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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia

Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: J G Jones
Colours: Dave Stewart
Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
Letters: Todd Klein
Publisher: DC Comics

What’s it about?
Diana, Princess of Themyscira, aka Wonder Woman, is Ambassador for her people.  This story mostly takes place in and around her embassy in New York.  A young woman, wanted for a string of murders in Gotham, runs to Wonder Woman and gives supplication to Diana in order to form Hiketeia with her.

Hikiteia is an ancient Greek ritual binding one person in servitude to another.  The supplicant gives up all sense of self in exchange for protection from the supplicated.  In this case, when Batman comes after the woman to take her to the authorities Wonder Woman must stand between him and her young charge.  If she lets Batman take her she will have broken the ritual and will be subject to the vengeance of the Erinyes.

We learn what drove the young woman to murder the Gothamites.  What follows is a story concerning the meaning of loyalty, justice and vows in the modern world.

What is good about it?
This is a superbly crafted tale weaving elements of Greek myth and retribution into a modern parable dealing with the questions of justice and vengeance in the modern world.

When Wonder Woman is written well she is a joy to read.  Princess Diana of Themyscira is one of the pillars of DC comics.  She is without a doubt one of the most iconic fictional characters of our age, and for a first foray into comics you could do far worse than start with a Wonder Woman story.  This volume showcases Diane at her best.  She is regal, a diplomat, noble, truly heroic, honest and yet not untouchable.  She has a dignity about her that some writers forget; others try and make her too human or too otherworldly.  Not so Rucka.  It is clear that he loves the character and he has a very good handle on her.

Any fans of classical Greek stories would enjoy this book.

What is bad about it?
The only real criticism I have is with the art.  The cover makes it look like the book is about Batman vs Wonder Woman, which is really not the case and sometimes the art within feels a little flat, a little static and without movement.  However, it can be argued that this has been done intentionally in order to highlight and draw attention to certain parallels with ancient Greek art.  All in all, it certainly doesn’t detract from an otherwise great book, of which 85% of the art is a joy to view.

What’s the art like?
Possibly a bit dated, and certainly quite dark in style, but that fits with the mood of the story:



Other information
Priced at approximately £10.99
ISBN: 1563899140


  1. This actually looks fantastic, I shall see if I can get my hands on a copy this afternoon. Props on the site!

  2. It is very very good. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Just came from The F-Word, this sounds great! I've been reading a lot of Greek stuff lately so I'm very much in the mood for some decent Wonder Woman. I'm not so much a "new reader" - I've got almost a thousand pounds' worth of comics on my shelves - but I don't keep up with the insanely complex Marvel/DC universes, so it's still good to have recommendations. Keep up the good work!

  4. Do come back let us know what you think of the recommendations- useful, totally off the mark, anything. Feedback is good! :-)

  5. w00t! Sounds great, and a very good review. Glad to have dropped in here through random RT on Twitter. :)

  6. This is definitly my best favourite adventure of Diana !!!!

  7. to interesting.