Amazons (DC Comics)

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Amazons
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance All Star Comics #8 (January 1942)
Created by William Moulton Marston
Harry G. Peter
Characteristics
Place of origin Earth, centered on Themyscira (originally named Paradise Island)
Notable members Wonder Woman
Hippolyta
Donna Troy
Artemis
Philippus
Nubia
Inherent abilities Superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, durability, superior hand-to-hand and weapons combat skills

The Amazons of DC Comics are a fictional all-female society of superhumans, based on the Amazons of Greek mythology. There have been several major incarnations of these Amazons, including William Moulton Marston's original depictions, Robert Kanigher's revised depiction (highlighted by the change of Queen Hippolyta's hair from black to blonde), George Pérez's reworking, following the Crisis, and changes subsequent to Infinite Crisis, and The New 52. What these groups have in common is that they are the people from which came DC Comics' superheroine, Wonder Woman.

Origin[edit]

The Amazons of Paradise Island were first created by William Moulton Marston as part of the origin story of his creation, Wonder Woman. These Amazons were a race of immortal super-women that lived on the magical Paradise Island. Favored by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, the Amazons thrived in peace for centuries, but remained aloof from the world of Man. The youngest and most powerful of the Amazons, Princess Diana, left her protective nation of sisterhood, renouncing her immortality to fight the forces of evil in Man's World as Wonder Woman.

History[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

In the days of Ancient Greece, many centuries ago, the Amazons were the foremost nation in the world. In Amazonia, women ruled and all was well. Then one day, Hercules, the strongest man in the world, stung by the taunts that he could not conquer the Amazon women, selected his strongest and fiercest warriors and landed on the Amazons' shores.

The Amazons' queen, Hippolyte, met Hercules to a personal combat, because she knew that with her magic girdle, given to her by Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, she could not lose.

Hippolyte defeated Hercules, but with deceit and trickery, he managed to secure Hippolyte's magic girdle—and soon the Amazons were taken into slavery. Aphrodite, angry at Hippolyte for having succumbed to the wiles of men, would do nothing to help them.

Finally, the Amazons were no longer able to bear their submission to men, and Hippolyte appealed to the Goddess Aphrodite again. This time not in vain, for she relented, and with her help, Hippolyte secured the magic girdle from Hercules.

With the magic girdle in Hippolyte's possession, it did not take long for the Amazons to overcome their masters—and taking from them their entire fleet, they set sail for another shore, for it was Aphrodite's condition that they leave the world of man and establish a new world of their own. Aphrodite also decreed that they must always wear the heavy bracelets fashioned by their captors, as a reminder that they must always keep aloof from men.

Paradise Island[edit]

And so, after sailing the seas many days and many nights, the Amazons found Paradise Island and settled there to build a new world. With its fertile soil, its marvelous vegetation, and varied natural resources, there was no want, no illness, no hatreds, and no wars. And as long as the Amazons remained on Paradise Island and Hippolyte retained the magic girdle, they retained the power of eternal life—so long as they did not permit themselves to again be beguiled by men.

The Magic Sphere[edit]

Just after the Amazons conquered the Herculeans and set sail for their island, they were given the Magic Sphere by Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. Through this device, Hippolyte was able to view events in Man's World from the present and past—and sometimes even forecast the future. With the visions of the future seen from the Magic Sphere, the Amazons were able to far surpass the inventions of man-made civilization. Not only were the Amazons stronger and wiser, but their weapons were more advanced, and their flying machines were faster.

Post-Crisis[edit]

In the mid-1980s a storyline took place called Crisis on Infinite Earths in which all comics in the DC Universe ceased to exist and restarted with all new origins. When this happened it was explained that the Amazons were created by the goddess Artemis from the souls of women who had died at the hands of men, and were given new and stronger bodies, made from clay transformed into flesh and blood. These Amazons, like the Pre-Crisis versions, escaped Heracles (the Greek name for Hercules) and his men to an isolated and magically protected island, this one called Themyscira after the lost capital city of the Amazons' former homeland. In this new land, they were granted eternal youth and beauty. Some Amazons chose to remain behind, however, and, lacking immortality, formed the hidden nation of Bana-Mighdall.[1] Stories featuring the Amazons appeared in Bonus Book inserts in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #18 (July 1988)[2] and #26 (January 1989).[3]

In 1998, at the close of Wonder Woman: Secret Files And Origins #2, screenwriter Eric Luke introduced the 'Code of the Amazons', as follows:

We are a nation of women, dedicated to our sisters, to our gods, and to the peace that is humankind's right. Granted life by Gaea, the goddesses, and the souls of women past, we have been gifted with the mission to unite the people of our world with love and compassion. We are the Amazons, and we have come to save mankind.

Infinite Crisis[edit]

Due to the perceived failure of Wonder Woman's mission in man's world, Themyscira and the Amazons are removed from the earth realm by the Athenian Gods.

Amazons Attack[edit]

The returned Amazons, led by a resurrected Hippolyta, invade Washington D.C. In the end they are stripped of their memories and scattered throughout the earth in mortal identities.

Flashpoint[edit]

In the reality-changing Flashpoint event, the Amazons are at war with the Atlanteans in Western Europe, after Hippolyta was killed by an Amazon disguised as an Atlantean during a wedding between Diana and Aquaman, causing Diana to become the Queen. They have taken over Britain, killing 12 million in the process. Many female superbeings are shown to be in league with them. It is later revealed the Ocean Master and Diana's aunt were behind this[4]

Purple Ray[edit]

The Purple Ray is a quasi-mystical healing device used by the Amazons. In the Pre-Crisis continuity, it was invented by Diana herself. It has also been used for other purposes, such as empowering Wonder Girl, and as a weapon.

Named Amazons[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Post-Crisis[edit]

  • Queen Hippolyta - Queen of the Amazons
  • Princess Diana - Daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Princess of the Amazons
  • Donna
  • Aella - An Amazonian falconer and royal guardswoman
  • Antiope - Hippolyta's sister, led the Amazons who pursued war against Heracles and Theseus despite the objections of Athena[8]
  • Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
  • Clio - An Amazonian scribe
  • Cassandra Sandsmark
  • Epione - The Amazons' chief healer
  • Euboea - A champion swimmer and friend of Diana
  • Faruka - An eyepatch-wearing Amazon [9]
  • Grace Choi
  • Hellene
  • Io - The Amazons' weapons-mistress with a crush on Diana
  • Ipthime - The Amazons' sculptor and architect
  • Mala - An Amazon who is a childhood friend of Diana
  • Melia
  • Menalippe - The Amazons' oracle
  • Mercy Graves
  • Mnenosyne - The Amazons' historian
  • Nu'Bia - An Amazon and Guardian of the Doom's Doorway
  • Orithia
  • Pallas - The Amazons' blacksmith
  • Penelope - The Amazons' archivist
  • Penthesilea - An Amazon loyal to Queen Hippolyta [9]
  • Philippus - The Amazons' army general and later chancellor
  • Polycasta
  • Pythia - The spiritual mentor to Julia Kapatelis
  • Tender Mercy - An Amazonian supervillain and partner of Doctor Impossible
  • Timandra - An Amazonian historian
  • Venelia

The New 52[edit]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Amazons appeared as blonde-haired girls in the 1970s live action television series of Wonder Woman.
  • The Amazons appeared in several episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. They were most prominently featured in the two-part Justice League episode "Fury", where a rogue Amazon named Aresia attempted to unleash a plague that would kill all of the men on Earth. The Amazons also appeared in the Justice League episodes "Secret Origins" and "Paradise Lost", as well as the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Balance".
  • The Amazons briefly appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Triumverate of Terror!", where a tournament was held on Paradise Island by Queen Hippolyta. The Joker infiltrated the island by disguising himself as a woman, and won the tournament by using his trademark Joker venom to poison all of the Amazons present in the arena.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

  • The Amazons appeared in DC Universe Online. Besides Wonder Woman, Io, Mala, and Clio are the only known Amazons from the comics that appear in this game. Wonder Woman rallies the Amazons to fight Circe's Beastiamorph army in Metropolis. The foot soldiers of the Amazons consists of Amazon Hoplite Minors, Amazon Hoplite Majors, Amazon Hoplite Spearmaidens, Amazon Archer Minors, Amazon Archer Majors, Amazon Panarchos, an Enchanted Statue.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Amazons", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 13, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5 
  2. ^ Wonder Woman #18 at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Wonder Woman #26 at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Azzarello, Brian (2011). Wonder . ===The New 52=== Following the revamp of the DC Universe's history at the end of Flashpoint, the history of the Amazons was again revised. Themyscira is now called Paradise Island as it was before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Hippolyta has blond hair and is the biological mother of Diana, whose biological father is Zeus. Hippolyta invented the "molding Diana from clay" story in order to protect her from the wrath of Zeus's wife Hera.Woman (DC Comics) 4 (1-4). 
  5. ^ a b Wonder Woman #1
  6. ^ Wonder Woman #328
  7. ^ Wonder Woman #301
  8. ^ Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #1
  9. ^ a b Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #33
  10. ^ http://www.newsarama.com/games/injustice-gods-among-us-preview.html