REVIEW:DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS DONNA TROY
This is likely to be a somewhat convoluted review, at least insofar as the backstory of this character, recently inducted into the superb DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS line of action figures from Mattel, is concerned. Mostly because her backstory is pretty convoluted, thanks to any number of reboots, reinterpretations, continuity gaffes, and what have you, over the years.
Her name is Donna Troy. Once she was known as Wonder Girl, but someone else has that name today. The back of her package reads: Originally created as a magical reflection of Princess Diana of Themyscira, Donna Troy became more than Wonder Woman's identical twin "sister" when she was kidnapped and forced to endure a series of alternate lives ending in tragedy. Upon her return to Earth - sans any memories of the experience - Donna adopted the guide of Wonder Girl and joined the first Teen Titans.
Well, okay. That's accurate enough, and that remark about "a series of alternate lives" isn't a bad way of stating the matter. At the same time, one could also make the statement that "grass is green". Indeed it is, but there's a lot more than can be said on the subject. Such is certainly the case with Donna Troy. What follows is as reasonable a summary as I could put together of the character, with some online help, that still maintained a hopefully reasonable length. If you want to know more, I encourage you to check out Wikipedia and other valid sources of information about DC Super-Heroes. Pack a lunch.
Donna Troy, as Wonder Girl, first appeared in "The Brave and the Bold" #60 (July 1965), as a member of a "junior Justice League" called the Teen Titans, alongside Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad. After next being featured in Showcase #59 (December 1965), the Titans were spun off into their own self-titled series in February 1966.
Wonder Girl's original origin had had as a non-Amazon orphan, who was rescued by Wonder Woman from an apartment building fire. This was established in Teen Titans #22, in 1969. Unable to find any parents or family, Wonder Woman brought the child to Paradise Island, where she was eventually given Amazon powers. She remained with the Teen Titans throughout its original run, into 1978.
When the Titans were revived to great success in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, they decided to expand upon Wonder Girl's background. In a 1984 multi-part story titled "Who is Donna Troy?", Robin investigates the events surrounding the fire from which his longtime friend had been rescued as a toddler, discovering that Donna's birth mother was a woman named Dorothy Hinckley, a dying unwed teen who had given her up for adoption. After Donna's adoptive father had been killed in a work-related accident, her adoptive mother Fay Stacey gave her up for adoption again, unable to raise the toddler on her own. With Robin's help, Donna is reunited with Fay, who had married a man named Hank Evans and given birth to two additional children.
The events of 1985's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" had a profound effect on Wonder Girl. Since Wonder Woman was at that point written out of existence and subsequently reintroduced, Wonder Girl's history had to be similarly modified, one which severed her direct ties to the Amazons. In the storyline "Who is Wonder Girl", the Titans of Myth enlisted Donna's aid against the murderous Sparta. It is revealed that the Titan Rhea had rescued a young Donna from a fire. Donna and Sparta had then been part of a group of 12 orphans from around the universe who had been raised by these Titans in their home of New Cronus.
Around this time, Donna changes her pseudonym from Wonder Girl to Troia, and adopts a new costume incorporating mystical gifts from the Titans. Sometime after this, she joins the Darkstars, an interplanetary group formed by the Controllers, essentially their own version of the Green Lantern Corps. She later retires from the Darkstars and returns to Earth, powerless.
Her post-Crisis origin was once again updated in the late 1990's. This version had it that she was originally created by the Amazon sorceress Magala as a magical duplicate of the young Princess Diana of Themyscira, to be a playmate for Diana, who was previously the only child on the island. However, Donna was soon kidnapped by the Dark Angel - a World War II villainess and sworn enemy of Queen Hippolyta, Diana's mother, who thought the girl was Diana.
Dark Angel cursed Donna to live endless variants of a life characterized by suffering, with her life being restarted and erased from the world;'s memory when Donna was at her lowest. Even Donna would forget her past lived until the moment at which Dark Angel would arrive to restart her life, at which point she would recall all of her past suffering.
With the help of Wonder Woman, Hippolyta, and Wally West (Flash), the only people who remembered any of the previous versions, Donna was restored. Somehow, she also regained her powers, presumably because that was how Wally remembered her. Initially, she was concerned that she was not the "same" Donna, but an idealized form based on Wally's memories. She has since accepted that this is not the case. A subsequent battle with Dark Angel suggested that her constant rewriting of Donna's history involved the DC Universe phenomenon "Hypertime", but it is not clear whether this is still the case, given how little-used that has become.
Realizing that Donna was created from a portion of Diana's soul, Queen Hippolyta accepted Donna as a blood-related daughter. This aspect brought Donna more in line with her Pre-Crisis origins.
In a separate battle, Donna was apparently killed by a rogue Superman robot in the Titans/Young Justice crossover "Graduation Day". This girl just can't catch a break, can she!? However, in 2005, DC released a four issue mini-series, "The Return of Donna Troy", written by Phil Jimenez with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and George Perez which marked the resurrected of the character and cleared up her multiple origins.
Donna Troy has now discovered that like every other person after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, she is a merger of every alternate version of Donna Troy in the Multiverse. In fact, Dark Angel was revealed to be the Donna Troy of Earth-7, saved from certain death by the Anti-Monitor. When the Multiverse was reconfigured into one universe, Dark Angel managed to escape the "merger", and sought to kill her. In fact, every life she led was one of her alternate, multiversal aspects. It was Dark Angel's intention to kill every other version of Donna Troy, and be the last one standing. When Dark Angel was defeated, Donna became the real sum of every Donna Troy that had ever existed, and a living key to the lost Multiverse.
Following some further confusion which ultimately resulted in the Titans of Myth being exiled from New Cronus, Donna returns there and shares a joyful reunion with Wonder Woman. Donna is now charged with guardianship of the Universe Orb, containing the Multiverse Chronicles collected by Harbinger during the Crisis. She makes the startling discovery that an impending doom is facing the DC Universe, one she cannot avert alone This leads into the events of Infinite Crisis and the subsequent "52" mini-series. During the "One Year Later" storyline, she briefly assumes the role of Wonder Woman, but finds herself uncomfortable in the role, and ultimately returns the title to Diana, saying that she would rather just be called Donna Troy.
Currently, she is a member of the Justice League of America.
As to her powers and abilities, those have been almost as all over the map as her origins. However, she has generally maintained super strength, endurance, speed, and flight. She has considerable combat skills, and also wields a lasso, although it apparently has no magical properties as Wonder Woman's does.
And if all that isn't enough, the figure is darn hard to track down. Along with Cheetah, she's easily the scarcest member of Wave 13 of the DC Universe Classics line. They're either underproduced or they're disproving the theory that female action figures aren't generally popular.
So, how's the figure? Really extremely impressive. And those trying to round up as many of the Teen Titans as possible will doubtless be pleased at her addition to the ranks of the figure line, joining the likes of Cyborg, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Robin, with Raven on the way!
The Donna Troy figure uses, for the most part, the same basic female body molds as many of the female characters in the DC Universe Classics line. Frankly, I appreciate the consistency, although the female side of the line has a greater percentage of variety than the male. However, it's the same basic body molds used for characters such as Harley Quinn, Katma Tui, Cheetah, Starfire, etc. These molds are slightly smaller than those used for Wonder Woman, which in this particular instance, works out very well.
Donna Troy is outfitted in her classic, best-known Wonder Girl costume, from her 1980's days among the Teen Titans. This costume is mostly red, with a bit of cleavage, and is sleeveless. There is a series of yellow stars running down either side, from the front of the costume to the upper legs. She is wearing black boots with fairly high heels, a yellow belt with a "W" symbol in the middle of it, and metallic blue wrist-bands that have a white star on them. There is a lasso attached to the belt.
A few notations here. Clearly the lower arms, lower legs, and feet were designed specifically for this figure. No other female character has wrist-bands, and they're not just painted on. They're molded on. Additionally, the boots have a distinct "lip", and even a sculpted seam across the top, and I don't recall any other female figures with quite such high heels.
The belt is also a separate piece. The lasso is a cool addition, although I might have preferred it if it had been sculpted in such a way as to rest quietly at the side, rather than to be flared up in a sort of "action pose". The way it is, the only way to lower the left arm all the way is to insert it inside the lasso, which strikes me as an ill-advised stance preparatory to battle. Of course, she might be preparing to use it, too.
The headsculpt is excellent. Granted, Donna Troy has tended to look pretty much like a young Wonder Woman for most of her career. Not that this is really a problem. The headsculpt is superb, and reflects this resemblance very well. The painted details are very well done, especially the eyes, which is always an intricate bit of business. Donna Troy has blue eyes, with pupils, light reflection, eyelashes, and everything painted with great accuracy. She has two gold earrings in the shape of stars.
Donna Troy's long black hair is a separate piece, attached to the head during assembly. Long hair can be a problem on some of these figures, as it can impede movement of the head if it's not molded from a sufficiently flexible plastic (*koff* Mary Marvel *koff*). Fortunately, Donna Troy's hair is reasonably flexible. I won't say that her head turns easily, or very far, but it does turn, which is more than can be said for a few other long-haired figures.
Of course, overall articulation of the figure is excellent. Donna Troy is fully poseable at the head, arms, upper arm swivel, elbows, wrists, mid-torso, waist, legs, upper leg swivel, knees, and ankles. Any complaints? Well, the mid-torso articulation point is a little on the loose side. But I think that's preferable to stuck, and it doesn't feel like she's going to fall apart in half on me, so I'll live with it. I've encountered worse, although thankfully not recently.
It occurs to me that there could have been a very cool variant of this figure, although it likely would've required a fairly extensive paint stencil, which is perhaps why it didn't happen. That, and the fact that Cheetah and Negative Man got the variants in this assortment, Cheetah especially.
Anyway, Donna Troy's current costume is configured very much like this one. The main difference is the color scheme. Her current costume is black, with enough speckled stars running across it to let Carl Sagan make an entire sequel to "Cosmos" if he were still alive. Honestly, I think such a variant would be very impressive, and should STILL BE CONSIDERED for a future assortment by Mattel. But as I said, getting the star-pattern in it might be a tricky paint job. Maybe it was even considered and rejected, I don't know. Still, it'd be cool...
So, what's my final word here? This is a most impressive figure. Very well done, an excellent likeness, and certainly a classic rendition of a character who, admittedly, has been put through more than a few wringers in her lifetime in the comic books. If that's any sort of basis, then she's certainly earned her place in this action figure line, and the results are excellent.
If you're a fan of the Wonder Woman mythos, or of the Teen Titans, or, heck, just like Donna Troy, then this is definitely a figure to be added to your collection. She might be a bit hard to track down, but she's certainly worth it.
The DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS figure of DONNA TROY definitely has my highest recommendation!