Tara Markov, half-sister of Geo-Force, was the illegitimate daughter of the King of Markovia. While in Markovia she came under the care of a Dr. Helga Jace, through her experiments Terra obtained terrakinetic powers: specifically, the ability to control all forms of earthen matter. After obtaining these powers she left Markovia for the United States.
Terra is confronted by the Titans. Art by George Perez.Terra became a mercenary, doing dirty work for others such as Deathstroke the Terminator (who she shared a romance with, despite being barely sixteen years old while he was a grown man). She joined the Teen Titans, fooling them by staging a battle versus Deathstroke. She then operated as a spy for Deathstroke, eventually giving him the information he needed to kidnap the Titans.
Eventually, the captured Titans were held in a stronghold of Deathstroke's contractors, The H.I.V.E.. Nightwing and Deathstroke's son raided the complex to rescue them, but were captured. When presented to Deathstroke and the organization in general, Jericho possessed his father and freed the Titans who then attacked H.I.V.E.. Not knowing of Jericho's powers, Terra believed Deathstroke to have turned against her. In retaliation, she went berserk and fatally pulled the whole H.I.V.E. complex down upon herself. Despite her betrayal, a statue of her was placed in the Memorial in Titans Tower.
In 1991, Terra reappeared as part of Team Titans from a possible 2001. She developed an attraction to Beast Boy, but he rejected her.
Though this new Terra initially believed she was a different girl who had been surgically altered to resemble the original Terra, she was told by the Time Trapper that she was not from the future at all, although she destroyed Time Trapper's messenger orb out of panic before he could elaborate further. Subsequently, she discovered Tara Markov's coffin to be empty.
Further genetic evidence suggested she was the original Terra, but due to her horror at what she did, Geo-Force decided to spare her this knowledge, thinking she would rather have no past at all. Terra has appeared occasionally afterwards, usually in scenes involving Teen Titans reserve members.
In the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, wherein the Titans glimpsed a grim possible future, Terra (in a costume modeled closely after her original) is a member of the Titans East, a more benign rival group that opposes fascist future versions of the current Teen Titans. (This future's version of Beast Boy still bears a grudge against Terra and wants nothing to do with her.)
Terra showed up in Infinite Crisis #4 and Teen Titans #32 to help Conner Kent defeat the Earth-Prime Superboy.