Wonder Woman has been part of our pop culture fabric of over 75 years. In that time, she”s gone through many iterations. But one thing remains constant: Wonder Woman is Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, and her home is the man-free Island of Themyscira/Paradise Island.
For decades another constant was Wonder Woman”s status as being born of clay, with no help of a man in her conception. The highest profile deviation from this origin is the New 52, which declared Zeus to be Diana”s true father. But with the introduction of THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN (available 11/12/15) to DC Comics” Digital First line, writer Renae De Liz is getting back to basic.
HitFix Harpy spoke with De Liz via email about putting her stamp on the Wonder Woman mythology.
HITFIX HARPY: The origin of Wonder Woman has been told many times with many variations. Did you feel intimidated bringing your own spin to it?
Renae De Liz: OH yes! I know how much people care about Wonder Woman, I know there are so many debates over what is wanted, and what should or shouldn't be in her Origins. I've watched other readers' disappointments and frustration when it's not done right, and I very much am afraid to become part of that. Also there are some 75 years of content for Wonder Woman, and that's an intimidating task, to try and pull out of that one version of Wonder Woman that best encompasses the character.
But at the same time, I can't let those feelings hinder me. I've felt in my heart since I was young there was a portrayal Wonder Woman I wished to see, and I've seen so many people want the same things I did. I feel strongly there is so much potential for good (for the character, for the enjoyment of readers) if I get this right, so I in my mind I have no choice but to put myself out there and try my best despite the crazy intimidation.
What can fans expect from LEGENDS” version of Themyscira?
Renae: I wanted a Themyscira that was magical, and filled with the unknown. Where anything could happen, for good or bad. So in this story it's an island formed by the Gods to seal themselves and their creations away from the rest of world. The entire island is infused with ancient power, even shifting landscape at times, and mythical creatures of all kinds call it home. I wanted the Amazons to always find the island to be a mystery despite centuries of living there, as truly only part of the Island belongs to them. Outsiders of any kind are generally not allowed on Themyscira, as the Gods do not want any to disrupt their self-contained world.
Is Hippolyta the only Immortal Amazon on the island?
Renae: No, those closest to her were given Immortality in the early days of the Amazons as well, to help continue the peaceful rule of her people. The rest are mortals. I felt for a true utopian society to exist, the people should know the completeness of life. Childhoods, old age, love, death, loss and having children — those experiences are what make us grow and become greater, in their own way.
Are we following Diana thorough her entire childhood or just a portion?
Renae: Just a portion. The first few issues she is a child on Themyscira, and the remaining 6 issues she is older and elsewhere.
Did any of the other women longed for kids? Or will Diana grow up in isolation from her peers? I mean, you can hate dudes and still want babies.
Renae: Haha, well firstly, my Amazons do not hate men. I do not think you could symbolize the best of humanity if you hold hatred. They do have extreme wariness and distrust, however, because in the old days Man had created a world of cruelty and suffering. So Hippolyta and her people chose to separate and keep their distance. They did fight and kill men, but only if necessary, and only to uphold their peace. Once centuries and generations had passed on Themyscira, Man had become nothing more than a dark myth to frighten children.
As for longing for children, this is not an issue for most of them. The ones that truly want to carry a child are usually chosen to do so by the Gods, and the rest are happy to help raise those children as a community (and while there are other children, Diana is special in many ways, as you will see in the series).
Immortals, however, cannot have children. There are roughly 12 left, and most have found contentment in their lives by devoting themselves to the various Greek Gods. Such as Hippolyta's sister Antiope, who rules the temple of Ares and finds fulfillment in the pursuit of glory and the fighting arts. Or Glauce, who rules the temple of Poseidon and needs nothing more in life than the calm depths of the sea to set her at peace.
The only one who has extreme difficulty is Hippolyta, who would give anything to have her own child. When she first became Immortal she was young, and thought the duty to her people would be enough to overcome this desire, but as centuries went on, the desire became a growing torment in her mind. Especially as she had to watch generation after generation of her people have the joy of children, but she is forever barred from it.
Of course this is what sets everything up for the entrance of Diana into the world!