Teen Titans was one of my favorite shows growing up, and Raven was one of my favorite characters, and since it came back onto cartoon network, I felt inspired to draw her again.
Last time I tried, I was about 13, and the result was me not attempting to draw anything remotely human for a good four years. Fortunately, I've improved since then.
And Boulevard of Broken Dreams is a Green Day song, about the only one of theirs I like. Had it on the brain lately. If you haven't heard it, go look it up, very... chill.
I also wrote some fiction to go with the pic, so my writing skills don't become too rusty, feel free to leave feedback on it if you wish.
Special thanks to those who fave and comment. You guys are what make DA awesome.
WHO IS SLADE? For weeks the JCPD have been investigating a string of thefts, murders, and recent electronic intrusions into the FBI and CIAs mainframes. While some might attribute the recent crime wave to poor economic downturn, Detective Derrick Nelson believes otherwise. According to the 20 year veteran of the Jump City police force, the recent surge in criminal activity in the city can be attributed to one man, Slade.
So who is Slade? asks Reporter Olivia Brooks, to which Detective Nelson smiles wryly and responds, exactly what I want to know. Nelson goes on to explain that the recent rise in crime is not unusual, we usually get that whenever the stock market takes a real dive, people get desperate. What is unusual is how quiet its all been. According to Nelson, the recent break-in at S.T.A.R Labs Inc. is a prime example, no prints, nothing on camera, its like the robotics equipment that was taken just disappeared. Nelson remarks that such a clinical theft is difficult for even the most hardened pros, but for there to be so many world class thefts in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s has really raised brows. This isnt the work of a few kids looking to make a quick buck to make ends meet, specially trained Black Ops groups arent even this precise. The detective then goes on to tell Brooks that the murders have seen a similar lack of evidence. The only thing the recent murders and disappearances have in common is that all the victims recently worked for some private shipping companies. Upon further investigation, each company affiliated with the murders turned out to be a dummy corporation, and the paper trail just dies. We have no idea who is behind all this.
So why do you suspect that this Slade character is behind all of this if there is such a lack of evidence? What can you tell us about him?, Asks Brooks.
Not much, replies Nelson, leads have been scarce, all we really have is a name, and we think its probably just an alias. The few people who we can find that have any connection to Slade usually work through proxies, and those few who do have direct contact are all now on the missing person list. Whoever this guy is, he covers his tracks well. Too well. Some of my co-workers are convinced Slade is a cover for a larger group of individuals. One witness who came forward offered a description, shown to the left, depicting Slade with a strange mask that covers his right eye. The validity of this description remains unconfirmed as the witness disappeared shortly after coming forward, making a follow-up evaluation impossible. Whoever Slade is, hes real, these disappearances prove it. Any one who gets too close to him just falls off the face of the Earth, finishes Detective Nelson.
Anyone with any information is urged to come forward to the JCPD immediately.
Raven stared at the news clipping for a moment before arching an eyebrow. Anyone with any information is urged to come forward to the JCPD immediately? That didnt seem to make much sense. Why would anyone come forward in a case where anyone even connected to the suspect ended up missing?
Not taking her eyes off the news article, Raven stood up from the cafeteria table and picked up her glass and bowl. Something about the article had bugged her, something she couldnt put her finger on. It was more like a sense of déjà vu, like something that had happened already had just now became apparent. The artists depiction of Slade, something about it had made her skin crawl.
Tic Toc Raven. Time is running out.
Raven grimaced. A voice, an eye staring at her, streets on fire, then nothing, she was back in the shelters cafeteria.
Raven stared forward for a moment before moving down the aisle and putting her dishes in the pile with the others. Without a backwards glance, she walked out the double doors leading to the main hall of the homeless shelter she was in, then out the main doors and into the storm that had been plaguing Jump City for the better part of a week. Pulling her hood up over her head and gripping her cloak to her body, the brooding teen stepped out into the icy onslaught of rain, paying it little mind as she walked down a deserted street and past a block of empty apartments.
Twice in a month. Ever since leaving Azarath for Jump City, Ravens visions had been getting steadily worse, and more frequent. They were never anything coherent, more like a feeling, a pulling at the back of her mind, and then nothing. It was vexing to say the least, and it made meditation difficult.
Raven rounded the corner and began walking down an abandoned alley. Tic Toc, Time is running out. Ravens gaze lowered to just in front of her shoes. Time was running out indeed. It didnt matter what she did, it was going to happen. The monks had been very adamant when they told her. Ravens lips moved downwards slightly into a small frown. Life had become a waiting game. 281 days until next birthday. Raven knew exactly how many days were left. She kept count in her head at all times. There wasnt much left to do but wait. There wasnt any point in doing anything else, everyone she ever knew, everyone that ever lived, soon, there wouldnt even be shadows left. What was the point of anything any more?
Raven came to the end of the alley and continued down the block, passing a few homeless who had opted to sleep under a broken fire escape rather than in the shelter. Like her, it seemed that they no longer really cared about happened to themselves; life had become meaningless for them too. Raven pulled her hood further over her head. At least here, no one knew, unlike her home of Azarath. At least the only anticipation would be hers. No one here would be worried, just her. And when this world was gone, no one would know it had been her that brought about its end. It was better that way.
Get off of me! Ravens eyes shot up. A woman was standing ahead of her, off to her left. She was surrounded by three men. One of them pushed the woman to the ground while the other two laughed. One of them pulled out a pistol.
All of your money, now! he said, before aiming the gun directly at her chest.
The womans face drained of what little color was left and she reached into her bag. Raven had stopped walking and watched, unsure of what to do. After a moment she made a turn down another alley and continued her lone voyage.
I need that money for food, please, my childr-
There was a wet cracking noise somewhere behind Raven. She knew one of the men must have hit her hard enough to silence her. She stopped walking. Helping the woman wouldnt matter. Not at all. She was doomed. They all were. Her, the muggers, everyone. In the end, it would be pointless. Raven continued her solemn march.
They were going to kill her. She could feel it. She could feel the muggers intentions half a block away. Ravens eyes narrowed. What did it matter?
Raven stopped once more. It mattered. It mattered a lot.
The mugger raised his gun and aimed at the womans head. She had seen their faces. The cops were too busy with the recent crime waves. She would be just one more poor Jane Doe no one in this town cared about. He squeezed the trigger.
The man broke. A wave of darkness traveled up his arm, snapping bones and tearing the gun apart until it splintered into pieces. Howling in pain, he was violently thrown against the wall of a nearby building. He fell to the ground unconscious.
Raven seemed to float from out of the ground. Under her hood, a pair of eyes glowed white hot. The other two muggers looked at one another in fear. One of them was covered in darkness before being lifted into the air and violently slammed back into the ground. The only mugger who remained conscious stared at his cohorts in utter horror. He turned to run.
Something grabbed his foot. He turned to see that he was being dragged back to the enraged teen by a dark tendril that snaked out from under her cloak. Her eyes now glowed burning red. She gestured with her hand. He screamed as he was slammed into a wall, then into a fire escape, into the stairs, and then flung out into the street.
Raven slowly regained her composure. Her eyes returned to normal. She hung her head. She shouldnt have lost control like that. Turning her head to the side, Raven saw that the woman, middle aged, probably poor, had a large bloody gash across her forehead. The hit must have knocked her out cold, she wasnt moving. Motioning her hand over the womans bleeding wound, Raven closed her eyes and calmed her mind.
Azarath Metrion Zinthos she whispered quietly. The injured ladys wound slowly closed, leaving a small scar where a large gash that would have required stitches had been. The woman stirred but did not wake. Raven then motioned to the three men and picked their bodies up with her mind, putting all three of them together back to back. With her other hand, Raven motioned to a broken ladder dangling from the fire escape she had slammed one of the thugs into, then willed it to bind all three of the muggers together.
The woman was waking up. Raven turned down into another alley and began her lonely trek anew. Having calmed her mind from the brutal violence that had taken place barely a minute ago, Raven found herself feeling conflicted. What point had any of that served? She may have saved that womans life, kept those men from killing her, But they would all be wiped out in due time any way, and what would it have mattered?
Raven looked up. But it did matter, didnt it? She had chosen to act, hadnt she? This world was marked for demolition, it was unavoidable, and she was going to be the one to cause it. Nothing she did would ever atone for it, there was no absolution.
Raven stared down at her hand as she walked, and she slowly gripped it into a fist. There would be no forgiveness, and there was no escape, but that womans life was still her own, hopefully for another 281 days. For another 281 days, that woman would be with her children. Wasnt that worth something at least?
Maybe. Maybe not. Feeling dejected, Raven grabbed her shoulder with one hand and pulled her cloak around herself with another. Maybe it was worth something after all. Maybe helping those people she was destined to destroy was pointless in the end, but until the end, she was here wasnt she? She could still do something to ensure that what time these people had left wasnt marred by petty thugs and thieves. Maybe there was solace in that, not much, but enough.
Raven walked down the alley until she emerged on Broken Dreams BLVD. Turning to her left, the brooding girl continued to walk alone, through the sleeping city. Under her hood, Ravens lips twitched slightly, into her ghostly equivalent of a smile. For the first time in months, she had a purpose. She may not be able to protect all of the innocent people she was destined to destroy from herself.
But she could do her best to protect them from everything else.