ELEKTRA #3-8 (1997)

Issue #2 opens with a 16-year-old girl blaming Elektra for her father’s death–a man who was caught in the crossfire during Elektra’s battle with Bullseye. Elektra takes the girl in, feeling guilty about her father’s death.

Nina will be around for this entire series.

The villain. of this arc, however, named Architect, will not. He’s an ancient being with a cadre of assassins. Most of his killers are never seen again, but one is Killer Shrike. Another is Taskmaster.

And he also uses some of the fun martial arts killers from Marvel’s history like Razorfist from Master of Kung Fu and Bushwacker and Bullet, both from Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil run. Even Boomerang.

And Zaran!

Lots of fun.

Overall, it’s this kind of story: Ancient ninja evils that are vanquished by the end of the arc, with the help of Stephen Strange.

I don’t mean to suggest by my cursory review that this is not a good story. It’s LOTS of fun. It just doesn’t have much overall impact on Elektra as a character or on the greater Marvel universe. There is a little development: At the story’s start, Elektra is uncomfortable killing (not sure why), and Nina McCabe’s dad is accidentally killed. By the end, she’s good with it..

There’s also very little “cheesecake.” Elektra is portrayed seriously. I think we only see her getting out of the shower once, and she’s completely covered. That may not seem like a big deal, but for a woman-focused comic in 1997, it’s huge.

Peter Milligan is a really solid writer.

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