Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The New Donna Troy?

I've been thinking about someting that someone, I think it might have been Mark suggested about Donna Troy.

Basically that the Donna we saw in the History of the DCU segments and the one from WW were not the same character. Ultimately, that would-be Harbinger Donna is to the new Donna what Power Girl is to Supergirl.

The more I think about it the more I love this idea.

Because honestly, I think Donna Troy is ruined. I think that as likeable as she can be sometimes, the constant retcons, the shifting origins have ruined her character.

I don't necessarily mind retcons in general, especially if they're interesting, but there are certain core events that need to remain to help define who the character is. Nature versus Nuture I suppose. A character who was saved from a burning building and chose to emulate Diana is not going to have the same mindset and formulative experiences as a mirror-twin of Diana cursed to many lives.

They're not the same character. They're not going to see things the same way. As a correlation, what would become of Bruce Wayne if they'd never seen Mask of Zorro that night?

See, Power Girl...her retconning of origins worked for one reason. She didn't remember them. Thus it didn't matter if she was Clark's cousin or Arion's granddaughter, or the Earth-2 Kara returned. The formulative point of her personality was established at her post-crisis introduction.

But Donna's not amnesiac. She's supposed to remember those pasts...all those pasts. But tacking them on just blurs who she is more.

And it causes missed opportunities.

I mean think about the potential inherent in Diana having a mirror sister. A girl created solely to be Diana's playmate and forgotten about. You know, in my mind, that would make a fascinating villain. She'd be angry and resentful of course, but with some justification. She'd be just sympathetic enough that a later writer could redeem her into a tentative ally or a tragic death.

It'd be neat. But could never happen. Because Donna had a set personality. A slightly tragic heroine. And turning her evil would be very hard to make plausible.

Anyway though, the character's been reformed and re-envisioned so much she's like overused clay. Eventually it just doesn't hold a shape anymore. Ruined.

But Wonder Woman's Donna...she doesn't feel like Harbinger Donna. She feels fresh and new. Inexperienced, determined, with no sign yet of solemn tragedy. She seems to have a simple backstory (referred to as Diana's sister, which works fine for me, I can buy another animated clay baby. Or maybe born from a foray of Hippolyta in Man's World. Ooo, that could actually be really interesting.

Maybe if Hippolyta (a.k.a Pre-Crisis Diana, pretty much) did end up in the JSA, maybe she conceived Donna there. Sure she'd have to be older than she looks, but they ARE supposed to be immortal.

Ooo, Wildcat could be her *dad*! That'd be perfect! She'd get a legacy to play with without messing with Diana's uniqueness!

Anyway, I'm enthusiastic about this Donna. And I've realized why. She really hasn't seemed at all like the Donna in 52. She feels like a totally different character with some similar early experiences.

I could really really go for that. Make it a PG-Supergirl thing. The old Donna fans can keep Harbinger Donna while Diana's sister Donna can have the chance to win over the rest of us.

It'd be neat!


  • At July 29, 2006 6:27 AM, Anonymous Denis said…

    I agree it would be a neat idea. Donna has become such a convulated character, no one can identify with her anymore. And to this day, I wonder why they had to fiddle around with her history, over and over and over again?

    It did work before it all started with "Who Is Wondergirl?", and before it all went completely haywire with John Byrne's "Let's torture Donna FOREVER" storyline. I really don't understand why a retcon was necessary in the first place, and you're right, a character is significantly defined by her history and former experiences, and this character should be someone completely different based on her - inserted and "re-imagined" - past.

    I'm still hoping that they use the potential blank slate "Infinite Crisis" is offering them as a chance to simplify the character - a younger sister of Wonderwoman? Works for me, too -, but this sudden Harbinger-stuff-addendum which they are building up for her is not the character, either.

    On the other hand, they really managed to fix Hawkman, which was generally regarded as being impossible - and they fixed Green Lantern, which was even beyond impossible :-) - so there's hope.

    Holding my breath.

  • At July 29, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Melchior del DariĆ©n said…

    It's funny: though it's reasonable to assume that having a character angst-ily remember 1,000 different past lives might make them more interesting, for the purposes of telling stories (or developing character), it actually doesn't.

    I too hope the gurus re-tooling the DCU have taken this opportunity to go in a new direction with DT.

  • At July 29, 2006 4:31 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    denis: Yeah, there were some good ideas there. And the Who is Wonder Girl? on its own would be fine. But no one stopped there. Hmph. Such a shame.

    melchior: I think it could have worked...if the character had been conceived that way from the beginning. But her pre-established personality didn't let anything interesting develop.

    I hope so too. :-)

  • At July 29, 2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Lyle said…

    It did work before it all started with "Who Is Wondergirl?", and before it all went completely haywire with John Byrne's "Let's torture Donna FOREVER" storyline. I really don't understand why a retcon was necessary in the first place

    That was the major complaint about Bryne's later WW run... a lot of unnecessary retcons that seemed only to be driven by a desire to see things set back to the way they were... Golden Age Hypolita, Wonder Girl *is* Wonder Woman as a child, after all... sigh.

  • At July 29, 2006 4:45 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I have to admit, I love Golden Age Hippolyta. But I don't get why Time Travel had to be involved.

    I mean, she's immortal. Could have just given her pre-crisis Diana's origin. Left Themyscira to fight nazis, came back, Diana's story comes later.

    Time Travel was just needlessly complicated. :-)

  • At July 29, 2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At July 29, 2006 7:04 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    Melchior: It worked pretty well with Hawkman.

    Kalinara: As far as I'm concerned, that's exactly how the timeline goes.

    Byrne had to use Time Travel to change everything, because he couldn't fall back on Superboy Punching The Universe.

    It makes the star-spangled spandex "armor" make a little more sense, IMSNHO. I don't know if anyone's a big fan of Perez's "Diana Trevor", but that's one that I could cheerfully retcon out.

  • At July 29, 2006 9:20 PM, Anonymous Denis said…


    I'd like to say that a character with a 1000 past lives could be an interesting concept, if done right (and isn't that something which they're doing with Hawkman and Hawkgirl right now?), but that character is NOT Donna Troy. I think that's the problem - it's not a natural evolution of a character (like eg. Robin becoming Nightwing, or Wally becoming the new Flash), and not even an extrapolation of the character (like, I would say, what happened with Alan Moore's Swamp Thing) - it's a completely different character, superimposed onto an existing character, deleting the existing character (I could try to argue that's also what happened when Hal Jordan suddenly ended up becoming the Spectre, since the two concepts simply do not belong to each eother, but I'm sure Kalinara could prove me wrong there without trying hard :-) )

    If a writer likes a concept so much, why doesn't he just create a new character?

    Oh and re: Hyppolita in the JSA - who thinks, that this may be the legendary warrior, Wondeewoman based her costume on according to her origin story in the newest 52?

  • At July 29, 2006 9:22 PM, Anonymous Denis said…

    Or even "Wonderwoman"?

    (Bad spelling. Bad, bad spelling! Go to your room!)

  • At July 29, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I'll agree on the Hal-Spectre thing. The JLA arc was interesting and his appearances in GL tended to be good, but the resulting series? No.

    ooo, I like that thought re: 52/Wonder Woman.

    Ragnell pointed once that in the JSA Lois Lane-related issue, Red Tornado mentioned Hippolyta meeting Gloria Steinem, and how it didn't mesh time wise with Byrne's time travel and thus might indicate a simpler explanation. :-) That'd be great!

  • At July 30, 2006 3:30 AM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    I keep forgetting to post this.

    Anyway... oddly enough, I get the feeling DC might be intentionally sowing New Earth with conflicting versions of the same character.

    Look at Supergirl, for instance, who's trapped in Kandor in her own book, trapped in the 30th century in Legion of Super-Heroes, and has apparently been watching Metropolis while Clark was depowered over in his books. Or, for that matter, Power Girl, who's trapped with Supergirl over there but was part of the final (OYL) JSA arc.

    (Or, heck, Cassandra Cain. `` Need I say more.)

    Sure, some of that will always happen in a shared universe, but I seem to percieve a pattern of some kind.

    I'm not sure *why* they'd be doing this, mind. But it could be the planted seeds for something awesome.

  • At July 30, 2006 3:32 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    That could actually be really really cool. :-) Or awful. Depending.

  • At July 31, 2006 10:26 AM, Anonymous R.Nav said…

    Does this mean we'll get a "New Earth" Terry Long?

    He could be a whole new level of creepy!

  • At August 01, 2006 5:59 PM, Blogger Ferrous Buller said…

    "As a correlation, what would become of Bruce Wayne if they'd never seen Mask of Zorro that night?"

    Plausible deniability to charges of copyright infringement? :-)

  • At August 01, 2006 7:48 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    r. nav: Ewww.

    ferrous: Heh, with Wayne money he can afford the Good Lawyers. :-)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home