Unlike most cases I know where I found this one and because I am a weirdo, I had to have it. I will explain more on that below. But for the most part this is just a normal comic that is somewhat unknown, but me being me, I had to have it.
Greg Rucka is one of my favorite new comic writers, I say new because I have just started reading his works. Lazarus is really cool and you should check that one out if you get a chance. But he has written on almost every major title for DC and a handful of other big name titles for Marvel. Rucka is also the writer of the Atticus Kodiac series. What I think is interesting about Rucka is that he is one of the few comic writers, that I have come across, that went to college for writing. From what I have gathered it appears that most writers just kind of fall into comic writing. It is also important to note that Rucka is a multiple winner and nominee of the Eisner Award.
This story opens up flashing back to ancient Greece to explain the principles of the ritual Hiketeia. Then it quickly fast-forwards to modern times where a young girl named Danielle Wellys murders a man. Bat-Man is hot on her trail and nearly captures her to bring her to justice, but she is able to escape. Soon she travels to the Themyscira Embassy and Wonder Woman grants her asylum as well as accepts the Hiketeia. Watching from the shadows are the Erinyes who are the deities of vengeance witness the whole event. Not long after Bat-Man tracks down Danielle and demands that Wonder Woman hand over the fugitive. What ensues is a battle that has more to do with honor than justice.
This was a pretty good story that mixed not only the superhero genre but also a bit of history and mythology, which is always fun. I had no idea what this one was about as my reasons for buying it had nothing to do with that, but still I felt the story was good. To me the most interesting part of the story is the character of Bat-Man. Usually he is the character that is the most logical and rational, but I felt like in this story he was being too rational to the point that he was almost irrational. I also felt that given his background he is somewhat of a hypocrite. Rucka does a great job of showing a different more stubborn side of the Bat.
I would not say the story is predictable, but I certainly figured out Danielle’s motive and her reason for the Hiketeia. However, I did not see the ending playing out how it did. What is also interesting is the discussion of Greek Tragedies in the story that is a bit of foreshadowing. I remember reading Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (which is a great book if you have not read it) where she said something similar to what WW says in this book, that basically no matter the story of Greek Mythology, at the end everyone is a loser, there is no winner and for the most part all parties involved are in a no win situation. Hercules kills his family, Sisyphus keeps rolling that bolder up the hill, and of course King Midas. Not only that but the gods are mostly cruel and seem to just play with mankind mostly for amusement, that is, Prometheus being the exception, but again he was punished for his kindness. I suppose even in ancient times no good deed goes unpunished.
This is the first book I have read with Wonder Woman as the central character. This will certainly not be my last. There is a new series out that has gotten some really good reviews so hopefully sometime this year I will be able to check it out.
The artwork in this one is solid and what you expect when you open in comic book. It is very traditional with loads of detail. I will say that I did enjoy the deep rich colors that are present throughout the story. I did like the detail but honestly the rich saturated colors is what really brings this style to life. There are also some above average page layouts that are worth noting, but for the most part they are traditional. There are also a few full page splashes that bring to life some great images. There are not many action scenes in this one, which I would have liked to see this style in a more action packed story, but the artwork works well with the story.
So now for the only reason I bought this one. I am not a huge DC fan, but they always surprise me with some great stories and books. However, one day as I was doing something on Ebay, probably buying more comics, I saw this one pop up. The cover somewhat interested me as a boot on Bat-man’s head certainly raised my interest, then I saw the price. It was very expensive for just a normal tpb. I quickly did a little research and found that this book was slightly popular, but more importantly it was rare and rare meant it was expensive. Again, because I am such a werido, I had to have it. Because it was rare and I had never heard of it, I needed it for my collection. So I kept an eye out for it for a while and found a copy but before I could purchase it someone else did. I eventually found another copy but I had to pay a little more which was a bummer but nothing crazy. Currently there are only a handful of copies selling on Ebay, and price ranges are from $80 to $280 for the hard cover, which is the first print. Amazon is a little more reasonable but not by much. If you keep an eye out you might be able to get a cheaper copy, but there are not many on the market.
While I love collecting comics this is where things don’t quite make sense to me in terms of rare and collectable comics. I looked on Ebay and Amazon and there are 25 copies of the hard cover available for sale. I am sure there are more on any number of different sites, but it is also hard to tell if one seller has the same copy for sale on multiple sites. But for sake of argument let’s say there are 50 copies available for sale across all sites, 50, that is it! So if you think about it this would be a super rare comic that is out of print. With that kind of limited availability you would think this one would be extremely valuable, yet it is not. BUT if you are looking for New Mutants 98 found 215 copies out there, so this is not a rare comic by any means. Yet the average price of NM 98 is probably about $200. Obviously everyone loves Deadpool, but I would argue that that book is extremely overpriced do to its availability. To me a book is collectable if it is popular and rare, there are very few that meet this criteria. NM98 is extremely popular but obviously not rare. On the flip side WW the Hiketeia is rare, but not very popular. Comic collecting is fun but strange at times.
I recommend this one, there is a great story here and as always some fascinating characters. When you throw in some solid artwork you get a nice finished product that will not leave the reader wanting. If you can find this one at a reasonable price (look for the tpb it is a little more reasonable) pick it up you will not be disappointed.