Regardless, I’m a big fan of Doctor Doris Zeul, despite her distant relationship with any sensible continuity --like all Wonder-centric characters. There have been several iterations, reboots and retellings of her origin, but there are a few commonalities creating a through-line.
Regardless of a spotty origin, and several weird inconsistencies, I’ve always liked Giganta and all versions thereof, be they monkey or genius. However, since there’s been so many, and Infinite Crisis seems to have surficially altered a bunch of stuff without explanation, we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Let’s take a trip in the Way Way Back Machine to One Year Later (OYL) to where we first saw the giant genius post-Infinite Crisis and get a read where she stands in the post-52 world.
Giganta, who is she and what can she do? The answers can be found in Heinberg's much-maligned opening run on Wonder Woman, which I can only presume is much-maligned b/c people simply didn't read the damn thing. It was really good –great even. It introduced and reestablished Wonder Woman's cast, legacy and villainy OYL. What more could you ask for? Well, for it to be on time, I'll grant you that.
Don’t you hate when people drag out old pictures?
Heinberg does a good job in this scene, and throughout his run of establishing the status quo for WW’s rogues gallery: Who were they and who they are now.
Doris learned well before Rita Farr that giant girls shouldn’t wear skirts.
Alright, so she’s still smart when super-sized nowadays, as evidenced by her no longer dressing like a circus strongwoman.
A quick shout-out to my girl, Queen Clea! Golden-Age represent!
I read this as confirmation that Doris gets smarter the larger she grows, which is just weird enough to be awesome. Why wasn’t she invited to Oolong Island?
So, there it is, all spelled out for us. Now what about her origin?
I like Doris taking exception to being referred to common.
Doris Zeul at a glance in a few short panels. She’s a Doctor who developed a method to switch brains, abandoned her dying body in favor of a new one (and for the first time it’s asserted that the growing power is part and parcel to the new body); used to get dumb when she grew; but now retains her genius level intellect and indeed gets smarter. Thank you Alan, you did good by a closet favorite of mine.
Although, I’m not sure she should be scooping up Donna like that…
Yeah, see. Amazons. You can’t trust their accoutrements.
(sigh) the all too brief minute that Donna was Wonder Woman. Those were the day (sic).
Doris gets some appropriate accessory-related revenge later.
She’s looking for Diana to get a matching set of earrings.
I’m presuming Doris is with the Society here, which was still active OYL before it just disappeared sometime mid-year. Why else would she be working for Psycho (who was concurrently on trial in Manhunter)? I’m basing that solely on the company she keeps, which is admittedly inconclusive b/c they’re all Wonder Villains and might have some sort of preexisting arrangement in the event that one of Diana’s sidekicks shows up pretending to be Wonder Woman.
Note that Zeul is arguably caught/arrested at the end of this story. Just keep that in your hip pocket for a minute.
So, we next see Doct—er, Professor? Zeul, teaching in Ivy Town and hitting on local Gynomancer, Ryan Choi. I actually didn’t catch that this was Doris until the end. Since when does she teach at a college? Also, she’s totally set her panty difficulty on Very Easy, which isn’t a look you see on her very often.
I swear I saw this film strip in Health Class.
I think the thing that surprises me most about this isn’t what a floozy Doris is being. It’s that she has tenure. How does she do that with all the supervillainry? Why does she remain a supervillain if she has a reasonably accredited day job?
I mean, if they’re not doing background checks, then I’m totally moving to Ivy Town next year. They apparently let pen pals and wanted criminals just walk in and take jobs, why not smart ass writers?
Definitely saw this film strip. “What’s the Matter With Doris” I think it was called.
Okay, so she’s part of the Society/Villainy Inc. above, but now she’s also working for Ivy U and M’Nagalah the Cancer God? That’s a little contradictory, or at least a pretty full dance card. You know, this and Heinberg’s arc probably just overlapped under different editors or something. Just a weird coincidence, right?
While, Doris isn’t verifiably caught at the end of this story, you do presume that after rampaging through the entire town in the buff, it would at least warrant a suspension or something. Can one cite service to a Cancer God as a religious practice in the DCU? I’m totally moving to Ivy Town.
Next (depending on your chronology) we see Doris well away from Ivy Town, down El Paso way.
I’m crrrrrushing your head. I’m crrrrushing your--
Wait, now she’s working with Intergang? Who in Kirby’s name works with Intergang? Seriously?
And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you kids and your pesky interstellar parasite.
I know teaching jobs pay for shit, but does she really need money so bad as to take a wetworks job in the desert against a magical mafia doña? I expected better of ITU. Oh, maybe she did get suspended after that whole rampaging naked while not participating in Rush Week thing.
Giganta is apparently caught at the end of this story, btw. So being afraid of being sent to Salvation Run or no, you’d think this would’ve been her ticket… but no!
I’ll have the cart of hay, with a handful of cattle and a melon truck on the side. Can I see the cask of wine list? Fine, I'll just have the blood of an Englishman.
Here we’re back in Ivy Town, hitting on the irresistible Professor Choi again. So I presume she’s kept her job through the whole Cancer God worshipping, Wonder Woman fighting, Villain for Hire, Hit Girl parts of her year. I’m left to assume she needs the day job for the insurance.
What do you think her lectures are like?
I really admire the size of her… brains.
This is all very cute and all, but at least slightly overwritten. Not as bad as last time we saw her in Ivy Town, but still. (sigh) Poor Doris. You really do end up feeling bad for her by the end of all this... when she gets caught… AGAIN!
Surely, once the DEO gets a hold of her (again), that’s when she’ll be shipped off to Salvation Run, right? Right?
I’m not fat, I’m just big boned!
Alright, whoa-whoa-whoa, time the fuck out! She’s a doctor for chris’sakes! In HeroClix she has the keyword: Scientist, even. She does not still cavort in a bloody leopard sarong! Not since she had just been a monkey!
Also note that Dinah didn't have to bend her thumb back like that if she was just going to Canary Cry (tm) her to unconciousness. She just did it to be mean.
See, the problem here is McDuffie is confusing Doris with Giganta from JLU. His Giganta is an ape that Grodd mind-transferred into an enbiggenable human (a nod to the Golden Age Giganta). That Giganta can work wearing a skirt b/c you presume she doesn’t know any better and probably doesn’t have much shame. This Giganta is a doctor, and a genius, and doesn’t need to be told to sit like a lady thank you very much.
She’s caught at the end of this story too. This is at least four solid arrests --likely five-- throughout this past year. One of them ended her up on Salvation Run.
Surely there she’s using her giant super genius to lend a giant super genius helping hand, right? Afterall she’s a member of the Society/Villains, Inc./Intergang/Injustice League/Academia and probably a few other Supervillain groups along the way. So she’s all about cooperation, right? Right?
Yeeeah, get bent losers. We’re going to the sock hop to pad our bras and play M.A.S.H. while smoking in the girls room.
Oh good. She’s a High School Girl now.
Listen, I don’t mind her getting her clit up like a sorority girl with the All New Atom b/c even mad-genius giant doctors need their Va-Jay-Jay the Jetplanes watered and fed every once and again and apparently Ryan is hot property.
I do have a problem with her being portrayed as a vapid, gum-chewing, hair-twirling cuntess on a planet where every minute is a life or death struggle to survive and she could legitimately help the cause for crying out loud. Am I to understand she’s on the Joker’s side here (Salvation Run’s utter squanderance of sense will be a blog for another time)? She should be on Oolong Island, or at least on Luthor’s Science-squad, not siding with the crazies on Kirbyworld.
Poor, poor Doris. One can only hope you land back in a Wonder book where you belong, or perhaps you can go legit long enough to get your freak on with cute Chinese boy back… home(?) in Ivy Town.
Oh well, like I said, a big year for a big girl. I only wish it was ending on a better note. We need Heinberg and/or Simone to swoop in and snatch her up before somebody turns her back into a monkey or something.