Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Donna Troy the first superhero to join the Justice League who doesn't even have a superhero name?

Despite my extreme dissatisfaction with writer James Robinson's recent Justice League work (three issues of JLoA, and what I've read of his Cry For Justice series), I'm still sort of looking forward to reading his JLoA #41 on Wednesday.

It's the issue in which he and collaborator Mark Bagley finally unveil their weird new line-up (which seems to be half-Titans, half-Cry cast), and I'm pretty curious about how exactly they're going to proceed, given that it will be set after the conclusion of Cry (currently scheduled for release on February 24...Robinson's last three issues have also been set after that unfinished storyline, but this issue may be more significant in that it involves characters currently tied up in Cry) and also after Blackest Night (which doesn't conclude until March 31).

That seems like an awful lot of convoluted continuity gymnastics, mostly stemming from the fact that Cry is apparently way, way, way, way behind schedule, which is a less-than-ideal situation if a half-dozen or so other books are tied into the conclusion of the series. (Based on the characters appearing, for example, JLoA will have more than a little bit to do with Titans and the Superman fact, this review of a new issue of Titans, for example, suggests it is closely tied to the events of Cry and Robinson's JLoA).

Anyway, here's a little preview of this Wednesday's issue, from DC's Source blog. There's a scene where the former Wonder Girl Donna Troy, whose superhero identity is, um, "Donna Troy" talks to a cop about the fact that she doesn't even have a superhero name (I re-posted the relevant page above, but see The Source for the whole shebang).

I try not to think too much about Donna Troy, and am rarely forced to, but her joining the Justice League, DC's premiere superhero team, really just underscores the fact that she's lacking in one of the pretty fundamental, base-line requirements to being a superhero at all. Maybe even more so than superpowers or a costume, you gotta have a superhero name.

It really seems like the sort of thing that would be in the Justice League charter, like the monitor duty requirement or a "no duplication of powers" rule.

Has any other superhero ever joined the Justice League without having a superhero identity to go by? Excepting those who serve more as mascots, administrators or honorary members (Your Snapper Carr, Oberon or The Yazz types), the only one I can think of is Zauriel, who at least had the benefit of not being a human being and not having the sort of name you might find in a phone book.


Mori Mayhem said...

I thought she technically had a superhero name, Troia. The Greek word for her last name "Troy."

Deadman said...

Zatanna is Zatanna's name. Not really a super-hero name. Also not sure if Oberon was technically a member. There's probably others if you think about it...

J ustin. said...

I believe Booster Gold is his 'real name.' Guy Gardner never really went by that. Big Barda?


mordicai said...

She's soooooo bad-ass. I ain't a hero man, naw, I do my OWN thing. SHE'S RAW MAN. Like Wolverine!

Esteban138 said...

Booster Gold's real name is Michael. But yes, Zatanna has been a Leaguer on several occasions and she's always simply Zatanna.

Hdefined said...

But Zatanna is unique enough that it sounds like a superhero name.

But I think it comes down to role. For example, the X-Men seem to go by their real names just as often as their codenames, and no one's that troubled by going by "Jean Grey" over "Marvel Girl" or "Phoenix," or "Emma Frost" over "The White Queen." But then, their real identities aren't being distinguished from their "superhero counterparts." In fact, I don't think the mutants have counterparts usually.

The problem is that Donna Troy is very much a superhero, and following in the footsteps of Wonder Woman, who, you know, has another identity. So does the current Wonder Girl. And her Batman and Superman analogues have always had codenames: Nightwing, Superboy, Robin, etc.

And "Donna Troy" is just a pretty sucky name to begin with.

Josue said...

Boy that rule of no duplication of powers sounds stupid, I´ve would´ve left the JLA too if I were Hawkman. Supes sounds very stubborn haha

Randal said...

Heck, with all the real names being thrown around by the JLAers, why do any of them even bother with a code name? I just sigh when someone calls Batman "Bruce" - especially when some C-list hero is standing within earshot.

Anyway, Orion, Barda, and Lightray come to mind, also.

Anthony Strand said...

This is only slightly related, but I just recently noticed that Donna Troy and Deanna Troi have almost the same name, and they're both equally useless.

kevhines said...

Donna Troy is the Jean Grey of the Titans.

They both used to have super hero names, but not for a long time.

I always laughed on the rare days I watched the X-Men cartoon and the roll call would go past names like Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, and reach Jean Grey.

James said...

Max Lord? Oberon? Dale Gunn? I think at least Max was an "official" member.
Oh, and by the way, "Troia" is slang in Italian for "slut". The more you know..

Caleb said...

Zatanna is Zatanna's name. Not really a super-hero name.

Oh yeah, I totally forgot about her. I guess her real name is technically "Zatanna Zatara," so she only goes by her first name, like, um...who's a celebrity who only goes by her first name...Cher...? And like someone below mentions, "Zatanna" sounds more superhero-y than "Donna." But yeah, that's a good example.

I believe Booster Gold is his 'real name.' Guy Gardner never really went by that. Big Barda?

Booster's real name is Michael Carter. I have no idea where the name "Booster Gold" comes from, as it's such an odd superhero name, but I've always wondered. Guy went by his secret ID all the time, but I guess he technically had a superhero name, "Green Lantern" and, later, "Warrior." As for Barda, that's another good example. I think "Big Barda" is a nickname/Female Furies codename...or at least the "big" part...

Anyway, Orion, Barda, and Lightray come to mind, also.

Damn New Gods...I'd give 'em a They're All Practically Superheroes On Their Planet Anyway pass though.

Well, I guess there are a few precedents...but I still think "Donna Troy" is gonna sound pret-ty lame when they do their roll calls...

Kid Kyoto said...

Don't forget Adam Strange! Or do. Whatever.

Booster Gold's superhero name has a neat story. His nickname was Booster, he wanted to be called Goldstar but when President Reagan asked him he was too nervious and it came "Booster, no Gold-" and that was that. I wonder how the creators came up with it?

And Donna, yeah, Donna. Lessee, brought into the Teen Titans as a mistake (Wonder Girl was Wonder Woman when she was a girl, not a seperate person), she never had a civilian name for years. Then her whole origin was deleted by Crisis. Then Wolfman gave her a new one and John Byrne gave her a newer one and then she died, and then she came back. And she still does not have a decent name.

Wonder Maid?
Wonder Young Adult?
Wonder Widow?

I think she's a good candidate for nobody's favorite.

Anonymous said...

How about Jason Blood, who was a member of the JLA during the Obsidian Age storyline?