a blessing to be enjoyed rather than a curse to be endured might have facilitated her change into White Raven. Conversely, it’s possible that when the Church of Blood’s leader Mother Mayhem began tapping Raven’s power for herself, Trigon’s influence passed into her, leaving Raven’s powers purified. In either case, this is a radically different journey than the one that led to White Raven’s first appearance in the comics.
In the classic New Teen Titans comics where she first appeared, Raven was trained from a young age to avoid strong emotions. This helped her to master her empathic abilities and resist the dark influence of her father, the demon lord Trigon, whom Raven was prophesied to play a role in helping conquer the Earth. Trigon came to Earth during the first story arc of 1984’s New Teen Titans Vol.2, where Raven seemingly sacrificed herself to banish the demon lord Trigon once and for all.
Thankfully, Raven was reborn after her father’s demise, now wearing white robes and possessing the power to influence emotions rather than merely reading them. She was also able to draw upon her original powers more fully, now that she did not need to fear falling to her father’s influence. This boost in power came at a cost, however, as Raven became more easily exhausted from using her new abilities, not being used to experiencing strong emotions directly after repressing herself for so many years.
Is White Raven More Powerful Than Regular Raven?
This raises the question of whether Titans‘ White Raven is more powerful than her original form, like in the comics. It is difficult to gauge based off of the battle in Titans‘ season 4 mid-season finale, as Mother Mayhem was able to hold back the power of White Raven and Starfire, who had been confirmed as tapping over 80% of her estimated kinetic output. It should be noted, however, that Raven was under great emotional duress, not only from the shock of regaining her powers, but also from seeing Jinx killed by Mother Mayhem. Given that, it seems likely Raven was not expending her full power.
Are Raven’s Dark Powers Gone For Good?
Rachel’s transformation into White Raven also raises the question of if her demonic powers are gone for good and if Trigon still holds any influence over her. Raven’s transformation into White Raven in the comics was sadly temporary, with Raven being overwhelmed by evil souls seeking to resurrect Trigon. While Raven’s good side ultimately won out, leading to her spending some time as a Golden Spirit, she was later restored to life by the new Brother Blood and reborn in a younger physical body, which manifested her classic black and blue costume and soul-self.
Presuming that the Trigon essence contained in her gem had been absorbed by Mother Mayhem as a means of transforming Sebastian Sanger into Brother Blood, it is possible that Rachel Roth’s transformation into White Raven could be permanent. On the other hand, it’s possible that same aspect of Trigon might be freed once Brother Blood and Mother Mayhem are defeated, unless Rachel takes it upon herself to contain that part of her father’s power to prevent it from falling into evil hands once again. This could set up a bittersweet ending to Rachel’s story, as she condemns herself to dwell in darkness for the good of the world.
How White Raven Completes Rachel’s Titans Story
While the story of Raven has been repeatedly adapted and retold in multiple comics, novels and television series, one point has remained constant. Raven’s story is based around the corrupting influence of power and the struggle to remain true to herself in the face of temptation. Even when she was free of Trigon and able to build a normal life for herself, Raven still fought to keep her powers under control. She also had to battle to keep from being overwhelmed by her own emotions, finding a balance between her legacy as a child of Trigon and her mortality.
Azarath Metrion Zinthos chant from Teen Titans. Given that and the fact that Titans season 4 might be the series’ last, it seems likely the show’s writers have introduced White Raven as the capstone to Rachel Roth’s heroic journey.While the idea of White Raven being Raven’s idealized final form was born of the Teen Titans animated series rather than the comics, it seems likely that Raven’s transformation in Titans season 4 will hold a similar significance. The series has already drawn upon multiple Teen Titans media, having similarly adapted the
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