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Wonder Girl/Donna Troy

DCD Infinite Crisis
by Artemis

Donna Troy was created by mistake, by a writer who hadn't done his homework and assumed - wrongly - that "Wonder Woman" and "Wonder Girl" were separate people, like Batman and Robin, rather than the same person at different ages. That was back in 1965, so he was probably high. Since then Donna's origin has been retconned into continuity, then retconned again, wiped clean, re-written, retconned, re-retconned, Hypertimed, Superboy-punched, probably Hyperfly-bitten... I guess DC decided that "oops!" was the defining characteristic of her original origin, and have kept that through every incarnation since.

Donna wasn't really important to Infinite Crisis, except in one of those interminable and ultimately incidental miniseries, but presumably one continuity clusterfarm deserves another, so she got not one but two showings in the attached action figure line. The first - chronologically-speaking, that is, though so far as Infinite Crisis is concerned it's a flashback - is Wonder Girl, sporting a costume that dates back to Teen Titans #20-something, when Donna ditched the "Wonder Woman Lite" look. Barring minor tweaks, it's essentially the same now (most recently in Wonder Woman (v3) Annual #1, the one Allan Heinberg turned in several millennia late) as it was then: a red sleeveless bodysuit with star decorations, a gold belt, and black bracers and boots. Though comics being comics, her neckline has plunged spectacularly since the costume's debut.

She looks good, but she could have been better. The bold primary red of her costume is nice and clean, and while the gold stars could have used a black outline to help them stand out, they don't disappear into the red as badly as they could have done, and where they catch the light they look just fine. Her boots have a well-judged finish, shiny but not too shiny, and the belt - a separate piece - fits pretty snugly on her hips, and is well detailed. The bodysuit isn't purely a paint application, as there are sculpted edges around the neckline, but with the "suit" and "skin" portions of the sculpt being on the same plane, the bodysuit winds up looking unusually skin-tight - there's no way, if it were real, we wouldn't be seeing nipples through that, and don't even start on down below.

The shoulders are a strange area - the neck and cleavage are, so far as I can judge, cast in colour, with the exact same tone and finish as the face and arms, but the shoulders are painted, giving them a flatter finish and going more towards the yellow end of Caucasian skin tones. They're not painted very cleanly, either - the outer edges of the bodysuit shoulder straps are not good work. On the plus side, (easy to overlook but quite impressive when you spot it) is the gloss work on her fingernails, which really helps her long, slender hands look right.

Her face is quite lovely, and between the basic shape, the porcelain pale skin, the ruby red lips, and the elegant wave hairstyle, has a bit of a '30s moviestar look. Her star earring (the left, the right is hidden by her hair) needed to be a much bolder red, though - as is, it's very easily lost in the black of her hair. Her eyes are good work, but given the way the sculpt forces her head to be tilted forward no matter what, it's a shame the eyes weren't painted to be looking up slightly, to even everything out.

DC Direct's never great with articulation, and in the case of Wonder Girl, it hurts her badly. She's got a pretty extreme "superheroine pin-up" pose to begin with, with her hip thrust out provocatively, her back arched to show off her wonder girls, and her right leg tilted outwards to show a nice thigh. Her balljoint neck is, as I said, of very limited use - she can look side to side (invariably downwards) a bit, and tilt further down if you really want her to. Her legs are useless - the sculpt of her bottom keeps her hips from rotating back at all, and the angles they're set at make it next to impossible to use the hip and knee joints more than a fraction without it looking ridiculous. She has boot-top swivels though, which are handy for fine-tuning her pre-set pose. Her arms suffer the worst: to make her bare shoulders look decent, the balls are recessed into the torso, but unlike NECA (which combines this with very thin upper arms), DC Direct have used standard arms, which mean they're physically incapable of being lowered past about 30° off vertical. She has pin elbows and peg wrists, but the combination of the wide shoulder stance and the static legs means there's really nothing much you can do - she's stuck standing around placidly with her arms waving about to no purpose.

On the bright side, she can do the robot dance fairly well.

She has the standard gold cord that passes for the golden lasso in every Wonder Woman and co. action figure ever made - it comes tied to a hook on her belt, but the hook has an open end, so if you wanted to you could undo it, and still have the option of replacing it just by looping it around the hook. Since her hands are incapable of holding anything, there's not much point to it though, so best to leave it where it is.

So in the end, Donna as Wonder Girl is a disappointment - she starts out with a fairly striking look, but the paintwork isn't all that it should be, and the limitations imposed by the articulation are a real kick in the head to the poor girl. Luckily, there's another version of her, offering a chance at action figure redemption.

Donna mk2 is wearing her current togs, a bodysuit that swaps the Wonder Girl red for Troia starry black - back when she first took the name Troia (nowadays she just goes by her real name) she matched it with a hideous mishmash of pseudo-Greek junk, but luckily for us she eventually thought better of it, and only the starfield-patterned tunic survived, reworked as a bodysuit identical in design to her old one, just... starry. It's quite a good look, sophisticated without being over-complicated, nicely linked to both her origins as Wonder Girl and, thematically, her current status as multiversal know-it-all (though there's a new multiverse now, so I guess her brain's out of date). Aptly enough she's a majority re-use of the Wonder Girl figure, with just a few new parts, including head, arms, a choker, and a new belt.

The face is pretty good work, managing a very different look to the Wonder Girl version. The hairstyle is more modern-looking, and covering her forehead goes a long way to making her distinct from her earlier incarnation. The facial paint apps are more or less the same, as is the sculpt underneath, but with the hair predisposing her to look up rather than down, it carries off a convincing illusion of being a different character.

Obviously it's the costume colours that mainly set her apart - the starfield effect is approximated by matte black with a speckling of silver, with different-sized splotches faking the look of brighter and dimmer stars. On close inspection it's not that great - mind you, a complex starfield on an action figure at this price point was never going to be terrific - but at a glance, it does a decent job of suggesting her actual costume. Her off colour is silver, and it's applied consistently on the boots, belt, bracers and armbands. She has the same shoulder paint problem as the Wonder Girl version, though the black costume bleaches out the skin tone, making it a little less obvious.

With the same body as Wonder Girl, Donna Troy naturally has the same articulation, with one exception - bicep swivels. These make the arms actually useful, since they can turn her elbow joints inwards, allowing her to fake lowering her arms a bit, even if she still can't really do it. The publicity photos of the Wonder Girl version has bicep swivels too, so I can't imagine why they took them away. The more useful arms, along with the head being able to look around a bit more - the only severe limitation is the hair against her right shoulder, keeping her from turning her head that way - mean she's actually capable of being posed a bit. Whee.

Donna Troy doesn't have a lasso, so she gets the Volleyball of Exposition instead. This used to belong to Harbinger, whose role Donna briefly assumed during the 52 year, and the artificial intelligence within the sphere basically serves to try to explain DC history to poor Donna, who surely can't have done anything so awful as to deserve that. The Volleyball is the same silver as Donna's other accessories - though in every appearance I've seen, it's gold, so "oops" again - and is mounted on a clear plastic stand, so as to keep it hovering just below waist-high.

Both Donnas come with the same Infinite Crisis base, and are kept upright by a single peg that fits into the right foot. The peg - removable - is very tight in both the foot and the base, so (unlike the notoriously loose 52 bases of similar design) Donna will remain standing no matter what happens to her. The bases manage to look pretty good too, with the yellow-orange gradient painted onto the clear plastic from beneath, and the black outline applied to the top.

So that's Donna Troy, DC's most successful clerical error. And continuing her long, proud tradition of being an editorial screw-up, she recently starred in Countdown to Final Crisis, which was effectively retconned away before it had even finished being published, and is now appearing in the current incarnation of Titans, which is no great shakes itself, so no doubt she can look forward to further ill-conceived "new directions" in the future. Some things never change.


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