Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Bana-Mighdall of William Messner-Loebs

Where the Bana-Mighdall Amazons get more sympathetic and Artemis is first introduced.

Circe once again pitted the two Amazon tribes against each other but decided to trap all of them in a dimension to get rid of the Amazons for good. While she would later decide to bring them back anyway (*1) ten years had already passed in the demon dimension. Diana had returned home to discover the tribes had reunited. Queen Hippolyta had given the Bana-Mighdall a section of land to live which they deemed the worst on the island. After a member of the Bana-Mighdall tried to kill her Diana met Artemis who wasn't too thrilled with Diana or her people.

Despite the tension Diana comes to like Artemis and overheard her telling of her fellow Amazon for attempting to murder Diana. Artemis knew it was insane to attempt to murder the princess and simply wanted to prove they were equals either their fellow Amazons. Before Circe dumped them into a dimension to fight off demons a fourteen year old Artemis spoke out against the war with their sister Amazons.

The Themyscirans, mostly Queen Hippolyta, come off looking the worse as it's revealed that her sister Antiope saved the Amazons. Hippolyta had been part of the plan that had previously had Heracules capturing them. This version had saved the Amazons from most of the torment they received in the first telling. Antiope gave Hippolyta the credit but took half of the Amazons with her. I'm not sure why they went since none of them feel abandoned by the gods in this telling. Hippolyta also ensured Artemis would win just so she could die in her daughter's place.

There's no real mention to the past crimes of the Bana-Mighdall but that kind of makes sense. At least for Artemis' generation. Artemis (*2) was too young too be involved in the bloodshed, sexual slavery and other crimes of her elders. They weren't guilty and in Artemis' case she tried to stop further needless killing. It would have worked well if the Bana-Mighdall had to deal with those transgressions while Hippolyta had to deal with people she obviously didn't respect. As it is it feels just as one sided as past encounters were by making the Themyscirans the "good" Amazons.

If I had to sum up Artemis' time as Wonder Woman it would be that she was constantly duped by others. It was such an unfair treatment she really didn't deserve. Artemis did return from the dead but her people still had a rough road ahead of them.

*1 Circe realized she would have been happy with just killing Diana since she was the one that Circe hated not the Amazons themselves. She told Diana she had to kill an innocent and she'd released the Amazons. Diana didn't kill the innocent but the girl still died by being hit by a car. Circe knew she didn't have to keep her promise but did it anyway.

*2 Akila as well but her character wasn't created during this run.

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