Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, created a daughter for herself in Artume by using the inverted power of the Gorgon Medusa to turn a statue into a living person, and so Artume became the princess of the Amazons. She was pampered and loved, being praised as someone who would bring peace and prosperity to the Amazons. She, however, found her new life empty of meaning and true purpose.
Artume was created by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry in the pages of Incredible Hercules. Their intent was to flesh out the Amazons in the Marvel Universe but also make them substantially different from the Amazons of the DC Universe.
Artume was a direct analogue of DC's Wonder Woman, sharing the same origin of being created by Hippolyta from earthly materials and given life. The name Artume came from an Etruscan goddess of the same name. This goddess was linked to Artemis, whose Roman counterpart Diana was Wonder Woman's namesake. However, the characters of Artume and Wonder Woman shared very few other similarities as Artume was cast specifically as a villain.
Major Story Arcs
God of War
Artume fought alongside her fellow Amazons in the Olympians' war against Amatsu-Mikaboshi. The war was so devastating that is saw the destruction of Mount Olympus and the death of Zeus, but for Artume, it was a new awakening. She found new power and purpose in the savage battles, giving her a new dark edge that would later see her set her own plans in motion.
Artume lost all respect for her mother Hippolyta, seeing how she stilled pined for Hercules as a weakness unfit of any Amazon.
Love and War
Hippolyta took advantage of Mount Olympus' destruction and the gods' migration to the mortal realm by attacking and capturing Poseidon. However, Artume hijacked her mother's plans and conspired with the captive Poseidon for a clue to the location of the Omphalos, an artifact that could change the Axis Mundi and alter reality.
Artume carried out a coup, turning her fellow Amazons to her own cause. She led an attack against Namora and Hercules for the purpose of abducting Amadeus Cho. His intelligence was needed to decipher the writings that told the location of the Omphalos, and so she seduced him into figuring it out for her.
When Hippolyta discovered Artume's disobedience, she came to confront her wayward daughter only to find the Amazons loyal to Artume instead of her. Artume had her killed and her head placed on a pike for Hercules to find. From that point on, she was the queen of the Amazons.
Behind Artume's back, her handmaiden Delphyne Gorgon was acting on her attraction to Amadeus and attempting to aid him. Artume attempted to have her killed for her smitten behavior, leaving her for dead at the site the Omphalos was found. She then proceeded to the site of the Axis Mundi, Washington, D.C., and accessed the power of the Omphalos despite the heroes attempt to stop her.
The power of the Omphalos altered the world to Artume's desires, where she ruled a matriarchal civilization that controlled the whole world. The Avengers were at her call and consisted of an all female lineup including White Phoenix, Wolverine, Ms. Fantastic and Spider-Woman. She maintained her tyranny over this new reality using them and the terrorist threat of the Y-Men and Atlanteans, which she secretly perpetuated herself.
Eventually, her leadership was challenged by one of her best generals, Delphyne. They fought each other as Amazon custom dictated, and Delphyne came out the victor by beheading her, which had the effect of turning Artume back to a stone statue as well. With her dead, the reality she manufactured disappeared. The world returned to normal. And Delphyne Gorgon reigned as the new queen of the Amazons.