The Good: Decent artwork, Engaging plot, Interesting characters
The Bad: Seems to rely upon a lot of information from other books, Not a great “entry level” book on the character front.
The Basics: Titans die and one returns in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy where Donna Troy’s true nature is explored after her death!
In one of the uncommon turns in my life, I actually picked up the action figure of Donna Troy (reviewed here!) long before I ever read any books that actually focused on her. So, when I picked up Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy, I was very open minded and eager for the story. The title says it all: Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is the death of Donna Troy, which in true DC Comics form is only a temporary state. Ironically, Donna Troy is not the only one to die in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy, but she is the only one to return.
Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy alludes to a vast number of story arcs that included Donna Troy and it makes her the focus of those stories. She is suddenly one of the most important characters in the DC Universe. With her inevitable return, she becomes essential to the impending crisis (at that time) in the DC Universe that would see the resurgence of the DC Multiverse. Interestingly enough, it is this obscure volume that actually ends up doing some of the heavy lifting of explaining the problems the single universe had with reconciling all of the aspects of the multiverse.
While out in San Francisco getting pitched to by Optitron, a massive company that wants to fully fund the Titans and Young Justice, the two superhero teams are attacked by a malfunctioning cyborg. The cyborg nearly destroys Victor Stone (Cyborg) and leaves both teams in shambles. When the malfunctioning cyborg teleports to S.T.A.R. Labs, it reboots a dormant Superman android. To put down the Superman android, Omen gives her life. In her anger, Donna Troy beats the Superman android almost into submission when, in its death throes, the robot shoots its heat vision through her chest, killing her.
Following her death, elsewhere in the galaxy, Donna Troy has rejoined the Titans of myth as Troia on New Cronus. As the wife of Coeus, Troia is part of an assault on Minosyss. When witnessing her sister, Sparta, fall in the battle, Troia is imprisoned by the other Titans. Donna subconsciously summons a starship for the Titans and Outsiders to come to Minosyss. There, they join the war against the Titans and, after a protracted fight, they help restore Donna Troy’s true memories and she joins them to keep the people of Minosyss free.
Donna Troy is characterized as the most desirable and obtainable piece of real estate in the DC Universe. In addition to having a dead husband and child, Troy was apparently the love interest for Nightwing and Arsenal. The volume of storylines that Donna Troy is supposed to be integral to is unnerving, considering that she never had a major part in many of the major crossover stories that I’ve read.
Structurally, Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is very much like The Death Of Superman (reviewed here!). While that might seem like an obvious comment, the troubling aspect of Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is that the story includes several seeds that imply the return of Donna Troy, much the way the death of Superman arc foreshadowed his inevitable return.
On the plus side, despite the problematic plot jump between the two halves of the story (unlike many DC trade paperback anthologies, Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy does not include a summary of significant story developments from after the death of Donna Troy, which is tough considering how the resurrection story includes vague references to all sorts of New Gods events that remain opaque), Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is a successfully engaging story focusing on Donna Troy. Donna Troy has an interesting arc from demigoddess to victimized goddess to superhero. She has a decent arc and despite hinging on an emotional attachment to two new characters who suddenly have vast importance to her life, Donna Troy is vital and s surprisingly tortured character.
The character front is diminished slightly by the Herculean effort that it takes to get her back. The massive ensemble cast of supporting characters that participate in the attack on Minosyss forces Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy to neglect Donna Troy’s internal struggle in favor of the plot-based struggle that has Troy as a victim yet again.
The artwork in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is decent, though some of the early chapters have simplified portrayals of Donna Troy and the action going on surrounding the attack by the android Superman. In the paperback anthology, there is a cover gallery and that is a nice touch. Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death And Return Of Donna Troy is an engaging read, though it does not provide enough information for new readers to actually understand the whole thing on its own.
For other graphic novels with the deaths of superheroes, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Crisis On Infinite Earths
Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight/A New Dawn
For other book reviews, be sure to check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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