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Matthew was originally a man named Matthew John Cable. He originally appeared in the comic Swamp Thing. During the course of events in Swamp Thing that are too detailed to mention, Matthew has a car accident and is tricked into being possessed by his wife's evil shapeshifting uncle, Anton Arcane. Unwilling to put his loved ones in danger, Matthew manages to break Arcane's hold on him, only to have his injuries catch up with him. While in a coma at the hospital, corrupt hospital staff harvest some vital organs, and his wife Abigail decides mercifully to put him out of his misery and pull the plug. Since Matthew was in the Dreaming when he died, he became a part of the Dreaming, and was asked by Dream if he wished to be a Raven, an offer that Matthew accepted.
In the Sandman spin-off The Dreaming, Matthew was accidentally pulled through to the waking world after a spell meant for the Corinthian is cast by a vengeful Echo through Anton Arcane's guidance. Once again human, Matthew was picked up by the police and contacted his wife, only to find that he had been dead 12 years, and that his wife had married and become a mother in the interim. The reuinion between them was short, however, as Arcane swiftly sought out Matthew and attempted to destroy both him and Abigail. With the help of Eve and the spirits of previous Ravens, including Lucien, the First Raven, Arcane's plot is foiled and Matthew once again returns to the Dreaming.
He dies twice during The Dreaming, once through the meddlings of Coyote, from which he recovers, and the second and final time, in Litharge, accidentally shot by Lucien during a battle. He doesnt take his death badly, and tells Eve to not let Lucien "blame himself."
The role of Raven is taken over by Tethys, a female of amphibious origins, who becomes the second White Raven, after Lucien, who was the original White Raven.