Friday, April 27, 2018

TITANS Casts Conor Leslie as Wonder Girl

Who is Donna Troy?  Well, as it happens...

Heroic Hollywood is reporting that the upcoming DC Comics digital service series Titans has cast Conor Leslie as Donna Troy, better known to Titans fans as the superhero Wonder Girl.  Leslie joins Brenton Thwaits as Nightwing, Teagan Croft as Raven, Anna Diop as Starfire, Ryan Potter as Beast Boyand Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly as Hawk and Dove.

A previous casting description for a "Ruth Gibbs", believed to be a false name for Donna Troy, stated the Titans character is "Confident and kick ass" and "Educated."  "Ruth Gibbs" was also to be a "recurring guest star this season with an option for series regular next season."

Leslie, 27, is probably best known as Sarah Ellis in the Fox drama Shots Fired, and has appeared in episodes of Elementary, The Man in the High Castle, The Blacklist, Other Space, Hawaii Five-O (2014), Revenge, Rizzoli & Isles, No Ordinary Family, 90210, Law & Order, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  In addition, she's appeared in the movies Parts per Billion, Chained, and Beware the Gonzo.

Created in 1965 by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani, Donna Troy first appeared as Wonder Girl in The Brave and the Bold (vol.1) #60.  She was introduced as Wonder Woman's younger sister, who leaves Paradise Island to become a member of the Teen Titans, consisting of Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), and Aqualad (Garth).

In 1969, writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gil Kane created an origin for Wonder Girl in Teen Titans (vol.1) #22, which introduced the character's new costume.  This story established Wonder Girl's origin as a non-Amazon orphan, rescued by Wonder Woman from an apartment building fire.  Unable to find any parents or family, Wonder Woman brought the child to Paradise Island, where she eventually was given Amazon powers by Paula Von Gunther's Purple Ray.  Donning the new costume, Wonder Girl adopted the secret identity of Donna Troy.

After joining a new incarnation of the Teen Titans, Donna's origin was expanded in the 1984' story "Who is Donna Troy?" featured in The New Teen Titans (vol.1) #38.  In the story by Wolfman and George PérezRobin investigated the events surrounding the fire from which his old friend had been rescued as a toddler, discovering that Donna's birth mother was Dorothy Hinckley, a dying unwed teen who had placed her for adoption.  After Donna's adoptive father Carl Stacey had been killed in a work-related accident, her adoptive mother Fay Stacey placed her for adoption again, unable to raise the toddler because of mounting expenses.  However, Donna became victim to a child selling racket, which ended with the racketeers dying in a fire.  With Robin's help, Donna was reunited with Fay, who had married Hank Evans and given birth to two additional children, Cindy and Jerry.

Over the years, Donna's origin was revamped a number of times, primarily to sever the character's ties to the Amazons.  In one version, Donna remembered being rescued from a fire by the goddess Rhea who, being one of the mythological Titans, brought her to New Cronus and raised her as one of twelve Titan Seeds, orphans from various planets who would have died if Rhea had not saved them.  Each one was given the name of a place that worshiped the Titans, and Donna was given the last name of Troy in homage to the ancient city.  She was returned to Earth at age thirteen, where her memories of New Cronus were erased until such a time that she would return and take her place among the Seeds as gods.  In another, she was created to be a playmate for the young Wonder Woman by the sorceress Magala, who used a magical mirror to create a duplicate of Diana, though with her own personality.  She was abducted by Dark Angel who mistook her for the real Diana, and cursed her to experience a cycle of countless tragic lives, given the name Donna Troy as a cruel joke to her origins.  

In a third recent version, she was an Amazon created by a sorcerer, Derinoe, as an attempt to usurp Diana's place as queen, replacing her with a new ruler.  However, in the current DC Rebirth continuity, the two accounts of Donna's history — recent magical creation or longtime ally of Wonder Woman — were reconciled, revealing that Donna was created out of clay to destroy Wonder Woman, but the Amazons later gave her false memories of being an orphan rescued by Wonder Woman.  This allowed Donna to be more than a living weapon, and to establish a stable life.  She has become a member of the current incarnation of the Titans, reunited with her longtime friends from the original Teen Titans.

Leslie will be the second woman to portray Wonder Girl in live action, after Debra Winger in the '70s Wonder Woman television series, although the character was named Drusilla instead of Donna.  The character has also appeared in the animated projects The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (voiced by Julie Bennett) and Super Best Friends Forever (voiced by Grey DeLisle)

Titans is expected to debut on the DC Universe digital service sometime in 2018.

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