AKA: Island of Themyscira, Paradise Island, Republic of Themyscira
First Appeared In:
- All Star Comics #8 (Winter, 1941)
Home of the Themysciran Amazons, the island nation of Themyscira is an island archipelago blessed by the Greek goddesses.
Meant as a place of refuge for the Amazons, the island was initially isolated by a magical barrier that concealed the original island from outside eyes by a perpetual blanket of clouds and fog.
It is believed that Themyscira is currently situated in a small dimension of its own, adjacent to both the Earth and Olympian dimensions.
The Amazons are the reincarnated souls of women slain throughout pre-history by men. Shaped from clay over 3,000 years previous and given new lives by five Olympian goddesses — Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hestia, and Aphrodite — the Amazons were granted immortality, great physical strength, highly acute senses, beauty, wisdom, and love for one another.
They were tasked to teach the merits of virtue, love, and equality to the men of “Patriarch’s World."
The Amazons founded the city-state of Themyscira in ancient Turkey during the Age of Mythology. The city was co-ruled by the sisters Hippolyta and Antiope, who together vowed to lead the Amazons with the task of teaching the merits of virtue, love, and equality to the men of “Patriarch’s World."
As this would upset his plans for war, Ares, the God of War and a chief opponent of the Amazons, manipulated the Amazons' efforts until, faced with the unrelenting hostility of mankind, the Amazons angrily withdrew behind the walls of their city.
Still unsatisfied, Ares manipulated his half-brother, Heracles, to gather his forces and attack Themyscira. After an initial confrontation at the city gates where Hippolyta bested the demigod in single combat, Heracles subdued and ravaged Hippolyta after initially offering his partnership in the Amazon's quest. Heracles' forces succeeded in ransacking Themyscira and making the Amazons their slaves, having their way with them.
Bound in chains, Hippolyta pleaded with the goddesses for help. Athena agreed to aid the Amazons, but only if they do not go against their purpose of creation by seeking revenge. When they agreed to her terms, Athena frees the Amazons from their chains. Once freed, however, the Amazons proceeded to slaughter their captors. With Antiope leading a force of Amazons into Greece, seeking vengeance on Heracles.
Following their fight for freedom, the Amazons split into two factions; one allying to Hippolyta and her quest for peace and one allying with Antiope and her desire for vengeance. While the latter group left to pursue Heracles and became the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall, the gods decreed that Hippolyta lead her faction of Amazons to "Paradise Island" where they would live as immortals and reclaim their purity of spirit while guarding Doom's Doorway.
Arriving on the island, the Amazons set to rebuilding their lost city and clearing the island for habitation. Guided by the architect Timandra, the new city of Themyscira featured many buildings expected of a Greecian city; including a Coliseum, a Hall of Heroes, a Senate Chamber and the Royal Palace built on the city's highest point at the heart of Capitol Mall where Hippolyta resided.
In addition to the city and Doom's Doorway, the island also possessed mystical forests that Hippolyta later resurrected to contain the whirlpool Charybdis, the Harpies' Aeries and the Lair of Medusa among other mythic arbors during the second tournament to chose a new Wonder Woman. A small island just off-shore served as the Island of Healing, where sick and injured Amazons would be tended to away from the general population. Below the city existed the Necropolis, a city of the dead built by the dead who were enslaved by the Amazonian priestess overseeing the temple of Hades. The Necropolis would later be discovered and destroyed by Princess Diana during her adolescent years.
After the island had been destroyed, Themyscira was rebuilt upon the old island's remains. Designed by the likes of Julia Kapatelis, J'onn J'onzz (Martian Manhunter), Steve Trevor, Kimiyo Hoshi (Doctor Light), Canadian architect Henri Claude Tibet, and Amazon master designer Kaleeza Fashed, the new Themyscira island was erected with the blessings of the goddesses of both the Greek and Egyptian pantheons.
Possessing the ability to float above the ocean, the island possessed both Greco-Roman architecture and settlements created from the alien technology associated with the Wonderdome construct. The islands became dedicated to the free exchange of information and ideas and acted as a location for group conventions of the minds from across the world. The new Themyscira was governed by members of both tribes of Amazons.
However, these islands end up being damaged by Hera during an angry outburst where she kicks the scrying pool in Olympus after catching Zeus, who was under the influence of Ios, spying on the Amazons as they bathed. As a result, the islands lost their ability to float in the air and fell into the ocean ninety miles from the Carolinas. Amongst the damage sustained, six of the outer islands were destroyed, including Reformation Island. Of the 427 visitors on the island at the time of its destruction, 318 sustained injuries, of which 26 were critical and a further 12 were unaccounted for. In addition to this, the island's crash into the water caused a 50ft tidal wave to arise which Wonder Woman had to dissipate before it reached the USA's eastern coast; already weakened due to the island's destruction, the Wonderdome died in the process of aiding Wonder Woman in dissipating the wave and saving her from the wave's crushing power.
Unfortunately, due to their close location and their nature as a secretive and martial culture, the USA began considering Themyscira a security threat to the nation and blockaded the islands with what was previously a fleet sent to aid their recovery. Offering to cease the blockade if a treaty or trade agreement was signed between the countries, the Amazons had to refuse, as this would jeapordise the neutrality of the Amazons by allying them with the USA.
Following a premonition from their Oracle of an attack, the Amazons began martialing their forces; creating a new weapon to defend themselves known as the Purple Death Ray just as the island comes under attack by Brother Eye's OMAC army in retribution for Diana's execution of Max Lord.
Forced to decide between the slaughter of the innocents within the OMACs or the slaughter of the Amazons, Diana managed to convince the Amazons to withdraw; magically moving the island beneath the ocean's waves into another dimension.
Following her resurrection, Hippolyta, influenced by Circe, leads the Amazons in an attack on the United States capital in retribution for the reported capture and torture of Diana and America's previous betrayals of trust.
At the conclusion of the war, New God Granny Goodness, possing as Athena, captured the entire Themyscirian and Bana Amazon population and erased their memories, replacing them with false personae and scattered them throughout the world posing as ordinary humans. Returning the island to Earth and leaving Hippolyta on Themyscira, Granny also created a barrier to prevent any Amazon from entering the island, including Wonder Woman.
Hearing that the island was abandoned, the Society attempted to invade and steal the technology of Themyscira by using Captain Nazi and the Fourth Reich only for the team to be hunted individually by Hippolyta and then driven off by Wonder Woman, who had allied herself with the god Kane Miohai in order to gain access to the island. In the process, the Amazonian personal guard known as The Circle was momentarily released and, led by the Amazon Alkyone and believing that Wonder Woman would destroy the Amazons, attempted to kill Wonder Woman only to be bested and reprisoned. But for Alkyone who dove into the waters surrounding the island amongst the Megalodon sharks.
Granny Goodness then proceeded to use the island as a training ground for a new army of Furies for Darkseid's scheme surrounding the Final Crisis, however she was eventually discovered and thwarted by Hippolyta, Holly Robinson, Harleen Quinzel and Mary Batson.
Following the Final Crisis and the return of the Greek Gods, Zeus restores the memories of the Amazons and provides them access back to Themyscira. In an attempt to make up for his past mistakes, Zeus removes the amazons from their mission of peaceful representatives and creates a new island of male warriors who will take the Amazon's place in the world.
To this end Zeus creates the island of Thalarion 300 nautical miles (560 km) from Themyscira. There he creates a kingdom city made of crystal and a river of gold. He then re-animates the corpses of long dead Greek warriors. Among them are Jason, Achilles and Euphemus. Zeus calls this new race of men, Gargareans.
Immediately led astray by Ares, the Gargareans are halted in their crusade by Diana before Zeus decreed that the Gargareans and the Amazons were to become one people with Hippolyta stepping down from her royal standing to be replaced by Achilles. Achilles weds Alkyone as his queen; seeing her as a strong warrior who only has her sisters' wellfare at heart. With Diana renouncing her allegiance with the Greek gods due to their continual petty manipulations, Alkyone takes away her tiara and bracelets and renounces her as an amazon as well; sending her to confront a new manace in Tartarus.
Meanwhile, Ares intends to create his own group of warriors and causes some of the amazons to become pregnant with his children. After Alkyone eventually attempts to kill Achilles when he realises that she had sent Diana to her death, Achilles rallies the Gargareans to ally with the Amazons, who were being led by Artemis, to save Diana while Zeus, realizing his mistake and attitude as after effects of his imprisonment and torture by the New Gods, bans Ares from setting foot on Themyscira and leaves the matters of the Greek gods with Athena; retiring from his position voluntarily.
Notable areas, Landmarks, Institutions and Businesses
Reform Island: Prison where criminal Amazons are reformed.
Science Island: Bridged island where scientific experiments are conducted.
Fountain of Eternal Youth: Natural spring whose waters retard the process of age.
Island of Healing: Located on a small island chain near the main land. This is a tranquil, serene place where pure waters flow and healing herbs grow in abundance.
Forbidden Island: Distant island inhabited by menacing life-forms.
Coliseum: Arena where the Amazons test, hone, and display their skills and prowess.
Kanga Racetrack: Arena where skills of kanga riding are tested and races are enjoyed.
Temple of Aphrodite: Royal palace that occupies the highest point of Themyscira.
Royal Palace: Located at the center of the island on Themyscira's highest elevation, overlooking the rest of the island. The Palace, a grand and regal structure, is home to Queen Hippolyte.
Senate Chamber: Where the Amazon representatives meet to discuss important issues of the day and create policy for the Amazon society.
Temple of the Oracle: Adjacent to the Royal Palace and Menalippe's sanctuary, where the Amazon priestess consults with the Olympian gods.
Statue of Artemis: Created in honor of the goddess who championed their cause. The statue is located in a clearing in the woods and was constructed as the highest, most visible feature on the island.
Temple of Hades: Built to honor the god of the dead, whom the immortal Amazons do not fear. Enshrined within the Temple are relics of the Amazons who have died.
Kangas: Large kangaroos bred by the Amazons as beasts of burden.
Magic Sphere: Orb in which one can view the past, present or possible future.
Memory Chair: Sitting device used to illicit or erase memory.
Purple Death Ray:
Stygian Killer Hornets:
The name "Themysicra" actually refers to the city while the name "Paradise Island" refers to the island.
As a reminder of their defilement at the hands of Heracles, the Amazons were charged by the Goddess Artemis to wear the black metal gauntlets as symbols of their bondage. As a symbol of their culture starting annew, these gauntlets were cast off as part of the ceremony that introduced the Amazons to the Patriarch's world.
Through the power of their combined faith, the Amazons are capable of reinvigorating the power of a god.
Originally located in the Aegean Sea, following the initial island's destruction, Themyscira was transfered to the Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean before disappearing once again during the Infinite Crisis.
For centuries the Amazons lived in a perfect state of harmony with their surroundings. They knew no racism, although many treat the Lost Tribe of Amazons as little more than savages. They do not think in terms of male gender -- the word "policeman" was alien to them until Diana’s departure into the outside world. They live in a world where homosexuality is completely accepted -- while some Amazons are celibate, others have loving partners.
The custom "Send Forth" is when a female child is lost at sea, the child is rescued from drowning by the goddess Thetis. Thetis would rescue mortal female children she deemed "special" and safely transport them to the shores of Themyscira's Island of Healing. (Male children were taken someplace else.) Once on the island the Amazon's chief physician Epione would discover them and tend to their care. After this the child would be taken to the royal palace where one Amazon is selected as the child's "Guardian of Inspiraton". The baby is then granted great wisdom and strength of spirit via a magical kiss. According to the Amazon Pythia, Julia Kapatelis was the last of hundreds of babies to experience this in 1937. This "blessing" in actuality is a subliminal suggestion for the child to teach peace and equality throughout their lives. This blessing can extend to descendants as well. This custom is called "Send Forth". Once this is done the child is considered an Amazon and spiritual daughter to the Amazon who blessed them. After a few days of recuperation and blessings the child is taken to the island shores again where she is taken back into the ocean and returned, again by Thetis, who magically travels back in time to return the child to the exact point in time when the child first left her homeland.