Archive for the ‘Elektra’ Category

X-Statix #26

April 17, 2015

X-Statix 26Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2004
***

A fairly blatant ripoff of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as the team gets KIA with Mr. S & Tike A. gunned down in a suicide charge. It would’ve worked better if they hadn’t held each other at arm’s length since the retitling. Or if the run’s last two years had been compressed into one. Ah well.

last issue: X-Statix #25
continued in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5

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Daredevil #80

October 16, 2014

Daredevil 080Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2006
****

Part 2 of the big action finale, #80 features a streetfight btw ninjas & Feds! Maleev’s work on DD has possessed great physicality & expressive bodies. Mostly that’s added levels to his writer’s dialogue, but it’s also helped him to stage great scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Then… Matt surrenders!

last issue: Daredevil #79
next issue: Daredevil #81

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Daredevil #79

October 15, 2014

Daredevil 079Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2006
*****

To catch DD, a zealous FBI chief bargains w/ Fisk & ignores the mortal cost to bystanders (& Bullseye, creamed by a bus). It’s a new wrinkle on legal vigilantism. But the sight of the Kingpin—imprisoned, unindicted & unlawyered—owes more to Hannibal Lector than to the reality of W’s War on Terror.

last issue: Daredevil #78
next issue: Daredevil #80

also indexed for Jan. ’06
The Pulse #12
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

Daredevil #78

October 14, 2014

Daredevil 078Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2005
*****

This mag’s innate contradiction—a lawyer with an extra-legal identity—gets put to the test. W/ the feds about to acquire proof of his double-life, the protag must choose to fight as Murdock or Daredevil. It’s thrilling & dangerous: mishandling the denouement could break the character irrevocably.

last issue: Daredevil #77
next issue: Daredevil #79

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Daredevil #77

October 13, 2014

Daredevil 077Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
November 2005
****

As Matt reconnects w/ his ex-wife, his ex-Gfs & his protégé learn that his secret ID has been compromised. #77 may not pass the Bechdel Test, but it does have a woman in every scene & more women than men in its cast. Bendis deserves a note for that in a genre devoted to machismo.

last issue: Daredevil #76
next issue: Daredevil #78

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Daredevil #37

September 3, 2014

Daredevil 037Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
November 2002
*****

Hardball negotiations fit oddly into a superhero mag (even one w/ a lawyer protag), tho they stage conflict as surely as any fistfight. They also cast Murdock in a new sort of antiheroic light, since his tactics include scaring a witness—a federal agent, no less—into withdrawing his testimony.

last issue: Daredevil #36
next issue: Daredevil #38

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
New X-Men #132

Daredevil #36

September 2, 2014

Daredevil 036Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2002
*****

Murdock denies his secret ID as DD; V. Fisk skips town, creating a power vacuum; ex-GF Black Widow visits the law firm incognito, where she’s treated like a superheroics enabler—not exactly inaccurate either! Incidentally, check Alias #15 for a Rosencranz/Guildenstern perspec of Matt’s bodyguards.

last issue: Daredevil #35
next issue: Daredevil #37

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

Elektra: Assassin #8 of 8

March 13, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
March 1987
*****

A tight end to what’s arguably the best work of Miller’s banner year, & Sienkiewicz’s masterpiece too. Maybe the seminal work of the grim/gritty ’80s, w/ its ninja/demon/cyborg/superspy battle royale before the Lincoln Mem, & a comment on the Reagan Era, politically ugly & aesthetically brilliant.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #7 of 8

also indexed for Mar. ’87
The Mighty Thor #377

Elektra: Assassin #7 of 8

March 12, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
February 1987
*****

Miller’s politics come from the far right, casting his villains from ’80s Big Gov’ment: nuclear brinksmanship & a spy org’s ex-con cyborg. Sink delivers true art, a set of splash pages that take Elektra (& us, natch) into the mind of the Beast, roaring as it imagines Earth as a burnt cinder.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #6 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #8 of 8

also indexed for Feb. ’87
The Mighty Thor #376

Elektra: Assassin #6 of 8

March 11, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
January 1987
*****

While our heroes hide out at a honeymoon hotel, Nick Fury discovers a rogue tech division in SHIELD. Plus a general nearly starts WW3. Two decades before NextwaveCasanovaElektra parodies Steranko’s classic “more-is-more” spy-fi, & executes a libertarian critique of Reagan-era military spending.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #5 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #7 of 8

also indexed for Jan. ’87
The Mighty Thor #375

Elektra: Assassin #5 of 8

March 10, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
December 1986
*****

Issue #5 follows a scuba duel in the Potomac w/ a helicopter dogfight in DC airspace! It also gives Elektra a foil, a blonde SHIELD agent in Catholic iconography. This mini exemplifies the shift towards violence in mid-’80s comics, but here it has a thematic context as well as an aesthetic.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #4 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #6 of 8

also indexed for Dec. ’86
The Mighty Thor #374

Elektra: Assassin #4 of 8

March 9, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
November 1986
*****

Nick Fury lobbies a senator for funding while testing a 20′ pistol! Then there’s action, an impressionist car chase as our SHIELD hero rescues Elektra, trapped in a bimbo’s body. E:A is even better than Dark Knight Returns, partly due to Sink’s difficult style. Sadly, that’s probably also why it’s less popular.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #3 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #5 of 8

also indexed for Nov. ’86
The Mighty Thor #373

Elektra: Assassin #3 of 8

March 8, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
October 1986
*****

The book shifts its POV to SHIELD Agent Garrett, a hard-boiled, far-right antihero. He’s cunning, but E’s always more so, which, coupled w/ her lethality & Eastern mysticism, lends her a death-goddess aspect. Her goal is just as Jungian: to kill a demon that’s possessed a liberal candidate for prez.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #2 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #4 of 8

also indexed for Oct. ’86
The Fantastic Four #295
The Mighty Thor #372

Elektra: Assassin #2 of 8

March 7, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
September 1986
*****

Elektra dons a Steranko-esque brain recorder to get exposition; a Reagan-era spook tracks her across S. America, no match for her ninja prowess. It takes several reads to follow the oroboros-shaped plot, the switches from psyche to psyche, the lush daubs held by scratchy lines.

last issue: Elektra: Assassin #1 of 8
next issue: Elektra: Assassin #3 of 8

also indexed for Sept. ’86
The Fantastic Four #294
The Mighty Thor #371

Elektra: Assassin #1 of 8

March 6, 2012

Frank Miller // Bill Sienkiewicz
August 1986
*****

Under an alt imprint, Miller revisits the ninja/femme fatale from his Daredevil run. The antiheroine received electroshock in a snake pit, having discovered a demonic side to US intrigues in a banana republic. Bill S’s paints add a scary, hallucinatory quality to the mag’s non-linear expressionism.

next issue: Elektra: Assassin #2 of 8

also indexed for Aug. ’86
Daredevil #233
The Fantastic Four #293

Daredevil #190

July 5, 2010

Frank Miller
January 1983
*****

An epic finish to Miller’s run! First we get Elektra’s backstory: ninja training & a wounded soul. Then it’s a thrilling battle royale to stop her zombie resurrection! (It fails … or does it!?) To stop the ceremony, DD allies himself w/ the Kingpin. It’s comic-book heaven. The way’s open for Elektra spin-offs—esp. cuz she’s been magically “purged” of her demons (her outfit’s now white).

last issue: Daredevil #189
next issue: Daredevil #191

also indexed for Jan. ’83
The Fantastic Four #250

Daredevil #181

June 25, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
April 1982
*****

A double-sized issue allows Miller the space to deliver a milestone climax. It’s rich, pulpy comic-book tragedy, peppered w/ thrilling sequences, starting w/ Bullseye’s prison breakout. He’s the ish’s POV, opening a dramatic irony: we know more than he does about DD/Murdock & Elektra—tho’ he almost cracks their secrets. And astonishingly, brutally, Bulls murders Elek, then loses to DD.

last issue: Daredevil #180
next issue: Daredevil #182

also indexed for Apr. ’82
The Fantastic Four #241

Daredevil #180

June 24, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
March 1982
*****

To spoil the election of a corrupt mayor, DD unearths Kingpin’s amnesiac wife from NYC’s bowels. Miller’s drawing heavily on Jos Campbell: his hero challenges the underworld’s king, despite his broken leg (= castration, an effect of #179‘s showdown w/ Elektra). Oh & he wrestles a gator!

last issue: Daredevil #179
last issue: Daredevil #181

also indexed for Mar. ’82
The Fantastic Four #240

Daredevil #179

June 23, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
February 1982
*****

Re-enter sad-sack reporter Ben Urich, with his ordinary-Joe POV.  He phones his pal DD after his snooping into Kingpin’s mayoral candidate brings a death threat from Elektra. And he not only snaps a pic of the long-awaited DD/Elektra match (victor: Elektra), he also glimpses Kingpin’s missing wife!

last issue: Daredevil #178
next issue: Daredevil #180

also indexed for Feb. ’82
The Fantastic Four #239

Daredevil #178

June 22, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
January 1982
*****

This breezy ish guests Power Man & Iron Fist, whose low-rent heroics make DD into a perfect chop-socky noir (PS: the match btw. IF & DD is superb). It’s also a throwback to the Colan era of Matt Murdock, swashbuckling lawyer. He’s after blackmail evidence that connects a corrupt pol to Kingpin.

last issue: Daredevil #177
next issue: Daredevil #179

also indexed for Jan. ’82
The Fantastic Four #238

Daredevil #177

June 21, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
December 1981
*****

Like a chessmaster, Miller moves every plot forward in this pleasurable ish, from Foggy reviving the firm to Kingpin buying a councilman. But at heart it’s a spiritual journey that doubles as an origin recap: a Zen hallucination that sees Murdock face his past & literally fight his demons.

last issue: Daredevil #176
next issue: Daredevil #178

also indexed for Dec. ’81
The Fantastic Four #237

Daredevil #176

June 19, 2010

Frank Miller
November 1981
*****

An elegantly structured five-party hunt for a blind pool hustler and DD’s onetime mentor. Plus round 2 of Elektra v. the immortal ninja. It’s easy to talk about what Miller does, but it’s also what he doesn’t do: no purple narrator of ’60s & ’70s heroics. His fights are silent, acrobatic, & deadly.

last issue: Daredevil #175
next issue: Daredevil #177

also indexed for Nov. ’81
The Fantastic Four #236

Daredevil #175

June 18, 2010

Frank Miller
October 1981
*****

DD once again plays a supporting role, protecting Foggy & providing back-up for Elektra as she storms the HQ of those gothic ninjas. In fact, it’s she who fights & kills their heavy, a near-immortal bruiser. And Foggy not only provides comic relief, he rescues the firm’s court case from collapse.

last issue: Daredevil #174
next issue: Daredevil #176

also indexed for Oct. ’81
The Fantastic Four #235

Daredevil #174

June 17, 2010

Frank Miller
September 1981
*****

The mag revs back up as Kingpin pits his rivals—a ninja assassin’s guild (!) who disintegrate at death (!!)—against DD. Also on the scene is Elektra, a former disciple of the ninja clan. Miller’s work is merely exceptional, not superlative; this ish is about moving the plot, not artistic innovation.

last issue: Daredevil #173
next issue: Daredevil #175

also indexed for Sept. ’81
The Fantastic Four #234

Daredevil #169

June 11, 2010

Frank Miller
March 1981
*****

Frank’s on fire! This tale starts out surreal, w/ escapee Bullseye murdering Times Square X-mas shoppers that (thanks to a tumor) he sees as DD. It’s topped by a hat-tip to Miller’s influences, w/ a 42nd St. kino playing The Maltese Falcon, DD’s hammy speech on the Law, & a teaser for more Elektra.

last issue: Daredevil #168
next issue: Daredevil #170

also indexed for Mar. ’81
Captain America #255

Daredevil #168

June 10, 2010

Frank Miller
January 1981
*****

Miller works solo on this dense one-shot that adds tremendously to the Daredevil mythos. A retcon flashes back to Matt’s pre-law days at Columbia, where an early masked caper ends in the accidental death of his g’friend’s daddy. It buttresses a strong intro for a new female lead: Elektra, Assassin!

last issue: Daredevil #167
next issue: Daredevil #169

also indexed for Jan. ’81
Captain America #253