Of all the complaints about the New 52, the one that seems to have the most resonance for me is the one regarding the whereabouts of Donna Troy and Wally West.  On the one hand, I am glad to see the newer characters NOT getting shafted like Ryan Choi and (to a lesser degree) Dick Grayson did.  On the other, I’m a little miffed to see that DC editorial’s stance on a couple of classic characters seems to be a flippant “Feh, they’re unnecessary.”  Of course, it should be noted that both characters have extremely complicated histories (Donna has had more origins than code-names, and the girl has had enough code-names to rival Henry Pym) and that DC editorial seems to be enjoying the chance to be flippant, thanks to the successes of the New 52.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has at least three different origins of its own, asking:
Given DC’s seeming determination to not have duplicated characters, is there any happy medium for lost souls like Stephanie Brown, Donna Troy and Wally West?  (Please note: “Undo the Flashpoint retcon!” is not, for our purposes, a valid response.)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Russ Catt
    December 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    Let them live in peace in the Young Justice universe!
    (except that Donna’s not there… I’m sure adding one more origin story couldn’t hurt too much, could it?)

  2. Shush
    December 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    In the case of Stephanie Brown, at least, she could go back to the Spoiler persona and be a sort of anti-hero again.

  3. AllenBT
    December 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm — Reply

    I don’t think there is a happy medium. DC has to be either all in or all out on the New 52, and so far they’ve gone all in.

    In any case, it seems to me Stephanie Brown is hostage the New 52 debut of Cluemaster, which II don’t believe has happened.

    Donna Troy’s future is even shakier. While that character has had some vocal fans in the past, there haven’t been very many of them. And that potential v. real popularity has been the reason the character keeps changing concept/character.

    Wally West is a great character that I loved a lot, but as young as they are writing Flash (both in age and experience as a hero), having a protege just doesn’t make plot sense. He might be a non-started until Barry grows up some.

  4. December 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm — Reply

    There is a lot more than just Earth in the DCU, and even then there is more than one Earth. Maybe they exist in one of the alternate timelines already (such as one where the main heroes are older similar to Earth-16 or one where things are completely different) or maybe something will happen to most of the main heroes and so “new” ones will need to step up.

    There are plenty of possibilities.

  5. Arbor Day
    December 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm — Reply

    Make the sorta like Marvel’s Exiles, from pre-Flashpoint universe, only have them be pseudo-villians trying to “Undo the Flashpoint retcon!” by investigating and attempting to recreate Superboy’s retcon punch.

  6. Gordon T
    December 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    The “determination to not have duplicated characters”, argument doesn’t make sense to me because each of characters are unique characters. If they can’t exist because they shared a superhero name with another character would mean that Damian Wayne and Bart Allan shouldn’t exist either and there should be only one Green Lantern not four. Oh wait, I forgot New 52 rules don’t apply to the Batman and Green Lantern books.

    • December 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm — Reply

      Rules? We don’t need your stinking rules… We’re DC Editorial. ^_^

      And as a serious answer.. I miss the Blue Beetle. :( Ted Kord version.

  7. Gordon T
    December 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    To answer the question, they could bring back Stephanie Brown, Donna Troy and Wally West but with different code names. Spoiler is not Robin, Troia is not Wondergirl and Wally could be called something other then Flash or Kid Flash,

  8. BallsMonkey
    December 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm — Reply

    Donna Troy can exist as Troia, she’s not a Wonder Woman duplicate. Kill off Barry and bring in Wally. Granted they undid all the history that shaped Wally as a character, but through the magic of comic book fiction, they can have a new Wally with all the memories of the previous continuity’s Wally West.

    Stephanie Brown…can continue to live in limbo for all I care. I’m good with Barbra Gordon as Batgirl.

  9. Oldcomicfan
    December 8, 2012 at 8:17 am — Reply

    You’re all missing the point. Since they rebooted the universe with the new 52, none of those characters exist yet. So cool your jets. Given the way DC always seems to undo it’s reboots and revisions, just wait a while and somebody will bring them back again.

  10. December 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Oldcomicfan is right on at least one of them. Ethan Van Sciver specifically said one of those three will be coming back soon during one of the panels at Wizard World last week. My money’s on Wally.

    Other than that, there are tons of ways they could bring them back. Earth-2 is a fairly successful book lending to the idea that multiple continuities/Earths do exist and are acceptable areas for story telling. Having another alt-Earth book would be an easy way to bring these characters back.

    • December 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm — Reply

      As I said above, I could easily see them on Earth-16 or a similar alternate timeline where the main heroes are a bit older than they are in the current main DCU. Part of why I love the multiverse idea is because it means just about anything is possible on any of the alternate Earths, from having a place for these characters to having a place to tell stories like the old 50’s/60’s wacky Superman stories.

  11. December 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    Bring them back as kids.
    Wally can relive his youth, and Donna can come back as Wondergirl.

  12. H'EL
    December 9, 2012 at 3:42 am — Reply

    Wally could be introduced at any time, Daniel West’s around, Iris’s brother, so there is or at least could be a Wally West out there… even if he’s a youngster he can still gain his powers in exactly the same way as Barry, only he’s trapped in the Speed Force, and Barry needs to find him.

    Stephanie Brown can be introduced if and when Cluemaster’s introduced. Cluemaster can be a rival to the Riddler, and his daughter can still be the Spoiler, helping her father until Batman reveals the truth that her father is just as bad as the Riddler.

    Donna Troy’s even easier, she’s one of the snakes on Paradise Island.

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