Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wonder Woman II – What is Paradise Island in my reboot?

One question that is raised in my reboot concept is why Paradise Island exists.  Clearly it existed in the 30’s and 40’s for a place to put ‘perfect’ women.  That doesn’t quite fit with modern sensibilities, so how do we use the island in the reboot?  We repurpose it.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Paradise Island holds/held various magical artifacts.  While some, if not most of those artifacts are going to be Greek in origin, some aren’t.  In the background information, Paradise Island is meant as a vault.  A storehouse of items connected to the ‘old gods’ left behind in the Amazons’ protection in The Great Compact.  The Amazons then were (initially) the chosen guardians, blessed with superior strength, speed and longevity as long as they stood vigil.  Basically Paradise Island is 'neutral ground'.
Since we’re talking thousands of years of time, we can ‘diversify’ the Amazons.  Basically small groups of Amazons would go into ‘Man’s World’ both to see how the world has changed, and to find the occasional ‘recruit’.  Legends of the Valkyrie, Amazons, Boudica, Joan of Arc, and others, can either be explained by Amazons, or maybe they were recruited.  This allows an ethnically, if not gender-based, diversity.  It would also allow for a number of different fighting styles.  Imagine a Sikh Amazon with a tulwar, or  a Zulu Amazon with a iklwa sparring in the background.
This is the second time I’ve mentioned The Great Compact.  So I guess I’d better describe it.  Essentially the plot point is that the gods ‘backed off’ the world as humanity expanded, rather than see the earth destroyed through deity level conflict. Without their direct influence, magic faded, and that’s why these artifacts are so powerful. This does then imply that every religious conflict in history wasn’t the fault of the gods, rather it was people. *shrug* (I’d also specifically avoid having JudeoChristian items on the island.  It neatly sidesteps the protesters, and allows for a Christian ‘WMD stockpile’.  Templars, anyone?)
‘Powerful’ is a subjective term too.  A gauntlet that projects fire through a mouth is powerful, capable of immolating a hoplite, but it is powerful and unique.  Hook it to a backpack, and it’s a flame thrower, we’ve a lot of those.  Likewise Dianna can block bullets with her bracelets.  A HEAT round is still going to blow her into bloody chunks, no matter if her bracelets are in the way or not.  For TV, Wonder Woman is still more than human, but not Comic Book levels of invulnerability. (Plus, if she was Superman level bulletproof, why does she need the bracers?)  Likewise, Dianna’s bracers are lightweight and effectively indestructible, but could be scienced away with “titanium nanotubes” (no, really).  Basically the show plays hard and fast with Clarke’s Third Law. (Kind of like Warehouse 13)  Some things are going to be outside the realm of recognizable technology, like if one of the artifacts was Athena’s Aegis, for example.

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