Wonder Woman: Volume 1
Author: Greg Rucka
Illustration: Shane Davis, JG Jones, Sean Phillips, James Raiz, Ray Snyder
Originally Released: 2002
Graphic Novel Released: 2016
Publisher: DC Comics
Purchased: DC Comics App
Author Greg Rucka has penned some incredible stories about the Princess from Themyscira, named Diana. I have not read a lot of Wonder Woman comics, but I would consider this volume to be the best that I have read. The stories make this Amazonian goddess real and believable. Rucka does a wonderful job of showing Diana’s emotions, pride, and dedication. I highly recommend this volume to everyone from the die-hard to the casual reader.
This volume is broken down into two different stories, and I will review and rate each story.
Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia
From the 12th century BC to the end of Antiquity (circa 600 AD) ancient Greece strongly upheld the Hiketeia ritual. Considered sacred, this ritual consisted of a supplicant placing themselves under the safekeeping of another person. The ritual was bound on Earth and in Olympus (the home of the Greek Gods). If the protector broke this promise and failed to shelter the supplicant, terrible things would fall on both parties. Understanding this ritual helps the reader understand why Diana does the things she does in this first story, and why she even fights the Batman.
A young woman, Danielle, who has a terrible past, is trying to run from her problems. She ultimately finds herself in the company of the Ambassador from Themyscira, Diana. Having studied the Hiketeia ritual (and wanting to be like Wonder Woman), Danielle throws herself at Diana’s feet and binds her to the laws of the ritual. Wonder Woman has no choice but to honor the solemn ceremony.
The past that Danielle is running from haunts her throughout the story and puts Wonder Woman in a no-win situation as she must choose between the ancient ritual or the modern day law. For Batman, it is no question as he seeks justice by bringing in the fugitive who committed murder in Gotham City. Whether it be an Amazon or evil Ancient Greek witches, The Dark Knight doesn’t care who stands in his path and is determined to follow through with his own oath that he has sworn to uphold.
This creates a struggle between to the two Justice League members that is very exciting to read and see. Forget Batman vs. Superman; Batman vs Wonder Woman is where it is at! Diana does all she can to convince her friend, Bruce, that he must understand where she is coming from, but warns that no mortal/immortal is going to interrupt the business between the two women. Batman makes it his business, and an epic fight goes down!
Poor Bruce doesn’t stand a chance against Diana; he is served a humiliating defeat outside Wonder Woman’s balcony. I’m a big fan of the Bat, and this defeat was one of his most memorable. Don’t count him out though (he’s Batman), because he gets in a few hits and one rough faceplant on Wonder Woman later on in the story. The fighting between them was very entertaining not just for the punches, but because of the internal struggle the two are facing. Neither one wants to go forward with it, but neither one can back down.
The final climax of the story is a true Greek tragedy. Both Wonder Woman and Batman lose and are left to rebuild their friendship with heavy hearts.
The Pros: Incredible illustrations and storyline. The length of the story is not too long or short.
The Cons: Not enough bracelet ricochets.
Wonder Woman #195-205
This series of stories is all tied together. If you love Greek Mythology this is worth the read. Many different characters are shown or mentioned with the story taking place in Olympus, Themyscira, and the Patriarch land, New York City.
The storyline has it all. Wonder Woman is an author of her own memoirs, an environmentalist, an Ambassador, and last but not least, a warrior. In this set of stories she will inspire others to do the right thing, but also have her words taken out of context leading to protests at the Embassy. The Flash, Superman, and Batman (friends again) all make appearances with the latter doing some detective work to help her get to the bottom of a murder.
Silver Swan, Dr. Psycho, Medusa, and mob mentality humans are just some of the fiends Wonder Woman has to deal with in this series. Ares, the God of War, is also up to no good on Mount Olympus. Rather than attack Themyscira head on, Ares stirs up trouble between Zeus and Hera. Using their weaknesses against each other (Zeus’ lust for other women and Hera’s jealousy), Ares causes Themyscira to fall victim to a tidal wave caused by the literal fight between Zeus and Hera. The results are devastating. Poseidon also makes an appearance and aides in the resurrection of Medusa, simply because he also wants revenge. The Greek God family really needs to go on Dr. Phil and get some help with their egos.
The Pros: If you need more Wonder Woman in your life, this is for you.
The Cons: Personally, I felt this storyline was too long. So many things are going on with a lot of characters. On the other hand, this collection is not boring at all.
Jer gives it 4/5.