4 Elektra Stories You Should Read

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5 Elektra Stories You Should Read.

Introduced in Frank Miller’s legendary run of Daredevil, Elektra is one of Marvel’s most deadliest assassins. Her past is tied with Daredevil’s, where the pair met and fell in love when they met at University – until tragedy struck in the form of her father’s (a Greek ambassador) death. Immediately after she left for Europe where she lived a life full of pain and tragedy, becoming a deadly assassin for the ninja organisation The Hand. She is a highly trained fighter in hand-to-hand combat as well as with her preferred weapon, the sai. She’s a complex character, who is conflicted by the tragedy in her past and the pain and love that she feels.

With Elektra appearing in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil series I thought it would fitting to highlight some of the stories featuring Elektra you should read if you’re interested in the character. The majority of these are from Frank Miller’s legendary Daredevil run from the 1980s, but I’ve also thrown in a more contemporary choice too to mix things up.

Daredevil #168 cover by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson.

Daredevil #168

Written by Frank Miller. Art by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson.

Daredevil #168, or as it was titled “Elektra”, is the first appearance of Elektra. The story starts off with her and Daredevil reuniting after many years apart when they pursue the same criminal. Daredevil is left battered and busied from the encounter but it allows him to recollect when they first met back in college all those years ago. The flashback reveals love and loss as the reader sees the event which motivated her to become the assassin she is today.

Daredevil #168 is collected in Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volume 2. It’s also available digitally on Comixology and Marvel Unlimited.

Daredevil #181 cover by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson.

Daredevil #178 – 181

Written by Frank Miller. Art by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson.

In this story the Daily Bugle newspaper has run an scathing article about a mayoral candidate in which he’s accused on having crime connections, in particular The Kingpin. As a result of this the newspaper is sued and hires Nelson & Murdock to take the case, with Daredevil helping to do some of the legwork. Elektra is hired by the Kingpin to stop them by terrorising journalist Ben Ulrich and Foggy Nelson, before aiming her sights on Daredevil when he tries to stop her. With her unable to kill Daredevil, The Kingpin releases the insane Bullseye on Elektra with two battling for their life. This encounter leads up to a famous battle, which sees she lose her life.

Miller constructed a well paced fight, full of big blows and hard knocks. The final blow itself is quite powerful and has the most emotional weight to the character. This was intended to be the final Elektra story, and while she would eventually return, Miller made sure that she went out memorably.

Daredevil #178 – 181 is collected in Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volume 2. It’s also available digitally on Comixology and Marvel Unlimited.

BONUS: If you want to know what happened in between these stories read Daredevil #174-176.

Elektra Assassin #1 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Elektra: Assassin

Written by Frank Miller. Art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

This miniseries from 1986-87 tells a story from Elektra’s past as an assassin in the years before she reunited with Daredevil. The series begins very disjointed as Elektra tries to piece her memories together in a mental asylum. From family issues to ugliness of her line of work, she attempts to deal with it all this which leads her to discover “The Beast” – a being which is trying to bring out nuclear war though his mind control abilities. Miller uses Elektra: Assassin to commentate and explore themes such as sex, mental illness and the topic he would return to many times – politics.

Bill Sienkiewicz using his water coloured style to get rather surreal, using interesting panel layouts. His art feels feels so different from what else was coming out at the time, having a warm glow like a neon light. It’s beautiful to look at and a prime example to do comic which are more surreal.

Elektra: Assassin is available in trade paperback and on Comixology.

Elektra #1 cover by Mike del Mundo.

Elektra: Bloodlines/Reverence

Written by Haden Blackman. Art by Mike Del Mundo and Alex Sanchez.

These are some of the most recent Elektra stories in her own solo series, which ran for 11 issues between 2014 and 2015. In this story Elektra goes on an international mission in order to distract her from her emotional past by attempting to track down the untraceable Cape Crow. After a few close encounters with Cape Crow she teams up with his son and through a series of circumstances they become target of the Guild of Assassins.

Elektra: Bloodlines/Reverence is fantastic to look at thanks to primary artist Mike Del Mundo, who knocked it out of the part with his beautiful, inventive and sometimes almost surreal art. He used this title to experiment with page layout with an example of it being a spread which was a fight scene in which there is enough elegance to compare it to ballet dancing.

Elektra: Bloodlines/Reverence ran through Elektra #1-11 and is available in two collected editions as well as digitally on Comixology and Marvel Unlimited.

View More Should Read Lists.

Do You Have A Favourite Elektra Story?

What’s your favourite Elektra story? Are you looking forward to seeing her in the 2nd Season of Daredevil? Let me know in the comments below or via our Facebook or Twitter.

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Trevor Van As

Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.

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  • Good list! You missed Daredevil 190,where Daredevil completes Elektra’s resurrection by The Hand, and Miller’s Elektra Lives, which came out as a one-shot and featured her continuing search for her soul and the meaning and price of her life. It was a very good story that is largely overlooked.

    I don’t think Miller ever meant for Elektra to be a super-hero, so all her stories in the 90s and early 2000s are skippable. After Elektra:Assassin, Del Mundo’s book handles Elektra closer to Miller’s vision. Unfortunately, readers did not support the book, despite beautiful artwork and an engaging story throughout.