Author W Haden Blackman, Artist Mike del Mundo
This is the spoiler free review of Elektra (2014). If you would like to read the spoiler full review complete with lots of great pictures please visit here.
This run of Elektra is 11 connected issues of action, emotion, and beautiful artwork. For the first run in years and years Elektra is given a standalone that actually features her in her own story with her own conflicts and character development. All too frequently Elektra is shoved aside to be just Daredevil’s ex love, or worse, given a title only to have it focus on The Hand instead of her.
In these issues of Elektra she is given a contract that involves actually bringing the target back alive. As she completes this journey she faces off with a bad guy known as Bloody Lips. I had never heard of this villain before and he has apparently only appeared in this run of Elektra. Which is a shame because he was delightfully creepy.
He consumes his enemies (literally) and gains their memories and powers. He has gotten a taste of Elektra and he wants more.
Elektra has darker memories than most. Especially since she has been killed and returned. Bullseye haunts her for this so of course by the end of the book she must face him, her greatest foe. But in between she also battles The Hand, the Assassins Guild, and many individual assassins along the way including Lady Bullseye who develops a very interesting power set in this arc.
Throughout her journey she does what she does best. Keeps going. She doesn’t let obstacles like injuries or dying get in her way. She just takes a deep breath and keeps on fighting.
She also deals with her inner demons of being a killer and what life could have been had she chosen a different path. This is typical territory for an Elektra comic but this arc does it better than most by spreading out her trauma and not just focusing on her being an orphan or having lost love. She gets a full spectrum of issues which makes her more of a full character instead of just someone’s daughter or someone’s lover.
In between Elektra dealing with the heavy emotional issues there are panels of pure action fun. We see Elektra fight through all terrain, in the air between airplanes, underwater, on Monster Island, on snowy mountain tops, and even on dragon back. It has pretty much anything you could want from a comic book!
I honestly don’t see what all of the complaints are about this book. I truly enjoyed it and it’s definitely one of the better runs Elektra has gotten up to this point. The plot does get a little over the top but that’s the fun of comics! Just go with it!
She is an anti-hero for sure. You may not want to root for someone who kills so prolifically. But she does still have a humanity inside of her. She can still make the call to save a life instead of end it and she can still feel guilt and pain and grief and all of those human emotions that her biggest enemies have long ago abandoned. She is complex and not always likable but that makes her a better character and a more interesting read.
Also, the art in this book is awesome!
Fortunately, one thing Elektra comics usually have is crazy, ethereal, mesmerizing artwork and this one is top form for her.
I can definitely recommend this run even if I set aside my Elektra love bias. Please give it an honest shot with an open mind and don’t listen to the haters. Elektra is truly more than just a side character from another comic and she deserves high quality runs of her own. This is a good place to see her shine.
4/5 Bullseyes 🎯🎯🎯🎯
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Buy Volume 1 here: Elektra Vol. 1: Bloodlines (Elektra (2014-2015))
And Volume 2 here: Elektra Vol. 2: Reverence (Elektra (2014-2015))