The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall are a splinter group which broke from the Amazons of Themyscira over three thousand years ago. After the destruction of the Themysciran city-state by the armies of Herakles, a group of Amazons led by Hippolyta's sister Antiope renounced the Gods of Olympus to seek vengeance on the men who had tricked and vanquished their people. After the death of Antiope, this "lost tribe" of Amazons settled in the deserts of Egypt, founding the city of Bana-Mighdall. There they remained for thousands of years, becoming an increasingly violent and bitter society of mercenaries, manufacturing weapons and trading them with the men of the outside world. More recently, after several battles with Wonder Woman and the destruction of their city, the Bana-Mighdall Amazons were teleported to Themyscira by the witch-goddess Circe, where they first waged war against, and were finally integrated into the ranks of, the Amazons of Themyscira.
In The Beginning
Circa 1200 B.C., the Amazons were created by a cabal of female Gods of Olympus to teach humanity in the ways of righteousness and equality of the sexes. Brought to life from the souls of women whose lives had been cut short by the ignorance of men, the Amazons created a city-state in Greece called Themyscira. Two Amazons were dubbed sister-queens - Hippolyta and Antiope - and they have given the magic Girdles of Gaea as symbols of the trust the goddesses had placed in them.
Tales of the courage and warrior skills of the mighty Amazons soon spread throughout Greece. Many, however, grew distrustful of this strange group of women who were said to have claimed to be superior to man, and began to spread negative rumors about the Amazons. Rather than carry on their mission, The Amazons withdrew into Themyscira and remained there until the day Herakles arrived with his army on a mission to steal Hippolyta's girdle. After being defeated in battle by Hippolyta, Herakles planned a banquet for the Amazons, at which Antiope became charmed by Theseus, the legendary Greek hero that had accompanied Herakles on his mission.
The banquet was, however, a ruse to sway the Amazons into a false sense of security. Herakles drugged Hippolyta's wine, stole her girdle, and ordered his troops to destroy Themyscira and enslave the proud Amazons. In captivity, Hippolyta pleaded to the gods for vengeance, but was delivered from captivity by Athena only on the condition that she would turn away from the path of violence. After freeing her sisters, the Amazons fought for their freedom, but despite her protests, many Amazons fought with the bloodthirsty vengeance that Athena had forbidden - most notably Antiope. Only Herakles and Theseus, who had left Themyscira earlier, escaped the wrath of the Amazons.
After the massacre, the Amazons split into two factions: those who felt allegiance to the Gods of Olympus stayed with Hippolyta, and those who desired revenge followed Antiope on a mission away from their destroyed city. Before she left her beloved sister, Antiope gave her Girdle of Gaea to Hippolyta, renouncing all ties to the Gods of Olympus.
Antiope's Amazons fought many bloody battles in Patriarch's World, exacting revenge for their mistreatment at the hands of men. When Antiope and her army came to the kingdom of Thebes to kill the great Theseus, she was met with a heartfelt apology and a proclamation of love from her former captor. Initially distrustful, Antiope eventually learned to reciprocate the love of Theseus and married him - and her Amazons were integrated into the army of Thebes. Many Amazons were uneasy with the union - especially Phthia, former princess of Lemnos and Antiope's protege.
Disaster came soon after the celebrated birth of Antiope's son Hippolytus. Determined to cause discord between the Amazons and man, the malevolent witch-goddess Circe sought out Ariadne, the unstable first wife of Theseus who had been sent away upon his marriage to Antiope. She manipulated Ariadne's mind and magically transported her to Antiope's bed chamber to murder her while she slept. Phthia was accused of the crime and jailed by Theseus' men when she accused them of murdering her queen. This angered the other Amazons, who freed Phthia and fought with her to wreak their misguided revenge upon Theseus' men. After securing the Girdle of Gaea that Herakles had stolen, and much bloodshed, the "Lost Tribe" of Amazons moved on from Greece, becoming a nomadic and barbarous group of marauders, determined never again to trust the likes of man.
The Founding of Bana-Mighdall
After fighting with the Trojans against the Greeks in the Trojan War, the Amazons wandered for many years, eventually settling in the deserts of Egypt. There they built a great city of mosques and temples and called it Bana-Mighdall, which means "The Temple of Women" in the hybrid language of the lost tribe. The Amazons appealed to the goddesses of Egypt to grant them sanctuary, and their city became magically protected by a constant swirling sandstorm. Having renounced their immortality upon leaving Themyscira, the Amazons decided that the best way to continue their race was to kidnap men from surrounding cities for use in breeding. Captive men were kept in breeding stables like animals and only called upon when their reproductive services were of need. Male babies were killed, but the female babies would be raised in the increasingly violent and war-loving ways of Bana-Mighdall.
Thus, the Amazons propagated themselves. They became expert weaponsmiths and dealt in arms trade with the world outside. The Bana-Mighdall Amazons became much feared, but their superior weapons were desired, and so an uneasy alliance was made between them and warring groups of men. When the industrial revolution changed the landscape of weaponry in the world outside Bana-Mighdall, the Amazons kept up, learning to manufacture firearms of the highest quality. Into the twenty-first century, most of the developing Arab world knew these Amazon marauders only as a legend. A brave or desperate few would seek out the ruthless mercenaries - for the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall always demanded a devastatingly high price for their services.
The Destruction of Bana-Mighdall
For thousands of years the Bana-Mighdall Amazons remained based in their isolated kingdom, remaining completely unknown to Hippolyta's Amazons, who had been relocated to the island of Themyscira over three millennia before. Each tribe of Amazons had assumed that the other group had perished.
When Wonder Woman traveled to Egypt on the hunt for the The Cheetah, who had stolen her magic Lasso of Truth, she encountered the Bana-Mighdall Amazons, who had taken the lasso from the Cheetah and tried to kill Diana when she attempted to reclaim it. When they did not manage to kill Wonder Woman, they brought her to their queen Anahid who also tried to kill the intruder - or "Ariadna" - with a highly lethal poison dart. They abandoned the dying Wonder Woman in their breeding stables, where she prayed to the Earth goddess Gaea for renewal. When Wonder Woman saved some Bana-Mighdall Amazons from death at the hands of the savage Cheetah, Queen Anahid, who had been mortally wounded, ordered her subjects to trust the outsider as her final command. A contest was held to choose a new queen, and the winner was a mysterious Amazon who was fitted with the armor of Shim'Tar and the powerful Girdle of Gaea, and designated as chief warrior and Queen of Bana-Mighdall.
Wonder Woman utterly disapproved of the violent ways of these ferocious long-lost sisters of hers - but she did not intend to ignite the wrath of the messenger god Hermes by calling his attention to their existence. Angry for their abandonment of the Gods of Olympus and for their misuse of Gaea's girdle, Hermes punished the Lost Tribe by destroying the magical sandstorm barrier that protected Bana-Mighdall and allowing the Egyptian military to infiltrate the city's borders. The combined might of the god and the forces of man was enough to completely obliterate the grand city. In the battle's aftermath, Wonder Woman awoke from unconsciousness to discover that all of the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall had disappeared.
The Bana-Mighdall Amazons had in fact been magically transported away from Egypt by the witch-goddess Circe. Always scheming to derail the ambitions of the Amazons of Themyscira, Circe decided that the Bana-Mighdall Amazons could prove useful weapons against her enemies.
Soon after the Themysciran Amazons' first diplomatic trip to the United States, Circe sent a gang of Bana-Mighdall Amazons to frame their peace-seeking counterparts for a horrible mass-murder. Circe also magically transformed Queen Hippolyta into a new Shim'Tar, and sent her to battle an unwitting Wonder Woman during the War of the Gods. Hippolyta's identity was quickly discovered, and the Themysciran Amazons were eventually exonerated, but Circe had managed to forever tarnish their reputation in "Man's World."
Years later, Circe bargained to grant the Bana-Mighdall Amazons immortality if they would perform the task of eliminating the Themysciran Amazons. Only one Bana-Mighdall Amazon - a young and brash redhead named Artemis - spoke out against the plan . She was outnumbered by her sisters, however, and the tribe was transported to Themyscira, where they mounted a full-scale attack.
War ensued for two bloody days before Circe's trickery was fully realized, and she transported the entire island to a demonic dimension, where both sides of Amazons were relentlessly attacked by thousands of horrible creatures. The two Amazon tribes were trapped in this dimension for nearly ten years, and learned to work together and trust each other to fend off the hordes of demons.
When the threat of the demons had been quelled, Hippolyta gave the far side of Themyscira to the Bana-Mighdall Amazons in a gesture of goodwill. Some complained that it was "barren wasteland," but others were happy to again have a place to call home. They began to build a city based on their destroyed home in Egypt and called it New Bana-Mighdall.
Though the Amazons had spent ten years in the demon dimension, they had only been gone from their proper plane of reality for a few months. Wonder Woman was devastated to learn of the changes that had occurred in her homeland once she bargained with Circe for its return. She did not share the trust of the Bana-Mighdall Amazons that they had earned from her Themysciran sisters.
When Hippolyta began having visions of the death of Wonder Woman, she announced a new contest to ensure that it would not be her daughter that died. She arranged for the Bana-Mighdallian Artemis to win the contest, and sent her into Patriarch's World as the new Wonder Woman. Artemis did die at the hands of the villain the White Magician, but she was soon resurrected and eventually returned to Themyscira to aid in the building of New Bana-Mighdall.
At some point, a young Amazon named Akila, who had been sent to the University of Oxford in Patriarch's World by Hippolyta for education, assumed the role of the new Shim'Tar. She had become an engineer and redesigned the Shim'Tar armor using a combination of technology and magic. When the gorilla Queen Abu-Gita and her hordes tried to invade Paradise Island, Akila helped Diana and Artemis.
Darkseid and Civil War
Not long after having been returned from the demon dimension, the island of Themyscira was attacked by the New God Darkseid of Apokolips. His Parademons massacred the Amazons, vastly reducing their numbers. In addition to the loss of thousands of Amazon lives, the Amazons again witnessed the utter destruction of their home.
Unknown to any Amazon, the body of the Amazonian mystic Magala had been inhabited by the restless spirit of Ariadne, the murderer of the Bana-Mighdall Amazon's foremother Antiope. She desired to further punish the people of her hated replacement and began to sabotage the peaceful agreements set up by the two Amazon factions. Her machinations escalated to a full-scale civil war. It was then that Artemis took up the title of Shim'Tar from a wounded Akila and joined Wonder Woman in guiding both tribes to peaceful negotiations. Queen Hippolyta and Princess Diana eventually renounced their crowns, thus ending the war and leaving the island without a structured government
During the war against Imperiex, Hippolyta was slain, and the Amazons used the entire island of Themyscira as a weapon against the alien invader. Later, when Themyscira was reconstructed as a floating, crystalline embassy of learning by the transparent sentient alien technology of Wonder Woman's Invisible Plane, it was decided that General Phillipus of the Themysciran Royal Guard and Artemis would be co-rulers of the island, under the titles of Supreme Grand Chancellors.
Hera's Jealousy and Infinite Crisis
In a fit of jealousy after catching her husband Zeus spying on the Amazon Artemis while she bathed, Hera, the one Olympian goddess to have never had a direct hand in the creation of the Amazons, destroyed the island of Themyscira. The Amazons had little time to rebuild from this final destruction, as they were soon attacked by the powerful O.M.A.C. constructs. To avoid their own deaths and to avoid murdering the innocent people inside the O.M.A.C. suits, the Amazons prayed to their gods to be delivered from the terrible situation. They, and the entire broken and the battle-scarred island of Themyscira disappeared instantly to an unknown location or dimension, leaving Wonder Woman as the only remaining Amazon on Earth.
After a time, the Amazons were again returned to Earth by Circe, who, through a resurrected and mind-controlled Hippolyta, goaded them into declaring war on the United States. A full-scale battle ensued in Washinton DC. When attacks were mounted in California and Kansas, it was revealed that a rogue group of Bana-Mighdallian Amazons had remained apart from their sisters, Circe having secretly kept them hiding on Earth while sending the other Banas to the demon dimension with the Themyscirans. The rogue group eventually rejoined with their other Amazon sisters, join the war against America. When Circe's mind-control over Hippolyta was compromised, she came to her senses and called off the war. Shortly thereafter, the Apokalyptian New God known as Granny Goodness, disguised as the goddess Athena, appeared. She declared that as punishment for their violent actions, all Amazons would be wiped of their memories and dispersed around the globe to live as mortal women. Hippolyta, alone, was exiled to Themyscira, which, despite a handful of Amazon prisoners, was totally deserted.
The dispersed Amazons were later returned to Themyscira by Zeus, but as they were then completely integrated, significant distinctions between Themysciran Amazons and Bana-Migdhallian Amazons were apparently diminished.
The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall are granted with similar powers and abilities of a Themysciran Amazon by the Gods of Olympus. However, they worship different gods. However, they weren't granted the agelessness of their kin, save for those who remained from the initial exodus from Themiscyra, a number that diminished over time as Bana were lost to battle and new Bana were recruited from Man's World.
Gravity: Earth gravity (0.997 32 g)
Atmosphere: Amazons thrive in an oxygen/nitrogen rich atmosphere
Type of Government:
The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall lived under a monarchy for hundreds of years until the destruction of their Egyptian city. They were begrudging subjects of Queen Hippolyta for a time until she abdicated the throne, leaving all of the Themyscira a democracy.
- Akila (Shim'Tar)
- Artemis (Shim'Tar)
- Anahid (queen, deceased)
- Karna (ruler, splinter faction )
- Phthia (first queen, deceased)
- Appearances of Amazons of Bana-Mighdall
- Race Gallery: Amazons of Bana-Mighdall
- Images of Amazons of Bana-Mighdall
Links and References
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #1
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #19
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #33
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #29 - #30
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #34
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #35
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #54
- Wonder Woman Secret Files and Origins #3
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #90
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #200
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #225
- Red Hood and the Outlaws (Volume 2) #1