Location: Paradise Island (currently), Egypt (formerly)
AKA: Temple of Women
First Appeared In:
- Wonder Woman #29 (April, 1989)(Egypt)
- Wonder Woman #0 (October, 1994)(Paradise Island)
Brief: Bana-Mighdall is the home settlement of a group of militant Amazons known as the "Amazons of Bana-Mighdall".
Originally located within the sands of Egypt, hidden by a magical sandstorm, the settlement was destroyed and later rebuilt on the desolate section of the Island of Themyscira.
Following their fight for freedom from Heracles' army, the Amazons of Themyscira split into two factions; one allying to Hippolyta and her quest for peace and one allying with Antiope and her desire for vengeance. While the former group left to the shores of the Aegean sea on instruction from Athena, Antiope's group denounced the Greecian goddess', with Antiope giving her Golden Girdle to her sister, and pursued Heracles' forces to avenge themselves upon them and retrieve Hippolyta's Golden Girdle.
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 Athens to kill 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 Antiope's daughter, Phthia (who believed Theseus to be a philanderer due to the multiple wives he has had), and Theseus' first son and Captain of the Guard, Melanippus (who believed the Amazons to be unworthy barbarians).
After the celebrated birth of Antiope and Theseus' son, Hippolytus, Circe wished to destroy the new peace between Amazons and Man and sought out Ariadne; who Theseus had abandoned on the island of Naxos after she had fallen in love with him and helped him kill the Minotaur and escape the Labyrinth. Having and magically transported her to Antiope's bed chamber, the jealous princess murdered the Amazon queen while she slept.
As Circe transported Ariadne away, Phthia discovered her mother's body and believed Theseus had murdered her to marry a new bride. Rushing to defend the royal heir; Hippolytus, Phthia was attacked by Theseus, who believed she was about to kill the child, and was imprisoned as Ariadne's murderer by Melanippus. Subjected to indignity, torture by Melanippus, Phthia's anger against Man grew as Melanippus attempted to convince his father to have her executed, who refused to do so as he did not believe she had killed her mother.
Needing a show of justice, Theseus had Ariadne retrieved and executed as Antiope's murderer (it is unclear if Theseus had deduced that she was the actual murderer or not). However, the Amazons believed the execution to be a faux and, learning that Phthia was to be killed to maintain the rouse, freed Phthia from her prison. After retrieving Antiope's Golden Girdle from her tomb, Phthia declared that only through Man's conquest can the Amazons survive and so devoted the Amazon cause to conquest.
Following her death, Phthia's Amazons became mercenaries and marauders who battled alongside those who would hire them. As a result they fought in many wars across the globe until one tribe, devoted to the care of Antiope's Golden Girdle, settled and founded the city of Bana-Mighdall in Egypt. As the city was built, the Amazons appealed to the goddesses of Egypt to grant them sanctuary and their city became magically protected by a swirling sandstorm that both concealed their location and acted as a deterrent for their enemies.
When the industrial revolution changed the landscape of war and weaponry, the Amazons learned to manufacture firearms of the highest quality and became renowned as expert weaponsmiths, dealing in the arms and weapons trade for the region.
For thousands of years the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall remained based within their isolated kingdom until Princess Diana of Themyscira happened upon their city by chance while hunting the Cheetah; who had stolen her Lasso of Truth. At the time, the tribe was ruled by Queen Anahid, who tried to kill the apologetic princess before being slain while trying to also kill the Cheetah. Recognizing that Diana was there to help, the Queen ordered her subjects to trust the outsider as her final command; an order her commander-in-chief; Nehebka, obeyed willingly. However, certain Amazons who were initially plotting to kill the Queen to gain control of the tribe sought a contest to choose a new queen and champion to lead the tribe into a new age. Fitted with advanced armor and the Golden Girdle, the chosen champion; the Shim'Tar, killed Nehebka and challenged Diana to a duel, however, the Greecian god of messengers, Hermes, angry for their abandonment of the Gods of Olympus and for their misuse of Gaea's girdle, punished the Amazons by destroying the magical sandstorm barrier that protected the city, inadvertently allowing the Egyptian military to discover and destroy their ancient sanctuary.
Saved from death by Circe, the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall became mercenaries once more; aiding Circe in her schemes to frame or otherwise destroy the Amazons of Themyscira as they attempted to renew contact with the outside world.
Circe eventually offered to grant the Amazons their own immortality if they would agree to be part of an assassination plan to invade and kill the Themysciran Amazons on Paradise Island. With the majority of the tribe's leadership agreeing to the plan, the Amazons were teleported to Themyscira where they mounted a full-scale attack upon their sleeping counterparts. As the war between the two tribes continued for two days, Circe lost her patience and teleported the entire island into a demonic dimension in a bid to kill off both tribes of Amazons. Trapped in the dimension for nearly ten years, the two tribes learned to work together to fend off various demon hordes until Circe returned the island to Earth as part of a deal with Diana of Themyscira.
After Paradise Island was returned to Earth, Hippolyta allowed what remained of the Bana-Mighdall population to create a settlement in the deserts of the island. With the group's queen and most of the ruling counsel killed while defending Themyscira, the remaining amazons turned to Artemis; the sole Amazon that had originally spoken out against the assassination plan, as their leader and champion.
At the time a mere village, when a new contest to decide who would represent the island as "Wonder Woman" was held, Diana of Themysicra held a vote amongst the residents of Themyscira to allow the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall to also participate despite Hippolyta (who harboured a hatred against the tribe for their past deeds and their "perversion" of their original God-given mission) having initially banned the group from joining.
Due to Diana's powers being magically blocked (as part of a plan by Hippolyta to prevent her daughter from becoming Wonder Woman again and fulfilling a death prophecy) Artemis won the contest and became the new Wonder Woman.
During Artemis' leave, Hippolyta allowed the Bana-Mighdall Amazons to elect a new Shim'Tar representative and chose Akila; a Bana-Mighdall Amazon who preferred knowledge over force and lacked the aggressive fighting spirit of her sisters; having originally being sent to Oxford University to contribute to the tribe through the gathering of new knowledge following the original city's destruction in Egypt.
By the time of Artemis' death and later return to life, the new city of Bana-Mighdall had grown beyond a mere village into a new settlement that matched the size of Themyscira. Once more opening trade with the outside world on their side of the island, relations between the two Amazon tribes still remained tense; with the Themyscirans considering the Bana-Mighdall destructive brutes and the Bana-Mighdall considering the Themyscirans as elitist snobs.
Unknown to any Amazon, however, the body of the Amazonian mystic Magala (who had died during the island's time within the demon dimension) had become inhabited by the spirit of Ariadne by Circe in a new plan to destroy the Amazon. With Dianna and Hippolyta absent from the island (as both were now operating as "Wonder Woman" in "Man's World") Ariadne began to sabotage the peaceful agreements set up by the tribes and encouraged the anger between them until secret militia groups were formed and the tensions escalated into civil war. It was then that Artemis took up the title of Shim'Tar from Akila and joined Dianna in guiding both Amazon tribes into peaceful negotiations; resulting in Hippolyta and Diana renouncing their crowns and abolishing the Themysciran matriarchy system.
As the two tribes sought to form a new government where both parties could be represented equally, the Imperiex war erupted and the Amazons were called to defend the planet; voluntarily sacrificing Paradise Island to act as a shield for the planet during the attack.
With both Amazon cities destroyed and Paradise Island rendered barren and inhospitable, the island was later reconstructed through a joint venture by the Grecian and Egyptian Goddesses as a magic-imbued archipelago of floating islands, with the city of Themyscira rebuilt using the crystalline technology of Diana's Wonderdome. While it is not entirely known if the settlement of Bana-Mighdall was also rebuilt at this time, as a new government was formed with General Phillipus of the Themysciran Royal Guard and Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall acting as co-rulers of the island, the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall became formally integrated into Themysciran society to form one tribe although both cities still existed on opposite sides of the island.
Notable areas, Landmarks, Institutions and Businesses
Breeding Stables: A prison where males are held for the purpose of breeding. While the higher ranked Amazons can personally pick their mates, the typical Amazon draws lots decide who to mate with.
Furnaces: Furnaces are run by male slaves to power the weapon forges.
Birthing Ward: Medical wards devoted to the care of pregnant Amazons.
Temple of the Dead: Heads of Amazonian dead are erected on shelves and pikes, facing East
During the Trojan War, Phthia's Amazons were hired by the Trojans to fight the Greek army; with Captain Penthiselea of the Amazons (Phthia's daughter from her rape by Melanippus) killing Captain Eteocles of the Greeks (Melanippus' son) before she was, in turn, killed by Achilles.
The name "Ariadne" is used by the Bana-Mighdall to refer to "one who must not be trusted". The name stems from the actions of the original Ariadne who the Bana blamed for Antiope's death and Phthia's plight as much as Theseus.
Other Amazonian tribes who presumably arose from Antiope's wandering Amazons include; the Q'enara Amazons (a group of Amazons who worshipped the moon goddess and traveled to live in Skataris) and an unnamed group of subterranean amazons (a member of which is the mother of Athena Tremor (aka "Dumb Bunny")).
Having lost their immortality, the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall continued their race by kidnapping men from surrounding cities for use in breeding. Captive men were kept in breeding stables and only called upon when their reproductive services were of need. Male babies were killed, but the female babies were raised in the ways of Bana-Mighdall.
While the majority of the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall eventually assimilated with the Amazons of Themyscira, a group of Amazons called "The Bana" were a group of extremists who refused to live on Paradise Island and returned to Patriarch's World. The group later rejoined Themyscira's army during the Amazons Attack incident.