BIG IDEA: WONDER WOMAN’S OFTEN DECRIED ORIGIN STORY.
A lot of mixed feelings get offered on this topic. I grew up fairly hating the ‘clay’ aspect myself. Added to her perpetual hanging out the gods aspect, she always just seemed like a marionette to me in that regard. Also, I always thought (and still do, really) that the competition is kind of lame. There’s always a contrived mechanism for getting her into the event past her mother, and the fact that she has to lie, which is pretty anti-Di as far as I’m concerned. Plus, when you take it outside the medium you basically get a montage of Olympic events, which may sound cool but is actually pretty hum-drum in the grand scheme. The story needs to move and there’s so much to do- introduce the Amazons, get Steve to the Island, get her out of there, etc. A good WW book needs LOTS of action, in my opinion. Male and female audiences alike enjoy seeing a woman kick some ass. There should still be drama; it’s crucial in fact, but you can have it with sparse scenes that drive it home. I think if you invert what most run from, and what a lot of people seem to want to cling to, you can do the whole shebang in 5 pages or less, as far as the two big parts of the origin story are concerned.
THE BIRTH: One scene to get it going. Hipployta looks longingly out a window at her nation. In walks the Oracle, tells her the gods have a mission for her that will in turn ease her ennui. Next, not wearing her regalia, we see Polly in nothing but toga with a pack strapped to her back and a cloak so she can move past the citizenry unexposed. We see her on the beach, a fire built and her pack on the ground. She’s handling a wad of clay. Perspective shifts and we see her with a determined and severe look on her face, with dark clouds moving in behind her. She lifts up a dagger and slits her palm, blood pouring out, then wraps it quickly in a bandage, then her hands are back down to her work. As she continues on her task, she’s so single minded she doesn’t notice the fury around her. An owl flies manically in circles around her. An antelope runs back and forth between her and the beach. Whales are diving in arcs in the distance, and the heavens roar while the fire she built leaps several feet into the air. She falls back from the molded wad of clay, doused in sweat and in the midst of the outbreak of furious nature an intense bolt of lightning crashes down on the small formation. It sits upon a precipice in the center of a ridged dune several feet around it, with smoke wafting from it. The statue is a screaming baby, as the sun peeks through the clouds, the Queen lying on her back, bewildered and exhausted. From behind her, the nation of Themiscyra comes out of the woodwork, some smiling, some crying, and some in utter awe. They all know this is the biggest thing to happen to them. It heralds a change, and a direct commandment and action from the forces that guided them to their home.
AFTER TREVOR ARRIVES: The Oracle tells The Queen that an Amazon must take him home and leave the Island. The Queen suggests a competition to find the worthy. The Oracle looks at her and basically tells her “You already know who it’s meant to be. There can only be one who knows all of what we do, and was brought to this world to be bigger than the rest of us”. Hippolyta does know. The Gods giveth, the Gods taketh away, and she is crippled to stop it. Cut to Diana leaving the Island, Hippolyta watches, looks down at her right hand, sees the scar across the palm, holds it in her left hand and proceeds to wail- fade to black.
With this set-up, the story moves quickly, Diana gets a sense of big-time purpose, the drama of the mother-daughter split is amplified, the nature of Amazon faith gets brought to the front-and-center, and since some people like it, Zeus IS her father.