Philippus

Amazons never end, and Wonder Woman seems to have gathered quite a number of them. Next in line is Philippus, portrayed by Ann Ogbomo, one of the best warriors on Themyscira. As most of her sisters, Philippus is seen mainly during the battle that takes place on Themyscira’s shore between the Amazons and the German Army, but she can be spotted also during Diana‘s final training and during Steve Trevor‘s trial. In the film she doesn’t distinguish herself from the others much, but she’s actually one of the most relevant characters in the Wonder Woman mythos. Let’s see together.

When the goddesses AthenaAphrodite, HestiaDemeter and Artemis decided to create a brand new race of women to bring compassion to the increasingly violent world of men, they put the souls of women murdered by men into magic clay bodies, blessing them with superhuman gifts. The Amazons were born, and Philippus along with them. She became an extremely skilled warrior, and she followed her queens Hippolyta and Antiope in a mission of peace keeping spreading from Turkey to Greece and Rome. Eventually, the attack of the demigod Heracles, who defeated and enslaved the Amazons, brought them to a schism: some wanted revenge, and followed Queen Antiope, while others stayed faithful to the way of the gods, and followed Hippolyta instead. Philippus, albeit raging, chose Hippolyta, and she followed her queen to the Amazons’ new home, a new Themyscira built on an island. Her battle prowess allowed her to become a lieutenant under Captain Egeria, the island’s best warrior and her personal friend: their task as warriors was to guard Doom’s Doorway, a portal that led directly to the underworld, inhabited by demons and by the spirits of the dead. Egeria, Philippus and their subordinates had to prevent anyone from getting in…or from getting out. When a monster managed to escape from the portal, Egeria sacrificed her life to close the Doorway. Philippus was named captain in place of her deceased friend, and the first thing she did was to strenghten the Doorway’s defenses, making it impossible for anything to come out of here again. This proved to be quite a vain hope, as another demon managed to pass through the portal, and it nearly killed Philippus herself: she was saved only by the unforseen intervention of a foreigner, pilot Diana Rockwell Trevor, a stranger nobody knew had crashed on the island with her plane. Diana was slain by the monster, but Philippus used the moment to kill the beast and seal the portal once again. In the following years, because of her skill and her courage, she was promoted General, head of all military forces on Themyscira, and second only to Hippolyta…whom she became pretty close to.

Philippus was clearly in love with Hippolyta, and she cared about her safety far more than her role obliged her to. This strong bond between them often put the General at odds with The Circle, a group of four Amazons that formed the bodyguards of Hippolyta. The enmity between them became something serious when Hippolyta’s daughter, Diana, was born. Philippus loved the baby as everyone else on the island…everyone but The Circle. Philippus suspected the insane bodyguards wanted to kill the baby, and she set a trap for them. As they actually presented themselves in the chambers of Diana with killing intent, Philippus had them arrested forever. From that night, Hippolyta allowed Philippus to help her in raising the princess, and the General rose Diana in the ways of the Amazons, teaching her how to fight, and putting her through a number of several tests (harsh ones, as having the girl attacked by masked assailants out of nowhere, or hitting her legs with arrows while she was trying to save some Amazons from a rolling boulder). Each lesson was a hard one, but each one of them taught Diana how to be a proper warrior and ruler, always using her mind along, or instead of, her fists. When, years later, Steve Trevor crashed on Themyscira, Philippus was enraged at the perspective of having a man on the island: she wanted to kill him on the spot, but Hippolyta decided otherwise, and organised a contest to decide who was able to escort him back to Men’s World. Diana won the contest, much to Philippus’ displeasure, but the General tried one last ploy to keep Diana on the island: she stole Trevor’s gun, and she shot Diana to demonstrate how weapons had changed in the outside world, but when the princess deflected the bullets with her bracelets, she had nothing to hold her anymore with, and she let her go. As Diana became famous in the world as Wonder Woman, Philippus kept guarding Doom’s Doorway, and kept peace on the island; when Hippolyta decided to make her daughter an ambassador to the outside world, and opened diplomatic relationships with the United States of America, Philippus led the soldiers escorting her in a promotional tour through the US. Finally, Philippus would have known first-hand the Men’s World she’d been so afraid of in the last three-thousands years.

Philippus is a proud and strong woman, who values battle power but who knows the importance of a bright mind and a compassionate heart. As an Amazon, she possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability, senses and reflexes, and she’s immortal; with thousands of years of experience, she’s easily Themyscira’s best warrior, a charismatic leader and a brilliant tactician expert in every Themyscirian form of combat. Devoted to her queen and lover Hippolyta, a mother figure for Diana, and now even a respected leader as the Archon Eponymous of Themyscira (co-ruling the island with Polemarch Artemis), Philippus is a seasoned fighter who never lets her guard down, a severe and sometimes brutal trainer who knows she has to push her recruits to their very limits to obtain the best from them…and she doesn’t want anything but the best.