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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Queen Hippolyta
Hipp (Wonder Woman 1)
Information
Real name: Queen Hippolyta
Species: Amazon
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-2A
Relatives: Diana of Paradise Island (daughter)
Occupation: Queen
Base: Paradise Island

Hippolyta is the wise and fair Queen of a race of women called the Amazons. She is the mother of Diana, the heroine known as Wonder Woman.


Background Information

In the parallel universe of Earth-Two (Earth-2A in the SuperFriends Universe), in the days long since forgotten, the earth was ruled by gods. Two in particular: are Ares, god of war and Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. Ares vows that men shall rule with swords and Aphrodite vows that women shall conquer men with love. By the days of ancient Greece, the swordsman of Ares / Mars slew their weaker brothers and plundered them, keeping the women as slaves. In response, Aphrodite shaped with her own hands a race of super women. Women that were stronger than men. She breathed life into them and also the power of love. She called them Amazons and gave their leader a magic girdle with the promise that as long as this is worn, the Amazons will be uncontrollable. For years the Amazons were a super-power, living untouched by men in Amazonia, until the Greek warrior, Hercules (inspired by Ares) decides to make war on the Amazons and plunder Amazonia. He drunkenly vows to take Queen Hippolyta’s magic girdle and bring back her women in chains. He accomplishes this not by acts of war, but by seducing the Queen with trickery. Fearing a revolt, the Greeks put their captives in chains. Aphrodite is angry at the Amazonians because they succumbed to the 'wiles of men'. The submission proved to be unbearable and Hippolyta pleaded with Aphrodite for help in securing the Magic Girdle. She conceded and the Amazons were able to overcome their masters -– the men. However, Aphrodite’s aid was not without conditions. They must wear the bracelets fashioned by their captors, reminding them of the folly of submitting to man’s domination and secondly, they must sail for many days and nights until they find their new home, which they call Paradise Island.[1]

In time, Aphrodite teaches Queen Hippolyta the secret art of molding a human form. After molding several small statues of clay, she begins to adore one in particular. She prays to Aphrodite, asking for life to be given to the statue. Aphrodite grants the queen's wish and names the little one Diana, after the moon goddess. By the age of five, Diana has the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury. At the age of fifteen, as a sign of betrothal and service, young Diana receives her bracelets of submission at the altar of Aphrodite.[2]

Hippolyta raised her daughter with all of the best elements available to her native land over the centuries. It would be centuries later, after Diana had advanced into adulthood during the early 1940s that Diana rescued U.S. Army Intelligence pilot, Steve Trevor. He had crashed his fighter on the shores of the magical Island. As Trevor recovered in the Amazonian hospital, Diana began to slowly fall in love with him. Hippolyta reminds the young Amazon that men are forbidden to set foot on Paradise Island, much less remain there. She declares that as soon as Trevor is fit for travel, he is to be returned to the United States. As Steve is recovering, Hippolyta uses the Magic Sphere (a gift from Athena) to divine the nature of Steve's arrival on the island. Aphrodite and Athena (not wanting Mars, the god of war to win)[3] come to her in a mist and tell her that danger threatens their shores again. The American officer is fighting an army that pursues hate and oppression, while the American’s support democracy and equal rights for women. This means a representative should be sent to the United States, from Paradise Island to aid the American in their fight against evil and aggression. In response, Hippolyta holds a great tournament to determine which of her warriors should act as their good will ambassador. Although the Queen forbids her daughter to participate, the young princess does anyway, masters every competition and becomes one of two finalists to compete in the Bullets and Bracelets competition. Diana defeats all her opponent and reveals her true identity to the crowd. Hippolyta agrees to allow Diana to travel to the United States. In so doing, Diana is giving up her heritage of peace and happiness. The Queen provides her with a patriotic costume, a magic lasso[4] and tells her to let herself be known as Diana, the 'Wonder Woman'.[5]

When Diana refused to return to the Amazon homeland after the mission (World War II) was deemed over, Hippolyta forced her daughter to choose between her own life among the outside world or immortality with her mother. Diana gave up her immortality and remained separate from the Amazons. But Hippolyta did not remove none of Diana's other enhanced abilities granted to her from winning the original contest to represent the Amazons in the role of "Wonder Woman".[citation needed]


Notes

  • Hippolyta is based on Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons in Greek mythology.[6]
  • Hippolyta first appeared in All Star Comics, vol. 1 #8[7] (December 1941) in the same backup feature that introduced her daughter, Wonder Woman.
  • She was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter.
  • During the Golden Age era Hippolyte remained on Paradise Island, rarely interacting with the modern world to which her daughter had journeyed. Her role was that of the Amazon Queen and mentor to Wonder Woman. She was devoted to the Olympian goddesses, particularly the Amazons' patron Aphrodite, and was adamant that man never be allowed to set foot on Paradise Island.
  • In the 1960s when DC Comics introduced the concept of the Multiverse, this Hippolyte was established as existing on the world known as Earth-Two. This incarnation of Hippolyte was phased out around issue #97 of the original Wonder Woman comic when the focus shifted from Earth-Two to the more modern versions of the characters on Earth-One.
  • The Silver Age Hippolyte continued thereafter and had blonde hair. Her history was largely identical to the Golden Age version, though a few significant Silver Age stories diverge from the original. For example, it was established that Hippolyta had crafted a second daughter from clay, a dark-skinned Amazon named Nubia who was to be Wonder Woman's twin sister before she was spirited away by the god Mars. She was also the adoptive mother of Donna Troy, who had been rescued from a fire and brought to Paradise Island. As before, Hippolyta's role in the Silver Age era was primarily that of Paradise Island's queen and mentor to Wonder Woman, although never happy that she joined the Justice League. According to the DC Comics 1976 calendar, Hippolyta was born on January 8.


External Links


Appearances in Other Media


Reference

  1. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #8/3 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942) and Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942).
  2. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942).
  3. In Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942), we see a glimpse behind the curtain. In Olympus, Ares, the god of war (also known as Mars) is taunting Aphrodite, telling her that he has already won, because most of Earth's nations were at war with one another. Aphrodite reasoned that an Amazon in America would help inspire that nation once it entered the war and ordered Hippolyte to select an Amazon to escort Trevor back to America.
  4. Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942) retcons her origin in a few different ways, most notably by giving her the Lasso of Truth before she leaves Paradise Island for the first time. In the previous continuity she only received the lasso after returning to Paradise Island in Sensation Comics, #6 (June 1942),
  5. As revealed in All-Star Comics #8/3 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942).
  6. Go to Wikipedia for more on Hippolyte
  7. Go to the DC Database for more on All Star Comics, vol. 1 #8
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