The Challenge of Artemis
|"The Challenge of Artemis"|
|Publication date||January – August 1995|
|Title(s)||Wonder Woman vol. 2, #94-100|
|Main character(s)||Wonder Woman, Artemis, Hippolyta|
The Challenge of Artemis is a comic book story arc that occurred in 1995 written by William Messner-Loebs and drawn by Mike Deodato. It compiled a segment of the second volume of the DC Comics Wonder Woman comic book from issues 94 through 100 into a collected book edition.
A new Wonder Woman
After winning a contest to see who will become the new Wonder Woman in "Man's World", the Amazon Artemis makes her debut to the public. Still upset and confused by the whole ordeal, the original Wonder Woman (Diana) dons a new black outfit and returns to her life in America. Although Artemis tried diligently to distinguish herself from her predecessor in both New York City and Boston, this proved to be rather hard to do. Her approach to various situations were often seen as more violent than beneficial. Because of this, and due to Man's World's respect of Diana, Artemis often would receive the cold shoulder from those she tried to help, extending even to her brief time in the Justice League. Superman once commented to Diana that Batman refused to allow Artemis to sit in Diana's chair during Justice League meetings. Diana's twin sister Donna Troy even showed resentment toward Artemis carrying the Wonder Woman title, which caused their first meeting to escalate into a heated argument. Because of this unwelcome reception, Artemis began to see Diana as a rival of sorts and would often harass and belittle Diana in public.
Diana continued to use her abilities to help the citizens of Boston. Because of this the White Magician still viewed Diana as a threat. He helped increase the rivalry between two of Boston's mafia families, led by Paulie Longo and Antonio Sazia's widow Julianna Sazia respectively, in order to keep Diana preoccupied while he planned his next course of action to take over the city of Boston. Unfortunately for him Artemis continued Diana's investigation of him in her place. This caused Diana's involvement with the mafia rivalry to become unnecessary to him.
Artemis later met a representative from a public relations company who agreed to help Artemis with her public likeability. What Artemis wasn't aware of was that the company, with the help of the White Magician, had set up several battles for her with superhuman men. However, she ultimately helped downtrodden groups such as immigrant workers and abused women. Once she uncovered this truth she set about to prove herself by single-handedly taking down Boston's biggest mob boss: Julianna Sazia. Unable to capture Julianna, Artemis destroyed her army of robots and Sazia's booby-trapped mansion.
When the White Magician became aware that Artemis was going to battle him, he used the life force of two women: his lover, anchor woman Cassandra Arnold and that of The Cheetah, to transform himself into a giant demon, capable of defeating the Amazon. In the process the remains of his two victims became super, savage demons with extraordinary power, and obeying only The White Magician's commands. Overwhelmed, Artemis kept up the fight valiantly until Diana was able to aid her, thanks to a disguised Circe teleporting her to her side. During the fight Circe attempted to use her magics on the demon, but the sorcery failed, as she was tied to her false mortal identity of Donna Milton. Using the last of her power, Circe teleported the two lesser demons and herself away, leaving Diana and Artemis to battle The White Magician alone. Near death, Artemis gave the Gauntlet of Atlas (which gave its wearer 10 times their normal strength) to Diana to finish the battle. Diana beat the demonic White Magician to within an inch of his life with her tremendously enhanced strength. However, before she could finish him, he was consumed by his own demonic powers and incinerated, leaving only a pile of smoldering ashes behind. While Circe and the Cheetah eventually returned to their former selves, Cassandra Arnold has not been seen since and her whereabouts remain unknown. Once the battle was over Diana went to Artemis' side and told her she battled as a true Wonder Woman. Before dying Artemis told Diana to take back her title as Wonder Woman, which she did.
- Justice League America #97, 98, & 100
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #226
- Guy Gardner Warrior #29 (March 1995)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #98
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #100