Amazons (comics)


Amazons (comics)

The Amazons of DC Comics are a fictional all-female society of superhumans, based on the Amazons of Greek mythology. There have been three major incarnations of these Amazons, one before the Crisis, and two after. What two have in common that they are the race which produced Wonder Woman. The third group of Amazons call themselves Bana-Mighdallians.Citation | last = Jimenez | first = Phil | author-link = Phil Jimenez | contribution = Amazons | editor-last = Dougall | editor-first = Alastair | title = The DC Comics Encyclopedia | pages = 13 | publisher = Dorling Kindersley | place = London | year = 2008 | ISBN = 0-7566-4119-5]

Origin

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

Pre-Crisis

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 couldn't 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 Hippolyta'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 didn't 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

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

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

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 re-started with all new origins. When this happened it was explained that the Amazons were created by the goddess Aphrodite 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 capitol 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.

Purple Ray

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

Pre-Crisis

*Antiope (plotter of coup d'état, "Wonder Woman" #328)
*Artemis, the first Wonder Woman ("Wonder Woman" #301)
*Atalanta, queen of the lost Amazon River tribe
*Athleta
*Diana, sister of Queen Hippolyta
*Princess Diana
*Princess Donna
*Fatsis ("Wonder Woman" #1)
*Mala
*Nubia
*Orana
*Paula
*Penthesilea, first queen on Earth-One
*Sofia Constantinas

Post-Crisis

*Aella
*Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
*Clio
*Cassandra Sandsmark
*Euboea
*Grace Choi
*Helene
*Mala
*Melia
*Menalippe, oracle
*Mnenosyne, historian
*Nu'Bia
*Pallas
*Penelope
*Philippus, army general and later chancellor
*Polycasta
*Pythia, spiritual mentor to Julia Kapatelis
*Timandra
*Venelia
*Princess Diana
*Princess Donna

ee also

*List of women warriors in folklore, literature, and popular culture

External links

* [http://www.dcdatabaseproject.com/Amazons Amazons - DC Database - a Wikia wiki]
* [http://www.carolastrickland.com/comics/wwcentral/post-C_index/amazons.html Carol A. Strickland's Amazon Indices] - A list of post-Crisis Amazons (work in progress)

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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