L: Chamber of Darkness #7 (October 1970), art by Bernie Wrightson
R: Giant-Size Chillers #3 (August 1975), reprinting "Night of the Werewolf" from Chamber of Darkness #7, art by Bernie Wrightson (again)
Panels from Avengers #191 (January 1980), co-plot by Roger Stern, co-plot and script by David Michelinie, breakdowns by John Byrne, finishes and inks by Dan Green, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by John Costanza
I am exhausted and out of energy tonight, so you'll have to wait for my post about the crossover between Avengers and Friends or why Commissioner Gordon is a Jerk. Instead, because I love you all, you get
Panel from JLA #15 (February 1998), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Gary Frank, Greg Land and Howard Porter; inks by John Dell and Bob McLeod, colors by Pat Garrahy, letters by Ken Lopez
Hey, look, it's Donna Troy! Or, as Speedy knows her, Wonder Chick. You know, fans bicker about Wonder Woman recently changing her costume from bathing suit to work-out clothes, but nobody pays attention to how many times her baby sister goes for an all-new fashion. Pick a look and stick with it, Donna!
The Titans #23-25 (January-March 2001), art by Phil Jimenez, Richard Horie, and Tanya Horie
(Click picture to mythologi-size)
Yep, that's pretty much the entire convoluted history of Donna Madonna Troy in three interconnecting covers right thereeven including Captain Nazi-Helmet, Kole "Cannon Fodder" Weathers, and creepy ex-husband Terry Long, who was voted only the second most loathsome Terry Long out of all the Terry Longs there are.
Of course, you already know the tale of Donna Troy, right? Well, maybe not. These days, you can stop someone on the street and demand that they tell you who Donna Troy is, and pretty much everyone will punch you in the face. But we all forget the days when millions thrilled to Fess Parker's melodious "The Ballad of Donna Troy" and kids excitedly ran around in their red leotardsthe era when Wonder Girl totally ruled, man. Remember? Remember? Remember? ember ember ember
Once upon a time, in the days of legends, comic book writers of olde searched for new stories with which to entertain ye kiddes. And lo, they did look upon the summit of Mount Weisinger, and they did spy yonder "Superboye," wither...oh, heck, I can't talk like this the whole post. They copied their successful Superboy feature and introduced tales of Wonder Woman when she was still attending Themyscira High, home of the Fightin' Femizons: the teenage Diana, Wonder Girl!:
So successful were these tales of Wonder Woman 90210, DC immediately introduced the next natural character: Wonder Tot! Or, as I like to call her, Jim Henson's Wonder Baby. And then, in either a nod or a blatant rip-off of the Superman's office's "Imaginary Tales" (or, as Mort Weisinger liked to call them "Swan! Draw me a cover with Jimmy Olsen as a Viking and Superman wearing a gingham dress!"), the Double-W staff dreamed up their "Impossible Stories": comic books where...no, really, get this: Wonder Woman's mom made magic super 8 films in which Wonder Woman met, and teamed up with, herself at different ages. Years later, Marty McFly would hit upon the same money-making scheme, but it was too late, and not acrobatic enough:
The youngest member of this titanic trio of...um...tootsies...was the language-challenged Wonder Tot, three times voted America's Favorite Tot until losing in '65 to the Tater. With her cute pudgy toddler body and endearing failure to understand how pronouns worked, Wonder Tot surfed her way in our hearts. Until she was killed in Vietnam. Naw, just pullin' yer chain, there. She never made it past the military physical.
She and her Hulk-like diction soon starred their way towards solo stories of "the saucy Amazon babe." Um, okay, thank you, comics.
Also, there was Gloop, who now stars in an entire licensed line of comics and graphic novels produced by DC. Who can forget last year's multi-billion-dollar grossing Gloop: The Motion Picture or his surprise guest appearance on TV's CSI: Central City?
Not long after this, Robert Kanigher killed them all off and introduced a giant talking egg. Which only goes to show.
But you can't keep a good Wonder down. Wonder Girl, now called "Donna," soon popped up again as a member of of the all-hip, all-with-it Teen Titans, DC's first all-non-driving-licensed, unable to step into a bar, can't see Midnight Cowboy-action team. The story goes that Titans creator Bob Haney didn't realize Wonder Girl was supposed to be Wonder Woman and assumed she was Wonder Woman's teenage sidekick. Which means that the origin of W.G. has been much-discussed for decades because technically she doesn't exist. As opposed, of course, to all the real people that really exist in the real universe, like Batman and Metamorpho and Julius Schwartz.
As the first of Wonder Girl's many costumes, it was a classic look, and it remains part of her retro history to this day. Even though yes, it does look like pajamas.
But you know, those girls...they can't go without changing their outfits every twenty minutes. (Like, I can understand how Veronica has so many different outfits, but how come you don't see Betty wearing the same clothes twice?) Anyways, welcome the all-new, all-different, all-leotarded new Wonder Girl, now with poster-bustin' action!
The red leotard with gold stars is a look Donna would rock for years, altho' with some evolution. The W.G. of Earth-16-Going-on-17 introduced Cartoon Wonder Girl, complete with miniskirt and ponytail:
The classic red and gold look is how Donna busted burst back onto the scene in 1980's New Teen Titans, the comic book that put DC back in the big leagues by selling one bazillion jillion copies, by taking these classic characters and putting them in new, exciting, up-to-date adventures that mirrored the modern complex world, and popularizing a team of superheroes which include a green guy, the daughter of the devil, a girl in a metal bikini, and a teenager who still ran around in green spandex shorts. Among such a team of dynamic heroes Wonder Girl had to snazz herself up a little bit. So she unzipped her leotard down to there.
This was the outfit that Wonder Girl wore, fought in, and never popped out of for most of the run of New Teen Titans, with one short side trip to wear a different outfit to marry Young Marv Wolfman.
But the times they were a-changing, and the sales they were a-falling, so Donna Troy jettisoned the old red spandex and got out her waitressing outfit from Hercules' All-You-Can-Eat-BBQ-Hog-Pit to become the superheroine with the name that no one would be able to figure out her secret identity with: Troia! Also, she was still fightin' mad at posters.
But don't treat poor fashion-challenged Donna Troy too harshly, huh? It was the eighties...we all dressed like that. And by "we all" I mean Dick Greyson...
...whose outfit which has been charming exactly once in its history:
Eventually Donna joined...I dunno, izzat the Red Lanterns? The Blackhawks? The Superfreaks? Ah, heck, these were the days when DC published eighteen Lobo books a month, so basically anything went, even a red spandex outfit with a giant flying carrot on it. Thus she became a member of...The Vegetable Force!
How confusing were all these many identities and rewritten origins stories? So confusing that even John Byrne couldn't keep them straight. So, he did what anyone else would do in the same circumstance: called in the Donna Troy Squadron! (Motto: "When you've got trouble with a Donna Troy, call the Donna Troy Squadron and we'll definitely do something about it, or her, as the case may be.")
Eventually and sadly Donna Troy died of complications from a confusing origin, tragically too late for anyone, even Dr. Grant Morrison, to perform a crisisectomy on her. Immediately, of course, she came back from the dead. Which makes me wonder: what's the big deal with Christianity in the DC and Marvel Universes? Heck, if you live there, your mailman comes back from the dead, and you're not living by his scripture.
Donna Reborn was rockin' that Demolition Girl outfit you see above for a few issues, but later reverted to her now-current, basic and iconic "it's full of stars" costume. She made one small change only. Can you spot the difference in this "before and after" picture?
And, what the heck, at that point, you probably oughta hang around for Act Three, huh?
Also, Wonder Girl? Was Debra Winger.
So there ya go: the complete and unexpurgated history of Wonder Woman's sidekick, sister, younger self, and wife of Terry Long. Perhaps we haven't discovered who was Donna Troy, Wonder Girl, Troia, and Miss Carrot of Space Sector 2814, but we sure have gotten a good look at her many costumes, with the possible exception of the Hulkbuster Donna Armor, Wonder Girl Red and Blue, and Alien Symbiote Donna Troy, all available in action figure form now from DC Direct. DC Direct! Where 75% of our action figures are Superman and Batman!