In Greek mythology, the Amazons were matriarchal Scythian warriors who came out of the Caucasus and conquered parts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, as well as islands in the Aegean. There are plenty of stories about them — they worshipped Ares and Artemis, they cut off their right breasts so they could be better archers, their queen Penthesilia fought for the Trojans against the Acheans and was killed by Achilles, Heracles had to get another queen’s (Hippolyta’s) girdle of power, and so forth.
Herodotus thought they were real, and you should never take anything the “Father of Lies” says lightly — but most Greek and Roman historians did too. Leonhard Schmitz (who wrote the encyclopedia entry linked above) guessed that the Amazons’ story came from the fact that the women of inland Turkey and Syria were total badasses, even in the early twentieth century, which didn’t fit the gender conceptions of their Greek, Persian, or Bedouin counterparts. Other people say it was the Minoans. The legend grew from there.
Let’s fast forward to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Wonder Woman is an Amazon superhero, from Paradise Island, where the Amazons are still doing their thing. Later, they change the name of the island to Themysicyra, which was the Amazons’ capital in Asia Minor. Wonder Woman is no one to fuck with, “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury.” She’s Hellenic/mythological, but also idiosyncratic, foreign, a little bit Middle Eastern — but she still wears an American flag on her butt.
This is a long setup, so I’ll get to it. Check out Miss USA Rima Fakih:
Now here’s Wonder Woman, in an armored action figure inspired by Alex Ross’s graphic novel Kingdom Come:
The reasons to like Wonder Woman are more self-evident, so let me explain why I like Rima Fakih. She’s Lebanese-American, from Dearborn, MI (Robin & I are also from metro Detroit), and she’s probably the first Arab-American or Muslim ever to become Miss USA. She’s also fasting for Ramadan during the Miss Universe competition, but still wearing giant metal wings and standing under hot lights even though she can’t even have a drink of water. Now that’s Amazonian. If they ever do a live-action Wonder Woman, they should see if Miss Fakih can act.
Finally, I agree with io9 — for now, the DC Universe Online trailer will have to do: