If you missed the first five issues of Elektra, issues 6 and 7 might not be the best jumping on point. Alex Sanchez takes over the art duties from Michael Del Mundo but I can’t say it’s a change for the better.
When I think of Elektra, two names come to mind for me: Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz. Miller, obviously, because he created the character, and Sienkiewicz from his collaboration with Miller on that gorgeously watercolored mini-series from the 80’s Elektra: Assassin. The first five issues of this new series also feature beautiful painting-style art by Del Mundo, and his artwork adorns the cover of issue #7 as well. I don’t know if, in the future, we’ll mention Del Mundo’s name alongside Miller and Seinkiewicz when we talk about great runs on Elektra, but he’s definitely worth taking a look at.
The change from Del Mundo to Sanchez is dramatic. Sanchez’s style, while more conventional for a comic book, consists of gritty line work and eerie faces. He struggles with body posture in some panels, making Elektra look pretty awkward sometimes. His faces are actually a strong point of this issue though, at least in the close-ups and most expressive panels. Normally I wouldn’t harp on this as much but the shift in art is too major to ignore.
The story is pretty good. Regular series writer W. Haden Blackman has Elektra escorting a retired assassin Cape Crow (whose name sounds more like a coastal town than a person) and his son to a safe house. They’re on the run from the Assassin’s Guild and, uh-oh, they sent a newly super-powered Lady Bullseye to kill them. The fight with Lady Bullseye takes all of four pages, but the way in which Elektra disposes of her is quite clever. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that it involves literally inhaling her. For all the build up the fight got from the previous issue, though, I wish it had been longer.
Once that’s done, Elektra decides to get up close and personal with the Assassin’s Guild, and the ‘negotiation’ scene is one of the best scenes in the book. Elektra does not play games. We see that she is pretty sick of dealing with these guys and engages in some major butt-kicking. Once she gets the information she needs, she’s off to finally deal with the head of the Guild.
It would be helpful to read the first arc of this series before picking up this issue, as it doesn’t serve so much as a jumping on point as it does a finishing off of the previous arc. It also sets up a slightly different status quo for the next issue. I suppose if you were looking for a place to jump on, next issue might be better, but personally I’d recommend starting from the beginning and checking out that great art.
In the end, this issue and the two part story arc at least made me want to go back and read up on the series. My rating on this issue is going to suffer simply because of the shift in art style, which might not be fair for issue #7, but it only means that the series has set a high bar for itself.
CBH Score: 2.5 of 5.0
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