Themyscira (pronounced Them-mes-skera) ( ) is a fictional island nation in the DC Comics universe that is the place of origin of Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons. Known as Paradise Island since Wonder Woman and the island's first appearance in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941), it was renamed "Themyscira" with the character's February 1987 relaunch in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #1. The island is named after the mythological city of Themiscyra, the capital of the Amazon tribe in Greek mythology.
When Wonder Woman's homeland is first introduced in 1941, it is referred to as Paradise Island, a secret and hidden island inhabited by the Amazons of myth. The Amazons had grown tired of the evil ways of mankind in ancient Greece and had separated themselves to this island where they could practice a peaceful way of life and cultivate their minds. With the island blessed by the Olympian Gods, no man is allowed to physically set foot on it. When United States Army intelligence officer Steve Trevor's plane crashes there during World War II, he is nursed back to health on the nearby Island of Healing by Princess Diana, daughter of the island's Queen Hippolyta. Diana soon competes against other Amazons to become Wonder Woman, the representative from Paradise island who will accompany Steve back to "Man's World" and aid in the fight against the Axis powers. It is established that all Amazons are adept at a discipline called "bullets and bracelets" in which they are able to deflect bullets fired at them using the metal cuffs on their wrists.
This basic back-story remains intact throughout the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comic Books, until the 1985-1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. Upon the conclusion of this limited series, most characters in the DC Comics universe underwent some revamp or retcon in their storyline history, and Wonder Woman was one of several characters whose entire continuity was reboot.
The 1987 relaunch of Wonder Woman establishes that 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 are granted immortality, great physical strength, highly acute senses, beauty, wisdom, and love for one another. They are tasked to teach the merits of virtue, love, and equality to the men of “Patriarch’s World. " They found the city-state of Themyscira in ancient Turkey, which is ruled by sisters Hippolyta and Antiope. Ares, the God of War and a chief opponent of the Amazons, manipulates his half brother Heracles to gather forces and attack Themyscira. Heracles subdues and ravages Hippolyta, and his forces succeed in ransacking Themyscira and making the Amazons their slaves. Hippolyta pleads with the goddesses for help. Athena agrees to aid the Amazons, but only if they do not go against their purpose of creation by seeking revenge. When they agree to her terms, Athena frees the Amazons from their chains. Once freed, however, the Amazons proceed to slaughter most of their captors. Antiope leads a force of Amazons off into Greece, seeking vengeance on Heracles. As decreed by the goddesses, Hippolyta leads the remaining Amazons to a remote island where, as penance for their failures as teachers, they become guardians of Doom’s Doorway, preventing the escape of the monsters beneath. Renaming the island paradise Themyscira after their fallen capitol, the Amazons began their new lives, erecting buildings and monuments and perfecting their skills as artisans and warriors.
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