phil jiminez

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 109: JLMay 2020 — The Return of Donna Troy

Episode 109 Website CoverIn 2004, DC Comics released ‘Countdown to Infinite Crisis,” and set in motion a six-month buildup to what would be the most monumental crossover in recent DC history, Infinite Crisis.  This May, that ‘countdown” and buildup to Infinite Crisis is the topic for the annual JLMay crossover.  It is “The Event Before The Event.”

In this episode, I step in to take on the only miniseries from that time that you’d expect, which is The Return of Donna Troy. But in order for you to actually understand how and why Donna Troy is returning (and where she went in the first place, you need to know the answer to the age-old question … “Who is Donna Troy?”

And trust me, the answer is complicated.

Join me as I look at Donna’s origin and history through its most important phases–the swingin’ ’60s original Teen Titans, the Wolfman-Perez classics “Who is Donna Troy?” and “Who is Wonder Girl?”, and even the Nineties where she was the victim of crossover shenanigans and John Byrne.  And that’s just a warm-up for my coverage of the four-issue miniseries that’s written by Phil Jimenez, penciled by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praised be his name) and inked by George Perez.

You can listen here:

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This episode is just one part of a huge podcast crossover for JLMay 2020.  Be sure to check out the following shows over the course of May to continue the epic coverage of the event before the event.

Also, if you are listening to these shows and digging this podcast crossover, be sure to use #JLMay2020 if you’re sharing these episodes on social media.

Time’s Up (My Life as a Teen Titan, Part Twenty-Six)

When you have a comic book title that has a big mystery such as the identity of a major character and you finally reveal the answer to that mystery, you are then faced with an almost unbearable burden–following it up.  In some cases, it goes well and that reveal becomes another notch in the belt of a classic creative team.  Most of the time, however, it marks the beginning of the end.  Though it is not entirely the creative team’s fault, Team Titans definitely falls into the latter, as it only lasted four more issues after the revelation that Monarch was the mysterious team leader.

Now, from what I understand, Jeff Jensen and Phil Jiminez had taken on a flagging title and wound up being forced into a corner by DC editorial by way of Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, a “This Changes Everything” type of crossover that had a lead-up of a few months in some of DC’s titles, especially those that starred the Legion of Super-Heroes or had crazy continuity problems, such as Hawkman.  Team Titans joined that group of titles because since the book was on the chopping block, the teamers were going to be playing a part in Zero Hour and the story that runs from issue 21-23 winds up being a crossover lead-in with the series’ final issue being an actual Zero Hour crossover.

The story that was told, which set up the Teamers as unknowingly working for Monarch and that included character changes like increased aggression from characters like Kilowatt, a darker and more mysterious attitude from Prester Jon, and an actual physical transformation of Carrie Levine, a.k.a. Redwing as she morphed from a girl with wings into an actual man-bird beast renamed Warhawk.  But before we even were to get to that point, we had to sever the most important connection that the Team Titans had to its parent title, and that is Donna Troy. (more…)