WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Titans #30 by Dan Abnett, Minkyu Yung, John Dell, Scott Hanna, Adriano Lucas, Hi-Fi and Dave Sharpe, on sale now.
In the latest volume of DC's Titans, the inexperienced team has struggled to live up to the expectations of the Justice League, but not for a lack of trying. Tasked by Batman, Nightwing tried to rally Donna Troy, Miss Martian, Beast Boy, Raven and Steel as a unit, but this new iteration of Titans just hasn't been clicking.
With Nightwing having been shot by the KGBeast and taken out of commission due to severe brain trauma-induced amnesia, the team has been thrown into further disarray. But rather than taking the time to recover, they were immediately plunged back into action in "Drowned Earth," only to be marooned on a mysterious alien planet. It's here the Titans finally get some downtime and come together to appoint their new leader: Donna aka Wonder Girl.
Now, this is Donna's first time as the sole leader of the squad. In the past, she's co-led or been seen as Dick Grayson's deputy, but now it's all on her. In Titans #30 Miss Martian reveals why the team voted to elect her. Donna has the experience after working with the Titans before this version, and she is a commander and soldier, despite what even she thinks.
Donna's past has been retconned quite a lot, perhaps more than any other DC hero, shaping her as Wonder Woman's sister, then as an orphan the Amazons took in, but what's clear is she's always been groomed as a leader. Following DC Rebirth, that hasn't changed, and the young squad recognizes this, looking up to her just as much as they did Nightwing. After Garth (Aqualad) tried and failed to take control of the team, they all realized they needed someone who knew their strengths and weaknesses, and could empathize with all of them.
Despite the squad all being strangers, she fits the bill as a big sister. Miss Martian, even though she's the League liaison to the Titans, doesn't feel she's responsible enough, Beast Boy is still in his formative stage, Raven's lost her soul to a mysterious realm, and Steel's a newcomer. In other words, Donna has no choice but to step up as she's the only person fit to lead, which she ironically told Dick she didn't want to do when the League was forming this crew to investigate the leaking energy from the Source Wall following Justice League: No Justice.
It's high praise for her to win this vote, as the squad has been at each other's throats recently. That friction seems to have lessened, although the challenges ahead for Donna are pretty intriguing and should bring more bickering. She's still doubting herself as she also admits she lost another former Titan in Roy Harper, who she was in love with, and of course, we must remember Wally West (another close friend from their time in the Teen Titans) died too in Heroes in Crisis. These deaths are hitting her hard, and recently she was seen drinking and becoming more violent, so this leadership comes at a crucial time when she's balancing her emotions with being a mature hero.
Donna's definitely pondering if death will be her legacy with the team, as it seems to be all she can associate the Titans with presently. Looking for a way home, though, Kyle Rayner arrives to help them out. She's had a very close relationship with the Green Lantern, and they both led a superhero squad together during the 52 comics in 2006, so his arrival seems very serendipitous.
Donna needs a confidence booster, as well as a kindred spirit to help her cope and remind her she is a Wonder Womant. Because with the road ahead, the Titans are going to need that if they're to truly evolve into a replacement Justice League.