Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Artemis' First Arc

I figured the best place to start with Artemis of Bana-Mighdall was her introduction arc. I won't be getting into the entire plot just the parts focused on her and the main plot. The side plots won't be covered. From Wonder Woman #90, #0, 91-93

It all starts with Diana returning home after discovering her people have reappeared. Her mother Hippoyta explains that Circe made the Amazons fight another group of Amazons called the Bana-Mighdall before banishing them all to fight demons for ten years. It hasn't been that long for Diana but nevertheless her mother seems to expect she changed the world in their absence. Disappointed that she hasn't Hippoyta thinks they need to have a new champion and decrees their have another contest to decide who will be Wonder Woman. After being nearly killed by arrows a couple of times Diana finally comes across Artemis. Her first impression isn't a good one as she has quite a bit to say.

Artemis isn't pleased with how her people are being treated and isn't shy about speaking her mind. I'll get more in depth on the Bana-Mighdall in another entry as it's a bit more complex than its presented in this arc. Mainly because not many seem to know the whole story and there's more lore elsewhere. The Bana-Mighdall say they were kicked out centuries ago and denied their immortality. Hippoyta made it sound like they preferred to take on the demons and she graciously gave them a place with her people. Artemis points out that they got the worst section and they did the most fighting leading to them losing two thirds of their tribe. Diana's aunt Antiope (who she looks remarkably like) was once their leader and Diana keeps getting visions that make her question her mothers' actions.

While Artemis never seems overly warm we do get some new insight to what makes her tick. She's competitive and one of the first things she does is show Diana up with her archery skills. When news of the contest spreads Artemis has a bone to pick with the princess over the queen deciding to ban the Bana-Mighdall from the contest. This leads to Diana calling for a vote to overthrow her mothers' ruling. We learn prior to the ten years fighting demons a fourteen year old Artemis stood up to her elders against them deciding to wage war against the other Amazons. 

Later on she saves Diana then figures out which one of her tribe has been trying to kill Diana. While she doesn't believe she has a chance at being Wonder Woman (as Artemis suspects the contest is just a punishment for Diana) Artemis wants to use it as a way to earn respect for the Bana-Mighdall.
Diana overhears this and is pleased. Since she admitted earlier that she's starting to like Artemis it seems she's happy to learn she was right about her.

My favorite exchange is when the defeated Amazons cheer for the winners which baffles Artemis. She doesn't understand why they'd cheer for those that "humiliated" them. Diana jokes that it must be a conspiracy before revealing they just entered for fun and are glad for them. It's such a great moment for both of them that informs you why these two women are so different. During the final test Artemis saves another challenger when Diana is too far to reach her. Then she wins the race when Diana suddenly trips (important detail for later but not this arc) becoming Wonder Woman.

Hippoyta grants gifts like Hermes sandals to an amazed Artemis and lays it on thick by calling her a sister and daughter in front of Diana. Going on about the task being given to Artemis she doesn't even notice she isn't being listened to. I've seen Artemis in warrior mode often so it was oddly sweet to see her thrilled at being able to fly with the sandals. Of course it's ruined when someone remarks that she's still a savage although another one says Diana isn't much better as she's fuming. Diana confronts her mother over the visions before leaving. Artemis and Diana work together which actually goes a lot better than I expected.

I have to say Artemis sense of, well wonder, makes me see her from a different light. It's just a few touches but I appreciate it. I could see some not liking how harsh she comes off when talking about Diana to the public. I just don't see it that way. There's a hesitance when she calls Diana her sister and I thinks she's being honest when she says she has no problem with her. Hippolya has been saying what these "problems" are with Diana so Artemis is trying to honestly voice what she's been led to believe is wrong. She's new to all of this and I can see her trying hard to make it work.

Overall: I like the art and I don't. The cheesecake is pretty bad here with plenty of wedgies with nearly everything the Amazons wear. Something Artemis will suffer with for a long time with various artists. The side stories I didn't mention were mostly passable and some times I didn't understand because I haven't read past issues. I did enjoy the story of the contest and the visions Diana got. The idea that Diana might not have been formed from clay is toyed with making me wonder if it was given some serious thought back then. I liked Artemis although I don't think this arc gives you the full picture of the character. I've seen others say she never gets a fully fleshed out character. If that's true there's a lot to explore with Artemis.

I love her exchanges with Diana and seeing how much she wants to be respected. It makes me wince because I know many won't respect her including many heroes. Artemis might be harsh but from what I've seen she means well and replacing Diana isn't her fault.

I enjoyed this although some things like Diana passing out from the vision and bleeding then having her flying around in the next issue were jarring. In the same scene (flying around afterward) she wears the Wonder Woman suit for no reason when she had previously decided against wearing it when the contest was announced.

Hippoyta was an ass in this as she seems to have something against the Bana-Mighdall despite inviting them to stay, treats Diana crappy and her behavior in the visions. I was so happy when she was starting to plot out Diana's future and Diana managed to turn it around to confront her mother. I know some of this will be explained later but even so she deserved that slap down.


  1. I always had trouble with Artemis, simply because of her twelve foot long pony tail hairstyle. It just took me right out of the story because I couldn't figure out how she could walk.

  2. It is distracting. I think there was one story where she cut off her hair and used it as a rope, lol. Her and Starfire have the whole "warrior with crazy hair" bit down.