Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #172: Wonder Girl

Well, I said I’d do Wonder Girl this week.

So, here’s the deal.  Over the past two weeks, I noted that both Superboy and Bart Allen had been rather prominent DC heroes for a while.  Both had been among the founding members of the Young Justice team.  Then I noticed that only one member of that team’s initial line-up, Tim Drake’s Robin, was still active at all in the DCU.  The others?  Well, here’s the deal.  Young Justice started when three new versions of old sidekick characters, Drake’s Robin, Superboy, and Bart Allen’s Impulse, came together to form a team.  After a couple issues, they gained some female members in the form of Arrowette (she’d appeared in a couple issues of Impulse’s book), Secret (who was brand new), and the latest version of Wonder Girl.  Since I’ve covered all the others here, let’s take about Wonder Girl.

The original Wonder Girl was Donna Troy…sort of.  Actually, the original Wonder Girl was Wonder Woman herself as a youngster like the original Superboy was Superman as a boy.  Then the creators behind a new Teen Titans book decided they needed a female member and put Wonder Girl on the team because the people responsible there apparently had no idea Wonder Girl was not Wonder Woman’s sidekick but rather she was Wonder Woman as a girl who occasionally teamed up with her older self thanks to time travel.  Donna has had about a half dozen different origins over the years, and as a result, well, she’s a mess.

Fortunately, the newer Wonder Girl didn’t have those problems.

This Wonder Girl was one Cassie Sandsmark.  Cassie was the daughter of Wonder Woman friend Helena Sandsmark, an archaeologist.  Oh, and Zeus.  Her dad was Zeus.  Cassie gained some superpowers to assist Wonder Woman with from magical artifacts her mother had lying around and later got her father to grant her real powers.  Helena has the power to shut them off, but she declines because she sees what her daughter really wants to do.

By the by, in her initial appearances, Cassie wore a black wig, leather jacket, and thick glasses to hide her identity.  She looked…kinda silly actually.

Pictured: someone who looks kinda silly actually.

Now, the first time I personally saw Cassie (as I shall refer to her to avoid confusion with Donna Troy), it was in a DC/Marvel crossover when a team of younger heroes was brought in to help, and she seemed like some sort of weird valley girl type.  I didn’t care for her.

Actually, when she reappeared in Young Justice, she displayed some actual superpowers and not just a lot of dorky enthusiasm.  After a while, Cassie ditched the jacket, wig, and glasses, and we had a blonde girl who looked an awful lot like her teammate Arrowette, whose real name was Cissie.  Cassie and Cissie.  Yeah, nothing confusing there.

Over time, Cassie actually gained a lot of experience and even became a credible team leader of the others.  When the Young Justice team transferred many of their members to the Teen Titans, Cassie went along.  She developed a romantic relationship with Superboy and, er, Robin when Superboy was temporarily dead, and even made it to the Young Justice animated series, but it was season two by then and if you weren’t Blue Beetle, you weren’t getting much screentime on that show.

Yeah, the animated series never really said where she came from. She just showed up.

And, like Bart and Superboy, she was reincarnated in a new version for the New 52.  This one was Zeus’ granddaughter and a thief and…like Superboy and Bart, she seems to have disappeared with DC Rebirth.  So, yeah, she’s gone too, and after all those controversial issue covers showing her as drawn by an artist who doesn’t really know how the human female body works.

I’m sure Cassie will be back at some point.  She’s not Arrowette after all.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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