Titans 20 cover: Donna sits on a bar, clad in a red strapless dressTitans #20, Feb. 2010. "Growing Young" Writer: Mike Johnson, pencils: Sergio AriƱo, inks: Wayne Faucher, editor: Brian Cunningham.

All the then-Titans got solo issues around this time. This was Donna's chance to take the spotlight.

These solo issues usually went: Hero is feeling down with serious mopes, questioning their worth to the world and themselves. Hero encounters menace, wins, feels good about self. This issue was no different.

The first page gives us a montage of Donna's various looks through the years as she listens to messages from her friends, exploiting what she considers her "den mother" persona. Roy (Red Arrow at the time) Harper charmingly (cough) calls her "D" as he requests her babysitting services. Vic (Cyborg) Stone calls to ask if she take over his monitor duty, as he has keen tickets for some event he wants to take a girl to. Gar (Changeling/Beast Boy) Logan apologizes for leaving questionable DVDs in the lounge. Koriand'r (Starfire) needs to talk personal stuff with Donna.

When the phone rings again, the caller asks for "Donna Prince." Donna thinks, "I almost hang up before I remember... one of my failed attempts at a SECRET IDENTITY. Back when I tried to live a NORMAL LIFE." Really? I don't remember it. I believe this is a convenient contrivance for this story to set up the "I just wanna be a NORmal PERson!" plot. Apparently this "Donna Prince" stuff was when she was first starting out as a photographer, because the caller wants her to do an emergency photography job. Donna accepts so she can turn down Vic's plea about the monitor duty.

The job is in Miami, which reminds her of Themyscira. It's the grand opening of the newest resort there, and Donna gets treated to a luxury room and "a per diem that would make Donald Trump blush." I have to wonder why, in a room she's not sharing with anyone, that she either takes a bath or uses the room's hot tub while wearing clothing. I also wonder, when later the villain says this is all a fake job, who's going to pay for it all.

Donna Prince and her revolting finestThen Donna dresses up like a tramp in a red microdress with a severe case of static cling, puts her hair up, a stern expression on her face, wears shoes that make her feet look like they belong on a horse, and, because she's in a secret ID, wears glasses.

No, really.

And hey, it's just what a professional event photographer WOULD wear, isn't it?

Donna, princess of the Amazons, adoptive daughter of gods, a god herself, major-league superhero who has hung out with every important cape in the DCU, is uncomfortable "hobnobbing with the beautiful people" at the party, whom she is contracted to photograph. Please note that she's only brought one camera for this extremely high-paying job. You, dear reader, have already ignored the fact that she was a world-renowned fashion model photographer in her ever-so-slightly younger years, and that's not the same thing at all as a paparazzo or event photographer, so it'd be awfully odd for someone to hire her as such.

Donna is SHOCKED!!! when a drunk hits on her. Dear me! The bartender has to rescue her, because of course she has no experience in this and she needs to be rescued by a man. She's very slow in playing along with his routine that she's waiting for her boyfriend to return.

The bartender is a dead ringer for Tom Tresser, who was at the time bumbling his way toward a romance with Diana. What's the barkeep's name? Why, it's "Tom."

Ah, such creativity in storytelling! First, Donna as a Diana Prince wannabe, and now she's copying her sister's boyfriends. Reminds me of the recent Wonder Girl miniseries, in which Cassie was also styled as a Diana Prince wannabe.

Anyway, the party goes on until the latest incarnation of the Fearsome Five crash it. Seems that FF leader Shimmer was the one who set up Donna for the job, since they've tired of being beaten by various Titan teams and have now decided to go after the members one at a time. They chose Donna as first because she is "the strongest Titan."

As usual, villainous teams fight politely, one at a time. Rumble's rumbles knock Donna down. Jinx's undefined magics make Donna's head glow, which means... well, something, I'm sure. Mammoth belts Donna right out of the glow.

Shimmer boasts that when the team went after the Teen Titans "a few weeks ago with your little sister... SHE had some SPIRIT!"

Little sister? Are they talking about Cassie? Donna screams, "Don't you EVER... EVER touch her again!"

Nano sprays some nannites at Donna, though we aren't sure what their nannite job is (act like a cloud of dust? That's what it appears to be).

Shimmer chuckles, "What happened to you, Troy? It's like you've lost your EDGE. Like you've gotten OLD." Ah, so that's why the story is called "Growing Young." How goofy.

But Tom the Barkeep races in as a distraction, doing more damage than Donna's managed. When everyone turns back to the battle, Donna's gone, but then she flies in in full Troy regalia (complete with silver lasso) to sock Shimmer, and (single clever thing of the issue) use Nano as a shield against Rumble. Amusingly, Nano's clothing (nannites?) dissolves in the onslaught. After Rumble obligingly tells her that his powers come from his suit, Donna tosses him far off into the ocean, using a long, high trajectory and saying that she hopes the outfit is waterproof.

Well, gee. She didn't ask if he could swim, if he could swim for extremely long distances, if he could withstand strong g-force acceleration and sudden braking and impact from same... She just assumes a waterproof suit is going to protect him from a full-on goddess power bash? Right.

It takes three slugs to take Mammoth out. "For my sister!" Donna declares. Sister?

Donna uses her lasso to heft Jinx up, since Jinx has to have contact with the Earth for her magic to work. (Actually, Jinx was on a deck before. Does that count? Isn't the wood just as connected to the Earth as the atmosphere?)

Donna threatens Shimmer, trying to get her to tell her who had hired her to do all this. Shimmer refuses to answer, and Donna apparently doesn't know that her lasso has the power to compell Shimmer to answer.

Afterward, Tom the Barkeep hands Donna's camera back to her, asking that she return it to the dark-haired, bespectacled woman who had brought it.

"He knows," idiot Donna whispers unbelievingly to herself. "He definitely knows!" Well duh, who doesn't?

Tom leaves, but not before asking Donna to tell the "mysterious" photographer, "RED is really her color."

The final page has Donna two weeks later taking an apartment in Miami: "new floors, pool, incredible ocean view." She receives a phone call from Tom and declares, "I feel... young."

Imagine, a woman in her very early twenties who feels young. Golly.

For the record: I like the idea of Donna in Miami. There are no other capes to my knowledge there, and it's an interesting enough location. But just a few months later, DC announced that in a future issue of JLA, Donna will move to San Francisco, there to be Jade's roomie. (Of course you all recall that Jade was Kyle Rayner's gf before Donna was, and also after Donna. Why do I so doubt that two sensible women would welcome this arrangement?)

 

Navigation back to Synopses Table of Contents