Paradise Island, aka Themyscira, will be the setting for HBO Max’s upcoming TV series Paradise Lost. Known as the birthplace of Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, the series will explore how the once untainted utopian land of Themyscira is ravaged by a civil war between the Amazons and their relatives from the Bana-Mighdall tribe.
There have been many great depictions of Themyscira in DC Comics, some far more peaceful and prosperous than others. However, with a few exceptions, the absolute best versions tend to occur before the Crisis on Infinite Earths (1987) and Wonder Woman Vol. 2.
10 Late Post-Crisis
Following the rebooted origin story of Themyscira post-crisis, one of DC Comics’ first crossover events, Paradise Island became the bustling city-state of modern-day Turkey. The civilization lived in harmony for centuries, where racism didn’t exist, and the ornate architecture was based on Greco-Roman designs from 1200 BC.
Despite the immense genocidal turmoil that the Amazons experiences post-crisis at the hands of Darkseid, Neron, and others, Themyscira enjoyed a fairly prosperous time in this part of history. For example, each year the Amazons celebrated their makers by holding a Feast of Five ceremonies to honor Artemis and the four other goddesses who made them in their image.
9 New Themyscira
Relocating to the Bermuda Triangle, New Themyscira was rebuilt as a floating archipelago with the help of alien technology to become a bustling paradise of free-following ideas and information. The Egyptian and Olympian Gods combined efforts to power the rebuild, restoring the island with a balance of political representation from both sides of the Amazonian divide.
As such, New Themyscira marked a booming time for the resurrected island and its harmonious inhabitants. The island boasted unique physical features that were designed by master Amazon architect Kaleeza Fasheed and several international aids to bridge the divide between the Amazons, Martians, Americans, Canadians, and Greeks.
Due to the lack of genocidal war, the best times in Themyscira took place before Infinite Crisis. For instance, during the WWII era on Earth-Two, young Princess Diana was coming of age on an island still untainted by humanity and the evil influences of the outside world. All this changed, however, when Wonder Woman’s close ally Steve Trevor crash-landed on the island.
This version of Themyscira became best known for Diana becoming Wonder Woman after competing with the Amazons to return Trevor home. The island itself was pure, safe from the violence inflicted by men, and free of war. While the Valkyries came and threatened peace on the island, the WWII era on Themyscira was a bastion of innocence, albeit less developed than future versions.
7 Early Post-Crisis
Molded from clay over 3,000 years, Themyscira was re-conceptualized post-Crisis as a place where Amazons represented the souls of women slain by men. Given immortality, superhuman strength, vast intellect, and supreme wisdom by Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, and Hestia, the place marked a bustling return to Paradise.
Themyscira became a true feminine utopia where every Amazon was blessed with immortality by the goddesses. Each woman in Themyscira received the authority to teach the Patriarch World the values of love, virtue, and civil equality. For roughly three millennia, Themyscira resembled the high society of Ancient Greece. Even after it’s besieged by Heracles, Themyscira rebuilt better than ever before by erecting massive skyscrapers and memorial statues for fallen comrades.
6 Help Of The Nereids
After spending centuries in harmony on Themyscira, the Amazons entered an even more peaceful period when the Nereids assisted their civilization. In a process known as “sending forth,” the Nereids brought infants who nearly drown at sea to the shores of the island, where the Amazons instilled their spiritual values into the infants before they were sent home.
The period of religious tutelage led to the arrival of Julia Kapatelis, Diana’s first friend in Patriarch World, and an iconic recurring character who would remain at Wonder Woman’s side from 1987 to 2000. The island itself was still being rebuilt following the attack orchestrated by Heracles. Without this peaceful period on Themyscira, Diane never would have found Julia and the island would be much different as a result.
5 The New 52
Beginning in 2011, the New 52 DC reboot also gave Themyscira a makeover. Unlike the war-torn island depicted post-Crisis, this version depicts the Amazons as a race of supremely smart and strong-willed women who are completely independent of the evil that men do. While short-lived, it was another time of triumph.
However, what really stands out about this version of Themyscira is the arrival of the Sons of Themyscira, who were taken in by Hephaestus and turned into a legion of high-minded artists who the Amazons developed compassion for. One of these Sons turned out to be Diana’s twin brother, Jason, providing a direct lineage to the origins of the island and its New 52 retcon.
4 Enter Wonder Woman
One of the best versions of Themyscira came as soon as Diana Prince assumed the mantle of Wonder Woman and returned to the island following her journey in Man’s World. Now a welcoming diplomat to the outside world, Wonder Woman established Themyscira as a place of peace and harmony where different genders could finally coexist happily.
At this time, the Amazons were no longer in fear of patriarchal oppression and invited the most dignified men to join the island. Eventually, the Bana-Mighdall tribe agreed to a truce and peacefully lived on the opposite side of the island. The harmonious cease-fire timeline lasted a very long time until Magala ignited a civil war between the Banas and Themyscirians, which became the basis of the “Lost Island Paradise” comics.
3 The Birth Of Diana Prince
Set on Earth-Two shortly after Themyscira was formed, the birth of Diana Prince marked a wonderful version of Paradise Island. When Queen Hippolyta expressed the desire to have a daughter of her own, she used the soil from Themyscira to create one. The Greek Goddess of Beauty and Love Aphrodite granted the queen’s wish in fairytale fashion by turning one of Hippolyta’s statues into a living infant.
A time of great hope, promise, and potential, The Amazons began raising Diana on Themyscira as their own, helping her grow stronger and faster, skills that helped her become Wonder Woman. It was also during this time that the Amazons fortified Themyscira by forming their army and fashioning formidable weapons to help them protect their homeland for the foreseeable future.
2 Nubia And The Amazons
While homosexuality has been the lay of the land on Themyscira since its inception, DC’s recent series Nubia and The Amazons depicted a more progressive Paradise Island by empowering a Black trans woman to join the immortal Amazons. In the past, the island promoted exclusivity. Now, it’s more inclusive. The comic starts by depicting the purest form of Themyscira, where Nubia crawls out of the Well of Souls during her formation.
In the present, Nubia is now the Queen of Themyscira and reopens the well, which invites the first citizens the island has seen in centuries. A more contemporary version that resembles a diverse, modern-day society, Themyscira has done surprisingly well in Wonder Woman’s absence thanks to Nubia, one of the strongest Black superheroes on record.
1 Earth-2 Origins
Without question, the best version of Themyscira in DC Comics was the very first. An untainted utopia without a lick of animus, violent war, or environmental degradation, the earliest version of the island was a majestic land full of colorful flora and unique fauna, like Kangas. It was a true paradise of purity.
Created with Aphrodite’s blessing, Themyscira was originally free of harm so long as Queen Hippolyta wore the magical girdle bestowed to her by the Goddess. Impervious to outside destruction, Themyscira blossomed into a thriving nation. Even when Mars and Hercules did their best to attack later on, Hippolyta thwarted their efforts and granted the Amazons immortality so long as they remained in Themyscira.
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