A while back I was fiddling around with some ideas for twin teenage daughters of Batman and Wonder Woman (as well as ideas about other "Next Generation" characters descended from members of the JLU cast, but they don't matter right now).
I had to ask myself some questions about whether or not Diana's powers are "hereditary." This was complicated by my knowledge that in the comic books, at least, Diana is not a natural-born child of Queen Hippolyta. She started out as a clay statue of a little girl and then one or more of the Greek goddesses saw fit to bring that statue to life so Hippolyta could have "a daughter of her own" without any mortal man ever getting involved as a biological parent. I'm not sure if that was ever stated or hinted to also be the case in the DCAU, but let's work on that assumption. What sort of DNA does magically animated clay possess?
So I identified these questions:
1. What sort of DNA does Diana have? Human? Something else? No DNA at all?
2. Are her superpowers programmed into her genes?
3. Suppose she bears offspring who are sired by a man with "normal" genes (i.e. no superpowers on that side of the family). At what age will such offspring start demonstrating significant superpowers of their own?
Here were my answers:
1. Diana's DNA is "typical Amazonian," whatever that means. I even consider it likely that fifty percent of her DNA was copied from Hippolyta's (but not 100 percent, given their different hair colors and facial features in the DCAU continuity). Where the rest of her DNA came from is up for grabs.
2. Since Diana's powers are of supernatural origin, bestowed upon her by Greek goddesses, I figure there's a good fighting chance that they aren't coded into the DNA. On the other hand, the goddesses who favor the Amazons might very well have seen fit to make sure Diana's powers would be hereditary for female children she later chose to bear, but that might not have anything to do with her DNA per se. (In other words, Athena -- or whomever -- might have rigged it so that if Cadmus got a tissue sample from Diana and tried to grow a Wonder Woman clone in a tank, similar to what they did with the DCAU Supergirl, the kid would just be "ordinary.".But if Diana actually carried a child to term in her womb by her own choice, that child could inherit remarkable powers!)
3. The superpowers of any daughter of Diana's womb will start to manifest in early adolescence, when the girl is old enough to start learning to use the silly things responsibly instead of just throwing super-strong temper tantrums at the drop of a hat, as a toddler might do. (Although I haven't committed myself in any fanfic I've yet written on the subject, I strongly suspect that the patron goddesses of the Amazons would draw the line at letting mere males inherit any of Wonder Woman's powers.)
All of the above is how I worked out my ideas at the time. But something about all that has been nagging ever since. I'm not convinced of the validity of my own answers to those questions, and I keep wanting to hear some second opinions from other fans with different perspectives. So I decided to post these questions, and my initial answers to them, on a JLU-themed forum and see if anyone else was interested in offering their thoughts on where I might be going wrong!5/26/2011 . Edited 5/26/2011 #1
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