|Debut||All Star Comics #8 (December 1941)|
|Created by||William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter|
|Affiliations||Themyscira, Justice Society of America, All-Star Squadron|
|Abilities||strength, speed, durability, immortality, highly developed fighting skills|
|Played by||Cloris Leachman, Carolyn Jones, Beatrice Straight, Connie Nielsen|
Hippolyta first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (1941) in the same backup feature that introduced her daughter, Wonder Woman. According to legend, Hippolyta and the Amazons once resided in "Amazonia" in the days of ancient Greece. The second Amazon chosen to rule was her sister Antiope and she ruled as a second to Hippolyta in all affairs. The Amazons eventually founded the city of Themyscira in Anatolia and became known as fierce warriors of peace in Turkey, Greece and Rome.
Hippolyta and her sister Antiope led the Amazons for some time in the city of Themyscira. Their job to spread the message of Gaea (peace, tolerance and equality) was difficult however, because few men ever trusted the Amazons many kept creating trouble for them. As time went on, they became more isolated and their population grew due to the freeing of women from slavery. They lived peaceful lives, however, until the amazons were bested and beguiled by Hercules. To regain their status, the Amazons were forced to leave Man's world and relocate to Paradise Island. There they established their own society, free from the evils of man's world. On that island they built a new city, called Themyscira once again.
For the most part, Hippolyta usually 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. Although she remained mainly on the island, in one memorable story from Sensation Comics #26 (reprinted in Wonder Woman: The Complete History), Hippolyta travels to Man's World and briefly assumes the role of Wonder Woman.
In the 1960s when DC Comics introduced the concept of the Multiverse, this Hippolyta was established as existing on the world known as Earth-2. This incarnation of Hippolyte was phased out around issue #97 of the original Wonder Woman comic when the focus shifted from Earth-2 to the more modern versions of the characters on Earth-1. The Earth-1 Hippolyte continued thereafter and had blonde hair. Her history was largely identical to the Golden Age version, though a few significant details diverge from the original. For example, it was established that Hippolyta had a second daughter, a dark-skinned Amazon named Nubia who was to be Wonder Woman's twin sister. 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. She was frequently shown interacting with her daughter as well as supporting characters of the era such as Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot. According to the DC Comics 1976 calendar, Hippolyta was born on January 8.
In more modern versions, Hippolyta stood 5'9", weighed approximately 130 lbs, had curly black hair and more or less looked like the spitting image of her future daughter.
As The Amazon Queen raised Diana on the island as the princess of the Amazon Nation,Her love of Diana at times though proved to take precedent over the welfare of her people. Though her motherly love was proven in these instances and more, it also showed that she was beginning to lose interest in the rule of her people. When she reached adulthood, Princess Diana became the hero Wonder Woman. To aid her in her mission, the Olympian gods transformed the Golden Girdle of Gaea that Antiope gave to Hippolyta into the Lasso of Truth. Later, Hippolyta declared that Themyscira would finally create exchange with outside countries. Unfortunately their interaction with the United Nations was met with mixed impressions. Some saw the Amazons as lowly savages, unworthy of U.N. entry. Others still saw Hippolyta and her people as beacons of hope. Diana became Themyscira's ambassador, relaying all of Hippolyta's wishes to the U.N. In one dream she foresaw Wonder Woman's death. Fearful for her daughter's welfare, she put into motion a plan to remove Diana from her role as Wonder Woman and replace the title of Themyscira's Champion to another Amazon. Thus a new Contest for the title was made though she kept her true reasons for calling the new Contest to herself alone. Initially Hippolyta thought the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall were not worthy to enter the Contest but once Diana, angered at her mother's treatment of the new Amazons, called a vote on the whole to see if her people also agreed that they should be allowed to participate. The answer was yes. Suddenly inspired, Hippolyta noticed that the Bana-Mighdallian's most likely warrior to win was the Amazon Artemis. Hippolyta then also provided many additional obstacles for Diana to encounter during her Contest trials in order for her to become sidetracked from the goal of winning. Due to her actions, Artemis became the Contest's winner and the new champion Wonder Woman. Later when Diana began to receive visions of the past she confronted her mother on why she really called for a new Contest. When Hippolyta told her she and Diana's relationship became scarred as Diana never truly forgave her mother for knowingly sending another Amazon to her death.
After Artemis was killed in battle the title of Wonder Woman was returned to Diana. This made Hippolyta go into a deep depression as she realized she was the cause of an innocent's death. Hippolyta gave command over to the Amazon General Phillipus and sent herself into self-imposed banishment,but then came to take on the role of Wonder Woman herself.
As Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta immediately got involved in a time travel mission back to the 1940s with Jay Garrick. After this mission, she elected to join the Justice Society of America and remained in that era for eight years, where her teammates nicknamed her "Polly". During that time she had a relationship with Ted Grant. Hippolyta also made visits into the past to see her godchild Lyta, daughter of Hippolyta's protege Helena, the Golden Age Fury. These visits happened yearly from young Lyta's perspective and also accounted for Hippolyta's participation in the JSA/JLA team ups. When she returned from the past, Hippolyta took Diana's place in the JLA as well. But also upon her return, she discovered that the Amazons had broken up. While the general public believe that they all live in one group, the truth is that they live in different tribes. One tribe, the Bana Mighdall, felt that Hippolyta had given up on her role as queen because she fought in Man's World. Even her Themyscira Amazons felt she wasn't doing her job as queen. With the amazons losing their respect for her and wanting to battle, she abdicated and went to fight alongeside her daughter. Diana was offered rule, but she turned it down. The amazons then abolished their old way of rule and opted for individual self-rule.
Still clinging to her newfound sense of freedom, Hippolyta did not wish to relinquish her title as Wonder Woman (even though she admitted her daughter looked "better in a bathing suit" than she did), leaving two different Wonder Women acting in the same role at the same time. Diana was often unhappy with Hippolyta's continued role as Wonder Woman as she felt Hippolyta was ignoring her true duties as ruler of Themyscira (and undoubtedly because she did not want her mother risking her life), thus further inciting the antagonism between mother and daughter.
Hippolyta soon accepted Donna Troy as a second daughter and held a coronation on the island, proclaiming Donna to be the second Amazon princess and an heir to the Themyscirian throne. On one visit to the island, Diana discovered that the tribes of Amazons were on the verge of a civil war due to unresolved issues and mysterious acts of sabotage made on the Bana-Mighdallian's construction of their city. When both Diana and Donna confronted Hippolyta about her inaction of rule at such a dangerous time, Hippolyta became very upset with her two daughters and told them that she intended to continue her role as Wonder Woman in the outside world and that Diana and Donna were to rule the island in her absence. Unfortunately the civil war took place after all and many Amazons on both sides were killed. Returning to the island, Hippolyta and Diana agreed to denounce their royal titles in order for both Amazon tribes to have an opportunity for peace, having both tribes gain equal footing in united rule.
Powers and Abilities
Hippolyta possesses enhanced strength, enhanced speed, enhanced durability, ageless immortality, and highly developed fighting skills. Hippolyta also used a Magic Sphere, which could peer into the past and future.
In other media
- Actress Charlene Holt portrayed Queen Hippolyte in the 1974 TV-movie Wonder Woman starring Cathy Lee Crosby.
- On the 1975 Wonder Woman television series starring Lynda Carter, three different actresses portrayed Queen Hippolyta: Cloris Leachman in The New Original Wonder Woman TV series pilot (1975); Carolyn Jones in the episodes The Feminum Mystique parts 1 & 2 and Wonder Woman in Hollywood; and actress Beatrice Straight in the episodes The Return of Wonder Woman and The Bermuda Triangle Crisis. All were Academy Award nominees.
- In 1978 an animated Queen Hippolyta was shown in the Super Friends episode Secret Origins of the Superfriends and Superfriends: Rest in Peace.
- In 1980 the animated Queen Hippolyta (blonde hair) appeared in the Super Friends episode "Return of Atlantis."
- An unknown voice actress portrayed a brunette Queen Hippolyta in the 1988 Superman cartoon episode Superman and Wonder Woman versus the Sorceress of Time. This Hippolyta was clearly based on the Post-Crisis version.
- In 2001 Hippolyta was depicted again, this time in the animated series Justice League. She was voiced by actress Susan Sullivan. Hippolyta appeared in the following episodes: Secret Origins, Paradise Lost, Fury, and Hereafter; and when the series continued in Justice League Unlimited, in The Balance. Unlike the Superman cartoon Hippolyta, this Hippolyta seems to be a hybrid character of the Pre-and Post-Crisis versions: she is blonde, yet maintains her Post-Crisis personality as a stately queen. Putting her religion and devotion to the Olympian Gods above all, she exiles her daughter Diana from Paradise Island rather than risk incurring divine wrath, when Diana brings out-worlders (Batman, Superman, and the Justice League) to Themyscira in Paradise Lost. In this series it is explained that the Wonder Woman uniform was actually made for Queen Hippolyta to use (but he cheekily comments that the uniform looks better on Diana). Hippolyta is seen comforting Diana following Superman's supposed "death" in the episode Hereafter, and in The Balance she lifts the exile she put on her daughter as well as informing her of her full power.
- In 2004 a brief mention to Hippolyta was made in The WB television series Smallville in the season three episode Asylum. In the episode a newspaper is shown with the headline stating: "Themyscirian Queen Addresses the Vatican".