Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #18: Elektra

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
First seen in Daredevil #168 with her name misspelled on the cover to boot, Elektra has been confounding readers ever since. Mysterious and deadly, Elektra has lived a life of pain colored by brief times of past happiness. Her father was murdered while she was in college, and Elektra never fully recovered. She left school and her boyfriend Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil to find her destiny.

Elektra has been an assasin and an enigma. With shades of gray, she makes judgement on an individual and gives them a free pass depending on the circumstances involved. Trained by the enigmatic Stick and raised from the dead by The Hand, Elektra has had traumatic experiences far more then she has had good. I tend to think of it as karma, which I think Elektra would agree with.

Originally envisioned by Frank Miller as a temporary character, readers didn't want Elektra to vanish from their radars. Her best portrayal to date is still courtesy of Miller, but she has also been handled by other creative teams of note- most recently Brian Michael Bendis and Greg Rucka have penned her tales.

Elektra hasn't helmed a long term series, and I think it is because readers want to maintain a sense of mystery about her. I also think she is impossible to pigeonhole. Unlike Catwoman, she has never stayed on the lawful side of things for long. Her fraternization with Daredevil aside, Elektra prefers the shadows as her domain.

Elektra is one of my favorite females because of the shades of gray that surround her. She definitely thinks outside the box, and likes to maintain a sense of anonymity. She has struggled to repent and failed miserably, but is still seen as a sympathetic character due to the tragedies experienced so early in life.

I like that Elektra continues to surprise and defy. She has been seen in the last Wolverine story arc leaning towards the heroic side of things, but I doubt that will last for long. Elektra will not allow herself to be dictated to, and that makes her one of the deadliest females in the Marvel Universe, or any universe for that matter.

Recommended reading: Daredevil #168-190, Elektra:Assasin Mini-series, Elektra Vol. 1 and 2.

For the record I didn't see the Elektra movie because I refused to taint my comic book vision with the movie one. This is the only movie I have done so, but I guess at worst it makes me a comic geek pain, so I can live with that.

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