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Comic Book / Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

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art by Leila del Duca

When the rules are wrong you have to break them. Especially when little ones are in trouble. Mothers Five keep the children alive.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a graphic novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson with art by Leila del Duca, first published in 2020. It is part of DC Ink.

As the first and only child Amazon the Queen's daughter Diana feels out of place among her sisters, who were formed as adults and find the awkwardness of puberty mystifying and medically fascinating. She has been told by healers that she will probably be able to move on when she's sixteen as she will then be an adult and, in her mind, hopefully a proper Amazon. On the morning of her sixteenth born day she is ecstatic about this possibility, but learns the sobering news that the barrier around Themyscira has developed holes and breaks which need repair. She is concerned that this is a sign of the great evil the Amazons are meant to fight having returned, given the damage is caused by suffering and conflict in the outside world. Her elders tell her that such damage has occurred before and will be quickly repaired with any mortals who cross the barrier being given a memory erasing tea and sent on their way and that she has nothing to be concerned about as she and her home are protected by fully trained Amazons.

That night the dinner celebrating her birthday is interrupted with news that outsiders have landed on the shore. Diana is horrified to realize the people on the shore are helpless and those who arrived at the shore alive are fleeing into the woods from the armed warriors chasing them while carrying children. Her mother tries to reassure her again and tells her to leave, but she realizes that people are drowning and she leaps into the ocean to save them. She rescues all the living refugees in the water by helping them back into rafts, and discovers she has left the barrier and her home is therefore lost to her. Diana joins the refugees and is repulsed by the way they are treated in the Grecian refugee camp they end up in where she aids them as a translator. Her skill as a translator and ability to clearly give a detailed report on conditions in the camp catches the attention of two UN volunteers who are looking into living conditions at the camp and they offer to help her get to the United States and get proper documentation that will help give her more leverage to help the refugees. After some deliberation she takes them up on their offer.

  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Etta Candy (here called Henke Cukierek) is a Polish immigrant rather than a Texas native, and while there is a military backstory to the adaptation of Steve Trevor he wasn't a pilot.
  • Adaptational Diversity: Steve Trevor, traditionally a straight blonde white dude, is now Steve and Trevor, a married couple made up of an Asian American and an African American, both men from New York. Likewise, Henke Cukierek, traditionally Etta Candy, is a Polish immigrant rather than a Texan native.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Etta Candy is renamed Henke Cukierek, a Polish name whose parts translate to roughly the same meaning as her traditional name.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: As has become something of a running theme with adaptations of the characters Steve and Henke are coworkers who already know each other long before Diana comes into their lives, unlike the original iterations of the characters who only became coworkers due to their ties through Diana.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Steve Trevor is traditionally a military pilot and spy, here he's a U.N. diplomat and a doctor, though he's noted to have been in the Marine corps.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Rather than the single straight man Steve Trevor traditionally is written as, here Steve and Trevor are a married homosexual couple.
  • Artificial Humans: The Amazons are artificial humans crafted by the Five Mothers in antiquity. Diana herself is an artificial human as well, but was created out of a clay sculpture of an infant and has actually experienced childhood and aging which the other Amazons did not; they're ageless beings created as adult women.
  • Born as an Adult: All the Amazons save Diana were created by the five mother goddesses as adult women in antiquity.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The Amazons refer to Diana's birthdays as her "born day". Diana herself refers to pimples and her period, respectively, as "face pox" and "moonbleeding".
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The story posits that without regulation capitalism is a tool of evil, with the corporate slimeball Chip Drygion intentionally exacerbating homelessness and calling the cops on legal gatherings while buying up housing and the local park and community garden to replace it all with high-end condos as part of his plan to make a profit gentrifying Queens. This is especially evident as Diana comes from a socialist utopia, that while not perfect nor human has a much better standard of living.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Chip Drygion has people impersonate authorities to throw away children's lunches, wants to displace pretty much everyone in Queens so that he can have a monopoly on land ownership and artificially raise rents, threatens teenage Raissa by implying she should work for him and give him sexual favors, threatens Henke, bribes public officials and is running a side gig in human trafficking.
  • Decomposite Character: Steve Trevor becomes Steve and Trevor and Etta Candy's traditional roles are split between Henke Cukierek — unfailingly kind and invites Diana into her home and family — and her granddaughter Raissa, who acts as the mortal best friend that will fight alongside Diana despite not having any of Diana's advantages.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Diana has a hard time understanding how people could allow others to live on the street while they themselves are homed and do nothing to try and stop homelessness with most people ignoring and deriding them. She's deeply upset to learn how many missing people are not being looked for by authorities and that human trafficking is such a threat to marginalized communities. She is able to dismantle the major human trafficking ring attacking the part of New York she is living in.
  • Friend to All Children: Diana argues with her mother about the refugees still in the water until she realizes some of them are children. At that point she unhesitatingly disobeys the queen to rescue them. Once she's at the refugee camp she spends much of her time playing with the children, and continues to be protective of and friendly with kids in New York.
  • Lady Land: Themyscira is home to the Amazons, a race of super strong immortal and unaging female warriors formed in antiquity by the five goddesses they worship.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Raissa knows Ayen is Sudaneese, but mistakes her ethnicity and language because Ayen is still learning English and doesn't speak it much. She is surprised to learn Ayen is Dinka, but a lot of that surprise comes from Diana knowing how to speak Dinka.
  • No Periods, Period: Diana is the only Amazon with a menstrual cycle as the others do not age and never went through puberty, thus the healers are quite interested in studying her and how it affects her. This makes her feel like an outcast despite their intentions, and once she's in the outside world she is surprised to learn about the available products for dealing with it. She finds tampons much more convenient than moss.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Amazons are Artificial Humans created by the goddesses, so they're immortal and never age. Diana was a clay sculpture the gods turned into a human being, and ages normally. When she starts going through puberty, they have no idea how to handle it.
  • Power Incontinence: While Diana had an Amazon's strength, healing and speed easily as a child once she entered puberty it became inconsistent with her often being as weak as any other mortal. As the healers do not understand what is going on with her, even with the normal aspects of puberty like the start of her menstrual cycle, they stop her from continuing her training out of concern for her health.
  • Saving the Orphanage: The person behind the disappearances is first revealed when his development company starts kicking people out of a local park. While Di and her friends try to protest he uses underhanded and questionably legal tactics to buy the rights to develop it anyway, but gets caught for his practice of removing "undesirable" people from the neighborhood
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Diana disobeys her mother the queen, and Amazon custom, in order to rescue refugees drowning just outside their island's barrier even though she knows it's possible she'll never make it back home as a result.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Diana gets a brief one to illustrate that she's mystified by the changes of her body as she goes throgh puberty (including growing hair under her arms, her buttocks increasing in size, and her breasts developing).
  • War Refugees: Diana leaves Themyscira to rescue refugees that are drowning in the sea right outside its barrier. Once she has gotten the surviving refugees back in rafts she realizes that Themyscira is lost to her and she joins them as they float to Greece, where they are treated with mistrust and contempt and forced to live in crowded unsafe conditions in a refugee camp.