|Created by||William Moulton Marston|
|Debut|| All Star Comics #8|
Themyscira (pronounced Them-mes-skera) is an island nation in the DC Comics universe, and place of origin to its princess, Diana (better known as Wonder Woman). It was primarily known as Paradise Island, the name given to it by its original creator William Moulton Marston in Wonder Woman and the island's first appearance in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941) until the character's February 1987 relaunch in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #1. For a time, it was governed by Aphrodite's Law, which stated that "Under penalty of death, no Man may set foot on Themyscira." This is due to the queen becoming emotionally scarred following her rape at the hands of Hercules; as a result her people became very isolationist and came to the conclusion that most if not all men were monsters. The island was created by Marston to allegorize the safety and security of the home where women thrived apart from the hostile, male-dominated work place of the 1940s (often colloquially refers to as "man's world").
Originally a city state founded by Amazons three thousand years ago, Themyscira's inhabitants were first shown in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #1. Here it is said that "the skies above fair Greece yawn wide pouring thousands of souls from Gaea's womb", thus placing the nation's original location somewhere in Greece. Later Diana first visits Greece (after living her entire life on Paradise Island) with her mentor, Julia Kapatelis, and at the end of a tour of her ancestry in that country, she reaches the island of Lesbos where she contemplates in solitude the fates of her Amazon sisters who once flourished at that site in their own Amazon city. This ancient former city state of Themyscira was destroyed and later abandoned. When the Amazons arrive at the hidden Paradise Island to live out their lives there, they retitle it "Themyscira" after their former home. The Amazons began their new lives, erecting buildings and monuments, perfecting their skills as artisans and warriors.
The Amazons were gifted with great physical strength, beauty, wisdom, love, and highly acute senses. They were ruled by two sisters, Hippolyta and Antiope. The Amazon city on Themyscira is composed entirely of Greco-Roman architecture from 1200 BC. The residents dress in Greek garb, togas and sandals, and the appropriate warrior clothing—shields, breastplates, helmets. They all wear the Bracelets of Submission as constant reminders of their past, though these bracelets cannot deflect bullets like Diana’s.
In recent times, Hippolyta’s daughter Diana, also known as Wonder Woman, has become an ambassador to the outside world. With Diana’s help, the Amazons have opened the shores of Themyscira to dignitaries of “Patriarch’s World” (called "Man's World" in modern times), the term for what the Amazons call the rest of Earth. For a time the Amazons even destroyed their battle armor as testament to a new period of peace. The Amazons opened up their shores to dignitaries from Patriarch’s World, female and male, though that exchange was almost a complete failure. The Amazons even conducted their own tour of the United States, where they were framed for the murders of several people by Antiope’s descendants, the mercenary assassins of Bana-Mighdall, and Circe. Later, the Amazons recrafted their armory, vowing to once again become warriors. Circe would transplant many of these mercenary women of Bana-Migdhall, called the Lost Tribe, to Themyscira, where, after warring with the Amazons already there, joined forces to stop Circe herself. The two sects of Amazons forged an uneasy truce, living at opposite ends of the island.
But with Diana and Hippolyta adventuring in Patriarch’s World as Wonder Woman for longer and longer periods of time, the Banas and the Themyscirans were manipulated into a bloody civil war at the hands of Magala. Using the pre-existing disdain of the tribes against each other, Magala used allies among both Amazon cities to spark the vengeful conflict. The island was left in ruins, and the war was only stopped when Hippolyta abolished the royal family, renounced her throne. Left at odds but on even political ground, the Bana Amazons and the Themyscirans joined forces against the Imperiex.
After the island had been destroyed by Imperiex during the Our Worlds at War storyline, Themyscira was rebuilt and relocated once again, this time to an island in the Bermuda Triangle. Designed by the likes of Julia Kapatelis, the Martian Manhunter, Steve Trevor, Canadian architect Jean Claude Tibet, and Amazon master designer Kaleeza Fashed, the new Themyscira was erected.
In other media
- Themyscira was shown on the television movie Wonder Woman starring actress Cathy Lee Crosby. The scene was very brief and no details about the island were disclosed.
- Titled "Paradise Island", it was shown in the Lynda Carter television series Wonder Woman throughout several episodes.
- Themyscira has also been shown on the Super Friends. Most notably the Challenge of the Super Friends episode "Secret Origins of the Superfriends," in which the Legion of Doom discover the origins of Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, and travel back in time to stop them from becoming superheroes.
- Themyscira appears in several episodes of the Warner Brothers animated television series Justice League and in Justice League Unlimited as the homeland of Wonder Woman. In the first episode, Diana rides a horse with her mother along the shores of the island and watches aliens raining down upon Earth from afar. Later, after joining the League as Wonder Woman, The Flash offers her an Ice Mocha, which later in the series is implied to become her favourite drink. After tasting it, she replies, "Mmmm. They don't have these in Themyscira!" Themyscira was shown three more times on the series, once when the Justice League battled Felix Faust on its shores, again when a rogue Amazon named Aresia left the island to become a villain in Man's World, and also when the Annihilator was stolen and Wonder Woman and Shayera had to travel to the underworld through the gate on Themyscira.
- The video game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe features Themyscira as one of the game's playable stages.