Friday, March 24, 2017

Amazons of Bana-Mighdall: Evil or Misunderstood?

Needless to say they've been interpreted differently over the years. The answer is basically "depends on the writer." But let's look at some the negative points when they were introduced and some of the lore first.

Sandstorm: A magical stand storm protected the borders of Bana-Mighdall. The Amazons could pass through it without any difficulty. The same couldn't be said for outsiders although a few managed to sneak in before it's destruction.

The Queen: Unlike Themyscira the queen was (usually) decided by combat which is called the tournament of the crown. Whenever a queen died her head was removed to be placed on a pike with the eyes open and staring off towards the eastern sky. There were thousands of heads perfectly preserved. (*1)

Weapon Makers: Skilled in war the Bana-Mighdall decided to dedicated themselves to making more advance modern weapons. They became mercenaries fighting for those that paid the right price. (*2)

Breeding Stables: Men weren't thought of highly and the treatment of males was worse than how the New 52 versions of Themysciran Amazons treated them. At least in the New 52 there was seduction and even a quick death. Men were used as slaves and chained up in dirt floored stalls. At one point it's implied that the Amazons partly enter wars to stalk up the breeding stables. During a deal where they were hired for mercenary work part of the payment was a percentage of the men that were present. The underlings heard what happened to men and attempted to flee.

Cobra-Dart: Developed by Kadesha Banu several years before Diana visits. The venomous weapon is inspired by Phthia spitting in Theseus' face.

Immortality or Fertility: Previously Antiope and her Amazons left before immortality was granted to Hippolyta and her people. The Bana-Mighdall are mortals that over the years have come to believe it was stripped away due to Antiope's marriage. Which is strange because in the same issue one scoffs at Diana being Hippolyta's daughter thinking the queen would be long dead by now. She states that the Aegean sea swallowed Hippolyta and her people but she had no objections that Diana was from those same Amazons before then? When they became immortal doesn't seem to be consistent.

The important part to remember is that Antiope and her Amazons were mortal. This means that unlike the Themyscirans they can have children.

Circe: The sorceress was responsible for some of the biggest conflicts with the Bana-Mighdall. She arranged for Antiope to be killed to divide the Amazons from men. Years later she saves them from the destruction of their home and uses them as her personal army. She even managed to trap most of the Amazons in a demon dimension and the infamous Amazons Attack.

War of the Gods: The Bana-Mighdall didn't have a big role in this event. They were basically part of Circe's army and beaten up through out the event. They needed a new queen, Shim'tar was their last leader but we never find out what happened to her. Instead of the Amazons finding a new queen among their numbers they allow Circe to brainwash Queen Hippolyta into becoming Shim'tar. This quickly fell apart once Diana fought her.

The Shim'tar stuff should get it's own entry but the Bana-Mighdall were basically written like the evil Amazons until Messner-Loebs decided to shake things up.

*1 This tradition must have come about some time after Phthia died as they mention her body being burned.

*2 In the Requiem Artemis series Artemis claims she grew up poor but given what's said about them manufacturing weapons it doesn't seem likely. This is shown to be a booming business.

No comments:

Post a Comment