The Breast Thing
Turns out this was a good issue to grab at random as it is pretty much a stand alone story, and I am even more encouraged to get the collections, but there was one bit in it that knocked me sideways slightly. In the story one of the characters reveals that she had been a member of a modern amazon group. She does so by displaying the mastectomy scar where her left breast should be. This confused me for a moment because the historical amazons didn't cut off their left breasts. They didn't even cut off the right ones.
Whether the writer Brain K. Vaughan had been taken in by the myth, or if he was just saying that the women in the story had been, I don't know. Maybe that will become clearer when I get to read the rest of the story.
You see it's all based on a mistranslation. According to Wikipedia:
The name Ἀμαζών is probably derived from an Iranian ethnonym, *ha-mazan-, originally meaning "warriors". A connected word is probably the Hesychius gloss ἁμαζακάραν· πολεμεῖν ("to make war", containing the Indo-Iranian root kar- "make" also in kar-ma).
The Greek variant of the name was connected by popular etymology to privative a + mazos, "without breast", connected with an aetiological tradition that Amazons had their right breast cut off or burnt out, in order that they might be able to use the bow more freely (contemporary Greeks drew the bowstring to the sternum); there is no indication of this practice in works of art, in which the Amazons are always represented with both breasts, although the right is frequently covered. Other suggested derivations were: a- (intensive) + mazos, breast, "full-breasted"; a (privative) and masso, touch, "not touching" (men); maza, a Circassian word said to signify "moon", has suggested their connection with the worship of a moon-goddess, perhaps the Asiatic representative of Artemis.
According to the myth the Amazons remove their right breast for a practical reason - to make using a bow easier. The modern Amazon would not be so bow-dependant, and even if she was, champion bow-women seem to manage without resorting to surgery. So a modern Amazon could only be following this non-existant "tradition" for purely ritualistic purposes.
Which seems an awful lot of trouble to go to because of a mistranslation.