ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Elektra,’ Issue #100

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Elektra #100 - But Why Tho

Elektra #100 is an anthology comic published by Marvel, collecting multiple stories by a variety of creators. The first and main story is titled “Twister,” written by Ann Nocenti, art by Sid Kotian, with colors by Edgar Delgado, and letters by Clayton Cowles. The second story is titled “Waltz” and is written by Declan Shalvey, with art by Stefano Raffaele, colors by Rochelle Rosenberg and letters by Cowles. Finally, “Mini Marvels” is by Chris Giarrusso, and  “Ninja Super Stories” is by Ty Templeton. 

“Twisters” is the issue’s primary story. As tornadoes threaten to hit the city of New Yor, Elektra has a confrontation and conversation with Typhoid Mary. 

The plot of the story has a structure that usually befits a team-up tale such as this, but it features a subtle difference. An opening battle and thunderous ending may be seen in other comics. But this story contains a very long and detailed conversation, away from all of the action. The first fight in the opening is thrilling and exciting. It would be easy to think that this is what the entirety of the tale contains: High-energy combat. But then Nocenti brings the pace right down as Mary and Elektra have a tense discussion.

This part of Elektra #100 is not comforting as the powerful theme of abuse and mental illness comes to the fore. The final part contains the tornadoes that may have been forgotten as the character’s story takes over. This looming threat is okay as some cameos are included but the twisters are easily interchangeable. Elektra and Typhoid Mary’s involvement in this is minimal and another device may have been better served, but the extreme weather is not the important part of the tale.

This is a comic celebrating 100 Elektra issues, and yet Nocenti does not shy away from making “Twisters” about Typhoid Mary as well. They both feel like the main characters in the story and the script is beautiful. There is no one more qualified to use Mary in this story than one of her co-creators. The dialogue for both women is phenomenal, especially in regard to each other. Nocenti dives deep into a shared history between the women that denotes an antagonistic relationship between the assassins. They have never really interacted and Elektra makes note of that, but adding a little connection intertwines both characters in a clever and emotional way. 

This story brilliantly shows where the women are similar and where they differ. There is a vulnerability within both Elektra and Mary as their minds have been routinely damaged and stitched back together from tampering, and have common acquaintances. Both are incredibly strong when they need to be. Elektra is strong and able to hide her emotions better. None of Mary’s brutal jibes about Elektra appear to phase her as if she is at peace with who she is now. Elektra comes across as harsh or cruel in moments of this story, but that is due to her matter-of-fact, businesslike way of speaking. Mary is difficult to judge due to her personalities, but as Typhoid, she is actually very likable and a good person. 

This comic also serves as a nice epilogue for Devil’s Reign and Mary’s role in it, especially her relationship and marriage to Kingpin. Whilst some of the references and the dialogue don’t match up with the ending of the event, I actually think the explanations Nocenti writes for Mary are more in character and in-depth than anything we’ve seen in that story

The art in “Twisters” is fantastic and perfectly suited for the characters involved. Elektra’s design is very different to what she is using now but actually looks fantastic. The long flowing hair and the strands of fabric from the headband help to denote her motion and speed when they flow in the breeze. As for Mary, Kotian has led to her resembling Harley Quinn. The fishnets are iconic for the character, but the pigtails do give off a Harley vibe. The detail in both designs are awesome and it is always easy to differentiate between the two. The fight in the opening is beautifully choreographed, displaying the fighters’ skills and personalities. Some of the best details are in the background of the scenes, especially in Mary; secret lair. There is graffiti on the walls that she has no recollection of painting. Whilst we never get close-ups of these drawings, the glimpse of the stories is fascinating.

The colors are very rich and enjoyable. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the color is the decision to color Mary’s hair gray, something that is even mentioned in dialogue. Perhaps this was chosen to help diversify the two women but it doesn’t look out of place either way. The lettering is easy to read.

The other stories included in Elektra #100 are a variety of character voices and intentions. “Waltz” is the second biggest compared to “Twisters”, as Daredevil and Elektra spar on a rooftop. In a short space of time, Shalvey, Raffaele and Rosenberg all contribute to telling a gorgeously layered explanation of the relationship between Elektra Natchios and Matt Murdock. The sexual tension, the soft, romantic intimacy, and the athletic competitiveness are all rolled into one session. The cartoons at the back of the issue are all clever, funny, and adorable.

Elektra #100 is a lovely celebration of a wonderful character. The anthology perhaps isn’t as big as I would have liked it to have been, as there is definitely potential for more stories inside it. But the ones that made it in help showcase the depth that is within the assassin-turned hero. This comic is based around a modern Elektra which is really appreciated. It doesn’t dwell on the past or her deaths, instead of enjoying her life and her present.

Elektra #100 is available where comics are sold


4

TL;DR

Elektra #100 is a lovely celebration of a wonderful character. The anthology perhaps isn’t as big as I would have liked it to have been, as there is definitely potential for more stories inside it. But the ones that made it in help showcase the depth that is within the assassin-turned hero.