Terra is a former member of the Teen Titans, and the apprentice of the criminal mastermind Deathstroke/Slade. In the comics, she is depicted as a hero-loathing sociopath that is largely bereft of positive traits or remorse, whereas in the 2003 cartoon she is turned into a more tragic villain.
Origin in the comics
Tara Markov is the daughter of the king of the country Markovia. A scientist named Dr. Helga Jace gave her and her brother Brion powers of Earth manipulation. Her brother left and became the hero GeoForce. She later moved to the U.S. and became a mercenary. She was hired by Deathstroke to trick the Teen Titans into making her a member.
2003 Television History
Not much is known about Terra's life before she joined the Titans, except that she traveled around very frequently. However, there are some clues to her past. When Slade had Terra alone with him in the episode "Terra", he stated that Terra did try to help others. He then said that on each occasion, something even worse happened as a result of using her geo-kinetic abilities. This is possibly the reason for her frequent travel.
In the episode "Aftershock - Part 1", Terra fights Robin as he tries to reason with her. She angrily told Robin (while trying to kill the Boy Wonder) that she did not want to be rescued and that she was "not some sad little girl", expressing a vast and deep-rooted anger that was not entirely directed towards him. This may be a clue to her earlier life.
An issue from the comic series Teen Titans Go! does provide some insight into Terra's past life. The comic explains that Terra was in fact a princess and had a brother named Geo-Force. They were members of the house of Markov, and their father was the king of Markovia. Later, it reveals that Terra was always a "hard-headed child", confused about who she was and who she was supposed to be. She always had people telling her what to do and how to act. Scientists experimented on Terra and Geo-Force, giving them their powers, then attempted to exploit them. General Immortus was seen monitoring the experiment, which suggests that he was involved with the human experiment. Geo-Force fought them off, while Terra, unable to control her powers, ran away from home in fear of hurting her loved ones.
Teen Titans (2003 TV Series)
Upon meeting Terra, the Titans quickly welcomed her into their ranks. At first, it seemed like the hip, funny, young hero might make a great addition to the team, but Terra had a secret: she was unable to control her incredible powers and abilities over the earth and had accidentally caused natural disasters on several occasions. She felt betrayed when it appeared that Beast Boy shared her secret with the team (even though Robin actually realized it on his own). Feeling betrayed and alone, Terra turned to Slade, who trained her to fully control her abilities.
Terra returned to the Titans and joined the team - but was secretly working with Slade to destroy the Titans from within. Despite her mission, Terra began to doubt her loyalties; Just as romance with Beast Boy blossomed, Terra was exposed as a traitor. Hardened and isolated, friendless and emotionally hurt, Terra turned to the only one who would accept her, Slade, and shortly the two united to launch their plans in full motion. Caught off guard and still holding some affection for their former friend and teammate, the Titans were nearly defeated in the first round, with Terra brutally showing far less mercy and restraint, and in the second, due to reinforcements sent by Slade under her control, Robin was forced to make a retreat back to Titans Tower, knowing this battle could not be won.
Soon, Slade assails three different points of Jump City with Overload, Plasmus and Cinderblock, seeking to lure the Titans out of hiding and eliminate their divided forces using Terra. Raven managed to defeat Overload with the aid of nearby water, but was quickly engaged in further fierce combat by Terra, each clearly seeking to kill the other to the best of their abilities. Despite this, analysis of Raven made during Terra's time on the team had enabled Slade to realize her dark powers and abilities were controlled by emotion, and should the emotions run loose, so too would her focus on her own immense abilities. Terra's taunting of Raven eventually causes her to lash out in sheer fury against her, her sheer anger and rage manifesting in Trigon's form, if but partially, and Terra seized this chance to finish off Raven. A boulder projectile intended for Robin was instead the bane of Starfire, which knocked her out and sent her plummeting into the ocean. A sudden yet deadly fissure through the ground (combined with the element of surprise) was sufficient to overwhelm both Cyborg and Beast Boy, who told Terra she could not kill them, but a smiling Terra merely replied, "Watch me," and four Titans were no more. Terra next tried to face off Robin, who, driven with a desire to avenge his friends, yet also honor Beast Boy's wishes to give her a last chance, brutally assaulted her.
While the battle was fierce and neither could gain the upper hand initially, eventually Robin knocks her to the ground and has his staff at her neck. However, he tells her it does not have to be this way instead of finishing her, which allows her to get up and finish him with a boulder. Terra presents Robin's badge to Slade, who begins to launch his plans to seize the city. However, the Titans had each survived Terra's assault and were bent on taking her down, no longer concerned with second chances.
Despite her victory, Terra still felt lost and alone. As the hardened Terra is reminded of her past experiences with the Titans, she appears to be subtly swayed, but claims she has "no regrets" for the horrible things she has done. The Titans furiously and brutally attack her, each showing no mercy, just as she believed they were truly all gone, and with their combined and united forces Terra is quickly defeated by the fivesome, despite her best efforts to strike back at the team. Terra then attempted to retreat, but Slade angrily demanded her staying to continue to fight, and Terra tried her best to do so, but after many near-calls with death at the hands of the now-merciless Titans, runs back to Slade, who begins to physically abuse her in fury and disgust at her defeat. By the time she decided to leave Slade, from both the buried remnants of her conscience and his cruel treatment of her, it was too late. Never truly losing faith in Terra, Beast Boy stepped in between her and Slade and finally made her realize the error of her ways. Events were eventually set in motion leaving the city in danger from an erupting volcano. In a final act of friendship, she ultimately sacrificed herself to save the city. Now merged with the Earth she controlled and manipulated, the Titans searched for a way to restore her. When Trigon was destroyed at the hands of Raven, everyone in the world that was turned into stone was changed back. It is possible that Trigon's death also managed to free Terra from her stony prison but it is still unclear what could have seemingly erased her mind.
Upon returning from a globe-trotting adventure, Beast Boy was shocked to discover a school girl who looked exactly like Terra. Finding Terra's petrified tomb empty, Beast Boy was convinced that Terra had indeed returned - and he pleaded with her to return to the team. None of the other Titans actually met this girl in person, yet each offers separate opinions and theories concerning her, as well as acknowledging neither Cyborg's chemical analysis or Raven's magical mystical spells were effective in reversing the process. (It was never mentioned, but it is possible that after Trigon took over the Earth and turned everybody except the Titans to stone, when Raven defeated her father and everybody reverted from stone to human flesh that Terra reverted back to normal as well.) But the girl insisted that "things change" and she was not the girl he knew, and respecting her wishes, Beast Boy was able to let go of the past and look toward his own future, with the girl to walk down her own path, her back to a past that would be forever lost to her.
In "Teen Titans Go!", a comic book series based on the animated TV series, she makes a few appearances. For example, she appears in Issue #51, which is set after the series finale of the animated series. Terra's brother, Geo-Force, arrives at Titans Tower and relates Terra's origin: she was the Princess of Markovia, and along with her brother was experimented on by sinister interests within the royal court, which gave them both earth-based superpowers. Feeling exploited, Terra ran away, leading to the events of the animated series. At the end of the story, Geo-Force and Beast Boy consider visiting Terra at her school, but decide to leave her be, as she is the happiest she has ever been.
Comic book series
In comic book series, she is a hero-loathing psychopath that known having some sort of mental illness. She mostly hid a brooding, dark personality. It is said that her mental illness was due to an element called "quixium" harvested from Strata, which had been used by Markovian scientists to grant her earth-based superpowers.
2003 TV Series
In 2003 TV Series, however, Terra is quite insecure unlike her comic book counterpart. She wishes to do good with her powers and her determination to gain control of them is evident, but her lack of existent control usually proves them to be a danger instead of a benefit, thus making her reluctant to use them. Before Terra became a Titan, this lack was very evident and surfaced through her weak control over her powers and emotions. She had tried to put up a front of confidence, but was actually extremely afraid of people finding out just how unstable she was.
Among the Titans, she is closest to Beast Boy, whom can eat watermelons faster than her. He feels he knows the most about her and so is the most understanding towards her. At first, she gets along well with all the Titans except Raven. Later, Raven develops a respect for Terra. After her return, Terra seemed to command much more control over her incredible powers.
However, it wasn't long before Terra betrayed the Teen Titans and joined forces with Slade. Terra will now obey every command of Slade. Terra started to attack the Teen Titans one by one and easily defeated them. But, the Teen Titans survived and got revenge on Terra, who ran to Slade for help, but Slade beats up Terra for failing him. Beast Boy and the others then arrived and Terra attacked Slade instead of them. When Terra killed Slade, the hideout started to crumble, Beast Boy convinced her to join the Teen Titans, but Terra stayed and sacrficed herself to stop the lava from crumbling.
Terra's 2003 incarnation is one of the perfect examples of a tragic villain, you can't help but sympathize with her. She also example of pawn, as Slade shows little care or remorse for abusing her.
Powers & Abilities
Terra has the superhuman ability to manipulate earth in any form, from solid rock to mud, which she uses with increasing skill (due to growing experience and tutelage with Slade) for numerous effects, both offensive and defensive in capabilities, such as flying through the air by riding on a boulder moved through her powers, hurling rocks of various sizes (even multiple rocks simultaneously) as projectiles at opponents to drive them back or outright crush them, form a gigantic stone fist out of many smaller rocks to attack an opponent, change earth from one state to another (such as shifting mud to a more solid version), and many other effects and in Aftershock - Part 1 she could make Earth-like creatures (all do she was guided by Slade). Terra also has the ability to tap into lava flows, as seen in Aftershock - Part 2.
Teen Titans Go!
Terra appeared as the main antagonist in the episodes "Terra-ized", "Be Mine", and "Rock and Water". In "Terra-ized", she appeared as Beast Boy's "girlfriend", but was not even close to being fond with him. Terra only did it just to learn and use all of the Titan's secrets/weaknesses while working for her unknown boss (though fans suspected that her boss' identity was Slade/Deathstroke as he usually being her master/boss). Unlike the original series, where her nature was hidden, Terra does this in a very obvious matter whereas only Beast Boy and Cyborg did not know about it. For her personality, Terra is not nice at all, though her abilities were the same but her proficiency is far better than her 2003 TV series counterpart. In the end, she almost got away with the intel after leaving Beast Boy, but was stopped by Raven, who banished her to another dimension.
|“||I hate Beast Boy! Hate! HATE! HATE! HATE!||„|
|~ Terra talking to herself (As Raven and Beast Boy were watching)|
In "Be Mine", Terra had been stuck in another dimension for 6 months (which revealed as where the Titans throw away their trash). She vows to get revenge on Teen Titans, especially Beast Boy (as he is not a competent pawn to her). On Valantine's Day, Beast Boy helped her escape by using a rope. Beast Boy was still into her, but Terra wanted revenge against the Teen Titans (especially him). While Beast Boy was in denial, Raven was able to show him survelliance of what Terra was doing and saying. At the dance, Terra attacked everyone and right when she was about to get Beast Boy, he sang her a love song, thinking that she had a good side inside herself. Terra was (briefly) touched, but was sent back to the other dimension by Raven; Beast Boy jumped in with her and later licked chili that fell onto her head.
In "Rocks and Water", Beast Boy, still sad about blowing it with Terra, begins to repeadtly call her. Terra, fed up with him, informs him that she already has a boyfriend: Aqualad. After Aqualad makes fun of Raven for being single, she claims she's datingBeast Boy and they decide to go on a double date. Robin announces that he and Starfire will be attending, making it a triple date. At the dinner date, Raven tries to get them to break up by ordering calamari, which Terra states he loves. However, this backfires and the two try numerous other times to get them apart. They finally manage to do so however they find out. Terra and Aqualad, now having broken up, attack the two however they're both sent into the trash hole by Raven/