Elektra Lives Again

By Frank Miller & Lynn Varley (Marvel/Epic Comics)
ISBN (hardback):0-87135-738-0 ISBN13 (softcover): 978-0-7851-0890-0

Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer who fights crime and injustice as Daredevil: a costumed acrobat and martial artist whose other senses are so hyper-sensitive he can track a bullet leaving a gun, hear pulse-rates across a street and identify felons by their scent. In college he loved and lost a girl named Elektra Natchios, whose father was murdered before her eyes. She left Matt and became a ninja assassin. Years later they briefly reunited before she was murdered by Bullseye, one of Daredevil’s greatest foes.

Ninja masters The Hand brought Elektra back from death before Murdock granted her final redemption and peace. He was left not knowing if she was actually dead or alive.

Now plagued by nightmares in which her murdered victims are pursuing her, sightless Murdock is being driven mad by visions of her. In the waking world, The Hand are back too and plan to kill Bullseye and reanimate him as their Prime Assassin. Elektra is definitely alive now and intends to stop them…

This cold, lyrical tale of love and horror is a powerful example of Frank Miller’s ability to tell a raw, stripped-down iconic story. Although an uncomfortable fit for the continuity conscious, its bleak and desolate scenario, the balletic grace of the action sequences – all superbly finished with the icy palette of Lynn Varley’s painted colours – and the sheer depth of characterisation makes this one of the most compelling Daredevil stories ever told, although not one to read if unfamiliar with Elektra’s back-story.

Best to track down those stories – collected as Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller: Volume II, or in Daredevil Masterworks and Epic Collection editions – first then …

I’m looking at the superb hardback released in 1990, but the most recent release was as part of the ultra-rare, digitally unavailable Elektra by Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz Omnibus from 2016: one of number of revived editions spanning 2002 to 2008. It will be worth your efforts as this multi-award-winning saga is a remarkably impressive and contemplative psychological thriller of obsession and loss and one of the high points in Daredevil’s 60-year history.
© 1990 Epic Comics. © 2002 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.