“Of course I knew her. Diana of Themyscira. Their champion. The one the rest of the world knew as Wonder Woman. I had never met her. But I had heard the legends. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.”
Some comics work best when they’re telling an epic story that is spaced out over several issues. Others can present a self-contained story that focuses on character development and motivations. Red Hood And The Outlaws 8 is a stand alone issue that focuses on Artemis and her quest for the Bow Of Ra. There’s a bar fight, a mythical city and an appearance from Wonder Woman.
The issue opens with Red Hood and Artemis in a bar, looking to hire a man named Stirk. They soon get into a brawl with the patrons, until Artemis is shocked by the arrival of another Amazon called Akila. This is revealed to be Stirk in disguise after Red Hood knocks him out. The two of them sit down for a drink and Artemis discusses her past and why she’s looking for the Bow Of Ra.
Artemis recalls her time as a young woman when she trained with her friend Akila. Artemis believed her destiny was to protect the city of Bana-Mighdall by becoming the Shim’tar. Akila was sceptical until she was chosen by the gods to be the Shim’tar. One night, the rival nation of Quarac invaded Bana-Mighdall and Akila used the Bow Of Ra to smite them. In the process, she destroyed a lot of the city and became corrupted by the Bow’s power.
Wonder Woman appeared in Bana-Mighdall to put a stop to the destruction and Artemis attacked her. They settled their differences quickly and stopped Akila before she caused any further damage.
Artemis finishes telling the story and Red Hood is sympathetic. The two of them leave the bar and go off in search of the Bow.
Putting the spotlight on Artemis helped the reader connect with her. Her sarcasm and bluntness towards Jason is hilarious. But underneath it all she’s a woman who carries a lot of pain and regret. Her dynamic with Red Hood continues to be one of the highlight of the series.
The art, handled by Kenneth Rocafort, has a pretty quality that really shines in the character expressions. Jason gets drunk while Artemis tells her story and his expressions are exactly how you’d imagine someone who’s had a few too many.
Look out for my review of Red Hood And The Outlaws 9 in April.
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