Sunday, September 25, 2005

Why I Hate Donna Troy

I must confess, I picked up her miniseries in hopes of a Wonder Woman appearance, and discovered my true feelings for Donna Troy. I now continue to read out of morbid curiosity, and in the hopes that they will give her a personality. I am a fool. But at least I get to see Jade act in-character during it, and Starfire's pretty likeable there.

Anyway, due to the solicitation for Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #2 (First issue was a work of beauty, Kim -- Rest assured, Kyle remains Kyle!) and it's implications, I felt a need to outline my feelings about Donna Troy, who is scheduled to invade my regular reading more often than I'd like this fall. So, on with the Bile!

Mild Spoilers for JSA #77 below

1) Even less personality, on average, than Wonder Woman herself. Seriously, at least under certain writers, Diana leaps off the page. Even badly written, you have an idea of what she will do in a given situation. Mark Waid outright admitted he didn't understand the character, but he still managed to inject her with personality. With Donna, even writers who claim to love her can only manage to give us an overly emotional twit with watercolor substance, at best. Wonder Woman may have an inconsistently complex personality, but at least she has her interesting portrayals -- Wonder Girl/Troia is consistently vapid and weepy.

2) Her creation was a big mistake, and this is not simply my opinion. A DC Editor saw Wonder Girl on the cover of Wonder Woman and actually thought she was Wonder Woman's teen sidekick, when in fact she was just a teenaged version of Wonder Woman. From there, they had to create a distinctive personality. They seem to have failed miserably.

3) Gaudy Moon-shaped earrings. Yuck. I'm sorry, I am against jewelry on a superheroine (and yes, this includes Wonder Woman's star earrings, which, most artists mercifully leave out. Her bracelets are actually bracers, and a kind of armor, so they are acceptable), particularly stupid dangly jewelry, and Donna was decked out in JSA #77. They should've stuck with the armor on the cover of Return of Donna Troy #3, that looks cool.

4) Poor Choice of Pantheon -- The Titans as opposed to the Romans or Olympians. Anyone who hasn't read the Greek stories is totally unfamiliar with her Pantheon (unlike Wonder Woman's, which most people at least know some names from) and anyone who's read the old Greek stories know that Titans were the bad guys.

5) Depressing. Donna's natural state is weeping. Every time I've seen her spotlighted, it's a tragedy fest. Everytime she speaks, she's so firkin' serious! She smiles sweetly, but never cracks a joke! She's like some dreadfully melancholy Mary Tyler Moore. Please! Just because you're in the Greek-influenced Wonder-family doesn't mean you have to walk around like Antigone! No, I'm being unfair -- to Antigone. That play was much more optimistic than any Donna Troy comic I've read lately.
I suspect the only way the writers could think to add depth was with depression and darkness, forgetting that the best characters punctuate their angst with a sense of humor and optimism.

6) Her miniseries is late. Yes, I blame the character for this, because somehow she's attracted a large enough fanbase that DC believed this would work better as a miniseries than an Outsiders/Teen Titans crossover. As part of of an ongoing crossover, I believe it would be on time and I wouldn't be seeing the results of the mini-series before the resolution.

7) She's going to play a large role in Infinite Crisis. Crap.

8) Donna Troy was singlehandedly responsible for the FUBAR Wonder Woman continuity. If no one had insisted on keeping Donna in the Teen Titans, there would not have been a Wonder Girl who predated Wonder Woman! That would mean no need for a Golden Age Wonder Woman to inspire Wonder Girl. This removes any need for Byrne retcons, because Wonder Woman continuity would be streamlined according to the Perez reboot.

9) The above continuity situation led to the untimely death of Queen Hippolyta, whom Byrne retconned as the time-traveling, Wildcat-boinking, fun-loving Golden Age Wonder Woman! Hippolyta was the best character in all of Wonder-dom at the time, and due to an excess of Wonder-females, TPTB declared that one needed to die senselessly in a stupid crossover -- Of course, the one with the most actual personality gets the axe! And of course, the one with the least actual personality (Donna) gets resurrected while Hippolyta remains dead!

10) She is currently powered above Wonder Woman. This is unacceptable, UNACCEPTABLE! Donna must always be subordinate to Diana.

11) Whenever she appears, she robs valuable panel-time from far better female characters (Wonder Woman, Hippolyta, Wonder Girl/Cassie, Starfire, Raven, Jade, Maura Rayner) and adds nothing of value with her presence.

12) Hypocrisy in JSA #77. Donna spends 3 issues under mental memory manipulation that causes her to attack the Teen Titans and the Outsiders, and attempt genocide on a peaceful, innocent, technologically backwards race. She meets Hal Jordan in JSA#77 and despite the fact that he is very obviously Green Lantern again, and Alan Scott is at his side vouching for him, she still gives him attitude about having been Parallax. Okay, much fun as Rebirth was, Batman has the right to give him crap. Kyle Rayner certainly has the right to give him crap. Wonder Woman has the right to give him crap. Superman no longer has the right to give him crap, but he won't! The Flash has the right to give him crap. Hawkman has the right to give him crap. Green Arrow has the right to give him crap. Donna, fresh off of mind-control herself, has absolutely no right to give him crap about things he did while not in possession of his full senses! I really hope Kyle rips her a new one for this in GLC: Recharge #2 (if it is indeed her that is being referred to in the solicitations -- Jade is still running around, after all, and if Jason Todd can come back, so can Alex DeWitt!)

13)Current Taste in Men -- and this is the one I think Diana needs to beat some sense into her over!

Fiction is wish-fulfillment. It is the only way for women to get certain ideal types of men. You know, men who never appear in real life. There are several archetypes, for example, that women are attracted to, hoping to scratch the surface and find another archetype underneath -- a two-in-one deal. One of these is the introspective artist. Most women I know, when attracted to the introspective artist, are secretly hoping that he will turn out to be a masculine solar-hero archetype underneath his introverted outer self. Not in a deceitful way, mind you, but simply hidden strength. In my experience, most introspective artists have the emotional/moral fortitude of a shaved hamster. So, we turn to the comic books and books for our idealized men -- your rogue with a heart of gold, your sensitive hero, your vulnerable tough-guy...etc.. The only way to be assured of a decent man.
Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern, is the introspective artist who shows the hero when you scratch the surface. The man (as written by Morrison or Johns) is selfless, virtuous, kind, funny, has a will of cold iron at his core, surrounded by this incredibly romantic dreamer exterior that is just as much a part of who he is as his hidden qualities. He's really cute with coal-black hair and tree green eyes. He can paint a beautiful picture of you, and fight off an alien armada with his mind. He can make glowing green flowers out of thin air. I mean, even when he's written as really stupid, he's actually quite a catch -- especially for vain women like me who like to see themselves as inspiration for art!

And Donna Troy dumped him.

For Roy Harper.

Roy Harper.

Those of you who don't follow DC will be unfamiliar with Roy Harper, aka Arsenal aka Speedy (Green Arrow's sidekick. Let me reiterate -- Green Arrow's sidekick). He's a single father -- her mother is a supervillain, who nuked an entire country -- who irresponsibly continues to be a non-powered vigilante despite his daughter constantly being used to manipulate him or her mother. He's the sole parent and provider, but does very little to preserve his own life. He doesn't really even have the ability to plan for the future, which was a huge joke when he started dating Donna. Rather than stay with the baby, he frequents a strip joint often enough to know everybody's name. He thinks he's a total hotshot, when I'm sure Connor Hawke is actually a much better fighter. He never shaves and has an ugly red goatee. His hair is basically red stubble. I don't believe he showers. He's sleezy. He's easy. He makes me feel queasy.

And Donna dumped gentle, introspective, humble Kyle for this loser.

Who dumps a guy like Kyle "Custom Designed for a Romantic Relationship" Rayner for Roy "Nice boots, let's knock them!" Harper?

Who dumps any Green Lantern for that matter? That franchise has everything you'd be looking for in a man! Artistic Romantic? We've got Kyle Rayner, just waiting for someone. You want a responsible, moral father-figure? We have John Stewart. Looking for a one-night stand? Hal Jordan. Inexplicably attracted to Neanderthals, but wish for one who is loyal good-natured under the rough exterior? Yes, there's actually Guy Gardner (who, while he may be a jerk externally, was actually a pretty loyal and faithful boyfriend to Ice).

Jade, I can forgive -- Kyle flaked out and she got lonely. With Donna, he was right there. She left. And don't tell me was an editorial mandate, it's always editorial mandate, she's a fictional character! But, we have to take all behavior that is not explained away by mind control into account when considering the character -- and to have her run into Roy's arms when she just told Kyle she wasn't up for romance -- Yuck! Donna is so stupid.

People on certain message boards are supporting a resurrection of this failed romance, but the idea sickens me. She is unworthy of any Green Lantern -- even Guy Gardner! Hell, especially Guy Gardner, because he at least has enough class not to move in on a girl who's been totally mind-whacked after losing her entire family! In fact, I hope Guy Gardner kicks her ass in Recharge for putting Kyle's recently rebuilt heart in a blender and pressing the puree` button! He can be pretty protective, y'know.

Come to think of it, the last person in the DCU I'd want to get on the bad side of is Kyle Rayner, given the Guardian's treatment of him in GLC: Recharge #1. He's a big man at Oa right now, and the Green Lantern Corps is swelling to about 7200 members to be the police force of the universe. And we all know how ex-girlfriends of cops get treated when they get pulled over. "Ma'am, it looks like you have a broken *SMASH* taillight on your spacestation. 100 Deneb-buck fine"

I hope she hooks up with Roy instead, and runs off with him to Outsiders obscurity so I never have to see either stupid character again!

Or, she can become a Green Lantern villainess. Why not? She's already conflicted with the two lead characters of the franchise! And she was able to smash through Jennie Hayden and Hal Jordan's constructs easily. Though, I think Kyle would be the one to come up with a way around that.

Hmm... According to Phil Jiminez interviews, she is getting some new, important role in the DCU during Infinite Crisis that separates her from the Wonder Woman Mythos -- and Geoff Johns helped come up with it! Maybe she will be a new Green Lantern villainess after the dust settles. Donna Troy, Inter-galactic Outlaw! I think I could grow to like her evil. She'd at least have personality, if only evil personality!



And, now, as a reward for reading through that, some funny stuff:

Kyle Rayner Fans, try here, here, and here.

I feel incredibly guilty for laughing at this. If you are of a conservative political bent, I suggest you scroll to the Green Section before turning away in disgust.

I actually don't feel guilty for laughing at this at all.

Memorable Quotes from JLA.

Guy Gardner actually comes off pretty nicely in this 1998 Fan-fiction.

Aquaman comes off as impressive in the last JLA.

9 comments:

  1. Wow. That may be the first time I've actually enjoyed reading anything about Donna Troy! (Randy hates me for saying this.)

    Thanks for the kind words, and keep up the good reviews, too!

    (Green Lantern totally rocks. I have much love for the lanterns. Does it worry you as much as it does myself that Gibbons is writing the Recharge mini?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really? Thanks! It's really cool of you to drop by, I love you guys' blog!

    (I'm willing to give Gibbons a shot, because RTW is so obviously a 10-issue story crammed into 6. Not his full potential, and when you reread the Kyle parts, everything but the "Great Guardians" line is explainable -- Kyle's under pressure so he's putting on space-cop bravado, he's repeating something complex Kilowog said off-panel -- So far Recharge is fun, so I'll follow until it becomes unreadable.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bwahahahaha... Awesome, dear. Very very funny. I'm gonna probably gank some of your links for distribution, but not tonight, I'm tired.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Followed this link from the ComicBloc board... hilarious essay! I thought I was the only person that hated Donna Troy... she's so saccharine and annoying, and you're right about her having terrible taste in men. Can you say, "Terry Long"? Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aaron Kashtan (Sir Tim Drake)October 7, 2005 at 4:37:00 PM GMT+2

    Hey Pat,

    It seems like your impression of Donna was formed by the way she's been portrayed in the last decade or so. I would have to agree that the Donna of Ron Marz, John Byrne and Devin Grayson is a pretty horrible character.

    But I have to ask, are you familiar with the classic versions of the character? The Donna Troy of Nick Cardy, Marv Wolfman and George Perez was a totally different and much more interesting person.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've only read a one-issue "Who is Donna Troy" from that era. It was a pretty emotional situation, so I can't really hold it against the character that she was crying, but it doesn't turn me away from my view of her as weepy and (as the commentator above pointed out) sacchrine.

    If she really was cool enough to warrant her rabid fan-base, then it's a really shame what's happened to her since Zero Hour.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Who dumps a guy like Kyle 'Custom Designed for a Romantic Relationship' Rayner for Roy 'Nice boots, let's knock them!' Harper?"

    Welllllll .... Knowing that I'm going to get flamed (or insulted) for saying it, I can think of a few women I've known ... and know. And I'm not necessarily refering to anyone I dated. People have judgement lapses. For Donna Troy, it's a little easier, since she's a fictional character dancing to someone else's beat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dammit, I want to disagree with you like you asked but I really hate Donna Troy so I can't do it. I did like her in the original Teen Titans series from the 60s though!

    ReplyDelete
  9. And, of course, Roy Harper's kid died.

    This Deadman I've seen kicking around on scans_daily in the Brightest Night solicits had better bring her back. And Ted.

    ReplyDelete