Wanderin Jim is reader of comics, novels, a player of many video games and a watcher of many shows and he has some opinions to share.
The Many Outfits of the Superhero Raven
First appearing in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980), Raven has been a long-time and unjustly overlooked member of the Teen Titans. However, this article is not about her popularity; it's about all the different costumes she has worn over the years. Join me as we look into the many outfits Raven has donned. As we discuss and analyze them, maybe we will learn something we did not expect.
Costume 1 (First Appearance)
When Raven first appeared in issue #26 in 1980, she wore a long blue cloak with two raven-decorated broaches, a long, loose split dress, a pair of slip-ons, and long gloves that are missing the index finger and thumb. She also wore a pair of earrings and a red ring on her left hand ring finger. (This may be the only time Raven has worn a ring; however, we have plenty of other costumes to go through.)
She obviously used red lipstick. Though it's not visible in the image above, she also had a red gem placed on her forehead.
Of course, Raven has also changed in appearance over time. She was originally 5'11'', weighed 139 lb., and had high cheekbones—but this is supposed to be about her costumes.
Costume 2 (Teen Titans)
Between costume 1 and costume 2, Raven died and was brought back to life in the body of a smaller (now 5'5'' and 110 lb.) teenage girl, as we see in Teen Titans Vol. 3 #5 (November 2003). At this point, Raven wore a similar but darker blue cloak, still with the two broaches—but now there are no pictures on them, and they are gold in color. She also wore long gloves missing the index finger, pinkie, and thumb.
She wore a blue dress similar to her old one, but it was shorter and had a split on both sides (as opposed to the old one, which only had a split on one side). For footwear, Raven wore thigh-high boots. Also, this costume featured a belt of several golden or brass-colored spheres and a buckle shaped like a bird. Overall, this outfit is kind of a revamped version of the old one.
Costume 3 (One Year Later)
After the Infinity crisis, Raven disappeared, and we didn't see her again until DC launched the One Year Later event. That's when Raven reemerged with this full-body jumpsuit.
This was a full-length, dark blue, skintight suit. Unlike her past uniforms, this one covered her whole body—and, on top of that, this was the first suit to display a bird symbol on her chest. Raven still had the earrings, a gold or brass belt, and her ever-apparent blue hooded cap. But she went back to one broach instead of two, and the broach was mainly red with gold trim. She also wore dark red lipstick.
This costume was based on the cartoon, so it wasn't the first time she wore something that wasn't a dress. However, it was the first time in the mainstream comics.
Costume 4 (Revisited Teen Titans Design)
After some time passed, Raven changed her outfit again. This one really looked more like costume 2, but it featured formal slippers and hand-free gloves. Also, this was the first costume that wasn't blue; it was more of a purple.
Other than color, it really was an exact replica of her second costume; even the belt and the broaches were the same. It was more like she went back to a previous outfit rather than getting a new one, although she still wore red lipstick instead of purple. This was the last outfit she wore in the comics until the New 52 was launched.
Costume 5 (New 52)
In the New 52, Raven first appeared in Phantom Stranger #1, but she wasn't seen in this outfit until Teen Titans #16. Obviously, it was the most unique costume she had worn thus far—if not her most unique look of all time. But what would you expect when Raven was given this outfit by her father, the hell lord Trigon?
This was a full-body gray jumpsuit with bluish armor in the form of boots, clawed gloves, strange bikini bottoms, a tattered cloak, and a gray helmet. This outfit marked the first time Raven ever wore a helmet, as well as the first time she ever had a costume with claws—but, unlike before, she was trained by Trigon, so there were bound to be a few changes.
This also marked the first time she didn't have a single piece of jewelry, including her forehead gem (which used to be more of a sacred religious item than a fashion statement). This is her current costume as of this writing, and I think she will be wearing it for a while.
Costume 6 (Teen Titans Go!)
Raven's popularity was probably helped the most by the Teen Titans cartoons. This is likely her most well-known costume because of her appearances on the show.
In the cartoons, Raven wore a simple dark blue or violet leotard like one would wear for gymnastics, and she also wore a violet-colored cloak with a gold-trimmed dark red broach. Her belt was loosely worn and also had dark red gems with gold trim. She also wore violet shoes, and she did not wear any makeup. Raven was also gray-skinned in the cartoons, and she had violet hair as opposed to her usual black hair. But her eyes were indigo-colored, much like her comic counterpart.
One interesting note is that this is actually a two-piece costume. We learn this in the Teen Titans Go! episode called "Vegetables," where we see Raven lift her shirt to observe the change in her stomach from switching from a meat diet to a vegetarian diet.
Now, I understand that Teen Titans Go! has a way of contradicting itself, such as in the episode "Ghost Boy" when all the Titans die and become ghosts, but then they're fine again in the next episode. But I don't believe this would be one of those things.
Costume 7 (Teen Titans Go! Winter Outfit)
This Teen Titans Go! costume was a specialty outfit worn only during cold missions. It was probably only worn in one episode and a comic based on the cartoon. For this winter look, Raven wore a skintight dark purple (or maybe black) pair of pants and a fur-lined violet coat with matching cap and mittens (not gloves!).
Maybe I shouldn't list this as a regular costume, but you don't see winter outfits for heroes very often, and I felt that this needed to be acknowledged. This was the first time Raven wore anything winter-related. This also reveals that she, in fact, gets cold like everyone else! Or at least she does in the cartoons.
Costume 8 (Injustice: Gods Among Us)
Raven appeared as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us. In the game, she sided with Superman and wore something a little more free. Her costume was kind of a mix between costumes 5 and 6, featuring a dark blue sleeveless leotard, clawed dark gray gloves, thigh-high dark gray boots, a dark gray tattered cloak with a hood, and a dark red broach. Her flesh was also a grayish tone.
This costume wasn't really novel, but it was the second time that Raven wore armor and utilized claws in combat.
Costume 9 (Lady Legasus)
This outfit first appeared in the Teen Titans Go! episode "Legs." Raven wore this for a brief period after she took off her cloak and learned just how good her legs were, leading her to take on the name of Lady Legasus. At the end of the episode, she went back to being just Raven.
This was the only outfit of Raven's that didn't use blue or any dark color at all; instead, it was bright yellow. She wore a one-piece sleeveless leotard and sported small high-heeled boots and gloves, all in yellow. I don't see this outfit returning anytime soon—but then, I never would have expected this to begin with.
Costume 10 (Red Raven)
First appearing on a statue, this bizarre outfit was later seen in Ame-Comi Girls #7 for the character "Red Raven." It was a much more revealing outfit than most of her costumes. Interestingly, it was still a dress, like most of her outfits are.
This outfit revealed most of Raven's body, exposing her sides completely. It featured a big golden belt that split in four directions with two red gems at each hip, a golden buckle in the center of her waist just under her belly, and a black cloak with two gold-trimmed red gems. There were strange-looking faces all throughout the cloak's lining. She paired it with black lipstick, black nail polish, black boots that stopped just below the knee, and fingerless gloves.
Also, unlike the other Ravens, Red Raven was a vampire that consumed blood. In fact, her quote was, "A girl's gotta eat. Might as well be bad guys." Her eyes were also yellow or amber instead of lavender.
Costume 11 (Sparkleface)
Well, she didn't wear this to the battlefield intentionally, but it is a costume, and she did fight in it. In the Teen Titans Go! episode entitled "Halloween," Raven dressed up as one of her favorite things—a pretty, pretty pegasus named Sparkleface—in order to celebrate the holiday. Even though nobody recognized the lovable cartoon character, it didn't stop Raven from having a good time on Halloween night.
I think Raven probably just got this costume from a store, but there is a possibility that she made this from scratch. This was the only costume Raven ever wore that hid her figure completely. It was also the only pink costume, but it was meant for fun rather than adventure and combat, which is probably why she looks so cute in it.
Costume 12 (Daughter of Darkness)
This interesting outfit was first introduced in the 12-issue mini-series Raven: Daughter of Darkness. The cap sported the feathered look from the New 52 costume, but she went back to a classic hood, even though it didn't shade her face nearly as much as it used to (in fact, there were many times in the series when she just had the hood down).
The main garment looked almost like a long-sleeved short dress with matching pants or pantyhose, while the belt and broach looked like they did in the cartoon. Meanwhile, her gloves had clawed fingers (or appeared to, depending on the panel; sometimes, they just looked like red fingers). Finally, she wore thigh-high high-heeled boots. Other than the fingers, this outfit was dark midnight blue. It's not bad, but I think I prefer costume 2.
What About Her Other Costumes?
As you may have noticed, this list does not include any of the evil costumes Raven wore when she was possessed or otherwise. None of those are main suits, nor was Raven herself when she wore them.
Also, I couldn't begin to count the times when her outfit turned white for whatever reason, but that's a simple color change and not really a change in costume. Raven's thoughts and feelings seem to be linked to her costumes, allowing her to change them at will by turning them white or removing the helmet or so forth.
Share Your Thoughts With Fellow Raven Fans
I hope everyone enjoyed this article and found it to be a good source of info for both hardcore Raven fans and new fans just starting to get interested in the character. Either way, leave me a comment if you have something to say about the article—or if you just want to talk about Raven.
Wanderin Jim (author) on October 13, 2020:
Thanks for the reminder you may have to recast your votes. we have a new contender. and please forgive the lateness of my reply.
ReViewMeMedia on October 05, 2020:
Very nice article about Raven and her costumes, did you update it to include the costume from her RAVEN miniseries by Marv Wolfman?
Robin Carretti from Hightstown on December 12, 2017:
I love Raven so cool and she rocks
ScorpionFlametail on December 31, 2016:
I love Raven, she is totally badass and is my favorite Teen Titan
Wanderin Jim (author) on July 25, 2015:
Not at all All I meant was that it was the first we see of the outfit. But I can see the confusion and I will change the word play so that it will make more sense. Thanks for the support, it is always nice to hear from a reader.
Wanderin Jim (author) on June 13, 2014:
Lucky guess I suppose.
PUFFYsanjo on June 13, 2014:
What makes you think that I'm a Raven fan? For the record, I am, but I didn't give any indication of being one, other than ending up on a page about her.
Wanderin Jim (author) on June 11, 2014:
You know your stuff. Thanks for the comment, it is great to hear from a fellow Raven fan like you.
PUFFYsanjo on June 10, 2014:
No, it's definitely blue. I just remebered at the end of season four in the episode The End part III, after Raven banishes away/kills Trigon, she becomes White Raven, and Beast Boy asked her if she was herself. She said that blue was still her favorite color, referring to her new white clothing, and that Beast Boy still isn't funny.
I think that it's the Teen Titans Go! series that made her clothes more violet/purple and I think that they're referred to as being purple in some (recent?) episode.
Wanderin Jim (author) on June 09, 2014:
It is more of a violet isn't it? Yes Jinx was more then a little annoyed about Raven's choice of colors, but not has annoyed as Raven when the Titans got it back, "They went into my room, no one should ever go into my room."
PUFFYsanjo on June 09, 2014:
Raven's violet costume is really blue in the cartoon, as it is in the comics, though a different shade of blue. In the third episode of season one, the HIVE villians take over Titans Tower and went through the Titans' things. Jinx went through Raven's wardrobe and asked, "Does she have anything that isn't blue?"
Geekdom on October 30, 2013:
Not much, and even less with ebay's new payout system. October is my best month because of Halloween Costumes help out my superhero costume hubs. I would say around a buck a day. .
Wanderin Jim (author) on October 30, 2013:
Thanks for being understanding. Hay can I ask you something? How much do you make off of Hubpages?
Geekdom on October 30, 2013:
You can leave the ones you have already created. I don't want to ruin your search results.
Wanderin Jim (author) on October 30, 2013:
Whoops sorry man I love your work by the way. I will try something like Different costumes or alternate costumes for now on. Sorry for the troubles this has caused you. Should I go back and re title the old ones? I would be more than happy to, I don't want to upset the guy who inspired me to do this in the first place.
Geekdom on October 30, 2013:
I would appreciate if you would find a New Title for your articles. I can't and am not claiming that I am the only one allowed to write these articles, but I have been writing this series for a year and by using the "Exact" Same title you are taking away future titles and possibly confusing from my followers.