Minor spoilers for the new Wonder Woman 1984 movie. The film directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, released in sporadic markets right now, features an Amazonian warrior of old, who predated Diana. Mentioned a few times in promotion for the film, her name is Asteria, and it is her golden-winged armour suit that Wonder Woman wears on all the trailers.
Champion of the Amazon, the Golden Warrior, the Amazon Games are held in her honour, with a stone statue of her likeness stands tall in the centre of the coliseum. The story goes that when Zeus created Themyscira, Asteria, alone, stayed behind holding back the attacking waves of mankind so her sisters in arms could flee to the safety of what would become their permanent home. When Diana left the island, she sought Asteria, but could only find her golden armour.
We mentioned a little of this in the Bleeding Cool review – but there is another aspect to the character that might see her reappear in future Wonder Woman movies. However, if you want to learn the reason, it means you will really have to spoil yourself for the new movie. Your call whether to click and see why, or take it on trust.
But does Asteria appear in the comic books? Well, yes and no. There are two DC comic book characters, both related to Wonder Woman in the comics.
One is a member of the Justice Society in a parallel DC dimension, as seen in the Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl one-shot from 1998 by Barbara Kesel. Matt Haley, Tom Simmons, Matt Haley, Tom Simmons and Moose Baumann. Her origin or background isn't touched upon, but she does seem to be Amazon stock.
But the big one is from a couple of years ago, in the Drowned Earth Justice League/Aquaman crossover. In Justice League/Aquaman Drowned Earth Special #1 by James Tynion IV and Howard Porter, Wonder Woman appears on the final page with a giant metal bird with two heads.
Then in follow-up Justice League #11 from 2018 by Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul, we learn her name, where she came from and the origin of that name…
An "ancient sister who fought against the gods". That seems to be a direct reference to the Wonder Woman 1984 movie – almost as if writers James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder had got the Asteria nod from then-DC CCO and Wonder Woman 1984 screenwriter, Geoff Johns.
Of course, it's not actually Asteria, that's a metallic bird that follows Wonder Woman and then suddenly disappears halfway through the subsequent Aquaman/Justice League Drowned Earth Special #1 – though does make the cover.
And Asteria has not been seen or referenced since that I can find. Is a bird named after a character count as a first appearance? First mention?