Wonder Woman’s Batman dilemmaPosted: 08/13/2012
Just another normal night in Gotham City:
No costume or gimmicks means this young girl’s getting locked up in normal prison. No psychiatric treatment and padded walls for her. Being well aware of her options, she chooses the smartest one.
Except in our little adventure today, Batman’s the antagonist. Yup, we’re rooting for that girl with the cool leather jacket and fancy motorcycle. Just because she offed some dudes doesn’t mean she can rumble with the Dark Knight, so she goes to seek help from someone who can.
Thus starts Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, a graphic novel written by Greg Rucka and drawn by J. G. Jones. The success gathered from this one-shot became so great, that Rucka was hired to become the writer for the Wonder Woman series the next year. Y’see, Wonder Woman (Princess Diana of Themyscira) comes from the Amazonian island soaked in ancient traditions and rituals. Our young girl protagonist, revealed as Danielle Wellys, memorized one of them.
Hiketeia, explained in the first few pages of the book that I didn’t show you, is an oath which once made, forces the supplicated to protect the supplicant. No matter what. With extreme penalties for either party breaking the oath. Penalties that involve those hooded ladies with the smeared lips.
While Diana ain’t scared of some demon ladies, they do kick her butt in the battle before this talk. Magic and whatnot. So this trial they mention? Later, because gaining Wonder Woman’s assistance also means being her assistant. Two way street in Hiketeia.
I really just wanted to show you what Wonder Woman does in her free time when she’s not jump kicking cheetahs or whoever’s attacking that day. And more urgently, she has a trial to deal with. An angry, brooding trial.
Both Wonder Woman and Batman get to be moral compasses for the heroes of the DC universe. They’re original members of the Justice League and both fight crime amid the painful sacrifices and suffering endured. But you know the drill. Batman’s black and white. He may pull off the wings and legs of a passing fly, but he’s never going to squish it. Explanations for murder are meaningless, because the law states not to murder. Done and done.
Wonder Woman tends to be more lax with that extreme. That and she’s killed a whole bunch of people/monsters/bugs. And normally, she wouldn’t harbor a fugitive considering that she’s a superhero and all. But an oath’s an oath, regardless of Batman’s desires or intentions. Though wouldn’t hurt for him to make a little bit of small talk first.
Danielle’s fear-stricken face is a testament to Batman’s reputation. Criminals pee their pants even when Wonder Woman, who’s as strong as Superman but with none of the weaknesses, blocks Batman’s path. Though that’s not going to stop him from being mean.
Not armed with any Amazonian kryptonite (pants?), Batman acknowledges his defeat. For now, because it’s hard to peg the Dark Knight as a quitter. More importantly, Danielle emotionally begs Wonder Woman to let her tell her what’s going on. Y’know, to justify punching her teammate off a second floor balcony. And while she’s absolutely a murderer, the men did deserve it. Danielle’s sister, filled with hopes and dreams, arrives in Gotham City with promises of a new, happy life. Oops. This is the least disgusting of all the pages of her sister’s story:
Unsurprisingly, Danielle followed her sister to Gotham intending to avenge her death by these pimps/drug dealers. Mission complete, by the way. Only thing she botched was the escape plan where the local superhero doesn’t yank her off her motorcycle. Danielle understanding that she’s the reason two friends have to battle, she runs away. Terrible mistake.
C’mon, that’s a super awesome line from Batman. Notice the problem? Batman won’t stop because his resolve won’t allow him. But Wonder Woman can’t break her oath because tradition/witch claws won’t allow her. No matter the outcome, it’s a loss.
Of course he’ll get back up. That’s what superheroes do. Poor Danielle, watching the whole time from the sidelines, realizes there’s only one way to end this fight. The way the witches wanted from the very beginning.
Not to lessen the tragedy, but the Justice League cafeteria’s going to be pretty tense after this. Now go read Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman. It’s about time you get acquainted with the warrior princess.