Wonder Woman: The Hiketia
Greg Rucka, J.G Jones &
Wade von Grawburger
(DC Comics, 2002)

First off, the cover is very, very interesting. And, like the rest of the book, very well drawn. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Wonder Woman: The Hiketia, by Greg Rucka (writer) and J.G Jones and Wade von Grawburger (artists), has fans talking about the big question: What do you do in a no-win situation?

Rucka, who is signing off his term as the novelist who turned Batman into the best selling DC comic, poses that question in this one-shot hardcover, which features the aforementioned teasing cover shot. Let's just say that it establishes the theme of Rucka's morals-testing plot very well.

The Hiketia is an ancient Greek holy ritual that, once enacted, binds the seeker to the one from whom she seeks protection. Because the bond is a sacred contract, the one who protects must do so at all costs. Rucka, who knows his way around strong female protagonists, sets up DC's mightiest female hero, Wonder Woman, to accept the plea of a young woman who has committed a murder. The problem is, the young woman has Batman on her tail, and he will not let anything stand in the way of bringing the girl to justice.

One of the book's largest problems is that Diana leaps almost unthinkingly to the girl's aid. That lack of foresight goes far in helping to create the dramatic tension of the book but it does leave you wondering why she behaved so rashly. But the story is easy to get into and the insight into the past is a neat touch. The Furies as drawn by Jones and Grawburger are frighteningly real. Their version of Batman is as eye-catching as Wonder Woman herself, who is breathtakingly beautiful against a stark, realistic landscape. Rucka's writing also brings Diana to life in ways that haven't been seen in a while.

I won't give away the ending, save to say that Rucka's talent for carefully constructed mysteries holds true here as well as in the Batman series. It's a very different sort of comic-book story. The ending might not please everyone, but the story is fascinating and a welcome change from the usual alien battles.

[ by Mary Harvey ]
Rambles: 13 July 2002

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