Penthiselea

Another Amazon here, obviously always from Wonder Woman, and always little more than a cameo: Penthiselea, portrayed by Brooke Ence. She appears as a skilled warrior from Themyscira‘s army, and as usual she’s clearly spotted only during the battle occuring on the beach against the German Army. In the comics, there are two (possibly three) different versions of the same character, but none of them could have possibly been present during said battle: the first one in fact was a great warrior from the ancient times, while the second one only appears in the alternate reality of Flashpoint (and she dons a slightly different name, Penthesilea, the mythological name the first one is based upon). Let’s see together.

Penthiselea (or Penthesilea, the two versions of the name are often used referring to the same character) was born in quite a dire times for the Amazons: Queen Antiope had abandoned Themyscira to exact her revenge on the men who had attacked the island, and many warriors had followed her, losing the protection of their goddesses. Once they arrived in Athens, however, Antiope fell in love with the king, Theseus, one of her former captors, and they got married; Antiope’s adopted daughter, Phthia, married in turn Theseus’ son, Melanippus, and she gave him a daughter, who happened to be Penthiselea. The girl rose in Athens only for a short time, as unfortunately Antiope was killed by Theseus’ first wife, Ariadne, manipulated by the evil sorceress Circe. Phthia led the Amazons away from the city, her daughter included, and they lived as mercenaries, moving all around Greece and following whatever army could grant them the revenge they demanded against the Greeks. Penthiselea grew up in the battlefields, becoming one of the most skilled warriors the Amazons had ever known. When she was an adult, her battle prowess was so advanced that Phthia entrusted her with the lead of the entire Amazonian army. The Amazons’ fame grew, and Priam, the king of Troy, hired them to fight against the army of Greeks that had been sieging his city for ten years. Captain Penthiselea led the attack, and her army destroyed every enemy who stood in front of her…until Achilles, the mightiest general of the Greeks, led a counterattack. Many perished under his hand, and Penthiselea challenged him to stop the carnage…but even she wasn’t a match for the demi-god, who bested her in combat and killed her (according to the original version of the story, he even raped her corpse).

Another Amazon named Penthesilea appeared years later on Themyscira, one of the warriors loyal to Queen Hippolyta, who never followed Antiope in her revenge. When The Flash came back in time to save his mother Nora from his nemesis Professor Zoom, he altered the timeline and created a brand new reality, and even Penthesilea received a brand new origin. In this reality, she was one of the very first Amazons, created directly by the goddesses, and she was the sister of Hippolyta. An extremely skilled warrior, Penthesilea became her sister’s general, leading the army as Hippolyta led the country. She also acted as Princess Diana‘s mentor and trainer, teaching her everything she knew about fighting. When Diana was little more than a kid, she explored the oceans, but she was attacked by a Kraken: she was rescued just in time by Orin, the prince of Atlantis, and the two started a friendship that matured in love. Their marriage turned out to be a diplomatical opportunity to unite Atlantis and Themyscira, but not everybody on the two sides were happy with the union…and among them there was traditionalist Penthesilea, who saw this opening as a weakness on the Amazons’ part. Penthesilea found an unexpected kindred spirit in Prince Orm, Orin’s brother, who didn’t want Atlantis to merge with Themyscira for pretty much the same reasons. The two became lovers, and started plotting a way to obstruct the union. The plan was simple, but it proved to be effective: Penthesilea entrusted one of his most loyal warriors, Artemis, to kill Diana during the ceremony while dressing in an Atlantean armor. The assassination attempt, however, failed, and Artemis impaled with her spear Hippolyta instead. Garth, an Atlantean, was sent by Orm to investigate the crime, and he found Artemis…who arrested him claiming he was the killer. Penthesilea herself killed him before he could speak. This way, Garth looked guilty…and Diana declared war on Atlantis, starting a conflict that would have destroyed Europe, much more than Penthesilea had bargained for.

Penthesilea is a proud warrior, fiercely loyal to her people. The first version is an enthusiast young warrior who believes in her and her people’s invincibility, a self-confidence boarding in arrogance; the second one is a clever but deceptive woman, a seasoned warrior who’s able and willing to defend the Amazon’s traditions with every possible means, even if this means to betray her own family. Both versions possess superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, speed and reflexes, and they are both extremely skilled warriors, experts horse-riders and nearly unbeatable swordswomen; while the first Penthesilea is mortal, the second one isn’t, as long as she lives on Themyscira. Through three different existences, only one thing remained the same with Penthesilea, and it’s her loyalty to the Amazons…everything else, she’ll always pierce with her blade.