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  1. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRaymond View Post
    You gotta have some deep comics intel to think of a dead Russian mutant that wasn’t part of a highlighted franchise.
    To be honest, she just reappeared - alive - in the Iceman comic book, as part of a reunion of his version of the Champions. But she certainly comes and goes quickly.
    Doctor Bifrost

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  2. #107
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    Was Lydea ever called Darkstar? I know her mother was.
    The wiki said she used it as part of L.E.G.I.O.N. But she was one of the people Brainiac 2 co-opted into joining.

    In any case, I don't think that another character, or group of characters, have used the name (or even, are using the name) is an insuperable obstacle to calling Donna "Dark Star." Although I understand that people who considered those other characters to be of great importance might not like it.

    It is not the least bit unusual that multiple characters in the DC have the same name - not just characters like the Flashes, but quite distinct characters. Even among the O5 Titans:

    - There was an earlier character named Tempest (Joshua Clay of the Doom Patrol).

    - I can name six characters other than Dick Grayson who used the name Nightwing who weren't even borrowing the name from Dick. (Superman in Kandor, from whom Dick originally took the name. Van-Zee in Kandor, who took it from Superman. A Kryptonian vigilante from several centuries ago, who the writers created to "explain" Dick's choice after the Kandor story was no longer in continuity. Chris Kent, artificially aged. A Kryptonian lesser deity, who Chris Kent got extra power from. Power Girl, also in Kandor. And Superman used the name again on a fake Krypton created by Brainiac 13, but I won't count him twice.)

    - Arsenal was the name of more than one Doom Patrol villain.

    Outside the O5 Titans (and just to name two relevant examples), there are a number of Flamebirds attached to some of the various Nightwings.

    And there is a whole "organization" of Manhunters created by the Guardians of the Galaxy before they created the Green Lantern Corps. But there are also a number of quite various characters named Manhunter, who generally existed in the same continuity.
    A problem with your analysis is that while many people have used the names Nightwing or Flamebird... (directly or indirectly) they all did it because of the Kryptonian deities. One pair of them was even possessed by those entities! So while Chris Kent didn't use it because Dick Grayson used it, both of them named themselves after the Kryptonian deity. Yes, really, Dick Grayson (indirectly) named himself after a Kryptonian deity. Oooh! diagram time!
    NightwingDiagram.jpg
    So, yeah, there are 9 entities to use the name, but 8 of them used it because someone else did. So it's all connected together in-universe.

    Also... some of the people who used the name Manhunter used it because of the others.
    Personally? Because I think it's an attractive name that fits certain versions of her costume (versions I like), and reflects her celestial/deific connections as well. And because she did use it in a previous continuity, so there's a symbolic connection. But of course I'd come up with a completely different in-continuity reason for her choosing it. (And have offered one.)
    Yeah... that would be confusing. Like if Kara Zor-El was to go around in her regular Supergirl outfit and call herself Nightwing.

  3. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    A problem with your analysis is that while many people have used the names Nightwing or Flamebird... (directly or indirectly) they all did it because of the Kryptonian deities.
    Superman, Van-Zee, Dick Grayson, and the otherwise unnamed Kryptonian vigilante all used the name Nightwing when, as far as any of us can tell, the Kryptonian deity did not exist in any of their various continuities - it had never been mentioned, and I can safely say the writers hadn't conceived of it yet. We can retcon or head-canon the Nightwing deity into the unexplicated history of Krypton in the Silver Age, and then claim that Superman used the name in Kandor because he remembered such an entity (and it just never came up in dialogue or thought balloons), but that's just us playing around. ("Not that there's anything wrong with that," to quote from Seinfeld.)

    In terms of what actually happened in the publication history, the deity was invented by the writers late in the game to give an explanation for the use of the name (multiple uses of the name, actually) after the old explanations were no longer in continuity, or were not considered strong enough. And of course it was used as a plot element too. If you look at it from the point of view of the writers, the Nightwing deity takes its name from the earlier characters (Superman, Van-Zee, and Dick Grayson).

    Asking "but which came first in the current continuity?" is... a little hard to answer right now. Given The New 52, Rebirth/Reborn, and Doomsday Clock, I can't even guarantee the Nightwing deity is in the current continuity. It probably is - although the most recent appearances of Rao (in The New 52, as a "parasitic false god who sustained his immortality through absorbing parts of the lifespans of his followers") makes it uncertain. Superman and Van-Zee as Nightwing in Kandor probably aren't in continuity. The Kryptonian vigilante was a stopgap measure, and may or may not ever be mentioned again.

    And a writer in 2019 could create a completely new entity (mortal character, deity, Lord of Order, whatever) to use as the basis for Dick Grayson and/or other characters to take on the name. Some days I wish DC would be a trifle more careful with its continuity. (That was meant as an ironic understatement.)

    Like if Kara Zor-El was to go around in her regular Supergirl outfit and call herself Nightwing.
    You know what? If I thought the name "Supergirl" was as poor a choice as I think the name "Troia" is, and if Supergirl were wearing a costume that was in some way in accord with the name "Nightwing," and if we were entering a new continuity (or a period of large-scale retconning), and they gave her a good in-continuity reason for using the name - I would have no problem with that whatsoever.

    ***

    Originally Dick Grayson choose the name Nightwing because it was - to simplify slightly - the name Superman used when he was acting as Batman while in Kandor. (Superman's Nightwing identity was a clear imitation of Batman, down to the Nightcave, the Nightmobile, and the Nighthound.) He chose it as an act of homage to "the two greatest heroes he knew" (I may be paraphrasing) - this was back when Superman, Batman, and Robin were a family of sorts in World's Finest every month. (A personal note: I consider that moment when Dick picks the name to be one of the great moments in DC history, precisely because of the relationships involved.)

    After Crisis on Infinite Earths, in a new continuity, Dick chose the name because Superman - who he didn't know very well, and who Batman had warned him against trusting too much (at least, that was the situation depicted at that point in the development of the post-CoIE DCU) - mentioned a hitherto unknown Kryptonian vigilante who used that name. This is a very different story, with an entirely different emotional resonance (for both the character and the readers).

    So, if Donna Troy is called "Darkstar" or "a Darkstar" in one continuity because she joins an interstellar team called the Darkstars, and if she chooses the name "Dark Star" in a later continuity for good reasons that are explained within the story, I'm not sure that's necessarily a problem.

    But that's just me. I realize that we are unlikely to agree on this, and of course you are entirely entitled to your own opinion (and you don't need me to tell you that). Thank you for an interesting discussion.
    Last edited by Doctor Bifrost; 02-05-2018 at 11:09 PM.
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  4. #109
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    And, often, an astrological/starfield motif. All combined, that doesn't fit with Dark Star?

    For my part, I strongly dislike the name Troia. All the other O5 Titans got adult names that (a) meant something in English, and (b) related to there powers and/or their appearance. Donna gets none of this. It's just a spin-off from her civilian name "Donna Troy" - but, except in the Titans of Myth origin, we don't even know where that name comes from. (And in that version, we know how she gets "Troy," but we don't know how she winds up with "Donna,"...
    Take Donna's original origin, but change the burning building into a burning Spanish galleon (maybe, sank by Elizabeth I) or some other kind of sea-going vessel, ..named 'The Donna Troy'. She's named for this vessel, somehow - think you and I agreed on that idea, awhile back. Rescued, by Wonder Woman, from a burning ship, lost in TIME, ..infant Donna was left with no world, no name and no family, but, the legendary Amazons, ..who named her for the ship, they carried her from.

    The rest is history.

    Still think she needs a cool codename that fits whatever her deal is.
    FINALLY! The greatest comic book movie, ever made... The ORIGIN of the GOLDEN AGE WONDER BOY!

  5. #110
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    Superman, Van-Zee, Dick Grayson, and the otherwise unnamed Kryptonian vigilante all used the name Nightwing when, as far as any of us can tell, the Kryptonian deity did not exist in any of their various continuities - it had never been mentioned, and I can safely say the writers hadn't conceived of it yet. We can retcon or head-canon the Nightwing deity into the unexplicated history of Krypton in the Silver Age, and then claim that Superman used the name in Kandor because he remembered such an entity (and it just never came up in dialogue or thought balloons), but that's just us playing around. ("Not that there's anything wrong with that," to quote from Seinfeld.)

    In terms of what actually happened in the publication history, the deity was invented by the writers late in the game to give an explanation for the use of the name (multiple uses of the name, actually) after the old explanations were no longer in continuity, or were not considered strong enough. And of course it was used as a plot element too. If you look at it from the point of view of the writers, the Nightwing deity takes its name from the earlier characters (Superman, Van-Zee, and Dick Grayson).
    Even though this is the Wonder Woman section and not the Superman section, for clarification . . .

    The following is from Superman #158 (January 1963)







    (NOTE: I didn't read the story when it originally came out; back in the 1970s I picked up a back-issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #140 that reprinted the story.)

  6. #111
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    That is cool. I wonder how many ways that could get retconned?

    I'll be honest, I don't really like the Troia name either. It's just that.... I like every other moniker Donna Troy has used LESS.

    Wonder Girl? Only really works for her as a teenager. Not the first one either.

    Wonder Woman? Her tenure as Wonder Woman was fine and all, but it was a lot like having Dick Grayson as Batman...

    Darkstar? Well, as I mentioned before, she was "a" Darkstar.

    Dark Angel, evil alter ego

    Fury.... another alter ego

    Which leaves Troia as the one I like most, even though I'd not rate it at more than a 5 out of 10...

  7. #112
    Mighty Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    The original one. Donna is perhaps the primary example of why you shouldnít radically change a characters origin story once itís established. Origin stories are important to superheroes, because they establish who they are and what they can do. If you hinder those elements then you donít have a character. The original origin is usually the best because itís the most simple and easy to explain. Adding to many details to an origin is usually a bad thing.

  8. #113
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    . . . I'll be honest, I don't really like the Troia name either. It's just that.... I like every other moniker Donna Troy has used LESS.

    Wonder Girl? Only really works for her as a teenager. Not the first one either.

    Wonder Woman? Her tenure as Wonder Woman was fine and all, but it was a lot like having Dick Grayson as Batman...

    Darkstar? Well, as I mentioned before, she was "a" Darkstar.

    Dark Angel, evil alter ego

    Fury.... another alter ego
    Wait . . . what run had Donna Troy going by "Fury"?

  9. #114
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    Wait . . . what run had Donna Troy going by "Fury"?
    It's an alt-U version... that I only know about by looking it up on the wiki.

    I like the idea of her being empowered by the Titans.

  10. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The original one. Donna is perhaps the primary example of why you shouldn’t radically change a characters origin story once it’s established. Origin stories are important to superheroes, because they establish who they are and what they can do. If you hinder those elements then you don’t have a character. The original origin is usually the best because it’s the most simple and easy to explain. Adding to many details to an origin is usually a bad thing.
    I largely agree, mathew101281.

    Donna Troy's original origin was pretty good. It had one problem and one gap:

    (1) Even if we're not interested in specific dates and years, there's a chronology problem. If you assume Dick Grayson was partnering with Batman pretty early in Batman's career (say, within the first three years, which I think pretty much everyone would agree on), and that he was somewhere between 8 and 14; and that Diana, as Wonder Woman, rescued and infant Donna Troy - then either Dick is roughly 5-15 years older than Donna, or Diana started her superhero career 5-15 years before Batman. And I don't think either of those flies.

    (This, of course, applies more generally to Donna and the other Teen Titans. It makes her of a somewhat later generation than them - too much so for the stories.)

    Simple solution: Hippolyta is sent to Man's World on a brief, surreptitious mission by her patron goddesses, and she's the one who rescues Donna Troy. Diana's about 10 when the infant is brought back to Themysicra. This actually strengthens Diana and Donna's sisterly relationship, since they're closer in age and get to be kids together.

    (Complicated solution: "Time flows differently on Themyscira than in Man's World..." This is the kind of thing that some writers use as a quick fix to a problem, without considering the ground rules or the implications. It opens up a whole can and worms and, if they don't actually want to deal with them, they should skip it.)

    (2) In the Silver Age you can get away with a lot. But just taking an infant that you rescued from a house fire to your distant, foreign land is a little questionable. The kid may have relatives. Foster parents who care about her. That kind of thing. How would Hippolyta know? This is the "gap" I mentioned - it's just missing some detail.

    [EDITED TO ADD: I did a little checking on the interwebs. By the time of the "Who Is Donna Tory?" arc, when Dick Grayson investigates Donna's background as a gift to her, the flashback does suggest that Wonder Woman did a little checking around, and arranged to become the child's legal guardian. I haven't found the very first version of the story yet.]

    Simple solution: flesh out Hippolyta's mission. (It might make a good 4-issue Years Past miniseries!) If, while trying to save people's lives from a rampaging flock of harpies (or whatever she's there for), she comes into contact and becomes acquainted with a police detective (who knows, maybe even the one who found the abandoned orphan child months ago), that person may be able to ascertain that the child has no known relatives, no current foster parents, etc.

    But neither of these was the real problem. The real problem was that DC didn't commit to the retcon that Donna was Diana's "kid sister," following her to Man's World to be a superhero like her, with enough appearances and stories to make it seem real. Or, rather, solid. Or rather, verisimilitudinous.

    The other O5 Teen Titans were characters we had seen fighting evil and crime, in costume, for years. We had seen their relationships with their better-known JLA mentors/guardians/aunt's boyfriend. We knew something about their lives, where they lived, who they lived with, and so on. (Admittedly the details on Aqualad were a little sketchier than the others, but still.) And even when they were in the Teen Titans, they continued to appear in adventures in their mentor's own stories.

    This gave them a sense of depth, or presence, in the DCU. For Donna, that needed to be constructed - and I don't think it ever was. Did Donna Troy/Wonder Girl ever appear as Wonder Woman's "sidekick" in Wonder Woman's own comic? I would have loved to have seen that, on a semi-regular basis. When she was living in Man's World, did Donna Troy (pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths) live with a family, foster parents, a guardian, Diana Prince? Did she have a home and go to school? If she did, I simply can't remember it. (Maybe somebody can fill me in.)

    This all conspired to make Donna Troy a more, lets us say, translucent character in the DCU at large. (This is a natural problem with retcons. Unless you put in some concerted effort to fill in the backstory with specifics, shown on the page, they can tend to fade.)

    And at some level I think that's a big part of the reason that, after CoIE, when they made changes to Diana and her mythos, it was just all too easy for editors to not think very hard about what the implications for Donna Troy were. And then to give her an entirely new origin that, among other things, severed her connection from Diana (as well as Hippolyta and the Amazons). Because, despite some fondly remembered stories like "The Marriage of Donna Troy," that connection was more conjectural and implied than it was specific and shown. As opposed to, say, Robin's connection to Batman, or Kid Flash's connection to the Flash, both of which were solid as a rock. They were never going to disconnect them.

    (Until The New 52. When Ginger Wally West vanished from reality. And Garth was introduced as a character who didn't know Aquaman and had never been Aqualad. One of the big problems of The New 52. Which they seem to be fixing now, but we'll see how much of a continuity mess it is when they're done.)

    Once that happened to Donna, I think the character was set up for a life of headache-inducing confusion as to who she really was (and/or was supposed to be), and continuity catastrophes. And the newest version, in which Donna Troy is an entity created magically from clay to be a murderous weapon, and who may not even be human in a meaningful sense, suggests to me that TPTB at DC think (out of long habit) that they can just make up anything that they want with her, and somehow she'll still be "the same character."

    It's not working so great for me. I hope that, by the end of Rebirth and Doomsday Clock, they will restore something resembling her original origin. But, based on experience, I'm not counting on it.

    But that's just me.

    (P.S. I can write a whole separate essay on the problems in the Titans of Myth origin as it was presented in the comics. I know many people like it, and I'm glad they get enjoyment out of it. But from a narrative point of view, I think it has huge gaps in it that were never addressed. But surely I've written enough for one post, so I'll spare you all for now...)
    Last edited by Doctor Bifrost; 02-07-2018 at 02:12 AM.
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  11. #116
    The Comixeur Mel Dyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The original one. Donna is perhaps the primary example of why you shouldnít radically change a characters origin story once itís established. Origin stories are important to superheroes, because they establish who they are and what they can do. If you hinder those elements then you donít have a character. The original origin is usually the best because itís the most simple and easy to explain. Adding to many details to an origin is usually a bad thing.
    These words should be bronzed. They should be on a banner in every comic book editors' office, from Manhattan to San Diego.

    I don't think anyone asked for novel-length superhero origin stories, anyway. At some point, writers thought they were too good to write about a man, who became a superhuman adventurer from falling into a tank of chemicals ..or a miracle serum, ..and that's when things went bad. Twenty years later, we wound up with Cross Gen, ..but, by then, the damage had been done. I think it was already too late.
    FINALLY! The greatest comic book movie, ever made... The ORIGIN of the GOLDEN AGE WONDER BOY!

  12. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    I largely agree, mathew101281.

    Donna Troy's original origin was pretty good. It had one problem and one gap...
    I will respond to myself to add: since I had mainly been working from memory, I just reread everything I could find in Wikipedia (and some other sources) about Donna Troy's origins and the Titans of Myth as DCU characters. (I also went over the Titans as characters in Greek myth. Amazing how little detail there is for them, and how few sources.)

    It gave me such a headache! I would hate to have to explain even a little of it to anyone not well-versed in comic-book tropes and deeply interested in just how convoluted things can become.

    I think one of the central problems is that many writers feel that, even after a reboot or major retconning, they have to include as much as they can manage from previous continuities in the history/backstory of characters in the new continuity - whether by fake memories, or merging with versions from other timelines, or other contrivances. It doesn't matter if these left-over elements - this baggage - actually serves the character, the relationships, the storyline, the universe they are trying to create, or just makes them confusing and hard to understand.

    And, really, I do understand the impulse to use "favorite" bits from previous authors - but not at the cost of the coherence of the character and the narrative; and not without really thinking through how these bits can be made to fit together organically (at least relatively speaking).

    I really hope they give Donna Troy an origin close to her original one, and only include other aspects if they're useful and make sense within the story.

    Things I had forgotten:

    (1) Rhea gave Donna the name Troia. (Thanks, Rhea! )

    (2) Late in the post-CoIE game - after Byrne's mirror-duplicate story - Donna and Diana were much closer, and even lived together for a while. But this was long after Donna's Wonder Girl career.
    Doctor Bifrost

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  13. #118
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    (1) Rhea gave Donna the name Troia. (Thanks, Rhea! )
    It made sense though. It's the sort of name I'd expect a Titan to have.

    (2) Late in the post-CoIE game - after Byrne's mirror-duplicate story - Donna and Diana were much closer, and even lived together for a while. But this was long after Donna's Wonder Girl career.
    Wasn't this around the time Donna took over as WW?

    And the newest version, in which Donna Troy is an entity created magically from clay to be a murderous weapon, and who may not even be human in a meaningful sense,
    You mean like the clay origin for WW(and Deva)? I like the idea of her being empowered by the Titans. Not as fond of her being created by them though.

  14. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    It made sense though. It's the sort of name I'd expect a Titan to have.
    Well, she's not a Titan now.

    Wasn't this around the time Donna took over as WW?
    Roughly speaking.

    You mean like the clay origin for WW(and Deva)? I like the idea of her being empowered by the Titans. Not as fond of her being created by them though.
    Most recent information is that she was created by a group of angry, anti-Diana Amazons (in the Finches' run, by way of Azzarello's take on the Amazons). I can't predict how that has mutated after "The Lies" and "The Truth."
    Doctor Bifrost

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  15. #120
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    Well, she's not a Titan now.
    She's not?



    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    Most recent information is that she was created by a group of angry, anti-Diana Amazons (in the Finches' run, by way of Azzarello's take on the Amazons). I can't predict how that has mutated after "The Lies" and "The Truth."
    "Most recent" as in pre-Rebirth/pre-Rucka version of Rebirth-Wonder Woman (though I believe I've heard that it has been referred to in post-Rebirth Titansstories?), so who knows how much of that still has to be revised?

    Hell, maybe Donna's due for a new "Who Is Donna Troy?: Lies & Truth story arc.

    Last edited by MajorHoy; 02-08-2018 at 08:15 AM.

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