While Diana Prince is the most iconic, longest-running character to hold the mantle of Wonder Woman in the DC Universe, she is by no means the only superhero to take up the role as champion of Themyscira and its Amazon warriors. In 1994, Artemis of Bana-Mighdall was introduced as the strongest fighter from an offshoot branch of Amazons outside of Themyscira. She who would temporarily replace Diana as Wonder Woman before becoming a trusted commander to Queen Hippolyta. Eventually reintroduced during the DC Rebirth era, the relaunched Artemis would find herself joining forces with Red Hood and the Outsiders.
Now, CBR is taking a look back at the history of Artemis, from her faction of Amazons' history in the DCU to her temporary ascension as the new Wonder Woman and how she ultimately joined the Outsiders despite her distrust of the DCU's superhero community.
How Artemis Became Wonder Woman
Created by William Messner-Loebs and Mike Deodato in 1994's Wonder Woman #90, Artemis debuted as part of a splinter group of Amazons that renounced their faith in the pantheon of Greek gods and chose not to follow Hippolyta and their sisters to Themyscira. Instead, this group of Amazons referred to themselves as the Bana-Mighdall and took inspiration primarily from Egyptian gods instead while forced to reproduce with common people as they had given up immortality with their renunciation of the patron Greek gods.
Artemis was introduced as their latest champion and temporarily allied herself with Ra's al Ghul and Bizarro before learning that Ra's intended to destroy the Amazons as well. Overcoming her initial distrust of her ancestral people. Artemis would briefly replace Diana as the Wonder Woman after besting her in an Amazonian contest, earning her own set of bracelets and golden lasso before a heroic death against the White Magician. Eventually, Artemis would be resurrected and remain a trustworthy ally to Queen Hippolyta and Themyscira.
HOW STRONG IS DC'S ARTEMIS?
Even as an Amazon from the Bana-Mighdall, Artemis retains the superhuman strength, speed, and endurance of her sisters from Themyscira, even in her DC Rebirth reintroduction. Trained since a child, Artemis is an expert warrior in a variety of combat styles and weaponry and is particularly deadly with her mythical battle ax and the Bow of Ra, the former of which can come to her when she summons it, not unlike Thor's connection to Mjolnir in the Marvel Universe.
Prior to her debut during the DC Rebirth era, Artemis possessed immortality granted to her by the ancient witch Circe. She also gained the ability to transform herself and others into animals and back into their original human forces based on spells she learned while in the underworld before her resurrection. Whether Artemis retains these abilities during DC Rebirth is currently unknown.
Artemis and the Outsiders
DC Rebirth established that the splinter faction of Bana-Mighdall had largely been destroyed, with Artemis as one of its few survivors rescued by Wonder Woman personally. Despite this, Artemis greatly resented Wonder Woman and the Amazons of Themyscira due to their division and the other Amazons not being there for Bana-Mighdall in its time of greatest need.
Artemis crosses paths with Red Hood while the two figures are searching for what they presume to be the mythical Bow of Ra only to find Bizarro instead, with Artemis taking on a motherly role for the failed Superman clone. Artemis tracks down the Bow to Qurac where she learns the fictional country was responsible for the assault on the Bana-Mighdall. Despite this, Artemis stops another Amazon from destroying the country in revenge and claims the Bow of Ra for herself instead and joins up with the Outsiders in Gotham City, having taken a romantic interest in Red Hood while adopting the civilian name Grace.