Finally! The only one in the DCU not worried about Who Is Donna Troy? is Donna Troy, bitch. (Granted, one of my favorite Donna Troy stories revolves around Donna doubting her own identity but that was different, and well-written).
This is the first rock’n’roll moment for Donna—nay, Countdown— since Donna saving Jason from Forerunner. And that was in Countdown #45, for crying in the rain. This is issue #15. Thirty issues between rock’n’roll moments is not a good ratio.
Part of the problem in lacking such moments is that there is no growth in Countdown. A key ingredient.
I would like to have seen when Jason became the guy who cared more about his friends then revenge. Actually, I would’ve liked to have seen when Jason thought he had friends at all. No, we’re just told in this issue that he does.
I would have liked to have seen Mary turn evil and then revert back to good. Nope, we’re told both transformations occurred as if they were afterthoughts, or simply part and parcel of Black Adam’s power (which is the same exact power that Billy, Mary, and Freddy possessed all along, btw).
I would have liked to have seen Val Armorr becoming sick and increasingly enfeebled. Nope, one issue he’s taking out metas with his super-karate, the next he’s throwing up blood and too weak to move.
I would like to have seen Jimmy… do anything but be a tool.
Or most importantly, I would like to have seen when and how Captain Atom decided that becoming a meglamaniacal, psychopathic, genocidal prick was his best bet to save the universe. Nope. He comes back from Wildstorm, changes his clothes and now he speaks in purple prose and wipes out alternate America’s without blinking.
At least my biggest fear hasn’t come true, and that’s Donna and Kyle ending up together. I would very legitimately rather her date Jason Todd.
The other part of the problem is there is no characterization in Countdown (which leads to growth).
There is this sometimes-perception of redundancy in a company whose bread and butter comes from its legacies. The only thing redundant about Nightwing is that we have to keep hearing him reinvent himself everytime a new writer comes on. Same with Donna. Same with Roy and Wally and most of the first Titans and many sidekicks in general whose very existence is to compliment a very similar character.
Go with the Simone Wonder Woman model which I will paraphrase as: “Just write them as cool and they’ll be cool.”
Yeah, they’ve each got character. Ones which I really don’t see how they escape people so much they feel they have to reassert it all the time (you don’t see Batman monologuing his history to date every two minutes). But barring a writer just understanding that part, why not just write them like they’re Batman with friends, or Wonder Woman without the penchant for totalitarianism and see where that gets you.
Just look at Peter Tomasi’s recent attempt to re-re-re-re-re-re-reinvent Nightwing for the bazillionth time in one year (now I’m a skydiving, daredevil who likes to endanger my secret identity by trying to break world records) and tell me you don’t just want Dixon or Grayson back.
Quit telling us who the characters are and start showing us. Robin has been doing this for year (at least in the pages of his own title), while everyone else who isn’t an Underoos mainstay has wrung their hands and been so many people since this morning like so much Alice in Wonderland.
In Countdown Donna does a whole lot of walking and talking, and very little of it actually helped portray the above. “I’m Donna Troy, bitch.”
Yes you are, sweetie. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.