Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Rafael De Latorre, Federico Blee, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 12th, 2022
Elektra continues to defend Hell’s Kitchen in her new Daredevil identity in Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1, and we also get some new insights into her past. See my review below.
Ah, Elektra, sweet Elektra. When Frank Miller first debuted her in his 1980’s Daredevil run, there’d never been anyone like her before. Sure, characters like Marvel’s Black Widow and DC’s Black Canary threw down karate licks and used sting blasts and sonic screams to decimate opponents, but for pure, savage, brutal fury, there was no one like Elektra and her twin sais.
Now, a few reincarnations and reinventions later, she’s assumed the Daredevil identity. In this issue at least, it’s not a good fit for her. It’s like taking The Punisher, removing his arsenal of weapons, handing him some web-shooters, and watching him take over the Spider-Man identity. Sure, it’s a novel concept, but it takes away everything that makes The Punisher unique. Elektra seems hamstrung here.
In the opening page of the issue, she stands before Kingpin, wanting to kill him right there, but she apparently made a promise to not kill, so instead she glares at him, listens to his threats, then turns and leaves. Seriously? Frank Miller’s Elektra would have launched at Kingpin, sais and swords whirling, and turned him into a bigger pile of diced salami than you’d see at a Hickory Farms Christmas booth.
The story itself makes for a solid first issue, as Elektra has brief flashbacks to her youth, where we meet a mysterious character from The Hand who trained her and has now reappeared in her life. I always love seeing more of Elektra’s past, how the rich daughter of a foreign diplomat became who she is today. I hope they continue showing these flashbacks, which remind me of the flashbacks used on the show “Arrow”, filling in details of the past while setting up present and future stories.
Kingpin and The Hand will be the overarching villains for the first few issues it seems, and another villain makes a surprise appearance at the end, setting up an interesting battle for the next issue.
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1’s artist Rafael De Latorre seems best when drawing quiet moments. There are a couple of pages in this issue where Elektra walks around New York City, mulling what her next plan of action is, and it’s lovely. Snow blankets the sidewalks and trees, looking like the day after a snowstorm.
As she talks to an old acquaintance in a diner, the details of the diner stand out. The steam wafting off the coffee cups, the grainy texture of the booths and walls, and the street lights gently illuminating the interior.
I’m looking forward to seeing his art on what promises to be a knock-down-drag-out battle next issue. If he draws it as expertly as he draws the quiet scenes, it’ll look amazing.
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1’s highlights are the art and a story that fills in a few more details on Elektra’s origin. Though I feel Elektra has been watered-down unnecessarily, I’m looking forward to seeing where the book takes her.