The legendary artist/writer George Perez sadly passed away on May 6 with complications arising from pancreatic cancer. This devastating news actually hit me quite hard as it was George’s Wonder Woman comics run in the eighties that first introduced me to the Themysciran Titan, and ultimately made me fall in love with the character.
George Perez is one of the most popular and acclaimed artists of the past half century, with his extensive run on Wonder Woman in the 1980’s being a defining moment not just in his own artistic career but also for the character herself. His reboot of Diana began with the 1987 issued – Wonder Woman #1, George was the main artist and plotted the series for its first two year run, then went on to write it for a further three, with his take on Wondy and her pantheon of allies and villains hailed as the greatest and most significant version of the characters since the original creation team of William Marston and Harry Peter in the 1940’s.
In 1980, George alongside fellow comic-book legend, Marv Wolfman, launched – The New Teen Titans, rebooting the classic sixties series and creating new characters to add to the roster of the team of teen sidekicks – Starfire, Raven and Cyborg, and also anti-hero mercenary – Deathstroke. It was also during this run that Dick Grayson finally stepped out of The Batman’s shadow and shed his Robin persona to become the peerlessly popular Nightwing.
George was born in New York City in June 1954, and was always destined to be an artist and started drawing from the tender age of five years old. At the age of twenty he took a job as a studio assistant at Marvel Comics, with his first published work appearing in Astonishing Tales #25 in 1974. George continued to work for Marvel until 1980 when he moved over to DC Comics, with his first artistic endeavour drawing the Flash back up tale – Firestorm. In 1985 after close to five years working on The New Teen Titans, he started work on DC’s massive crossover event – Crisis On Infinite Earths, the criss-crossing maxi-series that would end up altering the DC Universe dramatically for years to come, when this came to an end George went on to his career defining run On Wonder Woman and cemented his place in Comic-Book history.
Thank you George for all the joy and wonderment you have brought to me personally throughout your astonishing career, without you I may never have fallen in love with the many characters I hold dear today, most especially Wonder Woman, it was your iconic run that endeared Diana to me more than any character previous to her and for this reason alone, you will always be my most beloved comic creator of all time, rest in peace good sir.
Our Thoughts Go Out To George’s Family And Friends At This Sad Time.
Hey there fellow Agents of Precinct1313 and welcome to another episode of V-Log1313. Now, you may remember in a previous vid we unboxed the astonishingly adorable Amanda Conner variant of our favourite fiery alien Princess- Starfire, well this episode we shall be delving into the world of one of her legendary co-creators, glorious George Perez, with a sterling statue based upon his astounding artwork from a classic comic cover of the consummate 80’s title – The New Teen Titans. And so, without further ado, let the unboxing commence…
Thanks for watching fellow fans of fantastic fiction, our next unboxing vid will star the one, and only – Donna Troy, also known as Wonder Girl! so stay tuned for in one short month Donna will be Golden Lassoing her way into the Precinct’s vicarious video vaults in readiness for her placement on the fabled Superlative Shelf of Superhero Statues!
Meanwhile, in the 1960’s… Donna Troy’s past is a hotbed of alternate paths, though she is often mistaken as the original holder of the title of Wonder Girl, it was actually Wonder Woman herself that was the source of that character, as put forward by Robert Kanigher during his early 60’s run on Wonder Woman. Wonder Girl during the iconic Kanigher series of issues was actually awesome adolescent Amazon, Princess Diana, brought forward in time to adventure alongside her grown up self, with help from Wonder Tot (yes… really!) and Queen Hippolyta.
The title of Wonder Girl has actually been held by four different characters over the course of Wonder Woman’s extensive run, though only three of them are officially canon as legitimate versions in DC Universe legend. Donna was actually the second holder of the title, making her first appearance in 1965, and was later succeeded by Cassandra Sandsmark in 1996. The other character to briefly hold the moniker was Drusilla, a small role that took place during issues #182 – #184 in the very late 60’s, this is the version of Wonder Girl that was actually featured in the 70’s Lynda Carter starring Wonder Woman television series, played by Debra Winger.
But it is Donna who generally comes to mind whenever Wonder Girl is referred to, similar to how most fans see Babs Gordon as the definitive Batgirl, even though Betty Kane held the title many years before her. And if all that seems mildly confusing… then welcome to the rabbit hole that is Donna’s multiple origin stories, take a deep breath my amazing Amazonian associates for we are about to venture forth into said hole, to ultimately discover… Who Is Donna Troy?
Donna made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60 in 1965, as a member of the sidekick superteam – Teen Titans, which primarily consisted of Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash.
It was Marv Wolfman who first proffered an origin tale for Donna in Teen Titans #22 in 1969. The story established that Donna was human orphan who was saved by Wonder Woman from a devastating fire. Diana, unable to find any parents or guardians for Donna, adopted her and took her to Themyscira, where she was trained by the Amazons and eventually given super powers through the mysterious Purple Ray, which successfully transferred powers from the island’s Amazon inhabitants, it was during this issue that she adopted the name of Donna Troy.
Classic 1985 mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths redefined many DC characters in a company wide reboot, including Donna’s genesis. In this new variant of her history it was actually the mythical Titan Rhea that rescued Donna from the fire. Donna is raised on New Cronus by the Titans, alongside eleven other orphans receiving legendary powers, with each orphan named after a famous Greek city, with Troy being chosen for Donna. She also adopted the new pseudonym of Troia and a new Darkstar costume which contained the immeasurable power of the Titans themselves.
Post Crisis on Infinite Earths, Donna’s creation was changed once again. In this new concept, Donna was a magically created duplicate of Wonder Woman created by the sorceress Magala, as a playmate for WW. Being mistaken for Diana herself by the villainous Dark Angel, Donna is kidnapped, and cursed to consecutively live out virtually endless variations of past lives, with each defined by varying degrees of torment and misery. She was later saved from this endless cycle of suffering by Diana, Hippolyta and the third version of the Flash, Wally West. Realising that Donna was created from a sliver of Diana’s anima, Queen Hippolyta accepted her as a daughter, and during a coronation held on Themyscira, announced Troia as a second Princess to the Amazon nation.
DC Comics, seemingly not content with having only three (!?) variants of Donna’s complicated past decided that a fourth version was necessary, which resulted in the 2005 released mini-series The Return of Donna Troy, though this four issue run did attempt to clear up Donna’s multiple origin tales and give the fans a definitive version of their second favourite Amazon warrior.
Through this titanic tale, she realised she was an amalgamation of multiple Donna Troys from across DC’s multiverse, retaining knowledge and memories from each and every variant of herself.
And just when you think that DC had confused poor old Donna enough, along came their 2011 reboot The New 52. Once again DC fundamentally changed their slew of Superheroes’ background storylines, including that of Ms Troy.
Initially Donna is nowhere to be found during this rambunctious reboot, with the most recent version of Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark taking centre stage at the forefront of the Amazon acolytes. It was much later, in the pages of Meredith and David Finch’s take on Wonder Woman, that Donna re-emerged into Amazon mythology with an origin rather similar to an earlier tale. Created in Wonder Woman’s image by her enemies, Donna’s job was to usurp the Amazon princess and wrest control, but is ultimately defeated by Diana, which sets her on a path of some serious soul searching.
“Suffering Sappho” are you confused,and perplexed enough thus far!? well nevertheless it isn’t over yet for luckless Donna and her multiple choice past. In 2016, DC’s Rebirth ushered in another soft reboot of their unique universe and with it another obligatory Donna variable! We can but hope that this time Donna can finally have some closure on her convoluted origin story, but I wouldn’t put money on it…