Themyscira Design Article

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Hello.  SeventhSoldier back with this, the last of my design articles.  Back when the DCU Project first began, well before we had any idea that there wouldn’t be any DCU, lebeau began asking for people to help make the set a reality – at least a little bit.  He had a lot of people volunteer, and I was one of the earlier volunteers.  I had always wanted to see Themyscira in the game, and when I saw that Amazons Attack was voted to be a part of the set, I knew that I’d love to try and design them.

As I began, I went over the Themysciran roster.  There were a lot of minor amazons that have popped up over the years that I would’ve loved to have used, but given that this would almost be a full-sized team, I thought that I should keep the number of non-recent Amazons to a minimum (sorry, Acantha fans – she’s not in here).

That in mind, I began to read through Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman run, and what had been published thus far of Gail Simone’s.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy Amazons Attack, but a story synopsis and the help of the fearless people of scans_daily gave me plenty of working knowledge of the story.  Some cards – Amazons Attack, Grace, and many of their army cards – came straight from Amazons Attack, when they descend on Washington DC with a horde of mythical creatures, from the cyclopes to the pegasi, and I had a number of army cards in there.  My favorite, sadly, got cut – White Gorillas, Army.  I’ll leave it to you to guess what this Wonder Woman stamped army card did, because it shall never now see the light of day.

Another thing that I took away from Amazons Attack (though it was a big part of their appearance in such places as JLA, too) was an equipment theme.  The Amazons have the best armor and weapons, magically improved to be functional even in today’s society of guns and (in the DCU at least) force fields.  Perhaps because their smith, Io, is blessed/cursed by Hephaestus, the god responsible for crafting Wonder Woman’s arsenal.  They have the Purple Healing Ray, the Purple Peace Ray, the Purple Death Ray – they had Purple Rays for every occasion!  Wonder Woman has a number of enchanted pieces of armor.  The more I looked, the more important equipment seemed, and while a number of pieces of equipment were removed for space restraints, we still got many of the essentials, from swords and armor to Wonder Woman’s own magical Lasso of Truth.

Here, I must apologize – there is no equipment titled ‘Bees’ or ‘Death Bees’ or ‘Magic Killer Bees’ in this set.  I just couldn’t justify it to myself.

The final theme of Themyscira, locations, is the only one that did not come from Amazons Attack.  Instead, this was a nod to Greg and Gail’s respective runs.  When you think about the Amazons, you think about Themyscira, the mythic island they inhabit.  If you read comics, though, you also think of their patrons on Mount Olympus.  Their Embassies.  Their Forges.  The best Libraries in the world.  When I realized that Wonder Woman was now an agent of the DEA, a government agency that works directly with Checkmate, I couldn’t resist.  And since this set would (were it real) knock Checkmate out of Silver, I felt it fitting to keep the dream alive.  Of course, since Wonder Woman deals more in locations created by the Gods, she searches only for Terraform location – it’s up to the gods (you) to put them into play as you will.

Ultimately, Themyscira is a fun team making use of many of the tools of Checkmate in a manner that actually ends up differing quite a lot from Checkmate itself.  And, as I finish this, we are already underway with our final week of preview cards, generics, legacies, and unaffiliated characters.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our set as much as we enjoyed making it, and I’ll be back soon for a send-off with lebeau and maybe even Guglio, the head designer of the set.

‘Til then – enjoy!

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