The three Wonder Girls: Donna Troy, Princess Diana, Cassandra Sandsmark. Cover to Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #186. 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)
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.
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||November 2007 – April 2008|
|Number of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Cassandra Sandsmark|
Wonder Girl is the name of three fictional characters featured as superheroes in comic books and other media produced by DC Comics. The original was a younger version of Wonder Woman. The second and third are protégés of Wonder Woman, and members of different incarnations of the Teen Titans.
- 1 Fictional character biographies
- 2 Alternate versions
- 3 In other media
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Fictional character biographies
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:
- Rescued orphan: Donna Troy was rescued from an orphanage fire by Wonder Woman, who took her to Paradise Island to be raised as an Amazon and little sister of Diana.
- Titan Seed: The Titan Rhea had rescued a young Donna from a fire, adding her to a group of 12 orphans from around the universe who had been raised on New Cronus by these Titans as "Titan Seeds", their eventual saviors. The Seeds had been given superhuman powers and named after ancient Greek cities. Called "Troy", Donna (like the others) had eventually been stripped of her memories of her time with the Titans of Myth, and reintroduced into humankind to await her destiny. In this version, Donna was not an Amazon and had no connection to Wonder Woman.
- Infinite Lives of Donna Troy: In a revision that incorporated the Titan Seed continuity while reattaching Donna Troy to Wonder Woman, it is revealed that the Amazon sorceress Magala had animated a mirror image of young Princess Diana to create for her a mystical, "identical twin" playmate. This twin is soon mistaken for Diana and kidnapped by Dark Angel. Dark Angel disperses the girl's spirit across the multiverse, condemning her to live multiple lives, each one cut short by the Dark Angel at a moment of tragedy. In at least one of these variant lives, Donna would become a superhero and encounter her grown sister, now Wonder Woman, and their mother Queen Hippolyta, without realizing who she really was or how she was related to them. After that timeline ends with the death of Donna's son, Diana and Hippolyta intervene to find what happened to Donna. Donna finally defeats Dark Angel, destroying the evil entity and regaining her original Amazon powers. She returns to reality to continue her life from that point.
- Current version: Wonder Woman (vol. 3) Annual #1 gives Donna a new origin that combines elements of her three variant origins. Donna was born as Princess Diana's mystic twin through the help of Amazon sorceress Magala. Months later, an old enemy of Queen Hippolyta, called Dark Angel, kidnapped Donna thinking she was Diana. Donna was placed in suspended animation by Dark Angel for years but was eventually rescued and returned to the Amazons' home, where she received training from both the Amazons and the Titans of Myth and was raised as Diana's sister and Hippolyta's second daughter. Years later, she followed Diana into the outside world as Wonder Girl and helped form the Teen Titans.
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.
Superman & Batman: Generations
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 other media
In 1976, a version of Wonder Girl appeared in the Wonder Woman television series 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.
Although the pilot episode revealed that Wonder Woman's alter-ego, Princess Diana of Paradise Island, was Queen Hippolyta's only child, later episodes featured Diana's younger sibling, Drusilla.
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 her sister home to Paradise Island. (It should be noted that 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 magical bracelets, and in the process 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.
Drusilla appeared again in the final episode of the first season Wonder Woman in Hollywood. A Wonder Girl series was in development when actress Debra Winger broke her contract and left the series.
On September 3, 1993, Winger appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, ostensibly to promote her latest film, Wilder Napalm. Letterman showed the audience a short montage 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, tore off her grey dress to reveal a Wonder Girl costume, and ran through the audience to exit the theater, to the Wonder Woman theme song's bass line and much applause.
A figure resembling Winger's Drusilla made a cameo appearance in Infinite Crisis #6, as the Wonder Girl of Earth-462. In the comics, 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.
Teen Titans Go!
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 are plans to use some version of Wonder Girl at some point in the upcoming Young Justice television series. Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandmark) made her appearance in the 27th episode of Young Justice, the first episode of season two. Here, she is seen fighting Lobo alongside Batgirl.
Super Best Friends Forever
- "Teen Titans (vol. 1) #22 (August 1969)". The Grand Comics Database Project. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
- The New Titans #50-54 (December 1988 – March 1989)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #131-136 (March – August 1998)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #136 (August 1998)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 3) Annual #1
- Pingel, Mike (February 23, 2012). "Channel surfing: WONDER WOMAN". p. 54-55.
- "Wonder Girl with David Letterman". Freewebs.com. Retrieved September 15, 2010. Clip
- "Titans Tower: Wonder Girl". Retrieved January 1, 2009.
- "J. Torres on Wonder Girl". Newsarama. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
- "SDCC 2010: News Roundup: Marvel vs DC (With Poll)". Newsarama. Retrieved September 15, 2010.