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[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Following a major comic event, several origins in the DCU were retold, except not just retold, but completely rebooted. Wonder Woman and Superman were starting from scratch, though Batman's history would only be slightly revamped, and Green Lantern's hardly at all.

But it's not 2011, the year was 1987, and in this case, the title was "Wonder Woman".

Trigger warning for misogyny, violence against women and rape (though that latter is not seen, it's so heavily implied as to be worth mentioning)

(11 pages from a 33 page issue)

Now I should say up front, that I'm almost a little uncomfortable posting this. Given my own nature, I know I'm not qualified to comment on the significance of much of this from a feminist viewpoint, so I won't even try. What I will do is present the relevant (or at least what I thought was interesting) bits here and let those who know such things better make their own comments. If I mess anything up, please let me know.

The Silver Age Wonder Woman was always an odd beast to me growing up, she was a heroine, yes, that was unquestioned, but whilst she could fly (She said she used gliding on air currents, but it always looked like flying to me) she also had the infamous invisible jet. She was a heroine, but she was also a serving military officer (Which never made sense to me even as a kid, as such a disciplined lifestyle does not lend itself to disappearing at random to save the world) she had achieved some degree of popularity through the Lynda Carter TV series (including the introduction of the memorable "Spin-BOOM!" transformation sequence) and so on... but I knew she was from Paradise Island, a place where the women were immortals, provided that no man ever set foot on the island, and where there was an odd mix of ancient weaponry and history, and super-high tech (They had made the invisible plane after all, and had something called "The Purple Ray" which was a super high tech healing device, and yet they were also still practising worshippers of the Greek gods, who also existed for real. It was something of a hodgepodge to young little Icon-UK, but it had it's moments.

However, there was always a part of me, mythology and legend fan that I was, that wanted it to be a bit more like the legends.

These are the first two pages

Interesting that the victim blaming is clear cut from the outset. Everything is told from HIS point of view, and it's HER fault he killed her.

We cut forward to 1200 BC, where on Olympus an argument is raging (Surprise, surprise). Artemis is petitioning Zeus for his approval on a new plan to create a new race of people who will give the gods worship like none ever have before. A race based on the notion of harmony between the sexes, where man and woman can be seen as equals, she wants to make them female to balance the world as it is.

Ares is opposed to this, he feels that the only way to ensure worship it to conquer humanity and use fear to MAKE them worship them. Artemis claims her new race will be immune to Ares aggressive tendencies, which Ares scoffs at as no one resists him.

Zeus dismisses them both and vanishes in a blast of pissed off lightning. Artemis can create the race if she wants to, but he dislikes the implicit suggestion that the gods will ever be forgotten by the races already on Earth, he can't conceive of such a thing.

Hera refuses to take sides, since Zeus is in a really bad mood and she has to live with him.

Ares departs in a cloud of dark energy, swearing that ultimately ALL will fall to him, even Zeus.

Disturbed by his blasphemy, but now more determined to create her new race, Artemis and Athena are ferried by Hermes to a meeting point with other goddesses, he then departs.

(Oddly, I remember there being more obvious appearances by people of colour in this issue, I must have misremembered, and it was remedied in later issues)

And so the first nation of the Amazon's is formed, one based on peace, love and justice. So successful are they that other rulers grow jealous and start a vicious smear campaign, forcing the poets and storytellers to paint the Amazons in a very bad light; inhuman, "other", not to be trusted, but to be FEARED. Guess who is behind it all.

Heracles is manipulated by Ares into attacking the nation of the Amazons, by seducing Hippolyta (whilst his companion Thesues seduces Antiope). Hippolyta's desire for Heracles makes her overlook  Menalippe's warnings about how badly this will end. And so it proves, with Heracles drugging and imprisoning her.

The Amazons are attacked and enslaved, their city destroyed and the use of the word "ravaged" has it's own repellent implications as to what Heracles army do with their captives.

After pleading from her prison cell for assistance from the gods, Athena appears to her and releases her, but warns against vengeance when the time comes for retribution. Hippolyta leads her people against their conquerors.

Thanks to fellow s_d-er [personal profile] thespis for this bit: Hippolyta heeds Athena's warnings against seeking vengeance, but the majority of Amazons don't, with Antiope in particular revelling in the slaughter.

And thus, though the fate of the other tribe of Amazons would not be addressed for a couple of years, were the Amazon's of Bana-Mighdall born.

However, for those left behind things are not plain sailing. The goddesses of are disappointed at how Hippolyta and her people responded. They had a chance to show mercy where none would be expected, to prove that they were indeed better than the norm, but they didn't, and Hippolyta failed to prevent it.

(Just interrupting the flow to note that it's interesting that the Amazon's were not immortal prior to arriving on Themiscriya)

I loved this origin, the use of the souls reborn, and the fact that her extraordinary abilities were gifts of her "godparents" really worked for me (and that she was properly given the power of flight!)

I skip over the rest of the issue, excellent though it is. It trots briskly through Diana's childhood, her training and education, her joining the combat to become Wonder Woman and earning the role. It also stresses that Diana was the FIRST and ONLY child born to an Amazon EVER. As such she was loved not only by her mother, but by every single Amazon on the island, who looked on her as something they had never had before; a niece/little sister and they all wanted to help train and make part of their lives.

Areas were expanded on as time went by, but that's the bare bones of the origin that lasted from 1987 to 2011.

Date: 2012-04-06 01:59 am (UTC)
thespis: ([batgirl] steph is amazing)
From: [personal profile] thespis
Just a small correction: Hippolyta heeds Athena's warnings against seeking vengeance, but the majority of Amazons don't. In the aftermath, the Amazons are divided - Hippolyta reveals that Athena has spoken to her and wants them to travel to the shores of the Aegean, but many Amazons feel their gods abandoned them during the sacking of the city and are still hungry for revenge on the escaped Heracles. The latter rally behind Antiope, riding out to war and becoming the ancestors of the Bana-Mighdall Amazons. The others fall behind Hippolyta, remaining faithful to their gods, and become the Amazons of Themyscira.

It's worth noting that the idea of reincarnation actually fits in quite well with Greco-Roman mythology, whether Perez intended it that way or not: According to some tellings, the shades of the dead would drink from the River Lethe - the underworld river of forgetfulness - washing away all memories of their past life in preparation for rebirth.

I also love the connotations associated with Diana's birth from the clay. It's an origin that puts her in line with Pandora, and with the legendary founder-kings of various Greek cities. Having sprung literally from the earth, Diana is a daughter not only of Hippolyta but of Gaia - and, indeed, of Themyscira itself. She is, in a sense, an avatar of Themyscira, embodying the very best of her land and its people.

Date: 2012-04-06 04:00 am (UTC)
louisadkins: Anthro-Cat. Full Body (Sensual)
From: [personal profile] louisadkins
This has always been the Diana creation story that I have known, and will likely always be the one I think of when talking about Wonder Woman.

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Date: 2012-04-06 02:03 am (UTC)
brooms: (FUCK IT)
From: [personal profile] brooms
that's an ugly baby.

i'm not into ww, so i was half expecting hera to pop up after hermes (~one of the girls) and chanel maleficent in the gifts-giving scene.

Date: 2012-04-06 02:25 am (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
It's the sunset. The lighting tends to shade the cute areas. I personally find baby Diana to be adorable looking.

Date: 2012-04-06 02:23 am (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
Now that's an origin I call unique. Not just how broad and eventful Diana's history is, but also how tragedy and deception were not factors in shaping her character. Love brought her into this world, and love keeps her going.

I also like this origin because everything seems relevant. Take the Amazons' revenge against Heracles. Diana has a warrior side that you do not want to cross.

Date: 2012-04-06 02:27 am (UTC)
sherkahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sherkahn
THIS is the Wonder Woman and her Amazon's that I know.

Date: 2012-04-06 02:32 am (UTC)
mullon: (Azula)
From: [personal profile] mullon
Did Wonder Woman even have a history before Perez?

Date: 2012-04-06 02:56 am (UTC)
nefrekeptah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nefrekeptah
Yes. It was mostly this, Perez just expanded it a little - or, well, a lot.

Date: 2012-04-06 02:57 am (UTC)
domino_blue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] domino_blue
.....why would anyone want to change that....that origin is really well done...

Date: 2012-04-06 04:11 am (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
The only reason to change it is to diminish it. It's too good for this misogynistic world.

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These pages here

Date: 2012-04-06 04:04 am (UTC)
eaglet_auditore: Jaime points at the camera and states a fact. (YOU)
From: [personal profile] eaglet_auditore
The main, main reason I came on s_d:
the history lessons.

Also everything else, but mainly this.

There was much to read (by that I mean it took me more time to read and understand than the average 22 pages issues I became used to get), but it kept me interested.

Date: 2012-04-06 05:17 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
Hmm.. next can you post Polly's time with the JSA in WWII? I'm sort of a fan of the Wildcat/Hippola shipping...

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Date: 2012-04-06 07:01 am (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
Mmmmm, Perez art.

Date: 2012-04-06 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kazeno
Thank you for the history lesson. You've single-handedly made me a fan of George Perez.

I've heard two defenses of the DCnU version of the Amazons, mainly that the Azzarello version is closer to the myth and that the Amazons were too squeaky-clean to be interesting. But this origin story is both closer to the myth (since when have the Amazons been sirens?) and shows that the Amazons were never these perfect paragons of morality and justice. They've made mistakes that had terrible consequences, but they do their best to move on and rebuild their lives into something positive.

Date: 2012-04-07 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
except the Amazons of the DCnU don't seem to regard these as mistakes. They go out for men three times a century(a time frame that makes no sense, except to insure 25 year old Diana never participated) and then kill the men.

They'd do it again and in the era of Superman and Aquaman and Green Lantern officially become supervillains as someone came to the rescue.

Date: 2012-04-06 12:19 pm (UTC)
eyz: (J'onn J'onzz)
From: [personal profile] eyz
My favorite incarnation of the Amazons!
Boy, was his art gorgeous back then :D

Date: 2012-04-06 12:54 pm (UTC)
tauruschick12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tauruschick12
Oh god, I have the few books of Perez's run on Wondy that are out, and when I reread her origin I always end up crying. just. You can TASTE the emotions of all the characters.

Date: 2012-04-06 01:30 pm (UTC)
jkcarrier: me, at my old office (Default)
From: [personal profile] jkcarrier
There were aspects of Perez's WW run I didn't care for, but his version of the history of the Amazons was really brilliantly done -- keeping the broad strokes of the original Marston story while adding depth and nuance for a modern audience. It's amazing what a writer can come up with when he isn't terrified of female power... :/

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Date: 2012-04-06 03:31 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
the only thing about this origin that didn't jive with me is the cavewoman thing... it always felt... strange.... maybe because it didn't jive with mythology in general.... but what ever.

I don't hate the new origin, maybe because i still love the series...

but i do have to say this... i am a SUCKER for stories where gods and goddesses "Sing" existance or life into being.... Silmarillion, Moon walker, i know i am missing a ton... but that type of story, where music, or song are akin to magic... always gives me the chills and the happies :D

Date: 2012-04-06 06:56 pm (UTC)
junipepper: (jumplines)
From: [personal profile] junipepper
I first read it as "It is the womb of Gaga, mother of us all..."

I'm not even particularly a fan of said Lady, but somehow she infiltrated Wonder Woman for a moment there, and it kind of worked for me.

Date: 2012-04-06 10:49 pm (UTC)
joasakura: (Default)
From: [personal profile] joasakura
we are all one in Gaga >.>;

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Date: 2012-04-07 06:58 am (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
This was the first NECESSARY reboot of the post-crisis and the strongest. Because in fact this stuff was largely untouched territory that needed fleshing out. Wein and Perez were the first to really approach this as a vast and rich story in itself, and much as I've never cared for Diana, this was the first time there was a WW comic(and this even includes Colan, sorry to say) that held my interest. Which it did for about 24 issues, then I didn't look again till the recent reboot--which had me till the idea of the Amazons' oceanic rape raids, and then lost me.

Date: 2012-04-07 11:27 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
didn't someone try to make the Hippolyta's husband/mate into Vandal Savage?


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