The fourth installment in the #DCEU, Wonder Woman, has recently graced theaters worldwide — and its taken the box office by storm. Wonder Woman shows the iconic origins of Dian Prince, and how she transformed into the Amazing Amazon we've known for 75 years. A core component of this character's story is her birthplace, Themyscira. This secret island is home to the Amazons — a lush world of peace and security without the influence of man, and its creation is rooted in Greek mythology.
Even though you already experienced Paradise Island in Wonder Woman, take your Amazon knowledge to the next level with a look back at the history of Princess Diana's birthplace.
The Lore Of Paradise Island
Diana and her native land were introduced in All Star Comics #8 by William Moulton Marston in 1941. In ancient Greece, women were the rulers of Amazonia until Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta (then spelled "Hippolyte"), challenged Hercules to combat. Thanks to her strength and magic girdle from Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, she was able to defeat him. Hercules later seduced and tricked Hippolyta, allowing him to steal the girdle from her and enslaved the Amazons. Aphrodite, angered by the act, refused to help them.
Eventually, the Goddess granted them forgiveness and helped them retrieve of the girdle, but with a decree: The Amazons must vacate Man's World and live on an isolated island to create a world of their own. Additionally, they were ordered to wear bracelets as a reminder to keep their distance from men.
After sailing many days and nights, Paradise Island was established. The Amazonian women were gifted eternal life and triumphantly crafted a world without war, illness or hatred. They thrived in a land of peace which made them more powerful, wise and allowed them to develop advanced technology.
The relaunch of Wonder Woman in 1987 renamed Paradise Island to Themyscira and gave the locale an entirely fresh backstory. The Amazons were established as reincarnated souls of women murdered by men throughout history. They were revived by five goddesses: Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter and Hestia. Together, they gifted the Amazons strength, beauty, love and immortality. Sisters Hippolyta and Antiope began their rule, and Themyscira was founded.
Themyscira Is a Place With a Diverse Culture
Since Wonder Woman's inception, the concept of her and the Amazons being queer was never up for debate, even if it wasn't explicitly declared. As Themyscira is only populated by women, it's obvious to many longtime fans that romantic connections would occur. Technically, terms such as lesbian or bisexual are unknown in their world — labels are completely nonexistent. Themyscira was created to be a paradise; a utopia for peace, love and equality.
The character's iconic #LGBT representation was recently highlighted once again in regards to her current #DCRebirth series. Writer Greg Rucka announced that she is canonically bisexual and expressed:
"No Amazon is going to look at another Amazon and say they are Amazoning wrong. Because that wouldn’t be paradise. The society accepts everyone in it. The requirement is, you’re here and you’re female. By our standards where I am standing of 2016, Themyscira is a queer culture."
Themyscira Over The Years
Though the island has undergone many changes throughout its existence, Themyscira has always maintained a heavenly visual aesthetic that truly defines tranquility.
In the 1975 television-movie, The New Original Wonder Woman (which directly led into the character's first TV series starring Lynda Carter) brought Marston's Paradise Island to life as if it were pulled right out of the comics.
During Wonder Woman's 2002 comic run, writer and artist Phil Jimenez transformed the island into a futuristic citadel. After being destroyed by Imperiex in the "Our Worlds at War" crossover, the goddesses used their powers and alien technology to revitalize their sacred nation.
In addition to 75 years of comic book history, different variations of Themyscira have also been depicted in many of DC's animated projects, numerous video games, and toylines.
How Was Diana's Birthplace Depicted In Wonder Woman?
In Wonder Woman, the visuals of Themyscira were more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. To depict this mythical place, director Patty Jenkins and her team filmed off the coasts of Italy and southern China to create an enhanced ethereal landscape.
Producer, Charles Roven offered insight into the isle's unique atmosphere in an interview, saying:
“Themyscira is influenced by the Greek but it’s clearly more than that. It’s a place that has the ‘you’ve never been to’ kind of feel. But once you’re there you’re not so sure you really want to leave so fast.”
Not only is this a world of peace and paradise, but also an emblem of Amazon strength. Warner Brothers certainly did Themyscira justice, and brought it to life in a way we've never seen before.
Themyscira is an essential element of Diana's character. It's where she learned the meaning of truth, strength and acceptance. Her upbringing on the island fueled her mission to ensure justice on Earth, and that mission is exactly why we continue to be amazed by the Amazon Princess.
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2. Are you excited view Diana's story on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!