WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Titans Season 1 episode "Donna Troy," streaming now on DC Universe.
To call Donna Troy's comic book history convoluted would be a serious understatement. The one-time Wonder Girl was introduced as Wonder Woman's younger sister, only to later be depicted as an orphan rescued by the superhero and raised on Paradise Island. But that was before Wonder Woman's timeline was rebooted in 1987, severing her connection to Donna, whose own origin -- and alter ego -- was changed again and again. That left fans to wonder which version of the character would arrive on DC Universe's Titans.
They will undoubtedly be happy to know she's the original Wonder Girl, more or less. As she was for decades in DC comics, she's the adoptive sister of Wonder Woman who was raised by the Amazons on Themyscira. And on Titans she isn't "Troia" or "Darkstar"; she is (or at least was) most definitely Wonder Girl. However, she's hung up the costume -- they're too expensive to burn, she chides Dick Grayson -- even if she hasn't entirely turned her back on fighting crime.
This week's episode of Titans, the aptly named "Donna Troy," immediately establishes that she's Wonder Woman's former sidekick, and the sister Dick (Brenton Thwaites) never had. We're introduced to her in flashback, as a teen Donna pays a surprise visit to Wayne Manor to hang out with the Boy Wonder, shaken from an encounter with The Joker, but instead winds up playing his sounding board and conscience. It's a role she continues through the years. ("Why the hell do you always have to be right?" a frustrated young Robin asks. "Because I'm older, smarter and prettier than you," she responds.)
Portrayed by Conor Leslie, it's Donna an adult Dick seeks out after he's walked away from his Robin identity and (seemingly) said farewell to Rachel, Gar and Kory. Funny, self-assured and unbelievably patient with Dick, his baggage and his social inadequacies, she's a Donna Troy that longtime DC comics readers will immediately recognize. She's even a photographer, like in Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans, and the apparent toast of Chicago's arts scene.
And, yes, she has superpowers. As we saw in the episode promo, Donna offers Dick the use of her sofa, as long as he still has game -- which he must demonstrate by following her leap over a truck and down a narrow alley. She breaks out the super-strength later, when Dick intercedes in her investigation of an animal-trafficking ring.
However, her greatest power may be her willingness to guide Dick through not only through inner conflicts but also through awkward social encounters. She serves as an example of a well-adjusted former teen sidekick -- of what he can be. In the process, Donna also helps to illustrate the difference between Wonder Woman and Batman. Well, a difference.
"You know, when Diana took me in," she tells Dick, "she showed me how to fill the hole that fire left in my life with love and with family. That's just what the Amazons do. They have a tradition of empowerment and self-discovery. Bruce filled that hole in your life the only way he knew how: with rage and violence. Wonder Woman was born to protect the innocent; Batman was created to punish the guilty. But we're not them -- neither one of us. I didn't quit being Wonder Girl. I just realized I could do more good being Donna Troy."
Now streaming on DC Universe, Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven and Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, and guest starring Conor Leslie as Donna Troy.