The three Wonder Girls: Donna Troy, Princess Diana, Cassandra Sandsmark. Cover to Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #186 (December 2002). Art by Adam Hughes.
|First appearance||as Princess Diana
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #23 (May/June 1947)
as Donna Troy
The Brave and the Bold #60 (June/July 1965)
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #182 (June 1969)
as Cassandra Sandsmark
Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #105 (January 1996)
|Created by||Robert Kanigher|
|Wonder Girl #1 (November 2007)
Featuring the Cassie Sandsmark version of the character.
Art by Sanford Greene and Nathan Massengill.
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||November 2007 – April 2008|
|Number of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Cassandra Sandsmark|
Wonder Girl is the name of four fictional characters featured in comic books and other media produced by DC Comics. The original was a younger version of Wonder Woman as a teenager. The official second (Donna Troy) and third (Cassie Sandsmark) are protégées of Wonder Woman, and members of different incarnations of the Teen Titans. The name has also been used by Drusilla, a one-time character who appeared in 1969, and was heavily modified and featured on the Wonder Woman TV series played by Debra Winger.
Although not named Wonder Girl, a young Wonder Woman appeared as part of the character's origin story in All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941), Wonder Woman's first appearance. A teen-aged Princess Diana of the Amazons was featured in a backstory in Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #23 (May/June 1947), written by William Moulton Marston and designed by H.G. Peter.
Wonder Girl first appeared in The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman, written and edited by Robert Kanigher, in Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #105 (April 1958). In this revised Silver Age origin, it is established that Diana had in fact not been created from clay, but had been born before the Amazons settled on Paradise Island. Following this issue were several Wonder Girl adventures, and years later an additional character, Wonder Tot—Wonder Woman as a toddler—was also featured. Kanigher restored the character's made-from-clay origin in 1966.
From Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #124 (August 1961) onward, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Wonder Tot frequently appeared together in stories that were labeled "impossible tales", presented as films made by Wonder Woman's mother, Queen Hippolyta, who had the power to splice together films of herself and Diana at different ages. The characters of Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman then began to diverge, as Bob Haney wrote Wonder Girl stories that took place in the same time period as those of Wonder Woman.
Haney was developing a new group of junior superheroes, which in its first informal appearance featured a team-up of Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), and Aqualad—the sidekicks of Justice League members Batman, the Flash, and Aquaman, respectively. In their next appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60 (July 1965), they were dubbed the Teen Titans and were joined by Wonder Girl, pictured in the same frame as Wonder Woman and calling Hippolyta "mother".
The last significant appearance of Wonder Woman as a child Wonder Girl was in November 1965. In the tongue-in-cheek Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #158, the aforementioned Kanigher broke the fourth wall by having Wonder Girl and the rest of the supporting cast he had created (Wonder Tot, the Glop, Bird-Boy, Mer-Boy, Birdman, and Manno) come to the office of a "certain" editor. Protested by fans for ruining the character, Kanigher tells Wonder Girl that he does love her, along with all of his other daughters, such as Black Canary, Star Sapphire, and the Harlequin. Even so, with mounting pressure, he has no choice but to declare her retconned. Wonder Girl stoically accepts her fate as she and the others turn into drawings on Kanigher's desk. Soon after, Wonder Woman enters and is shocked to see her younger self "killed".
Regardless, Diana as a child Wonder Girl was never completely rejected. Reprints of Wonder Girl stories were occasionally included in the comic book. In issue #200, Wonder Woman, in her Diana Prince identity, is shown walking past children at play whereon she flashes back to when she was a fourteen-year-old Wonder Girl with a crush on Mer-Boy.
Wonder Girl and the other Teen Titans were next featured in Showcase #59 (December 1965) before being spun off into their own series with Teen Titans (vol. 1) #1 (February 1966). With the character called only Wonder Girl, or "Wonder Chick" by her teammates, her status as either the younger Wonder Woman displaced in the timeline or another character altogether is not explained until Teen Titans (vol. 1) #22 (August 1969). In a story by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane it is established that Wonder Girl is a non-Amazon orphan, rescued by Wonder Woman from an apartment building fire. Unable to find any parents or family, Wonder Woman brings the child to Paradise Island, where she is eventually given Amazon powers by the Purple Ray. The story ends with Wonder Girl wearing a new costume and hairstyle, adopting the secret identity Donna Troy.
As special event comics like the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis miniseries have rewritten character histories, the origin of Donna Troy has been revised several times. In brief, those origins are as follows:
Drusilla is an Amazon who appeared in Wonder Woman Vol 1, #182 to #184, in 1969, Created by Mike Sekowsky. Drusilla, was an Amazon messenger, who came to Wonder Woman (depowered at the time) with terrible news. In the dimension now hosting Paradise Island, Ares invaded the island and was attempting to force Hippolyta to give him the secret of transdimensional travel. As a last resort, Hippolyta gave Drusilla a magic amulet with the power to allow her to travel between Themyscira and Earth, and sent her to bring Diana to Themyscira and help them against Ares. Drusilla was recreated as Wonder Woman's younger sister when she was featured on the Wonder Woman tv series played by Debra Winger in 1976, and became Wonder Girl instead of Donna Troy.
Cassie Sandsmark is the daughter of Dr. Helena Sandsmark, an archaeologist, and Zeus. She has been a member of both Young Justice and the Teen Titans. Initially, her powers were derived from ancient Greek magical artifacts. Later, Zeus granted her the boon of actual powers. Her powers are similar to Wonder Woman's, though she carries a lasso that expels Zeus's lightning, which was given to her by her half-brother, Ares, the Greek god of war. When the Greek gods left the mortal plane during Infinite Crisis, Zeus stripped Cassie of her powers. However, she was granted powers by Ares in exchange for becoming his champion.
After Superboy's death, she quit the Titans for a time to be an independent vigilante. She was mourning the loss of her lover, Superboy, and bitter from the abandonment by Robin and Wonder Woman over the following year. She later rejoined the group after a battle with the Brotherhood of Evil and the return of Cyborg. She is close friends with fellow hero Supergirl.
In Superman & Batman: Generations #2, Wonder Girl first appears in 1953 as a "mystic projection" to take Wonder Woman's place while Diana gives birth. She finds a wounded Steve Trevor and takes him back to Paradise Island, but despite being subjected to the Purple Power Ray, he dies of his wounds, leaving Diana to raise their daughter, Stephanie, alone.
In 1964, Stephanie (or "Stevie") decides to go out on her own as Wonder Girl. She shares a link with Supergirl (Kara Kent), as they were born at the same time. Years later, she becomes the new Wonder Woman. Her outfit is pretty much the same as her mother's, except that she does not possess either the tiara or the Magic Lasso of Aphrodite, instead possessing the winged sandals of Hermes. She also wears a mask. When she becomes the new Wonder Woman, she adds a cape to the ensemble.
In Superman & Batman: Generations #3, she is killed by Darkseid.
In the DC Comics Bombshells universe, Wonder Girl is not a single person, but rather a team of young Asian-American girls who are empowered by the mystical artifacts formerly used by Wonder Woman. The Wonder Girls consist of Donna Troy (a Nisei Japanese-American), Cassie Sandsmark (a mixed-race girl of partial Japanese heritage), Yuki and Yuri Katsura, and Emily Sung.
In 1976, a version of Wonder Girl appeared in the Wonder Woman television series and was played by Debra Winger, in one of her first mass-media roles. The actress Charlene Tilton, best known for playing Lucy Ewing in the television series Dallas, auditioned for the part of Wonder Girl but lost it to Winger.
Drusilla first appeared in the two-part episode The Feminum Mystique. In that episode, Queen Hippolyta (Carolyn Jones) sends Drusilla to America in order to bring Diana home to Paradise Island. (Queen Hippolyta is never referred to by name in any of the televised specials in which she appeared.)
Drusilla gets tangled up in a Nazi plot to discover the secret of Wonder Woman's bracelets, which can deflect bullets, and in the process Drusilla masters the spinning transformation used by her older sister. Although Drusilla creates the persona of Wonder Girl, the distinction is lost on the Nazis, who believe her to be Wonder Woman and abduct her.
In the second part of this episode, Drusilla returns to Paradise Island to help free her fellow Amazons from a Nazi overtaking.
Drusilla appeared again in another episode, the final episode of the first season, entitled Wonder Woman in Hollywood.
On September 3, 1993, Winger appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote her film Wilder Napalm. Letterman showed the audience a short clip of Winger as Wonder Girl and asked several questions about the show and co-star Lynda Carter. Winger briefly feigned embarrassment, but then claimed she was late for something she had to do, then surprisingly tore off her dress to reveal a Wonder Girl costume underneath. Winger ran through the audience to exit the theater, while the Wonder Woman theme song's bass line played.
In the comics, Drusilla was a regular amazon who appeared in Wonder Woman #182, 1969 who was an ally to Wonder Woman. A figure resembling Winger's Drusilla made a cameo appearance in Infinite Crisis #6, as the Wonder Girl of Earth-462. Cassandra Sandsmark would later adapt the alias of Drusilla to protect her identity.
The first animated appearance of Donna Troy as Wonder Girl was in the Teen Titans segments of 1967's The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, voiced by Julie Bennett. In the fifth season of the animated Teen Titans series, a girl bearing a resemblance to the Donna Troy version of Wonder Girl—a brunette with star-shaped earrings—is seen briefly in episodes Homecoming, Part 2 (2005) and Calling All Titans (2006). The character could not be used in the series or mentioned by name due to licensing issues.
The second animated appearance of Donna Troy as Wonder Girl was in the ultra-rare 1984 New Teen Titans Say No to Drugs Public Service Announcement. This would be the ONLY animated version of the second incarnation of the Teen Titans produced by Hanna Barbera. The New Teen Titans in the commercial included Wonder Girl, Raven, Starfire, Kid Flash, Cyborg, Changeling and The Protector (from the anti-drug comic book). Robin was left out due to licensing rights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R41uOAcS8Kg
Issue #36 (October 2006), titled "Troy", of the series' tie-in comic book, Teen Titans Go!, features this version of Wonder Girl as part of the team. She was seen briefly in the previous issue in a cameo on Paradise Island and has appeared in subsequent issues of the series including the 2007 Valentine's issue.
Though not part of the show's starting roster, it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2010 that there were plans to use some version of Wonder Girl at some point in the upcoming Young Justice television series. Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) made her appearance in the 27th episode of Young Justice, the first episode of season two. Here, she is seen fighting Lobo alongside Batgirl.
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