I was wrong.
What followed was a story that just wasn’t worth the minimal time it took to read the thing. I know I normally suggest that you at least give graphic novels the little bit of time it takes to read them. In this case I really can’t do that. I’m all for giving everything a shot, but this really isn’t worth the time.
Everything about this comic felt forced, especially the conflict. The entire premise, while workable, felt rushed more than anything else. But I doubt that adding more pages to this would have helped much. I don’t know much about Wonder Woman, but even to me her behavior seemed off. Everything that she did seemed more like it was only because the plot demanded it. In fact, all the events in this book seem to occur simply because that’s what needed to happen to advance the plot.
I found the character of Danielle to be completely unlikable. Sure the events surrounding her and her motivation were sympathetic, but she herself didn’t do anything to make me root for her. Just reading her dialogue was a pain, as most of it was her blubbering. You try reading several several panels worth of, “Buh buh but…” and not instantly hate her. Which is why I really take issue with the quote on the back of the book that calls the conclusion to this story “[a] heartbreaking ending…” For the ending to really be anything close to that, I probably need to actually care about the character.
The artwork really doesn’t help the book’s case. It’s not the worst, but most of the time I swear Diana looks like she’s stoned out of her mind.
Overall what this comes across is as nothing more than a show case of what Greg Rucka learned during his research. There’s no real emotional investment in the story, and any real conflict is overshadowed by the reader trying to figure what the heck is going on.
For the record, I did a little bit of research on the Hiketeia, and actually managed to find one site that wasn’t about this book. This doesn’t make me an expert, although what I did read had absolutely nothing to do with this book. In fact, my understanding was that the Hiketeia wasn’t demanded of one person, but instead was used to request asylum from a sanctuary, usually run by a priest.
I’d make a bigger deal of this, but it doesn’t surprise me that a modern writer adapted a piece of history for their own use. Which really is what this entire book comes across as. Just one big excuse to tell a very bizarre story about…I apologize, because I appear to be confusing myself just trying to talk about this book.
Just be aware that it isn’t in any way satisfying. The emotional drama is shallow, Danielle’s motivation and back story is…cheesy, and the only good thing was Batman. I was so happy to see him come for Danielle just so we could get this book over with.
If you don’t believe me and want to see if this graphic novel really is that bad, buy it here: Wonder Woman – The Hiketeia
Though, really, it’d just be a waste of your money.