Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia by Greg Rucka
Genre: Wonder Woman
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: DC Comics (October 1, 2003)
Author Information: Website | Twitter
Length: 96 pages
My Rating: 5 stars
Damn, that is a cool cover. I mean, nothing says badass like Wonder Woman’s boot on Batman’s face, right?
But, honestly, The Hiketeia isn’t so much about WW and Bats getting into it (though they are definitely at one another here) as it is the story of a young woman finding a way to escape the Dark Knight’s justice.
What starts the whole thing out is when this unknown woman decides to give some seriously wicked guys a little bit of street justice. Their brutal punishment rightly deserved for their roles in her sister’s death. Only one problem: all this happens in Gotham, which means Batman begins hunting down the killer.
Realizing that her luck is about to run out, our clever, young lady hatches a plan to acquire a bodyguard who even Batman can’t match up against: Princess Diana a.k.a. Wonder Woman.
How she does it is amazingly simple and damn effective. She binds Diana through an ancient ritual called the “Hiketeia.” This custom one Wonder Woman cannot refuse without horrible consequences, and so she finds herself clearly at odds with Batman. All of the chaos and conflict thereafter ensuing to protect a woman who fully admits killing people in cold blood.
I can’t stress enough how good this story was. Emotionally gripping, thought-provoking, a real page turner, all those description fit this one — even though you sort of guess how the the narrative will end.
One reason I loved The Hiketeia is because it showcases my favorite version of the Amazon Princess: the mature Diana who is warrior and diplomat, strong yet kind, thoughtful but fierce. This Wonder Woman just has the perfect balance of everything that makes her such an icon — at least, in my opinion.
As for the art, it was amazingly effective. Not what I usually prefer, but here it really worked. Somehow the artists mixed in moody scenes with expressive moments, frantic fights with silent storytelling, and made them all cool and effective narrative vehicles.
Truthfully, this might be my favorite Wonder Woman story ever. I really am glad I read this one . . . because, really, how many times do you get to see Batman get his ass handed to him.
Great stuff! I’m so buying this. Interestingly enough, the custom described here can first be found in Homer’s Odyssey. Ulysses seeks the protection of Nafsika, daughter of King Alkinoos using it.
Don’t you just love cultural references? 🙂
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That is what made the story so cool to me. Too many times writers completely ignore Diana’s culture when writing her, which is a shame because ancient Greek civilization had so many cool customs they could be incorporating like the hiketeia.
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