Back in April, I was curious where the character posters for the Amazons were ahead of Wonder Woman arriving in theaters. Diana isn’t the only woman on Themyscira. She was raised by a vibrant community of warriors and scholars, many of whom appear in the upcoming film. Connie Nielsen is taking on the role of Diana’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, and Robin Wright plays Wonder Woman’s aunt, General Antiope. Other Amazons include Doutzen Kroes as Venelia, Eleanor Matsuura as Epione, and Mayling Ng as Orana. Former HitFix correspondent Jill Pantozzi listed them all months ago.
Now Warner Bros. is finally introducing (some) of Diana’s family to audiences. IMAX debuted three new character posters on their Twitter account today. One for Diana, one for Hippolyta, and one for Antiope. Put them all together and you get a banner that tells a visual story about the complex relationship Wonder Woman has with both her mother and aunt.
Over the course of Wonder Woman’s 75-year history, Diana and Hippolyta have butted up against that most ancient of struggles: A mother trying to protect her child, and the child struggling against that like a fish caught in a net in order to grow up. The core of Diana’s story is that of a child striking out on her own in the real world. Throughout the years and story reboots, Hippolyta has been by turns supportive, overprotective, angry, and manipulative towards her daughter’s ambition. On the other hand, Antiope has embodied the role of the “cool aunt.” Where Hippolyta suffocates and coddles, Antiope puts a sword in Diana’s hand and teaches her to win or lose by her own skills.
This dynamic is hinted at in the trailers with Hippolyta telling a young Diana she’ll never wield the Sword of Athena while Antiope molds her young charge into the fiercest warrior the Amazons have ever seen. Of course, Antiope is working with Diana under Hippolyta’s orders, but rarely do children see their parents secretly pulling the strings until long after adolescence. The framing of these new character posters lends weight to this reading of Diana’s relationship with her mother, having Wonder Woman face away from Hippolyta and towards Antiope. If the film plays it straight, the Queen of the Amazons will force her daughter to choose between Themyscira and the World of Men and we all know which Diana will choose (as otherwise it would be a short movie). Many iterations of this tale make it clear Diana is breaking her mother’s heart because once she leaves the island, the Princess of the Amazons may never return.
Regardless of which parental origin Wonder Woman chooses to tell, one thing is obvious: The Amazons molded Diana into the woman she is, and for that alone they deserve a clear and distinct arc within the larger story. These character posters are a promising sign that Warner Bros. knows that too.