Angela Roth grew up in a restrictive home with a fanatically religious father. Growing tired of abuse, both physical and mental, Angela fled her Gotham home at the age of seventeen. Her parents either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
Angela stumbled upon a Church, where she felt welcome for the first time in her life. But this ‘church’ was actually a demonic cult with a most sinister agenda. Unbeknownst to Angela, she was a member of a cult trying to bring the devil to Earth. Instead, the cult brought Trigon in the guise of a handsome man with gold-flecked eyes. Angela was whisked away to his dimension, became his wife and carried Trigon’s seed, which was to be Raven. After the conception, Trigon showed her his true form and cast her back to Earth.
ABOVE: Arella relates Raven’s origin in NEW TEEN TITANS #6 .
BELOW: Angela Roth discovers Azarath in
TALES OF TEEN TITANS (mini series) #2 .
Angela was about to commit suicide when she was stopped by a messenger who brought her to Azarath, where she began a new life. It was here that she was given the name Arella, which means “The Messenger Angel.”
Through the birth of Raven, Trigon’s evil came to Azarath. Azar, the teacher and guide of the Azarathians, took Raven under her tutelage, while Arella was reassigned to temple duties. When Azar died, Arella resumed raising Raven and was alarmed at her daughter’s distant manner. When Raven turned eighteen, she sensed Trigon’s power returning and fled to Earth.
Arella remained on Azarath, and during the Titans’ first encounter with Trigon, she eventually rescued Raven from him. After the Titans combined their powers and banished Trigon into the Netherverse, Arella assumed the duties of guarding the doorway against any attempt by Trigon to return.
Mother and daughter defeat Trigon in NEW TEEN TITANS #6 .
The Terror of Trigon
Trigon did indeed return when his influence over Raven reached a powerful level. In the ensuing battle, Arella and the Titans were pitted against Trigon and a possessed Raven. When Trigon was destroyed and Raven’s body disappeared, Arella embarked on a quest to find her daughter. Arella found Raven, as did the forces of Brother Blood, who captured both mother and daughter. The two were rescued by Robot Man and the Titans – allowing Raven to shatter Brother Blood’s mind.
After recovering from this encounter, Arella established a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Nestled in a peaceful valley, It was designed to be a haven for young women that had lost their way in life, much like Arella had years ago.
Tragically, it didn’t take long for a serpent to enter Arella’s newly established Eden. At the behest of the Wildebeest Society, a vicious soul self savagely attacked the ranch, killing all inhabitants except Arella. Devastated and alone, Arella joined Deathstroke’s Titans Hunt in an effort to find the Titans who had been abducted by the Wildebeests, including Raven.
ABOVE: Arella seeks to protect her daughter in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #3 .
BELOW: Arella witnesses Trigons defeat, and Raven’s disappearance in
a flash of white light – in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #5 .
Arella, Deathstroke, Nightwing, Troia, Pantha, Phantasm and Red Star eventually located the captured Titans. The heroes were shocked to learn the identity of the Wildebeest leader was their own teammate, Jericho, who was now corrupted by evil Azarathian energies. Now possessed by this force, Jericho sought to acquire superhuman beings as vessels for the souls of Azarath. Indeed, it was Jericho’s own savage soul self that destroyed Arella’s idyllic ranch weeks ago.
The final showdown between the Titans and the Wildebeest Society took place on the barren wasteland where the proud Temple Azarath once stood. In a final effort to end this threat forever, Arella joined forces with the telekinetic Danny Chase to attack the Azarathian energy at its source. Their own energies combined with the force from Azarath and drove away the evil. In an explosion that saw the dissipation of one energy wave, the other energies somehow combined. This new force inhabited the garb once worn by Danny Chase and took on the identity of the new Phantasm.
Danny and Arella died that day, but their sacrifice was not in vain. Together, their essences merged with the cleansed souls of Azarath to create a benevolent mystical entity known as Phantasm.
Arella and Danny Chase perish – but merge with the souls of Azarath to be
reborn as Phantasm – in NEW TITANS #84 .
Powers & Abilities
Arella possessed various sensory/mystical abilities she learned while living in Azarath.
New Teen Titans #1-6 : Titans stop Trigon’s invasion of earth. First appearance of Trigon in issue #2. First appearance of Arella in issue #5. Origin of Raven, Trigon and Arella in issue #6.
Tales of the New Teen Titans #2 : 4-issue mini series. As the Titans take a break on a camping trip, the new members reveal their origins. The origin of Raven.
New Teen Titans (second series) #1-5 [1984-1985]: Titans stop Trigon’s second attack on earth. Death of Trigon. Raven cleansed of Trigon’s evil and disappears. Arella reappears and aids the Titans to defeat Trigon.
New Teen Titans (second series) #6 : Arella begins her search for Raven.
New Teen Titans (second series) #15 : Arella and several Church of Blood acolytes find Raven at the same time, and mother and daughter are taken captive.
New Teen Titans (second series) #28-31 : Arella and Raven remain captives of Brother Blood, while the Titans gather their forces to stop him. Raven finally breaks free of Blood’s thrall, and shatters his mind.
New Titans #67 : Raven makes amends with her mother, Arella, who started a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
New Titans #71-84 [1991-1992]: This event is catalogued as “Titans Hunt.” Corrupted Azar taking over Jericho revealed in issues #82-84. Souls of Azarath become Phantasm in issue #84. Arella’s ranch destroyed in issue #73. Arella dies/transforms into Phantasm in issue #84.
Teen Titans [third series] #8 : Raven’s origin is retold. Arella’s back story is expanded and her real name, Angela Roth, is revealed for the first time.
New Teen Titans: Games : Set in the 1980s during the height of New Teen Titans popularity, this standalone hardcover features a mysterious villain playing a deadly game with New York City as the gameboard – and the Teen Titans as the pieces! Like something out of a timecapsule, this never-before-seen epic is the New Teen Titans story from their original creators that never got told…until now! Raven visits Arella at her ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], supplemented by titanstower.com