Saturday, 6 December 2014

Dark Reign: Elektra Review (Zeb Wells, Clay Mann)


What happens when a pair of no-name, low calibre wannabe-assassins target world-renowned, unkillable assassin Elektra? Yeah, they don’t have a chance - and yet they try because there are five issues to fill dammit! 

Set in the wake of the failed Skrull invasion a few years ago, Elektra is freed from their jail and discovers that her Skrull double did some bad things (one of them Wolverine) while she was locked up. So now she’s gotta pay as a couple people with guns and camo clothes (in an urban setting!) come after her, as well as Bullseye (when he was briefly cosplaying as classic Hawkeye).

Most of the book is about as straightforward and uninteresting a story as anyone could think up for Elektra. What do we know about her? She’s a tough cookie, so let’s have her fight lots of people, all of whom she’ll defeat really easily - won’t that be exciting for the reader?! Nope. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn continues to be written as a red-headed Lex Luthor.

All of which is pretty turrible - including Clay Mann’s art which is as bland as Zeb Wells’ script - but the real fuck you is saved for the end. I won’t go into specifics but the “mystery” at the centre of this book is that Elektra doesn’t understand why her would-be assassins are trying to kill her. A phrase nags at her - if only she could remember! 

Then it’s revealed she has a special ninja mind trick that allows her to wipe her mind of memories she doesn’t want to remember like an etch-a-sketch, as well as instantly recall memories she’s previously wiped with perfect clarity. She conveniently does this in the last issue, after being prompted by Osborn, and remembers everything, answering all of her own questions at once. 

Um - if she had this ability all along, why didn’t she immediately do this when she needed answers?! Oh that’s right, because then Marvel couldn’t string out this pitiful “story” over five issues and make even more money off of Secret Invasion. Gotta wring a buck outta all the Marvel characters, y’know, this is a business! 

Some of the fight scenes were fun and it’s a smooth, swift read but it’s definitely not one to rec, even if you’re an Elektra fan. Because what do we learn about Elektra from this book? She’s a fighter and she does evil things - so the same-old, same-old! Like the corny amnesia storyline this comic’s hanged upon, Dark Reign: Elektra is damn forgettable.

Dark Reign: Elektra

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