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I checked and it's been five years since I posted this, so I'm giving it a bit of a revival.

I've also discovered there was an old series of posts about Diana called "World of Wondy", so I'll probably merge them with the current theme, for ease of access.

The new movie will hove to the New52 reveal that Diana is the actually the daughter of Zeus, a story idea so at odds with the concept of Wonder Woman it boggles the mind. I believe that Rebirth might have done away with that (though I'm not sure), but the movie was already underway so it played the cards it was dealt

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: 2017-05-30 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
I'll be the first to admit that a lot of Perez's WW run hasn't aged well (he might've been ahead of his time in gender stuff, but he did not give two piping hot fucks about race and it results in some really ugly stuff down the line, especially in Cheetah's new origin), but looking at these pages, it just *feels* right. No-one before, or since, has been able to combine shameless cheesecake with genuinely reverent, genuinely *mythic* art as '80s Perez could.

Then again, even in this inaugural issue there are a lot of worldbuilding things that feel... off. Heracles as a Genghis Khan-style conqueror is especially weird - I know he wasn't the nicest guy in Greek myth, but he had enough of a conscience to undertake backbreaking atonement for killing his family, when that *wasn't even his damn fault* (somewhere in this issue, Perez and/or Greg Potter even acknowledges "Hera's curse", so it's not like they retconned that out). And leading a whole army? Maybe I just didn't read the right myths as a kid, but I always envisioned him as the kind of guy who adventures solo, or else *joins* armies (like the Argonauts) rather than commanding them.

On a completely different tack... am I to believe that in the time it took for the first crop of Amazons to build Old Themyscira *and* make it awesome enough for its legend to spread far and wide, Hippolyta - who, remember, was the first of their number - hasn't grown a single wrinkle, nor a single gray hair? I took the Goddesses' comments up there to mean that Hippolyta and her band of Olympus loyalists would *remain* immortal, not become so for the first time (in contrast with Antiope's faction, which willingly renounced Olympus and thus became mortal).

I'm surprised Perez didn't follow up more on that line, to be honest. The other Greeks being jealous of the Amazons' immortality and general favor with Olympus (well, half of it at least) would've been a far richer and more compelling source of conflict than what we got in the text...

Date: 2017-05-31 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
Regarding Perez and race... I should've made myself a little clearer. Perez was color-blind in both the best and worst ways - best in that he saw no problem with putting more non-white characters in Diana's supporting cast (though Philippus was ultimately the only one with any staying power), and worst in that he ALSO saw no problem with writing an African tribe whose religion literally revolved around murder and cannibalism (complete with spiked cage to put the helpless white explorers in). I'm seriously tempted to say that Barbara Minerva's origin is *more* racist than anything Marston did back in the '40s.

(There are also some Yellow Peril elements whenever Chinatown pops up during his run, but I suppose those are easier to overlook.)

As for Heracles... I suppose it's a generational thing, then. Most retellings of the myth *I* read tend to gloss over all the Labors between the slaying of the Hydra and the retrieval of the golden apples, so I get the impression he did all (or at least most) of them solo. The most in-depth version I read was a rather... sanitized novel with no rape or bloodshed whatsoever (I'd post a link but several weeks of Googling and begging other people on Tumblr have left me no closer to finding what this novel was called).

Date: 2017-06-01 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
As I recall, bad-guy conqueror Hercules and his brutal army are from the Marston stories. Although I think Marston, conscious of writing for a young audience, had Hercules try to capture the Amazons as hostages rather than slaughter them.

Date: 2017-05-30 10:36 pm (UTC)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
From: [personal profile] sholio
Oh hey, we had this issue when I was a kid - my sister and I read this over and over. I still remember all this so well!

I didn't know they had retconned her origins. I always thought of this as very definitively the "real" Wonder Woman origin story.

As a kid, I found some of the Amazon/mythology parts of this particular WW run confusing, but I do think it's interesting (re: your "victim blaming" comment) that the opening pages were something I had no confusion at all about; even to child!me, before I had heard the words "unreliable narrator", it was abundantly obvious who's at fault. Little me didn't pick up on the significance of Diana and her mother as the reincarnated versions of a woman and child who were killed by an abusive husband, however (and very directly as the result of toxic masculinity writ large). It's interesting to reread it as an adult and go ".... oh!"

Date: 2017-05-30 11:18 pm (UTC)
ekrolo2: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ekrolo2
The movie doesn't exactly use the N52 origin from what I've seen.

Date: 2017-05-31 12:26 am (UTC)
ozaline: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ozaline
Well I posted it only two and a half years ago ;p

The most significant part for me is the way this origin mirrors that of Pandora. She too was sculpted from clay and given gifts by the various gods, and she was pretty much the archetypal women for the ancient Greek's and really embodied their misogynistic ideas.

Compare Diana's origin to what Hessiod said about Pandora in Works and Days:

(ll. 54-59) `Son of Iapetus, surpassing all in cunning, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire -- a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be. But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction.'

(ll. 60-68) So said the father of men and gods, and laughed aloud. And he bade famous Hephaestus make haste and mix earth with water and to put in it the voice and strength of human kind, and fashion a sweet, lovely maiden-shape, like to the immortal goddesses in face; and Athene to teach her needlework and the weaving of the varied web; and golden Aphrodite to shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs. And he charged Hermes the guide, the Slayer of Argus, to put in her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature.

(ll. 69-82) So he ordered. And they obeyed the lord Zeus the son of Cronos. Forthwith the famous Lame God moulded clay in the likeness of a modest maid, as the son of Cronos purposed. And the goddess bright-eyed Athene girded and clothed her, and the divine Graces and queenly Persuasion put necklaces of gold upon her, and the rich-haired Hours crowned her head with spring flowers. And Pallas Athene bedecked her form with all manners of finery. Also the Guide, the Slayer of Argus, contrived within her lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature at the will of loud thundering Zeus, and the Herald of the gods put speech in her. And he called this woman Pandora (2), because all they who dwelt on Olympus gave each a gift, a plague to men who eat bread.

Diana was a new archetype to replace Pandora, a not-sucky one. This is why I was soo pissed at the New 52 origin.
Edited Date: 2017-05-31 12:28 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-31 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strejdaking
"I believe that Rebirth might have done away with that (though I'm not sure)"

It's quite odd how few people actually appear to read or even keep up with Rucka's run, especially how many of them are big time fans waiting for this thing since New 52.

Date: 2017-05-31 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strejdaking
Sure, but this really seems to be true of most people. Current WW just doesn't get any attetion. I get why it's not as followed as Azzarello's stuff, as that was part of a massively publicized reboot and had a big attention grabbing controversy, but it's like nobody keeps up beyond Year One. Not even here. It's weird.

Date: 2017-06-01 04:46 pm (UTC)
ozaline: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ozaline
I have been following it and I am still confused... she may or may not have ever returned home, but most definitely hasn't. And is probably made of clay? I need to reread it once it is released in its entirety.

Date: 2017-05-31 08:05 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Really love this origin :)

Date: 2017-06-02 03:50 am (UTC)
tigerkaya: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tigerkaya
I have the first five issues collected on ComiXology. I Love this series from Wonder Woman, I considered this the Year one equiviliant to her character.

One thing I'm relived to learn about in the Rebirth DC is how everyone is retconning the New 52 version and bringing back the Perez version. I just hope they remove the Zeus father angle.


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