Ninja. Assassin. Dead. Alive. Elektra has been many things and now that she's back in her on ongoing comic, she has a chance to shine again outside of Daredevil's world. The series has a lot of potential with Matt Owens (Luke Cage TV writer) at the helm with Juann Cabal on interior art and Antonio Fabela and Marcia Menyz on colours. Owens may be a relative newcomer to comics but his experience on the Luke Cage Netlix show makes him an intriguing choice for this series.
It’s an easy set up. Vegas is the hub for the worst of the worst and Elektra finds herself tangled up in the baddies’ fun. Owens makes some interesting story choices however and I found myself surprised at how invested I was by the end of the issue. My version of Elektra will always be the avenging angel of death (the Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra run was a big influence on me when I was a kid). This issue thankfully did not disappoint with that interpretation. I don’t know if Elektra’s presence in Vegas was planned or if she just happened across this underground den of gambling villains led by a familiar X-Baddie with a fondness for games. Either way, I really liked the cavalier style of her getting back into the assassin game to avenge somebody who got hurt.
I’ve never read anything with Cabal’s art before so this was a very new reading experience for me. Cabal’s linework, along with Fabela and Menyz’s colours, have a very similar look to Jamie McKelvie’s art and I don’t know if it’s on purpose or if that’s just their style. It’s disconcerting at first but some of the panelling is really fun, playing more with a traditional square panel setup than with the crazy things that McKelvie does in his books. I’m still not sure if this style fits in with Elektra as a character but it worked so far with the story and the setting.
This issue actually surprised me and I’m glad I gave it a read through. Owens’ TV writing background really shows in the plot setup, which works for B/C list characters like Elektra. It’s a familiar plot but the story beats help make it fresh and the art adds a different tone that may serve to enhance but we’ll have to see.