Posted by Eleanor Tremeer @eleanortremeer
MP staff writer. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it.
Eleanor Tremeer

Despite the critical controversies surrounding both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, hopes are high for the continuation of the DCEU in 2017. The trailers for Wonder Woman and Justice League stoked the fires of fan anticipation — Wonder Woman looks to be a sweeping WWI epic, while Justice League promises to deliver all the fun that the DCEU has been missing thus far.

Of course, we're all wondering about the narrative threads that will tie these films together. Wonder Woman is something of a prequel, telling the story of how Diana became this world's first superhero, expanding the scope of the DCEU and establishing plot points to be continued in later installments.

The Amazon / Atlantean war in 'Flashpoint'. [DC]
The Amazon / Atlantean war in 'Flashpoint'. [DC]

Although Wonder Woman is set many years before Batman or Superman were even born, these aren't the only heroes in the Justice League, and there's one important way Wonder Woman might establish tensions to be explored later on — by introducing the history of the war between the Amazons and Atlanteans.

Wonder Woman & Aquaman Have A Complex History

Before we delve into DC Comics — and Greek mythology — it's worth pointing out that this isn't purely wild speculation. Back in March, Justice League screenwriter Chris Terrio spoke to the Wall Street Journal about his research for DC's big team-up movie, and he dropped a tantalizing hint about this mythological war.

"For 'Justice League', I could be reading in the same day about red- and blueshifts in physics, Diodorus of Sicily and his account of the war between Amazons and Atlanteans, or deep-sea biology and what kind of life plausibly might be in the Mariana Trench."

For fans of the comics, Terrio's comment has a lot of weight, as the game-changing Flashpoint arc featured a war between the Amazons and Atlanteans — with Wonder Woman and Aquaman at the center of it. This was later adapted into the animated movie Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox.

Flashpoint reveals an alternate timeline in which the two peoples are at war, catalyzed by Diana killing Aquaman's wife, Mera. As it turns out, Mera was attempting to assassinate Diana at the time, after she discovered Aquaman and Diana had had an affair — and obviously, instead of talking to her husband about this, Mera decided to kill Wonder Woman. She failed, and this personal conflict quickly escalated into a vicious war.

However, while this comic arc is very popular, it seems unlikely that we will see it adapted in Justice League, as an alternate version of events would hardly be fitting for DC's flagship team's first cinematic outing together. Then there's the fact that Flashpoint is already being adapted in The Flash TV show — sans the Amazons and Atlanteans at war, though.

Aquaman and Wonder Woman battle in 'Flashpoint'. [DC]
Aquaman and Wonder Woman battle in 'Flashpoint'. [DC]

But that doesn't rule out a conflict between the Amazons and Atlanteans in the DCEU, especially as Terrio pinpointed Greek mythology as his source, and not the Flashpoint comic.

From Invasions To Truces: An Ancient Struggle For Power

Over the decades, DC has drawn from many sources to create the weird and wonderful multiverse, from space opera scifi — that's Green Lantern's M.O. — to ancient parables. Wonder Woman's stories have always been steeped in Greek mythology, featuring fantastic monsters and gods for Diana to battle.

It's fitting then, that Terrio should look back on the accounts from Diodorus of Sicily, who wrote histories of the Amazon people — and the nations they conquered.

The Amazon / Persian war, as depicted on an Ancient Greek vase.
The Amazon / Persian war, as depicted on an Ancient Greek vase.

Atlantis was one of these nations. Lead by queen Myrina, the Amazon military razed the Atlantean city of Cerne to the ground, slaughtering the men and imprisoning the women and children. That may seem vicious (and it was), but it was pretty par for the course for this point in history, when in the real world many nations were expanding their reach by conquering as much of the known world as they could.

Despite this rocky start, the defeat of Cerne caused the rest of the Atlantean people to surrender, and they accepted Myrina as their ruler. She later lead the Amazon forces in defense of Atlantis against the invading Gorgons, before the Amazons themselves were conquered by Perseus' Greek army.

So much for Greek mythology — how could this play out in the DCEU? Wonder Woman could establish this fraught history between the Amazons and Atlanteans, either resulting in an amicable truce between the two nations, or an uneasy ceasefire. Or who knows: They might still be at war.

The Amazons of Themiscyra in 'Wonder Woman'. [Warner Bros.]
The Amazons of Themiscyra in 'Wonder Woman'. [Warner Bros.]

That would plant hints about the relationship between Aquaman and Wonder Woman in Justice League, either pointing towards them being old allies, or bitter rivals with a history of war between their peoples. We could even get a small cameo from Aquaman, if Wonder Woman includes a flashback to the Amazon / Atlantean war — assuming that this version of Arthur Curry also has the longevity he does in the comics.

Of course, this might overcomplicate Wonder Woman, and it could be that we'll only see small hints about this war to be expanded on in Justice League. From Terrio's comments, it seems that the mythological conflict between the Amazons and Atlanteans will form part of the backstory for Aquaman in Justice League, but it could be that this war will come to the forefront again.

We'll have to wait a while to find that out, but keep your eyes peeled for hints about the Amazon / Atlantean war in Wonder Woman — they may become super relevant in Justice League.

Tell us in the comments: Do you think Aquaman will cameo in Wonder Woman?

Wonder Woman resists enemy fire in No Man's Land. [Warner Bros.]
Wonder Woman resists enemy fire in No Man's Land. [Warner Bros.]

[Source: Wall Street Journal, Diodorus of Sicily archived at]