Artemis of Bana-Mighdall is a fictional Amazon superheroine, a comic book character published by DC Comics. She debuted in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #90 (September 1994), and was created by writer William Messner-Loebs and artist Mike Deodato.
Amazon tribe background
As described in her comic book appearances, Artemis was born an Amazon as a member of the Egyptian tribe of Bana-Mighdall, who migrated from Greece to various European and Middle Eastern countries before finally settling in Egypt. Three thousand years ago, the two Amazon Queens (Hippolyta and Antiope) split the Amazon nation in two. Hippolyta's tribe traveled to the isolated island of Themyscira (otherwise known as Paradise Island) to live immortal lives in order to protect the doorway to the Underworld called Doom's Doorway. Antiope's tribe was never given immortality and were forced to mate with common men in order to guarantee their tribe's survival over the centuries. As they had renounced their Olympian gods once the two Queens parted ways, they eventually began to assimilate various religions and goddesses from the many lands they traveled to. Some of those included the goddesses Isis, Mammitu, Bast, and Neith. It was in Egypt that they finally built the city of Bana-Mighdall, which in their language translates to "The Temple of Women". Thanking the Amazons for their worship, one of their new goddesses created a powerfully consistent sandstorm to surround and protect their city from any outsiders who could not be trusted, or "ariadnas". The Bana-Mighdallian Amazons eventually began an uneasy trade with outside cities in order to create commerce. They would exchange custom-made weapons and their warrior skills for goods and slaves for breeding.
Over the centuries the Bana-Mighdallian weapons and services became above par and were in much demand. This way of living continued until the late 20th century. It was into this period that Artemis was born. As a child, Artemis was raised in poverty among her tribe, running naked through barren hills and often hungry. By the time she was 10 years old she was trained to carry 50 lbs. packs silently across night battlefields. At one point in her teens she briefly left her people to find a new life in Man's World, allying with Ra's al Ghul as he launched a plan to decimate the world with stolen nuclear missiles acquired with the aid of a salvaged Bizarro, claiming to be eighteen rather than fourteen and proving herself as a trained warrior by defeating several of Ra's forces. After being defeated by Batman- although her ability to hold her own against him when she was only fourteen was still impressive-, Artemis eventually turned against Ra's after leading him to Themyscira with the intention of allowing him to use it as a base, realising during the attack that she could not cause the deaths of her own people. She returned home after being inspired by a brief meeting with Superman, opting to return to a life of relative tranquility. Eventually Wonder Woman found their city while searching for the villain The Cheetah, who had stolen her golden Lasso of Truth. As the Bana-Mighdallian's original Themyscirian language had changed over time to incorporate Middle Eastern dialects, Diana had a hard time communicating with the newly found Amazons. Eventually a battle took place between her and the Bana-Mighdallian's chief warrior or Shim'Tar. Soon an enraged Olympian god Hermes, who was in love with Diana, took vengeance on the desert Amazons for attacking his beloved, and the city of Bana-Mighdall was destroyed. Homeless, the remaining Amazons eventually took up with the witch Circe who was a nemesis of Wonder Woman. It was agreed that in exchange for their servitude during the events of the War of the Gods Circe would grant them immortality and a new home to call their own. It was decided that since the Themyscirian princess was the initial cause of their city being destroyed, they would take over her Amazon city instead. Though only fourteen years of age at this time, Artemis spoke before the Queen and Council to protest the planned attack as she felt that Amazons must not war against each other. Her cries were ignored and the attack was undertaken.
During the attack on Themyscira, the witch Circe showed her true colors and teleported the island into a dimension of demons in order for both tribes to be destroyed. The two tribes put aside their rivalry temporarily and fought the demons in order to ensure the Amazon survival. Though only a few months passed in the real world, the time the Amazons spent in the demon dimension lasted ten years. Discovering that Circe had made her island home disappear, Wonder Woman forced her to return it to its rightful place. Once this was done Wonder Woman learned about the invasion, the demon war, and the Amazon truce. She eventually met Artemis who was now in her mid-20s. The two got off to a rocky start but Diana could see that Artemis' heart was true.
Powers and Abilities
Artemis has peak human level strength, speed and reflexes. She is a master hand-to-hand fighter combining many assimilated fighting techniques and is a weapons expert in both the use and manufacturing of weapons (favoring bow and arrows, but ranging from blades to automatic weapons).
Artemis has eternal youth which was provided by the witch Circe. This form of immortality does not provide resistance from harm or even death. She possesses knowledge of low-level sorceries learned in the Underworld including:
- Self-Transmogrification, using the phrase "Punji Baal T'Alemi Dar Baharin" to change into another person/creature and then saying the spell backward to return to her true form. This requires a lot of one's life force energy.
- Spell Reversal, which she used to transform demonically transformed were-creatures back into their human forms.
- Demonic Sensing, allowing her to know when a demon is masking their appearance as that of a human.
While wearing the Gauntlet of Atlas Artemis' strength is increased 10 times her normal level. Using the Sandals of Hermes Artemis possesses the ability to fly and run at high speeds. The Armor of Shim'Tar provides limited invulnerability and other unknown magical traits.