Paradise Island's Immigrants

An anomalous Amazon existed on Paradise in issue #124. This was a character of convenience, a magic-using Amazon whereas we'd NEVER seen any other Amazon utilizing magic as a sorceror, or would afterward. Not only was Magala a sorceror, but she was ugly. An ugly Amazon?

MagalaMagala makes reference to being shunned by other Amazons for her ugliness, but this is a very un-Amazonly thing to do, and is probably all in Magala's already muddled head. This is an idea from outside the Amazon philosophy, which lends strength to a personal theory of mine: that Magala came from somewhere else, the most logical location being: Doom's Doorway.

Was she a willing participant in the bestial armies that periodically attacked the Amazons, trying to escape into the world? Or was she a prisoner of those armies, forced to work her magics for them? Did she even have much magical ability at all when captured? Issue #134: Magala tells Phillipus, "Having chosen to live APART from the rest of the Amazons, I have in my long hermitage turned my attention to the study of arts mystic and arcane..."

Whichever way, the Amazons took her in and she demonstrated a very UN-warlike manner. Keeping herself isolated from Amazon society could be a very sorcerous way of dealing with the world but in any case is a handy way of explaining why we'd never seen her before this.

It is Magala that the queen called upon to ensure that Artemis won the new Contest. It is Magala whom Byrne uses to inflict an enormous amount of epicycles onto the already origin-distressed Donna Troy, as Magala grants young Diana's wish for a playmate and makes an identical twin, who would eventually grow her own soul as Donna.

Magala was killed just before the Civil War so Arachne could take over her body and work mischief. Fury killed Magala's body at the end of Civil War.

In issue #136 we see that Paula von Gunther has been living among the Amazons for quite some time, since she was once an adversary of the (gag) World War II Wonder Woman/Hippolyta. I assume that such lengthy residence equals citizenry.

The Banas

A large group of immigrants arrived in a terrible way. The evil Bana-Mighdall (minus their male slaves) made a devil's bargain with Circe: They would steal to Paradise Island and slaughter the Amazons in their sleep in exchange for immortality. Circe tricked them and switched the entire kit and kaboodle into a demon dimension for ten years, hoping that they'd all either kill each other off or be killed by the demons. The two nations survived.

After they returned to Earth, the Themies exiled (or granted) the Banas to a barren reach of Paradise. (What, Paradise barren?) Here the Banas tried to make the best of things but some schemed against the Themies, while some of the Themies schemed against the Banas. This was all aided by the machinations of Arachne, and resulted in the bloody Civil War. After this, the monarchy was dissolved and the two nations worked together to form a new government which included both nations as one.

Heracles: a Guest

The male Amazons part of the equation started waaay back in issue 14. This is when Diana discovered that Heracles had been holding up the island of Themyscira as penance for what he'd done to the Amazons. (His punishment is referred to as a series of labors. Length of time for these is given as "centuries" and not "millennia.") When Diana and her mother forgive him, Zeus appears (with the other Olympians) to declare that Herk's labors are now over. Herk asks Diana to take him to the Amazons for one final task, which is to apologize for his actions and beg their forgiveness.

Herk's tootsies
Herk's tootsies set foot on Paradise.

To do so Herk becomes the first man to set foot on Paradise Island!

The Amazons forgive Herk, tell him that their home is now his home, he calls them his "sisters," Hippolyta falls in love with an adoring Herk, the now sinless Herk is taken into Olympus, yadda-yadda. ANYway...

Though Hellene voices the Amazons' hesistancy at trusting men, there is a great urge to teach new students within the citizenry, and a movement begins to discuss letting men come to Themyscira. Diana is made an official ambassador in order to learn more about the ways of man's world.

Mortal Men (and Women)

In issue #27 Steve Trevor becomes the first mortal man to walk Paradise, arm in arm with Etta Candy. He is there to see the tomb of his mother. Though impressed with him, Hellene voices her doubts again, this time with Iphthime and Oenone. All agree to keep open minds about the affair.

Eventually they make their decision and with worldwide fanfare in issue #37 a "select group of people," male and female, are transported to Paradise.

Hellene is still expressing a lot of doubts about it all, but the queen admonishes her that a majority of the Amazons voted in favor of this effort. All this proves fertile soil for the goddess Eris to plant a few seeds of jealousy and hatred with her golden apples of discord. The good guys come through with shining colors, though, and in issue #41 we see the conclusion of Lois' 5-part article recounting her trip and assessment of the Amazons that has appeared in the Daily Planet Magazine.

So the stage was set for visitors to come to Paradise, as it was for Paradise's citizens to leave the island on occasion. But we're talking official immigrants, so let's get to them.

We're going to move up a number of years to issue #177, where we are first introduced to what fans refer to as My Little Pony Island. Y'see, after OWAW/the Imperiex War Paradise was pretty much destroyed, as in torn into widdie biddie pieces. The gods decided to redo it and came up with a MARVELOUS (okay, so I'm the only one who liked it!) floating archepelago for the Amazons located in the Bermuda Triangle. Rivers poured off the sides of the island (watch that first step!) like huge waterfalls. Old and new gods now watched (ha!) over Paradise. Chancellor Phillipus was now in charge since the Civil War was over. Etcetera.

The Amazons now BARGAIN (!) with their new gods for the right to develop without impediments.

After weeks of this Diana is able to suggest to Philippus, Artie and others, "I know it sounds TERRIFYING, but many of us have seen what Patriarch's World has to offer. It's not simply war and filth... but science and medicines and technologies many of us have only DREAMED about. From this world and a thousand others. We can DO this. We can take the very best we've seen, and combine it with the best WE have to offer... and make a Themyscira like none we've ever seen!"

Diana brings Henri Claude Tibet (that's him over in the sidebar), Julia K., J'Onn J'Onzz, Dr. Light (the heroic one), and "pilot and engineer" (when did he become an engineer?) Steve Trevor to the island to work with Amazon master designer Kaleez Fashed.

"Using secrets gleaned from the alien WONDERDOME'S techno-biology, the Amazons who choose to stay on Themyscira [meaning there are AMAZONS WHO LEAVE PARADISE!], allied with their outworld comanions, begin to design their new world. Incorporating radical architecture, alien science, otherdimensional energies, and ancient philosophies about harmony and nature..." blah blah blah, equals My Little Pony Island, all Disney magic and folderol and foofaroo. Love it!

The Multiversial University

At this point swarms of guests begin to arrive on Paradise. Chancellor Phillipus (in violently diva getup) makes a speech: "You have been asked here to JOIN us in our new venture... and to bear witness as Themyscira is RECONCEIVED. No longer a 'PARADISE ISLAND' for a shrinking race from a lost age... but an institution -- a UNIVERSITY -- for nothing less than the unfettered exchange of ideas and information from across the Multiverse.

"Visitors of every gender and species will be WELCOMED here, to DEBATE theories, to CRAFT treaties, to CREATE art and literature; to DEVISE medicines; to craft technologies; and to WORSHIP without FEAR in the manner that they choose. A truly DEMOCRATIC society which will depend on this competition of ideas... in a space that will be FIERCELY PROTECTED [ha!] by the very BEST our race has to offer." [I'm giving her speech writer the benefit of the doubt here and changing the colons to semi-colons.]

We see Amazons Eudia and Venelia LEAVE Paradise Island. Diana speaks to them as if they'll be gone for a very, very long time. We may assume that these are merely a sample of the many Amazons who made the same choice.

New Immigrants

So we have Amazon emigrants and long-term guests to Paradise. But what of real, legal immigrants? New citizens?

Adopted kidsDonna Troy got a little (very little!) back-up series in the book for a while beginning in issue #178. We see the island as she wanders its new perimeters, taking pictures. She notes the presence of aliens of both genders and then "...she hears the laughter of a dozen children adopted from around the world and beyond..." So we now have Amazons adopting children. It's unknown if they adopted males as well as females, or aliens. The ones we see seem to be human, though we're told that some are not from Earth.

(Note that Diana's old sudden "best friend" Chiron is present as well. We'll see him sinking into the ocean after The Kick, buh-bye. We also now see a Warlord of Okaara overseeing a sparring match between Starfire and Artie.)

LylaIn Wonder Woman: Secret Files & Origins #3, the Amazons -- Mnemosyne particularly -- invite Lyla, aka Harbinger of the original Crisis, to stay on Paradise and aid as a historian. She refers to herself as living "among them," which to me indicates a non-guest capacity. (Lyla was killed a few years later in a forgettable Superman/Batman issue that guest-starred Wonder Woman and centered around Sluttygirl, I mean, Supergirl's fosterage on Paradise Island.)

Warlord Edurak
Warlord Edurak

Issue #186 shows us Themyscira's new ministers. We can all agree that MINISTERS for a nation would be citizens, right? These ministers are: Chancellor Supreme (dig the new title! It wouldn't last long) Phillipus, Oeone, Euboea, Mnemosyne, an unnamed Bana (Falizia?), and... Henri Claude Tibet as well as Warlord Edurak, late of Okaara.

Warlords of Okaara: These are "masters of every known form of armed and unarmed combat" but pacifists and scholars, who hail from the Vega star-system. Yep, that's the same neighborhood as Starfire's, who was trained by Warlords.

So of this council of seven, 4 are Themies, 1 is Bana, and 2 are MALE, one of whom is human and the other Okaarran. Does this council represent the various ratios of the permanent population of Themyscira? Ponder that, fellow nerds! A 4:1 (or even 2:1) ratio of super-warrior Themies to techno-savvy Banas would explain how the two sides could have been evenly matched during the Civil War. But how do these two guys fit into population estimates? They're experts in their fields, so that might buck the numbers. Still, I think it's safe to presume that one-fourth of the island's permanent population now is composed of immigrants. (But on my Amazon Bodycount page I've indicated this as 300. Sue me.)

How many non-permanent residents of Paradise can we guess at? Whatever the number was, we never got a hint from anyone whose opinion I valued except that the ol' island seemed to be booming. Tibet says that if it weren't for the Wonderdumb constantly altering itself, they wouldn't be able to keep up with the increasing housing needs.

Let's see. Down the road from me is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It has over 27,000 students. In a slightly different direction but roughly the same distance lies Dook University, home of over 10,000 students. Across the pond, Oxford University claims 30,000 students. But Paradise's Multiversial University would dwarf them all, don't you think?

A rather disturbing item is raised in this issue, along with some info. Diana tells the imprisoned Circe, "The Amazons are raising [Circe's daughter, Lyta] along with dozens of other ABANDONED, orphaned infants. She'll learn the values of GAEA and then we'll return her to Patriarch's World." So it's okay for the Amazons to sever Circe's parental rights and then... do what to Lyta? What had they planned for her by kicking her off Paradise?

But notice that Diana doesn't say that they'll give up their other children, which reinforces the previous explanation that these kids have been adopted by the Amazons.

So we have a possible permanent Amazon population of which one-fourth are immigrants of both the male and female persuasions (if not more) (I'm talking gender here), a population which includes "dozens" of children, plus guests, students and visiting ambassadors out the wazoo, and...

the Kick

The Kick

Hera kicks everyone into the ocean. Issue #200: In a jealous rage over Zeus merely peeking at Artemis and saying that he's got the hots for all the Amazons and might take on some as lovers, Hera kicks his scrying pool, which translates as Paradise Archipelago falling into the ocean.

Hera was never punished for her deed. She blamed it all on Zeus.

When Diana investigates she finds Io helping amid the disaster. Io says, "Our SISTERS seem FINE, but the VISITORS, many of them were HURT..." Artie answers Diana's questions of what the ships are that are just off Themyscira's coast (man! they arrived quick!), "The United States NAVY, they're offering ASSISTANCE. We're EVACUATING the VISITORS to them, all of them, until we're up and running again."

Keep in mind that this is Rucka writing, and he liked to make up a bunch of stuff that played havok with the Wonder mythos in both tiny and massive ways because (1) it never seemed to me that he'd done very much Wonder homework (or perhaps I've done too much) or (2) it got in the way of him showing off his mythological/ancient Greek trivia. It is quite apparent that he doesn't like the Phil Jimenez era elements and tries to get rid of as much of it as possible.

He has Artie say, "While NONE of our sisters were SERIOUSLY hurt, of the four HUNDRED and twenty-seven VISITORS here, THREE hundred and EIGHTEEN sustained INJURIES of one sort or another. Twenty-six of them CRITICAL. TWELVE still UNACCOUNTED for."

(Note: we get two names from this: medical workers are unable to get Leaina and Arete to verbally respond immediately after The Kick.)

And that's the unsatisfyingly LAST we ever hear of Paradise's visitors, much less the immigrants or adopted kids. No one ever inquires about the injured, no Amazon mother ever cries that she hasn't seen her child, no one consults Minister Tibet as to how to rebuild.

We do see Lyta with Io, playing/training on an idyllic section of an island in issue #212. We see them again in #218 as Io says she's "honor-bound" to protect the girl. (What is it with Amazon-related characters not keeping their vows of protection?) When Ares shows up to collect his daughter, Io cannot stop him so we cannot even count the purple-haired witch-god kid as remaining.

So what happened to everyone? I like to think that after Paradise vanished at the end of WW #224, the Amazons who had emigrated to Patriarch's World as well as all the immigrant Amazons eventually gathered together somewhere. Maybe London. Maybe someplace a lot more deserted than that. There they maintain their new enlightened culture and try to keep the idea of a "best of" society alive until they can rejoin their people.

Sir Thomas of ClevelandThe series rebooted its numbering if not anything else (sigh. Marketing.) and a New Love Interest for Diana was decreed. In a fishy-sounding ceremony, Diana declared herself for Tom Tresser, aka Nemesis, and eventually (issue 24 of the third series) Hippolyta declared him a guardsman and gave him the rank of "Sir Thomas of Cleveland," official Amazon.

 

Back to "Central Character Index."

Back to "I" for Immigrants section of Amazons Index.

 

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