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In the New 52 (Teen Titans #6, 2015) when Raven cast a spell, she uses some strange language, but I can't find out what this language means.

Teen Titans fighting the villain, Raven casts a spell

  • 20
    What is with the dialogue in this panel? Am I to understand that this is Raven, and she is casting a spell? – Russell Borogove Jul 29 at 19:11
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    @RussellBorogove It really does appear to me that this is the case. It's Raven, and, again, I say, it's Raven, and I say unto you a third time, It's Raven, and what I tell you three times, Mr. Borogrove, is true. Further point--we also know that the fact of the spell is true, by the same logic (incl gobbletygook). You have to wonder if the person that put this scene together has a sore inside his cheek from where he keeps his tongue. It screams "hey guess what--the solution to the problem was Raven, and a spell! I know I'm surprised, are you surprised? We're all super surprised here." – msouth Jul 31 at 17:38
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I don't think this is another language. The script doesn't look like any real writing system I've seen. It's more likely a custom magical-looking font, maybe disguising some English text. Usually four small words wouldn't be enough of a sample size to do any deciphering, but this panel gives us a clue: Someone on the far right points out (in case we couldn't figure it out?) that Raven is casting a spell!

The last word that Raven utters is five letters long, and all the letters are different, except for the last two. Just like the word spell! Let's see if this gets us anywhere.

If we assign arbitrary letters of our Roman alphabet to Raven's utterance, we can read it as:

ABCB DEFBG H GIBJJ

If we hypothesize that the last word is a cipher of "SPELL" then the whole thing looks like...

ABCB DEFBG H GIBJJ
 E E    ES   SPELL

If the single-letter word is English, it must be "I" or "A." And "I" doesn't really make sense in this context...

ABCB DEFBG H GIBJJ
 E E    ES A SPELL

This is actually looking really good. The "ES" at the end of the second word indicates a verb in a place where we'd expect a verb. The first word "_E_E" could be a lot of things, though. Let's see...

I used Nutrimatic to remind me of the most common English words that match that pattern. The second result is "here."

ABCB DEFBG H GIBJJ
HERE    ES A SPELL

And this matches a common English formation, yielding something that totally matches what Raven is doing in this context:

ABCB DEFBG H GIBJJ
HERE COMES A SPELL !!

Further evidence for this interpretation: The "S" glyph looks like an S. The "C" glyph looks like a C. The "P" glyph looks like an upside-down P!


After all that cryptographic analysis, @Moyli supplied some far more conclusive evidence by discovering the actual font used, "Gobbledygook," which you can test out here and confirm that the actual letters on the page are indeed "here comes a spell!!"

  • 53
    This is a you-win-the-Internet caliber answer. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Jul 28 at 19:01
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    … or it could be "WERE JONES A SHELL!!" – Jan Ivan Jul 29 at 8:52
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    It's a shame it's not 1940, you might have got a nice letter from Bletchley Park. – Paul D. Waite Jul 29 at 9:52
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    Confirmed: the font is called Gobbledygook and if you type "here comes a spell" on this page you can see it matches what's on the comic. – Moyli Jul 29 at 9:58
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    @PaulD.Waite this simple substitution cipher is too simple even for 1940s. – user28434 Jul 29 at 11:40
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I believe the made up font is just meant to indicate that she is speaking words in an actual language (not just gibberish), but its not words in a language you the reader, or anyone else present at the time, actually knows.

  • I love what the other answer took from that and ran with, but I think its likely reading way more into it than intended. – T.E.D. Jul 29 at 15:40
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    "Reading way more into it than intended" - apparently not – Jenayah Jul 29 at 15:53
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    In-universe, this is probably the correct explanation. I doubt the writer's intent was that the other Titans are actually hearing Raven say "HERE COMES A SPELL." – Ryan Veeder Jul 29 at 16:00
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    @Jenayah - You have to admit I was correct that it wasn't gibberish though...its Gobbledygook! :-) – T.E.D. Jul 29 at 16:03

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