Artemis (Wonder Woman)

Another prominent Amazon in Wonder Woman is quite a huge one, in every possible meaning: Artemis, portrayed by boxer Ann Wolfe. Artemis is quite an imposing character, and she’s seen at the very beginning during the Amazons’ training, standing high on a wooden rise, knocking down one Amazon after the other (and even resisting a direct blow to the kidneys without flinching). She’s also the last warrior Diana has to defeat before facing her aunt Antiope, and she’s obviously recognised as the strongest Amazon on Themyscira. Finding her in Themyscira is the first difference from the comics, as she belongs to another tribe, while also her looks are pretty different from the original, red-haired and Caucasian warrior. It’s also unlikely we’ll see her become Diana’s successor as it happened in the comics…as we’re about to see.

Artemis was born an Amazon, but not in Themyscira: she was a member of the splinter sect of Amazons residing in Bana-Mighdall, descendant of the ones who had lost their immortality by following Queen Antiope in her revenge against the men who had assaulted Themyscira and renounced to the Greek Goddesses‘ blessing because of this. She lived in a violent environment, a secluded city protected by the sand storm generated by the Egyptian Goddesses and used to enslave men from the nearby villages and cities for reproduction. Everything Artemis ever knew was her people’s devotion to the art of war, but her heart was true, and she believed the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall to be the heirs of the “true” Amazons. A poor girl in the city of women, Artemis trained to become the best warrior of the city, but she wanted something more than what she could find in Bana-Mighdall: inspired by the ancient legends about the “traitors” in Themyscira, a fourteen-years-old Artemis left the city and wandered in the men’s world, until she stumbled upon the League of Assassins; she proved her worth to their leader, Ra’s al Ghul, who was impressed by the skills she demonstrated in besting many of his ninjas. Artemis offered to lead Ra’s to Themyscira, wanting him to kill the Amazons and make their island his new base, but first she helped him in leading a nuclear attack on the world along with Bizarro. The mission didn’t go quite well because of Batman‘s interference, but Artemis managed to prove herself nevertheless, and Ra’s al Ghul eventually accepted her offer. Once they were close to Themyscira, however, Artemis spied on her lost sisters, and she realised they were not as evil and fierce as Bana-Mighdall’s legends portrayed them. Not wanting to attack her own sisters, she turned on Ra’s and fled, coming back to Egypt and resuming her old life. Not much time later, Wonder Woman visited Bana-Mighdall in search of her enemy Cheetah, but a series of misunderstanding led the city’s best warrior Shim’Tar to challenge her in combat; after that, Hermes “avenged” Diana attacking the city, and Bana-Mighdall was destroyed as a result. Artemis and her sisters were now homeless.

The sorceress Circe arrived in the time of need, and she offered her protection and her magic to the now nomadic Amazons in exchange of the promise to kill the one who was responsible of their misfortune in the first place: Diana of Themyscira. Artemis was only a girl, but she had learnt her lesson, and she spoke before the Council against Circe’s offer, saying that Amazons shouldn’t fight other Amazons…but nobody listened to her. All the Amazons went to war and invaded Themyscira, starting a fierce battle…but then Circe showed her true colors, and teleported the entire island into a Demon Dimension, wanting to destroy both tribes. Artemis found herself in a hellish dimension, constantly fighting for her and her sister’s life. On Earth, Wonder Woman hunted down Circe and, a couple of months later, she forced her to return Themyscira and its occupants to their original position, but in the Demon Dimension ten years had passed already. When she returned to her home-dimension, Artemis was in her mid twenties, and the two tribes had been reunited as one by the common threat. Even the former Bana-Mighdall Amazons came to live in Themyscira, and Artemis had the chance to know better Diana: the two became friends, even if at first the red-haired Amazon was pretty hostile towards the princess. Unexpectedly, however, Queen Hippolyta declared that Diana had failed Themyscira as Wonder Woman, and she announced a new Contest to chose a successor. Despite her initial doubts, Hyppolita allowed also the Bana-Mighdall Amazons to compete, and Artemis participated…eventually defeating Diana and becoming the new Wonder Woman. She was given a number of mystical weapons to fulfill her new role, and she was even invited in the Justice League of America in Diana’s place…unfortunately, the real reason behind Hyppolita’s decision was her visions of Wonder Woman’s future death, a destiny she had wanted to spare her daughter, and that now threatened Artemis instead…

Artemis is a fierce and proud Amazon, a powerful warrior with a heroine’s heart, but also characterised by a never quelled aggresiveness and a self-confidence that borders with arrogance. As the new Wonder Woman, she’s an extremely skilled combatant, an excellent martial artist and a superb swordswoman with superhuman strength, durability, speed, stamina, agility and senses, and a spell from Circe made her eternally young; the Sandals of Hermes allow her to fly and move at incredible speed, the Gauntlet of Atlas increase her already remarkable strenght, and the indestructible Lasso of Truth compels anyone she catches with it to tell the truth. Forged in a society of warmongers and mercenaries, Artemis is much fiercer and pitiless than her predecessor, and she lives her mission as the new Wonder Woman as a war with no prisoners.

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