Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Elektra #1 (of 5)

By Andy Frisk
March 27, 2009 - 09:28

Elektra’s new mini-series opens literally minutes (3 min. 23 sec. to be exact) after the end of the battle with the Skrulls in Central Park, NY.   Wounded, dazed, and weakened from her ordeal with the Skrulls, the alien race responsible for replacing several heroes and abducting the originals during Marvel’s Secret Invasion storyline, she attempts to get away from the, soon to be defunct, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempting to help her.   After being subdued, only because of the extent of her injuries, she is brought in for medical treatment.   Her treatment is humane and benevolent under S.H.I.E.L.D. but as soon as Osborne and his new agency H.A.M.M.E.R. take control it quickly becomes as torturous and as inhumane as her testing at the hands of the Skrulls is intimated.   Osborne is trying to unlock the secret of why the Skrulls experimented on her and none of the others they abducted as she, “…was subjected to a battery of tests that have left her full of alien contaminants.”   Elektra has many enemies though, and a visit from a former foe disguised as one of her “doctors,” leads to a small window of escape which, of course, she exploits, and as well leads to what promises to be a large body count next issue as she battles her way free of the H.A.M.M.E.R. helicarrier.  



There is perhaps no other character in the Marvel Universe who has been subjected to as much torture, pain and death as Elektra, with the obvious exception of Marvel’s best selling and interesting character, Wolverine.   Elektra’s tortured life proves to continue to be just that throughout her current solo mini-series’ first issue.   What jumps out at the reader though isn’t necessarily Elektra’s plight at the hands of Osborne, but the dramatic portrayal of the change evoked by his rise to power.   The reader gets the real sense that Elektra wouldn’t be going through her current ordeal if Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. or even Tony Stark aka Iron Man was at the helm.   Gone is the “do whatever it takes” to preserve democracy and safety code of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in is the “follow me or else” fascism of H.A.M.M.E.R. who has risen to power on a rampant tide of fear.   Isn’t that how most fascist organizations rise to power?   In the Marvel Universe “change” has come and it’s the opposite of our world’s current “change.”


Mann’s pencils accurately capture the physicality of Elektra as she attempts to battle S.H.I.E.L.D. and latter H.A.M.M.E.R. agents, but go light on panel background detail.   There isn’t much to the helicarrier and its labs, and certain panels are devoid of background completely with only Elektra and her victims (or potential victims) visible.   This spartan rendering of detail adds to the sense of Elektra’s spartan mindset throughout the issue.   She has one thing on her mind from the first page to the last page: escape.   We interestingly get her point of view without ever experiencing her thoughts first hand.   She even only speaks twice during the issue and once her words are so lowly spoken that they are indecipherable.   The lack of background detail helps the reader see and in turn experience her focus on the task at hand, which is the person standing in front of her and how to eliminate them.   We capture Elektra’s focus without ever catching her intimate thoughts or most of her spoken words through the art.  


Overall, Elektra #1 is a promising start to what should prove to be a worthwhile read.  

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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