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The Comics That Likely Led to Wonder Girl Joining the Teen Titans

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

Recently, there was an article on CBR about how the Titans TV show handled the origins of Donna Troy. Kevin Melrose explained:

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.

My friend Sam took issue with this, as the first time we meet Wonder Girl in the comics, she was simply a younger version of Wonder Woman. However, Kevin knew that, he was just explaining the origin of the Donna Troy Wonder Woman, the character who made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60, where she was a member of the Teen Titans for the first time (the team got their name for the first time in that issue). Kevin is absolutely correct that in Wonder Girl's first appearance as a distinct character (years before she was officially given the name Donna Troy), she was specifically Wonder Woman's sister, as we see her calling Hippolyta her mother...

After I explained this to Sam, I noticed something fascinating. For years, people have given Bob Haney a bit of a hard time over the fact that he used a character who technically did not exist as part of the Teen Titans. From a description of the Donna Troy Wonder Girl on Comic Book DB:

The character probably never would have come into existence had the writer of her first appearance, Bob Haney, actually been a careful reader of Wonder Woman (1942). He believed that the Wonder Girl depicted there was a different person—in the same way that Kid Flash and Aqualad were distinct from The Flash and Aquaman. Thus, he included an un-named "Wonder Girl" in the pages of The Brave and the Bold #60 without giving the matter a great deal of thought. He even had the temerity to include Wonder Woman in his story, which would've caused faithful readers of Wonder Woman a great deal of confusion at the time.

However, looking at the Wonder Woman comic books that came out around the time that Haney would have been writing Brave and the Bold #60, though, things aren't nearly as clear cut as all that. I don't think that it is necessarily fair to knock Haney for not being a "careful reader" of Wonder Woman.

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