Warning: Image Heavy. TL;DRness.
The Whys and Wherefores
The point of this post isn't to convert people to liking Donna Troy or becoming a fan of her character. I believe that is all pertaining to ones personal taste and approach to enjoying fiction, so that's not really my job or duty. It's not to convert, but to display. To combat memetic thinking on a message board is like trying to run up into the sky, I know that. Thoughts and ideas self replicate and become alive as they jump like parasites from brain to brain, specifically used for humorous purposes. Of course, they eventually are used for dismissiveness, even when they have the best of intentions or even rationality behind them.
This post isn't a defense of Donna Troy. It's more of a tribute that showcases her differences from Diana, and exhibits why some people have a strong respect or attachment to a character that has arguably suffered from DC's continuity mess more than any other, bar Hawkman. There is much memetic thinking applied to Donna's character, some of it true, some of it isn't. That her origin story is perplexingly confusing (it is), that her power set is inconsistent (it is), that she's dated all of the Titans and has a long history, lovelife wise (she hasn't, she only dated one ... Wally propositioned her for dates, but she always turned him down; she doesn't), that she dumped Kyle Rayner for Roy Harper (she didn't), and so on.
I will take you to a time before Bryne, before Darkstars and depowerings and family fridging. A time that most people have popularized into defining Donna Troy by her relationship with fandom-reviled Terry Long, rather than look at her as an individual. The story arc I am going to show from The New Teen Titans, Volume2, Issues #20-22, is probably an odd choice. Donna Troy has just had the Titans left in her hands after Nightwing has quit, and despite her great strategizing and supportive ways, is doing a pisspoor job of leading (Donna usually is excellent at this) because of the stress accumulating in her life. These issues exhibit her layered relationship with Dick Grayson, her philosophical clashing (but ultimate respect, regardless) for Hawk (for people who don't know much about the original Hawk and Dove, this might get you a bit interested), and the roots of her lingering affection for Jason Todd. She isn't at her best here, but she's at one of her most interesting times. And, most importantly, Diana would have handled her situation entirely different.
So first, we have to look at what Donna is dealing with. Dick is gone searching for Raven, Vic and Gar are off after Mentos, Koriand'r is in space, Tempest/Garth is depressed over the loss of Tula and slightly suicidal, Jason is an inexperienced but wide-eyed last-minute stand in for Dick, Hawk is being driven over the edge by the death of his brother, Dove, Wally is dealing with being the Flash now that Barry is gone, and Roy just got out of his mess with Chesire (or so he thinks). Sound like an ideal team to represent the Titans on an overseas mission in Russia to handle Chesire and her mercenaries to you?
Donna is already met with tension at the reuniting of the Titans. They're all being pulled in different directions (wow, isn't it sad that the current Titans book is basically the same plot, only poorly written? It kind of shows how little everything has developed with this lot), half of them aren't up to getting involved with politics, and Dick's resignation has demoralized most of the team. Hawk's disdain for communism is only being fueled by the slipping grip on sanity he has now that his brother has been killed for his peaceful ways. Wally isn't feeling this at all.
He demands to know why the Titans have been called for this job, and not another team. Donna explains it is because they've fought the mercenary that has been hired by the communists: Chesire.
Obviously, Roy is elated.
While Jason is genuinely excited to be with the Titans, Roy shows hesitance, which concerns Donna and irritates Hawk. The man lives up to his name and calls Roy a wuss for it. Of course, none of the Titans at this point know of Roy's clandestine affair he had with Chesire, or that she has his daughter.
Wally's in, while Garth is apathetic about it all. Donna tries to talk to him about it and be supportive, but he tells her she can't comprehend what he's going through, basically. Don't worry, Garth! Get Donna in a few years and she totally will! We then have Donna flying the Titans jet and almost embedding it into the Twin Towers because she's so distracted with her previous failures. Good job, Donna. Meanwhile, Jason is cute and starry eyed.