Dark Angel is an incredibly powerful sorceress, able to generate various magical spells, transverse through time and space and is seemingly impossible to destroy.
Wonder Woman #131-136 : Donna Troy is erased from existence by the evil Dark Angel. As Flash and Wonder Woman race to restore the Donna Troy they knew, Donna’s true origin is revealed: Magala created a mystical twin as a playmate for Princess Diana; Dark Angel abducted the twin and cursed her to live multiple tragic lives, one of which as Donna Troy [Wonder Girl]. Donna is defeats Dark Angel and is restored through Flash’s memories and Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. First appearance of Dark Angel in issue #131. Origins of Donna Troy and Dark Angel revealed in this story.
Wonder Woman Secret Files #2 : Featuring “Who is Troia”, a 6-page story by Devin Grayson and Phil Jimenez. Features Donna Troy origin story.
Titans #23-25 [2000-2001]: The “Who’s Troia?” trilogy. The evil Dark Angel is erasing Donna from existence throughout Hypertime. But how can Donna save herself, when none of her teammates recognize her? It’s up to Nightstar, Kid Flash, the Red Hood and the rest of the sons and daughters of the Titans save Troia from being erased from existence forever. The Titans are joined by the Titanic team from The Kingdom — traveling through different points in Donna’s history before the evil Dark Angel can erase them. The Titans are ultimately successful, as Dark Angel is defeated and Troia is restored at last! Marv Wolfman and George Pérez create a 6-page segment.
DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #4 : Donna Troy learns of her multiple lives in the multiverse; Donna also discovers Dark Angel is the Donna Troy of Earth-7.
Supergirl #18 : At the behest of the Monitors, Dark Angel poses as Supergirl in an effort to test the Girl of Steel. Believing Supergirl to be out of place in the timestream, Dark Angel very nearly erases her from existence, but is prevented from doing so by the Monitors.
Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer – Wildstorm #1 : Dark Angel pursues Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner and Jason Todd through the Multiverse (possibly at the Monitors’ behest).
The Secret Origins of Donna Troy
With thanks to the “Who Is Donna Troy?” Trade Paperback: Who is Donna Troy? Wonder Girl. A daughter. A sister. A Titan. Troia. A wife. A mother. A doppelganger. Darkstar. A heroine. A paradox. An enigma.
Although one of the most popular members of several different incarnations of the Teen Titans, Donna Troy has often fallen victim to the various changes in her origin throughout the years. Despite that, her charismatic persona has persevered and even thrived among all the mutations – giving her even more reasons for her mass appeal. Detailed below is a quick and friendly guide to Donna’s background. And with Wonder Woman’s recent reinstatement as Justice League founder, let’s hope Donna’s continuity baggage is also a thing of the past.
A Wonder Girl commission from Nick Cardy, circa 2003.
First Origin: Wonder Woman’s Little Sister
Origin: Infant Donna Troy was saved from a fire by Wonder Woman, who brought the child to Paradise Island. Adopted by Queen Hippolyta and gifted with amazing Amazon powers, Donna thrilled to the exploits of her sister, Wonder Woman. She later followed in Wonder Woman’s footsteps by joining the Teen Titans as Wonder Girl.
Read It In:
Teen Titans (first series) #22 : The original origin of Wonder Girl
New Teen Titans (first series) #38 : “Who Is Donna Troy?” expands on Donna’s back-story
Donna Troy first appeared in the pages of The Brave and the Bold#60, which was also the first official debut of the Teen Titans. The creative team plucked Wonder Girl from the pages of Wonder Woman, unaware that “Wonder Girl” was actually a teenaged version of Princess Diana. In that era, all three “ages” of Wonder Woman – toddler, teenager and adult – frequently teamed up in fantasy adventures, known as “Impossible Tales.”
From Wonder Girl’s first appearance, it was apparent that she was not just a teenaged version of Wonder Woman, but Wonder Woman’s younger sister. When the Teen Titans received their own ongoing series in 1966, it was inevitable that Wonder Girl’s origin needed to be told.
Donna’s Pre-Crisis origin is revealed at last in TEEN TITANS #22 …
and recapped nicely in NEW TEEN TITANS #1 .
That eventually happened in the pages of Teen Titans #22 in 1969, in a 10-page story aptly titled, “The Origin of Wonder Girl.” In that issue, Wonder Girl tells the other Titans her origin for the first time. As a child, she had been saved from an apartment building fire by Wonder Woman, and taken by her to Paradise Island to live after all attempts to ascertain her identity or those of her parents (presumed to be a couple killed in the blaze) had failed. Becoming Queen Hippolyta’s foster daughter and Wonder Woman’s foster sister, she was unable to compete with the Amazons on a physical level, lacking their special powers, and so was given powers almost identical to those of Wonder Woman by scientist Paula von Gunther’s Purple Ray.
The story also establishes Wonder Girl’s secret identity as Donna Troy. Prior to this tale, she was only referred to as ‘Wonder Girl’ or ‘Wonder Chick.’ At the end of the story, Donna celebrates her new life by designing a new costume and changing her hairstyle. This original origin was plotted and scripted by Dick Giordano and a young Marv Wolfman.
Donna appeared as Wonder Girl in Teen Titans #1-53, Adventure Comics #461 and Wonder Woman #265-266. Then the Teen Titans were memorably relaunched by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 with New Teen Titans #1.
Donna Troy’s origin was fleshed out further in New Teen Titans #38 in 1984. The classic “Who Is Donna Troy?” was devised by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Donna’s fiancee Terry Long asks Robin to investigate the secret of Donna’s unknown past. At the site of the fire-gutted building, Robin finds a child’s doll that triggers an investigation, uncovering Donna’s abandonment as part of a child selling scheme. He also learns that Donna’s real mother, Dorothy Hinckley, left her in an orphanage because she was dying. Donna was then adopted by Carl and Fay Stacey, but when Carl died in a work-related accident, Fay also had to give up Donna, who was given to a child-selling operation. Two people who were posing as Donna’s new parents died in the fire that Donna remembered. At the story’s end, Donna is reconciled with her adopted mother, Fay Stacey Evans, and then visits the grave of her real mother.
The story was an emotional one, and is regarded as a classic in comic book literature. Donna later married her boyfriend, Terry Long, in Tales of the Teen Titans#50 in 1984. So Donna’s mysterious origin was resolved at last. That is, until the continuity-altering events of the Crisis On Infinite Earths.
A Wonder Girl commission by George Pérez.
Second Origin: Child of the Titans Gods
Origin: Infant Donna Troy was saved from a fire by the Titan Rhea, who brought her to New Chronus, where she was gifted with amazing abilities. To teach humility, The Titan gods sent Donna back to earth at age 13 with no memories of her mythical training. Inspired by the American flag, Donna Troy created the identity of Wonder Girl and joined the Teen Titans. Later, Donna reunited with the Titans of Myth and embraced her original Titanic heritage as the heroine, Troia.
Read It In:
New Titans #50-55 : “Who Is Wonder Girl?” details Donna’s Post-Crisis origin with the Titans of Myth
In 1985, DC Comics attempted to streamline and modernize their characters with the Crisis On Infinite Earths. Within the 12-issue mini-series, time and space twisted, forever altering the histories of various heroes in its wake. This gave DC an opportunity to go back and revise some of the more out-dated elements of the DC Universe – but it also introduced a host of unforeseen continuity problems.
Wonder Woman was re-introduced into ‘man’s world’ in ‘present day’ in 1986. Thus, Wonder Woman was not in America to rescue Donna Troy as a child – leaving Donna Troy’s origin story in question. How did Wonder Girl exist before a Wonder Woman came to America? And if Donna Troy was not rescued and raised by the Amazons, where did she come from?
Donna’s Post-Crisis origin is revealed in NEW TITANS #50-55 …
and recapped nicely in WONDER WOMAN SECRET FILES #2 .
The answers were finally revealed in New Titans #50-55 in 1989, in a tale told by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. In “Who Is Wonder Girl?”, The Titans of Myth return to Earth to collect Wonder Girl so that she might help the gods defeat Sparta, a renegade Titan. Wonder Girl learns that she was rescued from the fire by Rhea and raised by the Titans of Myth on a planet known as New Chronus. At age 13, she was wiped of her memories and placed back on earth, so that she could learn humility. Once there, Donna fashioned a flag-inspired costume and joined the Teen Titans as Wonder Girl.
In New Titans #55, Donna fully embraces her newly discovered Titanic roots as she is given new powers by the Titans gods. She takes on the code name Troia, which is another way of saying Troy in Greek. On the heels of that story, Donna Troy meets Wonder Woman “for the first time” in Wonder Woman #47-48 (1990), where the two women prevent Circe from transforming people into were-beasts.
Donna later gave up her powers in Team Titans #3 (1993) in an effort to raise her newborn son in peace. She then served as den mother to the time-displaced Team Titans before finding a new calling as an intergalactic police officer in the Darkstars (Darkstars #21-38, New Titans #0, 115-116, Green Lantern #61-75). Donna soon gave up her Darkstar identity as well, in Green Lantern #75 in 1996.
Two Troia convention sketches from Phil Jimenez – in 2002, and 2005.
Third Origin: Wonder Woman’s Mystical Twin
Origin: The Amazon sorceress Magala created a magical double of young Princess Diana, since the young Amazon yearned for a playmate. This mystical twin was kidnapped by Dark Angel, and sent through a cascade of tragic lifelines. In one of those lives, she was reborn as Donna Troy, who, as an infant was saved from a raging fire by the Titans of Myth. Granted fantastic powers, Donna became the super-heroine known as Wonder Girl. After embracing her Titanic heritage as Troia, Donna was later reunited with her lost Amazon sisters.
Read It In:
Wonder Woman #131-136 : John Byrne’s revisionist origin, with Donna Troy as Diana’s mystical twin
Wonder Woman Secret Files #2 : Featuring “Who is Troia”, a 6-page Donna Troy origin story
DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy (mini-series) #1-4 : Donna Troy is revealed as a unique soul – a compression of all her various lives throughout the alternate worlds across time and space. Dark Angel is revealed as an alternate Donna Troy.
Donna Troy became a directionless character in the early 1990s. Once Troia, she gave up those powers to become a Darkstar for a short time, only to abandon that identity as well. So when John Byrne started his Wonder Woman run, he wanted to incorporate Donna Troy into the title to give her a new direction. First, he jettisoned Donna’s family by killing Terry and Robert Long in a car accident in Wonder Woman #121 in 1997. Then, he brought Donna Troy into Gateway City in Wonder Woman #123.
The powerless and despondent Donna Troy was confronted by Dark Angel in Wonder Woman #131, which set in motion John Byrne’s revised origin for Donna. Dark Angel, an evil wandering spirit and anch-nemesis of Hippolyta, erased Donna Troy from existence to gain revenge on the Amazon Queen. Dark Angel’s curse unraveled Donna’s true origins, as detailed in Wonder Woman #135. There, it is revealed the Amazon sorceress Magala wove a spell that created a magical duplicate of young Princess Diana, fashioning a young playmate for her. This mystic twin was kidnapped by Dark Angel, who thought the girl to be the real Diana.
ABOVE: Magala’s ancient secret – and the truth behind Donna Troy – is revealed
at last in WONDER WOMAN #136 .
BELOW: Dark Angel reveals Donna’s origin in WONDER WOMAN #135 .
Believing this to be Hippolyta’s real daughter, Dark Angel placed a horrible curse on the girl. She sent Hippolyta’s “daughter” through a cascade of multiple lives, each ending in a horrible tragedy. Through each of these lives, the girl was known as “Donna Troy.” In her most definitive lifeline, Donna Troy became the super-heroine known as Wonder Girl. The heroes were able to track down Dark Angel and break the curse, as Donna’s touch defeated the evil sorceress. In Wonder Woman #136, Donna Troy is fully restored through the magic of Wonder Woman’s lasso, with the new identity as mystical sister to Diana.
Byrne’s strongest contribution was to re-forge Donna’s ties as Wonder Woman’s sister. He preserved the Titans of Myth origins, but added a stronger tie to Wonder Woman and Paradise Island. Byrne’s origin also cleverly combined all of Wonder Girl’s myriad origins: She was Diana in another form (like the Impossible Tales), she was Diana’s sister (echoing her Pre-Crisis origin), and she was still the child of the Titans gods (preserving her Post-Crisis origin).
Following her new origin, Donna was accepted as a full Amazon and Princess of Themyscira. She rejoined her Titans team mates inJLA/Titans #1-3 and Titans #1 in 1999. Initially suffering a slight identity crisis, all was resolved in Titans #23-25 in a story entitled “Who Is Troia?”
Donna Troy was later killed in the Graduation Day #1-3 (2003), a mini-series designed to launch the all-new Teen Titans andOutsiders series. Donna was revived in DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy mini-series #1-4 in 2005. Written by Phil Jimenez, this series contained a meta-textual explanation for Donna’s continuity conundrums. She was revealed as a unique soul – a compression of all her various lives throughout the alternate worlds across time and space. This knowledge prompted Donna to remember each unique life throughout the multiverse. Dark Angel was revealed as an evil Donna Troy from Earth-7 that escaped this compression. Instead, she became a wandering spirit of vengeance with a subconscious hatred for Donna, her opposite number.
It seemed as if each new wrinkle in Donna’s back-story was an attempt by creators to shift Donna back to her Pre-Crisis origins. This would come full circle in the wake of DC’s next earth-shattering Crisis.
Troia is reborn, in a 2009 commission by George Pérez.
Fourth Origin: Adopted by Titans and Amazons
Origin: Infant Donna Troy was saved from a fire by the Titan Rhea, who brought her to New Chronus and gifted her with amazing abilities. After growing up on New Chronus with the Titans of Myth, Donna was left in the care of the Amazons, who would teach her humility. Donna was adopted by Queen Hippolyta, and thrilled to the exploits of her sister, Wonder Woman. Deciding to follow in her sister’s footsteps, Donna became Wonder Girl and soon joined the Teen Titans. Later, Donna reunited with the Titans of Myth and embraced her original Titanic heritage as the heroine, Troia.
Read It In:
Wonder Woman #1 : The new Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, relates her history.
Teen Titans: Year One (mini-series) #1-6 [2007-2008]: A retelling of Donna Troy’s arrival on man’s world as Wonder Girl
In 2005, DC published Infinite Crisis #1-7, a sequel to 1985’sCrisis On Infinite Earths. As a result of this reality-shifting Crisis, DC once again altered the histories of its characters in an effort to streamline and revitalize them. As part of this revised history, Wonder Woman was restored as a founder of the JLA, thus pre-dating Wonder Girl in DC’s chronology.
This allowed Donna Troy to embrace much of her original Pre-Crisis history as Wonder Woman’s adopted sister. This is confirmed in Wonder Woman #1 (2006), as Donna relates her history, “Paradise Island. I grew up there in the shadow of my sister, Princess Diana… Until she left Paradise to become it’s ambassador to patriarch’s world, where they called her Wonder Woman.” Donna’s first days as Wonder Girl, and her arrival on man’s world, are detailed in Teen Titans: Year One mini-series #1-6 in 2007. This retelling shows Donna’s sisterly relationship with Wonder Woman. Diana is also restored as Donna’s maid of honor at her wedding, as shown in JLA #0 (2005).
Donna’s Pre-Crisis history with the Amazons is more or less restored,
as seen in TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE #1-6 ….
and in WONDER WOMAN #1 ..
Donna’s Titans of Myth origin has become as important as her Amazon origin at this point. And that is still firmly in continuity – as evidenced by the existence of her Troia identity as well as her ties to New Chronus. As readers may remember, the Titans of Myth originally sent their Titan seeds back to their homeworlds at age thirteen to learn humility. In old continuity, Donna was given false memories and lived at Kanigher Orphanage. In new continuity, we can assume the Titans of Myth left Donna in the care of the Amazons (who, remember, would worship the Titan of Myth like gods).
So having Donna spend half her life with the Titans of Myth, and the other half with the Amazons makes perfect sense. It also restores all the important Pre-Crisis Diana/Donna/Hippolyta stories and interactions, while preserving her Post-Crisis ties to the Titans of Myth. It’s a continuity “win-win,” with minimal ret-connage.
Donna’s revisionist origin as a mystical twin with multiple lives is likely gone at this point, as those continuity “fixes” are completely unnecessary (and needlessly confusing as well). And even though Magala may have created a magical playmate for Diana, we only have Dark Angel’s word that the mystical twin later became Donna Troy. Those “revelations” could easily be dismissed as a mystical ruse of Dark Angel, an insane trickster with a deep hatred for Donna Troy. Dark Angel is still an alternate Donna Troy who escaped her own reality, but was very likely driven insane as a result. So her recollections and ramblings cannot be trusted. Perhaps she is misremembering realities throughout the multiverse, or just trying to torture Donna. This keeps Wonder Woman #130-136 and Titans #23-25 in continuity, it just changes the veracity of Dark Angel’s claims.
With the best elements of her Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis origins merged, Donna’s history is now seamless and easy to understand.
Sources for this entry: DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com