by W. Haden Blackman and Michael Del Mundo
W. Haden Blackman and Michael Del Mundo have been crafting something magnificent so far in this new rendition of Marvel’s ninja-assassin, Elektra. In the opening arc, “Bloodlines,” readers have been taken on a very interesting and truly beautiful journey as Elektra has been tasked with tracking down Cape Crow. The introduction of Bloody Lips has allowed Del Mundo to showcase the range of his talent, and that is certainly the case in this issue. With Elektra now facing the man she has been tracking, the energy and pacing of the issue was set up to be something spectacular. And it is.
Throughout this arc, Blackman has established that this new Elektra is trying to decide who she is. Early on she takes a bounty from Matchmaker to seek out Cape Crow. But this is not a hit, and she is not the same person. Del Mundo’s design for Cape Crow in his battle armor is very cool and the fight sequence that ensues is really stunning. There is a momentum that he is able to capture from panel to panel. This type of art can feel a bit stiff when employed in comics, as it tends to have a more painterly and almost stoic presentation of the characters depicted. Del Mundo, however, is able to both capture that gorgeous visual style and still create motion within the images. Amidst this duel, readers learn a bit more about Kento and gain some insight into previous issues.
The real standout moment of the issue comes when Elektra is once again faced with Bloody Lips, and she offers the cannibal what he has been lusting for since he caught her scent. Knowing it will be too much for him, Elektra lets him in and what follows is one of the most memorable pages in the series thus far. Del Mundo depicts a cerebral and surreal mural of Elektra’s mind and experiences. Circling around the page in an almost dizzying fashion, readers see her death several times in several renditions, as well as other images repeated or distinct. It is mesmerizing to experience and some how manages to capture the very essence of this individual. Blackman’s script has been engaging and exciting throughout and it is moments like this where he takes advantage of the talent he is working with to show readers something truly special.
As the issue concludes, the story teases what is to come next and Elektra is still balancing who she might be. Once more, Blackman’s script paired with Del Mundo’s artistic talents generate a beautiful page that splits Elektra’s wishes and instinct down the middle. It will be interesting to see as the story progresses how this internal battle continues to play, but as of this issue, it seems as though one side stands dominant over the other.