Breathtaking. Stunning. Creative. Gorgeous. Immersive. All of these words don't even begin to give Michael Del Mundo's pages (and co-colorist Marco D'Alfonso) the amount of praise they deserve. There's a lot of talented art teams out there, but Del Mundo's work really is something special and leaves a lasting impression. The action is visceral and packed with intensity, the character work is expressive, the layouts and perspectives engage our eyes, and the attention dedicated to bringing all of the effects and environments to life is praiseworthy. As if that wasn't enough, there's a staggeringly impressive double page spread. The story beat in that moment is a predictable one, but these twisted and engrossing visuals make you forget that it's a pretty common plot device, pull you right into the moment and make it feel epic. That one is sure to keep your eyes busy for a fair amount of time.
ELEKTRA truly is a visual experience like no other, but thankfully, this is a book that'll stimulate your mind, too. Sure, there's a couple of tropes along the way and it doesn't really have that firm of a grip on my emotions just yet, but it's still an exciting and fast-paced adventure which delivers big time on both action and character. We've been waiting for the encounter with
Black Manta Cape Crow (okay, the design is familiar but it's still seriously cool) and it definitely delivers. The brawl between the two is a frenetic blast and, as expected, the panels do a tremendous job making us experience the speed, viciousness and force behind every action. Of course, writer Haden Blackman gives it a little more weight by bringing us into Elektra's thoughts as she takes on this seemingly unstoppable assassin.
Aside from the thrilling melees and additional insight into a few characters, I love how this chapter offers an organic lead into the next arc. It's not just "Well, that was fun. Let's wait and see what Elektra's next journey will be!" It closes one door in a satisfying way and moves forward with all of the elements that deserve more focus. That last page absolutely hooked my interest. I mean, the book had it to begin with, but that's very exciting!
Very, very minor art gripe: on the first page, a bullet grazes under Elektra's right eye and, based on that panel, it seemed to take a good amount of skin and blood with it. In the next panel, you can see that area is red, but in the following pages, the patch of red to signify the damage seems to only appear in some of the panels. Also, it was a little odd to have Elektra clarify that Crow's precise, not necessarily fast, and then have her later remark on his speed as if that's the key attribute in the fight.
Make room on your pull list for ELEKTRA because this is a book you really shouldn't miss. The action is fast-paced and jaw-dropping, the pages are loaded with absolutely beautiful and clever artwork, and the script never loosens its grip on your interest and successfully gives Elektra the amount of insight and depth she deserves. This latest chapter gives you all of the above and does an excellent job teasing what the next story arc will likely address. Seriously, be good to yourself and give ELEKTRA a shot. Honestly, you can have no interest in the character whatsoever and the solid writing and phenomenal visuals will turn you into a fan.