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.

Egeria

Let’s go back to Themyscira, as we meet another Amazon from Wonder Woman: this time it’s the turn of Egeria, portrayed by professional martial artist Madeleine Vall. In the movie, she’s one of Antiope‘s top warriors, and we see her both during her training and during the brief battle that sees the Amazons repel a division of German soldiers arrived on the island following Steve Trevor. Not much more is seen of her in the movie, as she’s just one of the many cameos on the island…but even in the comics her role is quite a secondary one, albeit she’s remembered for quite a heroic ending. Let’s see together.

Egeria was one of the very first Amazons, born when some of the goddesses of Olympus, wanting to put a stop to humans’ thirst for violence and destruction, imbued magical clay bodies with the souls of the women who had been killed by men’s brutality since the dawn of times. Egeria rose from the Mediterranean Sea along with her sisters, and she dedicated herself to the mission of bringing peace in the heart of men, quelling their conflicts and helping them controlling their impulses. The paradise the Amazons were building ended when the legendary hero Heracles invaded Themyscira, their island, and enslaved, raped and humiliated the Amazons. Athena freed the Amazons, but she demanded them not to pursue the path of vengeance: Queen Hippolyta agreed to do that, while her sister Queen Antiope wanted to organize a punitive expedition against the aggressors. The Amazons split between their queens, and despite being a warrior born, and quite a skilled one, Egeria chose to be faithful to Hippolyta, rejecting the path of violence. Hippolyta’s Amazons stayed on Themyscira, and from that moment on the gods granted the island their protection, preventing any enemy from ever finding it. Egeria was assigned by Hippolyta with quite an important task, as she was named the first Captain of the Guard in the reborn nation of Themyscira. Egeria personally selected the members of the Guard, chosing among the most skilled warriors of the island; she selected the strong and wise Philippus as her lieutenant, and the two became friends.

Knowing that no enemy would have ever attacked from the outside, Egeria focused her and her women’s efforts in exploring the island, which was still untamed for the most part. In the entire island, the only possible menace could come from the Doom’s Doorway, a mystical gate connected to Hades; the God of the Dead Hades had tasked the Amazons with guarding it, but he had also sealed the Doorway with a stone slab so that no demon nor cursed soul could escape his realm. Egeria believed it to be solid, so she tasked her Guard with collecting lumber to be used for building Themyscira…but she had overestimated the barrier, which cracked, letting one demon out. The evil spirit possessed Philippus’ horse, turning it into a fanged monster. The creature nearly killed its rider, but Egeria intervened quite in time: she saved her lieutenant’s life, and she faced the monster in combat, managing to slain it. The warrior, however, soon realised that the slab was quickly crumbling, menacing to release all the demons of Hades on the island and, so, on Earth. Without the slightest hesitation, Egeria blocked the Doom’s Doorway with her own body, and she ordered her Guard to release all the lumber they had collected from their carts: albeit shocked, the Amazons obeyed their Captain, and they buried her and the Doorway with her under tons of tree trunks. A true hero, Egeria was honored by Hippolyta with the first statue ever in the Temple of Hades, the hall in which the fallen Amazons would have always been remembered, their stories told to the new generations as examples of heroism and selflnessness.

Egeria is a strong and resourceful Amazon, who however chose to use her strength only to protect mankind and her sisters. As an Amazon, she possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability and reflexes, and she’s also immortal (albeit she’s not invulnerable); she’s one of the best warriors ever existed on Themyscira, a master swordswoman and archer, expert in horse-riding and in the use of the spear, as well as an impressive hand-to-hand combatant. A true hero in Themyscira’s history, Egeria represents the best an Amazon can be: all the strenght and ferocity of a lioness, accompanied by the kindness and the love of a mother.

Ares

Finally we arrive to Wonder Woman‘s main villain, the deceptive Ares, God of War. In the movie, Ares is the one who, according to the myth, doomed humankind and led the first men and women to destroy each other corrupting their pure souls with his art, war, and he also killed all the other Olympians in a fearsome battle immediately after. In modern times, Diana looks for him on World War I‘s battlefield, but is unable to recognize him behind the facade of meek and peaceful Sir Patrick Morgan, portrayed by David Thewlis, until he reveals himself. The final fight is a little bit too Sailor Moonish, with the heroine clearly overpowered until she annihilates her enemy with the “power of love”, but Ares is nevertheless quite a good villain, impressive especially considering his not exactly intimidating appearance (the armor does a lot in that sense). In the comics, killing Ares is not as easy as in the movie, and he keeps coming back, over and over again, war after war. Let’s see together.

Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, king and queen of Olympus and of the gods. A god himself, Ares was the patron of war and all its violent and cruel aspects, and his nature compelled him in putting all his efforts into making the world a temple of war, influencing mortals into fighting themselves to total annihilation. Due to his goals and character, Ares was never close to his brothers and sisters, not even to his parents, so he left Mount Olympus and built a new home for himself, a pocket dimension whose access was on the hill Aeropagus, near Athens: from here, in a realm safe even from Zeus’ intereference, he put thousands of plans in motion to bring men to kill each other. Since the dawn of mankind, however, Ares’ sister AphroditeGoddess of Love, swore she would have protected mortals with her own power, sending love to quell their violent ambitions. To protect humans from Ares, Aphrodite and the other goddesses put their powers together and created the Amazons, a tribe of superhuman women devoted to build and keep peace among peoples and nations. The Amazons obviously became Ares’ first hindrance in the fulfillment of his millennial goals, so he started focusing on destroying them: the sacred women, however, were also skilled combatants, and they could annihilate any army he put against them. Luckily enough, he found the perfect candidate in the annihilation of Amazons in his violent step-brother, Heracles, and he easily convinced him to attack Themyscira, the land of the Amazons, accompanied by his friend Theseus. The two “heroes” at first failed in their quest, but they eventually tricked Queen Hippolyta and Queen Antiope, chained and raped them, putting an end to the golden age of the Amazons: after that episode, the warrior women split into two tribes, one devoted to war, thus strenghtening Ares, the other isolated from the world, thus letting him do whatever he wanted with mortals. Apparently, he had exacted his definitive victory over his enemies, and the world was engulfed in the flames of war in the following millennia.

From the Trojan War to the Roman Empire‘s campaigns, from the Crusades to the French Revolution, Ares was behind any small or big conflict ever happened on Earth, and he became increasingly stronger with every battle being fought. His power reached a peak during World War I and World War II, but the God of War never had enough: he wanted more, and the newly discovered atomic bomb could provide him with a conflict of unprecedented scale, so that he could have annihilated the world itself pulling the right strings. In the meanwhile, to make sure the Amazons didn’t rise just in time to foil his most ambitious plan ever, he manipulated events so that an American plane crashed on their island, launching a preventive attack. Things, however, didn’t go as planned, since his human puppet was accompanied by Captain Steve Trevor, who instead of following his primeval urges he allied himself with the Amazons and especially with their last born, Princess Diana, who saw Ares’ presence behind the many attacks that were plaguing the world. Ares, in fact, was trying to bring the two new super-powers, USA and USSR, to start World War III, resulting in a nuclear holocaust that would have represented a masterpiece in his collection of wars and conflicts. Soon, Trevor’s help allowed Diana and the other Amazons to see through Ares’ plans, and the princess, in Wonder Woman‘s armor, confronted the God of War: unable to face him on equal ground, the Amazon however used her Lasso of Truth on him, and forced him to see the inevitable consequences of his actions. If his plan succeeded, humanity would have destroyed itself…and Ares would have starved to death, with no conflict feeding him anymore, no warrior to worship him. The inescapable logic of Diana’s words hit Ares, so the God of War agreed to make a step back: he would have allowed Wonder Woman to operate in the mortals’ world, saving humans from themselves, but he made it clear that the conflict she so desperately wanted to eradicate from men’s heart was of their own making, while he only fed on it. From behind the curtains, he would have always operated in mortals’ hearts and history, banqueting on every failure on Diana’s side, and making sure some would have come.

Ares is a cruel and violent deity, whose only reason for existing is causing and inspiring conflicts which he feeds upon; extremely intelligent and cunning, he also possesses an immortal patience and an unbreakable determination. As the God of War, he’s inhumanly strong (matched only by Heracles among the Olympians) and invulnerable, superhumanly fast and agile, a master of any known form of combat; he’s immortal, and his armor is virtually indestructible; he can inspire feelings of hatred, bloodlust and vengeance, and the more these feelings spread on Earth, the stronger he gets; he’s a master of every existing weapon, and he can control each one of them telekinetically; he can teleport anywhere he wants, and he can assume whatever form he wishes. An immortal threat to mankind as a whole, Ares is one of the most powerful gods of Olympus, an eternal force that guides humans’ bloodiest and most brutal actions, and who thrieves on them augmenting his power in a neverending cycle.

Venelia

New day, new Amazon, as we keep seeing, on alternate days, the many characters appeared in Wonder Woman. Today we meet Venelia, another proud warrior we see fighting on Themyscira‘s beach against the German Army. Portrayed by Doutzen Kroes, Venelia is one of the many riders who fight bravely against the armed soldiers on Steve Trevor‘s trails, but apart from this small appearance we don’t see anything else of her (it’s not even entirely clear if she’s among the ones who survive the battle). In the comics, she has quite a weird history, as she appears both as an Amazon of Themyscira, and as an Amazon of Bana-Mighdall, with no indication if the two are different characters with the same name (unlikely, even if the first one is spelled Venilia), or one and the same who appears in both cities (unexplicable). Let’s see together.

As all the other Amazons, Venelia was born when some of the goddesses from Olympus decided to contain men’s thirst for violence and war: her soul once belonged to an unspecified woman who had fallen victim to men’s brutality, and her body was created directly from the goddesses, receiving all their blessings. She rose from the sea to keep peace in the World of Men, following her two queens along with her sisters. Then, the sacred island of the Amazons, Themyscira, was attacked by the army led by Herakles and Theseus, who tricked the Amazons and managed to capture and humiliate them. At this point, there are two different versions of the story. According to the first one, as the Amazons were freed by Athena, Venelia chose to be faithful to the goddess and to Queen Hippolyta, and she remained on Themyscira, renouncing to exact revenge on her attackers and rapers. In the following years, Themyscira became more and more isolated from the rest of the world, and Venelia never met another man. Her only known contact with the world outside of Themyscira was when Princess Diana came back home the first time, bringing along two friends, Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, who studied the Amazons’ way of life. When the girls arrived on the island, it was the time of the Dive of the Nereids, a ritual meant to honor the goddesses of the sea: with all her sisters, Venelia reached the Cliffs of Poseidon and gracefully dove into the sea, paying her tribute to the Nereids who protected Themyscira’s waters. As she reemerged, she insisted that Vanessa made the jump after her, so that she could understand better Amazonian traditions. After this episode, she was never seen again.

In the second version of the story, Venelia wasn’t even born when Herakles and Theseus invaded Themyscira, as she was a descendant of the Amazons who had chosen to follow Queen Antiope in her bloody revenge against Men’s World. She was born in Bana-Mighdall, a new city for the Amazons in Egypt, protected from the local goddesses and devoted to a military life: mercenaries and weaponsmiths, these Amazons were fierce warriors, who enslaved the men they defeated in combat keeping them for reproduction, and leaving only the female babies alive. Venelia witnessed an Amazon of Themyscira, Wonder Woman, arriving in Bana-Mighdall to look for an enemy of hers, the feral Cheetah, and she joined the others in trying to kill her, fueled by all the myths about Themyscira circulating among the rogue Amazon tribe. When the god Hermes attacked Bana-Mighdall, making its position known to its enemies and thus causing its destruction, Venelia found herself homeless, and accepted Circe‘s offer to exact revenge and attack Themyscira to make it their new home. Circe, however, betrayed the Amazons, and transported them all in the Demon Dimension, where they fought for ten years before being freed by Wonder Woman. Little more than a child when she marched on Themyscira, Venelia emerged from the Demon Dimension as a grown up woman, and she had a different attitude towards the Amazons of Themyscira after fighting side by side with them for a decade of war. Venelia was allowed to live on Themyscira with her sisters. Soon, Queen Hippolyta announced that a new Contest would have been held for the title of Wonder Woman. Needless to say, Venelia participated, and she squared off pretty well: in the race around Themyscira, she was second only to Artemis, with Diana following at close range. On the last day of the Contest, however, Hippolyta had the race cross the mystical lands of Themyscira: first, Venelia had to fight the Harpies on her way, but just as she was sure she would have reached Artemis, a new foe appeared, the Gorgon Medusa…and literally in a blink of an eye, all Venelia’s ambitions faded as she turned to stone.

Venelia (or Venilia) is a proud Amazon, but her character differs much from a version or another: the Themyscirian one is a serious and pious woman, devoted to the gods and to her people, a peace-bringer who despises war; the Bana-Mighdallian is quite the opposite, a fierce mercenary who lives for the fight and who devotes herself to conflict and warmongering. As an Amazon, she possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and durability, and she’s an expert in the use of any blade (the Bana-Mighdallian is also a proficient markswoman, while the Themyscirian is also immortal). Being it from a sacred city or another, Venelia is always loyal to the Amazons and her queen, committed to a sacred mission that crosses the centuries.

Artemis (Wonder Woman)

Another prominent Amazon in Wonder Woman is quite a huge one, in every possible meaning: Artemis, portrayed by boxer Ann Wolfe. Artemis is quite an imposing character, and she’s seen at the very beginning during the Amazons’ training, standing high on a wooden rise, knocking down one Amazon after the other (and even resisting a direct blow to the kidneys without flinching). She’s also the last warrior Diana has to defeat before facing her aunt Antiope, and she’s obviously recognised as the strongest Amazon on Themyscira. Finding her in Themyscira is the first difference from the comics, as she belongs to another tribe, while also her looks are pretty different from the original, red-haired and Caucasian warrior. It’s also unlikely we’ll see her become Diana’s successor as it happened in the comics…as we’re about to see.

Artemis was born an Amazon, but not in Themyscira: she was a member of the splinter sect of Amazons residing in Bana-Mighdall, descendant of the ones who had lost their immortality by following Queen Antiope in her revenge against the men who had assaulted Themyscira and renounced to the Greek Goddesses‘ blessing because of this. She lived in a violent environment, a secluded city protected by the sand storm generated by the Egyptian Goddesses and used to enslave men from the nearby villages and cities for reproduction. Everything Artemis ever knew was her people’s devotion to the art of war, but her heart was true, and she believed the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall to be the heirs of the “true” Amazons. A poor girl in the city of women, Artemis trained to become the best warrior of the city, but she wanted something more than what she could find in Bana-Mighdall: inspired by the ancient legends about the “traitors” in Themyscira, a fourteen-years-old Artemis left the city and wandered in the men’s world, until she stumbled upon the League of Assassins; she proved her worth to their leader, Ra’s al Ghul, who was impressed by the skills she demonstrated in besting many of his ninjas. Artemis offered to lead Ra’s to Themyscira, wanting him to kill the Amazons and make their island his new base, but first she helped him in leading a nuclear attack on the world along with Bizarro. The mission didn’t go quite well because of Batman‘s interference, but Artemis managed to prove herself nevertheless, and Ra’s al Ghul eventually accepted her offer. Once they were close to Themyscira, however, Artemis spied on her lost sisters, and she realised they were not as evil and fierce as Bana-Mighdall’s legends portrayed them. Not wanting to attack her own sisters, she turned on Ra’s and fled, coming back to Egypt and resuming her old life. Not much time later, Wonder Woman visited Bana-Mighdall in search of her enemy Cheetah, but a series of misunderstanding led the city’s best warrior Shim’Tar to challenge her in combat; after that, Hermes “avenged” Diana attacking the city, and Bana-Mighdall was destroyed as a result. Artemis and her sisters were now homeless.

The sorceress Circe arrived in the time of need, and she offered her protection and her magic to the now nomadic Amazons in exchange of the promise to kill the one who was responsible of their misfortune in the first place: Diana of Themyscira. Artemis was only a girl, but she had learnt her lesson, and she spoke before the Council against Circe’s offer, saying that Amazons shouldn’t fight other Amazons…but nobody listened to her. All the Amazons went to war and invaded Themyscira, starting a fierce battle…but then Circe showed her true colors, and teleported the entire island into a Demon Dimension, wanting to destroy both tribes. Artemis found herself in a hellish dimension, constantly fighting for her and her sister’s life. On Earth, Wonder Woman hunted down Circe and, a couple of months later, she forced her to return Themyscira and its occupants to their original position, but in the Demon Dimension ten years had passed already. When she returned to her home-dimension, Artemis was in her mid twenties, and the two tribes had been reunited as one by the common threat. Even the former Bana-Mighdall Amazons came to live in Themyscira, and Artemis had the chance to know better Diana: the two became friends, even if at first the red-haired Amazon was pretty hostile towards the princess. Unexpectedly, however, Queen Hippolyta declared that Diana had failed Themyscira as Wonder Woman, and she announced a new Contest to chose a successor. Despite her initial doubts, Hyppolita allowed also the Bana-Mighdall Amazons to compete, and Artemis participated…eventually defeating Diana and becoming the new Wonder Woman. She was given a number of mystical weapons to fulfill her new role, and she was even invited in the Justice League of America in Diana’s place…unfortunately, the real reason behind Hyppolita’s decision was her visions of Wonder Woman’s future death, a destiny she had wanted to spare her daughter, and that now threatened Artemis instead…

Artemis is a fierce and proud Amazon, a powerful warrior with a heroine’s heart, but also characterised by a never quelled aggresiveness and a self-confidence that borders with arrogance. As the new Wonder Woman, she’s an extremely skilled combatant, an excellent martial artist and a superb swordswoman with superhuman strength, durability, speed, stamina, agility and senses, and a spell from Circe made her eternally young; the Sandals of Hermes allow her to fly and move at incredible speed, the Gauntlet of Atlas increase her already remarkable strenght, and the indestructible Lasso of Truth compels anyone she catches with it to tell the truth. Forged in a society of warmongers and mercenaries, Artemis is much fiercer and pitiless than her predecessor, and she lives her mission as the new Wonder Woman as a war with no prisoners.

Trigona

Wonder Woman is out, and this means we have literally a ton of Amazons to speak about (as well as a couple of villains, including the big baddie). Let’s start with one of the many warriors we see on the beach of Themyscira, giving quite a warm welcome to the German Army as they approach the seaside: Trigona, portrayed by Hari James. In the movie, she has a small cameo just like most of the others, and we only see her charging at the soldiers on her horse. She clearly differs from her comicbook counterpart, starting from the not negligible detail that she has both her legs…and that she lives in Themyscira, while she’s a member of another tribe originally. Let’s see together.

Trigona was born like the other Amazons, created from the clay by the goddesses of Olympus and imbued with the souls of the many women who died at the hands of men’s violence. Her mission was to bring peace and understanding in a war-torn world, and she resided in Themyscira with her sisters. Her life as a peace-bringer ended abruptly when the “heroes” Herakles and Theseus tricked and imprisoned the Amazonian queens, enslaving and raping all the Amazons and destroying the sacred city of Themyscira. Athena granted the Amazons their freedom, but on the condition that they didn’t follow the path of violence: blinded by the thirst of revenge, however, some of the Amazons, Trigona included, slained the attackers. Queen Hippolyta begged her belligerant sisters to step down from their bloodthirst, but her sister, Queen Antiope, decided to disobey Olympus and to hunt down Herakles and Theseus in the outside world. Trigona had no doubts on who to pledge her loyalty to, and she followed Antiope, abandoning Themyscira. This “lost tribe” of Amazons fought battle after battle, until they reached the city of Thebes, where Theseus was king: instead of the bloody vengeance she was expecting, however, Trigona was quite surprised to find something else entirely, as Antiope fell in love with her former captor and married him, becoming queen of Thebes. Much to her scorn, she became a member of the Royal Army of Thebes, along with all her sisters, fighting side by side with the men she had wanted to slain. This state of things didn’t last long, as some years later Antiope was killed in her bedchamber by Theseus’ first wife, Ariadne, and the sorceress Circe framed the loyal Amazon Phthia for the murder: this, for Trigona and the others, was simply the last drop, and they took their weapons again against the men and freed Phthia, then they left Thebes and Greece, swearing the would have never trusted another man. Without a leader and trusting nobody around them, the Amazons became a violent tribe of warriors and mercenaries, and they even participated to the Trojan War (obviously on the Trojans‘s side, against the Greeks).

The war, however, was lost, and the Lost Tribe resumed its wandering: the Amazons became nomadic, until they decided it was time for them to build a new home, just as separated from men’s world as Themyscira was. They arrived in Egypt, where they founded another sacred city, Bana-Mighdall (roughly translated as the Temple of Women), and they obtained the protection of the goddesses of Egypt. Soon the Amazons realised they had lost their immortality, so they started abducting men from the nearby villages and cities, locking them in stables and using them for breeding only, slaves of the female warriors; if a male baby was born, he was killed, while the female ones became fierce warriors. The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall lived in relative peace for centuries, until they entered in conflict with demonic warriors from an unspecified Demon Dimension (possibly Hell itself): the conflict lasted for decades, many Amazons fell to the demons, and many others were severely wounded by them. Trigona fought with her sisters, but she was among the ones who suffered the most for the war, as she lost her right leg to the demons. Eventually, the war was won, but it was clear that Trigona wouldn’t have been able to be the warrior she used to be anymore. She had however one skill she could still put at her sisters’ service: she knew weapons like no others, and she was able to forge and build them besides wielding them. She became Bana-Mighdall’s best armorer, and the best blades came out of her forge. She became a point of reference for all her sisters in the city, but also for the people from outside Bana-Mighdall, as she sold her weapons to the men outside as well, thus earning enough for her city to prosper even when the Amazons weren’t hired for some war. Despite she couldn’t fight anymore, she still contributed to her people’s greatness.

Trigona is a fierce and proud warrior, who nurtures a deep hatred towards all men and an unshakable loyalty to her sisters, the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall. As an Amazon, she possesses superhuman strength, durability, speed, reflexes, agility and stamina, as well as an enhanced intellect; despite not being immortal anymore, her lifespan is greatly extended, and even if she misses a leg, she’s still a fearsome warrior, trained in the use of any weapon, classic or modern, in archery and in horsemanship. A living monument to the pride of her people, as well as to their violent ferocity, Trigona still fights her own battles, albeit from another perspective.

Maru (Doctor Poison)

doctorpoisonfilmThis has been rumored for quite a while now, but we finally have an official confirmation of which character Elena Anaya is going to play in the upcoming Wonder Woman. No big surprise here, she’s the Golden Age villain Doctor Poison, the spy who battled Wonder Woman during World War II (in the movie, this has been changed to World War I). We don’t know much about the character yet, apart from the fact that she’ll be an ally of General Erich Ludendorff and that she’ll work for him in some capacity. There’s also another rumor around, according to which Maru (Poison’s true identity) will be a rogue Amazon, thus justifying Wonder Woman’s presence in the world of men. Anyway, waiting to see what has been done with this old villain, created in the 1940s, let’s take a look at the original one, an inhabitant of Earth-Two.

Maru was born in the late 1920s, the princess of an unspecified country. Since she was a teenager, she studied chemistry and biology thorougly, becoming an absolute expert in her field, albeit most of the recognition she deserved was denied to her since she was a woman. When World War II engulfed the world, Princess Maru decided she would have made her part as well in the conflict, and agreeing with Nazi Germany‘s view on the need to perfect humanity through a genetic selection and a strong politics, she offered her unique services to the Axis. She soon realised she would have accomplished nothing by presenting herself as a woman, so she tailored a bulky costume and a mask to look like a man, and created the alias of Doctor Poison, claiming to be the world’s most accomplished expert in toxins, venoms and poisons (something that she actually was). Having impressed the Third Reich with doctorpoisoncomics1her knowledge, she became a spy for the Nazis, planning a unique an potentially disastrous attack on the US Army: she managed to contaminate the enemy’s water supplies with one of her newest inventions, Reverso, a powerful drug that modified the brain’s chemistry, so that any intended action resulted in its opposite. As a result, the American soldiers started to do exactly the opposite of what they were ordered by their superiors, giving an incredible advantage to the Germans. With the American army a mess, she had two enemies kidnapped to obtain informations from them: officer Steve Trevor, who had an injured leg, and a nurse who was with him, Diana Prince. The latter managed to escape, but she didn’t warn the army, worried for Steve’s safety: she came back as Wonder Woman, accompanied by the Holliday Girls, the sorority led by her friend Etta Candy. While the Girls distracted the guards, Wonder Woman confronted Doctor Poison, and after exposing her as a woman (her “soft hands” betrayed her, apparently…), she freed Steve Trevor. Defeated, Princess Maru escaped, interrupting her poisoning of the American army.

Doctor Poison’s skills however were still required by the Axis, and in 1943 Maru (still disguised as a man) started working as the Chemical Research Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army. This time, she managed to ground every single American airplane on the Chinese Front thanks to her latest invention, the Green Gas, a special compound that reacted with the planes’ fuel making it inert. With no air force at disposal, the American Army was in great difficulty in the Pacific. Once again, it was Wonder Woman who came to the rescue, and recognising the style of her enemy, she identified and found Doctor Poison. This time, however, she didn’t want to let her escape, and she made sure to capture her with her Lasso of Truth; as soon as the American planes were able to fly again, Wonder Woman took Doctor Poison away from the battlefield and locked her up in the Amazonian prison in Transformation Island, a place in which she would have allegedly reformed. Actually, Princess Maru started to doctorpoisoncomics2behave, becoming the spectre of the woman she was…until five years later one of the other inmates, the alien slaver Eviless, spurred her into coming back to her old self. Eviless selected some of Transformation Island’s inmates: along with Doctor Poison, she gathered the super-strong Giganta, the feral thief Priscilla “Cheetah” Rich, the freezing Byrna “Blue Snowman” Brilyant, the flaming priestess Zara, the Atlantean Queen Clea and the mesmerizer Hypnota, and formed a villainess-only team known as Villainy Incorporated. First, Eviless faked her death, managing to steal Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth when the Amazons came to check on her; later, using their male costumes, Doctor Poison, Blue Snowman and Hypnota tricked Queen Hippolyta into believing that men were on Paradise Island, and when she came out of her palace, the rest of the team ambushed her and captured her with the Lasso. Using Hippolyta as a human shield, the criminals were finally ready to leave the Amazons’ island: the world would have known the genius of Doctor Poison once more.

Princess Maru is an extremely intelligent woman, a brilliant scientist who puts all her wits and her knowledge at the service of…the wrong cause: lacking any kind of human empathy, she embraces the Axis’ ideals of a perfect race and of a strong leadership, wanting to crush all the inferior ones under her heels. As Doctor Poison, she’s the world’s most accomplished expert in terms of poisons and toxins, and she’s skilled enough to create new substances with the most incredible effects. Disguised to hide her gender in a world of men, Doctor Poison believes in the superiority of intellect, and she uses her own to turn the tides of the war.