The upcoming 2022 DC comics crossover event 'Trial of the Amazons' was just announced on October 16, but the groundwork is already showing up in October 19's Nubia and the Amazons #1 (opens in new tab).
This new six-issue series focuses on Nubia as the recently promoted queen of the Themysciran Amazons.
Spoilers ahead for Nubia and the Amazons #1.
Over the course of the first issue by Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala, and Alitha Martinez, Nubia is shown ruling Themyscira and dealing with the re-opening of the Well of Souls, while also continuing to guard the doorway to Hades - Doom's Doorway - from being used by anyone.
The Well of Souls is a portal by which the souls of some women who died through acts of violence in Man's World (AKA outside of Themyscira) are reincarnated as Themysciran Amazons. According to Nubia & the Amazons #1, it's been closed off since just after the birth of Diana (AKA Wonder Woman), but not before one last soul came through - Nubia.
In Nubia & The Amazons #1 however, the Well of Souls re-opens - seemingly of its own accord - and begins reincarnating new women to be part of the Themysciran Amazons.
Premonitions of the Trial of the Amazons(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
During this induction process however, the Amazonian Penelope experiences a dream/vision that goes across three full pages. It contains imagery of Nubia on the Themysciran throne, but also one of the throne vacant, and strewn with blood. There's also imagery of Thescirya on fire, with a golden eagle of some kind, carrying an animal skull - while at the same time showing a cheetah with it.
While there is a Thanagarian character named the Golden Eagle, the gold eagle here could be a reference to something closer to Wonder Woman stories - the gold armor Wonder Woman has worn at times including in Kingdom Come (opens in new tab) and the recent film Wonder Woman 1984 (opens in new tab).
The cheetah imagery in a Wonder Woman-related comic book is no doubt a reference to the classic Wonder Woman villain, Cheetah.(opens in new tab)
There's also a brief shot of Wonder Woman, who returned to Earth in October 12's Wonder Woman #780 (opens in new tab), crying blood over a fallen person - although that person is not identified.
Lastly, there is imagery of the cheetah, as well as a serpent, a lion, and a wolf, all with their mouths agape next to a tree that has been hit with several golden arrows - with a reddish liquid running down the tree.
Awakening from the dream, she runs to Myrrah's house concerning the worrisome nature of her visions - and also says that she dreamt of both the Well of Souls, Doom's Doorway, and "everything in ruins."(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
Scattered across the pages of Nubia and the Amazons #1 with a panel here and a panel there, an unnamed Amazon is shown guarding Doom's Doorway, and then reacting to it opening up from the other side - Hades. At one point, a horizontal panel teases someone with fiery eyes and red skin. Nubia and the Amazons #1 ends with a panel showing Doom's Doorway cracked open, with an unnamed Amazon warrior who was apparently guarding it turned to stone.
When you think Wonder Woman and someone with the ability to petrify someone, your first and last guess is the mythological Medusa - who has been a longtime villain for Wonder Woman. There's a catch to that though - Medusa was last seen - or her disembodied head was - in a case in Hippolyta's private chambers in Infinite Frontier #0 (opens in new tab). It was used as a test among several Amazons to determine whose "heart is just, whose mind is not clouded by ambition," and if they are - they would be immune to the petrifying powers of Medusa's gaze. Nubia won that contest, and was named queen of the Themysciran Amazons right after.
So it seems whoever opened Doom's Doorway has that head. It's too soon to speculate on suspects, but mythological people (and anyone in superhero comics) isn't above resurrection, Medusa included. She'd have good reason to want to get her head back, and get some revenge.(opens in new tab)
In Nubia and the Amazons #1, there is speculation that the unexplained re-opening of the Well of Souls could be something the sitting Themysciran queen could be capable of. When someone came to tell Nubia the news, she did admit she could "feel it" and guessed correctly it was open.
Nubia also has a connection to Doom's Doorway - up until she was named queen, she was the chosen guardian that portal to Hades. With her promotion to queen however, she has yet to name a full-time replacement guardian for Doom's Doorway, which in retrospect might've been a bad idea.
Now, apparently with Nubia's ascension to the Themysciran throne she might've somehow triggered both the Well of Souls re-opening, as well as Doom's Doorway.
The current Amazonian status quo
It's worth remembering at this point the current status quo regarding DC's Amazons.
Following her seeming death in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 (opens in new tab), Wonder Woman (Diana) actually ascended to another realm known as the Sphere of Gods for several months, and was presumed dead inside DC Comics.
In the interim, Hippolyta, queen of the Themysciran Amazons (and Wonder Woman's mother), stepped in her daughter's shoes and became ambassador to Man's World - including stepping in to fill the role of 'Wonder Woman' in the Justice League.
As part of that new role, Hippolyta passed the throne of Themyscira over to Nubia - who up until that time had been the guardian of Doom's Doorway.
In Wonder Woman #780, the original Wonder Woman returned to Earth and revealed herself as surviving the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 - and even went so far as to appoint Nubia as a Wonder Woman as well, making what was once a singular title into a mantle that Diana, Nubia, and others could possess simultaneously.
They might need it, as recently a Southern American tribe of Amazons was rediscovered, with one of its members (Yara Flor) stepping into Man's World and taking on the title of Wonder Girl. In the early 2021 event 'Future State' however, we learned that in the future (or at least that version of the future) Yara Flor would also step up and become Wonder Woman eventually.
Looking ahead at Trial of the Amazons
Further groundwork for 'Trial of the Amazons' would presumably be taking place in the remaining five issues of Nubia & the Amazons, as well as both the Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl ongoing titles, as well as possibly the Justice League title given Hippolyta's membership in that team.
Nubia and the Amazons #2 (opens in new tab) (of 6) goes on sale on November 16. Look for more on 'Trial of the Amazons' here at Newsarama.
'Trial of the Amazons' has the potential to be great, but while you wait check out our recommended best Wonder Woman stories of all time.