Originally Posted by IronStylus
Lots of fun stuff in here, some of it right along the lines of what we were thinking about when we developed Diana, some other things that have given me pause which I hadn't thought of before.
This is all open to individual interpretation, but myself, I do not see Diana as inherently evil. I see her as someone who was pure and whole, who has since collapsed in upon themselves to become the nihilist. To me, Diana is the absence, that's the compelling thing about her. It is not necessarily the strength of her convictions as it is her utter lack of consideration or regard since surrendering the better part of herself.
Leona is full, Diana is empty. That emptiness however is a force nonetheless. Leona is the fertile and the light, Diana is a desolate and the dark. She is the vacuum. A vacuum can still kill you. She is exerting a pull where Leona is forcing a push. In that they a complimentary. Diana is doubt, while Leona is faith, and trust. For Leona, Diana represents the direct insertion of that doubt into her world. Despite Diana becoming what Leona abhors, a taker of life, Leona isn't stupid. Being presented with a force given form that is directly conflicting with her beliefs she would have to question as to whether she has the whole story. Meanwhile, as Leona's unwavering faith falters, Diana has hit such a depth of nothingness that she is left with a completely perverted certainty. Leona's world is shattered, Diana's becomes concrete. Maybe Diana was willing to embrace shades of grey before, but not any more.
This isn't to say she doesn't believe in some sort of balance, or that the convictions she has inside her do not aim to restore some sort of equilibrium. But I believe that this is mainly a story about her, not the power which she has embraced. I feel that she has been so hurt, she has endured so much needless suffering, that she has gone to the very limit that any rational human can handle in the face of irrationality that there is nothing left for her to do but to collapse, to succumb and to let something otherworldly take her. She is the sane voice in a world of insanity, finally facing that inevitability, with that amount of blind objective reality being forced upon her, she has no choice but to give in finally.
As some have mentioned some of this is parallel to what Leona faced. Leona makes a choice, during the time she is most vulnerable a higher power steps in. Diana also makes a choice, but she relents, she despairs, becomes vulnerable and the higher power intercedes. Unlike Leona however, Diana is not really lifted up, she is dragged down. As the saying goes, the way out is through.
With Leona, she has to face death, face the abyss, but not fall in. She is saved before she parishes. Her conviction makes this so. Diana too must face death, look into the abyss, but must fall. That choice to let go is what facilitates her ascendancy. Reverse that now, to "present day" Leona must now face having to let go while Diana is now burning with conviction.
Also, when I speak of conviction, I do not necessarily mean that she is doctrinally driven. I feel that Diana has gone fully hyperbolic. What she feels is not rational. That's the kicker, she used to be so. She is the embodiment of what has literally been scorned or ignored and has something to say about it. This is her upswing coming from the depths. This is the pendulum swinging way too far. This is the overcompensation for her own personal saga and the disposition of the power inside her. She is the power personified, but that power is not looking for balance, not right at this moment.
There's a common thing we latched onto when developing her, and it was the Darth Vader arc. The way I look at it, Vader is not evil, he is also a nihilist. He is not driven by political power, or ideology, or military might. His argument basically boils down to; The power of the Dark Side is too great, resisting it is futile. If you are in my way, you will die by my hands and I will speak not a word of it aside from what a pitiful fool you are for getting in the way of something far beyond you.
That's my feeling at least, and that's how I feel about Diana and Leona actually. Anakin Skywalker had to succumb. He had to give in, and by doing so he was carried along by a torrent of which he saw no salvation from, nor any way out for someone standing on front of it. Even with his own son, his feeling is as I said, take my hand and stand with me, admit to the power, let it take hold of you, or die. It doesn't really matter in the end. Vader has no love lost for his son, someone he should love.
Diana feels similar I think. Despite any feelings that may be present, she has to give the same ultimatum to someone who she cares for, someone that stands in the way of a power which supersedes anything Diana might feel outside of its torrent.
Is Diana evil? She may be now. But she also might be nothing. I choose to see this story as not one of good and evil, but of full and empty. How full or how empty Leona or Diana are at the various points of their story mirror each other. Who will end up being full, and who will end up being left with nothing? What will full mean? Is there a balance that can be sought?
We'll just have to wait and see..