She’s been a hero, a killer, a poet, a pauper, a pawn and a queen, but now Elektra Natchios is taking on Vegas. I’d make a “bet on red” joke, but she’s wearing a lot of black now, sooooo… Your Major Spoilers review of Elektra #1 awaits!
Previously in Elektra: “The costumed vigilante known as Daredevil has been fighting crime in the dark street and on the foggy, cold rooftops of New York City for years. In that time, he’s fought some deadly men and women: Assassins, crime lords, killers and thieves. One of the Daredevil’s most complicated relationships is with the ninja-assassin known as… Elektra!”
WHAT HAPPENS BLAH BLAH BLAH FISHCAKES
We open in Las Vegas, with the all new shiny Midway Casino, home not only to slot machines and blackjack tables but underground fight clubs, strange sex cults and Arcade. Yeah, that Arcade. Whatever his special “blood sport” consists of, it’s attracting attention, which brings us to our main character Elektra Natchios, whom we meet drinking tequila in a really good blonde wig. She has a quiet conversation with her bartender, noticing a few strange bruises that the woman is trying to hide, before being interrupted. Her bartender is called away by a rather unsavory man, leaving Elektra to play a little roulette. She catches the attention of Arcade, but turns down his “exclusive” murder club for one of her own: Tracking down the abused bartender, she a can of murderous on Arcade’s underlings, while the master of ceremonies and his associate, Screwball, watch her on the closed circuit security system…
FEELS LIKE FRANK CHO ART
The art is really lush and well-rendered in this issue, reminding me a big of the work of Frank Cho, with a little less focus on pneumatic anatomy, and better facial expressions. There are some breathtaking bits of scenery as well (Elektra’s high-roller suite is exquisitely rendered) though there are some storytelling flaws, especially in following the combat sequence in this issue. It’s not a game-breaking complaint, though, more that I’d like to see what Juann Cabal will be capable of given some more experience. I have similar thoughts about this issue’s writing, as the story gives us some interesting hooks, some okay dialogue and a couple of nice moments for Arcade, it’s a little vague about our main character and her motives. That said, it’s more a question of “This pretty good book could get pretty great with a little bit of tweaking”, which is a good problem to have.
THE BOTTOM LINE: DOESN’T QUITE COMPLETELY HOOK ME
With Elektra being a part of so many iconic comic moments and stories, it’s really hard to make a story that honors the best of what the character has been while delivering solid comic thrills. Elektra #1 has a lot going for it, with strong art and a story that I want to know more about, but I find myself wishing I was more excited about more Elektra, leaving out book with a still above-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. There’s potential here, and I expect I’ll be back for issue #2, but I need a little more metaphorical snap if I’m going to stick around for the long haul. (I’ll say this, though: Elektra’s greek-inspired gown is utterly and completely gorgeous.)