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The Sea of Monsters
Rick Riordan
Paladin of Souls
Lois McMaster Bujold
Batman: The Night of the Owls
Scott Snyder, Judd Winick, Justin Gray, David Finch, Peter J. Tomasi, Pat Gleason, Tony S. Daniel, Scott Lobdell, Duane Swierczynski, J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti
Nightwing, Vol. 2: Night of the Owls
Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, Ruy Jose
Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia - Wade Von Grawbadger, Dave Stewart, Greg Rucka, J.G. Jones A young woman finds herself in Batman’s crosshairs when she decides to mete out her own personal brand of justice against the men who are responsible for her sister’s death. To protect herself, she acquiesces herself to Wonder Woman through an ancient ritual called “Hiketeia,” a custom from Diana’s world that cannot be refused without severe consequences, leaving Wonder Woman at odds with Batman when she accepts.

A Google Buzz friend recommended this when we had a discussion about essential reading for Wonder Woman. I’m still feeling my way around the DC world, so comics that I can understand easily without feeling overwhelmed with the situations and characters are high priority to me. While I do know a little more about Wonder Woman than a completely new reader who might know nothing at all, I think this a great primer for new readers no matter how new they are to the Wonder Woman mythos. Rucka really focused on the character aspect of Diana, and readers are able to glean important information about Diana—who she is as a person, where she comes from, her belief systems—and build a solid foundation to grow from.

The only complaint(s) that I have for this arc is that it’s entirely too short. It seemed like there was so much more that could’ve been said and done. I really wanted to see Batman and Wonder Woman struggle over the fate of this woman, to see how far each would’ve been willing to go to do what they needed to do. I wanted to see more conflict in Diana having to forgo her duties as a hero to satisfy the rules of the ritual. And I wasn’t too keen on this ritual being something they couldn’t refuse without consequences. However, if they’d given Wonder Woman a choice, I’m sure that she wouldn’t have harbored a fugitive.

That aside, Greg Rucka has become one of my favorite writers. If there’s one thing that I always complain about in comics, it’s writers who don’t handle characters with the respect they deserve. Sometimes, writers write characters with what seems like so little regard. Rucka does seem to respect the character and takes it to the next level by constructing such a fascinating story that really get to the heart of the characters. And while there’s plenty of action in this story (and the action scenes are great), the story seems to be more character-driven rather than relying on much action.

Excellent read. I recommend this to newcomers and vets alike for the terrific storytelling and character introspection.