And the return of superhero movies can mean only one thing: The return of end credits scenes with Easter egg moments that may or may not make sense, depending on how much you know about said superhero franchise. So let’s dig into the one in the middle of the credits of Wonder Woman 1984.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984.]
The brief scene brings back an ancient Amazon warrior in more ways that one. We follow a figure in a blue cloak as she walks through an open air market, and stops a heavy pole from falling on bystanders by merely putting her arm up and catching it. She tells a grateful woman that her name is Asteria — the same as the heroic Amazon mentioned earlier in Wonder Woman 1984.
The scene also reveals that Asteria is played by Lynda Carter, the last actress to play Wonder Woman in live action before Gal Gadot.
Carter is an actress and musician, but she is undoubtedly most famous for playing Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in the 1975 Wonder Woman television series. It was the first live-action adaptation the Amazon warrior had ever seen — and there wouldn’t be another live-action show about a female superhero until 2002’s Birds of Prey.
Asteria is a new role for Carter — and a new character for DC’s setting. Well, to be fair, there are some Amazons named Asteria here and there in Wonder Woman’s 80 years of history, but none of them are particularly notable. According to Wonder Woman 1984, Asteria stood against the entire world to give her sisters time to escape bondage, wearing a suit of golden eagle armor fashioned from all of their armor put together. Her sacrifice was that she would have to walk Man’s World alone forever. The end credits of Wonder Woman 1984 show that she’s still out there, embodying Amazon ideals.
The idea of even more women like Wonder Woman walking around outside of Themyscira is not a foreign one to the DC Universe — Paradise Island wouldn’t be so idyllic if it was a prison (though there is that pesky thing about not being able to go back if you leave).
In comic books from the 2000s, Lex Luthor had his own body guard of Amazon heritage, based on the character of Mercy Graves from Superman: The Animated Series. Ages ago in the sword and sorcery medieval era on Earth, the Amazon Exoristos was exiled from Themyscira and joined up with a motley crew of various barbarians and magic users for the comic Demon Knights, one of the most underrated gems of DC Comics 2011 New 52 relaunch.
And then there are the Bana-Mighdall, an entire splinter tribe of Amazons in Man’s World. When the gods granted the Amazons freedom from their enslavement and the island of Themyscira, the Bana-Mighdall put their middle fingers up in the air — after all, the gods had allowed them to become enslaved in the first place. These mortal Amazons enacted bloody revenge on all the men who had clapped them in chains, and eventually founded a secret city in Egypt with the blessing of Egyptian goddesses.
For 3,000 years they honed their mercenary culture, kidnapping local men to populate their breeding stables, until Wonder Woman rediscovered them and helped them reintegrate with Amazon society on Themyscira. It doesn’t seem like Asteria is the sort to throw in with the war-loving and cynical Bana-Mighdall, but who knows? Maybe they’ll show up in a Wonder Woman 3.