The Zeppelin post put me in mind of my thirteen-year-old days. I read the Elektra: Assassin graphic novel, which collected all eight issues written by Frank Miller and painted by Bill Sienkiewicz, until the spine broke and the pages fell out all over the inside of my locker. I had never seen a comic drawn or written like it before.
Elektra is the daughter of a Greek ambassador who is assassinated. She is trained in childhood by a master assassin / kung-fu guy. We get a brief glimpse into her background and psychosis. Now she is planning to assassinate the President, Ken Wind, who appears to be an anti-christ-like figure. He is referred to as “The Beast.”
The artwork is like a fever dream. The scantily-clad, but deadly main character suckered me in. The weird 1980s political undertones are… well, weird. The action, blood, and ink splashes across the panels and knows no rules. Most comics have narration that explains everything for the young reader. Elektra: Assassin goes pages without any narration or dialogue, the panels darting from flashbacks to the present. The SHIELD agent John Garrett is likeable in a Tony Soprano kind of way. He’s a sociopath who curses a lot, drinks a lot, and lusts after Elektra a lot.
I have not seen the Elektra movie, because I’m afraid and almost certain it would ruin everything that was good about the graphic novel. I read one other Elektra comic that takes place after the story in the novel and was disappointed. The graphic novel is one of a kind. Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz worked on a Daredevil graphic novel as well, which is good, but doesn’t have the same brand of surrealism and inspiration. Sienkiewicz has his own website and Words and Pictures has pics of the whole first issue. Frank Miller is now basking in the glory of his successes with Sin City and 300. Check out the links.