Trials Of The Amazon ended with the three Amazon Tribes united for the first time in a long time. While the event accomplished that one of the major plotlines that was left unresolved is why Artemis killed Hippolyta. That is an answer that is made even harder to find out with Artemis escaping Themyscira and going on the run. Why would Artemis run away? And what secrets is she keeping from the other Amazons? Let’s find out with Artemis: Wanted #1.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Skylar Patridge
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
While on the run, Artemis is unable to sleep due to nightmares of her past. She eventually makes it to a town named Hither where she comes across a girl concerned about monsters. While calming the girl down Artemis remembers how she helped keep her promise with Hippolyta to help kill herself for a mysterious purpose.
Meanwhile, Donna Troy and Cassandra Sandsmark search for Artemis. As they do so Cassie wonders why Artemis would kill Hippolyta but Donna does not care about the reason.
In the forest outside of Hither, Artemis wakes up after having a nightmare of a group of monsters attacking her and the girl she spoke with during the day. Artemis is then attacked by the monsters from her nightmares and is able to fight them off.
The next morning, in Hither, Artemis questions one of the shopkeepers about what is going on with the town. Freya suddenly shows up and tells Artemis she has something to talk to her about.
Freya then takes Artemis to her home where she reveals that after Shiva’s death and leaving the Bana-Mighdall she traveled all over the world until finally settling down in Hither and having a daughter. She goes on to say one day her daughter went to an old mine where she accidentally unleashed a curse that turned all the townspeople into monsters at night.
Before Freya can convince Artemis to help the town Donna and Cassie show up to take Artemis.
Artemis, Donna, and Cassie go into the woods outside of Hither. Artemis says nothing when questioned about why she killed Hippolyta. This leads to Donna and Artemis fighting. Artemis does not fight back and only dodges until Donna finally lands a blow.
As Artemis gives herself up to be killed by Donna Hippolyta, a new Godly form appears. Hippolyta reveals that after Antiope foresaw that the divided Amazons would fall to Chaos she tried to get the Olympic Gods to help them. When that didn’t work Hippolyta had Artemis help her obtain God status by helping kill her in order to work within Olympus to help the Amazons.
Hippolyta then reassures Artemis, Donna, and Cassie that they all serve important roles in the world and gives them each the title of Ambassadors of the Amazon Nation.
Artemis and Donna enter the cursed mine to defeat the curse, setting the town of Hither free.
Sometime later, at the compound of the Bana-Mighdall in Qurac, Cassie presents Queen Faruka with the returning Freya and her daughter, Skylar. Faruka happily welcomes Freya and Skylar to be part of the Amazons of the Bana-Mighdall.
Queen Faruka then places Artemis on trial and asks if Artemis acknowledges being a traitor and murdering a fellow Amazon. Artemis says she is responsible for everything Faruka said. Donna then speaks up to defend Artemis by revealing what Hippolyta told her.
Hearing all this Faruka says that Artemis not only acted in accordance with the Bana-Mighdall laws but exemplified them. Faruka then happily welcomes Artemis back as part of the Amazons of the Bana-Mighdall. End of issue.
How the Trial of the Amazons event dealt with Hippolyta’s death left a lot to be desired. The story, especially with the revelation Artemis was behind Hippolyta’s death had a lot of potential left on the table to be developed during the Trial of the Amazons. That is where Vita Ayala and Skylar Patridge step up to give a resolution to that major plotline with Artemis: Wanted #1.
Right away Ayala and Patridge don’t hide the fact that there is so much more to the story of Artemis killing Hippolyta. In the process, a strong narrative is created around Artemis that showcases how layered of a character she is. This latest decision that Artemis made added to her own character history, which we see hints of at the beginning of this issue. Showing those layers helps to get the reader invested in what Artemis’s character arc is here.
And as we see when Hippolyta reveals what actually happened Artemis’s character arc wasn’t to suddenly turn her into a villain. Artemis’s own story dives deeper into how we started the Trial of the Amazons with the three Amazonian Tribes still divided. With how divided the Amazons were and the Olympic Gods clearly avoiding helping them Hippolyta needed to act. Gaining God status with Artemis’s help was an unexpected revelation that does fit who Hippolyta is, especially as she handed down the leadership of the Amazons before this.
This decision by Hippolyta weighing heavily on Artemis was a strong test of her own resolve. We see that while Artemis does not like having to be placed in such a position she is willing to do it even if it branded her a criminal. This dove deeper into her own guilt complex as we do see how Artemis does live up to being the Paragon of Amazon Virtue that Hippolyta talks about when this reveal goes down.
Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark being there to witness all this helped add to how important the Artemis arc was to the overall Wonder Woman franchise. Donna’s anger was completely understandable since she, like the rest of the Amazons, only knew that Artemis killed Hippolyta. With that knowledge, there is no way they could let the Artemis just go free. Donna in her own way spoke for the Amazons as she called out Hippolyta’s plan to become a God as being reckless. At the same time hearing, Hippolyta’s reasoning and what Donna represents was what Donna needed.
Similarly, this is also by far the best Cassie has been portrayed. Continuing her own arc from Wonder Girl and Trial of the Amazons, we see how Cassie’s compassion for others allows her to see how there can be multiple angles to things. Cassie balanced out the way Donna was understandably acting on her anger to keep the reader thinking about how there is more to Artemis’s story than what we know.
All of this made Artemis being finally welcomed back to Bana-Mighdall after the truth was revealed a strong way to end things. You felt how Artemis had been through so much. Having Donna and Cassie speak up for Artemis made Queen Faruka’s speech welcoming Artemis back even more satisfying.
The only part of Artemis: Wanted #1 that did not work was the sub-plot with Freya and the cursed town of Hither. Ayala does enough character work to get readers caught up on what Freya has been up to. Unfortunately, the whole cursed town story just comes across as a sub-plot that was inserted because there wasn’t a big villain involved in this story. Even the resolution to the curse being lifted is rushed to get out of the way rather than provide a meaningful narrative that added to the great story of this one-shot.
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Artemis: Wanted #1 is an excellent example of the power a one-shot comic book has. We get a complete story that resolves the story of Hippolyta’s murder in a way that adds a lot more to what is going on in the Wonder Woman franchise. In the process, Artemis’s character is treated with genuine care and what we learn about her elevates her status even higher when all is said and done. This is definitely a must-have for fans of the Wonder Woman franchise.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10