Arella

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Arella
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceNew Teen Titans #4
(February 1981)
Created byMarv Wolfman
George Pérez
In-story information
Alter egoAngela Roth
SpeciesHuman
Place of originGotham City; Earth
Team affiliationsMonks and Nuns of Azarath
Supporting character ofTeen Titans

Angela Roth, commonly called Arella, is a fictional character from DC Comics. She is the pacifist mother of the superhero empath Raven in the Teen Titans comics and animated series. She is the reluctant lover and wife of the all-powerful inter-dimensional demon Trigon, who had cunningly seduced her, in human form, to have someone to rule beside him and bear his child: a half human, half demon daughter.

Angela appears in her first live adaptation on the Titans television series, played by Rachel Nichols. This version of Angela proves to be fully in league with Trigon rather than a reluctant participant in his plans.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Born in Gotham City, Angela Roth was a depressed, aimless teenager who fell in with Cultists who goaded her to participate in a secret ceremony to appeal to Trigon, who was to manifest in the Earth-plane. Although she knew Trigon was a demon by origin, she thought his handsome human form was authentic. After she married him, and they made love Arella saw Trigon's true form. He sent her back to Earth, and Arella was pregnant. Arella attempted to kill herself with sleeping pills in an abandoned alleyway. Instead of dying, however, she was taken to the Temple Azarath, located between all dimensions. It was there that she was taught pacifism and had her named changed to Arella (which meant Messenger Angel to the Azarathians).

Soon after giving birth to Raven, she gave up her maternal care to Azar, the high priestess. She rarely saw Raven for quite some time, but took over guardianship of Raven upon Azar's death when Raven was about ten years old.

When Raven was 18 years of age, she fled Azarath to seek help from Earth's superheroes to stop Trigon's invasion. This resulted in the New Teen Titans. Raven briefly returned to Azarath, asking her mother for help. Arella refused and sent her back to Earth. When Raven was being held as a prisoner by Trigon, Arella decided to leave Azarath to help her teammates rescue her. Soon after, Trigon was sealed away in another dimension. Arella agreed to go along with him in an attempt to block him from returning through the portal.

Some time later, Raven finally gave in to her father's control. Arella was transported to Azarath, which was promptly destroyed by Trigon's minions. She was among the few survivors. Arella followed the Teen Titans to Earth in order to help them in their fight against Trigon and release her daughter. She watched as Raven was used to destroy her father and then vanish.

Arella traveled the world, trying to find her daughter. When she finally found her, they were both taken prisoner by cultists, under the control of Brother Blood. After spending some time with her daughter in Blood's fortress, they were freed by the Teen Titans.

After this event, Arella established a ranch that would serve as a sanctuary to troubled women. She intended to make the place like a new Azarath. However, the Wildebeest Society killed all of the women and the workers, leaving only Arella alive. She was rescued by Deathstroke. She, Deathstroke, and Steve Dayton worked on to free the kidnapped Titans from Jericho's Wildebeest Society. But when Deathstroke was forced to kill his son Jericho, the corrupted souls of Azarath left him and possessed Raven, turning her evil once more. Arella and Danny Chase sacrificed themselves, merging with the souls of Azarath into Phantasm.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Arella briefly makes her first appearance (in a vision) in the Teen Titans animated series episode "The Prophecy" voiced by Virginia Madsen. When Raven escapes to her home dimension of Azarath, she encounters Arella, tending to a whole flock of doves. Raven begs her mother to help her prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled but Arella (echoing Slade, albeit in a much kinder tone) tells her that it is no use and that the promise of her birth was absolute and she must carry out the prophecy to become Trigon's portal to Earth and unleash "the end of all things mortal." It is then revealed that the peaceful inter-dimensional realm of Azarath has already been destroyed (or deserted and devoid of life or, at least, uninhabitable) and that Arella's physical self may have perished long ago at the hands of her own demonic "lover", having given her daughter her last words through a telepathic voice-mail of sorts. Like her daughter she, too, had violet hair and a rhombus-shaped chakra gemstone on her forehead.
  • In the 2018 live action series Titans, the adoptive mother of Raven is named Melissa Roth (played by Sherilyn Fenn), she is shot to death in the premiere episode "Titans" by an acolyte of Trigon. It is she who called Raven by the name of "Rachel". In the episode "Asylum", Angela (portrayed by Rachel Nichols) makes her first appearance and is referred to as "Angela Azarath".[1] It is revealed she has been held captive in an abandoned mental hospital for years. She is rescued by Rachel and the other Titans. However, unlike her 2D animated counterparts, she is fully in league with her demonic lover enough to deliberately deceive her own child into calling him forth.

Films[edit]

  • In the DC Universe animated movie Justice League vs. Teen Titans, Arella (with her name unrevealed) appears in a flashback detailing Raven's origin tale to her fellow Teen Titans, described as "young, rebellious and gullible". This incarnation was eventually destroyed by her "Satan lover" Trigon, along with the peaceful parallel realm of Azarath and its spiritual people, after young Raven had unwittingly summoned him in an attempt to learn more about him and herself. Tears falling down her eyes, she had called out to her young daughter, as she was blown away by a supremely powerful burst of demonic energy fired from Trigon.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • In issue 44 of the Teen Titans Go! comic book series, Raven is seen traveling back to Azarath once again, with the entire city fully restored. Raven makes a point of visiting Arella to discuss with her why she is now free to feel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DC's Titans: Cast & Character Guide". Screen Rant. October 12, 2018.