Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Profile: Donna Troy

Donna Troy, aka Wonder Girl, Troia and Darkstar
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold, 1965. She was a founding member of the Teen Titans and first female member. When she first debuted, she was the adopted sister of pre-Crisis Wonder Woman, though their meetings and team-ups were rare at the time. Later on, in 1988, she got a new origin, where she’d been raised by the Titans of Myth during her childhood.

Current status: not entirely certain just now. She’d taken Diana of Themyscira’s place as WW last year in the third volume of her series, but that was largely botched due to writer Allen Heinberg’s astounding delays as scriptwriter, which led to his arc going otherwise unfinished. You could say that she’s become something of a counselor anew for the latest incarnation of the TT, and has certainly been getting involved again with her onetime boyfriend, Kyle Rayner, former Green Lantern.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: it’s odd, but, during a few of her first appearances under Bob Haney’s pen, she got knocked unconscious a few times by the crooks. Her initial premise as the adopted sister of Wonder Woman being erased and replaced by a different storyline was probably questionable, but what was really nasty was the time when, as Team Titans was beginning, she was pregnant with a child who in the future would become Lord Chaos, and had even come back in time to ensure that he’d be born. It was a really disgusting ordeal, both for her and the audience. The whole matter was solved, and her child became a normal one, but later on, fate would again raise its heavy hand. Her marriage to Terry Long fell apart and he took sole custody of their son.

Donna later had to undergo John Byrne’s disastrous run on Wonder Woman (circa issues #131-136) where he tried to rewrite her origin as being a mirror projection of Diana herself who’d been kidnapped as part of a plot to strike at Hyppolyta by making her daughter the one to suffer by being born into lives that would end in tragedy. And then, Terry and their son died in a car crash. Then, in 2003, she was seemingly killed by a Superman robot in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day, one of the worst miniseries ever written, by Judd Winick, before being brought back to life again in The Return of Donna Troy in 2005.

What’s wrong with how this was done? The story that took place in Team Titans was awful, and almost reeked of sensationalism. The attempted rewrite in the latter part of Byrne’s run on WW was a grave error, because Donna, in contrast to Diana, was always meant to be born perfectly human, and that’s what made her work as a character, and also how her personality was built together. And as for the breakup of her marriage to Terry, that too was pretty forced. But it wasn’t Marv Wolfman’s fault. It was different writers who’d been assigned to write the story in which Donna and Terry split up, and also for when her former husband and her son were killed off, apparently because this is what was needed in order for her to become a single, more available girl again without too many obstacles to being an adventuress. And the miniseries written by Winick where she was momentarily killed off was very poorly written, depicting her incompetantly and not featuring a genuine enemy for the heroes to combat.

The story done at Byrne’s time has since been discarded, and the background written by Wolfman and George Perez in 1988-89 has been more or less restored. And her “death” in Graduation Day, as mentioned, has since been reversed, and she’s returned to being a notable crimefighter again.

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