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[VID] Transmission (Wonder Woman's Amazons)

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“Transmission” by cyborganize - Wonder Woman’s Amazons in film/TV/comics

audio - Ibeyi, “Transmission/Michaelion” from Ash (abridged)

premiered at WisCon 42 (May 25, 2018) in my “Foremothers” playlist

 

Concept Notes

Immediately before the release of Wonder Woman in the spring of 2017, my campus was targeted by a virulent alt-right backlash. I saw the movie in theaters nine times, and I think I never tired of it because the connection to its story of feminist heroism in the face of a bleak world helped sustain me through the struggle. Much as I adore Diana, though, it was not her crusading role I longed for – my utopian fantasy was escape to Themyscira. Creating this vid is as close as I could get.

Transmission was a premiere for Vid Party at WisCon 42, May 2018. To contextualize and extend its message, I situated it within a playlist I curated on the theme of “Foremothers.” This set included vids about Hidden Figures, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Born in Flames, and vidding itself – and it gestures to the generational feminisms woven throughout our experiences of these stories. This a broader idea behind the “transmission” I explore in my vid that ties it to the transmission of separatism as a speculative project.

Formal Approach

Lev Manovich first described the concept of database cinema in his 1998 piece “Database as Symbolic Form” (published 1999 and then incorporated into The Language of New Media). His paradigmatic example is Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929), an experimental “city symphony” documentary that links film technology with urban futurism in a nonlinear series of ecstatic Marxist metaphors. I’m interested in the potential resonance between vidding and the format of the database film, particularly when it comes to vid genres at the less narrative end of the continuum, like multifandom supercuts. The inclusion of shots of editor Elizaveta Svilova from Man with a Movie Camera in Counteragent’s vid She Blinded Me with Science (which you could almost call a Charmax supercut) is one of my favorite meta moments. This connection to the history of editing as montage speaks to the value of a database framework for thinking through the capacity of vids to organize alternative audiovisualities.

I approached this project as a database vid – in the figurative sense of Vertov (setting aside later innovations that mobilize actual computer databases to incorporate degrees of automation, randomness, and interactivity into audiovisual media). It adopts a taxonomic logic that parallels Manovich’s description of Man with a Movie Camera: “the process of relating shots to each other, ordering and reordering them in order to discover the hidden order of the world constitutes the film’s method… [it] traverses its database in a particular order to construct an argument.” In the case of Transmission, my archival procedures involved inputting (reading/watching), distilling, cataloguing, and restructuring fragments from Wonder Woman canon to surface the “hidden order of the world” of Themyscira. The vid is organized in thematic chunks that might function as headings or keywords (see table below); although some are obvious narrative beats persistently recognizable across many versions (Diana’s birth, the Amazon contest), they are not sequenced narratively. My “argument” about DC’s Amazons lies in the “particular order” of how the themes are defined and configured.

Perhaps moreso than arising from a database, Transmission generates a database of Themysicira’s history, culture, and personages. Like any archive, this database is overdetermined, incomplete, and highly subjective. My straightforward impulse was to document representations of the Amazons across the decades by highlighting key concepts and motifs. But I also relished documentation as a creative and interpretive act: I could neatly excise innumerable distasteful and problematic moments and preserve only those that slotted into my overarching manifesto on lesbian separatism. This is a transformative archive that manifests my vision of Themyscira out of the multifarious and disorderly canon.

My database methodology in Transmission entails a high density of images, and the time-based viewing experience is only one facet of the piece. It assumes access to the most basic interactive video technology: the pause button – freezing the frame at will is one alternative interface for navigating the archive I’ve assembled. The other I’ll offer is the complete shot list below, with onscreen text transcribed to make the vid more “readable” in the comics sense (and you can cross-reference the sources with my longer descriptions). This is probably more effort than most people will invest in consuming a video, but I hope that a latent impression of this hypermedia quality is part of the overall effect, giving the sense that Transmission merely indexes a vast repository of Amazon life.

Theme: Separatist Utopia

I’m interested and invested in what I perceive as a resurgence of separatist discourses since the rise of Trump. Wonder Woman and Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler, 2018) were two blockbuster films about speculative separatisms, and these timely stories seemed to merge with and magnify renewed energy around notions of separatism in US popular culture. In this vid, I wanted to explore how the representation of Themysciran culture on the big screen could contribute to activating and revitalizing the lesbian separatist imaginary.

For example, here are two articles posted on feminist blogs in fall 2015:

The first offers a history lesson on 1970s lesbian separatism for the readers of Autostraddle, a popular blog and community portal for queer women. The second uses some of this history to frame a profile of a current feminist separatist project. Both articles emphasize the problematic exclusions that fractured separatism during the second wave, particularly its inhospitability to women of color and outright exclusion of trans people. But both present these often bitter conflicts not as fatal flaws of the “lesbian land” movement but as issues lesbian communities have continued to grapple with through to the present day. Indeed, in 2009 the New York Times wrote that there are “about 100 below-the-radar lesbian communities in North America, known as womyn’s lands.”

One commonality between diverse visions of separatism is the importance of place. Lesbian separatist communes prioritized female autonomy through land ownership and rural self-sufficiency, navigating the corresponding entanglement with patriarchal capitalism and settler colonialism. Exploration of separatisms today is tied to attacks on identity-based “safe spaces” and caucusing models. In a formative essay on feminist separatism, Marilyn Frye wrote that “The creation and manipulation of power is constituted of the manipulation and control of access…. When those who control access have made you totally accessible, your first act of taking control must be denying access.” Through this lens, we can understand why demanding exclusive spaces for marginalized groups is such a threatening act of resistance.

Separatist ideas have always been shaped by a dialogue with speculative worlds. The Amazon mythos, including its incarnation in Wonder Woman lore, is an omnipresent touchstone for feminists. The multiplex historical arc of the Wonder Woman franchise that I tried to capture parallels the complex histories of utopian feminisms that have referenced or resonated with Amazon mythologies. As I suggested above, many of the images are repurposed from highly suspect storylines or freed from a pervasive imperative that men can and must enter the narrative. Thus, Transmission is not only about utopia but mobilizes utopian editing techniques to render Themyscira as the separatist “paradise island” that can never quite remain in focus amidst the morass of DC comics canon.

Theme: Transmission

In manifesting this speculative separatism, transmission is both the topic and the method of this vid. To have a culture, a feminism, a politics, a utopia requires transmission – communicating, remembering, and recording. Diana was born because her mother’s longing called forth a divine transmission (one way or another), a spark of life from the gods. She could become Wonder Woman only after the Amazons had passed on to her their society’s values and skills through study and training. I don’t think the significance of Themysicira to Diana’s origin could be overestimated: her fundamental superpower is that she grew up outside of patriarchy, and her foreignness to it allows her confidence, compassion, and clarity untarnished by internalized sexism. The Amazons may seem isolationist, but only because they see the preservation of this sanctuary as their highest calling. Through art, history, politics, cultivation, and embodied dexterity they keep alive the memory of being oppressed and enslaved and their commitment to building a world free of this. Themyscira is a utopia not simply by existing but because its inhabitants work to make it one – including the work of transmission.

On a meta level, I found the ongoing intertextual process of repetition, adaptation, and transformation that characterizes comics and the larger transmedia franchise fascinating. As an editor, I became rather obsessed with drawing out the patterns that have persisted almost unchanged in Wonder Woman for three-quarters of a century, as well as the malleability that enable striking evolutions. I think I profiled this dynamic narrative system as much as Themyscira per se – its mode of transmission to generations of fans. Superhero stories are a remix, in effect, and my remix of remixes uses vidding as transmission to explore how media is Wonder Woman and the Amazons’ origin and substrate. From print pages to IMAX, from museum exhibits to the Magic Sphere, there is no Themyscira without the technologies that make it real and channel it through time.

Race in Wonder Woman

While conceptualizing this vid, I was very aware of Wonder Woman’s fraught politics of gender and race. Having carried a hefty burden of representation for decades as THE iconic superheroine, Diana is ensnared in all the double binds of Western feminism, expected to exemplify every version of female liberation and castigated when she falls short. In some of the comics, she gets rather exhausted with navigating this role in the public eye when she’d prefer to focus on fighting the world’s external evils. I haven’t read anything from DC that approaches an accounting of how she has been drafted to champion the blundering violence of white feminism. Originators William (and increasingly, Elizabeth) Marston are lauded for Wonder Woman’s progressive and downright perverse gender values; nobody talks about how erotic slavery runs parallel to flagrant racism in these early pages. One anecdote from the second wave that struck me: in 1972, when WONDER WOMAN FOR PRESIDENT was emblazoned on the inaugural issue of Ms. Magazine, Shirley Chisholm (the first Black woman in congress) was actually running for president [Sarah Nicole Prickett in Artforum]. Director Patty Jenkins (born 1971) arises from this feminist tradition, although I’d like to give her credit for an understanding that has evolved over the course of her lifetime. Her 2017 Wonder Woman gave us a Themyscira that race-bends several named characters who have typically appeared as white in comics – most notably Artemis (Ann Wolfe) – not to mention a remarkably nuanced interpretation of The Chief by Eugene Brave Rock. And yet, the three top-billed Amazons are northern European by birth or descent, while Philippus (Ann Ogbomo) – a primary Black character in the comics, who has at times been Hippolyta’s intimate partner and co-leader – is sidelined (I am far from the first person with this critique). Wonder Woman will never be every woman’s feminist icon, but she should exemplify the reparative work of including more women in the feminisms she claims.

Transmission is not a vid about Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) or about individual Amazon characters. It’s about a separatist society that always should have been (and sometimes has been) multicultural – a diversity reflecting the story’s travels from the classical Mediterranean world to the contemporary American world. I thought a lot about how to deal with race in the vid, given its wildly variable portrayal (or lack thereof) in the canon. Ultimately it boiled down to a question: where is the line between inclusion and appropriation? I wanted to foreground women of color, but felt if I did this too aggressively I risked presenting Themyscira as something it’s not, co-opting WoC images to excuse and elevate a utopia that  still centers whiteness. Assessing where inclusion becomes appropriation isn’t a question that I answered or believe can be answered definitively, but it’s important to hold the tension in view.

This tension sits most uneasily with me when it comes to song choice. I spent literally months sifting through queer folk, disco, and pop for a vid song before I was introduced to Ibeyi and it just clicked. The album, and particularly this track, seem deeply rooted in women of color feminisms that are not mine to rework. Moreover, I needed to make cuts in the song – because it was too long and because the recitation sections really did feel like they’d cross into appropriation. Is that the ethical decision in consideration of the artists’ vision and context? It did seem that taking the opposite tack and excluding women of color from my music choices would only reinforce Wonder Woman’s exclusions and Themyscira’s default whiteness. Again, I can’t claim that I landed on the approach that is pure or correct, only that I took these issues seriously. My hope is that, on balance, the song operates to move the meaning of Themyscira toward greater inclusiveness – or at least gestures to my own utopian dream of what an inclusive lesbian feminist community could be.

Audio Source

Ibeyi (Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz), “Transmission/Michaelion” from Ash
Featuring: Me'Shell Ndegéocello on bass, the IDMC Gospel Choir, and Maya Dagnino (their mom) 

 

‘Transmission’ is the heart of the album… We believe in transmission. We believe in saying to people this is how I felt, this is me… Not only saying how you feel, but looking at how people are feeling around you and trying to understand them; finding what links us more than what divides us. Then, learning from our past and learning from other people’s past and learning from history, which is really hard.“ - Lisa-Kaindé Díaz

I abridged and edited this 6.5 minute track; the original includes spoken word elements from Frida Kahlo and Claudia Rankine that didn’t feel appropriate to the vid. The Kahlo quotation that appears in the end credits is a nod to the importance of this line in the song: “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

Image and Video Sources

Video and audio edited in Adobe Premiere Pro; end titles made in After Effects (I used a free template). Working with disparate visual source always poses technical challenges; I adopted a standard 16:9 1080p aspect ratio, and while this did involve some scaling up of video (particularly the 1975-77 TV series), I was able to find most of the raw material in adequate resolution. The high quality digital comics seemed to look OK with some amount of zoom (usually up to 200%). I did run into an issue with the films, though, since 1080p in cinema aspect ratio (2.4:1) is actually 1920x800. And then all the 2160p files used an h.265 (HEVC) codec which wasn’t functioning well in Premiere (even the 2018 release which theoretically handles this format), so I ended up having to reencode Wonder Woman using h.264 compression. (To make things even more confusing, 2160p aka 4k cinema footage has dimensions 3840x1600; for editing purposes I scaled down to 2592x1080.) In most other cases where Premiere didn’t like a video file, I was able to change only the container format using VLC’s Streaming/Exporting Wizard commands.

live action films

Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins, 2017) - IMDB full cast

Wonder Woman (2017) DVD extras

  • “Themyscira: The Hidden Island” [THI]
  • “The Warriors of Wonder Woman” [WWW]
  • “The Wonder Behind the Camera” [WBC]
  • “The Beach Battle”
  • “Crafting the Wonder”

Justice League (dir. Zach Snyder, 2017)

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (dir. Angela Robinson, 2017)

animated films

Wonder Woman (2009) - wikipedia
This story prefigures many signature aspects of the 2017 movie, and it features some of the most spectacularly epic Amazon moments. Unfortunately, its greatness is marred by an insufferable Steve Trevor. Gail Simone is credited as a writer, but I wouldn’t attribute the sexist touches to her. (Cast includes: Keri Russell as Diana, Virginia Madsen as Hippolyta, Rosario Dawson as Artemis, and Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor)

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010) - wikipedia
Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) is really the central character in this surprisingly coherent and entertaining narrative. As in some of the comics, Diana takes her to Themyscira to train, and they are attacked by the evil forces of Darkseid. (Cast includes: Summer Glau as Supergirl, Susan Eisenberg as Diana, Tim Daly as Superman, and Andre Braugher as Darkseid)

DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year (2016) - tumblr
This movie isn’t very substantive, but it’s pretty cute when Diana takes her pals Supergirl, Batgirl, and Bumblebee home to meet her mom.

television

Wonder Woman (1975-1977) - wikipedia

  • “The New Original Wonder Woman” [TNOWW] - This 90 min. “pilot” aired as a TV movie in 1975. It includes the WWII origin story of Wonder Woman, drawing from early comics. Cloris Leachman as Hippolyta.
  • “The Feminum Mystique” (season 1, episodes 4-5) - The Nazis invade Themyscira because they want the material to make weapons as powerful as Wonder Woman’s bracelets. Carolyn Jones as Hippolyta, and introducing Debra Winger as Drusilla (Wonder Girl).
  • “The Return of Wonder Woman” (season 2, episode 1) - Another 90 min. movie that reboots the show from the 1940s to the present day (1977) and retells some of the origin elements. Diana returns to Man’s World to help Steve Trevor Jr. (played by the same actor, Lyle Waggoner). Beatrice Straight as Hippolyta.

Justice League season 1 (2001-2002) - wikipedia

  • “Secret Origin” (episodes 1-2) - Against her mother’s wishes, Diana leaves Themyscira to join the Justice League.
  • “Paradise Lost” (episodes 10-11) - Faust turns the Amazons to stone, and the Justice League (along with Hippolyta) must battle the forces of Hades to save the island.
  • “Fury” (episodes 16-17) - Aresia, who was taken in by the Amazons as a child, decides to kill all men. Hawkgirl spends quality time on Themyscira. tumblr

Justice League Unlimited (2005), “The Balance” (season 2, episode 5) - tumblr

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2011), “Triumvirate of Terror!” (season 3, episode 8) - tumblr

Superman (1988), “Superman and Wonder Woman vs. The Sorceress of Time” (season 1, episode 8) - tumblr

Honorable mention (doesn’t appear in the vid):

Justice League Action (2017), “Luthor in Paradise” (season 1, episode 16) - tumblr

comics

Prior to 2017, I had never read a Wonder Woman comic. When I set out to comprehensively (and compulsively) survey representations of Themyscira, I had NO IDEA what I was getting into! The Amazons play a significant recurring role through the decades, and Diana frequently returns to Themyscira for a myriad of reasons. The presence and significance of this mythos goes far beyond her origin story. I based my research on the DC Comics Wikia, which currently indexes 658 appearances of Themyscira as a setting. I went through basically this entire catalog and prioritized a LONG shortlist of key titles. Over the course of about a year, I had to cut back this roster and cut it back again as it became clear that my reading list was far too ambitious. Regrettably, very little material from the postwar 20th century made it into the vid – I was on a WisCon deadline and I just ran out of time to sift through source. Perez’s opening series “Gods and Mortals” and a few scattered tidbits are the only references between the 1940s and 2000 (most of Wonder Woman Volume 1 and Volume 2). I gave precedence to origin story retellings and other key revisions of the Paradise Island mythology, and there has been a great density of those over the past 20 years. If you’re curious how much I had to leave by the wayside, here’s my remaining inventory of relevant issues for posterity:

  • Volume 1 (1943-1986): 5-8, 13, 33, 98, 100, 103, 105-106, 112, 121, 123-124, 129, 131, 156, 158-159, 173, 175, 179, 183-184, 195, 202-203 (Samuel Delany), 204-206 (origin of Nubia), 216, 223-224, 237, 247, 250, 269-271, 286, 302, 317, 327-329 (conclusion)
  • Volume 2 (Perez): 8-14 (“Challenge of the Gods”), 36-40, 49-51, 58-61 (“War of the Gods”), 62, Annual 1-2
  • Volume 2 (cont.): 72, 90-93, 103-104, 120-122, 128-129, 154-155, 168-170, 186-187

There were also a few separate issues from the 1970s and 1980s that I was unable to locate, including the first Legend of Wonder Woman.

I was able to “find” digital copies of all comics included in the vid except for Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, which I scanned from the book.

SPOILERS BELOW

Volume 1: 1-4 (Marston)

  • Whatever you’ve seen or heard about these early issues, the reality will exceed your wildest imagination. They are absolutely chock full of kink, lesbian subtext, and absurd scenarios. There are also frequent examples of staggering WWII-era racism. Reading William Moulton Marston’s work definitely deepened my understanding of his complexity as a “feminist” auteur. Each issue at this stage contains 68 pages and four Wonder Woman stories, with very dense text and illustrations, so I’ve only been through a few (so far). The title opens with a signature origin story for the Amazons and Diana, with many motifs that are retained in subsequent versions.

All-Star Comics Vol. 1 #8 (1941) here

  • “Introducing Wonder Woman” is ground zero: her first appearance and the earliest telling of her origin (the details are similar to Vol. 1 #1, but the narrative structure is different).

Sensation Comics Vol. 1 #6 (1942) here

  • In this Wonder Woman story (also predating the Wonder Woman title), Diana is called back to Themyscira, where she receives the magic lasso as a gift from Athena and Aphrodite.

[All Star Comics #8, Comic Cavalcade #1, Sensation Comics #1-14 and Wonder Woman #1-3 are in print as Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Vol. 1]

Comic Cavalcade Vol. 1 #19 “The Battle for Eternal Youth” (1947) here

  • Wall to wall femslash and a distilled example of Marston’s morally conflicted female villain. In an attempt to expropriate the Fountain of Youth, Roba dupes Diana into taking her to Reform Island (the Amazon prison aka re-education center where Mala disciplines girls out of internalized sexism). She escapes to Paradise Island and takes Diana prisoner with the lasso of truth while she and Hippolyta are fooling around with it. But in the end, she has a change of heart and sets Diana free!

The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman mini-comic (1980)

  • I came across this somewhat accidentally, it’s a simplified version of Diana’s standard backstory that’s literally mini in size. The vintage art style is fun.

Volume 2: 1-7 “Gods and Mortals” (1987) [in print as Wonder Woman By George Perez Vol. 1 or Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Box Set]

  • The George Perez reboot is nearly as influential as Marston on the overall Wonder Woman canon, and nearly as thorny in its feminism. Perez deepened the origin of the Amazons into a more detailed and complex tale that I found breathtaking in some moments and abhorrent in others. Having experienced the worst evils of patriarchy is defining of Amazon culture; “Gods and Mortals” renders the sexual violence in more realistic terms with very mixed results. Perez also introduces what seems like an unnecessary and convoluted split between two tribes of Amazons, the Amazons of Themyscira (Hippolyta and Philippus) and the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall (Antiope and Artemis), which (as in the 2017 movie) I have ignored. The art style (also penciled by Perez) is uniquely intricate, marked by striking and expressive layouts. As the story progresses past the origin (#1-2), Diana meets some new female characters and faces interesting and action-packed challenges in Man’s World. Reflexive tropes that thematize Diana’s status as a media figure within the comic intensify here.

Volume 2: 00 (1994); 1000000 “Legends” (1998); 164-165 (2001)

  • A grab bag of Diana on Themyscira storylines set in wildly different time periods.

Volume 2: 171-173 and “Our Worlds at War” one-shot (2001) [#171-177 is available in print or digitally through Kindle/comiXology as Wonder Woman: Paradise Found; Wonder Woman: Our Worlds at War is available digitally for $1.99]

  • “Our Worlds at War” was a crossover event spanning a bunch of titles. In the Wonder Woman section, Hippolyta dies saving Diana and the two Amazon tribes debate about whether to go to war. Teaming up with Diana as their champion, they defeat Darkseid and the forces of evil. The one-shot falls before #173 and contains a series of flashbacks about Amazon history. Phil Jimenez was writing and penciling during this run and there’s beautiful art – recommended.

Wonder Woman Secret Files & Origins #1-3 (1998-2002)

  • Each of these 48-62 page issues has a cool collection of bonus “profile pages” and illustrated blurbs that summarize Wonder Woman’s cast of characters and mythological elements at that point in the canon. #1 (Joanna Sandsmark) and #3 (Phil Jimenez) are fairly standard retellings of the origin (framed as a history lesson for Cassie Sandsmark and Lyla Michaels, respectively). #2 (Eric Luke) gives a dark backstory for Troia (aka Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl), parallel to Diana’s but architected by the EVIL deities. How dark? It opens with an epigraph from the Marquis de Sade.

JSA Annual Vol. 1 (2000) here

  • An origin story for the villainess Nemesis. Part two features Hippolyta training Black Canary, Hawkgirl, and Stargirl on Themyscira for whatever reason (it’s a very DC Superhero Girls vibe). They then find Nemesis washed up on the beach. (Diana does not appear in this, I think she’s dead at this point and Hippolyta is Acting Wonder Woman.)

Justice League Adventures Vol. 1 #4 “World War of the Sexes” (2002) here

  • This is an archetypal example of the typical Amazon morality tale: they decide to Kill All Men (due to evil influences), it is glorious, but in the end they see the error of their ways and decide that Men Aren’t So Bad After All (thanks, Justice League!). Also a good example of All-White Amazons.

Volume 2: 195-200 “Down to Earth” + 201-205 “Bitter Rivals” (2003-2004) [in print as Wonder Woman By Greg Rucka Vol. 1; “Down to Earth” included in Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Box Set]

  • This kicks off what is perhaps the most beloved and acclaimed Wonder Woman run, for very good reason. Greg Rucka’s Diana is a public intellectual and a global diplomatic figure in her position as Themysciran Ambassador to the UN. She’s a three-dimensional character juggling complex responsibilities with a stellar cast of teammates. There is no reiteration of the origin story this time around, but the Amazons play a significant recurring role. Rucka’s writing stretch continued through #217, the conclusion of Volume 2 (I plan to finish reading this one day).

Volume 3: #1-13 (2006-2007)

  • This is a forgettable hodgepodge of storylines centered on Donna Troy as Acting Wonder Woman, with a few issues penned by Allan Heinberg, Jodi Picoult, and J. Torres. The latter segment is a companion to the limited series Amazons Attack! which I did not read because it seems to be universally reviled (except I suspect I would have perversely enjoyed it, I do love straw feminists).

Volume 3: #14-17 “The Circle” + #18-44 (2007-2010) [this entire volume, along with “Odyssey” (below), is available digitally through Kindle/comiXology as Wonder Woman (2006-2011); “The Circle” is included in Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Box Set]

  • Gail Simone’s opener, “The Circle,” is probably the best known Amazon storyline in the Wonder Woman comic. This was the hardest note for me to write because I feel quite ambivalent about it. Diana’s origin is retold in flashbacks, with a twist: the unreliable narrator, Alkyone, is an anti-reproduction fundamentalist who believes a singular child will destroy their society. Alkyone’s perspective renders parthenogenesis and the maternal impulse both mystical and monstrous, an approach I did not find entirely comfortable. These themes are further elaborated when the ongoing Amazon lore reappears later (#26-33 “Rise of the Olympian”; #36-39 “Warkiller”) – it’s a strong narrative payoff with chewy social commentary, but said commentary rests on a hefty dose of domineering men, civil war, and hellspawn. The rest of the run is a potpourri of smaller tales that I had trouble connecting with overall (the boyfriend was a very unwelcome distraction); Diana’s struggle with her inner darkness is an overarching motif. My personal highlights include: Hippolyta fighting Nazis in the A-plot of “The Circle”; Simone’s accomplished and assured Etta Candy; and the reflexive masterpiece of Diana consulting on a Wonder Woman movie

Wonder Woman: Odyssey - Vol. 1 No. 600-614 (2010-2011, continues from Vol. 3)

  • I guess fans were pretty pissed off by this hasty and haphazard reset – it’s essentially a self-contained storyline because all DC titles were rebooted about a year later with “The New 52.” But taken on its own merits, I found this apocryphal Wonder Woman origin by J. Michael Straczynski to be an intriguing digression. Rather than growing up on Themyscira, Hippolyta sent Diana away when the island was razed by the forces of Men (and died to save her). The surviving Amazons live in hiding, awaiting the day when she will lead them to freedom. Diana is haunted by “memories” of alternate worlds and other Wonder Womans (more familiar to the reader), and duels “herself” in a final showdown to right the timeline. Also features: basically the best Wonder Woman outfit (Diana wears a leather jacket and black pants), modern Philippus with an eyepatch, sexy lady villains, and a cat.

  • #600 is the actual 600th issue of the Wonder Woman comic, and contains 4 unrelated stories by fave creators (plus the prologue to Odyssey), a brief introduction by Lynda Carter, and some bonus art – all fairly unremarkable.

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies (2011) here

  • This 3-part limited series was tied to a Flash-centered crossover event that inaugurated the Prime Earth timeline (whatever that means). In the Wonder Woman section, Diana makes friends with Aquaman but Themyscira accidentally gets into a war with Atlantis, a cataclysm that threatens Man’s World with destruction. Needless to say, it’s not very good.

Volume 4: 36-40 and Annual “War Torn” (2014-2015) here [BUY]

  • Meredith and David Finch inherit some baggage from Azzarello in their run (including a band of “male Amazons” who live on Themyscira), but manage to incorporate most of the nonsense as interesting conflicts within Amazon society. Hippolyta dies, and in the aftermath, Diana is torn between her responsibilities to the Justice League in Man’s World and to Themyscira as heir to the throne. The shadowy Amazon elder Derinoe is central to this storyline, which also includes an origin for evil Donna Troy – Derinoe instates Donna as leader (in this role, she slaughters all the men on Themyscira, which I was not one bit sad about). Azzarello’s original Amazon character Dessa, who is awesome, features prominently as well.

  • The Annual is the last chapter of War-Torn – mainly a battle between Diana and Donna. It also contains a flashback chapter that narrates Derinoe’s backstory and motivations. Derinoe grew up with Hippolyta before she was queen, and they appear to be canonical girlfriends. This is a gem of Amazon history that’s well worth checking out.

  • I also read #0, which falls during the Azzarello run in 2012. It’s a vignette about Diana’s childhood on Themyscira (where she is one of many kids, and gets teased about being clay born). I didn’t particularly care for it. Like Secret Origins (below), the cover is captioned with obnoxious inside jokes.

Secret Origins Vol. 3 No. 6 (2014) here

  • Yet another origin – mostly remarkable for scenes of heavy UST between young Diana and Aleka. Otherwise, Diana’s backstory relies on the more unpleasant tropes (trigger warning: Zeus). 

Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End (2014)

  • One installment of a massive crossover event, this title includes a visit to Themyscira where the Amazon army is joining an epic battle against Nemesis. Diana and Clark are shippy and the art’s body style is terrible, do not recommend.

DC Comics Bombshells Vol. 1 No. 1-2 (2015) here [Bombshells is collected in 6 volumes, all are in print and digital]

  • Taken purely as pleasure reading, this was my favorite of all the titles I looked at for research. Bombshells is an expansive female ensemble piece that has so much more depth than the gimmicky concept might suggest. Created by Marguerite Bennett and (initially) Marguerite Sauvage, respectively, the writing and art offer a transformative take on WWII-era stories and aesthetics that resonates historically but feels approachable and timely. DC’s full complement of female characters play a role, and there are multiple canonically queer couples here plus plenty of femslash subtext. One section of the opening arc incorporates Wonder Woman’s Steve Trevor origin: when he is crash-lands on Themyscira, Diana tries and fails to convince Hippolyta and the Amazons to enter the war in Man’s World. Diana teams up with her gal pal Queen Mera of Atlantis to help him escape a death sentence. 

Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 (2016) here [in print and digital]

  • The setting of this graphic novel by Grant Morrison is Diana’s trial on Themyscira for the crime of rescuing Steve Trevor and “consorting with Man’s World” (sidenote: Steve Trevor is black). Within this frame, it retells in flashbacks the origin stories of the Amazons and Wonder Woman, continuing through Diana’s fortuitous friendship with Etta Candy and her confrontation with Medusa (whom Hippolyta sent after her). There is a self-conscious homage to Marston happening here, and I was delighted by callbacks to absurd elements like kanga jousting, sexy deer roleplay, Diana trying to collar Steve, and Etta’s catchphrase “woo woo!” On a deeper level, I read this as a thought experiment in what it would mean to take the 1941 mythos seriously from a modern perspective – both the good (Themyscira as a thriving civilization) and the bad (rather graphic sexual violence). The art by Yanick Paquette is absolutely gorgeous (with the caveat that some women didn’t appreciate his buxom rendition of Diana), and if you want to be wowed by the beauty and richness (and queerness) of cosmopolitan Themyscira in a comic this is the place. For all its stunning development of Amazon lore, I can’t recommend this book unreservedly: the plot goes off the rails in the second half and resolves into some problematic ideas about Diana’s origin.

The Legend of Wonder Woman Vol. 2 No. 1-3 (2016) here [in print and digital as The Legend of Wonder Woman: Origins]

  • With its storybook illustrations and simple text by Renae De Liz, this limited series seems to be targeted at a younger audience – it’s a quick read and utterly charming. The tale opens on the origin of the Amazons, with the notable twist that a group of children is born on Themyscira every 10 years through divine intervention (Diana is still crafted from clay by Hippolyta, though). This first section includes an extended view of Diana’s childhood, which is colored by an ongoing conflict with her mother over her duty to become queen. Diana convinces Phillipus [sic] (who has taken the name Alcippe) to train her in battle and related life lessons, and they form a special bond through their awareness of a hidden evil that threatens the island. Mounting problems spark political unrest that culminates with Steve Trevor’s arrival, leading into a fairly traditional version of the Wonder Woman origin (cloaked in a supernatural mist, the Amazon contest sequence is striking).

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon (2016) [in print and digital]

  • With a similar children’s book vibe, this graphic novel presents a fully divergent rendering of Wonder Woman’s genesis that eliminates Steve Trevor and outside influences entirely. In order to do so, however, it paints a very unflattering portrait of young Diana that may not be to everyone’s taste. It is strongly implied that her motivation in this case is trying to impress a girl she’s in love with, so I’m quite content with the tradeoff wherein Diana goes out into the world to be a hero in Alethea's memory (even if it requires a “bury your gays” situation). The whole story takes place on Themyscira, and the writing and stunning watercolor illustrations by Jill Thompson make this another of my most favorite Amazon explorations.

The Odyssey of the Amazons (2017) here [in print and digital]

  • This apocryphal Amazon saga is set outside of Themyscira and involves a wandering band of original female characters created by Kevin Grevioux (best known for writing and acting in the film Underworld, although he also has a number of comics credits). The global approach to Amazon lore leans heavily on multiculturalism, with black women at the center – I thought that it fell squarely on the side of meaningful inclusiveness rather than appropriation, but your mileage may vary. Relatedly, Grevioux's alternate explanation for the Amazons’ birth did not sit well with everyone, but I feel like all versions have their problems so I don’t have a strong preference. The main storyline in this limited series deals with Norse monsters and mythology and the Amazons’ conflict and eventual alliance with the Valkyries, which is kind of random but fun. As the title suggests, this narrative has an epic sweep that I loved.

Volume 5: “Rebirth” (special issue), “Year One” (even issues 2-14), “The Truth” (odd issues 15-23) [in print and digital; at this point the best purchase option is probably Wonder Woman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1 and Book 2, but original collections of “Vol. 1: The Lies” (includes “Rebirth”) / “Vol. 2: Year One” / "Vol. 3: The Truth" etc. are also available]

  • “Rebirth” (the opening of Greg Rucka’s new run) is Diana’s meta meditation on her contradictory and overdetermined past, with the refrain “the story keeps changing.” Because the issue summarizes some of her kaleidoscoping canon in this deliciously reflexive manner, it would be a good entry point for Wonder Woman newbies.

You may notice that Volume 4 #1-6 “Blood” by Brian Azzarello is conspicuously absent from this list. I did read this storyline and then promptly went back to pretending it doesn’t exist.

Shot List

Since the visuals are highly layered, I have primarily timestamped the in/out points where each image or video clip is NOT partly transparent or underneath something (mintes:seconds:frames). You may see shots for additional time in the case of overlays and dissolves. For clarity, the moving image sources are bolded in this list.

IN OUT Source Notes
0:03:20 0:12:06 WW 2017  
0:13:21 0:20:05 TNOWW the pilot opens with this archival WWII footage
0:21:15 0:31:14 WW 2017  
0:33:08 0:38:08 Justice League 1x11  
0:37:06 0:42:11 WW 2017  
I. Oppression of the Amazons (content warning: illustrations of sexual violence)
0:43:05 0:48:04 WW Earth One “Obey your lord and master! Show your sisters how to behave when my soldiers arrive.”
0:44:08 46:06 WW vol. 2 no. 165 I was delighted to find references to classical Greek art and antiquities scattered throughout the canon
0:47:15 0:49:05 WW vol. 2 no. 1 this tableau of Hippolyta chained up by Hercules is echoed many times
0:48:05 0:49:05 WW Our Worlds at War [upper image] “They were drugged and chained and raped. Themyscira was burned to the ground. And Hippolyta lost her girdle to Heracles’ madness.”
0:48:05 0:49:05 WW vol. 1 no. 600 [lower image]  
0:49:06 0:51:20 The Odyssey of the Amazons “Demetria, what is done is done. We are the ones who followed of our own volition.” “We cannot abandon hope.”
0:51:21 0:54:28 WW vol. 1 no. 1 1. WOMEN WERE SOLD AS SLAVES–THEY WERE CHEAPER THAN CATTLE. “What say, hero? I’ll trade these five beautiful slave girls for thy goat.” “Bah! ‘Twould take a dozen women to get my goat!” 2. LOADED WITH FETTERS, BEATEN AND TORMENTED BY THEIR CAPTORS, THE AMAZONS WERE IN DESPAIR 3. THE CAPTIVE QUEEN PRAYED TO APHRODITE FOR HELP. “O divine goddess, forgive my sin! Give us strength to break our chains and recover the magic girdle!”
II. Wars of Liberation
0:54:29 0:56:06 WW vol. 1 no. 1 THE AMAZONS CONQUERED THEIR CAPTORS. “Aphrodite is with us! Hola!” “Awk! Uhn! Have mercy!” QUEEN HIPPOLYTE RECOVERD THE MAGIC GIRDLE.
0:57:01 0:57:22 WW Earth One “Hear me sisters! Amazons! Rise up! Cast off your chains!”
0:57:23 0:58:15 WW vol. 2 no. 1 “Then does HORROR scream within Hippolyte’s head! For her eyes are filled with sights of blasphemy–of sisters who kill with heartless precision… of ONE sister who kills… with eyes of sparkling pleasure!” (that’s Antiope, go girl)
0:59:05 1:00:13 WW The True Amazon  
0:59:13 1:00:13 The Legend of WW no. 1  
1:00:14 1:01:05 The Odyssey of the Amazons [center]  
1:00:14 1:01:05 WW Our Worlds at War [lower left] that’s Antiope on a murderous rampage
1:01:19 1:01:22 WW 2009  
1:01:14 1:04:08 Justice League 2017 Antiope again
1:05:13 1:06:22 WW 2009 Hippolyta is a BAMF
III. Origin of the Amazons
1:07:15 1:07:22 The Legend of WW no. 1  
1:07:23 1:09:13 WW vol. 2 no. 1 “It is, in truth, the source from which all life once sprung! It is the womb of Gaia–mother of us all! Those lights are souls of women–their lives cut short by man’s fear and ignorance. Soon, they shall sing the song of life!”
1:09:04 1:11:06 WW vol. 1 no. 1 BUT APHRODITE SHAPED WITH HER OWN HANDS A RACE OF SUPER WOMEN, STRONGER THAN MEN. “I will breathe life into these women, and also the power of love! They shall be called ‘Amazons.’”
1:10:17 1:11:06 The Odyssey of the Amazons “…an assailant that the patriarchs felt was no real threat and could not be seen. But we matriarchs could see it. And sought to do something about it.”
1:12:00 1:12:18 WW 2009 a visitation from Hera
1:13:08 1:13:18 WW vol. 2 no. 1  
1:14:02 1:15:05 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1  
1:14:17 1:15:05 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 3  
1:15:06 1:15:21 WW vol. 2 no. 3 “images flash through her mind like quicksilver – images of hungry churning seas and magnificent warrior women” (this is what happens when Julia Kapatelis touches the amulet Diana is holding during their library meet cute)
1:16:10 1:17:21 WW Our Worlds at War “The goddesses created us as a chosen race. We would teach humanity the virtues of equality and peaceful coexistence – the ways of Gaea, the earth mother.” “Henceforth, you shall all be Amazons! And none may resist your power!”
1:17:01 1:17:21 The Odyssey of the Amazons “Hera took hers to Themyscira.”
1:17:22 1:19:12 WW vol. 1 no. 1 THE GODDESS APHRODITE ANSWERED HIPPOLYTE’S PRAYER “You may break your chains, but you must wear these wrist bands always to teach you the folly of submitting to men’s domination.” “We will obey, goddess!”
1:19:06 1:19:12 Wonder Woman 2x01  
1:20:01 1:20:13 WW vol. 2 no. 1  
1:21:00 1:21:10 WW 2017  
IV. Themyscira: Doom’s Doorway
1:22:06 1:26:15 Superman 1988  
1:22:17 1:23:01 WW vol. 2 no. 5  
1:13:02 1:23:11 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 3 “Of course, Paradise Island was like the lid on PANDORA’S BOX.”
1:23:12 1:24:08 WW Our Worlds at War “A massive defense system was created to keep the hideous evils beneath the island at bay. For centuries, the Amazons honed their warrior skills as keen as a dagger’s edge – to ensure those evils never escaped the bowels of Themyscira.”
1:24:09 1:25:00 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 “CONSIVIA: the chief architect and city planner fell with many of her sisters defending – DOOM’S DOORWAY.”
1:25:01 1:26:02 WW vol. 2 no. 1 “And the burden of the Amazons’ responsibility is heavy indeed!”
1:27:19 1:28:10 Justice League 2017  
1:29:03 1:29:12 JL Unlimited 2x05  
1:30:00 1:31:15 Justice League 2017  
V. Weapons Training as Dance
1:32:13 1:33:22 Wonder Woman 2017  
1:33:23 1:35:22 SB Apocalypse Artemis + Supergirl
1:35:23 1:37:18 Wonder Woman 1x04 Drusilla (Wonder Girl) et al
1:37:19 1:40:21 WW 2017 Artemis + ?
1:40:22 1:42:21 WW 2009 Artemis + Diana
VI. Young Diana
1:43:16 1:44:05 WW 2017 Philippus on the left and Antiope on the right, watching Diana
1:44:20 1:45:22 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 Philippus: “I’d like to teach her how to use the powers the gods have granted her.” (in most versions, Philippus is the one to [secretly or not] train young Diana)
1:45:03 1:45:22 WW Our Worlds at War “I think she could benefit from some training.” “She’s already being trained, Phillipus [sic].” “Yes but only as an Amazon. I’d like to teach her how to use the powers the gods have granted her.” Even without her gods-given gifts, Diana excelled as a warrior. Archery, the javelin, sword, shields, the martial arts – Diana studied them all with intensity. And as she grew older, she mastered them.
1:46:12 1:46:20 WW vol. 3 no. 17 “All the Amazons became her mother, as one. She brought us HOPE. and LOVE. She SAVED us, Captain.”
1:46:21 1:47:11 WW 2017  
1:47:12 1:49:10 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 “I was given Diana. My child! Diana was the only child Themyscira had ever known. All saw that she was well taught and kept from harm. None more than I.”
1:47:20 1:49:10 WW vol. 1 no. 609 “Trained and educated to be the paragon of your culture.”
1:48:00 1:49:10 The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman “The Queen’s child is swifter than MERCURY! She is truly a WONDER!”
1:48:06 1:49:10 WW vol. 3 no. 3 “child possessing the the wisdom of Athena, the grace of Aphrodite, and the swiftness of Hermes…”
1:48:14 1:49:10 WW vol. 1 no. 1 AT THREE, THE WONDER CHILD PULLS UP A FRUIT TREE BY ITS ROOTS. “Great thunderbolts of Zeus! She pulls that tree up like a weed!” “Already our little princess has the strength of Hercules!” AT FIVE, DIANA, LIKE HER NAMESAKE, THE GODDESS OF THE CHASE, RACES DEER THROUGH THE FOREST. “The Queen’s child is swifter than Mercury!”
1:49:21 1:51:04 WW vol. 5 no. 2 [left]  
1:49:21 1:51:04 WW 2017 [right]  
1:51:19 1:52:06 WW vol. 2 no. 1 Diana! The word sings from the lips of all Amazons. She is the only child they have touched in over 30 centuries. And her innocence stirs the love of Aphrodite within them! So it is that the infant princess knows the care of A THOUSAND MOTHERS… and the teachings of the Queen’s most LEARNED SCHOLARS. They read her their HISTORY – that she might be one with them, heart and soul! And the more she matures… the more she excels!
VII. Birth of Diana
1:52:13 1:52:17 WW The True Amazon “The Amazons were overjoyed to have a baby to love and care for and nurture…”
1:52:23 1:53:09 WW vol. 3 no. 16 Hippolyta: “I give you your princess. I give you our DAUGHTER!”
1:53:16 1:54:00 WW Our Worlds at War “DIANA was Hippolyta’s pride and joy. Named for a great Amazon WARRIOR, gifted with great powers by the GODS, and destined to be the SAVIOR of our nation, Diana was tutored by a THOUSAND aunts and sisters.”
1:54:09 2:09:10 WW 2009 [background video throughout this section]  
1:56:22 1:57:06 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 “Eventually, a longing stirred within the Queen. And through the oracle, Menalippe, she was told to form the body of a child out of the island’s clay. And then she waited for a miracle…" 
1:58:14 1:58:23 WW vol. 2 no. 1 bequests from Demeter, Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, Hestia, and Hermes that mirror the preceding panel – I appreciate that Hermes is acknowledged as part of a transfeminist spectrum
2:01:12 2:01:17 WW vol. 2 no. 1 “And blessed, too, shall she be with great Gaea’s gift… LIFE! Then shall Hippolyte honor her with the name of a great and holy warrior! She shall be… DIANA!”
2:02:02 2:02:11 WW vol. 3 no. 3 “And when the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta, prayed for a daughter…”
2:02:18 2:03:04 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 3 “Her story was one of the first I learned. The Amazon Queen, Hippolyta, longing for a child, carved one from the clay of Paradise Island. It was given life by the gods and goddesses of Olympus itself and named Diana, after a revered Amazon warrior. When Ares threatened to destroy the Earth, the Amazons decreed that a contest would be held, and the winner would go forth from Themyscira as its greatest champion. Against her mother’s wishes, Diana entered that contest… and won. Gifted with the strength of Heracles, the wisdom of Athena, the speed of Hermes, and the beauty of Aphrodite…”
2:04:13 2:05:04 WW vol. 1 no. 609  
2:05:00 2:05:05 The Legend of WW no. 1  
2:07:03 2:08:01 WW vol. 5 no. 1 “The Queen of the Amazons wished for a daughter until she was sure her heart would shatter for the want of the child. And the gods answered, and told her a baby girl would be hers, fashioned from clay and sand and made real by their will.”
2:07:14 2:08:04 WW The True Amazon  
2:10:03 2:11:14 WW vol. 1 no. 1 HIPPOLYTE ADORES THE TINY STATUE SHE HAS MADE AS PYGMALION WORSHIPPED GALATEA. APHRODITE, GRANTING THE QUEEN HER PRAYER, BESTOWS UPON IT THE DIVINE GIFT OF LIFE! “I name thee DIana, after the moon goddess, mistress of the Chase!” BABY DIANA, TO HER MOTHER’S ASTONISHMENT, LEAPS HIGH INTO THE QUEEN’S ARMS! “How marvelous – she is my little wonder child!”
VIII. Meta: Wonder Woman as Controversy and Inspiration
2:12:08 2:13:09 Professor Marston  
2:13:22 2:14:07 WW vol. 5 no. 1  
2:14:22 2:15:18 TNOWW  
2:16:02 2:16:09 WW vol. 3 no. 24 I’m pretty obsessed with these Gail Simone meta issues where Diana consults on a terrible Wonder Woman movie project
02:16:18 2:17:07 WW vol. 2 no. 4  
2:17:08 2:18:02 WW 2017  
2:18:18 2:19:05 WW vol. 2 no. 200  
2:19:20 2:20:07 WW vol. 2 no. 199  
2:20:21 2:21:18 WW vol. 2 no. 197  
2:22:09 2:26:06 Professor Marston  
2:26:15 2:26:22 WW vol. 2 no. 197 we have Greg Rucka to thank for the universe where Diana is signing her bestseller at an LGBT bookstore
2:27:09 2:30:13 DVD: WBC  
IX. Themyscira: Island Panoramas
2:31:13 2:33:03 Wonder Woman 2x01  
2:33:04 2:34:17 Justice League 2017  
2:34:18 2:34:22 Super Hero Girls  
2:34:23 2:37:00 Batman  
2:37:01 2:38:01 WW 2009  
2:38:02 2:39:00 SB Apocalypse  
2:39:01 2:39:12 WW The True Amazon  
2:39:18 2:39:23 The Legend of WW no. 1  
2:40:05 2:40:12 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 3  
2:40:18 2:41:02 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1  
2:41:12 2:41:22 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1  
2:42:12 2:42:18 TNOWW  
X. Themyscira: Metropolis
2:42:19 2:45:04 DVD: THI  
2:45:05 2:46:10 WW 2009  
2:47:02 2:47:13 Batman clearly animators re-used some assets from the movie here - there was another matched birds-eye shot of an Amazon training arena that I couldn’t find a spot to include
2:47:14 2:48:12 SB Apocalypse  
2:48:13 2:49:13 WW 2017  
2:49:14 2:50:00 WW Our Worlds at War “And after three long months, we found ourselves setting foot for the first time on the precious soil of this island. Under Hippolyta’s guidance, our best artisans and builders erected a great city-state. We would call it Themyscira, after the burned remains of our former stronghold.” (a nice retcon of the fact that the real Themyscira was located on the Black Sea coast in NE Turkey)
2:50:07 2:50:12 Flashpoint  
2:50:19 2:51:03 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 3 [left]  
2:50:19 2:51:03 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 [right] “Given immortality, Hippolyta’s Amazons built a great city and spent the centuries pursuing knowledge, the arts, and the warrior’s crafts and skills. In time, their punishment became a great blessing as they found peace and happiness in their culture, their sisters and their Queen.”
2:51:10 2:51:17 WW vol. 3 no. 11  
2:52:01 2:51:09 WW vol. 2 no. 164  
2:52:19 2:53:00 Justice League 1x16  
2:53:16 2:56:15 DVD: THI “Yet you must evermore wear the SYMBOLS of your former BONDAGE – as a reminder never to err again!” “Goddess – where IS this island?” “Where Man may not easily discover it. It appears a PARADISE! And so it shall be – as long as you guard its vile secret well… And let no MORTAL MAN trespass its grounds!” (source: Vol. 2 No. 1)
XI. Lesbian Love
2:56:16 3:03:03 WW Earth One [backgrounds for this section]  
2:57:01 2:59:09 WW vol. 2 no. 1  
2:59:19 3:00:09 WW Annual vol. 4 (War-Torn) Hippolya + Derinoe
3:00:04 3:01:00 WW vol. 5 no. 15 Hippolyta + Philippus
3:00:10 3:10:00 WW vol. 2 no. 14 Hippolyta + Philippus
3:01:12 3:03:02 WW The True Amazon Diana + Alethia
3:01:23 3:03:02 Futures End Diana + Hessia
3:02:18 3:03:21 WW vol. 5 no. 2 Diana + Kasia
3:03:03 3:04:04 WW vol. 2 no. 0 Diana + Mala
3:03:17 3:04:15 WW vol. 2 no. 196 Diana + Io
3:04:05 3:04:15 Secret Origins Diana + Aleka
3:05:07 3:07:09 WW 2009  
3:08:05 3:09:20 WW The True Amazon  
3:08:10 3:09:20 WW vol. 5 no. 2  
3:08:22 3:09:20 WW vol. 5 no. 2 Io + everyone
3:09:08 3:09:20 WW vol. 1 no. 4 Diana + Baroness Paula von Gunther
3:09:21 3:12:19 Professor Marston  
XII. Themyscira: Culture and Daily Life
3:13:09 3:14:06 TNOWW  
3:14:07 3:16:00 WW 2017  
3:16:01 3:16:15 WW The True Amazon “And for thousands of years, the island was inhabited by women who never grew old.”
3:17:10 3:18:02 WW Annual vol. 4 (War-Torn)  
3:18:03 3:20:16 SB Apocalypse  
3:20:17 3:21:19 WW The True Amazon “They soon spent their time crafting art and music and creating a culture. They studied and invented. They danced and rejoiced because they lived in peace and harmony.”
3:21:05 3:21:19 TNOWW Hippolyta has many talents
3:22:10 3:22:16 WW vol. 3 no. 11 “…a landscape of unparalleled beauty… exotic flora and mythical fauna… a majestic center of culture and learning… a magical world beloved and blessed by the gods…”
3:22:17 3:23:01 WW vol. 5 no. 2 “…And anyway, I’d sooner forget what I remember, my friend. My life as a woman slain at the hands of the man who took offense at my refusal of him? No, thank you. THAT is the world beyond, Diana…”
3:23:15 3:23:20 DVD: THI  
XIII. Battles to Defend Themyscira
3:23:21 3:26:12 WW 2017  
3:26:13 3:27:14 Justice League 1x10  
3:27:15 3:28:00 Flashpoint  
3:28:01 3:28:23 Wonder Woman 1x05  
3:28:14 3:29:14 WW vol. 1 no. 601  
3:29:00 3:29:14 Futures End  
3:29:15 3:30:19 Justice League 2017  
3:30:20 3:31:06 WW vol. 4 no. 40 (War-Torn) evil Donna Troy murdering defenseless “male Amazons” :D
3:31:07 3:31:20 Bombshells no. 2  
3:31:21 3:32:11 The Odyssey of the Amazons  
3:32:12 3:33:00 WW vol. 4 no. 38 (War-Torn) Dessa
3:33:01 3:33:18 WW vol. 1 no. 601 Hippolyta
3:33:19 3:35:10 SB Apocalypse  
XIV. Meta: The Real Amazons (Behind the Scenes)
3:36:20 3:38:22 DVD: Beach Battle  
3:38:23 3:39:18 DVD: Crafting the Wonder  
3:40:03 3:41:05 WW 2017  
3:41:06 3:46:11 DVD: WWW athletes Samantha Jo (Euboea) and Ann Wolfe (Artemis) are the last two fighters seen training here
XV. Amazon Contest
3:47:04 3:49:16 WW 2009  
3:49:17 3:51:21 Wonder Woman 2x01  
3:51:22 3:54:10 WW vol. 2 no. 1 [background] MORNING: “Our heralds did spread the news swiftly, my Queen! Our two-hundred finest warriors have assembled… to accept the gods’ challenge! But, by your leave, why have you commanded them to come masked?” “For three thousand years, these Amazons have lived as sisters! Now I call upon them to compete fiercely! No Amazon shall hesitate because she vies against a dear friend – or because she sympathizes with another’s turmoil.” THE SALUTE IS GIVEN – THE GAMES BEGIN! ALL THROUGH THE DAY, AMAZONS PROVE THEIR PROWESS IN CONTESTS OF SKILL AND STRATEGY!
3:52:07 3:53:07 WW vol. 5 no. 4  
3:52:17 3:54:03 WW The True Amazon “Time passed, and soon the Amazons prepared for the Commemoration of Warriors. By competing in games of physical skill and arts of war, they remembered the battles they fought and how grateful they were to have peace.”
3:53:08 3:54:10 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 “The Coliseum. The site of the CONTEST… BOTH of them… And the site each year for the GREAT GAMES.”
3:54:04 3:54:10 WW vol. 2 no. 0 Mala: “I suppose we’ll never know if Hippolyta suspected it was you. It was certainly suspicious… a stranger suddenly appeared and began besting everyone. Although your goddess-given powers did not manifest on Themyscira proper, you were still the best warrior amongst us.” (Diana is the blonde one, wearing a magical disguise instead of a mask)
3:54:23 3:55:07 The Legend of WW no. 8 Hippolyta: “You, brave one, were the last to stand. And you fought with true spirit. My people! I give you our champion!”
3:55:08 3:56:09 WW vol. 1 no. 1 THE GREAT DAY ARRIVES AND AMAZON ATHLETES PARADE BEFORE THEIR QUEEN. THE FIRST CONTEST IS FENCING FROM THE BACKS OF AMAZON HORSES – KANGAS! A GAME WHICH REQUIRES GREAT SKILL AND SURE HORSEMANSHIP. “Each of you will shoot five times. Your opponent must catch the bullets on her bracelets – or else expect to be wounded! Now, take your places! Number 12 will shoot first.” THE COMMAND… AND THE GIRL FIRES POINT-BLANK AT NUMBER 7, THE MASKED MAIDEN! THE ULTIMATE TEST OF SPEED OF EYE AND MOVEMENT! NO. 7’s BRACELETS BECOME SILVER FLASHES OF STREAKING LIGHT AS THEY PARRY THE DEATH-THRUSTS OF THE HURTLING BULLETS!
XVI. Amazon Art, Artifacts, and Museums
3:57:06 5:58:00 WW 2017 Diana, curator of Amazon antiquities! note the displays of classical armor and weaponry in her Louvre office, particularly the chestpiece with breasts
3:59:16 4:00:11 DVD: Crafting the Wonder  
4:02:03 4:02:22 Justice League 2017  
4:04:15 4:05:15 DVD: Crafting the Wonder On Getty Images, this artwork is captioned: “Victory of Theseus over Amazons with Mithras wearing Phrygian caps, illustration from Collection des vases grecs de le Comte de M. Lamberg, Vol I, Table 20, Paris, from 1813 to 1824.” According to the Royal Academy of Arts, it seems to be a detail from a collector’s classical vase reproduced in a 19th century book.
4:06:17 4:09:13 WW 2017  
4:09:21 4:10:08 Super Hero Girls  
4:10:20 4:13:11 Justice League 1x10  
4:11:18 4:13:11 The Legend of WW no. 9  
4:11:18 4:12:07 Justice League 1x02  
4:12:17 4:13:11 WW vol. 1 no. 602  
4:14:02 4:14:14 WW 2017  
4:15:09 4:16:16 WW vol. 2 no. 164  
4:16:17 4:17:01 WW vol. 1 no. 602  
4:17:11 4:18:03 The Odyssey of the Amazons “You should practice more with the sword than that brush, Ophelia. That will teach you the true ART OF WAR.” “What better way to immortalize battle for the coming generations than with ART? You should try it, Xandra.”
4:18:18 4:20:03 WW vol. 5 no. 2  
4:19:03 4:20:03 WW vol. 3 no 1  
4:19:15 4:20:03 WW vol. 3 no 7  
4:20:12 4:20:23 WW vol. 1 no. 607  
4:21:10 4:22:12 Bombshells no. 4  
4:21:14 4:22:12 WW vol. 2 no. 1  
4:22:01 4:22:12 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1 Diana: “But I had learned my lesson. I threw myself into my studies. STRATEGY. PLANNING. The LORE of the Amazons.”
4:22:20 4:24:03 WW 2009  
4:23:06 4:23:17 WW vol. 2 no. 1 Hippolyta: “By them, all shall know you as the most worthy among us! Now let us see your face…”
4:24:15 4:25:02 DVD: WBC  
XVII. Magic Sphere
4:25:20 4:32:16 WW 2009 [background]  
4:27:04 4:27:13 All-Star Comics vol. 1 no. 8 Amazon media technologies – the Magic Sphere
4:28:01 4:28:13 WW The True Amazon  
4:29:05 4:30:01 WW vol. 1 no. 1 “Next morning, on the mental radio-television of the Amazons, Diana hears the Queen’s decree.”
4:29:16 4:30:01 Sensation Comics vol. 1 no. 6 “Queen Hypolyte, meanwhile, is following her daughter’s career in the Magic Sphere.”
4:30:11 4:30:23 WW Earth One  
4:31:23 4:32:05 Sensation Comics vol. 1 no. 24 “This Magic Sphere, as you know, is a gift of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. When tuned to any time or place in the world’s history its viewplate shows everything that happened there!”
4:32:12 4:32:16 All-Star Comics vol. 1 no. 8 “Come, let me show you the Magic Sphere you’ve heard me talk about. It was given to me by Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom… It is through this Magic Sphere that I have been able to know what has gone on and is going on in the other world, and even, at times, forecast the future! That is why we Amazons been able to far surpass the inventions of the so-called man-made civilization!”
4:33:01 4:33:11 JL Adventures vol. 1 no. 4 At the scrying pool, Hippolyta looks in on Diana’s adventures. “You must be proud, your majesty! Your daughter truly is a Wonder Woman…” “Do not be swayed by the outer glamour of ‘Man’s World!’”
4:34:05 4:34:18 DVD: Crafting the Wonder  
4:36:10 4:37:23 WW vol. 1 no. 1 “On Paradise Isle they built a splendid city which no man may enter – a paradise for women only!”
5:03:17 5:04:19 WW Secret Files & Origins no. 1