Ann Nocenti returns to Hell’s Kitchen with artist Sid Kotian to tell an epic but uneven story for Marvel’s Elektra # 100
Since her first appearance in Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Daredevil # 168, Elektra has become one of the Marvel Universe’s most dangerous and exciting characters. She’s done everything from rising from the dead to fighting as Daredevil. Now Marvel is celebrating Elektra’s 100th comic with a fun, action-packed adventure written by Marvel legend Ann Nocenti, with art from Sid Kotian. Elektra # 100 is an imperfect issue, but an excellent reminder of just how entertaining the deadly assassin can be.
Elektra # 100 follows the titular hero on a mission involving Lady Midas who is under the protection of Typhoid Mary. Mary and Elektra go toe-to-toe in an epic battle before realizing that they have a shared history together. But when this discovery is not enough to convince them to settle things peacefully, Elektra might be forced to take things further than she’d initially intended. And an impending tornado threatens to complicate everything. The issue also includes a short story written by Declan Shalvey and drawn by Stefano Raffaele that gives readers a glimpse into Daredevil and Elektra’s rigorous training routine.
Nocenti does a marvelous job of acknowledging the numerous changes Elektra has gone through in recent years while still capturing the original spirit of the character. Both Mary and Elektra get to show off their compelling personalities and their fighting abilities throughout this issue. Nocenti keeps the story moving forward at a rapid pace without losing the reader, but by the end of the story – everything feels a little too arbitrary. After Elektra attacks Mary, Lady Midas is almost entirely forgotten. Then a tornado rips through Hell’s Kitchen. Another band of heroes deals with it, and the two women stop fighting to help people out of the rubble in an ending that feels too convenient and too silly.
Much like Nocenti’s writing, Kotian’s art seems to celebrate the Elektra of the ’80s and’ 90s while acknowledging the character’s new role in contemporary comics. Kotian’s artwork is reminiscent of a style that was more common in the ’90s but remains remarkably compelling. This text-heavy story does not give Kotian an abundance of space, but he uses the room he has excellently. The central fight is well choreographed. Kotian is tasked with drawing several iconic characters, a complicated fight and several tornadoes in Elektra # 100 – and he does an excellent job with each element.
Shalvey and Raffaele’s “Waltz” is a very brief, but well-crafted story that ends Elektra # 100 on a fun note that celebrates her and Daredevil’s iconic relationship. The two meet on a rooftop to spar and reflect upon their fight as if it were a dance. Raffaele’s lush page designs help transform this simple concept into a gorgeous narrative.
Elektra # 100 is not a perfect comic. But it is a testament to Elektra’s versatile and exciting nature. The deadly assassin has had some of the most memorable rivalries and friendships in the history of the Marvel Universe. The entire creative team does a great job highlighting her unique skillset and adding to her incredible history.
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