Elektra: Bloodlines

I know very little about Elektra.  Here is what I know:

She is an assassin.
She wears red.
She uses sai.
She was with Daredevil at one point.


I've avoided both movies that featured this character because a) Ew, Ben Affleck! and b) they didn't get good reviews.  Alas, I'm woefully behind on my Netflix shows as well, so if she's popped up in the new Daredevil TV series, I missed it.
So, I'm getting this vibe that Elektra is a bit like Black Widow or Deadpool, in that she kills a lot of people, but there's usually a reason for it.  Elektra makes hits on people who she believes "deserve" it. 

Let me tell you a little story.  When I was shopping at Target on Sunday, I stopped in the Marvel/Avengers section to see if they had any cool toys.  Yes, I am a grown up who shops for action figures.  I have a Daredevil Funko Pop bobblehead on my desk as I write.  So, I saw a "complete Avengers action figure set" and grabbed it, figuring if it's "complete," it has Black Widow.  Nope.  Just like all of the other merch tied to Age of Ultron, there is zero Black Widow.  I would watch a Black Widow movie on a continuous loop if they would make one and do it well.  

The female characters who are so kick-butt awesome get the shoddy, short end of the stick when it comes to promotion and even their own series.  I haven't been a big fan of the Black Widow comics, either, although Phil Noto is consistently killing it with his art.  

I feel like Elektra is Black Widow: Redux in that there's no plot, but some gorgeous art that I would totally hang on my wall.  The ribbons on Elektra's costume turn to rivers of blood, there's a beautiful underwater fight sequence that has the most gorgeous coloring, and nothing looks generic.  Everything except the actual "story."

Sooo, in the beginning Elektra introduces herself.  Okay, so far, so good.  Then she goes to [hang on a second.  I'm popping over to Goodreads to see if I can remember what I read literally two hours ago.  Returned the book to the library.  Dangit.] the Matchmaker (cue Fiddler on the Roof!) to find a job.  The Matchmaker, whose dialogue is always colored in pink (wut), assigns her to hunt down the most infamous assassin of them all: Cape Crow.

You too, huh?  You're going all, "What?  Who the heck is that?"  Well, join the crew for a hearty round of ale, because this guy is nobody.  I'm pretty sure that Blackman just made him up and created this backstory of him besting the four greatest assassins in the world, including Sabretooth, who I thought of as more of a furry X-Men nemesis than an assassin, but whatever.  This Cape Crow dude is missing and Elektra has to find him before anyone else does.

So, off she trots to Monster Island (which is full of--surprise!--monsters) and discovers that two other assassins, Scalphunter and Lady Bullseye, are also on the hunt for the elusive Cape Crow.  Yes.  Scalphunter is a Native American who scalps people.  I could not believe it.  I still can't--but I can, somehow.  And that saddens me.  Lady Bullseye is supposed to be super-awesome at her job, but Elektra dispatches her easily.  On the island, she finds a young man wearing Cape Crow's (I keep wanting to write Cape Cod, which isn't really a good villain name either) armor, and he reveals himself to be Cape Crow's son.  He wants Elektra to help him save his father from the other bounty hunters, and she ... agrees?

And we have another player in the game: Bloody Lips.  Now, I'm not quite sure what's going on here.  It seems that Bloody Lips isn't corporeal, but he possesses? enslaves? an Aussie murderer who has like a weird set of teeth inside a giant lion head-thing.  This guy, in turn, eats parts of other assassins in order to absorb their knowledge and capabilities.

But there is no true story here.  There's a half-hearted mission with some weird villains that no one's ever heard of.  There's a strange psychic takeover of both Elektra and Bloody Lips' Minion's minds.  There's a bizarre airplane chase and Elektra easily defeating the Best Assassin Evarrrr by "clearing her mind."  Whoa, much zen, good fighting.  In the end, where does that leave us?  Back at square one--if we ever really left in the first place.

I also find it a bit odd (and please, correct me if I'm off base here) that Elektra is still enamored of Daredevil, but she calls him "Matthew."  He's always been Matt Murdock to me.

If you do decide to get this book or check it out from the library, I'd suggest ignoring the words entirely and just looking and the gorgeous art created by Del Mundo and the colorist D'Alfonso.  It's the poetry of watercolor and the hard lines of pen meeting in a glorious swirl of sai.  D'Alfonso's color palette is completely spot-on, and I would gladly pay for prints of most of these pages.  That's how good this is.  These guys deserve a better writer.  Major props to them.

All in all, for your viewing pleasure only, but I wouldn't even bother with the "story," or unreasonable facsimile thereof.  

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