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Wonder Woman Revives An Old But Familiar Feud With a DC Hero

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #54 from Steve Orlando, Raul Allen, Patricia Martin, Borja Pindado and Saida Temofonte, in stores now.

Diana of Themyscira isn't the only person to have held the mantle of Wonder Woman. Her mother, Hippolyta, has done so, as well as Donna Troy, but one of the deadliest woman to have taken up this duty is the rogue Amazon Artemis.

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Come Wonder Woman #54, despite a heroic turn, Artemis seems to be slipping back into her villainous ways of old, butting heads with Diana. But instead of talking it out, Wonder Woman is left with no choice but to try to physically beat some sense into her, thus reigniting their old feud.

Artemis has had quite a journey since DC Rebirth took effect. Prior to that, she was one of the Bana-Mighdall, a splinter faction of Amazons who didn't stick to the code of Themyscira and left. She more or less grew up a child of war, becoming a terrorist along the way before Superman talked sense into her.

As a result, she has come to blows with Diana on quite a few occasions, all due to their differing philosophies and also because she was conditioned to hate Themyscirans. But her worth as a warrior is unparalleled, and she ended up becoming Wonder Woman for a short time, finally learning what it meant to be a hero. Come Rebirth, small tweaks were made to the character. Readers saw her finally becoming a beacon for good in Red Hood and the Outlaws. Well, that seems to have gone out the window.

As she and Diana return to the Bana-Mighdall, they bring with them the woman who led this faction out of Themyscira, Atalanta (Diana's aunt). However, the new queen, Faruka, is hellbent on taking out the rival nation of Qurac, using Rustam (the ex-leader of the Suicide Squad) as a pawn who harbors a serious grudge about how this nation tried to weaponize him. When the trio try to talk Faruka down, she incapacitates Wonder Woman and imprisons Atalanta, citing the greater good.

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Artemis is left torn, as she recently stopped the previous queen, Akila, from exacting this sort of genocide on Qurac. However, recent events saw her new crush, Jason Todd, cut ties with her, leaving her cynical about humanity. Losing Bizarro, whom she acted as a mother figure to, also broke Artemis, and so she joins Rustam in leading the assault. Just when the fight's about the kick off though, Diana, fully recovered from Faruka's ambush, jumps in and confronts her, realizing there's only one way this can end.

They've fought many times before, but Diana knows this is a different Artemis, one who has honed her skills as a mercenary. She doesn't have the same value for life as Themyscirans do and, given how Qurac has been provoking her people, Artemis is as dangerous as ever. Coupling this with the emotional distress Artemis has gone through with Jason and company, Diana has quite the battle ahead of her. Artemis recently saw Diana wielding her Bow of Ra -- the weapon the Egyptian sun god meant for the archer -- so she has been harboring a mild grudge against Wonder Woman, too. Either way, the fallen hero thinks she's doing what Wonder Woman would do: Fighting for her people.

Over the years, Diana has had many falling outs with the Themyscirans, even absconding from them at times because she knew she needed to do what was right and steer them away from war, an issue which currently positions her as a black sheep among her people.

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She was hoping that, because Artemis is in a similar situation (someone who left her tribe to explore the world as a warrior for justice), she would see things Diana's way and try for a peaceful resolution. That didn't go as planned and so, if Diana wants peace, she'll have to fight for it against someone who is arguably more brutal.

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