Writer: Matt Owens
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colorist: Antonio Fabela & Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Cory Petit
A review by Greg Brothers
We have all been there before. Life isn’t going quite as you would like. Your relationships are on the rocks and complicated, you took a Sai straight to the stomach and out your back, and then you ended up getting raised from the dead by an evil organization that wants to use you to their bidding. So, what do you do? Well you head to Las Vegas to get away and forget all your troubles of course.
To say that Electra has lead a complicated life would be an understatement. She is the daughter of a Greek ambassador, a former hired assassin for the crime boss Kingpin, and of course, before she was resurrected by The Hand, she was killed by Bullseye. So yes, her life is complicated.
Elektra #1 finds Elektra in a bar in Las Vegas. She is in a disguise and enjoying a few drinks while trying to forget the things that have gone wrong in her life. While Elektra’s plan is a little rest and relaxation the stars do not line up for her. Instead the always observant ninja realizes that things for her friendly bartender are not quite as good as she made it seem. Elektra being Elektra always stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and takes matters into her own hands to both take revenge and to make sure the same thing never happens again. While we are introduced to the new life that Elektra is trying to set up for herself, in the background a classic villain is has also set up shop in Las Vegas and is running a gambling ring which seems to be a version of Battle Royale.
Being set in Las Vegas allows for a whole new world to be explored in Elektra #1. Owens takes the idea of what happens in Vegas and starts to explore it from the very first panel. The way that they explore the complicated life that Elektra leads is done in a way that humanizes her without making it seem as if she is a victim. She reminds us, as an assassin, that she is unable to turn off always scanning the room and people for potential trouble. The addition of the classic villain in the background adds a new layer to the story that will allow for some great exploration later down the line.
Elektra has always been a woman of few words and that continues in Elektra #1. Because of that the art must be in top form and Juann Cabal delivers. The colors remind the reader that they are in Vegas with the bright colors. The way Elektra is drawn shows off her femininity while not being gratuitous. While showing off her femininity Cabal draws Elektra in a way that is also stoic and powerful. The action scenes are quick and powerful and remind readers how precise Elektra is when she needs to be.
Buy it! Elektra #1 sets up a new world for Owens to be able to explore. By removing Elektra from her familiar surroundings, it allows Owens to have a semi-clean slate to approach Elektra’s past while writing a new future for her. The art not only compliments the stories but it also enhances the story and draws the reader in. The background story sets up a future conflict without making it obvious how it will come to a head. I’m excited to see what comes next.