Comic fans the world over were waiting for Donna Troy's New 52 debut -- and the power she would possess -- and writer Meredith Finch and her husband, superstar artist David Finch, returned her to ongoing continuity last month on the final page of "Wonder Woman" #37, the power couple's second issue on the best-selling series from DC Comics.
With a completely new origin, CBR News connected with the Finches to discuss the updated version of the popular character originally introduced by writer Bob Haney and artist Bruno Premiani as Teen Titans member Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman's younger sister, in "The Brave and the Bold" #60 (July 1965) alongside Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad.
In the New 52, Donna Troy has been created from clay, much like Wonder Woman's original origin conceived by William Moulton Marston, and is essentially Wonder Woman without a heart, according to David Finch. Donna Troy is also being re-introduced into the mythos as a "potential" villain for Wonder Woman, so don't expect a new team-up title from DC Comics like "Wonder Woman & Donna Troy" anytime soon.
Meredith Finch also shared her thoughts on the mixed reviews "Wonder Woman" #36 received and knowing full well that making directional changes to the series after the landmark, recently completed run by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang would not be unanimously accepted.
CBR News: I don't oft quote Miss Taylor Swift but "players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate." Your first issue received mixed reactions -- mostly positive -- from reviewers and readers but there is no denying that the action was full throttle. Do you read (and react to) reviews and reader posts online or do you just tell the story you want to tell?
Meredith Finch: I think that reviews can be an important part of generating buzz and interest in both new and existing projects. Wonder Woman is a character with a very strong fan base and we are taking this book in a very different direction from both a story and art perspective. It is natural that people will have an opinion about that. At the end of the day, I really just have to focus on the story that I want to tell. I think that if I tried to make everyone happy, I would end up making no one happy, including myself.
Having now worked on the series for a few months, have your views and understanding of Wonder Woman changed?
Meredith Finch: I think that it is natural to develop an affinity for a character as you go along. With each issue, I feel like I have a better feel for Diana's voice. It also helps that more of what I'm trying to develop with the character has been written now. I have a good feel for how she is moving emotionally through this arc.
David, can you speak specifically about Wonder Woman's look and feel and what you are aiming to deliver art-wise in the pages of "Wonder Woman?"
David Finch: Like every project I ever do, I just try to do the best work that I can.
Have you altered your aesthetic vision of the character since you started planning your run?
David Finch: I find over time, when I'm working on a project, subtle changes happen, just as a result of getting to know the character.
Perhaps even more than Superman, Wonder Woman has always fought to fit into our world. In your first arc, she now finds herself unable to find her place on Paradise Island. In terms of world-building, how have you interpreted the zeitgeist of the Amazonians and what makes Diana an outsider in her own world?
Meredith Finch: The Amazons are a culture that has actively sought to insulate themselves from the outside world. History tells us that anytime that happens a culture will begin to atrophy and stagnate. When Diana was just an Amazonian princess it was much easier for her to overlook problems within the society. They were her mother's problems to deal with. Now that she is queen, she is much more invested in what is happening on Paradise Island and I think it becomes much more apparent to her, just how different her world view is relative to the Amazons, especially after spending so much time in the human world.
Obviously, the big moment in "Wonder Woman" #37 was the reveal on the final page of Donna Troy making her New 52 debut. Did you have a familiarity with the character before this arc?
Meredith Finch: I really didn't. I usually tend to read whatever Dave is working on and then whatever looks good in the box of comps. Being a relative newcomer to comics and the entire DC Universe I had certainly heard of Donna Troy -- conventions are great ways to expand your comic repertoire -- but I really didn't know much about the character.
Solicitations for upcoming issues tease "the Amazons have chosen a new queen to lead them" and "Wonder Woman faces a challenger to her throne created solely to defeat her." We're talking Donna here, right?
Meredith Finch: We are definitely talking about Donna Troy.
Again from future solicitations, Donna is teased as a "foe whose every strength is matched to her every weakness." Donna Troy has a huge -- and very vocal -- following. How do you go about making her a complete character as opposed to a Diana knockoff, which has been a problem in the past?
Meredith Finch: I think the fact that Donna is being reinvented as a potential villain goes a long way toward creating a very different character from what she once was. When I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to bring Donna back into the DCU I researched her various origin stories. I wanted to allude to what had gone before but still create something fresh. Right now, Donna is a blank slate and I'm really looking forward to developing her as a character as our story progresses.
David, what can you share about Donna's look and again, what differentiates her aesthetically from Diana?
David Finch: Meredith referred to Donna as a blank slate, which is really what she is, coming out of the caldron. She is a canvas for Derinoe and the other Amazons to write upon. In these first few appearances, I've really tried to emphasize that. She isn't really attached or bonded to anything or anyone yet and she has been created from clay much like Wonder Woman's original origin. I'm really trying to present Donna right now as an echo. Essentially she's Wonder Woman, without the heart.
Finally, I love the overwhelming creepiness of the sorceress who brings Donna to life. Can you confirm who she is and whether or not you can, what can you tease about her character moving forward? And where did you ever come up with that design, Dave?
David Finch: The sorceress is Hecate. I looked at a lot of Greek art and different depictions of her and then really tried to do a modern interpretation that pulled together a few different versions with my own spin. I love getting the opportunity to design characters that have a really dark and creepy feel to them.
"Wonder Woman" #38 by Meredith and David Finch is available now.