Last week, in preview for Action Comics: Futures End #1, a young, dark-haired woman with stars on her shirt (and a very familiar pendant) was shown flying. It certainly looked like Donna Troy — or someone obviously meant to look like her.
But now that the issue has been released, it turns out the Donna look-alike was probably just a random woman in the five-years-from-now potential future.
It all felt a little cruel, especially for the many Donna Troy fans who have been clamoring for her introduction to the New 52 universe, from which she's been absent since the DCU rebooted in 2011. When the preview first hit the internet, some fans were clearly excited by the potential of a Donna Troy from the future, while others questioned the possible debut.
"I hope to God it's DT!!" one fan enthusiastically posted on Newsarama when the Action Comics: Futures End preview was released.
"DC certainly seems to be intimating it's Donna Troy," another fan said on Newsarama's Facebook account. "But this is five years in the future. A red herring instead? Besides, isn't Donna Troy going to be introduced in Multiversity?"
Where Is She?
Disappointment about the Futures End issue aside, the false sighting did achieve one thing for DC — it built expectation among fans that Donna Troy might be introduced into the New 52 soon. And as was stated above, an alternate version of Donna Troy is going to be introduced in the October issue of Grant Morrison's The Multiversity: The Just #1 in October.
Multiversity is Morrison's nine-issue, mind-bending epic that depicts various corners of DC's multiverse. With each of the middle issues of the series depicting a different alternate earth, The Just concentrates on Earth-16, where all the villains have been defeated, the superheroes have all retired or died, and their kids, legacies and protégés have nothing to do but be famous.
In past interviews, Morrison has mentioned several young versions of DC characters who would star in the issue, including Damien Wayne, Kyle Rayner, Conner Hawke, Alexis Luthor, and Chris Kent, the son of Superman.
But once the solicitation for the issue was released, fans found out Donna Troy is also showing up in the The Just. There's no indication who she is on Earth-16, but DC has released artist Ben Oliver's character sketch for Donna, showing her clad in a star-covered jacket, with a familiar "W" symbol on her belt (indicating she's related to Earth-16's Wonder Woman).
But Multiversity is only going to feature the debut of a Donna Troy from an alternate earth — one who will probably make very few appearances (if any) in future comics, once Morrison's tale is completed in 2015.
What about a more permanent Donna Troy?
The aforementioned whiteboard clue about Donna Troy's return, which occurred during a segment of an "All Access" video on DC's website, also teased the return of Wally West in The Flash and Stephanie Brown in Batman Eternal.
Both Wally and Stephanie showed up earlier this year in those respective titles, which begs the question — where's the Donna Troy? Her whiteboard tease said "Donna > SM/WW," which suggests she's supposed to show up in Superman/Wonder Woman.
That hasn't happened so far, and there's been no hype from DC about a future appearance of the character. Of course, there's a situation that might have forced DC to alter its plans to bring Donna Troy into Superman/Wonder Woman — current series writer Charles Soule is leaving the after October's issue, and a new creative team is coming on board (Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke).
There's also the question of how Donna might fit into Superman/Wonder Woman mythology. Some fans have guessed that Donna Troy will be the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, since those two are not only featured together in the Superman/Wonder Woman comic, but are dating. (There's already a daughter of Wonder Woman on Earth 2, named Fury, but she hasn't been linked in any way to the identity "Donna Troy.")
A grown daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman on the main DCU earth would have to come from the future, and although we've seen plenty of "set-in-the-future" comics lately, there haven't been any Donna Troys.
One remote possibility for this theory? This month's peek at the future of Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship in two of DC's "five-years-in-the-future" issues, both written by Soule — Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 and Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 . The Soule-written comics make up a two-part story that introduces the new character Nemesis (presumably something to do with the female Nemesis from Greek mythology). Soule also told Newsarama that Nemesis will be playing a role in DC's present-day stories — so could a child of Superman and Wonder Woman show up in these future issues as well, and somehow play a role in present day stories?
And lest we forget, there was a warning of doom from the future when Superman and Wonder Woman first kissed — a Booster Gold from the future showed up in the 2012 comic Justice League International Annual #1, written by DC executives Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio, to warn his younger self that the couple must be stopped. But both Boosters disappeared when Superman and Wonder Woman kissed, implying their future had been erased because of the romance.
So far, readers haven't been told the meaning of that now-two-years-old warning. But Booster Gold is going to show up this month in his own one-shot, and he's also supposed to be showing up in the Futures End weekly. Could the dire consequences of the Superman/Wonder Woman romance be linked to Donna Troy?
As DiDio noted, April 2015 represents the 30th anniversary of epic mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, as well as the 10th anniversary of its sequel, Infinite Crisis. Donna Troy played a significant role in both series, and she's also previously discovered that she has a unique role in the multiverse. Could her introduction to the New 52 universe have something to do with the upcoming Crisis?
We'd be remiss to not mention that Donna was mentioned in Red Hood and the Outlaws in early issues, although those references to the character were removed from the collections of those issues, with DiDio declaring Donna never existed in the past of the New 52. However, with a DC "Crisis" coming, there's always a chance this mix-up will be explained during the event.
But if the main DC earth gets a Donna Troy from the Crisis, where would she come from? Could speculation about a return of characters from the pre-New 52 universe be extended to a theory of pre-52 Donna coming back?