Acantha

Going on with Wonder Woman characters, we stay on Themyscira as we meet another Amazon, this time Senator Acantha, portrayed by Florence Kasumba. In the movie, Acantha is seen during Steve Trevor‘s trial, watching as the young soldier is questioned with the Lasso of Truth. She later accompanies Queen Hippolyta as she tries to reason with her rebellious daughter. In the comics, Acantha’s look is quite different, and we don’t know enough about her cinematic character to say something about it…so let’s just take a look at the original one.

Acantha was born along with her sisters Amazons from the Mediterranean Sea, when five goddesses from Olympus tried to mitigate men’s violence with a special peace corp, mystical creatures born from a body of clay and the soul of a murdered woman, blessed by the grace of all five of them. Acantha emerged from the sea and began her mission of spreading love and compassion through mankind along with her sisters, but eventually even the utopia they were trying to build came to an end: the human heroes Heracles and Theseus tricked the Amazon queens and obtained shelter from them, only to have their armies put the women in chain, rape them and use them as slaves. The goddess Athena freed her protégés, but she demanded them not to pursue the path of vengeance: Queen Hippolyta agreed to do so, but her sister Queen Antiope wanted revenge, and the Amazons split in two groups. Acantha followed Hippolyta, refusing to bring to the world the scourge she had sworn to take away from it, and she moved with all the other obedient daughters of the goddess to Themyscira, an island that became their new home, isolated from Men’s World and protected by the Greek Gods. On Themyscira, Acantha dedicated herself to study, and she became renowned for her wisdom, being regarded as an advisor to Hippolyta and even obtaining the title of Senator. For centuries, nothing changed on Themyscira, then Diana was born.

Diana was a daughter granted to Hippolyta, a new Amazon who decided to leave the island to know Men’s World and to resume the Amazons’ ancient mission to bring peace, love and understanding to humanity. Thanks to Diana’s choice, Acantha could study men’s culture better, and she obtained translations of their books and newspapers to understand them, their history and evolution. She formed a close bond with Mnemosyne, and together they learnt everything they could about the outside world. When Diana, now Wonder Woman, came back to Themyscira to share her knowledge, Hippolyta summoned a council to decide what to do with her daughter. Acantha and Mnemosyne immediately found themselves isolated from the others: while Hippolyta wanted her daughter not to leave her side again, they insisted she came back to Men’s World to continue her mission, and while General Philippus wanted to use the knowledge she had gathered for military purposes, they wanted to use it as a bridge of comprehension. Acantha shared what she had learnt about Men’s World, insisting that if men hadn’t changed much from the ancient times, women were now very similar to Amazons; she even pointed out that, due to Ares‘ machinations and their friendship with the deceased pilot Diana Rockwell Trevor, Themyscira could consider itself allied with the United States of America, thus approving Wonder Woman’s existence and mission. Eventually Acantha had the last word, but years later she would have been forced to follow another path. As Wonder Woman was senselessly imprisoned by the American Government, Queen Hippolyta, manipulated by Circe, decided to annihilate Men’s World, and launched an all-out attack on Washington D.C., with the order of killing any man, adult or child, to free Diana. Albeit pacifist, Acantha was also loyal to her queen, and obeyed to a command that was bringing to the world all the chaos and the destruction she had sworn to erase from the planet…

Senator Acantha is a wise and good-hearted woman, devoted to knowledge and compassion, fully loyal to her people’s original mission of peacebringers. As an Amazon, she possesses superhuman strength, stamina, speed, durability, reflexes and agility, and she also possesses an enhanced intellect; she’s immortal, although not invulnerable, and despite being mainly a scholar, she’s also a proficient warrior, horserider and archer. One of the wisest and most cultured Amazons on Themyscira, Acantha studies her people’s past to ensure them a new future.