Monday, July 5, 2010

Comic Talks - Raven makes me confused...

I was thinking about Raven and...
Wow... Did I said that out loud?... Uh, this didn't quite came out as I intended it to...

Let's start over....

I was reading some "Titans" comic trade paperbacks from DC, and I started thinking about this character...
And while Beast Boy was all the time hitting on her, it started spinning some questions into my (geeky) mind.

Now that's better. Better intro.

Lemme just add, before starting, that I'd like to use this new feature, Comic Talks, to randomly start some discussions about stuff that boggles my mind... Dive deep into plot holes, annoying or mind-bottling points and facts~

Anyway, let's start for real now:

The early years.

When Raven first appeard in the comics, it was during the 80s "New Teen Titans" run under the pen of the fantastic artist George Pérez and classic writer Marv Wolfman.
She was introduced as part of the newcomers in the new Titans' character roster.

Raven, daughter of the demon Trigon, etc..etc.. (use wikipedia for the rest if you're interested in the backstory).
She was, like most of those character, in her teens/late-teens. Robin was older (and now I don't find his costume that ridiculous, he's always been that circus-kid to me, and if you ever went to the circus, that's a pretty normal costume for a grown man).
Let's try to stay in-subject and focused her, a'right?

This was how she looked originally.
I like it.

Changes in perspective...

Two important things happened at that time, during the 80s for DC Comics and the Titans.
Raven slowly turned evil and helped her daddy Trigon runs amok, the Titans grew up (Robin became Nightwing...)


DC Comics made the now-famous event Crisis, which simply rebooted the DC universe (to simplify their storylines, create a new blank canvas for the newer generation and shake their universe a bit).
Comic events are quite usual nowadays, with all the Civil War, World War Hulks, 52, Blackest Nights, etc..
I'm not a big fan of those...most of the times... (because of all the tie-in books, the "changing the status quo"-again-again..etc..)

Back on Raven now.

George Pérez slowly introduced changes in her design to make her age a bit and prepare the reader to see her turning into her demonic-self.
It was subtle, but she was changed in the end.
Raven ended dead. Yep. It's sad I know, but hey, this is fiction! Being dead =/= staying dead!
If you want to read more about the Crisis event, check my Batman Year One Review, but the important fact about that, in this Comic Talk is that while DC was rebooted and stories started over taking places in the mid-80s (timeframe in which Batman Year One seems to take place from what appears in the book), many past stories/events that wouldn't be retold nor "erased" were kept in continuity simply taking places later one.
The Wolfman/Pérez titans run, while definitively taking places in the 80s in the stories themselves (dates appear here and there) were supposed to take place now in the future-90s because they've been written before and around the time of the crisis but not erased.

Understood that part?
Any questions?
(hey! no worries, that would chunk of text will be a bit detailed in a paragraph below)

And now...

Finally, time passed, we're now in the late 90s/2000s.
Geoff Johns, love this writer, started a new Teen Titans comic series and brought back Raven for this news series. How's that? A cult brought her back/resuscitated Raven in a new body, a younger body.

Yay! She was back!

We're coming to an end and my point here!
Stay focused one more minute please!

So, while other characters, like Dick Grayson/Robin, aged normally, Raven had a life-reboot.
See, we can estimate around ~20 years in comic time passed since the 80s/~30 real-life years

Like this: (beware! a quickly-done exemple in text!!)
~mid-80s/after the Crisis: Batman Year One - Robin joins him around his Year Two and was around 12 years old, Bruce was around his twenties himself
- When he was a teen Robin was in the teen titans.
- Batman was in his 30s during the 90s No Man's Land event and Dick/Nightwing wasn't a teen anymore
- Bat's older in the One Year Later storylines (almost or already 40s?)
- Nightwing's currently Batman and should be in his late 20s/30s himself

So my big problem and question lies in Raven now.
(all these stories about age are just deductions and don't import that much with my final point)
Raven was a teen in her original appearances and late teen/in her early 20s in the original comics. But she's been resurrected in a younger/teen body, right? (and changed costume after the One Year Later story/event)



So instead of being in her...what?...late 20s/30s she's now back into a 16 years old body (as said in Titans Vol. 3).

And it is now that Beast Boy started hitting on her.
Does it make him a pedo? Or is it alright for Beast Boy, who's aged and looks pretty grown up nowadays (often seen with some facial hair on). I know he was the youngest one back in George Pérez comics, but doesn't change the fact that she's 16 now!! And Beast Boy looks pretty much mid-20s now!!
Is it legal? I mean the situation isn't your regular "Older dude likes younger chicks" here!

This hurts my mind....

And it doesn't help that some writers seem to draw her a bit older every time/make her sexier looks.
I mean, ~raaawr~
She's still 16!!!! RAAAAH!!

Anyway, I leave you with that, don't hesitate to comment/add in your own input below~
(not just you Frobman! anybody can, I mean YOU there reading this, you can comment on this blog as well without a blogspot account!)
"Am I in trouble guys?!"
Beast Boy's as confused as me...


  1. Does this mean I can't answer? Poo!


    Well, I'm gonna do it anyways!

    Ah, these age stuff still confuse me a tad, but best I could say is that perhaps one could say every 20 or so years is like 10 comic book years, if no sense of ageing or progression is suggested. After all, these are monthly comics, and the stories tend to span like maybe a day or week within a few issues. Blackest Night, which was like 9 issues (11 months) but the event as a whole was meant to have taken place within just one night. So it's best to say that since the 80s, characters might've grown by 10-15 years, give or take. That's my theory, anyways.

    As with Raven and Gar, yeah... not good implications here at all (And in this case, he'd be called an ephebophile instead. Older guy who digs late teens). One can make the argument of Raven originally being older an all that, but if they de-aged her, they shoulda known problems would have arisen. Go figure.

  2. Nooo, of course ya can!
    But I'd like if some more people would comment, I know some do from time to time (and some more read the blog but never comment :/)...

    I do believe time goes by a little faster in DC than Marvel (since Nick Fury didn't age a bit since WorldWar2) but they're working without a major retcon/reboot (thus retconing story elements every now and then, like The Thing having done a war originally and now in recent comics joking about that fact since he's "too young" to have done any...)

    Well, anyway on Raven & Beast Boy... I still find it a bit tiny-weird.
    He's around 24-5, she's 16 now! Is he interested now just because of that?!?
    (she's been "de-aged" like ya said because she's been resurrected in someone's else body, making it every weird-er!)


    Best guesstimate of the Titans ages.

    Eh, ages can be confusing. Some de-age while others age faster.

    I just go with the 'she's technically older than him' train of thought when thinking of BBRae.

  4. Well. I see...
    But I do have some problems with those choices.. it doesn't take to much "recent" DC events in count.. Like Dick/Batman seems to be more late 20-ysh/early 30-ysh.

    Gar 22-ysh sounds pretty much correct with what I've guessed :P

    Still, Raven's 17 y.o. and Gar's older! Still making it a bit weird in my eyes! (the cops could arrest him for that!)

  5. Oh, and Raven's been said to be 16 in recent "Titans" issues the latest series to have featured her, so she isn't 17 like said in that link!

    Thanks for checkin' out the blog! ;)