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"The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman!": In her adolescent youth, Princess Diana of Themyscira engaged in sparring with Aleka, toeing the lines between rivalry, friendship, and something else. Aleka commented that despite t


Quote1 All I want is to not hide who I am from anybody. I'm tired of being ashamed that I'm clay! Quote2
-- Diana of Themyscira



Appearing in "The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman!"

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Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman!"

In her adolescent youth, Princess Diana of Themyscira engaged in sparring with Aleka, toeing the lines between rivalry, friendship, and something else. Aleka commented that despite their rivalry, they could yet still be friends, prompting Diana to warn that she has feelings that she fears Aleka wouldn't understand - like her desire to leave Paradise Island. Aleka is taken aback - after all, Diana is princess of Themyscira. Sighing, Diana wonders that she is finally being called a princess, instead of simply clay.

The word became a tool for mocking her with the other Amazons, given that Diana had been told that she came from the clay. Her barren mother Hippolyta had been so desperate a child that she fashioned a child from the clay of the beaches on the island. This story had always made Diana feel an outside, rather than special - but she didn't know the truth. Her mother had in fact coupled with the god Zeus. Diana was the daughter of divinity. Hippolyta still hid the truth, but out of love, rather than shame. If Hera were to discover the truth of Diana's parentage, she would kill both the girl and her mother.

Though she seemed defeated, Diana still managed to defeat Aleka in their sparring, and as they lay in the sand laughing, she confessed that she had made up her mind to see the world beyond the island. How else could she become something other than a princess? Playfully, Aleka forbade it, and Diana laughed, until Aleka changed her tone to one more serious, reiterating her desire that Diana should not leave her. Sadly, Diana could only look at her with eyes that spoke her answer. With tears welling in her eyes, Aleka became angry, complaining of how easy it came to Diana to turn her back on her sisters - perhaps because she wasn't one of them. She was merely clay.

That night, Hippolyta explained that man's world was a treacherous place of one mind, though she offered to go with her for a weekend, if it was that important to her. As she lay in bed, Diana thought to herself that she could not be true to herself by staying. She tired of being ashamed of her heritage. To her surprise, she received a visit, then, from the goddess Athena, who explained that the struggle to balance facing who she was versus leaving her sisters was a worthy struggle. Though Diana would have to face that struggle alone, Athena wanted her to know that she had one god's support, at least.

Meanwhile, Captain Steve Trevor was flying over the Bermuda Triangle when a sudden burst of wind sent his engines sputtering, and his plane careening down toward a mysterious island that he had not seen on any charts. When his plane crashed on Paradise Island, Diana was the first to the site. She discovered Steve, and intrigued by man's world, she carried him back to the Amazons, believing him to be her ticket off of the island. As she faced resistance from her mother and her sisters, Athena reminded Diana of the faith she had in her.

Appearing in "Life After Death"

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Synopsis for "Life After Death"

Boston Brand's parents were Gary and Barbara Brand - and they were constantly fighting. Spending years listening to their raging, Boston wished more than anything to fly away to another magical land where people would be kind to him. By the time he was sixteen, though, he'd given that dream up, and built up a rage of his own. He attacked his parents, and warned them that he never wanted to see them again, before taking his leave, and never coming back.

He wandered for some time until he found the circus, which seemed very much like the magical land he'd dreamed of when he was younger. He worked his way up to being a skillful acrobat, finding hope, meaning, and love in the rapt audiences. Despite that, he still bore his parents' burdens, and maintained a relationship with alcohol and anger - except when children were around. As part of his persona, he began to wear a mask as the Deadman - a force of nature under the big top.

That was, until he was shot, and his moniker became all too real a descriptor.

In death, he met the the being known as Rama, who gave him the opportunity to atone for his life of selfishness, and escape eternity in the black abyss. He would have to do good for others, to alter the arc of others' lives and bring hope to the hopeless. Boston did so, obediently, until a being called the Son of Morning brought Rama's motives into question; casting her as a darker and more dangerous force than she seemed.

Denied entry into Heaven, Boston visited the graves of his parents, but could not bring himself to forgive them. He was interrupted there by a being called Brahma Dass, who showed him to the mystic city of Nanda Parbat. There, he explained that Boston's karmic path was shortened by his murder, and had he not been killed, he would have learned to change. He still could, in death. Brahma Dass offered him the choice to either let go of the earthly realm and move on, or to return to earth and help in any way - perhaps transforming and being transformed by the souls he touched. There, in the Spirit World, Boston decided to go back to Earth - but first, to forgive, at last, his parents.

Appearing in "Building Blocks"

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Synopsis for "Building Blocks"

On the planet of Korugar, young Thaal Sinestro was fond of playing with building blocks, though his parents failed to understand it. He would not blame them, later, knowing that Korugarians of that time were very self-focused. He, however, was interested in archaeology, and when he grew older, he began his own explorations of ancient ruins. He had been fascinated by the stories of how those empires rose and how they would inevitably fall.

While on such an exploration, he was surprised to discover a crashed spacecraft, wherein Prohl Gosgotha lay dying. The alien called Sinestro forward, impressing upon him the importance of taking his ring from him. As soon as he took it, he was attacked by a Weaponer of Qward, who claimed the ring for himself. Sinestro put the ring upon his finger, and was transformed into a Green Lantern. Even as he used it to defeat the weaponer, he knew that the ring was much more than a weapon unto itself. It was not a tool of destruction, but a promise of greatness. He saw, though, that the ring would be dangerous in the wrong hands, having destroyed much of the surrounding ruins in the battle.

After the dust had cleared, Prohl Gosgotha demanded that Sinestro return the ring. Sinestro, however, felt the alien's request showed weakness, and kept the ring for himself, returning to Oa with it. He soon became what he thought was the greatest Green Lantern in the Corps, training the first human Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, who was his star pupil and became his best friend. Still, though, Hal did not know of Sinestro's personal life on Korugar; his wife and child with whom he had tried to start a life long ago. He gave his daughter up, so that she would not have to be born into the lawlessness of Korugar.

Obsessed with that matter, Sinestro used his powers to police Korugar, as a test run for what he hoped would be a campaign of discipline and training. The dissidents, though, the resistance - it took his wife from him, and in that dark hour, his friends in the Corps betrayed him, calling him tyrant.

He was banished to the Anti-Matter Universe, where he was stranded on the planet Qward, where he had numerous enemies. Their mutual hatred for the Guardians of the Universe, however, forged an alliance. Having also forged a yellow ring, channelling the power of fear, he asked the weaponers to make him more. With that ring, he took his fight back to the Guardians - and back to Hal Jordan, whom he intended to make suffer most as an example to the Guardians.

In time, he corrupted Hal with fear, and gathered his own army of those wielding the yellow light of fear. In retaliation, the Guardians destroyed Korugar, and Sinestro ensured that they were punished for it.

Still, he remained interested in how empires come to rise and fall - particularly because he planned for his own empire to rise very soon.

Notes

  • This book was first published on October 22, 2014.

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