Since taking over Wonder Woman with 2014's issue #36, Meredith and David Finch have ushered in a new era for the heroine's solo title in the New 52. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the married co-creators' second issue, when the cliffhanger debuted the new incarnation of Donna Troy.
On the final page of Wonder Woman #37, the New 52 version of Donna Troy emerged from a cauldron that a sorceress had enchanted, saying, "rise, Donna Troy, and take your rightful place among the Amazons."
Future solicitations for the series indicate that Donna Troy will be an adversary for Wonder Woman, apparently taking over the Amazonian throne from Diana after being "created" for that purpose by people who want new leadership.
Newsarama talked to Meredith Finch to find out more about the character's appearance and what's coming up next in Wonder Woman.
Newsarama: Meredith, you and David were quoted as saying you were bringing back an old character in a new way. Is this the one you meant? (And was it tough to keep that secret?)
Meredith Finch: Absolutely, and let me just say that it was so incredibly difficult to talk about our run in anything more than generalities this past summer, simply because Donna Troy and her creation was so central to the story we were trying to tell. I was absolutely certain someone was going to guess it every time I slipped and said the word “she” when referring to the new/old character.
Nrama: From solicitations, it looks like Donna will play the role of nemesis for Diana — at least for the next few issues. Is that an accurate description, and is there anything you can tease about their confrontation?
Finch: I think that it is my responsibility as a writer to continue to give this amazing super hero, Wonder Woman, her own rogues gallery of equally strong villains. I am really looking forward to creating a new Donna Troy who is everything that Wonder Woman isn’t and still capable of winning a battle. Donna Troy needs to be a formidable opponent — she’s going to do battle with a god after all.
Nrama: Wally West was returned very differently than from his pre-New 52 days, and now Donna (at least initially) looks like she'll be very different. As a brand new creative team, is there any temptation to give fans exactly what they want and the Donna they remember?
Finch: It is very important to remember that it is the fans that buy the comics and allow us the opportunity to do what we do and be creative. I think that if we had brought Donna back as a character that was even remotely similar to who she was in old continuity it would have definitely been a very difficult temptation to avoid. Because we are bringing Donna back
as a villain as Diana’s current rival, I have felt a lot more freedom to make her the character I want her to be and less the person fans expect.
Nrama: Is the cover of issue #40 actually Donna? Is that what she'll look like?
Finch: With solicitations coming out so many months in advance of the actual story it was very difficult to draw a Donna Troy cover. Issue #40 is in fact Wonder Woman, but I know that David is dying to do a Donna Troy piece, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see one turn up as a variant.
Nrama: How would you describe Donna's character in this story arc?
Finch: Donna has been brought to life, or created, by someone who is very opposed to Diana’s current mandate with the Amazons. As such you will definitely see a Donna Troy who is very rooted in traditional Amazon values and very opposed to new ideas and change.
Nrama: We've been seeing Diana being overwhelmed by all her jobs right now. Isn't she pleased someone else has taken the throne from her, giving her one less responsibility?
Finch: I think that one thing we all know about Wonder Woman is that she has a very strong sense of her responsibilities. For the entire course of her life, she has known that she would one day have to step up and rule the Amazon nation. While she might not have predicted that day would come as quickly as it did, she is certainly not the type of person to shy away from her sense of duty.
I like challenging her to prioritize and find the type of balance we all struggle with these days. And ultimately, I think it will make her a better and more balanced person in the long run.
Nrama: In the first issue of your run, Wonder Woman #36, Diana looks at a picture of two people. Was she one of them?
Finch: In that first issue that picture is a drawing done by a young Diana, of her and her mother. She is talking in her internal monologue about something that is so essential to her well-being. She is making reference to her mother. Aren’t we all guilty of taking the woman who gave us life, our mother, for granted once in a while?
Nrama: OK, that's what was assumed by most readers, but the appearance of Donna Troy kind of put that into question.
Finch: That picture was not at all related to Donna Troy. I was really trying to set the scene for the reveal at the end of #36 when she discovers that she has lost her mother.
Nrama: Right. But another question — is the sorceress who created this Donna Troy someone we should know from past comics?
Finch: When we started talking about our run on Wonder Woman we talked a lot about the characters that existed pre New-52 and had not yet been introduced into the current continuity. Circe was discussed as an option, but ultimately she was claimed and we decided to re-create Hecate. You are going to learn more about her, her impact on the Amazons we see today, as well as why Derinoe ultimately chose her to create Donna in the Wonder Woman Annual, out this April.
Nrama: Solicitations for March said that issue #40 is the conclusion of your "first story arc." Can you confirm there will be a second? Are we going to have more Finch-drawn-and-written Wonder Woman in summer 2015?
Finch: Our first arc will conclude in the April’s Wonder Woman Annual. I’ve already started discussing my ideas for our next arc with editorial and I’ve got a lot more Wonder Woman stories I want to tell.
Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you can tell us about what's coming up in Wonder Woman?
Finch: The next four issues of Wonder Woman are going to be action-packed. Some of what we have explored, specifically the impact of being the God of War on Wonder Woman’s psyche and the cause of those environmental disasters will conclude at the end of this arc. But David does a beautiful job visually, in issue #39, of setting up the upcoming confrontation between Donna Troy and Diana. I can’t wait to see what he does with issue #40 and the annual.