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Artemis of Bana-Mighdall

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W-logo CHARACTER W-logo
Artemis Rebirth design
Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
Real name Artemis
Debut Wonder Woman v2 #90 (September 1994)
Created by Bill Messner-Loebs Mike Deodato Jr.
Affiliations Amazons, The Banas
Abilities Amazon perks
Played by Rachel Quaintance (voice), Rosario Dawson (voice)
GALLERY

History

Artemis was born a member of The Banas that had split off from the Amazons. These Amazons, under the leadership of Antiope (the Themysciran Queen Hippolyta's sister), eventually settled in Egypt and founded an Amazon city named Bana-Mighdall . The Bana Amazons renounced the Gods of Olympus and instead worshiped the Egyptian Goddesses Isis, Mammitu, Bast, Neith and Ishtar . These goddesses blessed the Amazons with a perpetual sandstorm around their city to protect them from outsiders. The Bana Amazons, however, would trade weapons and their skills for male slaves to increase their population. Artemis was the result of one of these liaisons.

Wonder Woman first encountered Artemis when she journeyed to Bana-Mighdall looking for the Cheetah, who had stolen her Lassoof Truth. Wonder Woman fought and was defeated by the Bana Amazon's chief warrior, the Shim'Tar. The god Hermes was in love with Wonder Woman and destroyed Bana-Mighdall in retaliation, rendering the Bana Amazons homeless, including Artemis. They entered into an alliance with the sorceressCirce, who told them that she would create a new home for them if they served her during the War of Gods

They decided to attack Themyscira, since they held Wonder Woman responsible for the loss of their original home. A fiery, red-haired young Artemis, then only fourteen years of age, stood in front of the Bana's ruling council and protested the action, as she believed that Amazons shouldn't fight other Amazons. But her protests went unheeded and the Bana Amazons went ahead with their assault.

During the attack on Themyscira, Circe betrayed the Bana Amazons and attempted to destroy both tribes by transporting Themyscira into a demon dimension. The Bana and Themysciran Amazons had to put aside their differences and fight alongside each other in order to survive the constant onslaught of demon armies.

Wonder Woman eventually forced Circe to return Theymscira back to the real world, but while only a few months had passed on Earth during this time, an entire decade had passed in the demon dimension. Artemis was now a beautiful woman in her mid-twenties and had become one of her tribe's greatest warriors, being battle-hardened by ten years of fighting against the demonic hordes.

Artemis Becomes Wonder Woman

Hippolyta, the Queen of Themyscira, then began to have visions of Wonder Woman dying. Since the title of Wonder Woman was held by Diana, her own daughter, she decided to prevent her daughter's death by holding another contest of the Amazons to choose a new Wonder Woman.

Artemis emerged as Diana's strongest challenger, and she eventually won the contest with some mystical assistance from Hippolyta. Artemis was crowned as Wonder Woman and given a uniform identical to Diana's, along with the Gauntlet of Atlas, The Sandals of Hermes and the golden Lasso of Truth in order to replicate Diana's Wonder Woman powers. She then set forth to present herself to the World of Men as the new Wonder Woman.

Artemis' tenure as Wonder Woman ultimately was unsuccessful. Though she was Diana's equal in combat, Artemis had grown to adulthood fighting mostly demons in a kill-or-be-killed environment, and was very rough around the edges when it came to dealing with people.

She possessed little of the personal grace or sense of diplomacy that had made Diana so respected as Wonder Woman. Artemis was generally regarded as arrogant and abrasive, and was criticized for resorting to violence far too often. She tried to extend a hand to the super-hero community, but usually received the cold shoulder. During her failed attempt to join the Justice League,Batman refused to allow Artemis to even sit in Diana's chair during League meetings.

Desperate to improve her image, Artemis agreed to work with a public relations representative in an effort to make herself a more likable Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, the representative secretly worked for the villainous White Magician, who was determined to bring about Wonder Woman's demise.

Though Artemis was starting to turn things around at this point, doing positive things such as helping downtrodden immigrants and abused women, her arrogance again got the better of her and she was lured into a dimension of Hell by the White Magician, who had gained extreme power there. Artemis fought the Magician with all of her might, but his powers were too great in this dimension and she was killed in the battle, proving Hippolyta's visions of Wonder Woman dying to be true.

Requiem

When Artemis died she ended up in Tartarus, and one of Thirteen ruling Princes of Hell,Dalkriig-Hath, became enamored with her beauty and took her as his bride. Artemis did not suffer the unholy matrimony gladly and killed Dalkriig-Hath the moment he let his guard down. She then took the opportunity to escape back to the living world.

She joined the short-lived anti-demon team called the Hellenders using the knowledge she had gained in Tartarus to hunt demons. The Hellenders initially gave her the code name of Javelin, but she disliked the name and soon switched to the code name of Requiem instead. She also had a brief relationship with one of the Hellenders named Sure-Shot, but dumped him after discovering that he was a drug addict. During her time with the Hellenders, Artemis wore the green and white one-piece outfit that would eventually become her regular costume.

After the Hellenders disbanded, Artemis trained several heroes in the art of combat, starting with a woman named Henrietta Jessup, who took the code name of Sojourner. Artemis then encountered Diana (who had regained the Wonder Woman title) again, and was asked by Diana to train Cassandra Sandsmark, who used the training to become the current Wonder Girl. Artemis' reputation as an elite combat trainer grew such that even Supergirl sought her out to improve her own combat skills. During this time, Artemis was able to gain a measure of revenge on Batman for his hostility towards her when she had tried to join the Justice League. She easily defeated Batman in combat and proceeded to pound him into a pulp, but an ambush prevented her from inflicting permanent injury.

Later, Artemis was informed of unrest in Hell following the death of Dalkriig-Hath. Despite having killed Dalkriig-Hath herself, Artemis was still considered to be his wife, so she was next in line to rule his section of Hell even though she had no desire for the role. She nevertheless presented herself in front of the twelve surviving Demon Princes and accepted her husband's section of Hell. To officially grant her control of Hell, she had to be blessed by the twelve Demon Princes. After the blessing, it was revealed Artemis had pulled a switch and her friend, the demon Belyllioth, had assumed her form. Infuriated at the trick, the twelve Demon Princes vowed revenge on Artemis upon her return to Tartarus, but Belyllioth (now officially one of the Thirteen rulers of Hell) had promised to protect her for eternity.

Artemis eventually decided to retire from the World of Men and returned to her own people, The Banas, who now shared the island of Themyscira with the Themysciran Amazons. But there was great unrest on Themyscira during this time as a rogue Amazon sorceress named Magala had incited another war between the two Amazon tribes. Artemis quickly proved herself the greatest warrior of The Banas and was crowned Shim'Tar of her tribe.

As the new Bana Amazon leader she hoped to end the conflict and open negotiations, but instead wound up in personal combat with Queen Hippolyta, who had assumed the role of Wonder Woman after her daughter Diana's recent death (though like Artemis, Diana had later returned from the dead). During their battle, Artemis reminded Hippolyta that the reason she was the new Wonder Woman was because her actions had led to the death of Diana, and also of Artemis herself. Shocked into her senses, Hippolyta renounced her crown, as did Diana, and Artemis and Themyscirian General Philipus were elected co-leaders of the united Amazon tribes.

Amazons Attack

During the OMAC attack on Themyscira during Infinite Crisis, it was decided by Artemis and Phillipus that in order to save the Amazon race, they needed to teleport the entire island and all of the Amazons to a new hidden location. The Amazons resurfaced some time later, once again under the leadership of Hippolyta, but unknown to the rest of the Amazons, Hippolyta had fallen under the evil influence of Circe.

Under the pretense that humans had attacked them first, Hippolyta declared war on the human world. Artemis and Phillipus were assigned to oversee the attack, but soon lost faith in Hippolyta since her actions seemed less than honorable. However, they did not do enough to stop the conflict, and as a result the Amazons were cursed by a disguised Granny Godness. Their memories were erased and they were then scattered to different corners of the world under false identities. Artemis appeared near the Great Wall of China in traveling clothes, with no memories of her Amazonian life.

Artemis Enslaved

A few months later the Olympian Gods returned to power, and Zeus restored the memories of the Amazons and brought them back to Themyscira. Artemis, however, was not among them. During her period of memory loss she believed herself to be a normal person without superhuman powers, and while in this vulnerable state she had been kidnapped by Mr.Smyth, the ruthless leader of a notorious slavery ring.

By the time her memory fully returned, she had been bound with special shackles and kept constantly drugged in order to make her too weak to escape. Her captors also dressed her in a copy of her green and white costume, perhaps as a humiliating reminder of her former superhero status.

Mr. Smyth then tried to brainwash the captive Artemis by using a frightening combination of drugs and interrogation, but she successfully resisted through sheer force of will. Artemis was later freed by the banshee villain Jeannete, and took violent revenge upon her captors.

Powers and Abilities

Artemis possesses the physical abilities of a member of the Bana tribe of Amazons: peak human level strength, speed, agility, reflexes, and endurance. Like the other Bana Amazons, Artemis was gifted with eternal youth by the witch Circe. With the Gauntlet of Atlas she is able to increase her strength by 10, with the Sandles of Hermes she has super speed and flight, and with the Armor of Shim'Tar she has limited invulnerability and unknown magical properties. During her time in Hades, Artemis also learned a number of low level sorcery spells. In addition, she is one of the Amazons' most accomplished warriors and is a master of hand-to-hand combat, swordfighting, and archery. Artemis is the equal of Diana (Wonder Woman) in combat, though her fighting style is far more aggressive, which contrasts with Diana's more measured approach. Because she never holds back, Artemis has often beaten Diana when they have fought, and she believes herself to be the superior fighter.

In Other Media

Wonder Woman (2009)

Artemis was a prominent character in the 2009 Wonder Woman direct-to-video animated feature, which re-told Wonder Woman's origin story. Artemis was voiced by Rosario Dawson. There were some differences between the original comic book Artemis and this animated version. The Bana Amazon tribe was never mentioned in the film and Artemis was instead an Amazon of Themyscira. She was older than her comic book counterpart and had fought alongside Queen Hippolyta in many battles, establishing herself as one of Themyscira's greatest warriors. But her fighting skills were surpassed by Hippolyta's daughter, Princess Diana, who won the contest to become Wonder Woman. Rather than compete in the contest like in the comics, Artemis was assigned to oversee it.This version of Artemis wore an outfit that closely resembled her black and brown midriff-baring alternate costume from comic book continuity. She also retained her distinctive long flowing-topknot hairstyle.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

Artemis appeared again the direct-to-video animated feature Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, voiced by actress Rachel Quaintance. She was first shown training Kara Zor-El (before she became Supergirl) in the art of combat, much like she did in the comics. When Artemis soundly defeated Kara during their sparring session, Kara's overprotective cousin Superman intervened, prompting Artemis to warn him never to lay a hand on her again. Artemis later led the Amazons into battle against an army of Doomsday beasts sent by the villain Darkseid. At the end of the film, Artemis proudly looked on as Kara made her Supergirl debut in her classic blue-and-red costume. Artemis wore a sleeveless red outfit during most of the film, except in battle, when she dressed in Amazonian-style armor.

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