Welcome to Las Vegas, playground of gamblers, stage magicians, showgirls and thrill-seekers. It’s the wretched hive of scum and villainy we were all warned about, and an old villain has set up shop there, offering a type of gambling entertainment which even the worst casino wouldn’t condone. Thankfully, the return of Elektra may be enough to change the house rules. We review Elektra #1.
It’s time to bet on red again…
I must be honest here. Elektra has never one of my favourite characters. I’m not a fan of ninjas in general since their skills are overrated, her history away from Daredevil has been lacklustre and I’m not a fan of how she always listed amongst Marvel’s best. Elektra is, in my opinion, one of the most over-hyped, yet least deserving, characters and ranks up there along with Wolverine and Cable.
Still, I’m willing to be proven wrong.
I’m glad I was. Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s a hugely overrated character. However, this Elektra #1 moves at a great pace and helped me see her in a different light. Contradicting the old adage of starting things with a bang, her reveal in this is slow and methodical – and it’s all the better for it.
The set-up to the story is the key here. Seeing the mystery villain’s plan slowly playing out first helps to establish the setting. Elektra’s own introduction is low-key and personal, and wonderfully reminiscent of the glory days of Chuck Dixon’s run on Birds of Prey. We know what Elektra’s capable of but the storytelling intelligently holds back on showing it, allowing the pressure to build so that when she finally leaps into action it’s all the sweeter.
There are some subtle background puns layered throughout Elektra #1 too, which should bring a wry smile to the faces of those who find them. Add to that the sleek artwork on display (again, comparable to Gary Frank, Greg Land and others on BoP), and what you’ve got is an exceptional piece of work which has the potential to win over the readers.
There are a couple of negatives, sadly, which prevent this from being a masterpiece. One of the most glaring is the artwork on one particular page. After enjoying the level of fine detail on display, suddenly finding a page which appeared unfinished – or at least clumsily lacking in detail – was disappointing. To see Elektra without any facial features, her graceful hands lacking definition and appearing like chunky slabs of meat, made me wonder how that one page managed to get by the editor.
However, it’s best to put that aside. Yes, it’s a complaint, but it really shouldn’t detract from the rest of the great work here. Even if Elektra isn’t one of your favourite characters, this title has the potential to elevate her status. Hopefully, the rest of this series will keep up the wonderful storytelling, and suddenly I find myself wishing that the next issue was already here…